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The people over at Phyderma recently sent me a few of their products to review, so I thought I’d share my findings.
First up is the Esprit D’Orient (Eastern Spirit) Brume Parfumé Corps & Cheveux (Hair and Body perfumed spray, 24.90 euros), with organic argan oil and silk extract. This is a product you use on dry hair or skin, or after a bath, and it act as a conditioning spray. For me, the smell is a little sweet and doesn’t suit my personal taste, nor did I find it made much difference to my hair, which is already fine and silky. However, it works very well as a freshen-up – for instance, if you’re going out for the evening and don’t have time to bathe before changing.
I also found another use for it, not advertised on the product, and that is as a freshener for sheets or for clothing that’s hung too long in the wardrobe. For this purpose, it works brilliantly, due to the clean smell and the very fine diffusion – it’s unusual to find such a fine actuator on a skincare product (it’s more like Elnett hairspray), and this delivers a micro-fine, even spray with no droplets. If the fragrance was different, I would probably use it on my face and hair, but as of now, it’s mostly being used on my pillow and sheets each evening. The pearl-coloured can looks quite nice on the dressing table, too.
The second product I tried was the SubliLift Masque Lift Éclat (Radiance Lifting Mask) with Bio-Cellulose – Oslift (oats extract and ‘botanical’ extracts). This is the new kind of disposable one-use-only mask that has come from Asia, and consists of an impregnated bio-cellulose mask trapped between two layers of paper. You peel off the backing paper, position the mask with its cut-out eyeholes over your face, tap it down and then remove the top layer of paper.
For someone who has not tried this technique before, it felt very strange. The bio-cellulose has a cold, slightly unpleasant feeling, but you quickly get used to it. The mask dries a little and on my skin produced a tingling, cooling effect, followed by noticeable tightening. All I was hoping was that the DH wouldn’t come in and start making Leatherface remarks.
Afterwards, I noticed that my open pores were very definitely less visible and my skin looked smoother. To be honest, I was slightly disappointed that it worked, because at 59.90 euros for a pack of four, it’s well out of my normal price range. I used two masks on consecutive days and the effect was noticeable.
Personally, I would regard this mask like a spa treatment and use it in the run-up to an event such as a wedding or a school reunion when I want to look my absolute best.
Product number three was Perles de Jeunesse (Pearls of Youth, 69.90 euros), a new serum in the Caviar Time Collection, which uses plankton extracts. This is something of a flagship product for Phyderma and makes use of a new airless pump dispenser, so I was keen to try it. In my view, the outer (card) packaging rather lets this product down, as it looks like a supermarket brand and for the premium price, I’d expect something more enticing, but the inner packaging is lovely – high-end superclear acrylic with gold detailing and a gold actuator, which looks elegant on the bathroom shelf.
The pearls themselves are visible inside the bottle, and they look great – about the same size and shape as real seed pearls, with a sheen that gives the product an exotic appearance. I was a bit surprised when the dispenser didn’t actually dispense a whole one for me to pop open, but in fact it pops the pearl inside the tube and dispenses exactly one dose onto the back of your hand. I find two doses is about right for both face and neck.
The product is very silky and watery, with a pearlescent sheen, and absorbs very nicely into the skin. My skin is very sensitive and prone to itching and hotspots, but this has caused no irritation at all. As to its claims to reduce wrinkles, I couldn’t speak, but it certainly reduces the appearance of wrinkles – I tested it first on the backs of my hands, and it made them look much smoother. The product is also very agreeable to use with its silky feel and very light, clean fragrance. You can always add more layers of product if your skin is dryer.
I probably wouldn’t buy this product for myself, to be honest, because of the price, but I would certainly wangle it as a present.
The last product I tried is the one you would have to pry out of my cold, dead hands. It’s the Soin Combleur de Rides (Fill Out Wrinkles, 39.90 euros) with hyaluronic acid and silk extract. This is a silicon primer of the Smashbox type and comes in an airless pump (ever my favourite mode of delivery). The bottle (unlike the one in the photo) is in frosted glass – very luxe – with a superclear acrylic cap, which looks great in the bathroom.
The product, as you would expect from a silicon primer, has a very silky feel on the skin, making your complexion look instantly matte but dewy. It also has a trick up its sleeve in the shape of very fine mica particles that give a subtle sparkle. I absolutely love this product and would definitely buy it again.
Incidentally, after using all four products for about a week, I was told – quite out of the blue – by a friend that my skin was looking ‘radiant’. Mmn. At the age of 52, I don’t get ‘radiant’ very often, so this is well worth bearing in mind.