Clarins Beauty Flash Balm is another one of those unbelievably hyped up products that was forever on my wish list, just because it's received so many good reviews. It would have been rude not to put my stamp on it, wouldn't it?
Clarins Beauty Flash Balm is a cream that is supposed to brighten and tighten the skin, but is most commonly used as a primer. The latter application was the sole reason I purchased this product, as I'd never really had a skin primer before that.
Of course I'd done my research and found out that the secret to using this is to not rub it into your skin as you normally would with face creams, but to rather pat it on. The whole point is that it doesn't sink into the skin, but that it forms a layer instead, which makes it easier for make-up to stick to.
The first time I tried this I used it in the morning and layered it over my daily moisturiser. Unfortunately, the feeling was anything but pleasant. I could really feel that there was a heavy layer of product on my face and it annoyed me all day long, making my skin feel hot and clogged up. I do have to say that I'm not a fan of heavy foundations just because of this nasty feeling, so anybody who's used to using full coverage products might not find this to be an issue.
What bothered me even more, however, was that it had clogged up my pores so much that I ended up with a few breakouts around my t-zone shortly afterwards.
Attempt number two was without moisturiser underneath and though I still got quite a heavy, stuffy feeling on my skin all day, it wasn't quite as bad this time and there were no resulting breakouts either.
Did it make my make-up last any longer though? Well, yes, but only marginally. I used it underneath Chanel's Vitalumiere Aqua foundation and it probably made it last about 1-2 hours longer. It didn't apply any easier or smoother, either. I also tried using it with a BB Cream, but application was a nightmare as the two products mixed into a thick gloopy substance on my skin.
Now, this tub had been purchased back in April and I only got a handful of uses out of it. I do quite like to apply it if I'm going out at night after a long day and need to redo my make-up. I'll then take everything off with a wipe and rather than moisturising my skin before the make-up application I use a splodge of this. It doesn't perform any miracles, but it works fairly well.
On a side note, the packaging is typical Clarins: white plastic with classic red writing - nothing to rave about, but it looks elegant and chic enough to not be hidden away anywhere. The scent is very faint and not noticeable once on the skin.
I don't really want to give this a bad review, because it's not a bad product. Obviously you have to be careful with layering your products, but that applies to all skincare, not just Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. I do have to admit, however, that I am a little disappointed. For £28 a pop, I would expect a primer to blow me away, but Clarins' "alright"-ish performance leaves me with a nagging feeling that I could have spent that money better elsewhere.