Pretty|Cheap – 8 Favourites from the Clarins Counter!

My 8 favourites from Clarins’ skincare and cosmetics range


Let’s face it, no one likes spending money, and no matter how much you try to convince yourself that makeup is an essential, you’ll never be able to convince your bank balance.

I’m usually an advocate for spending as little as possible and simply ‘working it’ as if you’d spent double the price, but sometimes spending a little extra can get you a long way.

Clarins is my favourite example of this.

After discovering their range of skincare and cosmetics, I’ve discovered that looking good and feeling good are both achievable and affordable, even on a student budget.

After suffering from acne since my early teens, it’s fair to say I’m incredibly sceptical about what I’ll put on my face.

With this in mind, I believe the fact that my entire skincare regime and most of my makeup is exclusive to their range says a lot about both the quality of the products, and the visible results I’ve had from them.

Here are my eight favourite products, and why you should definitely try them too!

Pure Melt Cleansing Gel with Marula Oil – 125 ml – £21

pure melt cleansing gel

I bought this after reading how ineffective wipes can be for removing makeup. To apply, simply squeeze out a drop the size of a five pence piece and massage into your skin. As the gel liquefies, you can quite literally see your makeup melt off of your face. The beauty of this is that it even removes eye makeup, and no matter how heavy your coverage was, it only 20 seconds to wash it all off. I’m now using this every night before I go to bed with the comfort of knowing my skin is as clean as it feels.


Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Tamarind – 125ml – £20

cleanser with tamarind

I mean it literally when I say that this leaves your skin squeaky clean. It’s that hydrating and firming that you will genuinely hear it. When massaging the cream into your skin, you’ll see the exfoliating blue pearls breaking down as they get to work on clearing out your pores. My skin is incredibly sensitive and many exfoliators I’ve used in the past have consistently resulted in painful acne breakouts. However, this has been the only one I’ve found that is gentle enough to use daily.


Pore Minimising Serum – 30ml – £28

pore serum

The serum just does exactly as it says. I’ve always had very visible pores around my nose and even with makeup they were always visible. I trialled this after deciding that it would be better to tackle the pores altogether, rather than just filling them up with a heavy concealer. I started using the serum about four months ago, and since then I’ve noticed that the severity of my blackheads has reduced significantly. While I use it every morning, I’d also recommend reapplying just before your makeup to maximise its effect, as its prompt results are great for that quick cosmetic fix.


Hydra-Essential Cooling Gel – 50ml – £36

hydra essential gel
I apply this straight after the pore minimising serum every morning and it’s another of my absolute favourites. As a gel, it’s far lighter than creams I’ve tried in the past and doesn’t leave you with that oily glaze that many other products seem to. I’ve had this for over four months now, but as you need to apply so little, the pot is still three-quarters full. I have days now where even with my spots, my skin feels so fresh and hydrated afterwards that I’ll skip the foundation altogether. My skin would be lost without it!


Lotus Face Treatment Oil – 30ml – £33

lotus oil

I apply a couple of drops of the Lotus Oil to my skin every evening as the last step of my routine. Many with combination skin types often avoid using oils over fears that it will only exacerbate the oiliness of their skin. However, this treatment is perfect for those with oil imbalances as it refreshes and hydrates overnight, without leaving you that greasy layer to wake up to. Many creams can be a nightmare for blocking up pores leading many of us to just drop them from our routines. However, this I’ve found helps to tighten them, leaving my skin nourished and smelling great too.


Truly Matte Pure and Radiant Mask – 50ml – £23

pure and radiant mask

Face masks were another territory I usually avoided because I was so afraid of irritating my sensitive skin. In the past, many gel masks had left my face feeling pretty tight and dry. This instead has a creamy texture and is much more effective at softening and deeply moisturising the skin. Another perk of this mask is that it functions as an exfoliant too, and while it can only be used once a week, it’s like the Tamarind Cleanser in the sense that it’s gentle enough for all skin types.


Ever Matte Skin Balancing Foundation – 30ml – £28

evermatte foundation

Having oily skin, this has been the only foundation I’ve found that doesn’t melt off during the day, keeping my skin looking matte and smooth. When it came to concealing blemishes, I used to either over-apply to conceal them, or leave them completely clear hoping they’d be less irritated and disappear sooner. This is no longer a problem as it’s so highly pigmented and oil-free. This reduces its comedogenicity while ensuring you’re left with a solid and consistent coverage. It was bittersweet to learn of its recent discontinuation after hearing the great reviews surrounding its replacement – Clarins Pore Perfecting Matifying Foundation. I expect it’ll be a new addition to this list very soon!


Instant Light Radiance Boosting Complexion Base – 30ml – £26.50

instant base primer

Each of the three available shades serve a different purpose. While their main role as a primer is to provide a lightweight base to preserve your makeup, they all offer their own additional benefits. I use a combination of two shades– 01 Rose and 02 Champagne. The shade Rose was great for brightening my skin for example, whereas Champagne was better at concealing my red areas and smoothing out my patchy complexion. While they are tailored to harmonise with different skin tones, they’re light and versatile enough that an exact colour match didn’t prove necessary.


Let me know what your favourite Clarins products are in the comments!

Acne myths and skincare miracles

Allow me to debunk some acne myths and expose my skincare miracles.

Many of our insecurities are usually seen as fixable or at least concealable, but what happens when the problem covers your face in bruises and oily blemishes?

After nine years of severe acne, it’s fair to say that other than the nuclear-level treatments, I’ve tried it all.

My acne has definitely improved over recent months, so for fellow suffers, allow me to debunk some acne myths and expose my skincare miracles.

“Exfoliating every day prevents spots from forming altogether”
Myth! Whilst exfoliating once or twice a week will help unclog your pores, doing so on a daily basis strips your skin of its natural oils, forcing it to overcompensate. For those with oily skin, this additional oil (sebum) will mix with dead skin cells to block up the pores you’d just cleaned out. Not good.

“Applying makeup with brushes is cleaner than using your fingertips”
Myth! Makeup brushes may improve the look of your makeup but they’re no cleaner than your fingertips. Both hold bacteria, and while washing your brushes regularly will reduce the build up, there’s no such thing as a clean brush.

“Popping zits makes your acne worse”
True! During weeks where I’ve had no new spots, my face still shows scars from pimples I’d popped months ago. Popping spots will inflame the area, increase it’s risk of infection and prolong it’s lifespan indefinitely. Last week I had a whitehead the size of a fist, but in four days it had gone. I even found it easier to cover with makeup than the red mark it would have left. Resist the urge!

“Cheap products give you spots”
Myth! Price may correlate with quality, but rarely comedogenicity. Even the most expensive brands will offer oil-based foundations, and for those with sensitive skin, these are a nightmare when it comes to clogging your pores. I recently switched from Rimmel to Clarins and I’ve fallen in love. Their EverMatte oil-free foundation wiped out most of my spots in under a week. Whilst this product cost me £28, there’s plenty of cheaper alternatives. I’d also recommend exploring their skincare range. Whilst pricey, their lotus oil, hydra-essential moisturiser, pure melt cleansing gel, and micro-pearl foaming cleanser have worked miracles on my acne, reducing it by at least 80%.

No acne treatment is universal, and as horrendous as the search for your own ‘miracles’ may be, something will eventually work, regardless of your pessimism.



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