Review | Clarins Shaping Facial Lift Lipo-drain Serum

September 17, 2010

Several weeks ago, Clarins Singapore generously sent me its facial-lifting serum (50 ml/S$98) to try. This skincare product promises to eliminate facial fat, drain facial puffiness and define facial contours with its key ingredients of caffeine, blue button flower, horse chestnut and baccharis extract.

To review the serum fairly, I tried it at the end of my menstrual cycle  – I didn’t want the reduction in facial puffiness due to hormonal changes to be confused with the efficacy of the product. Below are my thoughts on this serum.

The Pros

It goes on well

It has a lightweight texture without feeling insubstantial. My skin readily absorbs it and I like how comfortable it feels.

It has a firming effect

I can feel and see a tightening effect, subtle though it may be. A friend mentioned that it probably works like a firming gel (the kind that leaves a film on the face for lifting effect) but unlike such products, this serum dries down to a velvety finish and doesn’t have their sheeny cast. It feels good on the skin too and doesn’t impart a tight and uncomfortable sensation that those products often give.

It makes a good moisturiser

Although moisturising is not its main function (it’s supposed to go on before your regular skincare), it plumps up the drier areas of my skin, keeping it supple. I don’t really have problem skin but I can detect that subtle difference. I once wore it for eight hours with nothing else on my face as a test and I liked how it seemed to balance my facial oil production. Its lightness makes it a good daily moisturiser (albeit without SPF) for normal/combination/oily skin (it isn’t too moist or rich). You will need to apply a proper moisturiser over this for night time use though, especially if you sleep in a dry or air-conditioned room.

It seems to brighten my complexion

For the past few weeks, this has been a constant on my skin. I’m not sure if it’s really this serum (hence the use of the phrase ‘seems to’) or environmental/hormonal factors but I’m inclined to believe that this has made my skin look clearer because it’s the only thing I’ve used consistently on my face for the past weeks.

It makes a nice foundation base

With its smooth (and skin smoothening) quality, foundations glide easily and sit well over this.

It is packaged in a classy pump bottle

Hygienic and so easy to use, it’s heartening to see a face product in such packaging! It’s good that the bottle’s opaque too – though it may be harder to figure out how much of the product is left, the opacity preserves the integrity of the contents.

The Cons

It doesn’t seem to have an obvious lifting effect on me

It firms – as mentioned above, I can see a visible tightening – but it doesn’t lift my skin for that V-shape appearance and doesn’t really have any sculpting effect on me. To be fair, I doubt any topical product can do this; isn’t this something only an invasive cosmetic procedure can do?

I’m not too fond of the scent

The floral scent is quite strong upon application and there is also an after-whiff of alcohol. Thankfully, it dissipates quite quickly. Funnily enough, I liked the fragrance at first.

I think this is worth a go, if you’re looking for a lightweight and soothing moisturiser that gently firms the skin at the same time. However, it would be unrealistic to expect dramatic results.

Avoiding water-retentive foods and doing regular facial massages like those recommended by Niu Er Lao Shi, together with the use of this product, might help to minimise facial puffiness though (do note that the serum is not emollient enough to massage the face with).

A leaflet explaining the Clarins Manual Auto-Lifting Method (a contradiction in terms – how is it automatic if it’s manual?) is also included in the product box, giving instructions on the pressure points to press, to remove excess fluid and lymphatic toxins from the face and neck. You can learn more about this method on the Clarins Shaping Facial Lift website.

From now till the end of September 2010, Clarins is offering a few special promotions related to this serum, including the ones pictured above. This would be a good opportunity for you to try this product and share the savings with a friend! :)

Posted in: clarins | face | skincare reviews

14 Responses to Review | Clarins Shaping Facial Lift Lipo-drain Serum

  1. September 17, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    I tried the original ver yrs back & I like the smell & how relaxing it is. But I got lazy I abandon it after the first few bottles.

    • makeupmag
      September 20, 2010 at 1:29 am

      Hi Farah,

      That one garnered very good reviews on MUA!

  2. September 21, 2010 at 12:23 am

    Was in high hopes that this could probably help “reshape” my face but then again, rather skeptical too… Guess i can give this a miss cuz as you mentioned, only cosmetic procedure can give one a V shape…

    • makeupmag
      September 21, 2010 at 11:25 am

      Hi Charlotte,

      It is definitely firming though and feels good on the face!

  3. September 21, 2010 at 11:13 am

    I will get lazy again with this, I am sure LOL!

    • makeupmag
      September 21, 2010 at 11:31 am

      Hi Farah,

      Put it with your regular moisturiser! ;)

  4. September 21, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    But after I mask at night, I am too lazy to slowly do my night mois & then theh massage with this. Everynight is such a long affair already now. :p

    • makeupmag
      September 22, 2010 at 12:04 am


      I completely understand! :P

  5. Charlie
    December 10, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Hi, so this product doesn’t slim down the face literally? I’ve intentions to get it for facial slimming purposes :(

    • makeupmag
      December 13, 2010 at 12:47 pm

      Hi Charlie,

      It can tighten and firm, in my experience but not exactly slim down the face.

  6. January 20, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I would love to try one of those. I have a round face, and I’ve been really stressing over products that could help minimize the excess fat I have. Thanks for a wonderful review!

    • makeupmag
      January 20, 2011 at 10:52 am

      Hi Vanessa,

      I hope it works for you! :)

  7. Katy
    May 26, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Hi, Just want to ask if you regularly used the product and did the manual massage? Maybe the reason why this product did not slim down the face is because it wasnt paired with the manual massage.

    • makeupmag
      May 27, 2011 at 12:27 am

      Hi Katy,

      I used it somewhat regularly but to be honest, I didn’t always do the Clarins massage. :)

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