Thursday, 30 August 2012

Caryl Baker Visage Studio and Multiple Product Review

Until recently, I had zero knowledge and experience with Caryl Baker products. Sure, I had grown up seeing their stores in the mall, but I never really had any burning desire to go into one. It seemed like mostly an eyebrow and makeup bar, which is primarily what they are. They also do facials, but I will get to that in a moment.

One day, a couple of months back, I had some free time on my hands during my lunch break, so I wandered into a Caryl Baker Visage near my work. I was in desperate need of adding some shape to my eyebrows. So I got my eyebrows done and the young girl did a very good job! I was impressed and the price was very reasonable.

 I seldomly get sucked into a sales pitch, but I was so impressed with my eyebrows, that the sales girl, who's first name was my last name, talked me into a few purchases. Basically, I got sucked into a buy one get one free microdermabrasion and I also bought a membership and some brow stuff which came with some free makeup products (which I have yet to try). The bill was a bit steep when all was tabulated. I regretted the expense immediately. Anyway, to cut to the chase, I went back for my first of two "facials" a week or so later. The girl who had done my eyebrows, who promised me she would do my facials was "sick" and I got the vibe that this was a lie and she was no longer working there. Never saw her  again. I will leave talk of what I thought of the facials for now, perhaps another blog.

After each of  my two facials, a month apart, they told me that they would do my makeup which was good because I don't walk around my street, let alone downtown Toronto, without at least some foundation on. As many of you know, I am picky about makeup and I am seldomly impressed with most beauty products. I tend to buy higher end stuff.

It has been so long since I wore cheap foundation, that my skin went into shock. The first time they applied my makeup, I felt like my skin was screaming. Maybe it was the after facial effect, but I doubt it. I was assured that all of their makeup was mineral based and hypoallergenic yada yada. They applied one of their moisturizers and my skin felt dry within 2 minutes of application. I am sorry loyal readers, but I did not make note of which one was used. Since I was getting an expensive facial, and they wanted me to sign up for facial plan (shah right) I assume they didn't use their cheapest one so what does that say. Then they applied a primer (Pore Perfection see above) and then some foundation (Mineral Matte see below). The foundation was a liquid and it felt tight, itchy and my skin felt mega dry and irritated. They then applied a powder (which looked like the first picture above). Bad stuff. The brush they used to apply the powder was the scratchiest thing I have had on my face in years. I am spoilt, I use MAC brushes.    
MAC brushes are expensive you say? Yes, they are and they are worth every red cent compared to the thorny bush that Caryl Baker swept across my face! Horror of horrors! I honestly don't know how they get away with producing such pure crap. My face looked cakey and powdery. They used some kind of blush and it was all wrong and forgettable. For the final insult, I asked for a touch of eyemakeup. Big mistake. I told the girl that my lids crease and unless she had a crease proof primer, not to bother. She gave me a big grin and happily announced that their shadow magnet (see above) did just that and it was the best stuff ever. She applied it and then dusted some powder on my eyes. It sure as hell wasn't eyeshadow. I got no mascara, no eyeliner, nothing. At this point (my face was hurting and itchy) I decided it was for the best that I didn't have God knows what put on my eyes. I walked to the commuter station, sat down on the train and looked in my compact. This was 15 minutes later and my eyes had creased.
It was all too much! Wait! I nearly forgot one of the best parts! I asked for a touch of lipstick and they pulled out one of their new glosses. I believe it was "Sorbet" a nice peach with a hint of pink and gold but don't quote me on it. It was a truly fabulous colour. The problem? It was a plumper and she didn't tell me that until after she put it on. I hate plumpers!!!!! I don't need any help with my lips and I find that plumpers swell, itch and irritate my lips. Like an allergic reaction. So the whole way home I was itching around my lips and was completely uncomfortable. I looked in the mirror when I got home. My face looked like the Sahara desert. Dry, cakey, sandy and the makeup cracked on my nose when I made a face. I had to wash everything off stat and slather my skin in some decent moisturizer and recover.
Normally, I would give each product the dignity of it's own individual rating and consideration. I just can't here. I will rate it all as a whole. By the way, I went back for my second and final facial yesterday and I just got the foundation and powder routine done. I passed on the eyes and the lips. I couldn't leave the place all blotchy skinned, looking like a homeless woman! Same thing again, dry and itchy skin which cracked and caked by the time I came home. I nearly bailed and said screw the paid for facial, but I went anyway to try to get my money's worth.
Caryl Baker Visage Makeup: 1/10 (I am giving a one based on the nice shade of the lip gloss and the possibility that the stuff is hypoallergenic which I highly doubt).
P.S. I will go to another Caryl Baker Visage store near my house to get my eyebrows done in the future. After all, I did buy the wretched membership. That will be the only service that I will ever be using them for.  


  1. I have used Caryl Baker Visage products on and off since 1985. I have generally been very satisfied with the skin care routine and make up. I went to them when I first started wearing makeup and they have educated me every step of the way. I was a dedicated client until the late 1990's when my location closed. I have now returned as a member. Their prices may be high, but the service and free makeup application makes it worthwhile.

  2. I wear the foundation every day and absolutely love it. I also have dry skin, so I dont really know what the issue is for you.

  3. I actually have oily to combination skin, not dry. The foundation dried out my face and it was very uncomfortable to wear. I guess different things work for different people, but this sure wasn't good for me.

  4. I went to Caryl Baker Visage for a facial and got a free case of pink eye. Don't they clean their brushes properly

  5. I actually had a close collaboration at a location for a brief amount of time and let me tell you, I agree completely with all of your complaints! I used there products for a few months and my skin has never been the same. The women that LOVED the products seemed to have almost no knowledge of any other brands of makeup/skincare; Visage being there only teacher. Such a shame.

  6. don't really know if their products are good or not but HATE the buy everything is a sales pitch. "let me show you the vitamin C line and convince you to buy every single product". "should be doing this peel monthly". grossly over priced products. Also don't really love that the girls telling me how much their skin changed are drowning in make-up - blotchy make up at that. Would love if the head office would show things like before and after from their workers. would give their work force a great perk to work there if they get free samples, etc.