These pictures represent a two week journey. Each one is a no filter selfie taken first thing in the morning in the same part of my house. I am wearing a dash of mascara and lip gloss – (there’s no point in frightening people in the name of science!) – otherwise, I am completely make-up free.
That’s why it’s incredible that there are such obvious differences between the first and last photo. My skin is substantially smoother and radiant looking. The fine lines around my lips are diminished, my pigmentation has faded and the dark circles under my eyes aren’t so evident.
With no other changes to my lifestyle, apart from the usual failed attempts to have more sleep and only drink one night a week, it would appear that the Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Cream and the Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate Serum have, as hoped, worked something of a miracle in only two weeks.
As a beauty writer I have tried countless creams and serums over the years. Apart from using daily SPF, I have to admit that most of them have fallen by the wayside.
One reason is that I can’t bear a lengthy regime; where you layer multiple products one on top of the other. Neither can I be bothered to utilise hot cloths or complicated gadgets.
I have three school aged children, two dogs and an old house full of dust. What I don’t have is time. By the end of the day, I simply want to slosh a couple of efficient anti-ageing creams on my face and hope for the best.
It has to be said that my complexion – now that I am in my mid-forties – is definitely in need a boost. Perhaps it’s time for a more considered approach, rather than grabbing whatever is to hand. I have fine lines – especially around my mouth. My skin tone is uneven and I look shattered the whole time, with permanent dark circles under my eyes.
So, these two products appear ideal. Each is for twice daily use after cleansing; first the serum and then the cream, which is nice and straightforward, as well as convenient.
Of course I know the Japanese brand Shiseido and have always associated it with efficient and luxurious products.
Their dedication to research and development through science and technology is near legendary, and I also like their philosophy of finding beauty in anything. I intend to include the sight of my make-up free face first thing in the morning in that broad and welcoming concept.
To be honest – in amongst the childcare and work deadlines – testing out two of their gloriously packaged and highly scientific sounding products is a pretty exciting prospect.
I take my first selfie, look at it despairingly, and reach for the Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate Serum.
This is in a beautiful red glass bottle and says that it will generate inner skin defences, protecting against stress, the environment and ageing. Perfect, I need help with all three of those. What they call ImuGeneration Technology uses potent natural extracts to encourage skin to defend itself.
The word ‘supple’ is used. I haven’t looked supple in any capacity since giving up gymnastics aged 11.
The light, creamy serum sinks blissfully into my skin. Just a few drops is sufficient for my entire face, which feels instantly smoother.
The Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Smoothing Cream is in similarly beautiful packaging – a delicate pink gold lacquered glass jar which I unscrew to reveal a pot of rich looking cream with a delicious scent of sweet orange.
This cream will – they suggest – visibly plump and smooth my skin in just a couple of weeks, using what Shiseido call ReNeura Technology™. Simply the act of applying it wakens up your complexion, and the ingredients work to help your skin heal itself.
Again, a little goes a long way – and it feels velvety and soothing.
I think my skin looks immediately brighter, and by the fifth day, am sure that my open pores are less evident. My skin feels repaired, in spite of having a ‘fun’ (there was wine) night out and not enough sleep. My dark circles look less evident, and the pigmentation has faded.
I am enjoying the ritual of the creams. Application takes little time, but I am actively luxuriating in slowly massaging it into my face and neck.
Living in Somerset, I wouldn’t say I’m particularly challenged in terms of pollution, but I go up to London a couple of times a week, and my skin always feels drier on returning. But in spite of 12 hour days in an air conditioned office followed by too long travelling through the Tube tunnels, I look positively refreshed most of the time.
I spend a Sunday in blustery wind and intermittent sunshine playing tennis and enjoying a barbecue. By evening, I look distinctly less weathered than I’d normally expect.
After two weeks, friends are starting to euphemistically ask what I’ve had ‘done’. I look and feel as radiant as any working mother can at the beginning of autumn, with hydrated, smooth and plumper looking skin.
Shiseido don’t use the word ‘miracle’ in the names of the creams, but I’ll be whispering it to friends and family as I recommend this duo.
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