Testing out the serum that's meant to lift and contour your face in minutes
CNA Lifestyle was in Shanghai to put Clarins’ new V Shaping Facial Lift contouring serum to the test. Spoiler alert: It works.
I was getting dressed for a work event before a quick glance at the mirror made me think twice about stepping out of the hotel room at all that evening. I felt and looked the worse for wear, still jet-lagged and puffy from the flight.
It was as good a time as any to put the new V Shaping Facial Lift from Clarins to the test for the first time. Goodness knows I needed the help.
The cream-like serum easily absorbed into skin, and while waiting (and hoping) for a little "magic" to take place, I dutifully followed the instructions of the "auto-lifting method", a form facial massage (face-patting, really) that's supposed to help lymphatic drainage along.
When I looked back up at the mirror a few minutes later, my face looked hydrated and significantly less puffy – and was smooth to the touch.
TACKLING THE DOWNWARD PULL OF GRAVITY
The anti-ageing game plan we are familiar with typically combats lines and wrinkles but wrinkle-free skin doesn't necessarily equal firm, youthful-looking skin.
Beauty giants are now wising up to the fact that the traditional anti-ageing regime they devised is missing a vital step: Facial contouring to combat lax skin caused by gravity.
That’s where Clarins’ new contouring serum comes in – to be the face-saving solution that lifts and contours the natural face shape of Asian women.
"It is like wearing a corset on the face, that immediate tightening effect instantly lifts and contours the face."
“The most effective way to fight back against gravity is by maintaining the skin’s supportive network. It is this fibrous system that helps skin retain its lifted appearance through visible contours,” Marie-Helene Lair, Clarins’ scientific communications director, explained to CNA Lifestyle in Shanghai.
Lair likens our battle against gravity to nature’s fight against soil erosion. Taking a cue from Mother Nature, the serum taps into organic agropyron extract (commonly referred to as wheatgrass) as its star ingredient. The plant is known for its leading role in fighting soil erosion because of its powerful gripping power that comes from its extensive and continuously growing underground stem network.
Clinical studies on agropyron extracts register a 158 per cent spike in collagen production when introduced to the skin’s supportive network.
“Another benefit of this star ingredient is its ability to limit the formation of new fat-storing cells,” said Lair.
A puffy face hides away the natural shape of one’s cheekbones and even mimics the look of a double chin.
“To make perfectly sure we destock lipids and water retention, organic guarana extract (an Amazonian plant that is used in weight loss), plant caffeine, zerumbet ginger extract and horse chestnut are also added into the formula.”
Chinese actress Zhong Chuxi – the newly appointed Clarins global beauty ambassador –may be a Size 0 but she’s not exempt from feeling bloated.
“I have come to rely on this serum especially on days I have not had enough rest or when I feel particularly bloated,” she said. “I also apply it on my neck and collarbone to get rid of lipid and water retention in those areas as well.”
Before you start piling on the serum thinking that more is more, Lair said it is not necessary to layer the formula as a little goes a long way. “Unlike moisturisers, there is no need to pile on the contouring serum. You’ll feel the tightening effect after just one layer.”
She suggested maximising the serum’s efficacy by following up with the auto-lifting massage method.
“Warm two to three pumps of the serum in your palms then pat the serum onto your face, neck and collarbone. Using the weight of your head for pressure, hang your head down into cupped palms. Start on the eyes and forehead, before moving onto the cheekbones, followed by the face and then the jaw. Thereafter, gently rest the jaw on your knuckles for several seconds and finish off by tapping firmly on your collarbones.”
“Unlike moisturisers, there is no need to pile on the contouring serum. You’ll feel the tightening effect after just one layer.”
According to Lair, the collarbone is the control centre for lymphatic drainage. “For an extra boost to drain excess fluid and lipids from the face, I’m all for spending extra time on the collarbone. I like to start my own massage with firm taps on the collarbone to jump start the system before applying the auto-lifting massage and then end it with even firmer taps on the collarbone.”
Beauty influencer and new mum Jayne Tham tried the auto-lifting method and was “shocked” by her own reflection. “After birth, the last few kilos were really hard to shed and water retention was too real. Plus, I’m turning 30 very soon so I needed a solution to firm and contour my face.”
Tham saw immediate results from the get-go. “I didn’t expect to see such an obvious difference."
Actor Xu Bin has also jumped on the V Shape bandwagon. "As an actor, I am concerned about how I look on-screen, especially in the morning when my face is puffy."
"After using the serum, I see a noticeable difference," said the 30-year-old. "Not only does it de-puff, my face feels firmer and smoother, even my pores look smaller."
CNA Lifestyle was in Shanghai at the invitation of Clarins.