Anew Clinical Eye Lift Pro is a two-part product packaged in one jar, and it’s made out to be nothing short of an eye-area miracle (Avon sells lots and lots of miraculous products if you believe even a portion of their outlandish claims). If you need to give your eyes a lift or get rid of dark circles, or a loss of firmness, Avon insists you should look no further than this product, and they have impressive-looking statistics to back their assertions. However, there are no details of how they came to their conclusions or how many women were involved in their tests.
“Dermatologist-supervised” may sound official, but that doesn’t mean that even one iota of their claims is true—since without the study in hand the claims are all embellishment with no substance.) The product consists of an Upper Eye & Brow Bone Gel and an Under Eye Cream. The Gel is supposedly responsible for the lifting and tightening actions, yet it doesn’t contain ingredients that have that effect. Along with water, glycerin, a film-forming agent (PVP), and slip agents are numerous plant extracts (including several antioxidants, but the jar packaging will make these air-sensitive ingredients ineffective shortly after opening), skin-identical ingredients, preservatives, and iron oxides for color. It’s a good, lightweight moisturizer with a gel texture, but sagging or drooping skin won’t do an about-face.
In contrast to the Gel, the Under Eye Cream has a truly emollient texture with many beneficial ingredients for skin. None of them, however, will make dark circles or sagging things of the past. It’s a shame that the many antioxidants are stalled by the product’s jar packaging, though the Cream will unquestionably make dry skin around the eyes look and feel better. In addition, as with all well-formulated moisturizers, it will temporarily reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Cosmetically, the mica and titanium dioxide in the Under Eye Cream will help reflect light, diminishing the appearance of dark circles. Again, the effect is temporary and not as convincing as camouflaging dark circles with a good, neutral-toned concealer. The Cream does not list fragrance on the label, but it does contain fragrance components, so be careful about getting it too close to the lash line.
Upper Eye Gel (0.33 ounce) Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, PVP, Ethoxydiglycol, Arginin, Hydrolyzed Hibiscus Esculentus Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Extract, Glucosamine HCL, Algae Extract, Caffeine, Punica Granatum Fruit Juice, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Yeast Extract/Extrait De Levure, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Ilex Paraguariensis Leaf Extract, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Fruit Extract, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Extract, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Urea, Dextrin, Maltodextrin, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Cetyl Hydroxyethylcellulose, Carbomer, Sodium Polyacrylate, Galactoarabinan, Potassium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Iron Oxides Under Eye Cream (0.33 ounce) Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Cocoglycerides, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethoxydiglycol, Petrolatum, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Extract, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Hydrolyzed Hibiscus Esculentus Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Juice, Punica Granatum Fruit Juice, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Thiodipropionic Acid, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Saxifraga Sarmentosa Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Passiflora Incarnata Flower Extract, Morus Nigra Root Extract, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Fruit Extract, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Extract, Biotin, PEG-10 Rapeseed Sterol, Ceramide 2, Tribehenin, Dextrin, Ceteareth-20, Cetearyl Glucoside, Benzophenone-3, Silica, Sodium Polyacrylate, Carbomer, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Steareth-20, Potassium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Chlorphenesin, Phenoxyethanol, 2,6-Dimethyl-7-Octen-2-Ol, Cyclopentadecanone, Hexadecanolactone, Isopropyl Myristate, Tricyclodecenyl Propionate, Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Red 40
The last few years have been an interesting time for the world's largest direct seller. Avon is sold in 120 countries and has an enormous range of products that goes beyond skin care and makeup, all sold by five million Avon representatives racking up annual sales of over $8 billion (Source: www.avoncompany.com). Yet due to several quarters of lackluster or poor financial performance, the company announced a multiyear restructuring plan in 2006. The anticipated cost of these changes is upwards of $500 million, which includes downsizing underperforming areas and focusing on remarketing their star products. In recent years, those key products have had "cosmeceutical" appeal, with claims that have gone beyond reality (but overexaggerated claims sell big in the cosmetics industry).
The Anew Clinical line ushered in several products claiming to work like (or, in some instances, better than) cosmetic corrective procedures. Whether you are considering laser treatments, Botox, Thermage, collagen injections, or even liposuction, the ads for Anew Clinical were designed to make you rethink that decision.
It is definitely impressive that Avon invested $100 million on a state-of-the-art research and product development facility in New York, but despite some innovative products that compete with the best of the best (typically for much less money), no cosmetics company has (or will) produce skin-care products that rival or beat the results obtainable from medical procedures. It's admittedly easier to slather on a cream or stroke a pad over your face than to make an office call and shoulder the expense for a cosmetic corrective procedure, but in this case convenience and savings don't equal—or even come close to—comparable results. And lest we forget, despite the onslaught of so-called cosmeceutical products claiming to mimic the results such procedures provide, the number of these procedures being performed increases each year. If any of these works-like-(insert cosmetic corrective procedure here) products did work, the number of procedures would be declining, not rising.
The National Advertising Division (NAD) took issue with several claims Avon made in ads for their Anew Clinical products (Source: www.nadreview.org/default.asp?SessionID=1149178&DocType=1&CaseType=1). In some cases, Avon reworded their claims in ad reprints, while in others they "respectfully disagreed" with the NAD conclusions but agreed to take their comments into consideration for future ads. We'll see how this turns out, but, based on their current ads, the message remains that Anew Clinical products are at the forefront of making cosmetic corrective procedure results as easy as calling your Avon representative and reciting your credit card number.
As a major international cosmetics company, Avon has several initiatives in place that prove its commitment to women and the environment. Whether donating to women's health concerns (most notably breast cancer), surpassing environmental regulations, or financially supporting alternative methods to animal testing, Avon's principles are responsible and admirable. If you pay attention to the best of what they have to offer, you will not only be supporting Avon's mission to improve the lives of women but also gaining some wonderful products, making it a win-win situation.
The bad news is that unless you know what you want and order from Avon's Web site, dealing with an Avon representative tends to be a frustrating experience. Try as they might, most of them are mere order-takers. They cannot keep up with the product assortment, sales, and changes that occur between Avon's "campaigns." One of the representatives we dealt with was quite frank about how much she didn't know, and mentioned that they are not kept as up-to-date as they should be, not to mention the haphazard assortment of testers or samples available. On the flipside, Avon is a wonderful mail-order company should you need to return or exchange products. Unlike companies with a similar business model (Arbonne comes to mind), Avon makes the process smooth and hassle-free, with a "if you're not happy, we're not" motto that epitomizes outstanding customer service.
For more information about Avon, call (800) 500-AVON or visit www.avon.com.
If you've been noticing more magazine and television ads for Avon recently, it's no accident. According to an article in the November 21, 2005, issue of The Rose Sheet, Avon's ad spending through 2008 will reach "historical heights" due in part to the brand's flat performance the past couple of years. Avon's CEO Andrea Jung admitted that the company's makeup business has struggled due to increased competition, a point we wholeheartedly agree with. Avon may be viewed as a skin-care innovator, but when it comes to makeup they're more follow-the-leaders than trail blazers. Admittedly, their foundations, powders, blush, and lipsticks have smoother, more state-of-the-art textures than ever, but with few exceptions none of them are setting a precedent that other, more innovative companies are likely to follow.
You will find some outstanding Avon makeup products to consider, but perhaps due to the sheer size of the collection there are far too many mediocre products, especially among the eyeshadows, pencils, and mascaras. Given that Avon isn't as easy to obtain as comparable products at your local drug or department store, many of the makeup items end up being a tough sell. After all, who wants to go out of their way for average products? Turning to what Avon does really well, you'll find their loose and pressed powders have amazingly silky textures and natural finishes. Their blushes are wonderful, and a few of the lipsticks and foundations are definitely worth talking about with enthusiasm. Another positive point is that Avon regularly discounts their makeup, often upwards of 50% during any given campaign (Avon's campaigns run for two weeks and the specials change each time). If you shop at the right time, the best of Avon color can be yours for less than you'd pay for most low-cost drugstore makeup.