As some of you may know, one of my first beauty-related jobs was on a Clarins counter. Unlike some other brands I’ve encountered, their pretty intensive training process is really informative in terms of skincare and isn’t just focused on making a quick sale. Whilst it wasn’t always seen as the trendiest brand in the department store, working for them introduced me to facial oils, the concept of skin being dehydrated not just dry, and definitely taught me not to just take a brand at face value. Although famous for their skincare, their makeup had some hidden gems in it even back then (especially the mascaras, foundations and lipsticks) but I’m really pleased to see that it’s had a complete image overall since I last donned my red suit. I no longer think the packaging gives off a mumsy vibe, this is luxe and sleek and whilst packaging isn’t everything, I’m thrilled to see the exterior match up to the great quality of the products and definitely think it will help appeal to a younger crowd. It’s all quite Guerlain and YSL and I love it.

Last week I headed to their HQ in London for the first time since I took my training and exams there and checked out their Christmas offerings as well as some of their foundations which will definitely be featured in my Foundation Diaries series soon. First up though, let’s check out their Christmas range, Odyssey. The limited edition powders always did really well on the counters when I worked there, and I’m sure this is no exception. This is a weighty, beautiful compact, very grecian and definitely something you’ll feel special using when you pull it out of your handbag. Yes, at £35 it’s pricey for a powder but we all have that one weakness and if there’s something I can justify spending money on it’s something with a huge mirror that looks elegant and I’ll use in my handbag every day. Great for touchups, and the shimmer on top is just an overspray so this will be good for getting rid of shine and using on the go. The shade is pretty peachy which is good for brightening but I’m not sure about the claim that it would be good for all skin tones.

The real star of the show in my mind though, is the Odyssey Eye Quartet which can be used wet or dry. The outer casing is lighter than the Face Palette and doesn’t feel quite as luxurious but it’s still beautiful and houses four beautiful, wearable shades that you’ll get your use out of. The real selling point for me though is the gold leaf shadow in the top right corner. I was way more impressed with the payoff of this than I expected, think Illamasqua liquid metals without the creasing and RMK’s gorgeous gold colour without the fallout, the formulation of this is spot on and it’s insanely pigmented without being used wet. The rest of the shadows have Clarins trademark quality and have normal pigmentation but the gold colour really does make this special. I don’t normally use applicators but these are similar to the ones included in YSL palettes and are actually really nice to use, especially the pointed one.

Really impressed with the re-branding Clarins has had and this is a lovely collection from a brand dear to my heart. Have you tried anything from Clarins? What are your favourites?

The Odyssey Collection will be on counters and from October.