Here's to a glowing new year

Here's to a glowing new year



Selling point: The beauty products are anchored in tried-and-tested methods from the pharmaceutical industry.

The collection of 10 skincare formulas are made with naturally derived ingredients and deploy molecular polypeptide and protein technologies which are used in medicine.

"These formulas are powerful because they can trigger actions within the skin cells. Think of them as medicine for your skin," claims the brand's founder, Ms Gaylia Kristensen, who was in town last November to launch the brand at Fairmont Singapore's Willow Stream spa.

Gaylia Kristensen facial and body massage services (from $198 for a 60-minute facial) are also available at the spa.

Ms Kristensen, who is 62 and based in Melbourne, has spent more than 25 years in the beauty industry. She spotted a gap in the market for gentle but high-performance cosmetics. She found doctor brands too harsh for intolerant skin; while premium skincare products felt rich and good, but had no tangible results. So, in 2010, she founded her own made-in-Australia range.

One of the most potent ingredients in her eponymous line is the acetyl octapeptide-3. Made with eight kinds of amino acids from plants, it promises to give skin a botox-like effect.

It works by preventing the release of neurotransmitters, which cause facial muscle contractions and, over time, expression lines and wrinkles.

Touted as a painless and side-effect-free alternative to Botox injections, acetyl octapeptide-3 is used in the Eye Lift Intensive Eye Serum ($198), Utopia The Ultimate Anti-Ageing Serum ($268) and the White Magic Anti-Ageing Brightening Serum ($298).

Another interesting ingredient is tripeptide-1. In a test conducted by the University of Milan in Italy, this ingredient was found to help prevent free radical damage and, in turn, loss of skin elasticity and wrinkles.

Tripeptide-1 is added to the Dream Anti-Ageing Cream ($238), as well as the Deluxe Firming Cream ($268).

For best results, use the products in the morning and at night as the effects last for about 12 hours. The formulas are free of petrochemicals, mineral oil, parabens and detergent.

Look out for: Passion The Ultimate Treatment Oil (photo 1) $138

Made with a blend of essential oils to treat dry skin, it can be used on the face and body.

Its delicious floral scent was concocted to bring to mind the Australian tropics.

White Magic Anti-Ageing Brightening Serum (photo 2) $298

A skin-brightening serum which also promises to lift the skin and smoothen lines.

Dream Anti-Ageing Cream (photo 3) $238

Suitable for women in their 20s to 40s, this lightweight cream contains seven types of cutting-edge peptides to prevent premature skin-ageing.


Selling point: A line of products made with active and natural ingredients which are also rich in antioxidants, for spas and home spa experiences.

It claims to be one of the first in the industry to use hydrosol technology to distill active ingredients into an unadulterated form for better absorption without irritation.

While it will be launched in Sephora stores only in the middle of the year, it is currently stocked at Faith Beauty salon in International Building in Orchard Road.

The namesake brand was founded by Ms June Jacobs in New Jersey, United States.

Ms Jacobs is also partly responsible for the Peter Thomas Roth line of skincare, which she started with American entrepreneur Peter Roth in 1993.

With more than three decades of experience in the beauty industry, all her products are formulated in her own laboratories by her research and development teams.

Ms Jacobs takes inspiration from her family's home-beauty remedies.

While growing up, she saw how women in her family often steeped leftover tea leaves in their face creams.

Today, all June Jacobs products contain an antioxidant blend of white, red and green teas, as well as pomegranate, goji berries and grape seeds.

Now sold in more than 10 markets worldwide - the June Jacobs Spa Collection is also stocked at Hyatt hotel spas internationally - there are more than 50 products in the line, including haircare, as well as bath and bodycare.

All the formulas are made without parabens, preservatives, sulfates and petrochemicals.

Look out for: Papaya Purifying Enzyme Masque (photo 1) $115

For gentle exfoliation with papaya enzymes and mango enzymes for brighter, clearer skin. Borage seed oil helps to regenerate, while aloe vera extract and almond oil soothe and moisturise.

Mandarin Moisture Masque (photo 2) $97

A gel mask blended with mandarin orange oil, ginkgo biloba oil, grapefruit seed oil and aloe vera extract to lift the mood and quench dry skin.

Brightening Serum (photo 3) $177

A cocktail which lightens skin naturally with lemon peel, bearberry root, mulberry root, liquorice root and mitracarpus scaber plant extract.


Selling point: The star product is the Bee Venom Mask (from $89 for 15ml), which contains Abeetoxin, a skin-plumping substance derived from bee venom. It is marketed as an alternative to Botox injections to smoothen fine lines and boost collagen growth.

Apparently, the toxins from the bee venom give skin the effect of a sting, so blood rushes to the affected area to heal and stimulate it.

Abeetoxin also promises to calm skin, as well as fade scars and provide relief from sunburn.

The brand's founder and facialist, Ms Deborah Mitchell, who is based in Britain, counts royalty (Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge) and A-list celebrities (Victoria Beckham, Nicole Kidman and Gwyneth Paltrow) as regulars.

Her clients are reportedly fans of her signature Bee Venom Facial and bee venom skincare.

A bee toxin is supposedly so potent that Ms Mitchell has launched the Gold Label Bee Venom Mask, which costs $1,250 for 50ml and contains an "intense dose" of bee venom to tighten and firm skin.

On her blog, Ms Mitchell claims that no one has had an adverse reaction to the bee venom formula, even those with a bee allergy.

Besides the bee venom products, the 29-year-old brand also offers face oils, eye creams, tinted moisturisers, body creams and shampoo made from organic ingredients.

A selected range of the Heaven Skincare line is now stocked at

Look out for: Bee Venom Mask (photo 1) $89 for 15ml

An anti-ageing concoction of Abeetoxin, shea butter, manuka honey, rose oil and lavender oil to soothe, moisturise, treat and protect skin.

Age Defiance Moisturiser (photo 2) $159 for 50ml

A favourite of American actress Michelle Pfeiffer, this lightweight moisturiser contains vitamins B and C to protect skin.

Tea tree oil is added to help reduce scar formation, calm rosacea (a chronic skin condition) and balance the skin's sebum levels.

Vanilla Pod Hand & Nail Cream (photo 3)

$129 for 200ml A rich and moisturising cream for the cuticles and feet.

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