Monday, January 18, 2016

Estée Lauder Serums: Old & New


The two bottles in the middle of the photo are practically empty. I used up the entire Estée Lauder New Dimension Shape + Fill Expert Serum trying to figure out  if I like it and whether it does anything for me, and the answer to both is "No". More on that below. Then there's my renewed love affair with Lauder's classic Advanced Night Repair (Synchronized Recovery Complex II). How many bottles of that have you gone through in your lifetime so far (including the previous formulation)? I have no idea how many times I've repurchased Advanced Night Repair in its various incarnations, and I remember my mother going through bottles of that as well.

It goes like this: I buy a bottle of Advanced Night Repair, finish it, buys another, use it up more or less, gets distracted by something shiny, experiment for months, then go back to my Estée Lauder and question my sanity for ever letting it go. The main thing is that I don't use ANR at night. For that there's retinol (right now I'm willing to wed Peter Thomas Roth for his one). I use the Advanced Night Repair in the morning, after toning (with a hydrating Asian or Asian-style "lotion", currently sending thanks and blessings twice a day to my reader Eileen for recommending Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence Intensive). I apply the sticky serum to my face and neck, enjoying the way it makes my skin feel upon contact, allow it to soak while I brush my teeth and such before following with a snail product and finishing with a few drops of Best Face Forward oil (note to self: restock soon).

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair is famous for actually working. It brightens, smooths, and improves skin texture, while giving a boost to whatever you use on top for moisturizing. There are more effective nighttime renewal treatments (hence retinol), but I can't think of a better all-around serum that is more action than marketing. I bought the largest size this time.

Now back to the newer Estée Lauder serum, the much-hyped New Dimension Shape + Fill. Firming is a major buzzword these days. It's always been big, but the notion that a skincare product can actually "sculpt" your face seems to have exploded everywhere. I'd call BS, but I have actually encountered products that do something sort-of-kind-of like that, even if on a temporary basis. Estée Lauder New Dimension Shape + Fill Expert Serum is not one of them. Shape & Fill is a nice liquid serum that feels pleasant under makeup (under my sunscreen, really), and absorbs quickly into the skin giving it a soft producty finish. Nothing major, no super powers or extra hydration/tightening/firmness or whatever. Just a harmless light serum that my skin is happy to receive. In my experience, a firmed and plumped up effect can be achieved if the product has this "life of its own" freaky consistency that causes it to re-bond with itself on/in your skin. There are several such products on the market, and what makes them stand out is that a while after you scoop some out of its jar, the dip you made closes and the product's face looks as smooth and untouched as the first time you removed the lid. I swear by Laneige Firming Sleeping Mask, the Korean product (made by Amore Pacific) that I buy regularly at Target, and love using when I take a nap before an outing or an event.

There you have it. Estée Lauder does some things better than anyone else on the market, but seems to stumble and fall when it succumbs to trends (see the Shape +Sculpt eye kit, or Kylie Jenner).

Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair ($62-92, 1oz or 1.7oz) and  Estée Lauder New Dimension Shape + Fill Expert Serum ($89, 1 oz) are available at every department store and from Sephora.

12 comments:

  1. I am like you , I buy the old Lauder serum ( have not bought that other one ) and then I think I need a different serum .... then I go back to the Lauder! LOL
    Would you please tell me the Peter Thomas Roth product you use? I might hunt that down !!

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    Replies
    1. It's PTR Retinol fusion PM. Retails for $65 here.

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  2. Hi Lady Jicky! Fancy meeting you here.

    And now, to the Non-Blonde, yes and amen to the ANR. I'm currently using a lot of Vitamin C serum because I'm trying to nip some hyperpigmentation and milia in the bud, but when I stop using Vitamin C round the clock, I'll go back to Advanced Night Repair. I usually use it under my nighttime moisturizer, but I'll try it during the day.

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    Replies
    1. Poppy, I'm always struggling with Vitamin C serums. They do wonders, but the smell kills me, so I'm not as consistent as I should be. That's why I'm so devoted to snail products at the moment. They do a lot of repair work with no icky smell.

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    2. I'm currently using C20®+Ferulic from NuFountain (with 20% L-Ascorbic acid, ferulic acid and hylaronic acid) and I swear it smells like wart remover. An orange grove I can see (as long as the tint doesn't go along with the smell, and I'm looking at you, Peter Thomas Roth) but not wart remover, for heaven's sake. But it brightens up my face, so I deal with it.

      I guess I should investigate snail creams. I've been resisting Korean skincare innovations, probably in an attempt to retain what's left of my sanity. But I'll have a look around your blog to see what you have to say about them!

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  3. Poppy .... I love my beauty blogs - especially the Real Good Ones !!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was lucky enough to see Bowie live during the 1996 fashion awards doing the song "Fashion" appropriately enough (this performance is on YouTube). To see Bowie perform and for Elton John to walk right by me was the highlight of my decade.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon, I did see Elton John perform, but never passed him by. My highlights include sitting in the same restaurant with Mick Jagger and the late L'Wren Scott, and (same restaurant, different occasion) with Bruce Springsteen and his lovely wife.

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  5. Thank you again for great advice that is easy to follow (easiest on pay day, that is :)). Only your years of experience could distill the concise description of "soft producty finish." I love it. Yes, "SPF" is the advantage of high-end beauty products, but ultimately not what many of us expect. I will finish my sample of Shape + Fill, but save my money for the Advanced Night Repair. I just started going through samples of the ANR, and suspected it was helping. It's on the list now.

    Kathy
    Bloomington, IN

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Kathy (and apologies for the late reply). I hope you're enjoying ANR. I just repurchased another large bottle at the Neiman GWP event. I can't be without it.

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  6. I even used it when it was called just Night Repair. I must have still been in my teens. It was much waterier back then.

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    Replies
    1. I love that they've kept updating the formula and putting in the newest reasearch and ingredients. No wonder people have been loyal users for decades.

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