“ Brand: Urban Retreat / Type: Blushers „
* Prices may differ from that shown
Urban Retreat is basically a spa but now a spa of such repute that they create their own products with their own team of experts. One of the experts is Daniel Sandler, a make up artist and innovative make up designer of over 20 years. His work has taken him all over the world, working with women of all skin types and tones and giving his the experience to base his range upon.
This product is marketed as 'A dynamic duo to create perfect glowing skin.' This is because it's not just a foundation base, it's a blusher too and all designed for skin tones in the categories of light, medium or dark. I thought that might be too limited a colour selection but in fact the fair tone is an excellent choice for me and blends very well.
The base is a cream to powder type product, it comes out on a plastic glue style stick to apply to the face, so you don't need to tip it or stick your fingers in. I like that aspect though I don't know if it will be so good when I get to the bottom of the bottle, it looks promising though.
It appears gunky and of a lightly chalky consistency at first, not very appealing and difficult to have faith in but it spreads quite evenly over the face with your fingers and does a decent job.
It blends really well with my skin tone, which could be a coincidence but it does claim to have 'magical' properties which apparently adjust to your skin help to improve the complexion. Using those words you'd be under the impression that it works wonders on your skin, but in fact it does the same as any other foundation and covers up the bits you don't like so much.
It dries to the powder finish quickly, leaving a soft and smooth coverage without tide marks and clumping and it should be pretty wonderful but then in comparison to the Maybelline Dream Mousse ( see my review) which I've applied to the other side of my face to compare, the coverage isn't as good. I can still see my pores much more visibly than I can with the Maybelline product.
It also seems that you need a lot of the product to cover the face but the Dream Mousse goes loads further.
I think the Urban Retreat product would run out much sooner.
The design of the blusher is reasonably clever, the lid of the base bottle opens at the top to reveal a tiny compact with a lip balm style gel blusher inside. It looks really dark so I applied it sparingly but it amounted to nothing so I had to add more to create any sort of blush look and even then, it's not quite right, it still seems too dark a tone for me. It spreads well enough though I think I prefer a powder and brush as this one seems to begin drying before you've finished blending. I can quite do without looking like a tribal warrior for work. (Though I can see how that might help!)
The bottle is clear at the bottom and has a high gloss bronze plastic lid. It looks fairly classy.
The bottle comes in a pink cardboard box with the very basic information of product name, range and colour written in white.
It retails at £19.95 in my local store. To me it isn't worth it. I prefer the texture and coverage and variety of colours from Maybellines' Dream Mousse at just £6.99. Though I can see the advantage that it dries to powder, but the Maybelline product means a separate powder.
For me though, the better and seriously matte finish comes with my preferences, the smart base, clever as it is to blend, just doesn't give me the coverage.
The Urban Retreat Smart Base and Blusher is available online and at selected Boots stores.