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Magic in a bottle? One of the most anticipated beauty products in years launches this week. WM editor Claire Rees was one of the first to get her hands on YSL's new Touche eclat foundation.

ANY beauty junkie worth her/his highlighter is familiar with Touche eclat.

Yves Saint Laurent's little power pen is loved by celebrities, workaholics and party girls for its under-eye dark shadows erasing powers - at the click of a button.

Last year, responding to demand (one pen is sold every 10 seconds) six new shades hit counters.

Now, 20 years after the first launch of Touche eclat, they've put the 'magic' of the cult highlighter into a foundation, Le Teint Touche eclat.

Launched yesterday, keen beauty lovers have been clamouring to get their hands on complimentary samples as a high-profile ad campaign whet our appetite for the same illuminated complexion, just this time, all over the face.

In Debenhams, Cardiff, 80 people had reserved the product, and they'd run out of samples, with one assistant there telling me it's the most exciting launch they've had in years, adding: "It's going to be massive".

So what's so great about it? Touche eclat is my go-to concealer ( for under the eyes, around the lips and on the temples and cheekbones - and have you tried blending it into your skin with a bronzing brush?) and I was keen to see what the fuss was about its latest offspring.

The brand say that while classical foundation formulas contain opaque powders, which can create a 'mask' effect, especially on darker skins which can look grey, this uses a fluid light concentrate (and no mother-of-pearl) for a lighter finish.

Heidi Ryan, on the YSL counter at House of Fraser, Cardiff, showed me a book of names on her waiting list, before choosing and applying my shade, the light, yellow-based BD20 (it comes in 22 of them.) So is it any good? Yes, it's lovely. I usually shy away from anything with a dewy finish as I prefer a matte look, but Heidi assured me this would work on my combination skin and still cover a breakout.

Given it's gel-based, she thinks very oily skin may prefer their Perfect Touch (their popular Teint Resist, by the way, a long-wear transfer-resistant formula, is about to be discontinued).

The bridge of my nose was too sheeny for my liking by the end of a long, humid day, but if you don't usually need powder, it will wear better. (I'm not wearing any in this picture.) Colleagues said I looked healthy, it feels incredibly light, and while it gives an even coverage, you can't see where the foundation starts and finishes. I just needed a little extra on blemishes, but I was surprised at how well it covered.

Lloyd Simmonds, creative director of make up at YSL says it will suit women of any skin colours.

"I like to call it a dewy luminosity, as fresh as dew on the complexion - and definitely not shiny," he says, adding: "It can be applied in several coats to modulate the coverage.

"It is an incredibly easy-to-apply foundation. It's simply impossible to make a mistake." The price, just pounds 28, is fantastic. You can still try it for free on counter... while samples last.

[bar] BIG BEAUTY BUZZ Some of the other huge launches that got the industry excited... [bar]

Lancome's Oscillation mascara The vibrating mascara had a 21,000 person waiting list when it debuted in New York.

The brush is battery-operated, providing 7,000 micro-oscillations per minute and the wand itself vibrates, controlled by a slim button.

Brands continue to wow us with lash gadgetry, like this year's Guerlain mirrored Noir G. Yet the best-seller remains They're Real! By Benefit.

[bar] Tom Ford's make-up collection Fans of the former Gucci creative director were familiar with his fragrances and lip colours, but the news he was launching a complete cosmetics collection last year, created a beauty frenzy.

And with eyeshadow quads like this one, at pounds 62, plenty are prepared to pay premium for the name.

[bar] Creme de la Mer's ... ? The makers of the iconic anti-ageing cream, whose name means simply 'cream of the sea', have always kept their product in shrouds of mystery.

A few years ago, a newspaper claimed that while monied enthusiasts pay pounds 100 for a 30ml pot, its ingredients actually cost just pounds 25.

But the brand wasn't damaged, and this September, they launch what is being billed as a miracle skin product - but it's all so hush hush only those close to the creators are in on the secret.

How to apply perfect foundation, by Lloyd Simmonds, creative director of make up at Yves Saint Laurent [bar] 1. Use fingers, or for a more 'sophisticated finish', use a foundation brush - YSL launch their own in September. [bar] 2. If you're using a brush, place a small amount on the back of your hand and apply in smoothing strokes from the centre of the face outwards, knowing that you have to insist on the median zone.

3. Then, a touch below the eyes where the skin tone is never very uniform, followed by delicate pats with the brush for a more covered effect.

4. Do the same for imperfections - like a spot or blemish. [bar] 5. Finish with a light touch of powder, but only on the T-zone - to avoid dulling the illuminating effect.


[bar] Claire Rees wearing Le Teint Touche eclat
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jul 10, 2012
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