Monday, 15 December 2014

ELLE Insider Mystery Serum || Day Eight

I missed posting the last few days due to a family issue, end of semester work and a birthday so I have a fair amount to say today.

In case you haven't read my previous posts, I applied to receive a free sample of a mystery serum from ELLE magazine a while ago. It arrived on Monday, December 8, much to my surprise!
The product came in a plain bottle with no hints as to who created it and I have been using it two of three times a day since Monday.

Today is day eight of using it and I still have over half the bottle left. So here is my complete round-up of the product over the past eight days...

Results: Wow. Eight days and my skin is noticeably smoother - even my friend noticed that my cheeks looked smooth which is incredibly impressive. My skin does feel firmer but then again, I am only 20 and there probably isn't that much loose skin for it to sort out. It feels like such a light formula and my sensitive skin doesn't react at all to it. Over the eight days, I tried my Clarins Daily Energiser cream, Estée Lauder Advanced Time Zone moisturiser, Garnier Moisture Match and a Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser. The serum worked wonderfully under all of them but I definitely found it worked best under the Clarins one. I tried applying this over my make-up a couple of times. This was a little strange for me as I have never applied a serum over make-up. I was worried that I would rub off my foundation or that it would smudge or melt. Apart from it feeling a little alien, I found that I looked a little shiny afterwards. Initially, I thought it was because I had done a lot of walking but the second time I wore make-up (day 5), I had the same result. This wouldn't bother someone who carried a make-up bag and you don't HAVE to apply it over make-up - it's just an option.

Price Estimate: This is a complete guess as I know absolutely nothing about the product or who made it but I would imagine it would retail at around £55 - £60 for a 50ml bottle.

Smell: As I have mentioned in previous posts, it has a soft, rosy scent and it is absolutely beautiful. I never opt for floral things but it is so subtle and sweet that it really does not bother me or make me feel nauseous.

Texture: Originally, I moaned about the texture because I did not use enough of it so I felt it was a little too jelly-ish. It isn't like this at all. I realised that on the first use, I squeezed out blobs which were full of air bubbles, not the serum. I have now found that the texture is totally fine, not sticky and my skin absorbs it nicely.

Brand: Like I have said, I still think it could be Clarins except for the fact that I am almost certain Clarins have recently brought out a serum. I then thought it could be Estée Lauder but they already have some wonderful serums so I'm not entirely sure about them either. I feel like I should have been able to guess by now but i really really can't! I think I'm leaning more towards Estée Lauder though.

Overall, I would definitely spend my money on this product. I have loved testing it out for ELLE and I would recommend it to anyone with old or young skin. If I notice a difference on my skin, then I can only imagine what it could do for someone who had rougher or older skin than I do.

Thank you, ELLE. This has been a brilliant opportunity <3

Thursday, 11 December 2014

ELLE Insider Mystery Serum || Day Four

It's day four of the mystery serum and I am absolutely loving it.

My skin feels incredible.

I applied it to a clean face at about 8:40am. I used a different moisturiser (Garnier Moisture Match) and found that I needed a tiny bit more than usual. Like I said in previous posts, this product could be Clarins because it just works so well with my Clarins moisturiser.

I would like it to be something like Kiehl's or Charlotte Tilbury or some other brand that I am desperate to try but can't quite justify on my student budget but hey-ho. I doubt it.

I reapplied it at around 1pm and then again before putting on my make-up to go for a meal at 5:50pm.

My skin feels unbelievably smooth on my cheeks and I definitely think it is a little firmer too.

I haven't taken any photographs today because I received some bad news and I'm a bit blotchy but I'll definitely have some snaps up tomorrow!

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

ELLE Insider Mystery Serum || Day Three

Even the best of us sometimes go to sleep with our make-up on.

In an attempt to test this mystery serum to its absolute extremes, I made a conscious effort last night to sleep in my make-up from the day. When I got up, instead of using a face wash, I had a good old scrub with a make-up wipe. I also didn't go to sleep until 5am. No reason for this. I just wasn't tired & I was socialising.

I basically reenacted the morning after a night out when you wake up and realise you're late for something and your daily beauty regime just doesn't fit into your pressed schedule.

I know this isn't good but I wanted to be a little harsh on my skin to see if the serum is actually any good at all.


To say my skin looked pretty weathered for a 20-year-old this morning, I actually feel a little more alive this evening. I applied the serum twice today and I definitely feel that it has pulled my skin back into shape after I pulled at it with the wipe.

My skin also feels a heck of a lot smoother which is amazing. I'm having a bit of a pimple-problem at the moment. I have been feeling really bobbly on my nose and forehead but the serum has definitely helped over the last three days.

I'm still loving the mystery product from ELLE.

I'm starting to doubt my initial thoughts of this being a Clarins product simply because I don't associate rose scents with Clarins. I feel like they usually opt for a clean, cream smell.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

ELLE Insider Mystery Serum || Day Two

Day two!

For those who may not know about the mystery serum, check out yesterday's post here.

I got up nice and early this morning as I had to go to crown court to report a sentencing. So I made myself a nice mug of black coffee, washed my face, got back into bed and applied the Elle mystery serum.

Yep, that black line at the bottom of the second image is my boob. I don't own a tripod and I had no where to rest the camera apart from my chest. I'm sorry. I'm not a professional photographer!

Today, I changed I used three blobs - one less than yesterday. I found that yesterday, each drop of serum was quite small so I was a little more generous today and it was fine. It spread beautifully and I no longer have an issue with it being a gel.

After the serum, I applied the same moisturiser as yesterday which was the Clarins Daily Energizer Cream. It works so well with the serum that I didn't want to try anything else today!

I then applied some make-up. I wore primer, foundation, concealer, highlighter on my cheekbones, mascara and eyeshadow. I was going to apply bronzer and blusher and everything else but as I was going to court, I did not want to overdo it.

 So here I am, ready for the day and forever unable to take normal photographs...

I reapplied the serum over my make-up at about 1pm - it spread far easier over my foundation so I was a little scared that it would rub off. I applied it in more of a patting motion than a sweeping motion this time.

I did not notice much of a difference today. The very first application did make my skin feel a little more plump but nothing as dramatc as yesterday. The second application showed no visible effects but it is only day two and I have five more days.

I still love the rosey smell and as I have already mentioned, the texture is far better now I'm not being so stingy.

The only issue I have today is that I did feel it added a slight shine to my face after the second application. Maybe this was because of the serum, maybe because of my make-up or maybe because I had been walking a heck of a lot. I never carry a make-up bag with me so I did not have anything to blot my face with.
The photograph below shows me at 2:30pm.

Overall, it is only day two and I am still liking this mystery serum enough to know that I would part wih my money to buy it.

Monday, 8 December 2014

ELLE Insider Mystery Serum || Day One

Hello, my lovelies!

I am sorry for straying away these past couple of months - university is getting hectic! On top of my course, I work one day a week at my local paper (ha, "one day a week"... I'm doing stuff for them most days).

I have a really exciting post today.
A while ago, I applied to receive a free sample of a mystery serum from ELLE magazine. Lucky me, it arrived today (December 8)! Five of the samplers will get the chance to go to London and meet the ELLE Beauty team - fingers crossed!

So here I am, fresh out of bed, with no makeup and horrible yellow hair (sorry for betraying you, Toni & Guy - I have learned my lesson). I washed my face this morning with Simple Moisturising Facial Wash as I wanted to keep it, well... Simple! I didn't want to exfoliate as I have quite dry skin at the moment and I find exfoliating more than once-a-week causes my skin to flake.

The mystery serum arrived in a clear glass bottle with a black, pipette-style applicator. ELLE have described this product as a "gel-serum that instantly firms, lifts and plumps the skin to leave it looking dramatically smoother, tighter and more youthful."
I'm going to be putting on my Clarins Daily Energizer Cream afterwards.

The way I applied this was the same as how I apply my current serum, the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II (click for review).
ELLE said to use two or three drops but as it is a gel, I found it harder to spread than a slightly more liquid-like serum. I popped a little blob on each of my four fingertips and touched them with the fingers on my other hand. Then I just massaged it into my face starting at the centre of my forehead, lightly drawing round to my temples and down towards my mouth. I then put my fingers on my nose and swept them out towards my ears. I'm not sure if this is the correct way to apply it but it works for me and I don't want to drag my skin too much.
I did not put this product around my eyes as the skin is about 40 per cent thinner and I'm not sure if this product is meant for that area so I avoided it.

Initial thoughts:  
This might sound a little crazy, but I swear I could feel the product working the second I put it on which is phenomenal. It felt as though my skin was being pulled just that little bit tighter. My moisturiser went on beautifully afterwards. I usually have to apply a fairly generous amount of my Clarins cream as my skin just absorbs it in seconds but I used half the amount today.
I know I am only 20 so my skin isn't exactly sagging but my forehead and cheeks definitely feel more plump.

I have sensitive skin and I have not reacted at all to this product.

I love the smell of the serum. Usually, I am not one to go for floral/rose-scented products but it so subtle and sweet that I actually like it. 

My only qualm with this serum is the texture. As a student, I feel I would go through a lot more of this than I would with my Estée Lauder because the gel does not spread as well. My bank account might struggle a little. However, the way it plumps my skin makes up for the fact I need an extra blob each time I apply it. I do not get that plumpness with the Advanced Night serum.

I have absolutely no clue who this product might be made by. Judging by the softness of the smell and the way it works so beautifully with my moisturiser, I would like to say Clarins but I could be completely off. I am also pretty sure that Clarins have already released a pretty good serum this year. I would not be surprised if it turned out to be Estée Lauder because their serums always work so well and this one would be like the next-gen thing for them.

Today, I decided to go make-up free because that is what I usually do and I wanted to see how this product would work for me on a regular day. I will be applying a full face tomorrow and I will even try applying the product over my make-up as it says you can do.

Stay tuned for another update tomorrow, folks!