Sure, drugstore makeup products can be of great quality and with a wallet-friendly price tag, but sometimes, especially after receiving our annual bonuses or experiencing some kind of unexpected windfall, we feel like we should be treating ourselves and our skin to products or services that are above and beyond our usual spending habits.
However, not all luxury products are created equal. If you’ve ever seen YouTube reviews of them, you’d know that the crazy price tag doesn’t necessarily make these products fail-proof.
We’ve curated this list of ridiculously expensive beauty products by looking at either its online user reviews and ratings, or its potential based on its ingredients or technology (in the event that the product itself has not yet been launched and cannot yet garner reviews).
1. Shu Uemura Shu:Palette 2
The upfront price of this palette seems ridiculous, but when you break it down, the price of each eyeshadow in the palette comes up to significantly cheaper than if you bought them singly (they sell for SGD 25 each). This is a 16-powder palette by Shu Uemura, concentrating on everyday nude colours that were selected specially to blend with the Asian skintones.
There are eight metallic shades, five matte, one shimmer, one pearl and one iridescent. It even comes with a double-ended eyeshadow brush, and a full-sized mirror, making it a great item to have in your travel makeup collection (though the pan itself is large).
This reviewer was impressed by the quality of the colours, saying that it was smooth to apply, and adheres well to the skin. A local reviewer has also affirmed that the quality of these eyeshadows are top notch, and that it’s actually much more affordable than other high end brands.
Shu Uemura Shu:Palette 2 retails for SGD 170 at Sephora stores and on Sephora.sg.
2. La Mer The Cleansing Micellar Water
As can be expected by the name, La Mer uses their signature marine nutrients to take all that impurities and leftover makeup away, while claiming to leave your skin clean, hydrated and soothed.
Included in their micellar water formula is also their nourishing Miracle Broth which re-mineralises, hydrates and renews skin. Its ingredients are delivered to the skin with micro-capsules.
According to these reviewers, The Cleansing Micellar Water does feel like the luxury treat to your skin that its price tag proclaims it to be. One of them also stated that other micellar waters dried out her skin, but that this La Mer one did not, and instead left it feeling smooth and hydrated without any dry tightness.
La Mer The Cleansing Micellar Water retails for SGD 180 (200 ml) at Tangs.
3. By Terry Terrybly Densiliss Wrinkle Control Serum Foundation
This foundation claims to be able to do double duty. It’s not only supposed to do an excellent job as a foundation, but it also contains active ingredients that’s meant to help with diminishing fine lines and reducing signs of ageing.
Reviewers on Makeupalley and Beautylish have a generally positive impression of it! Being a serum foundation, it probably isn’t the most full coverage foundation though it is buildable. However, reviewers generally liked it for how naturally flawless it made their skin look, and its “lit from within” finish. The flawlessly long-lasting wear has also been praised by users.
By Terry Terrybly Densiliss Wrinkle Control Serum Foundation retails for SGD 165 (30 ml) at Sephora.
4. Erno Laszlo Phormula 3-9 Repair Cream
Unlike many repair creams out there, the Erno Laszlo Phormula 3-9 Repair Cream also claims to be strongly anti-inflammatory. As such, users have started using them for scars, rashes, scrapes, and other types of skin irritation, with apparently quick and good results.
Despite the crazy price for this cream, users have said that this is a product that they cannot live without, and that it even manages to heal some milder skin conditions overnight. Because of how quickly this cream works, users have been able to use it sparingly and make one tub go a long, long way.
Erno Laszlo Phormula 3-9 Repair Cream retails for SGD 420 on Sephora.
5. Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick
Foundation sticks seem to be becoming all the rage nowadays, and Hourglass Cosmetics has come up with their own iteration of it. The Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick claims to have “the coverage of a concealer, the fluidity of a liquid, and the weightlessness of a powder”.
Does it really live up to the hype, however? According to reviews on the Sephora website, it certainly provides medium to full coverage, and “blends like a dream”. This reviewer liked how it blurred her pores and perfect her skin while still looking natural and satiny.
The foundation stick comes in a very convenient triangle shape, so it makes it easier to get into tighter corners of your face, such as between the inner corner of your eye and your nose bridge, or the folds beside your nose. It also has a pretty good shade range with 21 different shades available.
Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick retails for SGD 76 at Sephora stores and on Sephora.sg.
6. Burberry First Love Blush Palette
How cute is this blush?! The bold heart design is inspired by Burberry’s womenswear collection. The First Love Blush is a two-in-one blush and highlighter palette that’s perfect to create flushed, rosy cheeks. It contains illuminating pearls throughout the palette for subtle highlights and sheen after application.
Users have gushed about how beautifully pigmented the blush is, how well it blends onto the cheeks, and how long it manages to last without fading. The colour is described by users as a peachy-pink that is flattering on all skintones.
Burberry First Love Blush retails for SGD 96 at Tangs.
7. Skin Inc Optimizer Voyage Tri-light
Said to be a “customisable facial in a flash”, Skin Inc Optimizer Voyage Tri-light features 3 different LED lights that targets different skin concerns. It’s shaped like a facial cleansing device, so it’s simple and easy to use while doing your daily skincare routine.
Skin Inc says that the Optimizer Voyage Tri-light uses the technology of NASA, chromotherapy and low frequency therapy to stimulate cells and maximize the absorption of the nutrients and active ingredients found in your skincare products. There have been generally positive reviews on its Sephora website, with users claiming that it does make a difference to their complexion and even tightened their pores.
The three LED lights it features are:
- Red Light Renew: to repair damaged skin cells, increase production of collagen and elastin
- Yellow Light Revive: to brighten dull skin tone
- Blue Light Alleviate: to alleviate acne, soothe sensitive, oily and congested skin
Skin Inc Optimizer Voyage Tri-light retails for SGD 398 at Sephora.
The following products are either new or launching soon, so we are unable to find any reviews that show that they really work. However, based on the extensive research put into them, backed by a strong team of scientists, we thought they sounded very promising, and won’t be surprised if they make it to your list of holy grails eventually.
8. 277 Series Vit C Intense
Vitamin C is not only great for your immune system but also for your skin. Unfortunately, you can’t just apply any type of Vitamin C on your skin and expect miracles. The formulation for Vitamin C that is the best for skin application and absorption is difficult to maintain, as Vitamin C in this form tends to oxidide and lose its efficacy very easily. Finding a form that can stabilise the Vitamin C is what usually causes the price tag to sky rocket.
277 Series is a skincare collection researched and developed by a panel of four local dermatologists from South Bridge Aesthetics and Knightsbridge Clinic in June 2017. Their Vit C Intense is a whitening serum that contains the highest concentration of Vitamin C (17%!) currently available in Singapore, which sounds like it will be worth its high price. The Vit C Intense claims to help with skin firmness, reducing visible wrinkles, fine line, pigmentation, and has general antioxidant effects.
277 Series Vit C Intense retails for SGD 280 (50 ml) at Skin Concierge.
9. La Prairie Skin Caviar Absolute Filler
With 30 years of history behind their Skin Caviar Collection, La Prairie is about to up their game with the Skin Caviar Absolute Filler. The new product uses pressing and centrifugation to separate the lipids and proteins in caviar, in order to enhance its individual potency, before recombining them into Caviar Absolute.
Delivering rich nutrients and moisture into the skin, it is said to stimulate collagen formulation, smooth the skin’s texture and increase elasticity. It comes in an innovative airless pump that releases just the right amount of cream with a single press of an inverted button.
The cream itself absorbs quickly for its density. It does have a significant scent to it, but it does not at all smell fishy as you might expect from a caviar-based formula. Instead, the scent simply reminds one of luxury creams. Since it hasn’t yet been released for public sale yet, there are no reviews of it around. La Prairie, however, has enjoyed a long heritage of being the go-to luxury skincare brand, so we’re going to say that this new addition to their long-running Skin Caviar line would probably be worth every penny.
La Prairie Skin Caviar Absolute Filler retails for SGD 960 (60 ml) at La Prairie counters from 1 September 2017.
10. DrGL Glow Mira-Lift facial
Anti-ageing facials are not uncommon, but ever heard of one that is said to deliver instantaneous but long-lasting results? It sounds too good to be true, but wait till you hear what the Glow Mira-lift facial is all about.
The treatment, backed by celebrity aesthetics doctor, Dr Georgia Lee, primarily banks on its star active ingredient, a high concentration of premium pure hyaluronic acid. Aside from its well-known capacity for binding moisture and thus its being able to provide hydrating effects on your skin for at least 28 days, it also acts as a filler to smooth out wrinkles, to boost cell renewal, and even to protect the skin against detrimental environmental factors. It is safe, and you don’t have to buffer for any down time after the facial.
The facial itself is too new to have any reviews as of yet (though we’re sure these will come up soon), but here’s why we think the treatment, despite its price, may have something to it. The hyaluronic acid is applied to your skin in three different ways during the facial: an FDA-approved advanced radio frequency technology which prepares the skin for maximum absorption of the hyaluronic acid, gold-plated micro-channeling technology (using actual gold that is strictly used for one session only and disposed after) from Korea that delivers the hyaluronic acid into underlying skin layers, and ion wave technology from Israel that maximises the absorption of the ingredient by your skin cells.
DrGL Glow Mira-Lift costs SGD 1,288 (120 mins) in DrSpa at Tangs Plaza.
11. SK-II R.N.A. Power Magnetic Kit
SK-II’s Radical New Age (R.N.A.) series is an award-winning, anti-ageing line that brings their signature ingredient, Pitera™, together with with RNArchitect Complex™ in order to rejuvenate the skin. In order to amp up your skincare routine, SK-II developed the Magnetic Booster, utilising the new and innovative Magnetic Micropulse Technology to deliver a gentle pulsation of 7,000 magnetic vibrations per minute.
The Magnetic Booster is said to be able to improve penetration of SK-II’s premium anti-ageing ingredients up to three times better than conventional application with fingers. While there are no reviews of it yet, since it’s only due to hit SK-II counters from September onwards, we think that the Magnetic Booster would give a refreshingly new sensation to your nightly skincare routine.
The SK-II R.N.A. Power Magnetic Kit consists of their R.N.A. Cream (80 g) and the Magnetic Booster, and retails for SGD 253. The SK-II R.N.A. Power Essence Magnetic Kit consists of their R.N.A. Essence (50 ml) and the Magnetic Booster, and retails for SGD 258. They will be on sale islandwide from September onwards.
12. Sothys Youth Serums
Sothys is a professional skincare brand that emphasises on their cutting-edge cosmetic science and technology which allows them to formulate treatments with potent active ingredients. Their upcoming Youth Serums collection has been formulated to target and reduce visible signs of ageing. Interestingly enough, each of these youth serums were inspired by different popular aesthetic treatments.
The collection includes:
- Unifying Youth Serum: inspired by pigment lasers that use light and heat to reduce pigmentation, and LED (light emitting diode) which emits light with low levels of energy to tighten pores and restore skin radiance.
- Detoxifying Anti-Free Radical Youth Serum: inspired by detox treatments to brighten up dull complexion caused by pollution, smoking or lack of sleep
- Wrinkle-specific Youth Serum: inspired by hyaluronic acid injections to fill up existing wrinkles, soften fine lines and smooth the skin surface
- Firming-specific Youth Serum: inspired by radio frequency energy to slow stimulate production of skin colleage to halt skin sagging, and lift the features
- Reconstructive Youth Serum: inspired by mesotherapy injections which stimulate collagen production and boost hydration to intensely nourish the skin and make it appear plump and hydrated
- Perfect Shape Youth Serum: inspired by lifting threads that are implanted under the skin, and ultrasound which uses sound energy to remove facial fats, to reshape, redefine and protect facial contours for a more oval face shape
Sothys Youth Serums retail for SGD 169 (30 ml) each at Sothys salons from 26 July 2017.
Featured image from here.