Saturday, September 7, 2013
A Worshipful Ode: My Love Affair with Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream
There isn't much I can say about Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream that hasn't already been said. A beauty staple for makeup artists, models, and bloggers alike for over 80 years, this product--which is more like a thick jelly than a cream--has long been lauded for it's healing properties and sublime glowiness. It's also been maligned as too expensive for what it does and for reeking to high Heaven. "It's just an overpriced petroleum-based product with some other emollients mixed in to it!"
Okay, I totally see your point. There are times when I wonder if it really IS working for me, or if I'm just buying in to decades of industry hype. But...it does work for me, better than anything else I've ever used, and in so many ways. And considering most balms are just mixes of emollients (because that's sort of the point of a balm) and I've never spent more than $10 on a tube that lasts over 2 years, thanks to TJ Maxx and Marshall's, I've gotta stick with my old standby. I have two tubes of this stuff, one downstairs for after I shower and one upstairs for my pre-nap beauty treatments, and I'm always sniffing around for a mini-tube to stash in my purse. Clearly, I'm obsessed.
My #1 use for this product is as a moisturizer. I apply a generous coat of 8 Hour Cream to my lips immediately after I've exfoliated them or stepped out of the shower. It locks in moisture and keeps my lips feeling smooth and supple. It's actually not uncommon for me to dab on a very thin layer of the product, complete the rest of my skincare routine, and add a second much thicker layer of 8HC at the end. Lisa Eldridge has popularized using the product on a q-tip as a dual moisturizer and exfoliant prior to applying a strong lip. Once or twice a week, I rub a tiny bit over my eyelashes to keep them soft.
I've also used this product to heal up certain skin woes. While I won't be rubbing it on any major cuts or abrasions any time soon, it works wonders on my dry, chapped nose after I've had a cold or sinus infection. I only recently started doing this, as I was inspired by one of my Sex and the City beauty sightings: Samantha uses a thick coat of the stuff to sooth her aching skin. Normal lotion or face cream requires many applications over the course of a week to get my abused nose back in order...but after I applied a coat of 8 Hour Cream to the area twice a day for two days, I was flake-free and back to normal.
Beyond its skincare benefits, 8 Hour Cream has been touted as the world's sexiest lipgloss by a number of blogs and magazines. There's no doubt about that: the tiniest swipe of 8HC gives your lips a moist, dewy appearance, but it doesn't feel heavy or sticky, and it never looks overdone. I've even used it over drying lipstick formulations to give my lips a bit of shine and prevent them from drying out throughout the day.
Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream gets plenty of love as a lip product, but some of it's other supposed uses are less popular. While makeup artists are quick to recommend it as a highlighter and brow tamer, the average reader will, in my experience, respond with doubt. "This stuff is awful wet and goopy. How the heck would I wear it as an all-over makeup product?"
The trick is to apply 8HC in major moderation. In my "hyper-glow" look, I used about a pea-sized amount of product on my lips, eyes, lashes, and cheeks to get the super dewy, glossy look popularized by magazines. But that's the thing: it's an editorial type of look. There's WAY too much product on my face for this look to function in the outside world without turning in to a gooey, sticky mess. The trick is put the tiniest dab you can on the back of your hand and apply from there. Try it as a gloss on the eyes, as a dewy cheek highlight, or as a replacement for mascara. And if you want to use it on your brows? Roll a spoolie in that barely-there smidge of product, tap it off on a tissue, and gently brush it through. I've done this in a pinch when I was sans brow gel.
Don't forget your hands and feet, either! It's not uncommon for people to use 8HC on their cuticles, but I've gone buckwild and spread a thin layer over my entire hands, then slipped on gloves. It soothes my skin as I sleep and makes it supple and smooth by morning. I even use it on my rough, wounded ankle (which will never be photographed in full gory detail, if I can help it) prior to a big event so I can look somewhat presentable in strappy sandals.
So there you have it: the ways I use Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream. It's my favorite lip balm and lash cream, my cure for chapped skin, and a multi-purpose makeup product on the fly. It's one of the few products I honestly think makes a major difference on the quality of my skin. And I'll be stunned if I'm not still using it when I'm 80.
For the record, I fully endorse most of the Eight Hour Cream line. The hand and face moisturizers are lovely, the stick balm is travel-ready, and the body cream? Oh my lord, do not even get me started on that body cream. I can hardly afford it right now, but when I can spare the change, it's the first thing in my stash I repurchase. Lush and silky and non-greasy but effective and just plain yum.
Oh, and I truly love the smell. But if you hate it? There's a relatively new fragrance-free version. Huzzah!