There are only two types of glow: that which comes from within, and that which is applied from without. Inner radiance presumably comes from a confluence of healthy eating decisions, thinking good thoughts and drinking plenty of water, but built up incandescence needs a solid base to build on, and that requires constantly addressing the issues unique to you with boosters and serums.
I’ve been hunting for something to alleviate skin fatigue since my university days, because it’s the only thing I feel I seriously need. Forget pimples and cuts, which come and go. Precious few makeup tricks can recover the skin sagging under the weight of all the stress you haven’t faced or all the sleep you had to forego. Sometimes a balanced lifestyle isn’t amenable to everyone, and I had my stressed out fingers crossed that Clarins Booster Energy ($40) was going to be my ace of spades, but one bottle later, I regret to say this isn’t the case–at least for my particular olive complexion.
The serum is chock-full of ginseng and wheat protein, and given the concentration of ingredients within, you’re not supposed to use the booster on its own. You’re to tease a few drops into your day cream of choice, and while the smell is sharp but non-offensive, it’s the bottle’s design that is truly impressive, with the base specifically made so that you can squeeze out the booster drop-by-exact-drop till you have just the amount you need. In theory, it’s a dream in a 15ml dose, but in execution, it does leave something to be desired.
The problem is that for all its claims, the Energy Booster isn’t noticeably better at its job than any facial oil or even a sleeping mask. I get that it’s just a serum and not a magic potion, but it bothers me that something this powerful in composition only works as well as fat-heavy camellia oil or antioxidant rich rosehip oil. True, mixing three drops into my sunscreen did seem to keep my face from getting progressively more tired-looking as the day went on, but the effects vanish when the booster is folded into moisturizer. My theory is that mixing too much day cream with too few drops of serum dilutes the effect and leads to a smaller overall improvement, but that doesn’t logically follow, since one would assume that boosters help build up your levels of care instead of vanishing within them.
All in all, it’s a nifty little serum and it is both pleasant and effective to use, but my main gripe is that with its current price tag and ingredient list, the few drops of Clarins Booster Energy don’t deliver as much value as they should. True, it has kept my skin supple and its mild scent perks me up in the mornings, but no more so than my favourite moisturiser. As far as boosters go, this one only seems worth a shot only if your skin is in serious, systemic disarray (i.e. when you need all the help you can get); using it obsessively each time you sleep four hours instead of eight won’t give you the magic that you’re expecting.
Clarins Booster Energy ($40)