The following anecdote is not intended to be remotely boastful but recently I lost track of the number of compliments I was receiving about my skin. Even people who are not remotely prone to remark on my complexion started dropping it into conversation and asking what I was doing. The answer – and the only thing that I was doing differently – was that I was trialling Shiseido Future Solution LX Legendary Enmei Ultimate Luminance Serum.
This stuff lives up to its name. I radiated dewy glowishness for weeks on end. It was as though someone had switched on a light deep in my epidermis. More than that, my skin felt firmer, looked plumper. I just looked fresher all round. Now all of this is thanks to some Shiseido research and ingredients such as the enmei herb in its name (harvested at the foot of a sacred mountain in Japan – really! – and hand-picked on an auspicious day, it’s known for its powers of renewal). The serum also, and here’s the catch, comes with a hefty price tag: £395 for 30ml. Using it twice a day, it lasted me for about two months.
Now I’m not saying that you have to pay a fortune to find good skincare. But I also can’t deny that this serum worked brilliantly and my face looked much better for it. Besides, sometimes it’s nice to have a bit of full-on luxury. It smells good, too – rose, plum blossom and lotus – because of the brand’s belief in the beneficial power of fragrance. And if I was going to really splurge (or ask someone else to) on a skincare product this would be it.
Since I’m on the luxury track – and if you’re looking to splash out on some gifting – then I’ve also been impressed by Wildsmith Active Repair Platinum Booster (£175 for 30ml, wildsmithskin.com). This great British botanical brand invested in clinical trials for this collagen- and elastin-boosting treatment and found a wrinkle reduction of 11 per cent in 77 per cent of subjects aged between 40 and 66.
I appreciate these are very pricey options, though. And so you don’t think that I’ve lost sight of the purse strings altogether, here are some far more affordable complexion enhancers that I can recommend. Tandem Easy Exfoliator (£16, tandemskincare.co.uk) is great for a once-a-week removing of dead cells so your skin will look brighter and products can penetrate (and work) more easily. It’s a gentle blend of acids (AHAs and BHAs) with some kakadu plum, full of vitamin C, for added radiance.
On a classic front, The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser leaves skin super clean and as shiny as a pebble (£5.50, cultbeauty.co.uk). And Avon Anew Clinical Anti-Wrinkle Plumping Concentrate (£12, avon-uk.com) – with 1.5 per cent hyaluronic acid – offers great hydration and a plumping booster.
Beauty assistant: Alice Robertson