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Beauty

What Holy Grail Skincare Products Do These Singapore Beauty Insiders (Really) Rely On?

In the fast-paced world of beauty, what makes a skincare product attain holy grail status? Here, 11 Singapore beauty insiders share their favourite staples.
Manisa Tan, makeup artist and hairstylist
“I love Estee Lauder’s signature Advanced Night Repair serum but being in the industry where we test so many products constantly, the result is that you sometimes get sensitised skin. When I get feel like pimples are coming up or I’ve overdone it with the product testing, I like to use the brand’s Intense Reset Concentrate at night. The redness/pimples will be calmed down by the next morning. I’ve constantly been using this product since it launched last year and it’s my go-to especially when my skin feels sensitised – it really helps to calm and recover the skin.” Advanced Night Repair Intense Reset Concentrate, $140, Estee Lauder
“I love Estee Lauder’s signature Advanced Night Repair serum but being in the industry where we test so many products constantly, the result is that you sometimes get sensitised skin. When I get feel like pimples are coming up or I’ve overdone it with the product testing, I like to use the brand’s Intense Reset Concentrate at night. The redness/pimples will be calmed down by the next morning. I’ve constantly been using this product since it launched last year and it’s my go-to especially when my skin feels sensitised – it really helps to calm and recover the skin.” Larry Yeo, makeup artist
“My holy grail for skincare is always sunscreens as they are the first step one should take for anti-aging. (That said) the efficacy of a sunscreen is affected by several factors, such as its spreadability and the consistency of the (applied layer). This D Program sunscreen spreads like a dream and when applied by hand or brush, it is always consistent. It is this consistent layer that allows me to have the ultimate faith in this suncare product, which can double up as a makeup primer too.” D Program Allerdefense Essence, $40.90, www.watson.com.sg
“My holy grail for skincare is always sunscreens as they are the first step one should take for anti-aging. (That said) the efficacy of a sunscreen is affected by several factors, such as its spreadability and the consistency of the (applied layer). This D Program sunscreen spreads like a dream and when applied by hand or brush, it is always consistent. It is this consistent layer that allows me to have the ultimate faith in this suncare product, which can double up as a makeup primer too.” Moh Shuying, freelance beauty writer and former beauty editor
“I’ve been using this La Mer serum for over a decade and I truly can’t live without it. This do-it-all calms sensitivity and redness, softens texture, treats breakouts and strengthens skin’s protective barrier so you’re less prone to dehydration and irritation. It always leaves my complexion looking and feeling healthy and smooth.” The Concentrate, $820, La Mer
“I’ve been using this La Mer serum for over a decade and I truly can’t live without it. This do-it-all calms sensitivity and redness, softens texture, treats breakouts and strengthens skin’s protective barrier so you’re less prone to dehydration and irritation. It always leaves my complexion looking and feeling healthy and smooth.” Faz Gaffa-Marsh, writer, digital marketer and beauty enthusiast
“Drunk Elephant’s Sukari Babyfacial has been my ride or die for so long. I use it in between in-office chemical peels and it has been a saviour for getting rid of hyperpigmentation thanks to mask acne. It gently resurfaces the skin while refining the texture too.” Drunk Elephant T.L.C Sukari Babyfacial, $128, www.shopee.sg
“Drunk Elephant’s Sukari Babyfacial has been my ride or die for so long. I use it in between in-office chemical peels and it has been a saviour for getting rid of hyperpigmentation thanks to mask acne. It gently resurfaces the skin while refining the texture too.” Fiona Fussi, model and actress
“One must-have product recently in my skincare routine is exfoliating serums with AHAs and BHAs like glycolic acid and salicylic acid, such as Allies of Skin‘s Mandelic Pigmentation Corrector Night Serum. I’m obsessed with how they work on my skin.” Allies of Skin Mandelic Pigmentation Corrector Night Serum, $138, www.sephora.sg
“One must-have product recently in my skincare routine is exfoliating serums with AHAs and BHAs like glycolic acid and salicylic acid, such as Allies of Skin‘s Mandelic Pigmentation Corrector Night Serum. I’m obsessed with how they work on my skin.” Clarence Lee, makeup artist
“I have been using Kiehl’s Vital Skin-Strengthening Super Serum since mid-July and while I don’t think they make any claims on this, I haven’t been having much breakouts since I’ve started using it. P.S. I usually get one or two breakouts every week or fortnight.” Vital Skin-Strengthening Super Serum, $79, Kiehl's
“I have been using Kiehl’s Vital Skin-Strengthening Super Serum since mid-July and while I don’t think they make any claims on this, I haven’t been having much breakouts since I’ve started using it. P.S. I usually get one or two breakouts every week or fortnight.” Smita De Souza, former beauty editor
“When you have dry skin, it can be challenging to find a Vitamin A product that’s effective while also being gentle. Thankfully this Sunday Riley serum ticks both those boxes. I love it so much I have back-ups for my back-ups.   It is an elegant cocktail of stabilised retinoid blends combined with botanical, retinol-alternative extracts that together with hydrating, nourishing and soothing ingredients refine pores, soften fine lines, even out skin tone and boost collagen production without the usual peeling and flaking associated with retinol use. Because it is mild, it takes a little longer to show results.   I use this serum three to four times a week, applying it first, and allowing it to sink in for an hour before following with my usual skincare routine that comprises hydrating serums and moisturisers. This way I get all the benefits without drying out my skin.” Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum, $128, www.sephora.sg
“When you have dry skin, it can be challenging to find a Vitamin A product that’s effective while also being gentle. Thankfully this Sunday Riley serum ticks both those boxes. I love it so much I have back-ups for my back-ups.   It is an elegant cocktail of stabilised retinoid blends combined with botanical, retinol-alternative extracts that together with hydrating, nourishing and soothing ingredients refine pores, soften fine lines, even out skin tone and boost collagen production without the usual peeling and flaking associated with retinol use. Because it is mild, it takes a little longer to show results.   I use this serum three to four times a week, applying it first, and allowing it to sink in for an hour before following with my usual skincare routine that comprises hydrating serums and moisturisers. This way I get all the benefits without drying out my skin.” Sha Shamsi, makeup artist
“This mild cleanser by Neutrogena has been hands down my favorite go-to throughout this year for its ability to make me feel refreshed and clean (without being stripping).” Neutrogena Liquid Pure Mild Facial Cleanser, $11.95, www.guardian.com.sg
“This mild cleanser by Neutrogena has been hands down my favorite go-to throughout this year for its ability to make me feel refreshed and clean (without being stripping).” Sofia Kim, freelance beauty writer
“Besides its lightweight consistency, Lancome’s hydrating anti-ager, a.k.a Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Serum, is made with a unique blend of seven pre- and probiotics that are essential in maintaining overall skin health. My complexion feels smoother and plumper post-application and with consistent use, I am less prone to unwanted breakouts.” Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Serum, $230, Lancome
“Besides its lightweight consistency, Lancome’s hydrating anti-ager, a.k.a Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Serum, is made with a unique blend of seven pre- and probiotics that are essential in maintaining overall skin health. My complexion feels smoother and plumper post-application and with consistent use, I am less prone to unwanted breakouts.” Marie Soh, hairstylist and makeup artist
“Decorte’s Whitelogist serum is my absolute favorite. It’s not a whitening serum but a brightening one instead. It has a light watery texture and when you apply and pat it into your face, you instantly look brighter and more refreshed. It helps to breakdown pigmentation from within, helping you to keep a clear and bright complexion. I’m just done with my third bottle!” Whitelogist Brightening Correcting Serum With Kojic Acid, $210, Decorte
“Decorte’s Whitelogist serum is my absolute favorite. It’s not a whitening serum but a brightening one instead. It has a light watery texture and when you apply and pat it into your face, you instantly look brighter and more refreshed. It helps to breakdown pigmentation from within, helping you to keep a clear and bright complexion. I’m just done with my third bottle!” Beno Lim, makeup artist
“La Prairie Skin Caviar Liquid Lift is my facelift in a bottle. This next generation gravity-defying serum is fueled by ingredients derived from caviar, and they help to support natural contouring while improving skin elasticity. The textured serum melts into the skin and provides an immediate lifting sensation. My skin feels smoother and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is noticeably reduced.” La Prairie Skin Caviar Liquid Lift, $1,070, www.tangs.com
“La Prairie Skin Caviar Liquid Lift is my facelift in a bottle. This next generation gravity-defying serum is fueled by ingredients derived from caviar, and they help to support natural contouring while improving skin elasticity. The textured serum melts into the skin and provides an immediate lifting sensation. My skin feels smoother and the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles is noticeably reduced.”