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When I wake up in the morning and my glasses are on, the first things my eyes are drawn to are the awful bags under my eyes. It almost looks as if someone has either coloured the bags in with a grey eye pencil or if I have been fighting demons in my sleep. For many months I thought it was a sign that I had high cholesterol until a doctor's visit and a secondary home kit put my mind at ease at being low! Either way it's not a good look to have first thing in the morning and I've tried different formulas to combat the look. Cover up product powders that claim to "cover up," shimmer with fine glitter which can be caught from certain angles when my face is viewed and the whole idea of inconspicuous facial care for men flies out the window. Caffeine based products that promise to lift the bags never seem to last long with me either and it's something I've grown accustomed to live with despite having a good amount of sleep, even from late nights out.
Briefly when I took my mum to a certain department store in Edinburgh, a Yves-Saint Laurent sales lady pounced on us the moment we entered the store. She was defiant in securing my mum to the make up chair in order for her to show the YSL team that she was working and who better than to choose my mum who is a Lancome lady at heart! Whilst the expensive Lancome products came off and on went the "landscape," YSL products, I made myself busy by checking out the latest colognes for men as well as a few other interesting products that caught my eye. One of them was Touché Éclat, a product my mum has bought in recent years that promises to hide blemishes as well as an ideal pen for applying to heavy bags under the eyes!
The Touché Éclat pen for women is an all in gold gaudy affair that looks purposefully feminine and from a distance, a rather old Gold painted Schaeffer pen. The men's version however is purposefully silver metallic grey; sitting well with many professional artists pens or the same kind of grey that dresses Clinique for Men products and although thick in diameter, it is much understated and has discreet writing on the pen's body.
The price of this product is largely off putting though - for 2.5ml the pen is approximately £15 to £18 per pen and that can be quite a steep price to pay. However since being let down by many Clinique for Men products this last year, paying out £15 or so for a product that actually works isn't much of a hardship for me.
The Touché Éclat formula works to a very high standard principle based on the fact that it is more or less a cover up pen for unsightly eye circles, dull angles around the eyes and heavy bags. Even the classy little glossy silver box it comes in states that it is a corrective pen intended to make eyes look brighter, deeper and hides dark circles and puffiness. Although the women's version may look the same on principle, the women's version paints a pink tint that is intended to blend in with general makeup. The gent's version however has a light scent-less peach tone intended to blend in with the male face, naturally assuming that the pigmentation on a man's face is highly different from a woman's painted face. My mum has used my pen on occasion however, particularly when she doesn't wear a lot of makeup making it ideal for both sexes.
The actual mechanics & design of the pen is a clicker style where a black button at the end of the pen has to be pushed in a couple of times to get the pen going. After initial purchase for example clicking it for about 10 to 20 clicks gets the paint flowing and only a little should be dabbed on the front of your hand so that you can use it like an easel to dab what you need. Once the paint has been unlocked, it stays on the brush even when the cap is put back on so there is no need to re-click when you need to apply the next time and if you do, it only takes one more click. The front of the pen has a built in clear acrylic bristle brush that is light and fluffy to skin, easy to literally paint on my heavy bags or simply to lightly brush the formula in. However in use, I find it easier and far more effective to dab the paint on in small increments before manually rubbing the cream across the bags and at the end of the eye line away from the actual eyes. I can apply it if wearing glasses or contact lenses but you do have to be careful not to get any of the paint in your eye! A downside to this pen in the practicality stakes is that the cap can't be fitted over the button at the back, which would make this corrective pen a bit more practical; so don't lose the cap when in use!
The paint is extremely thin; shimmer free, smooth to the touch and quite light in its peach colouring but the whole product, as a concept isn't just a basic cover up pen. The contents of Solomon seeds, Arnica and Cypress are claimed to stimulate the skin to "decongest," the effects. I wasn't entirely convinced of YSL's claims here but over the months I use the corrective pen, there is certainly something in this pen's lotion that directs the blemishes and bags away from light, toning up the heavy bags making my appearance a lot fresher and invigorated whilst also eliminating other puffiness. Another aspect I love is that once the cream dissipates on skin, there is no feeling of it rather than a lovely silky and smoothness to the skin when applied and it only needs to be applied once in the day making it highly effective, reliable and economical. Although strictly for anti-circles and heavy bags, Touché Éclat for Men also hides minor spots reasonably well, even in the moustache line and beard area that makes it a complete, all round winner for perfect facial care. It is easy to wash off but it isn't water proof by its design. If however you have dry skin, it makes sense to dab a little aqueous cream with this product at the same time.
Two aspects of this product that I had concerns about is animal testing and hypoallergenic research. Although the Internet reveals many sources (including one highly well researched review by one of Dooyoo's own members) YSL as a company don't condone animal testing. Therefore it is a pity to find this info out after purchasing this product (and of course my fault entirely) and it can be a major downside it is an issue you feel strongly about; also this product doesn't appear to be hypoallergenic and can have some after effects:
A whole blog page of concerns shown on a Good Housekeeping forum indicates a few buyers who have come out in red patches* when using this product with a 50/50 split of why it happens. As there are no directions with this product when it comes to primary use, it does make sense to wash the brush under warm water to clear it of any bacteria forming, and it would appear that circumstantial evidence from washing the brush every so often appears to clear up red patches on the skin forming. Having used this product for nine months I can faithfully say that I haven't had any after effects but I do wash the brush often to make sure I'm not contaminating my skin with dirt.
Another aspect of the Touché Éclat for Men is also over-use. It doesn't make sense, nor judged by its expensive price to use this brush every day, but only on occasion whenever you feel your facial outlook needs some major help. In light of my research and the facts given, this product falls down by one star. Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2010
Touche Eclat - a compulsory item for any hand-bag, this pen-brush is ideal for banishing under eye shadows and hiding signs of fatigue around the mouth and nose area. Touche Eclat is suitable for all skin types.