Tuesday, October 01, 2013

By Terry Or de Rose Elixir Extreme Ultimate Lift Primer

I've been struggling with this review of By Terry Or de Rose Elixir Extreme Ultimate Lift Primer. You know me: I always have quite a bit of stuff to say, but in this case I just couldn't make up my mind. By Terry is one of the most beautiful and luxurious cosmetics brands around. Everything about the products is exquisitely and thoughtfully done, and the target consumer is true beauty connoisseurs. Which we all are, right?

However, I sometimes find that for parts of the line it's more packaging and image than real value. A good example for that are By Terry makeup brushes. I love brushes and over the years have invested quite of bit of time and money in my collection. I own a bunch of By Terry makeup brushes which are nice, but not exactly professional marvels and definitely don't justify the price point (about twice as high as equivalents from real pro brands). I was especially annoyed when By Terry "redesigned" the whole brush range, not improving the brushes themselves but replacing the handles with shiny versions.

I also find the color range a bit limited. I've gone to the counter at Barneys numerous times looking to treat myself to something gorgeous, but returned empty handed because everything was too light, too blonde and not a good fit for me. But that has nothing to do with Or de Rose Elixir Extreme, a hybrid primer-illuminator-skincare. It promises to lift, illuminate, and create a beautiful base for one's makeup. All that, and it comes in a lovely bottle and smells, obviously, of roses. Beyond the question of need-- does a woman who already invests time and money in her skin care also needs a "lifting" primer? Do primers actually lift anything? There's also performance. A primer should optimize surface conditions so we can get the most of our foundation. Does Or de Rose provide that?

By Terry Or de Rose is a thin opalescent liquid with a delicate rose scent. When you pump it out the first impression is similar to Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector or Rouge Bunny Rouge Sea Of Something Or Another liquid illuminator, only more refined and slightly pink. It goes on the face like skincare-- almost serum-like, not quite makeupy, which reminds me of Oskia Get Up & Glow. However, that effect is short-lived and not very noticeable on a well-serumed and moisturized face. The illuminating effect that you can see on a bare face is not noticeable under any medium-coverage foundation, but if you mix it with a matte or flat-looking foundation/tinted moisturizer you will see a pretty glow.

As for priming, I've seen and used better. You need to wait until Or de Rose is fully set before applying your foundation, otherwise things tend to move and you won't see an even coverage. I can't say that this By Terry primer makes my makeup last and maintain its freshness the way silicone-based primers do. Moreover, I get a better finish and a more consistent performance from Guerlain primers (Meteorites Perles and Guerlain L'Or). Eventually, I've found myself relegating By Terry Or de Rose for evening use-- it's a really nice primer to use when redoing my face before going out for a few hours. There is a refreshed feeling, a sense of light pampering and a pretty surface to work with. It's nice, but considering the $170 price tag and the abundance of excellent products on the market that give similar results at half the price, I can't say that I'm sold, or that Or de Rose really adds a lot to my routine.

It seems that during the months I've been waffling on this product someone at By Terry also did some thinking. Or de Rose Elixir Extreme Ultimate Lift Primer no longer appears on the company's website. While I suspect that it's officially discontinued (Barneys is out of stock), this primer is still available at some counters and from various online sources including Beauty.com.

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