If you have super-dry skin, Hydra Sparkling Recharging Luminescence Moisturizing Mask sounds like just the solution to give your parched skin a great big dose of hydration. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the goods to live up to its claims, and it also contains some problematic ingredients, which we explain below.
The mask itself is a lightweight gel-cream that feels luxurious and moisturizing upon application. One of the first things you'll notice about it is its strong, perfumey fragrance. The scent sticks around for a while, too.
The strong fragrance wouldn't be too much of an issue if this were a rinse-off mask; however Givenchy's directions state to apply a generous amount of this cream to your face and let it sit for several minutes, then tissue off the excess and let the rest sink into your skin as you would your regular moisturizer. Even if you don't have sensitive skin, fragrance in skincare can lead to inflammation and irritation (you can learn the details in our More Info section).
The other reason this doesn't rate higher is that its ingredient list just isn't that compelling. This contians moisturizing standbys like glycerin, dimethicone, and shea butter. But it lacks a powerhouse mix of skin-identical ingredients, cell-communicating ingredients, and antioxidants to truly heal dry skin and help repair a damaged skin barrier. You'll find such options on our list of Best Face Masks.
Irritation from High Amounts of Fragrance: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way for all skin types to go for all skin types (Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2008 & American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003).
The sneaky part about irritation is that research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it for your skin to suffer damage, and that damage may remain hidden for a long time (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).
In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012 & Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).
Strengths: Incredibly smooth powder textures that are easy to apply and enliven skin; great powder blush and bronzers.
Weaknesses: Expensive; most of the products are fragranced (some highly so); disappointing primer and mascaras; average concealers and highlighters; few options without shine (shine is definitely not for everybody).
Like Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Dior, Givenchy has established a global fashion empire that includes makeup and skin-care products (which are not reviewed at this time). While these French design companies know a great deal about fashion, their venture into makeup is more about style and packaging flamboyance than it is about the products' actual performance; that is, far more form than function.
Givenchy's sleek, chic packaging and designer prices are, for the most part, below par and not worthy of their cost. Adding to the less-than-stellar product selection is the fact that Givenchy products contain noticeable fragrance, which makes them even less desirable, at least for the long-term health of your skin. Fragrance (especially from multiple products worn at the same time) can cause irritation that hurts your skin's healing process and its ability to look and act younger.
Of course, there are some great products in this line, but despite our enthusiasm for them, they offer nothing that hasn't been done just as well (or better) by many other lines, whose prices aren't based on a couture fashion house's reputation. Still, if you're a Givenchy fan or a curious observer, you should know which products are worth your attention and which ones you can gloss over. Givenchy makeup is supposed to have something they refer to as "Prisme," which is meant to describe the prismatic, light-reflecting effect they've added to all of their products. You'll hear a lot from the Givenchy salespeople about the delicate interplay of color and light, but when you cut through the marketing mumbo jumbo, all that these products contain is shine, and it's the same shiny ingredients every other company in the world of makeup is using.
It's important to keep in mind that too much shine will only make the wrinkles you have look worse. While you'll hear that shine reflects light from wrinkles, you can easily dispel that notion by testing a shiny product over your wrinkles, and seeing how the shine makes them stand out, not soften.
Givenchy also carries on about the pigment technology they use, but it isn't unique to their brand. There are many different pigment technologies cosmetic formulators can use, and to one degree or another, all of them are responsible for the improvements we've seen in makeup over the past decade. Lines from L'Oreal to Giorgio Armani, Clinique, and Revlon all use modern pigment technology to create great makeup. In the end, choosing Givenchy is an option, but if you go that route, it's more important than ever (especially for your budget) to know the facts about what you're getting.
Note: The collection of Givenchy makeup reviewed on this site is representative of what's typically seen in U.S. Sephora stores that stock Givenchy.
For more information about Givenchy, call +33 (0) 1 73 02 60 00 or visit www.parfumsgivenchy.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
Beautypedia cuts through the hype to bring you product insights and recommendations you won’t find anywhere else!