clarins double serum 40 day review

October 1, 2017  |  Product Reviews, Skincare  |  1 Comment

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A little while ago, Clarins Singapore invited me to undertake a skincare challenge: use their famous Double Serum for 40 days and log my results throughout. I immediately said yes because I appreciated their realistic time-frame*. It really does take a while for you to see results from most skincare products, and I respected them for not wanting to rush or pressure me to fake my experience in any way.

*Even their free samples (which you can get here) include a 7 day supply of the serum.


My journey started with a skin consultation at the Clarins boutique at ION where I was advised on how best to use it, based on my travel plans and skincare routine. I actually picked my sample bottle up the day before leaving on a 2 week trip to Australia and New Zealand in the winter, and I really torture-tested this serum. Our travel plans put my skin through facing icy winds, dry outdoor air, even drier indoor air, and some very acidic volcanic steam for good measure.


For those of you who haven’t encountered Clarins Double Serum yet, it was developed by Jacques Courtin-Clarins in 1984, and has been one of the brand’s signature products ever since. It features 20+1 plant extracts (that’s 20 plant extracts, plus activating turmeric) suspended in two separate serums – one oil-based, one water-based – that target fine lines and boost skin radiance as well as hydrate and firm. The serums are kept separate and are intended only to be mixed just before application to maximize their effectiveness.

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Even if you have heard of it before, there’s still new benefits to be discovered – the formula has been constantly improved upon over the course of the brand’s history, and with this 8th generation version the focus has been on stimulating skin cell receptors to fully maximize the benefits of the serum’s active ingredients. The newly improved formula also comes in a revamped bottle that lets you dispense either a small or large pump of both serums, in the perfect ratio, at the same time. This feature has been super useful to me on my travels – I like that I can dial up my dose when my skin needs some extra hydration, and go lighter when I’m in hot, humid weather.

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Since photos only show so much, here’s a video diary I made over the course of the 40 day trial period where I checked in with updates and observations on how my skin was responding to the serum at the 1, 7, 28 and 40 day marks. One thing I forgot to mention in the video is how good this serum smells: it’s got a lightly floral fragrance that is incredibly soothing and refreshing at the same time, which really does make it a pleasure to use.

Even though my 40 day challenge is over now, this is definitely a serum I’ll continue to use and although this bottle was a sample, it’s a product I plan to repurchase. But enough with the spoilers…on with the show!

Since filming this video, my bottle of Double Serum has become a staple in my skincare routine…but even more so, a total must-have for travel. So far I’ve carried it onto 8 flights across 5 different countries, and I have no plans to stop using it! Again, if you’d like to try it for yourself, just click here and you can register for a free skin consultation and a free Double Serum 7-day trial.

viseart petit pro palette

June 30, 2017  |  Product Reviews  |  4 Comments

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I’ve been curious about Viseart’s eyeshadows for some time now, but haven’t been able to convince myself to pull the trigger on their regular 12-colour palettes. It’s not so much the price alone that’s deterred me as it is the combination of blah packaging, lack of finish variety per palette and price.

I know their main line of palettes were designed for professional use and the functional packaging, plus the all-matte/all-satin shade combos do make finding the shade you want a no-brainer. But looking at them doesn’t exactly make my heart sing, and that’s a real issue when I’m dropping USD$80 on something. So no matter how many good things I’ve heard about the quality of the shadows themselves, I’ve just never felt compelled to own anything from the brand before.

When the Petit Pro Palette was released however, I perked up. Clever packaging, a mix of matte and shimmer finishes, and $30 for 6 colours? Sign me up!

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It was smaller than I expected – about the size of a credit card – so if value is important to you, this ought to be a really quick and easy pass. I didn’t mind though, because travel-friendly is always at the top of my priority list and pan size is dead last (I prefer variety over quantity).

You get 8 shadows for $30: 4 mattes and 4 metallics, which is enough colours to cover all your bases whether you’re after subtle daytime looks or dramatic evening ones. The overall tone of this palette is warm, and I felt the combination of shades was very well chosen. My pans seem to have been glued in kind of crooked (or “higgeldy piggeldy” as my mother would say) compared to most of the other photos I’ve seen online, but meh.

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My first impression from swatching this palette is that the formulas were very smooth across the board but most of the colours were not as pigmented as I expected. The metallics were definitely punchier than the mattes, with the purple being the best performing and most true-to-pan of all 8 colours.

viseart petit pro palette swatches

On my lids, the smoothness of the shadows made them ideal for seamless blending, as did the slight sheerness of the mattes. The metallics were easy to work with and built up with a little bit of work, but weren’t as punchy as I’d hoped, even over primer. Overall there was nothing wrong with these shadows – there just wasn’t anything particularly compelling about them. In my opinion, there are better warm palettes out there if you’re willing to spend a little more. At $42 for 14 colours, Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette easily outperforms this, as does Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette at $49 for 18 colours.

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Face: Make Up For Ever UV Bright Cushion in Y225, Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer in Ivory, Koh Gen Do Loose Powder // Cheeks: Cle de Peau Beaute Cream Blush in 02 Pale Fig // Eyes: Viseart Petit Pro Palette, Lancome Hypnose Mascara // Brows: Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Brow Palette // Lips: Cle de Peau Beaute Enriched Lip Luminizer in 239 Raspberry Snapple

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make up for ever aqua xl colour paints and ink liners

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Many years ago when I was a beauty writer for a magazine, I attended the press launch of Make Up For Ever’s Aqua range. It was one of the most memorable makeup presentations ever: the waterproof nature of the range was demonstrated on a synchronized swimming team with elaborate face paint, who emerged from the pool with their makeup perfectly smudge-free and as vibrant as it had been before they’d jumped in. I was so impressed that the whole thing just stuck in my head forever!

So when Make Up For Ever started expanding their waterproof range recently, I got super excited. It’s awesome to see a makeup line you like evolve, especially when it’s for the better, and especialy-especially when you’re able to say you remember it “way back when” like a total granny. Today’s Aqua XL lineup is not only incredibly comprehensive but ever-expanding. The latest additions are the Aqua XL Colour Paint (waterproof cream eyeshadows) and Aqua XL Ink Eye Liner (waterproof liquid liner) ranges.

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The Aqua XL Ink Eye Liners come in 15 colours divided into Matte, Metallic, Satin and Shimmer finishes. Even the lighter colours like ___ are very bold and pigmented, so you aren’t going to find yourself having to go over the same area again and again to build up colour. The liner tip is super fine and fairly stiff, which I found makes for excellent detail work. If you do a lot of really artistic, editorial looks, I highly recommend checking these out.


As for the Aqua XL Colour Paints, they come in 20 shades divided into Matte, Lustre and Iridescent finishes. What really gets me excited about them is that they come in little squeeze tubes, so are less likely to dry out as quickly as cream shadows that come in jars. Actually, Make Up For Ever has been pretty dialed-in about the shelf life of their products lately. Take for instance Aqua Brow, which is very similar to Anastasia Beverly Hills’ cult-fave Dipbrow Pomade – where my Dipbrow pots can go maybe a year without stiffening noticeably, my tubes of Aqua Brow have maintained their consistency perfectly so I’m pretty optimistic about these cream shadows as well.

In terms of texture, these are very creamy and are relatively blendable…though you have to work fast because they do set fairly quickly. When I first attempted this FOTD, I tried to apply the dark blue cream all over my lids first, but found that it was setting before blending out fully. After another attempt, I discovered that trick (with darker colours at least) is to do all your crease/transition colours first with powder shadows, before patting this in place and quickly blending out any edges.

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I used Make Up For Ever Artist Shadows in Milk Tea (M-536) and Dark Purple Taupe (M-546) from Make Up For Ever Artist Palette Vol 4 in my crease, and then applied Make up For Ever Aqua XL Colour Paint in L-22 on my mobile lid afterwards, blending it out with a bit of Prussian Blue (M-240) where necessary. For a look like this, I do think it’s important to have a (preferably matte) powder shadow in the same colour as your main lid shade that you can use to blend out the edges of the cream shadow.

I used Aqua XL Ink Liner in M-10 as an all-over liner, with a flick of L-40 in my outer corner, and am wearing Make up For Ever Aqua Matic in I-90 along my lower lashline and ME-54 in my inner corners as a highlight.

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Though starting with powder, applying the cream and then blending again with more powder sounds complicated, it’s actually quite a cinch in practice and far quickler/less frustrating than trying to blend out the cream shadow on its own…especially when it’s as pigmented and intense as this one was!

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Face: Make Up For Ever UV Bright Cushion // Cheeks: Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in Antique Pink (M-806) // Eyes: Make Up For Ever Dark Purple Taupe (M-546), Prussian Blue (M-240), Milk Tea (M-536) all from the Artist Palette Volume 4, Make up For Ever Aqua XL Colour Paint in L-22, Make up For Ever Aqua XL Ink Liners in L-40 and M-10, and Make up For Ever Aqua Matics in I-90 and ME-54 // Lips: Make Up For Ever Artist Acrylip in 201.


This post features products that were provided as press samples, however all opinions and observations are my own and not influenced by the brand or its PR team. This post contains affiliate links.