Clarins Restoring Gift: mini reviews and round-up


Over the past two months or so, I've opened and tested all six products in this Clarins Restoring Gift, which I picked up last year as a GWP when Adore Beauty was running a promotion.

While any products that come free are definitely a good thing, the only item in this kit that really grabs me is the one that made me want the gift in the first place: Clarins' Beauty Flash Balm, a cult favourite and a product I've loved for years.

It's not that the other products are bad, it's just that I need more from my skincare than these items deliver - plus I think most of them are overpriced for what they are and they're certainly not ones I would buy.  

Let's have a quick look.

Here's what the gift contains:
  • Extra Firming Body Cream (100ml) 
  • Cleansing Milk with Alpine Herbs (50ml) 
  • Toning Lotion with Chamomile (50ml) 
  • Beauty Flash Balm (50ml) 
  • Super Restorative Night Cream (15ml) 
  • Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in No 03 Nude Shimmer (5ml) 

It's not a bad little set - especially given that it was free! - and I do recommend looking out for Clarins GWPs on Adore Beauty because I've seen them run at least one like this per year and they're a good way to grab a couple of your favourite Clarins products, with the added benefit of receiving a big bundle of free goodies to boot.

What I'll do now is make a brief comment on each product and also the kit as a whole, and I'll include links to my full reviews in case you're interested in any particular item.

Clarins Extra Firming Body Cream

Apparently this should haven given me firm skin and a more youthful body, and should have restored my skin's youthful density and elasticity. Unsurprisingly I don't think the various tall claims for this cream were met, and while I enjoyed using it, it's certainly not one I would buy. Full review here.

It's a nice-enough product but it's super thick so I powered through the tube in record time, and I don't think I've ever needed to use so much body cream per application. And since it costs $75 for the full size, it would want to last you a while! It feels velvety and rich so my dry skin did like it, but it also leaves behind a residue so not all of it is being absorbed - hardly surprising, given its thickness - and it's not something I would recommend.

Clarins Cleansing Milk with Alpine Herbs

I've reviewed this here and I didn't need to read that review to remember what I didn't like about it: it doesn't clean well and it comes with some pretty ridiculous instructions about how to use it (something about creating a suction effect with your hands to get the product to work).

It's meant to be a soothing, gentle cleanser but I suspect I'm not the only one who finds it ineffective and annoying to use. In any event, I'll finish this little bottle because I hate waste - but if you're after a gentle cleanser that doesn't strip the skin, I would look elsewhere because not only is this too gentle to be effective (in my experience, anyway), it also leaves behind a residue that needs to be removed with another product. It does feel nice on the skin though, so that's something.

Clarins Toning Lotion with Chamomile

This is apparently an alcohol-free, plant based lotion that's designed to refresh dry or normal skin and gently complete the perfect cleansing program. I've reviewed it here.

While it's not a bad product, I certainly wouldn't pay $40 AUD for the full size - particularly when you can find budget toners in the chemist or supermarket that are just as good (and often better). It has a strong herbal scent and while it does remove the last layer of gunk from my face reasonably well, it also leaves a residue behind and it's not as toning or refreshing as other products I've tried. I'm happy enough to finish off my bottle but I wouldn't buy it or recommend it.

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

Full review here. This is an HG product of mine and it probably doesn't need much introduction because I suspect that most people will have heard about it, even if they haven't tried it themselves. It's one of those amazing cult products that does exactly what it says it will do and seems to work wonders for a variety of different skin types.

If you haven't tried this, I urge you to grab a sample. It really does wake up the face and add some healthy radiance, and it's a great product to put under or over makeup. I like it best for applying over makeup before I go out because it takes a few years off my face and just makes me look better overall.

Clarins Super Restorative Night Cream

This one is meant to work while you sleep to promote skin density and even skintone, and it apparently delivers intensive replenishment to skin weakened by hormonal changes linked to the ageing process. Full review here.

This was one of the better items in the bunch and I really enjoyed it. Nevertheless, it's super expensive and I think you can do better - both in this price range and below it. I did love how nourishing it was on my dry skin and also the fact I didn't need to use an overnight cream when I used it (because it was hydrating enough on its own and my skin felt moisturised for hours after use), but I also didn't love it enough to drop over $100 AUD on the full size.

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in No 03 Nude Shimmer 

I've reviewed this here. I do like these glosses but not as much as everyone else seems to: I wonder whether that's because I'd seen so much hype about them before finally trying one that I was expecting to be blown away and no product would have lived up to my expectations.

Still, glosses never go astray for a dry-lipped lass like myself so this will definitely get used. It is a nice product that feels and looks good on the lips, it's just that it's not HG material for me and I'm just as happy to use budget glosses because plenty of good ones exist for a fraction of the price.

In sum

This wasn't a bad little kit - particularly considering it was free! - and I'm glad I've had the chance to try a few more Clarins products. While the only thing that really stood out to me was the Beauty Flash Balm (which I already knew I loved), everything still got used and you can't ask for more than that : )

Let me know if you've tried any of these products and what you think of them if so.

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