Thursday, 21 June 2018

[First Impressions + Review] Bell HYPOAllergenic

Last Thursday, to my surprise, I received a parcel via GDEX. While signing for my parcel, I thought hard and long - trying to figure out what I had bought online. I was pretty sure I had purchased something and forgotten about it. With the parcel in my hand and walking up to my room, I continued musing. Since I was on my way out, I decided to let it rest and open it when I get back. As you can imagine, it was at the back of my mind most of the time when I was out. Oh, how I abhor that nagging feeling - I couldn't wait to get back to the parcel. It was like an early Christmas present!  Lo and behold, it was a bunch of goodies gifted from Bell Cosmetics, or also known as Bell Hypoallergenic. 


I'm no stranger to Bell HYPOAllergenic as I stumbled upon them a few months ago in Caring Pharmacy, Paradigm Mall. I actually purchased a few items from the brand and have been trying their products ever since. I purchased approximately 3 items, which consisted of a blush, a lip product, and a concealer. What attracted and prompted me to purchase these products on a whim as I had no prior knowledge of this particular brand, is the word "hypoallergenic" and also the fact that it was manufactured in Poland. Oh yea, super long post ahead! You have been warned.

What is 'Hypoallergenic'? 


As a general makeup user with a zilch background in science, I initially thought that the word 'hypoallergenic' meant that you won't break out or react to the product. But thankfully, I'm surrounded by a handful of women of science background. One of them, who studied genetics in uni, immediately pointed out the error of my assumption when I shared it with her, that the prefix 'hypo-' scientifically and medically means "less than normal or normally". To be honest, as she explained, my little creative brain was stunned for a moment. I learn something new every day. Love it!

To ensure that all of us start off on the right foot, it's essential to understand what 'hypoallergenic' means. Let's break down the word: 'hypoallergenic' = 'hypo' + 'allergenic'.

As mentioned earlier, 'hypo' is a prefix that means "less than normal or normally".

Allergenic is derived from the root word "allergy". Allergy means an unusual reaction towards a substance or situation. Hence, allergenic is medically termed as "having the capacity to induce allergy" - simply put, it means it can cause an allergic reaction.

So when you put both words together, "hypoallergenic", it means that the product or an ingredient/substance is less likely to cause an allergic reaction. To sum up, the chances of having an allergic reaction when you use a product or when exposed to an ingredient/substance is lessnot completely allergy-proof. 

FUN FACT: The word 'Allergy' was coined in 1906 from the German word 'Allergie', by Austrian paediatrician Clemens E. von Pirquet (1874-1929). Allergie is the combination of two Greek root words, 'allos' and 'ergon'." Allos means "other, strange or different" and ergon means "activity". Source: dictionary.com & etymonline

Who is Bell HYPOAllergenic?

Bell HYPOAllergenic is a new innovative line of Bell Cosmetics, which was introduced in 2014. It is the first hypoallergenic line of colour cosmetics on the Polish market. Click here to view an introductory video.

Bell is a leading Polish manufacturer of cosmetics, whom successfully sold products for over 30 years in the markets of several dozen countries, in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in Western Europe. They are present in such demanding and competitive markets as:

France
Ukraine
Romania
Spain
Lithuania
Iceland
Portugal
Latvia
Pakistan
Italy
Belarus
Azerbaijan
Greece
Slovakia
Republic of South Africa
Russia
Bulgaria
Middle East

The circle of recipients of Bell cosmetics has been recently expanded by the addition of Singapore, Hong Kong, Estonia, Morocco, Iran, Taiwan and the Scandinavian countries. Last but not least, Malaysia. As a result, their products are now exported to about 50 countries.

The high quality of their cosmetics is ensured by their R&D laboratory, where their specialists make sure that the cosmetics not only enhance beauty but also care for the skin. The microbiology laboratory has control over the quality of products that are delivered to their consumers. They also independently design and manufacture the packaging of their products. The high quality of their products and attractive, affordable pricing enables them to compete with foreign brands. By using modern technical and technological solutions, they constantly strive to perfect their cosmetics.

Edited from the main source: Bell Defines Beauty 

HYPOAllergenic Products 

From left to right: Anti-Redness Primer, Pore Correcting Primer & Mat & Smooth Makeup Base

Introduction

Before we dive into the first impressions and reviews, I have a problematic skin. It's dehydrated and oily. Making it extremely prone to closed comedones and since the best way to treat it is with active acids such as AHA/BHA, my skin barrier isn't exactly at the best state. Hence, I occasionally experience patches of redness. That's why I chose to start off with the Anti-Redness primer.  

Bell HYPOAllergenic Anti-Redness Primer | RM52.90

According to Bell HYPOAllergenic, this primer: 
  1. "neutralizes redness and conceals skin imperfections, making the blood vessels and discolouration almost invisible". 
  2. "moisturizes and smoothes the skin and visually extends the life of the foundation". 
  3. "light formula that offers an easy and even application". 
Used the Anti-Redness Primer in this picture.

I was sceptical when it came to primers that claim to neutralize redness. It either gives you a white cast or doesn't reduce redness at all. Based on the "Before and After" picture, I'd confidently say yes to "neutralizing redness" part of claim No.1. When I took the "Before" picture, I had zero expectations. After applying a pump or two with my fingers, I wiped my hands clean and took the "After" picture. That was when a glimmer of hope returned to my eyes. You can see that I had a little smile in my "After" picture. I was that impressed. Upon further scrutiny, I do see a difference. Most of the redness has been neutralized, even the two big spots on my forehead looked less angry. The most obvious parts would be my nose and cheeks. My skin tone looks a little more evened out. As for the "concealing skin imperfections", "making blood vessels and discolouration almost invisible" claims may be stretching it. But it might work if you have a normal skin type. 

Honestly, I have not found an anti-redness primer that actually works well with my skin. It's either they are too emollient, cling on to my dry patches or look green and patchy. I'm so glad that I did not experience any of those. It felt like a lightweight moisturizer that smoothes over easily without cling onto my acne or dry patches. Therefore, claim No. 2 is partially spot on. It does "moisturize and smoothes the skin". As for "visually extends the life of the foundation", I can't say whether it does because I used Dior Undercover 24HR Full Coverage Foundation. Will update when I have tested it with a less longer-lasting foundation.    

The primer doesn't feel thick or silicone-y, which are two big plus in my books. Since Nov/Dec 2017, I have been actively using sunscreens every day. So primers that I use have to sit well with my sunscreens, no compromise. I'm happy to report that it went on top smoothly and I did not experience pilling. The sunscreen I used was the famous Shiseido ANESSA Perfect UV Sunscreen Mild Milk SPF50+ PA++++. Hence, claim No. 3 is true

Bell HYPOAllergenic Mat & Smooth Makeup Base | RM52.90 

According to Bell HYPOAllergenic, this primer: 
  1. "extends makeup's durability" 
  2. "eases makeup application"
  3. "moisturises and smoothes fine wrinkles" 
  4. "after application, skin becomes matte and silky smooth to the touch" 
I have not gotten the chance to test this primer out yet but when I swatched it, it has a similar consistency to the Anti-Redness primer. It does not feel thick nor loaded with silicones. It does feel promising and will update with a review when I have tested it.  

Bell HYPOAllergenic Pore Correcting Primer | RM52.90

According to Bell HYPOAllergenic, this primer: 
  1. "noticeably reduces the visibility of pores"
  2. "has a light formula and non-greasy consistency that does not weigh down the skin"
  3. "enables even spreading and visually smoothens the skin"
  4. "moisturizes - prevents the skin from drying out"
  5. "evens out and firms the skin for many hours"
  6. "ensures easy application and prolongs makeup" 
  7. "perfect for anyone (women) with sensitive skin, susceptible to irritation"

I have not gotten the chance to test this primer out yet but when I swatched it, it has a similar consistency to the Anti-Redness primer. It does not feel thick nor loaded with silicones. It does feel promising and will update with a review when I have tested it.  


HYPOAllergenic Creamy Rouge Glow Stick/Stick Blush (01, 02) | RM49.90

According to Bell HYPOAllergenic, this stick blush: 
  1. "stick form provides convenient and precise application" 
  2. "light formula for easy application and leaves no streaks"
  3. "adapts perfectly to the skin and does not deprive it of its natural look"
  4. "durable and does not rub off, so that the skin remains radiant, illuminated and relaxed throughout the day"

I have not gotten the chance to test these blush sticks on my face yet as it's cream formulas isn't exactly my favourites. In the swatches above, the middle swatches were swatched heavily and the swatches beside them were swatched twice only. I personally forsee this working well with dry skin as it has a creamy formula that doesn't dry matte. Will provide more information once I have tested it out. 


HYPOAllergenic Modelling Rouge/Modelling Blush (1, 2 & 3) | RM35.90

According to Bell HYPOAllergenic, this powder blush: 
  1. "contains ultra-micronized talc, which ensures easy application and leaves skin silky soft"
  2. "gives silky, sensual finish and optically smoothes out roughness" 
  3. "pigment particles coated with jojoba oil esters moisturize the skin, leaving it to feel pleasant and creamy for a long time" 

Left picture: Modelling Blush 01 (Top), Modelling Blush 02 (Bottom left), Modelling Blush 03 (Bottom right)
Right picture: (from left to right) Modelling Blush 01, Modelling Blush 02, Modelling Blush 03

 (from left to right) Modelling Blush 01, Modelling Blush 02, Modelling Blush 03
 (from left to right) Modelling Blush 01, Modelling Blush 02, Modelling Blush 03
Aesthetically, these blushes look good. I love the prints on the blushes. It definitely does not look 'cheap'. The formula of these blushes seems to feel solid, not exactly soft or buttery nor it's dry or powdery. It's an entirely strange, new formula to me. It reminds me of Clinique Cheek Pop blushes but Clinique blushes aren't as dense as these blushes. Due to its dense nature, I'd recommend using blush brushes with natural bristles to apply them rather than synthetic bristles. I didn't have any luck picking up the product with synthetic bristles. After using all three shades - truth to be told, I wasn't very impressed. Maybe it is because I'm spoilt by other formulas and finishes. 

According to the claims, only Modelling Blush 01 and 03 fits the bill. Unfortunately for Modelling Blush 02, I had to scrape the first layer in order to achieve the level of pigmentation I was satisfied with. It's an odd formula, but don't let that deter you from trying them out. Modelling Blush 02 strongly reminds me of Clinique Cheek Pop in Melon Pop. So if you had always wanted a similar shade to Melon Pop but have extremely sensitive skin, you can give Modelling Blush 02 a try. Just be prepared to gently scrape the first layer to 'activate' the blush. These are basic powder blushes, which I personally think is great for young skin, teenagers or makeup novices. It's really difficult to overapply these blushes. 


HYPOAllergenic Matte Lip Liquid Lipstick | RM35.90

 According to Bell HYPOAllergenic, this matte liquid lipstick:

  1. "provides great coverage"
  2. "long-lasting, matte effect after the very first use"
  3. "liquid formula allows for easy and precise formula" 
  4. "does not leave the lips dry and prevents chapping" 
  5. "lip remain smooth, soft and full of intensive colour all day long" 

Ah.. matte liquid lipsticks. One of the biggest trend in the makeup community. There was a time it was all about matte liquid lipsticks. Almost every brand I could think of came out with one. It was 'matte'-ness, I tell you. Geddit? Teehee. Anyway, when it comes to matte liquid lipsticks, I'm extremely fussy because my lips tend to dry out and flake at the end of the day. So the matte liquid lipsticks I use have to feel comfortable throughout the day, look decent after a meal, and I can reapply without having a crusty or flaky-looking ring on the outline of my lips. 

Anyway, I couldn't find a description of the shades. So here are descriptions of the shades according to my eyes. I used this colour thesaurus as a guide: 
  • Shade 01 - nude tan, sepia with neutral undertones
  • Shade 02 - soft berry with cool undertones
  • Shade 03 - pale, baby pink with cool undertones
  • Shade 04 - bright, deep pink with neutral undertones 
  • Shade 05 - candy red with yellow undertones
  • Shade 06 - coral watermelon pink with neutral undertones

The liquid formula does allow for an easy and precise application but I noticed that the formula for these liquid lipsticks is interesting. At the initial application, it went on like a gloss and I found it difficult to apply an even coat of colour, specifically with the lighter shades. About a minute or two, it dried down matte and that was when I had the epiphany to apply another layer once the first layer has dried down a little. That was when I was able to achieve better and even coverage with the lighter shades. 

Claim no. 4 & 5 isn't entirely accurate. My lips do feel noticeably dry once the lipsticks have dried down to a matte finish. But not extremely drying, where it feels like my soul is being sucked out through my lips. Will update more details on the reapplication and how it looks like after a meal. 

In my personal opinion, I found Shade 01 and 03 to be extremely weird. I could pull of Shade 01 on its own but I have to pair it carefully with my eye makeup. As I was messing around with the shades, thinking how I could pull them off - then it hit me. The Shade 01 is extremely neutral, which makes it an excellent mixer! So I proceeded to mix Shade 01 with the rest of the shades and here's the end result: 

I mixed Shade 01 with the rest of the shades and voila, gorgeous nudes!
What do you think? Gorgeous nudes, isn't? I can't wait to use combo 1+3 with a heavier eye makeup. Combo 1+2 and 1+6 looks like something I would wear on a daily basis, paired with a simple makeup. Do give this a try and share it with me. I would love to see your personalised shade!



HYPOAllergenic Intense Colour Moisturizing Lipstick/ Pencil Lipstick | RM**

According to Bell HYPOAllergenic, this moisturizing pencil lipstick:
  1. "has a velvet, creamy consistency of the lipstick covers the lips with a uniform colour without the sticking-together effect." 
  2. "thick pencil allows for uniform application of the product." 
  3. "moisturizes - softens and smoothes the delicate skin of the lips thanks to the content of emollients." 
The picture on the right: Stains left after using Garnier Micellar Water Even For Sensitive Skin to wipe it away

I do like pencil lipsticks in general because it's easy to apply. There's no need for lip liners and I can apply it in a moving car without worrying about drawing in my face or getting it on my teeth. That happened a couple of times with a liquid lipstick. Sigh. This pencil lipstick makes it easy to apply and the formula doesn't leave my lips feeling sticky nor too slippery. I also like the fact that it stains because this means that I don't have to reapply it often. Muahaha. *evil laugh*

If you're not keen with liquid lipsticks or pencil lipsticks, fret not. Bell HYPOAllergenic got you covered. They have other formulas for you to choose from. They have Bell HYPOAllergenic lip tints, HYPOAllergenic Creamy Lipstick, HYPOAllergenic Soft Colour Moisturising Lipstick and HYPOAllergenic Liquid Lip Lacquer - to name a few. They also have other lip products such as HYPOAllergenic Lip Liner, HYPOAllergenic Regeneration Lip Balm and HYPOAllergenic Lip Primer. 

Conclusion

Bell HYPOAllergenic is a cosmetic line that looks and sounds extremely promising. The brand's refreshing approach towards makeup by caring for the skin has successfully roped me in. If time permits, I would love to look into the ingredients and understand what makes this brand stand out and apart from the other brands. When I do find out, I will definitely share about it here.

The products that I foresee myself continuously using are the Anti-Redness primer, Liquid Eye Concealer, Modelling Blush 02 & 03, the matte liquid lipsticks and the moisturising pencil lipsticks. I can't share a favourite yet as I need more time to test them out in different situations and different products. Do follow me on Instagram - @lashesandstrokes to see what products constantly shows up in my day-to-day routine. You can also ask questions about makeup or skincare and I will try my level best to answer.

Based on this post, which product caught your fancy? Share with me.


Follow them on: 
International Website: http://en.bell.com.pl/


Until next time.

Stay beautiful always,
Sarah :)