Clarins Beauty Flash Balm vs Aldi Dupe. Bloguary Day 8

Ah the ” where grocery meets beauty” review or that Dupes of Hazard take. Which one is it? Clarin’s Beauty Flash Balm is a cult. There is no mistaking it. Those who love this will countenance no other. Aldi threw unmistakable shots in the dark when they came out with this special buy product. But Clarins Beauty Flash vs Aldi Beautifying Daily Balm? Who won?

A Clarins cult product, The Beauty Flash Balm is defined as the ultimate pick-me-up for tired skin, This is definitely Clarins best-selling radiant skin booster that claims to eliminate signs of fatigue in a flash. It instantly moisturises, brightens and claims to tighten facial contours so tired skin looks rested and relaxed. Whilst it’s face lifting properties are definitely a claim ( witch hazel is an ingredient that is also known for its astringent properties.) it does has a soft pink pearlised effect. Ie- candlelit effect mixed with pink pearly light. Think the best of both. Even if it does nothing in terms of lighting for people, there are people who love it as a primer. ( a very small category of people say it pills, but again herein lies the dichotomy of beauty. Not everything is for everyone. It is also very clearly specified to be applied not rubbed into skin. And is also a suggested mask (though I’m not entirely sure what its role is? Hydrating?)

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm and Aldi's Lacura Beautifying Daily Balm

Beauty Flash Balm and Me

This was one of the first skincare items I bought, way before I was “into” skincare. Hence, I’ve a special sentimental attachment to Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. For me way back, before kids permanently attached themselves to my dark circles and added greys like bean sprouts, this was the balm that did it all. Its pearlised colour cancelled my pallor ( though who was I kidding, I was in the bloom of youth!) Then came kids…twins. Oh my. Sleepless nights? Check. Hormone Surges? Check. Pores the size of a small continent ? Check, Check, Check! And somewhere in the mayhem of new motherhood, I forgot about this gem. Three years ago, I got this in a Boots Gift With Purchase. And suddenly, just like it disappeared, The Beauty Flash reappeared in a Flash ( see what I did there?) only now, it served as a greatly appreciated primer and balm for my tired, dehydrated skin. I looked Semi Human. Near-normal. Less reptilian. I still always have a tube with me. It serves me greatly during long flights and post girls-nights out. So when Aldi, the German supermarket brand came out with this dupe, I was clearly more than intrigued. I pressed Pre-order.

Laura Beautifying Daily Balm

At first (and second and third ) glance(s) it looks unmistakably like the BF balm. To be honest it would be hard to differentiate it in a lineup. So when it arrived in the post ( pre order remember?) I was shocked at just how “similar” it was. There was no mistaking Aldi’s intention with this. None whatsoever. So it is a very similar white tube, with the iconic red and white coloured top and red writing. But more importantly how does it fare?

Aldi Dupe and me

It is described by Aldi as a light day cream to “help even out one’s skin tone and prevent shine without using make-up”. The Lacura Beautifying Daily Balm claims to support skin’s natural radiance so that one is left feeling fabulous all day long? (Not sure what how this claim is supported but it is a face cream so lets just go along with the claim shall we?).

It features

  • Glycerine to instantly moisturise skin
  • Sea Algae and Witch Hazel extract to revitalise, smooth and reduce signs of tiredness
  • Natural Rice Powder to mattify oily skin
  • Bisabolol to help support skins natural radiance
  • Cruelty free

So Clarins Beauty Flash and the Aldi Beautifying Daily balm contain Witchhazel that causes the “tightening” astringent effect. And both contain Rice Powder which brightens and mattifies. My personal experience with the Aldi Beautifying balm has been really great. My skin doesn’t know one from the other, so the fact that Lacura Beautifying daily Balm is less than 1/2 the price of the Original Clarins Beauty Flash Balm is simply a case of a fabulous price and a great saving. Plus for those who are aiming to go Cruelty Free with their Beauty; Skincare and Makeup. Lacura Beautifying Balm is Cruelty Free, whereas the Clarins Beauty Flash Balm is not.

Morality of Dupes

Dupes in skincare have been around for years. The Aldi Lacura range has been especially under fire lately for apeing the packaging of a few well known brands. ( La Prarie Skincare, Benefit Hoola, Glamglow cleanser ). A lot of Skincare influencers were morally outraged. As were many others. Now a huge chunk of the population were obviously not, ( evidence? The range sold out before it hit the stores. It never made the stores…unless you were very very lucky or lived in an area with no people.) I am amongst the latter. I vote with my wallet and the ” dubious” thin lines on which Skincare dupes fall honestly does not fall on my to be bothered by list. I wish I really cared about it muchly. But the pockets of big corporations ( not a conspiracy theorist here) being dinted doesn’t bother me.

So …

I can safely say that I love the Lacura Dupe trumps the Clarins original Beauty Flash Balm if only for the price and its Cruelty Free tag. My only regret is that this is a special buy ( and once gone is gone 😦 Maybe if we collectively petitioned Aldi? The “copycat aspect of this product doesn’t bother me. How do you feel about this, Have you tried either of these offerings?

I would love to hear from you ( and for more of this and other reviews, or musings do subscribe to my blog) ~~ Love Elle xx




Top 5 non cheesy Valentines Gifts for your beauty nerd; Bloguary Day 7

After the buzz, that is Christmas, it is presumptiius that celebrations die down. But no another Valentine’s Day is approaching , and I know that if any of these Gift ideas listed were to be given to me- I’d be a very happy camper indeed. These are beautiful, .) Here are my top 5 non cheesy gifts to get your other half, best mate or that beauty nerd in your life.

Laura Mercier Creme Brûlée- A Bathing Sensation with the cutest honey dipper. #lauramercier #honeybrulee #valentinesgift #beautygift

This is one heckuva gorgeous bottle, ( it now comes in a few variants) all with that signature honey dipper. It looks great by the bathtub. Also if you’re lucky you may get to share 😉 I’ve finished my bottle and this lasts for ages. My inner beauty nerd is always happy to see this bottle by my bathtub. It has the most gorgeous fragrance that whilst being singular and distinctive- doesn’t interfere with my perfume of the day.

  • Tom Ford Lipstick

To be honest, Tom Ford anything will be gratefully received. But if push came to shove… and budget is a consideration ( Tom Ford and budget do not go hand in hand…) The Tom For lipstick I’m lusting after? The Boys and Girls formula. For darker skins, Richard is a great shade. For paler ones- Graham. The formula is glide on, not matte but not shiny. And like all Tom Ford beauty, a thing of joy to behold. And highly pigmented.

  • Slip Pillowcase set

Every beauty lover worth their salt requires a silk pillowcase and eye mask. And slip is the pinnacle of pillowcases. There is a certain luxury to sleeping on silk pillows. Plus it reduces frizz, supposed to prevent wrinkles from forming and is very romantic 😉

  • Diptyque Candle
diptyque candle in the foreground

This is the ultimate in luxe for candles isn’t it? besides actually having a great burn time and fragrance. They make the house smell beautiful and and so expensive smelling

  • Frederic Malle Carnal Flower
Fredrix Malle Carnal Flower

Fredreirc Malle Carnal Flower, could a bottle be more appropos for the occasion? But it manages to be light and spicy at the same time. Definitely an evening perfume. One whiff and your dining companions are hooked for life.

If there’s anything SATC ( Sex and the City for the uninitiated) has taught us its

That you can celebrate Valentines regardless of your relationship status. I love treating my mum, sister, friends, my daughter too. After all, it all the People in our life eh?

On this note, I’d like to sign off. Oh do let me know what you buy and receive. Or just drop buy to say Hi. Love ~~ Elle xx

3 Foundation tips for Dark girls : Bloguary Day 6

Foundation buying is the makeup equivalent of jeans shopping. You have to try before you buy. If you are any shade darker than Scandinavian, it’s often the most dreaded task IMHO in the beauty regime. If you are darker skinned like me, then it is a bigger dread. why? Have you really looked at drugstore foundation offerings? Unless you live in a big city, most towns and smaller cities have pitiful shade ranges. Brands are trying, but its just not rolling out beyond the bigger towns. So after buying nearly a drawer full of foundations that don’t quite match, I can say honestly say that I have a lifetime of experience…here are my top 3 foundation tips for brown/ dark skin girls.

Photo of foundation in a compact powder, eyeshadows in the background

  1. Don’t match to hand The biggest mistake in foundation matching whatever one’s skin tone is that counter staff still apply a sample streak on the back one one’s forearm. This is wrong, and worse if you are deeper toned. Firstly the skin colour is almost always darker ( sometimes lighter) but anyway it is different in colour to the face. Often darker skin tones have tonal variations on their necks and foreheads too. So the best place to match your foundation is your cheek. Another reason against matching on the hand, is that the skin on the arm is always a different texture to that of the face. ( This is true of all skin tones) therefore it isn’t a true test of how the foundation will look and wear on one’s skin.
  2. May need two shades This is a big may as Middle Eastern, Latina, South East Asian, Afro Caribbean, and all other races can be pale to deep. But talking about the average brown girl here, we often have tonal contrasts between our forehead and the rest of our face. We also tan in the summer (even if we are sat indoors wearing a wide brimmed hat, and SPF 50). These are reasons enough for me to buy two shades of foundation, my summer and my winter shade.
  3. Don’t buy foundations with SPF. SPF is widely added to foundations still. ( why? It’s so much better to use it seperately as a part of a great skincare routine as listed here. Anyway people still buy it with SPF thinking they are protecting their skin, and this can cause flashback. Now flashback is bad enough, but add a deeper tone to this mixture? Ashy. Every sister’s worst nightmare. Brown and grey do not mix. 

So I know what not to do. What should I be doing?

  • Persevere: Most counter staff in department stores will match you. but this has been a miss for me. Darker skins can be pereceived to be a lot darker than they are. If you are unsure, ask for a sample. Don’t be pressured into buying anything you
  • Take a mirror: And check in all lighting. This sounds basic but many people still forget to check their shade in natural light.
  • Clean face. there is absolutely no point on testing foundations if you are already wearing makeup, sounds silly right? Yet it seems to be the number 1 mistake people seem to make.
  • Buy 2. Most people of colour turn a shade darker in summer, and that bottle of MAC you bought during the Christmas Sales, suddenly looks weird. Or you can buy a foundation darkener (most companies sell this.)
  • Brands I think you can find a fair choice for darker and paler skins are Loreal, Maybelline, Makeup RevolutionMAC, Makeupforever, Estee Lauder, Bobbi Brown amongst others. The worst offenders for shade range seem to be French brands, and Eastern Asian companies.

I’m not a person of colour, do these rules apply to me?

Yes, yes, yes… I couldnt emphasise this more or enough. These tips, indeed my blog is for everyone.

Do you have any foundation tips or tricks? I’d love to hear from you ~~ Love Elle xx

My 5 Fave Stick cleansers. Bloguary Day 4

Ok, you caught me… I Love Cleansers

I have a thing for cleansers; of all kinds but my personal favourite seem to be stick cleansers at the moment. I don’t know why this is. Maybe its because no matter what happened in the day, washing my face makes me feeel calm. Or maybe its because washing my face in the morning is that step between malarking about at home and going out and conquering the world.

My fascination for stick cleansers:

Stick Cleansers are such a darling in the stash. What’s not to love really? Its a convenient travel friendly, TSA friendly ( no liquids remember?) They make a great no mess/ fuss option for beauty on the move. And since they don’t count towards your travel allowance, more room for foundations or face mist(s). Go on, now don’t be shy.

My top 5 stick cleansers

My picks:

  • Memebox Nooni Snow flake cleanser: This popular stick is affordable, and to my untrained nose; un fragranced. It is supposed to be all skin friendly. The soft texture of this stick cleanser means that I can run it onto slightly damp skin with no rubbing . There is little to no foam, and it leaves no greasy after feel. my skin feels soft and moisturised. This one does get my top star of the offerings rating.
  • Milk Matcha Cleanser The cult cool brand which is offering a lot of cool solutions in a stick form has obviously got a cleanser in their range. This lovely, cool feeling Matcha based cleanser is easily emulsifies with water on a damp face. Ergo no rubbing. I have the travel sized version of this (mini) and will happily repurchase the full sized one when I finish my stash.
  • Yes toCoconut Ultra Hydrating 2 in 1 cleanser stick    This is a mouthful of a name but it works simply, add water, emulsify, and it turns to milky lather. It does state that its an exfoliant, and there are some grainy bits in there. But the overall feeling is of gentle cleansing.
  • Simple Charcoal Cleansing Stick: This is a new offering from the drugstore brand Simple. And like all simple products sticks to its brand ethos. It does the job well, and a great one to take on your travels as its compact too. It’s worth bearing in mind however that whilst this stick ( indeed the whole range) is marketed at sensitive skins; its not fragrance free ( neither is the one above for that matter ) So do your due diligence when reading the ingredients list.
  • Francis Prescott Tri Balm: The most priciest of the lot at £45 this balm promises to cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise. It seems to be a celeb/ influencer fave but to be honest it isn’t worth the pennies spent on it. Save your dosh peeps. It left a oil slick on my face after, which felt like a greasy after feel as opposed to feeling moisturised.

Where I recommend one use a stick cleanser:

  • As a first cleanse in the morning, or second in the evening ( most of them aren’t robust enough for taking heavy duty makeup off) if you’ve had a makeup free day or something.
  • During travelling, as they really come in to their own here. Move away liquid cleansers as stick cleansers take centre stage over here. You just need this and perhaps a balm cleanser decanted into a small pot and you’re good to go.
  • When you’re having a stay at someone else’s place and vanity space is at a premium. This is where a few discreet sticks of skincare is way way more effective than open tubs of clutter.

I really loved compiling this list. Have you tried a stick cleanser? Which ones are your favourites? If not, would this post compel you to try them out? Do let me know, I’d love to hear from you ~~ Love Elle xx

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