When it comes to the beauty wants of Asian women, a defined, V-shaped face is on top of a lot of wish lists. In fact, there has been a rise in various tools that claim to achieve this effect. But unless one was born with a small, refined face or are willing to go under the knife, it seemed like an impossible dream for most. That was until 21 years ago, when French skincare brand Clarins changed the game by creating what was then known as the Contouring Facial Lift, a serum designed to be used with its Auto Lifting method for a slimmer and more youthful visage.
Since then, the product has proved to be overwhelmingly popular in Asia. As an early adopter and innovator of the trend, most other copycat serums don’t come close to achieving the kind of results that the Shaping Facial Lift can give: think tighter skin, a slim, V-shaped face and reduced puffiness. A cocktail of ingredients including zerumbet ginger, guarana, caffeine, oat and horse chestnut work synergistically to limit water retention, reduce puffiness and reduce the volume of fatty tissues on the face, for a lifted and sculpted appearance.
Clarins has been constantly innovating, not content to rest on its laurels. In June 2019, the fifth generation serum, called the V Shaping Facial Lift was introduced, proving that the desire to have a beautifully contoured face was a trend that was not dying out anytime soon. This time the formula contains organic agropyron extract (a plant known for fighting soil erosion) to help the skin resist gravity’s pull. The brand’s scientific communications director Marie-Hélène Lair says the serum has improved on its previous formulation. “With the fifth generation of this V Serum, it has always been the same, but better. So we kept the two main efficacies: to depuff the skin – to remove all the water, and slim the face – but we add a novelty; this innovation against gravity,” says Lair.
Lair says that every new formula that comes out is a result of listening to consumers’ wants. “We knew with the former serum, they wanted a lighter texture with very good moisturisation because that is the key to beautiful skin. And they also wanted an easier way of application. So, we started to re-formulate the product from an active ingredient point of view, but also from a texture point of view,” says Lair. Clarins selected two weights of hyaluronic acid — a high and low molecular weight — for both immediate and long-term moisturisation and also cut down the application method to under two minutes.
The brand has also engaged 26-year old Chinese actress Zhong Chu Xi (also known as Elane Zhong) as its face in Asia. Best known for her role in the coming-of-age drama “Youth” (2017), the dancer and actress has such an enviable profile and facial contours in person, it is obvious why she was selected specifically to represent this product. Zhong has nothing but praise for the brand. “Clarins has long been an active purveyor of using natural ingredients to promote beauty for women. Their hard work and rigour behind their products is something I, as an actress, want to emulate,” says Zhong.
Besides the serum, which Zhong massages into her face and neck, she also uses the V-shaped masks from the brand. “I will massage my face and neck, including my shoulder line, to let my skin absorb the [V Shaping Facial Lift] essence quickly. I don’t really need any other particular steps as part of my routine, doing that is enough to gather results for me.” says Zhong.
Her final advice for women who want to get beautiful skin is that less is sometimes more. “Girls should not use cumbersome techniques or use excessive products on their daily regimes. It adds additional stress. Find something that is suitable for you, and from time to time you can supplement your routine with the V-shaped essence as a secret weapon to get a better glow,” she says.