Most young girls remember the wonder and joy at exploring their mother's beauty cabinet, a treasure trove of makeup and skincare ripe for the pilfering. My mom and her sisters were Clinique and Elizabeth Arden addicts and both of these cosmetic lines hold a special place in my memories—but over the years, with so many new skincare and cosmetic lines popping up, they slowly faded from my consciousness.
So I was curious when I found out that Elizabeth Arden started a campaign a few years ago to retool not just their image, but also their product lines, introducing new items and revamping longstanding favorites to be more accessible today’s younger consumer base. I recently got the chance to test out some of their newest additions to the line—as well as some tried and true favorites—to see what I've been missing.
Sheer Kiss Lip Oil ($19.50)
Of all the new skincare and makeup items I sampled, this was by far the stellar standout. The lip oils come in a super-cute squeezable circle with a center that doesn’t melt in Houston’s heat, they spread well without being cakey, they have just the right combination of color and gloss, they taste really good (yes, this matters), and at less than $20 each they won’t break the bank. I had a few to share and the feedback from all my friends (ranging in age from 23 to 43) was great. Rejuvenated Red and Coral Caress were the favorite colors, and the only clunker was the Purple Serenity color, which even my friend who lives and breathes purple couldn’t make work.
Designed with a unique five-pronged brush, this mascara's claim to fame is long, fanned out lashes. Verdict: While it requires more than one coat to match the results of my regular mascara, it does so without as many clumps and the specially designed brush does wonders for the lower lashes.
Eye Shadow Trios ($21.50)
I must admit, I don't wear a lot of eyeshadow, and I recieved two color trios of this for sampling, Touch of Lavender and Not So Nude. I kept the nude palette for myself and gave the other to a friend of mine whose signature color is purple. The combinations complemented each other, and I like that they come with a one-time purchase refillable case that’s only $5 bucks but feels much more expensive.
This bronzer did not work well for me. It's made up of a four-color section, and I used some of them individually with good results, but when blending them together (which is how I like to use products like this for the best and most natural effect) I ended up looking overly pink and a little too glowy, especially for daytime use. At over $30, there are other bronzers on the market that I prefer for less money.
I'm leading off the skincare products with the good, and this classic Arden favorite is one of them. I use a lot of Aquaphor or baby oil gel mixed in with my concealer, lip products, and eye makeup to prevent caking and give things a sheen without being shiny. This balm has been one of the line's staples since its inception back in 1930, created by Elizabeth Arden herself, and since then it has won myriad awards and become a staple of makeup artists. I used it to replace my regular products for the last few weeks, and it really delivers. My only wish is that it came in a travel size as well.
While this comes in a pretty case, and I am a certified serum addict, I really just did not feel like the serum in these capsules did all that much for my skin. In fact I broke out a little bit, and the whole capsule thing can be messy. Add to that the hefty price tag for 60 capsules. I know the people rave about this product, but I didn’t find it all that different than some of the other face oils I love that are much easier to use and give me a better bang for my buck.
A lot of brands have started introducing products designed as a barrier against the everyday pollution of city life as well as offering serious sun protection (no, the SPF in your makeup is not enough, as most dermatologists will tell you). While I did like using this product—there's a light tint to it that helps give the skin a little glow—it is another of the higher priced items in the skincare line, which was somewhat of a turnoff for me since it's intended for daily use. If that's not an issue for you, you'll love it.
I am a big believer in facial mists. I have been a loyal fan of Mario Badescu Rosewater Facial Spray since discovering it in my early 30s. That said, I really wanted to like this mist, but at $19 and in a bottle that doesn't travel or refrigerate well (beauty insider tip: mists work even better when cold—and this is especially important in the summer), so I would pass on this one.