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3 Dec 2013

Elemis Pro Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm - review

Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm

Flash balms are one of those weird products.  Not quite a moisturiser, not quite a primer, not quite a luminiser, not quite a serum.  Designed to be used either to replace moisturiser under makeup, or as a primer (on top of moisturiser and underneath makeup), these are supposed to give your skin a bit of a boost glow.

I got a half-sized GWP of the Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm with recent Elemis purchases.  I am a fan of the Pro-Radiance range so I was looking forward to trying it out.

Similar products are the Clarins' Beauty Flash Balm, and (somewhat similar) Illamasqua's Hydra Veil.  The latter I loved, but whilst I absolutely love and rate Clarins products in general, I am not a fan of their Beauty Flash Balm - I have never found it to do a blessed thing for me personally.  But this Elemis stuff is good.  It gives my skin a lovely, simple, natural glow - not a shimmer or a sparkle, just a healthy glow.  It also doesn’t change the finish of the makeup you wear over it to look overly dewy or tacky in any way, it just makes your skin look like it’s glowing.  Healthily.  Did I mention healthy glow already?!

This is part of the Pro-Radiance range of products (designed for anti-aging concerns), which in general I like.  It didn’t cause any issues with my overly sensitive skin and it feels good - so far so good.

On to smell: Scent-wise, it’s quite strong, highly citrus-y, but top notes and base notes seemed to be largely neroli- and bitter orange- based (I personally am not mad about too much neroli, but on the other hand it does fade, so I can ignore that).

Appearance-wise, it definitely makes a difference - it made my skin look younger, more refreshed, generally glowing.  It’s a temporary effect, it’s not going to contribute overall to a longer-lasting appearance, but it really does the trick while you’re wearing it.

However on Elemis' own claims to be a “hybrid moisturiser” with “abilities to hydrate the skin”, I don’t agree with this - used either over moisturiser as a primer, or over serum (as a moisturiser), this caused dry patches on the dryer parts of my skin after a couple of days of usage (it was fine on the non-dry areas of my skin).  So, despite initial delight and joy to be mimicking awake- and young- looking skin at 6am in the mornings, I rapidly discovered that this could really only be used (on my skin anyhow) on my cheeks and nowhere else, otherwise it caused my skin to dry out.

In general these type of hybrid products are best not rubbed into the skin (they can cause makeup to ball up a bit - although this product claims not to do that).  To apply, it’s best to pat a small amount onto the skin, then press your hands over your face a bit - then, without hanging about, apply your makeup on top.

Elemis claims that this product will work as a radiance booster (yep), as a moisturiser (nope), as a primer (sure, why not).  Overall, it's probably a good product if you stick to only using on your cheeks &/or assuming you don’t have dry skin.  And on top of a moisturiser, instead of in place of one.  But it definitely seems to deliver on the healthy glow trick.  You can buy this for around the €38-ish mark and you can buy Elemis in Harvey Nichols Dublin or online from a number of different online stores.

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