Image: Kiko Mizuhara for Shiseido
Let’s face it, guys: The beauty world has officially crossed over into the Age of Oil – and we couldn’t be happier, really.
Speaking as one who’s obsessed with oils of a topical nature, I’ve taken it upon myself to convince you, dear erstwhile lipophobic reader, to fall in love with the good stuff as well. Not sure where to start? Dip your dainty feet into the lardy pond with this quartet of fabulous facial oils:
Shiseido Future Solution LX Replenishing Treatment Oil, $232, out in October
Shiseido’s sumptuous new salve is said to be richly restorative for shrivelled-up skin, thanks to a swanky suite of six carefully curated botanical oils. Even better, the J-Beauty giant also bills this as a multitasking marvel that can be slapped onto just about anywhere – from your mien to your mane.
One of our favourite ways to use this treatment is to rake it through our tresses for a titillating photoshoot-ready sheen worthy of a lovelorn diva writhing in the waves. It’s perfect for taming pesky flyaways and lending a really reflective mirror-like mirage as well; I recommend rubbing just one drop between your palms and lightly skimming it across the surface for weightless high-wattage shine. You may also want to consider spreading the wealth by rubbing it into nooks and crannies of your elbows and knees. Smooth skin from top to toe!
La Mer The Renewal Oil, $370, out in November
An oil that’s perfect for pores? Wonders never cease. Here’s what Loretta Miraglia, senior vice president of product development and innovation has to say about La Mer’s latest miracle: “[This treatment] actually helps balance sebum and purify pores while hydrating, renewing and bringing serious ageless benefits to skin.” That’s a #TakeAllMyMoney sales pitch right there.
But how does this so-called “dual-phase” oil work? Because this is La Mer we’re talking about, expect an aquarium’s worth of algae thrown into the mix: There’s the posh beauty brand’s patented Miracle Broth (but of course), which for the uninitiated consists of a skin-plumping slurry of soothing sea kelp, plus the power of premium sesame and eucalyptus oils.
This serum-oil formula takes the “kwali face” fear factor out of the equation somewhat – the oil doesn't feel greasy and gross in the least, and lends itself well to all manner of mixing and matching. Here’s La Mer’s Loretta Miraglia again: “For a super boost of hydration, I layer the Renewal Oil and then my fabulous Soft Creme. The translucency it brings to my face is unparalleled.”
Indeed, I love how this oil lends me a lit-from-within luminescence, even when I’m breaking out in lumps and bumps. To zap zits fast, try layering this comforting oil on top of your salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide treatments; this helps fend off the frightful flakiness that can be a side effect of some of your harsher acne medications.
Yves Saint Laurent Beaute Huile Voluptueuse, $289
Packaging-wise, this is the gold sequinned frock in a sea of drab dresses; the hand-swirled gold cap, in particular, is a thing of beauty that deserves pride of place on your vanity table. The oil itself ain’t half bad either, being suffused with saffron and other botanical oils said to prop up saggy skin.
And because YSL Beaute is all about dialling up the drama, try swirling a smidgen of oil into a shimmery champagne shadow for a really intense eye. Or consider dabbing a drop of this elixir onto the centre of your pout for a subtle satiny finish.
Lancome Absolue L'Extrait Ultimate Essence, $600
This eye-poppingly pricey potion is stuffed with the legendary Lancome rose, a fabulous fuchsia bloom said to boast phenomenal anti-aging properties. What separates this from the other products in the line (all of which contain said rose extract, FYI) is the exceptionally painstaking extraction process, which Lancome says takes 10 weeks and then some to complete.
Why the fuss? Petals upon petals of the prized bloom are pulverised and then “pressure-cooked” to produce minuscule morsels of so-called “native” stem cells – small enough to diffuse deep into your dermis. As for the results proper? I’m pathologically obsessive when it comes to the creases and crinkles on my face, so I can honestly say that a fortnight of twice-daily use wiped out the wee wrinkles bracketing my mouth. Better than Botox?
So yes, with facial oils poised for a beauty breakthrough this year and beyond, there’s really no excuse for switching to a “fatty” diet. Your skin and hair will thank you!