At Female, what qualifies as a beauty innovation? The answer: it’s better than good, easier to use and does something its peers can’t (or haven’t thought of). 

Females Top Skincare Innovators

1. 2nd generation Cle de Peau beaute Synactif, $148-$1,800
This upgraded version amplifies what it specialises in – improving our face’s lymphatic system for healthier skin with less problems – without upping the number of products to use. The range has five items (cleanser, softener, day moisturiser, night moisturiser and night cream). And if you follow the how-to that accompanies each product, a bar of soap will last three months and the others are dispensed in just the right amount to prevent OD or wastage.

2. Kose Infinity Pure Advance Deep Clear Mask, $55
The tiny beads in this creamy clay-based formulation make it doubly good at what it does – scrub away dead skin on skin surface, as well as thoroughly clean pores of excess sebum and dirt.

3. Guerlain Abeille Royale Repairing Honey Gel Mask, $200
The skin-tingling and healing mask (royal jelly has reparatory and protective properties) makes your face look perkier and healthier with less lines – immediately. 

4. GlamGlow Powermud dualcleanse treatment, $92
The mask in clay form detoxifies – good for tired, bloated, and partied-out skin. It transforms into cleansing oil after you add water, and you massage this into your skin. The oil, a cocktail of prickly pear, pine, frankincense and myrrh extracts, hydrates, retexturises and repairs, to achieve brighter, smoother and better skin in 10 minutes. The Hollywood ladies are sold on this. So are we.  

5. Cle de Peau Beaute Illuminating Concentrate, $190
Why: The brand’s updated three-step treatment of lotion, essence and sheet mask revs up tired skin – in a flash. We use it after a flight and to counter jet lag to make us look human again.  

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6. Sulwhasoo Luminature Essential Finisher, $112
Used as the last step of your skincare regime, this doesn’t just “seal” in moisture by forming a “barrier” but also gives radiance and clarity. 

7. Sisley Black Rose Precious Face Oil, $270
It is not oily – not one bit. Yet it’s so nourishing that it alleviates dry patches and irritated skin. We use it to prep skin before our serum, in place of our moisturiser or as an intense treatment in place of our basic regime. 

8. Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate, $105
It normalises skin’s behaviour, so that it’s strong when it should be and calm when it’s time to chill, not an overachiever one minute and an under-performer the next. Anyone with reactive skin will be thankful.

9. SK-II Stempower Eye Cream, $144 (Scroll all the way down for an exclusive Female promo!) 
Like a lot of eye care, this also promises to plump and firm. And it really delivers. In just a week, the hollow shadow under our eyes and fine lines are less obvious. The 2015 version arrives this month with a magnetic eye wand that reportedly uses micro-electromagnetic field technology to do three things: firm the eyelid, eye corner and undereye; reduce wrinkles after 10 days of use; and increase the absorption of the key ingredient in Stempower, niacinamide, by three times.

10. Clarins Extra-Firming Eye Complete Rejuvenating Cream, $86
The French brand is famous for its fat-busting goodies. And this targets the upper eyelid in Asian women: the part that droops and causes the hooded eye when we get older, which makes our eyes even smaller than they already are.

11. Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum Synchronized Complex II, $100
There’s a lot of science behind it – catabolysis, anti-pollution technology, etc. What makes us pay attention: it makes our eye area look younger and fresher the next morning.

12. Narsskin Restorative Night Treatment, $120
Used after your moisturiser, it has a unique gel-to-oil texture that forms a fine protective layer that lasts all night. We wake up with a complexion that’s plump and moisturised – something we don’t ever get tired of.

13. Dior Prestige Le Nectar de Nuit, $595
This was created for women who don’t sleep well or enough, and that’s pretty much all of us. And Rose de Granville extract ensures we look fresh in the morning even when we feel otherwise. That’s something else, no?

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14. Lancome Lip Lover, $40
A combination of the brand’s three most popular lip makeup – Rouge In Love, Gloss In Love and Baume In Love – gives three benefits of colour payoff, shine, and care, for an ultra-moisturising liquid lipstick with that subtle sheen.

15. Dior Addict Fluid Sticks, $47 each
A lip lacquer that’s ultra-pigmented and lasts for six to eight hours, makes lips look fuller, and is 100 per cent wax-free for an almost weightless feel.

16. Lancome Grandiose, $60
Ergonomically designed with a swan-like neck, it replicates what makeup artists have been doing for the longest time: bending the wand to create an angled tip to tackle corner lashes without any awkward twisting of the wrist.

17. Nars Audacious Lipsticks, $43 each
Of the brand’s repertoire of lip makeup, this delivers everything we desire in a tidy black package – full-on colour in just one sweep, creamy texture and moisturising formula. Even the magnetic closure has a stylish, satisfying click.

18. Dermalogica Protection 50 Sport SPF50, $75
One – it is for both face and body, not just either. Two – its formula is time-released so sun protection lasts longer than the recommended two hours.

19. Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Boosting 5-Minute Facial, $149 for a set
It’s like having a home spa. Using a combo of lactic acids, enzymes and AHAs, it sloughs off dead skin, dissolves blackheads and oil clogs, softens fine lines, smooths rough patches, and hydrates your complexion.

20.  Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush, $149
It cleans via sonic cleansing that’s so gentle, it doesn’t even tear wet tissue – a feat that even Clarisonic hasn’t claimed. And unlike other like-minded cleaners, it uses just one head with two types of bristles (firm for T-zone, softer for the other areas), instead of a multitude, to take care of what needs to be taken care of.

21. Sulwhasoo Evenfair Perfecting Cushion, $74
The K-beauty foundation for women with good skin but who seek that dewy, moist finish.

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22. Clinique Smart Custom-repair serum, $106
It works like an algorithm for skincare – intuitive to your skin’s needs as opposed to leaving you second-guessing any problems. Its formula for treating a variety of problems (fine lines, pigmentation, loss of firmness, dullness and uneven skin tone) is to read skin cell’s “distress” signals and release the appropriate help – no more, no less. What’s not used is metabolised so skin is not full of stuff it doesn’t need, which can trigger irritation or sensitivity. If that’s not clever, we don’t know what is.

23. Clarins Shaping Facial Lift, $106
In case you missed it earlier, one of the USPs of this cosmetics house is fat-fighting – on the face. This fourth-generation serum reduces bloat and has anti-glycation action to protect skin’s support system for a more lifted look with more defined facial contours. This is not Thermage or Ultherapy but it comes pretty close.

24. Kiehl’s Hydro-plumping Re-texturizing Serum Concentrate, $80
It takes continual hydration to a whole new level: It doesn’t just moisturise; it literally works like a hyaluronic filler to minimise lines. No downtime, no painful injections – just instant gratification.

25. Chanel Le Blanc Whitening Concentrate Double Action TXC, $175
The simpler reason is it is soothing instead of drying (most whitening skincare with vitamin C do the latter). The high-tech reason is it treats skin inflammation not as an afterthought but with equal measures of calming and whitening. It calms by regulating the presence of inflammation mediators in skin that can lead to the overproduction of melanin. So skin is not only less reactive but melanocytes are also less “productive”.

26. Estee Lauder Micro Essence Skin Activating treatment Lotion, $140
This post-toner essence lotion works like a softener – to hydrate and prep skin for skincare that follows – but offers the benefits of a serum to make skin more resilient to environmental stress and poor metabolism. The result: a complexion that feels softer, smoother and looks more even.

27. SK-II Cellumination Aura Essence, $199
The science behind this is to help increase the number of skin cells – the more you have, the more light is reflected off them, and the better you look. The reality: Our complexion appears significantly more luminous every time we use it, which is as often as possible. 

Female and SK-II Special Promo
The card on the cover of our January issue entitles you to a complimentary Stempower Eye Cream 7-day Trial when you ask for a free Magic Ring Skin Consultation at any SK-II counter. The first 100 readers to scan the QR Code on the back of the cover card will receive the following:

1. A complimentary Magnetic Eye Wand (new!)
2. Signs Eye Mask (three pieces)
3. Facial Treatment Essence – when you purchase SK-II’s award-winning Stempower Eye Cream (15g).

Plus, if you top up $250, you’ll receive an additional three-piece SK-II gift set consisting of Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser (20g), Facial Treatment Clear Lotion (30ml) and Facial Treatment Mask. This promotion is only valid at Tangs E-Store.