“ Brand: Elysambre / Type: Foundation / Texture: Cream „
Regular readers of my reviews will know that I am seeking to gradually replace my make- up collection with ethical and natural products. So far I have been highly delighted with natural face creams and mascaras, but was really seeking to take the plunge into the world of the natural foundation.
This decision was not made lightly as finding a foundation make-up has always been a challenge for me. I will never forget the only time that I ventured into the designer category, and went to seek advice from the Clinique representative in a large department store. I had decided that I should seek expert advice regarding colour shades and tones, and put my face in her hands. She sold me the shade I should wear and I was delighted, until everyone I met asked me if I was ill or off colour in some way, and I realised that not all the experts know what suits you outside the artificial light of the cosmetics counter.
So this legacy and waste of money had stayed with me over the years and I had settled for two favourites, which I have been very happy with - L'Oreal Matte Morphose Mousse make-up, and Maybelline Mouse make-up. However, both of these lacked what I was really looking for - to leave the world of mainstream foundations for the natural and ethical market. I worked out that I would have to spend more money than these products cost me, but I didn't want to be wasteful, or to try multiple different shades in the process of discovering the product I was looking for. So I knew that research was going to be vital if I was going to be economical in my quest.
So researching the market of alternative foundations opened up a vast world which was previously unknown to me. You won't find these products in Boots or Superdrug, but there are several excellent websites, which not only provide a forum for purchase, but also offer helpful advice on application and suitability for skin types and so on. In particular I found these websites to be superb:
What I discovered in this research was that the websites allowed reviews to be added by customers underneath the products, and this is absolutely vital in my opinion if you are to gauge the suitability of the product for your needs.
The manufacturer which really caught my eye within the Aladdin's Cave of these websites was Elysambre, a relatively new French make launched in September 2006.The ethics of this company really appealed to me, as their products are made with two main aspects in mind. First of all the products must be made with respect to the animal kingdom, so they have no testing on them, and secondly they must also cause minimal impact on the environment, so the packaging is made on a refill system which I will elaborate on later in this review. The other important feature of these products is that they are paraben free, which I am absolutely delighted about as this is the main reason I have been seeking out these cosmetics. Parabens, which are synthetically made preservatives, are not allowed in many countries pending further investigations into their safety. Japan and Sweden have banned their use, and steps are being taken by the New Zealand and Australian government to ban these chemicals from toiletries and cosmetics. There is concern that they can mimic the effects of the female hormone oestrogen, and may be implicated in breast and reproductive tumours. I have to stress this is not proven, but I am taking steps to minimise exposure to these chemicals.
So having decided to look into this make- Elysambre, what I discovered was that the make-up is really beautifully presented. Being French the detailing on the products is exquisite, and the range is all designed to compliment each other.
The foundation was my first purchase and I have been so delighted with it that I have been collecting related items. The foundation I chose was the cream make-up, and I purchased mine from the on-line website Lucy Rose. As I am a vegetarian and a member of the vegetarian society this website offered a 10% discount.
When you first peruse the collection from Elysambre you have to be a little patient to understand exactly how the items work together, as it is a little confusing to begin with. The first time you purchase this item you have the choice to buy a glass jar and a refill. What this means is that you then decant the cream into the jar from the tube supplied, and thereafter there is only a need to purchase refills. Of course there is no obligation to purchase the jar at all, you can use the foundation from the tube, which I have in mind to do when I am travelling, so for this reason I have now purchased a second refill. The jar though is gorgeous and elegant and has little silver flowers in a cluster on the side.
The jar and first refill is £22.98 for 30mls and the refills alone are £17.99. There are no postal charges at Lucy Rose- everything is posted free which I think is a superb asset.
The main ingredients in this foundation are organic sweet almond oil, Kalahari melon oil, organic field horsetail extract, organic jojoba seed oil, organic cornflower water and olive extract
There are several shades to choose from and this is where I did hesitate for a while. If you are not sure you can obtain free samples from www.naturisimo.com. You are allowed up to five samples, all you have to do is to pay the postage.
I chose a shade 02 which is light beige, as I was convinced this would be suitable and I was right, it was very similar to my old favourites. If you wish to compare these then I would say it is similar to the shade Cameo in Maybelline Mousse make-up, and the shade Rose Ivory in the L'Oreal Matte Morphose.
The make-up is a lovely soft texture and it glides on effortlessly, and offers good coverage for mature skins or dryer skins in particular. I was delighted with the look I achieved with this product which actually exceeded the results I got with the conventional products.
The foundation is very light reflective and offers a fresh dewy make-up which I think is actually very youthful. The product gives medium coverage which hides blemishes and imperfections, but does not look mask like. At the same time it is not a face tint so you can expect it to give excellent coverage. I am delighted with all aspects of the product which offers an ethical choice. Elysambre also make a primer which you can apply underneath the foundation, and a selection of concealers and powders to complete the look, but you can also use your personal favourites if you only wish to make this one purchase. I have made these further purchases now and am delighted with these products which compliment each other beautifully, but I was happy initially just with the foundation and my favourite existing products.
I know that the price is more than the mainstream product which sit between the £7 and £12 mark on the high street, and I guess you have to weigh up whether you want to delve into the ethical make-up world which does have a higher price-tag associated with it. For me, though, the benefits are too numerous to ignore, and these are on top of the main asset this make-up has in that it is absolutely beautifully presented and is intensely feminine.So to recap this product has-
No animal testing
Elysambre also makes a liquid foundation which is more suitable for those with younger and more oily skin, and there is also a compact foundation if you prefer this option.
One final point to make is that you must use the product within twelve months, as it does not have the benefit of the preservatives normally found in mainstream cosmetics.
I am so delighted with this product which is 10/10 for every aspect. It combines elegance with a respect for nature and for animals, and moreover the product works beautifully, and is helping to reduce waste through well thought out packaging solutions.
If you would like to visit the website have a look at