• Anastasia Pentias

TBN: Mainstream Beauty Brands Edition: Estée Lauder review

This article took me three weeks to write. Meaning, I kept thinking whether I should write it at all, for three whole weeks. I am rarely interested in the old powerhouse beauty brands of yore. They are too expensive and always several steps behind all the smaller, more innovative brands in the industry. The only exception is Clinique that have recently stepped up their makeup and skincare game SO impressively, they are directly comparable to any cutting-edge brand out there.

I saw this holiday offering from Estée Lauder and thought I should give them a fair shot. Their authority in the beauty world is still strong, due to great success with the Double Wear/Nude foundations. Also, they have gained a lot of street cred through their achingly chic and modern ambassador, Violette, who is the epitome of french-girl cool. She is Instagram gold.

This didn't start well. In Greece, this was more than twice what they charged for it in the US. The 'bon pour l'orient' tradition of big brands is still alive and kicking I see. Bad form Estée.

Worse still, this bad form continued right through to the quality of products. I can honestly say I have never regreted buying something so utterly. I bought the 'Gifts of Wonder' set (although it was neither a 'gift' to my collection nor a 'wonder', by any stretch of the imagination):

I don't want to bore you. Not the way I was bored when I was trying these out (thoroughly, may I add: I gave each product three or four days of full wear). This is what we used to put on our faces in the '90s. I can't be any kinder than that, because the prices they charge for these old-timey formulas are, honestly, scandalous. I wish I could ask for my money back. But of course, here in the 'orient', brands do not extend such courtesies. Below, is a list of the products included and the final impression for each:

  • Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II, 1 oz./30ml (full-size): this is a cult classic for a reason, it was an innovative product when it launched. Now, it is just a good serum with a disproportionately high price tag. I have compared it to other similar serums in a full review here: https://bit.ly/2FmYGVh

  • Gentle Eye Makeup Remover, 3.4 oz./100ml (full-size) This is good enough for removing makeup but it stings my eyes. I prefer my Garnier micellar water, at a fraction of the price.

  • Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara (Full-Size) in Extreme Black. This mascara's name is so misleading. It's ok if you want minimal, natural-looking lashes. For anything else, look elsewhere. L'Oréal for example.

  • Revitalizing Supreme+ Global Anti-Aging Cell Power Creme (5ml) This was a truly beautiful, nourishing cream. Retail price? 105 euros for 50ml. Will I buy the full size pot? In today's beauty market, with so many wonderful/affordable creams available? Please.

  • Pure Color Envy Sculpting Gloss (full-size) in Berry Provocative. This was the one product I actually enjoy. It's a permanent fixture in my makeup looks. You can get similar products at the drugstore.

  • NUDES with 6 Pure Color Envy Sculpting EyeShadows and Bronze Goddess in Medium.

  • GLOW with 6 Pure Color Envy Sculpting EyeShadows and Pure Color Envy Sculpting Blush in Limited Edition Modern Mercury.

  • GLAM with 6 Pure Color Envy Sculpting EyeShadows and Pure Color Envy Sculpting Blush in Rebel Rose. These palettes are what lured me into buying this set. They look SO good but perform SO poorly. They blend well to begin with, but melt ten minutes later, into one, boring blanket of blah. No colour vibrancy, no definition, just eyeshadow soup. In contrast, the blushes are better and all three colours are flattering on the complexion.

  • Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipsticks (full-size) in Red Ego, Powerful, and Rebellious Rose. These were old-school in a bad way. They bled into my lip wrinkles, transfered everywhere and didn't last. The colours were entirely basic- the street definition of 'basic'. I am used to Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks, so this was like driving downtown in a monocycle when you're used to a Hummer.

Conclusion: A fail in every respect. I still can't believe the amount of money spent for a set which only resulted in ONE good lip gloss. Oy vey.

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*first photo via https://www.debenhams.com

#skincare #makeup #review #esteelauder