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making faces :: product review [christian dior]

it's strange, because as much as i know that dior is still a home of haute couture, they're cosmetic marketing increasingly leaves me thinking of the girl hanging out with the chi-chi crowd who doesn't quite belong. unlike the more refined collections of chanel or guerlain- who should be their haute couture contemporaries- dior cosmetics always seem very much a thing of the modern world, always pushing the edge and leading the way. it's a strange position for them to be in and one that i'm never certain befits their exalted status. while everything that they release seems very pretty and often incredibly useful [no one has nicer shadow combinations than the ones that are available in their ready-made quints], they seem to lack the sort of classic refinement that the aforementioned natural competitors have.

the advantage to being the haute couture cousin least saddled with traditional baggage is that you have the opportunity to come up with things that are innovative and exciting while the other girls are busy trying to live up to their own billing.



dior has been doing a lot of reinventing lately, most noticeably with its completely new line of "dior addict" lipsticks- a semi-sheer but colour-saturated formula that stands as the younger, cheekier and cheaper counterpart to their "rouge dior" lipsticks [which tend to be more opaque, more intense and are, of course, more expensive]. i personally haven't tried the new dior addict lipsticks, other than on my hand, because i haven't found a shade that's exactly me [or, i should say, a shade that's exactly me that i don't already have in another form].  but i have been trying a couple of other goodies from dior and, while they're not necessary the most dramatic thing a girl could own, they're the kind of things that every girl should own.


what's she concealing?
dior skin perfecting hydrating concealer :: well, my skin isn't perfect yet, but in the interests of getting a review out before i die, i figured i should just state what i think.

lest you think that concealer is one of those things that's just a nice add-on if you happen to have a few extra pennies, let me point something out: everything that is wrong with your complexion, everything that bothers you about your appearance, insofar as it can be fixed, can be fixed with concealer and most likely nothing else. think about it. what do you dislike about your face? lines? dark under-eye circles? uneven colour? all these things are things you want to conceal, hence, concealer will deal with them. foundations may give you a decent base and colour cosmetics will distract, but concealer, whether used on its own or mixed with a moisturiser [you are using some type of lotion on your skin every day, right?], will help disguise all those horrific imperfections that only you have.

nekkid
personally, i have a difficult relationship with concealers. and by difficult, i mean i tend to hate the bloody things with every fibre of my being because now that i realise why they're important to keeping up appearances, i'm forced to constantly be on the lookout for one that works for me. and i have to say that the main thing that drew me to dior was nothing more than the fact that they're shade 001 "ivory" seemed to match my colour fairly well.

i found the formula for this quite light and almost mousse-like compared to other concealers i've tried. the upside to that is that it doesn't have a tendency to collect in in the skin around my eyes. the downside is that the colour saturation is lighter and one generally wears concealer in areas where coverage is important.

diorskin concealer under the eyes
strangely, the lighter texture doesn't seem to especially equate to lighter coverage. while it didn't completely obscure the ravages of age and sleeplessness, i did find that this concealer did a stand-up job of making everything look smooth and balanced, even when i wasn't wearing much else in the way of base makeup. some under-eye discolouration still appeared, but it's noticeably reduced.

where i find this stuff shines [metaphorically] is in its hydrating properties. whereas most concealers simply offer a fairly thick cover and then sit on the skin, this one penetrates deep enough to soften the epidermal layer, which means that annoying things like crows' feet are diminished in appearance. the effect overall is very natural, which i like, since i normally find that concealers tend to be very thick and to end up pressed into the lines near my eyes or in waxy streaks along my occipital orbits.

definitely worth looking into.

she shouldn't need to fake it
diorshow mascara :: one of the neat advantages to buying a lot of cosmetics is that you occasionally reach into your purse and discover that you have a perfectly good, untested mascara still in the box. i'm quite sure that i bought this one because of the hype, because this mascara is supposedly the bomb when it comes to adding volume to your lashes.

let's be clear: i am a mascara aficionado. women wear mascara every day, but i am pretty damn vain about  my lashes, which means i pay an excessive amount of attention to what different mascaras do for a particular look and let me tell you, if they let me down, it's not pretty.

well, all that to say that pretty much the one thing i don't leave the house without [well, it happens, but not often] is a nice fringe of lashes. so i was pretty psyched to try out a formula that's supposed to be a be-all, end all when it comes to lash treatments. i was particularly curious about this one because it's known for adding volume. truth be told, my lashes are damn long and very curled on their own,  so mascaras that promise length and curl don't have as much resonance for me. but the fact is that i'm not going to sleep well knowing that there's a favourite mascara i haven't tried and this one just had to follow me home eventually. [in point of fact, that may be what happened, because i've no recollection of actually buying it.]

and so the verdict is a resounding... meh.

my lashes on diorshow
i found the thick wand was messy to work with, which in itself isn't off-putting because benefit's "bad gal lash", one of my all-time favourites, has a wand that's almost disgusting the first few times that you use it. so i'll forgive the various smears left around my eyes as i was trying to apply with some precision.

in seeking a formula that augmented volume, dior's product development team evidently forgot that, quite often, it's good to do nominal service to other concerns. this product did absolutely nothing for the length of my lashes, which is irritating when you're a dramatic lash girl trapped by light blonde eyelashes. after a couple of coats [with pauses to wipe of some excess], there was some visible improvement in volume, but the lashes themselves were only coated about three quarters of the way up. and there were dark smudges left behind.

after a few days, the formula seemed to become less clogged and easier to work with [i find that even
my lashes on ysl faux cils
"bad gal" can be tricky to work with out of a "virgin" tube], but it still only seemed to thicken the base of my lashes. rather than being a "dramatic" mascara, i would qualify this one as more of a basic, everyday sort of look. [unless you're me and your everyday look includes lashes that are flat-out intimidating.]

i have to say that this little exercise has left me a little perplexed as to dior's ultimate aim. i find that they're colour selections, while pretty, lack the dynamism that guerlain, chanel or ysl puts into theirs. on the more "technical" side, i find that ther verdict is decidedly mixed. would i choose to purchase the concealer again? yes, most likely. and the mascara? nope. i have bigger and better things to flutter at.

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