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The #ForeverYoung Julia Roberts, Lancôme’s lovely leading lady

WHAT IS IT?

Fair warning: There’s a legit reason why this review comes with its own sob story of sorts, so bear with me!

Okay, picture this. Drizzy evening, dreadful day at work. Mood-o-meter: Dangerously low. On impulse I decide to drop off in town to console myself with a quick look-see at the nearest mega-mall.

Fast-forward two hours and I’m home with my biggest beauty haul to date. Shout-out to the friendly folks manning the Lancôme cabin at ION Orchard, who plied me with plenty of intriguing insider info about the new Absolue L’Extrait Regenerating and Renewing Ultimate Elixir-Concentrate – seductive enough for me to part with my paltry pay, at any rate. 

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What’s new? For starters, the serum is stuffed with the legendary Lancôme 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 Lancôme 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. The result? Lancôme’s lab-coated scientists say deliberately damaged skin tissue demonstrate an astounding “rebound” to a near-pristine state after six days of being bathed in the botanical broth. 

WHY I LOVE IT

This serum ticks all the boxes of my cosmetics checklist, save price, but more on that in a bit. There’s the swoon-inducing texture, for one; the press notes describe it as a “melting milky gel”, which is bang on the money, methinks. Buttery beyond belief, the comforting creamy concoction sinks straight in; no smearing or spreading required.

The lovely ladies at the Lancôme counter tell me this exquisite emulsion is engineered to offer both mattifying and brightening benefits, and by golly, they ain’t lying. I’ve found that a smidgen of the spectacularly smooth salve was plenty to sop up gunk and grease throughout the day; while opalescent optics lent my skin the illusion of lit-from-within iridescence. 

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On the greasy side? Skip your regular moisturiser if you like. Thanks to the prodigious amount of hugely hydrating ingredients it’s packing, the Absolue L’Extrait Regenerating and Renewing Ultimate Elixir-Concentrate is terrific at doing double duty as a thirst-quenching tincture.

Maximum score for sheer sensorial satisfaction, too. The petal-shaped applicator, which tapers to a voluptuously tactile tear-drop, is such a pleasure to use. How to use? First, heat up the spoon by running it under warm water. Pat dry, then use the pump to dispense a pinch of the bergamot and peony perfumed balm, smoothing it right up to the temples and brow bone.

Done? Now cool the massage spoon by sticking it in the fridge or running cold water over it. Towel-dry the contraption and then massage again using the recommended steps in the manual accompanying the set. This sounds like a right hassle, but the entire shebang should take no more than five minutes to cycle through, and makes for a really relaxing ritual in the evenings. 

No complaints whatsoever when it comes to packaging, either. Housed in a handmade jewel-box, the posh packaging demands pride of place on your dresser, being both incredibly Instagram-friendly and hygienic to boot.

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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 a wee wrinkle just under my left eye. Better than Botox?

The damage to your purse, however, is substantial to say the least: This baby will set you back a cool $715 per pop. Cue crickets.

This is the point where my little anecdote at the top of the page comes in handy. Remember how down in the doldrums I was? This skin splurge cheered me up in the soul-singing way only beautiful objects can – just looking at it sitting pretty on my table transports me to one particularly memorable caftan-cloaked, champagne-clinking weekend at a sun-drenched tropical villa …  

In any case, apologies in advance for going all literary on you. I’ll sign off with one of my favourite Keats quotes: “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”. Cheers to that!

GET IT AT: Absolue L’Extrait Regenerating and Renewing Ultimate Elixir-Concentrate, $715 for 30 ml, is available at all Lancôme counters. For more information, visit www.lancome.com.sg and follow Lancôme Singapore on Facebook and Instagram.