Each year, the Prestige Hong Kong editorial team and a carefully selected panel of judges selflessly put themselves at the mercy of spa therapists and beauticians, simultaneously lathering themselves in creams and salves while layering on shadows and glosses. We invited three society mavens who know a thing or two about being beautiful to help judge the awards. This year, Faye Tsui, Helen Ma and Cindy Yeung were our guest judges.
A brand best known for its facial rollers, ReFa has produced a cream cleanser that uses fine bubbles – of less than 01.mm in size – and is able to hug skin and clean it completely without friction, damage or dryness. Fruit extracts in the formula help clear skin of impurities, while hyaluronan saccharides boost circulation and Lipidure retains moisture.
This is nothing new, but Clé de Peau Beauté’s signature serum is the bomb, bringing radiance to the skin via a special Illuminating Complex EX and infusing it with natural strength thanks to an Essential Prime Complex. Immediately, your skin is moisturised, firm, smooth and balanced, while a barrier is created against dryness and fine lines. The results are dramatic and immediate, and we don’t need a crystal ball to tell you this will be a front-runner in next year’s awards ceremony, too.
The humble rose stormed skincare this year, and Dior’s oil-essence hybrid, a powerful pre-serum treatment that harnesses the benefits of Rose de Granville, is our favourite of the lot. Packed with 20 micronutrients that bolster the skin’s strength, a single bottle contains some 10,000 rose micro-pearls that release minerals, omega 3s and vitamin E into the skin to nourish and recharge, and increases the effectiveness of the products that follow it.
Another long-time classic and the jewel in Valmont’s crown, the Prime Renewing Pack is a versatile multitasker suitable for any skin type that lacks a little TLC. Used in a light layer, this works as a day or night cream that is even suitable for the eye contour area. As a mask, apply a thick coating on the face for 15-20 minutes and then massage into the skin with a circular motion before removing with a warm washcloth. The anti-wrinkle peptides and raw ginseng extract guarantee to smooth and relax features and bring a rush of collagen to the fore – the brand also promises effects twice as fast as retinol with no side effects.
Undoubtedly Estée Lauder’s most celebrated line, Advanced Night Repair has spawned no shortage of products – for the eye area alone, there’s a gel cream, a serum and this award-winning concentration, which actually strengthens the skin around your eyes, ergo plumping out lines while soothing puffiness and toning down dark circles. The result? A more wide-eyed, awake expression that changes the whole look of your face.
Two of Guerlain’s exclusive ingredients – Ouessant black-bee honey and royal jelly – make up this product, which offers the effects of a serum in a nourishing oil that doesn’t clog or feel heavy. The honey contains amino acids, trace elements and a fructose content that helps to repair skin tissue, while the royal jelly is filled with proteins, lipids and vitamins that have wide-ranging benefits. Commiphora oil soothes and restores, for a complexion that’s clean, clear and nurtured to the max.
This exfoliating mask beat out traditional scrubs with its ability to brighten dull skin. Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties team up with cranberry’s antioxidant abilities, while micronised cranberry seeds give pores a gentle yet deep cleanse. It’s great for the time-starved, too – leave on for five minutes or so before rinsing off.
This was the product launch of the year for La Prairie, and this new addition to the popular Skin Caviar collection proved a winner, thanks to its ability to plump and fluff skin that’s lost volume and density – our judges didn’t even mind the extra step in their routines (the Absolute FIller is applied after toning as a pre-serum addition). The formula uses La Prairie’s most recent upgrade on its Caviar Absolute, which draws hard-to-capture volume-boosting nutrients from caviar and transfers this wondrous miracle of nature directly into your bathroom cabinet.
Stopping wrinkles before they even appear, La Prairie’s Line Interception Power Duo became an instant classic when it was released for its ability to fight the fine-line trio: expression lines, sun-induced lines and gravity lines. What’s more amazing is that the day cream offers anti-wrinkle peptides alongside difficult-to-infuse essential sun protection – UVA and UVB fillers, SPF 30 and infrared-A protection factor – in a formula that glides on the skin and doesn’t clog or irritate pores, or compromise the texture of the product. That alone is worth an award.
We’ve long been suckers for Japanese skincare technology (sorry, Korea), and this evening moisturiser features a high concentration of Shiseido’s youth-extending SkingenecellEnmei ingredient, as well as burnet extract that enhances the skin’s ability to restore itself while you sleep. A week’s use will transform the skin’s radiance and resilience, while botanicals such as Uji green-tea extract, Oshima sakura-leaf extract and Hokkaido angelica-root extract increase vitality.
Allies of Skin Bright Future Overnight Facial at Joyce Beauty
We’ve got a lot of mask-type products taking awards in other categories this year, and we’ve been raving about this overnight peel since its recent release. The science behind this fascinating formulation involves a cocktail of AHAs, probiotics and retinol, which is then encapsulated within a hyaluronic-acid bubble that melts as it’s absorbed into the skin while you sleep, thus releasing the active ingredients in slow motion, a process that also reduces irritation. With the morning comes a tighter, brighter complexion, with cumulative effects after up to three nights’ consecutive use.
Let’s face it, most sunscreens suck. There’s nothing harder to get right than a sunscreen, and sometimes even the top of the top-shelf brands get it wrong. But Sisley’s SPF50 PA++++ armour won major points not just for protecting skin from bad Mr Sunshine, but for also acting to brighten dark spots and repel complexion-damaging free radicals and pollutants. Pro-vitamin B5 and phytosqualane make sure the skin is hydrated as well as shielded from the elements.
A useful weapon in the acne-be-gone movement, this sulphur-based blemish solution dries up spots and reduces redness, while blending into the skin so you’re not left with blobs of goo decorating your face. And don’t stop even after your pimple is defeated – it also takes action against acne marks. Out, damned spot, indeed.
Perricone Soothing Post-Shave Treatment at Joyce Beauty
No man with a razor can forever escape injury, and Perricone’s healing solution hits the spot to soothe and nurture. Hemp-derived phytocannabinoids (think of it as a little medical marijuana for your face) help to calm any irritation or inflammation, cool down the skin post-razor burn and kick-start the bounce-back process while you get on with your routine.
Products in MTM Skincare’s Harmonious series sing with organic ingredients known to reduce allergic reactions and inflammation, and we’re happy to give one of its line-up due credit – though quiet, this brand is universally beloved. The Custom-Blended Moisturizer features Echinacea purpurea root extract, as well as apple and kiwi fruit water to help keep skin hydrated and call in collagen.
Oh, it’s you again. Yet another Clé de Peau serum slides onto the home plate. This grab bag of active ingredients is potent and hardworking, and includes elements that reveal clarity, re-texturise, firm and smooth. The jewel in its crown an Illuminating Complex EX made of precious golden silk essence, Japanese pearl and theanine.
This one for the boys draws its power from Life Plankton, a regenerative agent that’s known to delete signs of age, bringing youth back to the skin. Five days is all it takes to take the face from zero to hero, shrinking cavernous pores and wiping away uneven texture.
This odd and innocuous device produces miracles without the power of electricity. A duo of carbon rollers lifts and kneads in a manner that massages tension from surface muscles while providing a face-lift and contouring effect. The high-density carbon material also acts as a conductor for far infrared rays, which help reduce indicators of ageing.