Belfast Telegraph

How to get Rihannas flawless look

Rihanna apparently has supplies of the wonder product that can rejuvenate your skin. Lisa Haynes unveils the secret of serum

Victoria Beckham and Rihanna were rumoured to have been sent advance supplies and eager skincare enthusiasts stripped the shelves bare on its first day of sale.

Ladies, please welcome YSL's new Forever Youth Liberator serum, hailed as the ‘holy grail' of anti-ageing.

As previous stampedes for Aldi's Lacura Multi-Intensive Serum and Boots' No7 Protect & Perfect (albeit with lower price tags) prove, serums are hot property.

This unassuming product may take pride of place on every beauty editor's shelf but many women are yet to sign up to the serum club.

“A lot of women wrongly assume that oil creates more oil,” says Chey Birch, aromatherapist and founder of beauty brand Black Chicken Remedies.

“But not all oils are equal — many have therapeutic properties for your face that contain high concentrations of nutrients and can enter deep into the skin.”

Moisturisers, beware. Serums are fast becoming the skincare must-have.

SERUM NOVICE

Once you've stumbled upon a super serum, there's no going back. But unless you're already an aficionado, there's confusion about what these hallowed bottles do and how to use them.

While creams only affect the top layer of skin, serums are packed with active ingredients that can be rapidly absorbed through the skin's layers.

As well as brightening tired, dull complexions, serums are “high in concentrated ingredients to treat skin problems such as redness, wrinkles, discolouration, dehydration, sagging skin and acne”, Birch explains.

And there are no hard and fast rules on routine — they can be used morning and night after cleansing and toning, and before a moisturiser — or on their own.

“Apply a few drops of serum and use mild upward and outward strokes to blend the serum into your face,” suggests Birch.

“Wait for five minutes to allow full absorption. After that, if required, apply a moisturiser over the serum. Don't forget the neck area too.”

A good skincare routine might feel like a daily chore but adding that extra serum stage can make all the difference for glowing skin.

BOTTLE BROWSING

Just as you choose a moisturiser according to your skin type, serums aren't a one-fits-all product.

They all smooth and repair but there are varieties that are targeted at specific skin concerns. Some claim to erase pigmentation, acne and redness, while others tackle fine lines and wrinkles.

“As the skin ages, we all notice slackening and sagging, with deeper lines becoming more visible,” says Sarah Chapman, facialist and skincare expert.

“Once you start noticing these signs, look for peptide-loaded serums, which also contain antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E, coenzyme Q10 and targeted ingredients such as renovage that work on the cells' DNA to help defend and repair.”

Chapman recommends thinking of serum as your skincare underwear, which restructures and contours the skin.

If the winter overdose of central heating has dried out your skin, look for a serum based on hyaluronic acid (HA). “Slot this option into your routine if your skin looks dull and always feels tight, to lock in moisture and get your skin glowing and dewy again,” says Chapman.

THE SERUM TAKEOVER

Widely hailed as the hero of skincare for complexions, it's little wonder that the beauty world has utilised the wonders of serum in other products.

Make-up

Look for the new wave of serum-enriched foundations to make your skin look radiant and healthy in an instant.

Max Factor make-up artist Caroline Barnes says: “January days tend to take the glow out of your skin. Max Factor Ageless Elixir 2 in 1 Foundation + Serum (£12.99) boasts light reflective pigments plus it smoothes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and evens skin tone to boot.”

Eyes

They are usually the first place you spot the tell-tale ageing signs, so an eye serum is an ideal place to start.

Roger Southin, Functionalab scientific formulator, says: “For younger people, I recommend starting off with an eye serum to provide nutrients for this fragile area.”

Hair

Unruly locks? Seek out a hair serum as an effective quick fix for bad hair days.

Mark Woolley, creative director of Electric Hairdressing, says: “Serums usually contain a high concentration of potent ingredients, meaning you only need to use a small amount.

“They instantly smooth down any stray hairs while adding a beautiful, natural shine.”

buy it now

  • MAC have collaborated with haute couture queen Daphne Guinness. She describes the luxurious make-up as “a window into my imagination”. The limited edition collection (pictured right) is priced from £9-£33, available now. Call 0870 034 2676 or visit www.maccosmetics.co.uk.
  • From Twilight to campaign queen, Kristen Stewart has been unveiled as the face of Balenciaga fragrance. The actress will front a new, as yet unnamed scent, to be revealed in autumn 2012.

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