Review: Clarins Lifting Replenisher Facial

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What about this 75-minute-long treatment makes it particularly fitting for the year end? Well, it’s hard to beat a treat that feels good, and leaves one looking great. At least that’s what we got from our trial: a radiant glow, and visibly brighter and plumper skin. And no complaints about the many massages either (we’re sure Mum would feel the same).  

What it targets: Dull, tired, mature skin

The process: The therapist starts with a cleanse using the brand’s Exfoliating Face Lotion and Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream with Microbeads that refine dull, flaky skin. This is followed by a 20-minute-long massage with the signature Huile “Relax” Body Treatment Oil on the neck, arms and shoulders. Next, onto the face massage with a blend of Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate, Shaping Facial Lift Serum and Age Remodelling  Supplement, before the Super Restorative Instant Lift Serum mask (to plump and brighten) is applied. The sheet mask is removed 15 minutes later. The therapist then applies a range of products: eye cream, a mix of Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate and Radiance Boosting Supplement, Multi-Active Day Emulsion, and Lip Comfort Oil that hydrates the puckers. To end off, another shoulder massage with the plum extract-infused Eau Dynamisante that hydrates and refreshes.

Price: $250 (now don’t you regret getting Mum those Michael Bolton VIP tickets?)

It’s Complicated

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Moncler Gamme Rouge Paris

The taste for more complex, experimental fragrances is growing here, going by the number of niche brands that have debuted recently. Escentials adds to its line-up Etat Libre d’Orange from France. Founded in 2006, it’s earned a cult following with its whimsical formulations with tongue-in-cheek names like Dangerous Complicity, a gender-fluid scent with notes of leather and powder. Also new in store is the  oud-centric Amouroud by the New York-based Perfumer’s Workshop, with custom-blend scents based on notes of flowers, roots and herbs, offering an inventive spin on the woody ingredient. Over at Maven (Level 3 Takashimaya D.S.), Puredistance does scents with at least 25 per cent more perfume oil than usual, each made by a master perfumer in Paris, London or New York. Antonia, for example, was created by Annie Buzantian in New York and, with orris, ivy green, rose essence and vanilla, is a highly modern yet warm take on a green floral.

Now, For Some Pillow Talk

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These days, there’s no shortage of cushion compacts to help achieve a luminous glow. With the hectic festive season around the corner, we single out the latest to try, according to some popular needs.

For an all-in-one: Urban Decay Naked Skin Glow Cushion Compact Foundation, $40

Light, luminous finish aside, this hydrates skin for 18 hours, protects with SPF50+, tones and firms with rose centifolia flower extract, and conditions with peppermint extract.

For heavy-duty wear: Bobbi Brown Skin Long Wear Weightless Foundation Cushion Compact, $55

This promises full coverage with a semi-matte finish that’ll last all day. Plus, it’s lightweight, which means it’s buildable, yet stays natural-looking too.

For oily/combination skin: Laneige Powder Fit Cushion, $40

Its cream-to-powder texture feels light (read: comfortable), and is meant to provide full coverage in one swipe while leaving a matte finish. Oh yeah, and it also absorbs sebum.

For brightening: The Face Shop Miracle Finish Anti-darkening Cushion, $33

How it works: with a formula that makes sure it spreads evenly, and doesn’t dull when exposed to humidity. Citrus unshiu peel extract further helps maintain its tone. 

For when you’re in a rush: Mamonde Brightening Cover Powder Cushion, $32

A high content of peach blossom powder and an upgraded puff with tiny projections allow for greater coverage with a single application. Mattifying properties make it a boon for oily skin.


Electric Feel

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Trust cult beauty brand Aesop to go all meta with its gift kits. Each set is inspired by social psychology experiments from the ’50s to ’70s that explore the concept of human generosity. The Concord Gift Kit ($90, right), for example, references the Robber Cave Experiment, which examined ways to initiate harmony when social situations go awry. Inside: the A Rose By Any Other Name Body Cleanser, Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm, and Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol that work harmoniously together (geddit?) for head-to-toe care. To complete this geeky-meets-groovy approach to spreading cheer, each kit is wrapped in a sleeve inspired by social psychology books of the era.

Model Photos Illustration Hisyam Abd Rahman

This story first appeared in Female’s December 2017 issue. 

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