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a hoarder's blog

going through my stash one swatch at a time
August 25, 2013
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Product Highlight: Clarins Extra-Firming Day and Night Creams

35 years of anti-ageing heritage

For almost three and a half decades, the Clarins brand name has been synonymous with top quality Extra-Firming Creams whose unique efficacy is ideally suited for anti-ageing needs. 

It all started in 1978 when Clarins introduced 'the cream that turned back time' - a complete anti-ageing cream dealing with loss of firmness and apparition of wrinkles.

Now in 2013, Clarins is launching two new Extra-Firming Day and Night Creams that will once again transform the way the world views anti-ageing and firmness.

After 30 years of anti-ageing research, Clarins has reconnected the missing links to lasting firmness with the new Extra-Firming range.

This breakthrough anti-ageing skin care is rich in powerful plant extracts which help to reinforce and bond the key elements of the skin's structure to firm your skin on two fronts:

  • Reconnecting link 1: collagen fibres to dermal cells
  • Reconnecting link 2: elastic fibres and collagen fibres

Immediately, your skin is lifted . In just 4 weeks, features appear firmer, skin more bouncy, and wrinkles visibly reduced.

Extra-Firming Day

Clarins Research has selected 2 plant extracts with complementary properties that reinforce the links between collagen fibres, elastic fibres, and connections across fibres and cells.

These extracts are obtained from green banana and lemon thyme and are currently subjects to 4 patent applications.

They maintain skin structure to avoid face sagging and loss of elasticity due to ageing.

Organic green banana extract reinforces the link between fibroblast and collagen fibre.
Lemon thyme extract reinforces the connections between elastic fibre and collagen

The other key benefits of Extra-Firming Day:
An immediate lifting effect, hydration and enhanced anti-pollution protection

Like its predecessors, Extra-Firming Day delivers an immediate lifting effect: organic oat sugars smooth the skin surface on application, gently tighten facial features and avoid tired look from all day activity.

Long-lasting skin hydration is provided by hyaluronic acid with a double molecular weight which both moisturizes the skin surfacea and restores the skin's moisture reserves.

Clarins exclusive anti-pollution complex protects skin against harmful environmental factors.

In summary, the Extra-Firming Day Wrinkle Lifting Cream

  • Fights skin slackening, helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles, firms the oval of the face and restores more defined features by acting on the three key elements of dermal structure and the links that join them:

1. elastic fibres
2. collagen fibres
3. fibroblasts

  • Delivers an immediate lifting effect.


Extra-Firming Night

The regular renewal of the epidermis helps maintain a youthful-looking face and prevents the deepening of wrinkles.

To optimize these regeneration processes which peak during 2-4 am, Clarins Research takes innnovation one step further.

Thanks to the presence of rice peptides, and to reinforce the action of Extra-Firming Day, Extra-Firming Night now acts both on the synthesis of collagen fibres in the dermis, and on the preservation of epidermal stem cell environment at the surface of the skin.

The other key benefits of Extra-Firming Night:
Hydration, antioxidant protection and preservation of skin evenness.

Lotus root extract helps to maintain luminous skin

Long-lasting skin hydration is provided by hyaluronic acid with double molecular weight.

The combination of Vénucéane® and an extract of rhodiola protect against the harmful effects of night-time free radicals.

In summary, the Extra-Firming Night Rejuvenating Cream

  • Reinforces the firming action of Extra-Firming Day,  helps prevent the deepening of lines and restores an even complexion for optimal epidermal renewal
  • Improves skin eveness and luminosity
  • Provides intense hydratation and softness




The Extra-Firming Day and Night creams have kept their wonderfully rich textures with a velvety smooth, soft feel and matte finish. Their "cushion" effect on the skin gives an intense comforting feel on application. Thanks to the use of a new generation of emulsifiers, the new version is even smoother and more melting to ensure quicker absorption.

Now for a quick review. I have been using both creams for the past week now. I can attest to their smoothness and velvety texture. The creams are also very quick to absorb into the skin. I found the Extra-Firming Day cream to have a pretty matte finish which I really like. I have used other moisturizers that make my skin look "oily" straight after application, but I was very nicely surprised the first time I used the Extra-Firming Day cream because it didn't give me that problem. It is not completely matte, but gives my skin a soft dewy look that doesn't look shiny. I also have the impression that it plumps my skin a tiny bit each time I apply it. 

The Extra-Firming Day cream has a nice fragrance. It is said to have the fresh, feminine notes of rose and camelia. The scent doesn't bother me though as I find it pretty light and enjoyable during application. 

The Extra-Firming Day cream comes in a translucent frosted glass jar as below.

The Extra-Firming Night cream feels slightly richer than the Extra-Firming Day cream but doesn't feel heavy on the skin. This one doesn't apply matte. It's alright though cos I'm wearing it to bed. The best thing is waking with smooth rested skin. It is said to have the subtle, soothing fragrance of lily of the valley, jasmine and iris. The scent is very different from the day cream, but just as enjoyable.

The Extra-Firming Night cream comes in a translucent frosted glass jar as below.

The Extra-Firming Day and Night creams will be available from 29 August at all Clarins counters. Each cream retails for SGD130 for 50ml.

DISCLAIMER: Products in this entry were sent to me by Clarins for consideration.  Information taken from press file. I wasn't paid to do this and I'm not affiliated to Clarins in any way. Opinions expressed here are my own

May 31, 2013
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Product Highlight: Clarins Body Lift Cellulite Control

Clarins, the body contouring expert, has made further advances in its understanding of cellulite. A major scientific discovery is at the origin of a new generation of Body Lift which, in addition to reducing existing cellulite, also slows down the formation of new cellulite. Body Lift Cellulite Control is the first Clarins contouring care to take up this dual challenge.

CELLULITE: A STORY OF CELLS WHICH STORE FAT

Here's a simple summary of the scientific discovery made by Clarins (I hope I didn't interprete wrongly, it shouldn't be too far off):

Adipocytes (cells that store fat) expand when there is too much fat to store. When they run out of space to store excess fat, new adipocytes are needed. Progenitor cells (essential for the renewal of adipose tissue) mutiply and some turn into pre-adipocytes, then into adypocytes. As the cells get fatter, there is a decrease in oxygen circulation and the deprivation of adequate oxygen supply also encourages the multiplication of progenitor cells. 

Not enough adipocyte cells to store fat -> Progenitor cells turn into adipocytes -> More fat storage -> Less oxygen in the tissue ->  More progenitor cells .... So goes the vicious cycle.

Body Lift Cellulite Control contains active ingredients that act at every stage of the formation of adipose tissue and therefore effectively reduces the look of cellulite and helps prevent the formation of new cellulite.

Key Plant Ingredients
Two key plant extracts that fight each stage of cellulite formation - to reduce stubborn cellulite and prevent its return.

  • Aquatic mint extract limits the hypoxia of adipose tissue responsible for the multiplication of progenitor cells.
  • Celosia extract slows the differentiation of progenitor cells into preadipocytes to limit the expansion of adipose tissue.

A GLOBAL CONTOURING ACTION
1. An immediate lifting effect
2. Firmer skin 
3. The microcirculation is stimulated to reduce feelings of heaviness
4. Nourished and moisturized skin

It is recommended to use the application method developed by Clarins specialists to optimize the effectiveness of Body Lift Cellulite Control. The following video shows you how. It looks simple enough, but I don't always have the time to do everything. The most that I've done is apply on my legs cos that's where I can see most of my cellulite buildup. I think I need to start on the tummy too now cos I've grown a kangooroo pouch and it's ughh ugly!!

I still have some of the "old" version of Body Lift which I bought a couple of years back (on the left). On the right is the new bottle.

Texure-wise, the old one has some granules that dissolve as you massage the cream in, while the new one has a cream-gel consistency. Both produce this cooling sensation on your skin and smell more or less the same. They feel sticky at first, but they absorb very well and the stickiness disappears leaving the skin feeling very smooth.

Because no cosmetic product alone can make you slimmer, Clarins has always stressed the importance of a balanced diet combined with regular exercise. Here's another video which shows you how skipping can help you burn fat. 

Clarins Body Lift Cellulite Control is already available at all Clarins counters and retails at $88 for 200ml.

DISCLAIMER: Products in this entry were sent to me by Clarins for consideration.  Information taken from press file. I wasn't paid to do this and I'm not affiliated to Clarins in any way. Opinions expressed here are my own

March 01, 2013
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Product Highlight: Clarins UV Plus HP BB Cream SPF40

This March sees the launch of a new addition to UV Plus HP range. Clarins is pleased to introduce its BB Cream SPF 40 to meet the unique needs of Asian women. Its city‑proof formula was specially developed just for them. The silky‑smooth texture delivers perfect coverage, a more even skin tone, prettier‑looking skin and a high level of protection.

Formulated with an extract of organic blackcurrant bud, Clarins Perfecting Cream meets the special needs of Asian women’s skin. It promotes flawless‑looking skin and ensures triple protection from the sun, pollution and oxidative stress. The results are spectacular; your skin never looked so good!

AN INCOMPARABLE TEXTURE

Pure happiness upon application
Smooth and rich, Clarins BB Cream is easy to apply and blends instantly into the skin. 


Ideal coverage
Clarins Research was committed to developing a texture that offered Asian skin types thorough, even coverage that looked natural and never heavy. 


Ideal colour
Another challenge met by Clarins Research: elaborating a shade that complimented Asian women’s skin tone. Thanks to this ideal shade, BB Cream SPF 40 makes it possible to minimize the look of any red areas, dark spots and minor imperfections. The complexion appears more even instantly and remains impeccable and luminous for hours.

REAL SKIN CARE BENEFITS

Organic blackcurrant bud extract

To optimize the skin care benefits of BB Cream SPF 40, Clarins Research selected organic blackcurrant bud extract to use in this exceptional formula. The bud is the most precious part of a plant. It contains proanthocyanidins, vegetal substances known for their antioxidant properties that give the product its soothing benefit.


Results
At the heart of BB Cream SPF 40’s formula, organic blackcurrant bud extract helps minimize any redness caused by a busy lifestyle. Day after day, it helps promote more beautiful-looking skin.

TRIPLE PROTECTION FOR CITY LIFE

Like the other products in the UV PLUS HP SPF40 range, BB Cream SPF 40 provides the skin with triple protection against UV rays, oxidative stress and pollution, ideal for those who live in a city.


Very high UV protection
A 100% mineral screen ensures a high level of protection against UVB and UVA rays (PA+++) with an optimal tolerance even for those with delicate skin. It helps preserve clear, youthful-looking skin while helping to prevent the formation of dark spots.


Cantaloupe melon extract helps fight the effects of oxidative stress
This extract enhances the skin’s ability to fight premature signs of ageing by reinforcing its system’s antioxidant protection that can be altered by time, a hectic lifestyle and environmental aggressors.


Clarins exclusive Anti-Pollution Complex
Based on plant extracts and bio-tech ingredients, this complex ensures reinforced protection against the potentially harmful effects of pollution and modern life.

WOMEN LOVED IT

72%* of the women preferred Clarins BB Cream SPF 40 to their regular BB Cream. 

80%* of the women would recommend it to a friend.

*satisfaction test based on 50 Asian women after 4 weeks of usage.

Here's a swatch of the BB cream. It has a very creamy smooth formula and feels quite rich.

Blending out with my fingers.

After blending out, the cream sinks really well into my skin and gives it a semi-matte finish. The powdery floral scent of the cream wears off after a while, at least I don't smell it anymore. The coverage is pretty good as it manages to conceal the redness and spots on my face and evens out my complexion. I have been wearing this to work for the past week with just some powder on top and am liking it a lot. It does what it should do, providing evened out, radiant skin with good UV protection.

The other product in the UV Plus HP range is the day screen SPF40 in three shades, previously featured here and here.

The BB cream retails at SGD74 for 30ml. Visit any Clarins counter for a trial supply of the UV Plus HP BB Cream SPF40 with a complimentary skin consultation.

DISCLAIMER: Products in this entry were sent to me by Clarins for consideration.  Information taken from press file. I wasn't paid to do this and I'm not affiliated to Clarins in any way. Opinions expressed here are my own.

November 16, 2012
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Product Highlight: Clarins Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate

Imagine a serum which can defy all signs of ageing.
Clarins, the plant-based anti-ageing specialist, introduces
Double Serum [Hydric + Lipidic System] Complete Age Control Concentrate

The five vital functions at the heart of skin's youthful beauty, namely hydration, nutrition, oxygenation, protection and regeneration, slow down due to age, stress and environmental factors, causing the skin to start showing visible signs of ageing.

Clarins Research has identified the 20 most powerful plant extracts. Together they have the power to reactivate simultaneously these five vital functions. However, it is impossible to combine all these active ingredients in a single formula. This is how a unique double formula inspired by skin's own water and oil balance, is able to combine these 20 powerful ingredients, soluble in either water or in oil, at their ideal concentration without any risk of incompability.

High-tech double pump system for an ultra precise dosage:
One pump of serum gives you this:
In summary, the Double Serum's 5 points of uniqueness:

  • Unequalled efficacy with the [Hydric + Lipidic System]: the unique double formula concentrates the most powerful anti-ageing ingredients without limiting their number or risk of incompatibility.
  • Targets the skin's 5 vital functions: it helps boost all of the skin's functions (hydration, nutrition, oxygenation, protection and regeneration) in order to regain a more youthful balance.
  • Rich in 20 plant extracts: an exceptional vital reserve from nature where each skin type, regardless of age, uses what it needs depending on its state.
  • Effective on all signs of ageing: results were proven by a wide range of tests which included more than 400 women, of which 50 were of Asian origin.
  • A unique sensorial texture: the lightness of a gel combined with the comfort of a cream, a fresh, refined fragrance developed by an Asian master perfumer.

I have started using this only recently and not even that regularly. I only apply it at night now because when I use it for the day, I have the impression that my skin feels slightly oilier than usual. I find that it takes a while for the serum to sink into my skin. So it might be because I don't let it get absorbed properly in the morning when I'm rushing. And so, I decided to reserve it for my night-time routine. It smells amazingly good too and puts you in a relaxation mood before bed. When I wake up the next day, I find that my skin does look smoother and more "rested".

This has been launched over a month ago now and the price is SGD118 for 30ml.

Learn more about the Double Serum here, and if you'd like to give it a try, you can sign up for a 7 day trial here.

DISCLAIMER: Products in this entry were sent to me by Clarins for consideration.  Information taken from press file. I wasn't paid to do this and I'm not affiliated to Clarins in any way. Opinions expressed here are my own.

July 27, 2012
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Product Highlight: Clarins Total Defining Eye Lift and Shaping Facial Lift Wrap

Following Shaping Facial Lift, the first and only serum to promote balanced facial volumes for a perfect V-shaped contour from every angle, Clarins launches two new pioneer products, specially dedicated to Asian women:

Defining Eye Lift: The first product to help relieve heavy-looking eyelids, drain and brighten the eye contour

Shaping Facial Lift Wrap: Based on Clarins Beauty Institue expertise, this is a quick way to help reduce a puffy appearance linked to water retention. 

Defining Eye Lift relieves eyelid puffiness

  1. An immediate 'lift' effect followed by a triple lightening,, draining and brightening action.
  2. An oil-free formula that is colorant-free and ophtalmologist tested.
  3. A patented application method inspired by Shaping Facial Lift's Manual Auto-Lifting® Method.

For the first time, Defining Eye Lift takes into account three causes that affect the natural, expressive beauty of Asian eyes: the effacement of the upper eyelid, slower drainage linked to lifestyle, and an uneven skin tone.

To minimize the natural heaviness of the eyelids, an immediate 'lift' effect followed by a targeted lightening action

  • Oat sugars form an invisible, skin-tightening 'veil' on the skin's surface that gently pulls the eyelid up.
  • A combination of caffeine and dextran sulfate enhances the removal of excess lipids and slows down their accumulation again while minimizing the risk of irritation on the eyelids.

A reinforced draining action helps avoid occasional puffiness

  • Dextran sulfate reduces the appearance of 'puffy' eyes by stimulating the removal of water which has accumulated in tissues due to a horizontal sleeping position, heat or even stress.
  • Extracts of organic gingko biloba and maritime pine help prevent the accumulation of water in skin tissues by boosting microcirculation.

A brightening action promotes a clearer, more even eye contour

  • Alchemilla extract limits the transfer of melanin pigments to cells in the epidermis in order to reduce the natural darkening of the eye contour.
  • Extracts of organic gingko biloba and maritime pine have an action on microcirculation to help reduce the appearance of dark circles linked to fatigue.


Shaping Facial Lift Wrap has a retracting effect

  1. In 10 mnutes, a visible retracting effect coupled with hydrating, brightening and mattifying actions.
  2. A rich, creamy, mousse-like texture makes application a real treat.
  3. A draining technique pampers the skin for optimized results

Even thin faces can experience a 'heavy' look and features that are not well defined. Why does this happen? Excess water in the skin tissue is the reason. Better than a somple mask, Shaping Facial Lift Wrap was inspired by Clarins Institute treatments. In 10 minutes, it helps reposition facial features and restores a more refined appearance.

A double 'water-reducing' action helps reduce and prevent puffiness

  • Chinese barley has draining properties and helps remove excess water that has accumulated in tissues.
  • Gingko biloba extract helps prevent new puffiness from setting in: by protecting blood capillaries, it limits their permeability, at the origin of water leaks toward skin tissues.

Hydrating, brighteing and mattifying actions help wake up skin's radiance and ensure its comfort

  • Christopine extract, a fruit originally from South AMerca, hydrates and softens the skin's surface.
  • Parsley extract helps regulate melanogenesis thereby brightening the complexion.
  • White clay absorbs impurities and excess oil. It also has an astringent effect which helps tighten pores.


There you go. I don't know about you, but after reading all the information about these two new products from Clarins, I am pretty excited and eager to try them out, especially the Defining Eye Lift! I have the worst puffy eyes and I do hope to see some good results. For the record, these new products will be launched in August 2012. Prices are as follows:

Defining Eye Lift (20ml) S$82

Shaping Faical Lift Wrap (75ml) S$75

Not forgetting the Shaping Facial Lift (50ml) S$102 (read more about it here and here)

DISCLAIMER: Products in this entry were sent to me by Clarins for consideration. Information taken from press file. I wasn't paid to do this and I'm not affiliated to Clarins in any way. Opinions expressed here are my own.

January 20, 2012
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Product Highlight: Clarins White Plus HP Whitening Velvet Emulsion and Whitening Velvet Emulsion SPF20

In 2010, Clarins Research creates White Plus HP Sea Lily Enriched, the first high-performance brightness and sensoriality range. Enriched with a flower with exceptional whitening properties, the sea lily, these skin care products give skin a unique brightness with a beautiful, transparent, rosy glow.

In 2012, White Plus HP Sea Lily Enriched extends its range and offers two new face care products to ensure even brighter, more beautiful, more comfortable skin:

  • Whitening Velvet Emulsion
  • Whitening Velvet Emulsion SPF 20

These are available at all Clarins counters from January 2012 at $92 and $100 respectively for 75 ml.

The Clarins Whitening Velvet Emulsion comes in two versions: one with and one without SPF.

The one with SPF 20 is meant for daytime application. It is enriched with meadowsweet extract and protects against shine due to the heat. It facilitates makeup application and prolongs its hold. UV filters and white tea extract provide protection against harmful environmental factors and the sun.

The one without SPF can be used for day as well as night. If used for day, remember to apply a sunscreen after the emulsion to protect against UV rays.

The texture is lightweight and it smells wonderfully refreshing. It absorbs nicely into the skin, leaving it matte and smooth.

Clarins White Plus HP Sea Lily Enriched products provide the most advanced protection against hyperpigmentation.

The main active ingredients in the Clarins Whitening Velvet Emulsion are:

  • Sea lily extract: to control the extension of dendrites, the "arms" of melanocytes which deliver melanin to cells in the epidermis
  • Alchemilla extract: to slow the excessive transfer of melanin to the epidermis
  • Raspberry extract (a highly stable vitamin C derivative) and biotin (Vitamin B8): to slow down the synthesis of melanin.

 

The sea lily is a symbol of beauty and whiteness. Threatened by extinction due to the destruction of its natural coastal habitat, it is now a protected species in France, and is specially cultivated in Brittany for Clarins.

Alchemilla, raspberry and parsley

thanks to their action on microcirculation, these active ingredients selected by Clarins Research revive complexion radiance and restore a beautiful, transparent, rosy glow. Tannins from alchemilla and flavonoids from raspberryand parsley enhance draining mechanism in skin by increasin resistance of blood capillaries.

Whitening effectiveness in featherlight textures

The Clarins application method (click to enlarge):


I am pretty excited to try this new moisturizer together with the Clarins White Plus HP Intensive Whitening Smoothing Serum which I bought some time ago. I am still using the Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase at the moment and will switch to the new products once I'm done.

DISCLAIMER: All products in this entry were sent to me by Clarins for consideration (except for the Smoothing Serum at the end which I purchased). I wasn't paid to do this and I'm not affiliated to Clarins in any way. Opinions expressed here are my own.

January 23, 2011
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Product Highlight: new Clarins White Plus HP whitening repairing night cream, brightening exfoliator & brightening peel

Introducing three new whitening and brightening products from Clarins' White Plus HP range that I had the pleasure of receiving last week (Thank you Clarins Singapore!). I have not started on them, so can't do any review as yet, but I am all excited after reading up on them, and this I shall share with you now.

Whitening Repairing Night Cream (sea lily enriched) 50ml - $110

Exposure to daytime UV rays is the most known culprit for dark spots and pigmentation problems. But did you know that other stress factors accumulated throughout the day also contribute to weaken the skin and help to speed up melanin synthesis? As such the production of melanin does not stop when you are away from the sun or even when you're sleeping at night. Dark spots may also still appear despite the fact that you've been using whitening products diligently during the day. Thus, it is important to protect your skin against pigmentation, even at night. In comes Clarins' Whitening Repairing Night Cream containing extracts of white flowers:

Sea lily extract - the brightening active ingredient. Together with the patented combination of biotin (Vitamin B8) and a Vitamin C derivative, it helps to enhance the translucent rosy glow of youthful skin.

Daisy extract - the anti-stress ingredient. Repairs and soothes the skin, helps the skin to recover better during the night.

To ensure continuous brightening action, Clarins recommends to pair this up with the Intensive Whitening Smoothing Serum.

Gentle Brightening Exfoliator 50ml - $60

This product contains two types of microbeads:

Exfoliating microbeads made from silica - to lift off impurities and dead cells, and to clear pores.

Refining microbeads made from plant cellulose - to refine skin texture and revive complexion radiance.

Other active ingredients:

Strawberry extract - to encourage biological exfoliation

Grapefruit extract - to tighten pores

Raspberry extract - to brighten complexion

Gentle Renewing Brightening Peel 125ml - $65

Used once or twice a week, this lotion leaves the skin smoother, softer and brighter. Simply apply with a cotton pad to face and neck on clean, dry skin.

The active ingredients are:

Gentle fruit acids from tamarind fruit - to eliminate impurities and encourage the natural shedding of surface dead cells progressively.

White nettle extract - to tighten skin texture.

Mimosa tenuiflora extract - to soften and soothe the skin.

 

All the above products have recently been launched at all Clarins counters. I hope that this brief introduction has piqued your interest and if you would like to read more, click HERE to visit the White Plus microsite.

You can also visit any Clarins counter and receive a complimentary trial supply of the White Plus HP Intensive Whitening Smoothing Serum and Whitening Repairing Night Cream (while stocks last). And also find out how to book your Skin Time session HERE.

And if you're a fan of Clarins products, did you know that they're on Facebook? Join the group HERE to be updated with the latest promotions. Get a chance to win a White Plus HP beauty gift by answering a simple question which will be posted on the wall every Wednesday. Click HERE to answer the first question, and good luck!

DISCLAIMER: All products in this entry were sent to me by Clarins for consideration. I wasn't paid to do this and I'm not affiliated to Clarins in any way. Opinions expressed here are my own.

October 03, 2010
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Product Highlight and Review: Clarins Hydra Luminous Flawless Powder Foundation & Instant Light Brush-On Perfector

If you've walked by a Clarins counter lately, chances are you might have seen their new products on display. They are the Hydra-Luminous Flawless Powder Foundation SPF20 PA++and the Instant Light Brush-On Perfector, both of which were launched in September 2010.

The Hydra Luminous Flawless Powder Foundation comes in 6 shades and retails at S$55 for the refill pan (13g) and the case is sold separately at S$20. The latter comes with a velvety red pouch embossed with the brand's name.

The two essential elements of this powder foundation: Water and light, hence Hydra-Luminous.

Water is essential to keep skin hydrated. In this respect, hydra-capsules containing plant essences of rosemary, camomile and ginkgo biloba, have been incorporated into the formula to provide a stimulating and hydrating effect to the skin to keep it smooth. Shea butter is another plant-based ingredient used to coat the pigments to ensure an ultra-soft, fine, melting texture which glides over the skin. White tea is also used for its anti-free radical action against pollution, and not forgetting the addition of SPF20 PA++ to protect the skin from the sun.

With the help of all these active ingredients, the skin is ideally prepared to reflect light. The pigments are said to be able to diffuse natural light in a way that sculpts the face. This is referred to as "3D Luminance". The rounded parts of the face are given more exposure to light to enhance contours, while the hollow parts of the face, like the sides of the nose and face, are less exposed to light to heighten contrast and refine facial contours. The 3D effect comes about as the face is thus sculpted and reshaped.

I was originally sent two shades of Clarins Hydra Luminous Flawless Powder Foundation, but they didn't match my skin tone. 01 Linen and 02 Petal were unfortunately too light for me. And so I made a trip to my nearest Clarins counter to find out what shade would suit me best. Out of the 6 shades, 04 Almond seemed to be the best match. You can totally tell the difference in shade from the pics below where the right side of my face is covered with the foundation while the other side is left untouched.

 

Thoughts and such and what I like about the hydra luminous flawless powder foundation:

- The easy application. I spend less time applying powder foundation than liquid foundation. I just swipe it over my face with the sponge that comes with it and smoothen it out a bit to blend. Really comes in handy when in a rush.

- The silky texture of the powder. It's like cream in powder form.

- The radiant effect. The first time I wore it and looked at myself in the mirror, I thought something looked really different. Then I realized my complexion was glow-y and lighted up. Must be the 3D Luminance in action.

- The coverage is medium. It does cover some of the marks on my face like those faded brown scars and blemishes, but doesn't a good job covering a red spot. Leave that to a concealer.

- It lasts me throughout the day. My typical weekday starts at around 8am from the time I go out to work till like 7pm on a day when I come home early. I do blot about twice during the daytime, but it doesn't wear off.

- The case gets dirty easily (fingerprints galore all over), but hey applying makeup is a messy business sometimes.

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The other new product launched is the Instant Light Brush-On Perfector. There are 3 shades available: 00 Light Beige, 01Pink Beige and 02 Medium Beige and each retails at S$45 for 2ml of product. The design is like that of a pen and you need to twist the top end to allow the fluid to flow out of the brush tip.

The Instant Light Brush-On Perfector promises to deliver flawless radiance in a brush. It revives and illuminates the complexion by erasing signs of tiredness, dullness and imperfections in a flash. Sounds like a magic pen to me just from the description alone.

The main ingredients in this product are oat sugars to tighten and firm the skin, and hyaluronic acid to seal in moisture for long-lasting hydration.

So how do you use the brush-on perfector? When applied to 'light-catching' areas of the face, like the middle of the forehead, the side of the nose, the top of the cheekbones and the tip of the chin, the special pigments in the "Light Optimizing+" complex - a Clarins innovation - help to reflect light in all directions to create a blur effect that optically diminishes the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. I noticed some slight shimmer on my skin after blending out, part of the Light Optimizing+" complex perhaps?

While this product can be used on any area of the face where there are shadows and fine lines, I have only used it under my eyes so far. There is indeed a brightening effect and it helps to illuminate and lighten my undereye area where there are obvious dark shadows on days where I have not had enough sleep the previous night. 00 Light Beige looks really white on me, but 01 Pink Beige provides me with a more natural look.

I couldn't help but swatch the Clarins Instant Light Brush-On Perfector next to the YSL Radiant Touch (or YSL Touche Eclat) which I had previously bought  (and kept in the drawer and not used *hides face*). At the time I had also chosen a pinkish shade as it was a better match for my skin tone. YSL Radiant Touch also comes in the form of a pen but with a click mechanism instead of a twist mechanism.

Thoughts on the brush-on perfector:

- Easy to use, easy to carry around, slightly slimmer than a marker pen.

- Smooth matte finish, no oily feeling or look.

- Using too much product at a time will require more time to blend it in. The first time I twisted the pen, too much product flowed out and because I didn't know how much to use, I applied everything, but I ended up with really white patches under my eyes that extended to my cheeks even. so yep, less is more sometimes.

- Not to be used as a concealer as its primary function is that of a highlighter more than anything else.

Learn more about Clarins here.

DISCLAIMER: All products in this entry, except for YSL Radiant Touch, were sent to me by Clarins for review purposes. I wasn't paid to do this and I'm not affiliated to Clarins in any way. Opinions expressed here are my own.

September 13, 2010
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Product Review: Clarins Shaping Facial Lift lipo-drain serum

About a month ago, I dedicated an entry to the Clarins Shaping Facial Lift lipo-drain serum that I had received. If you missed that entry, click here to read about it (mainly about the active ingredients and how they work).

To recap, the lipo-drain serum works hand in hand with the "Manual Auto Lifting®" application method developed by Clarins. It is essentially a sequence of steps that will optimize the effectiveness of the serum in eliminating excess fluid and toxins accumulated on the face. There are 2 parts to this sequence as illustrated and described in the manual accompanying the bottle of serum.

So far, I have only been following part 1 during my daily application. Part 1 features 5 positions that need to be held for about 10-15 seconds on average, and that means dedicating an extra minute or so to my face every morning and night. One extra minute in the morning is not too much to invest in, but if I'm running late, I kinda rush the process by holding the positions for less than the stipulated timing, or by skipping one or two positions.

How I use it:

  • Pump one dose of serum into my hand (I've tried 2 pumps, but it's a bit too much for me, small face maybe? haha).
  • Spread over my cheeks, forehead and chin like I would my moisturizer.
  • Using the remainder that's on my hand (if any), rub my palms together to warm it up before proceeding with the sequence of the 5 basic positions.

The main position is like this: seated, elbows on knees, head down, hands holding face, after which the "massage" part can begin. The detailed explanation and illustrations in the booklet are easy to follow. After referring to the manual the first few times, it became intuitional as to what the next step is and I quickly got the hang of it.

Putting the easy application part aside, I love the awesome floral smell of the serum. Really refreshing especially in the morning! The texture of the product is also very light and it sinks into the skin without leaving an oily feel. After applying the serum, I usually apply my moisturizer and it just feels like it gets absorbed better. I've had no adverse reaction to it either, not even with my rash (remember this?). While we're at it, here's an update. Mostly cleared up as you can see, I'm just waiting for the scars to disappear too.

I have not yet had anyone tell me that my face has "slimmed down". I think it would be quite hard to tell the difference given that I've only used the product for a month, but I do feel like my eyes are less puffy over the lids and my jawline slightly more defined. It could be just my imagination though. That said, I do pay more attention now to the way that I apply products on my face, more into upward lifts than just slapping it on and rubbing it in all directions til absorbed. That's how I used to do it until recently. Yikes!

Since the method can be personalised, I think I will be concentrating a bit more on my forehead (there's a deep crease over there that's starting to bother me, the result of raising my eyebrows up all the time, especially at work), just in the hopes of smoothening it out, and also my eyes, where on bad days, my eye bags and dark circles make me look like I went through hell, not to mention the usual puffiness over the lids.

I might start going through part 2 of the sequence when I have time, especially at night or on weekends as it takes slightly longer to go through. The positions in part 2 concentrate more on draining the lymph nodes and excess fluids below the jaw and the sides of the neck, and the sequence ends with a repeat of part 1 to intensify and stabilize the results. Sounds good no?

Overall, I think the Clarins Shaping Facial Lift lipo-drain serum is a good product to start your "anti-aging" skincare regime with. Although it all sounds complicated with the massaging and stuff, it's really not. If someone as lazy as me has managed to include it in her routine, I'm sure it'll be easy for you too. The instructions are simple and easy to follow and don't take too much time to go through. It is mentioned in the manual that even if the method is performed infrequently, it is still effective, just slower in showing results. But on the other hand, you can't be super lazy and expect quick results without any work, right? At S$98 though, it is a bit steep I must admit. (But it's not too bad considering that I've purchased skincare at a higher price before. The things you do, or rather the money you spend for beauty...sigh...). Well, you could always wait for a sale to come along to get some discount or freebies to sweeten the deal. I might just replenish mine after it runs out. How about you? Are you tempted?

DISCLAIMER: I was sent this product by Clarins for review purposes. I wasn't paid to do this and I'm not affiliated to Clarins in any way. Opinions expressed here are my own.

August 07, 2010
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Product Highlight: Clarins Shaping Facial Lift lipo-drain serum

I had the pleasure of receiving the new Clarins Shaping Facial Lift serum earlier this week courtesy of Jasmine and Joanne from Clarins. I am a bit late in posting this introduction as I was too tired after coming back from work everyday, but whatever, here it is! I haven't started using it yet either as I'm having this horrible breakout on my left jawline (usually it comes and goes) and it's causing me so much distress that I've decided to make an appointment with my dermatologist next week. But well, nonetheless I am stoked at the prospect of using this product that targets to lift and firm the face contour.

Growing old (much like death and taxes) is not something one can escape from, but in this day and age, finding ways to delay the effects of ageing abound. One of them is the Clarins Facial Lift serum, which aims to refine and reshape facial features for a more youthful appearance. Its effectiveness is further enhanced by using Clarins' unique "Manual Auto Lifting®" application method, developed to promote the elimination of fluid and toxins from the face, thereby smoothing away lines and wrinkles as well as reducing puffiness. This is, by the way, an improved version of the one launched in 1998, especially designed for and tested on Asian women, and thanks to today's advances in technology and research, it has been made more effective than ever.

So who has ever woken up in the morning only to find a puffy, bloated face staring back in the mirror? Well I personally have. I'd then wonder: Was the water I drank just before going to bed the cause of my puffy eyelids? Is it the stress at work making my skin look so dull? Is my age catching up faster than I thought and showing its signs on my face? It might be a combination of any of these evils. Hopefully, all these can be addressed by the Shaping Facial Lift serum when used hand in hand with the "Manual Auto Lifting®" application method.

(start of technical properties)

Firstly, how does the serum help to clear excess fats from the face? (Psst...if you didn't already know...your face is made up of five main fatty pockets: two on the cheeks, two under the jaw, and one under the chin). The secret is in the ingredients! Caffeine is a generally known ingredient for the breaking down of fats, but it doesn't get easily absorbed by the skin particularly if it's combination or oily skin which contains more sebum. Here's where Clarins' innovation comes in. With the added ingredients of sunflower phospholipids and escin from horse chestnut, Clarins Research has increased the availability of caffeine with a reinforced lipolytic action, meaning to say that now, it is much easier for the caffeine to sink into the skin. Sunflower phospholipids encourage the penetration of caffeine into the skin and allow it to be released gradually and continuously, and escin increases the availability of caffeine.

The release of excess fats from the face is a slow process because of the existence of a protein barrier around the fat cell which makes access to fat-release enzymes difficult. Clarins has found a way to get around this by introducing an extract from the blue button flower. The latter is able to disorganize this protein barrier and encourage the access of fat-release enzymes. This way, fat gets split up and is easily eliminated. Baccharin is another active ingredient used by Clarins to help inhibit the transformation of cells (which do not store fat) from being active and capable of storing fats. Oat sugars are also introduced to provide a lifting and firming effect to the skin and Alchemilla, which is a stabilised Vitamin C, helps in controlling hyperpigmentation.

Elimination of toxins is further optimized by the Manual Auto Lifting® method. Together with caffeine and escin from horse chestnut which help to release fluids and reduce puffiness, it is easy and effective and takes just about 3 minutes to do. The method is further described with illustrations in the booklet accompanying the product.

(end of technical properties)

If you want to find out more about the product, do check out this link: http://shapingfaciallift.clarins.com/sg/eng/

You are welcome to approach any Clarins counter to find out more and even get a trial supply: http://www.clarins.com.sg/skintime/index.php.

In case you're wondering, the Clarins Shaping Facial Lift lipo-drain serum retails at S$98 for 50ml, available at all Clarins counters.

I'm gonna start using the serum this coming week and will update about the effects on my face thereafter. Hoping for good results! hehe.

If you have any questions, pls feel free to comment. Thanks for reading this rather lengthy post and hope it didn't bore you too much!

DISCLAIMER: I was sent this product by Clarins for review purposes. I wasn't paid to do this and I'm not affiliated to Clarins in any way. Opinions expressed here are my own.

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This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. I don't get paid to feature any particular product and if that ever happens, I will be sure to let you know. Everything posted here are products that I have purchased with my own money on my (online) shopping trips. Views and opinions expressed on this blog are my own and fellow bloggers'.

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