Best Supporting Acts

Every brand has star products that sell millions worldwide, backed by big budgets.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Every brand has star products that sell millions worldwide, backed by big budgets. But there are some quiet achievers that always sell well and have loyal fans, despite a lack of promotion. These here are the overlooked performers to pay attention to.

Top-of-the-line Moisturisers

1 YSL Beaute Or Rouge Creme, $559
Not many people know the brand has this luxe moisturiser, described by insiders as “darn amazingly good” because of how it addresses 11 visible signs of ageing – in a pampering formula, no less. Why the hefty price tag: It uses vitamin- and antioxidantrich saffron, said to be worth more than gold and 10 times pricier than caviar.
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2 Armani Beauty Crema Nera Supreme Reviving Light Cream, $560
It has a lightweight feel, but users say it keeps skin moisturised and radiating an inner glow all day. After one night, skin texture becomes smoother, and long-term use helps to heal acne scars and bumpiness.
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3 Cle de Peau Radiant Multi Repair Oil, $200

Fine and silky, it absorbs extremely fast, leaves no oily residue and has an instant smoothing and plumping effect. Users wake up to a fresh, glowing complexion come morning, and many of them rub leftover oil on their palms onto hair to smooth frizz, so as not to waste a single bit.
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Cleansers & Makeup Removers

4 Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm, $55

This is the brand’s No. 1 makeup remover. Fans – a wide range, from those with very dry to oily skin – love how it removes budge-resistant makeup and rinses off clean, leaving just fresh, supple skin, no matter their skin type.

Within SG and South-east Asia, this cleansing oil, which launched in 2016, is the best-selling item in the Seaberry range.
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5 Fresh Seaberry Skin Nutrition Cleansing Oil, $68

Waterproof makeup comes off easily with no tugging, while leaving skin hydrated. It’s rich in nourishing oils like seaberry, camellia and grapeseed, yet doesn’t leave a greasy residue.
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6 SK-II Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser, $93

A great complement to the brand’s famed essence, it does the job of removing grime and sebum, but is so mild that even dry skin doesn’t feel tight and itchy after.

On-the-go Fixes

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7 Origins Peace of Mind On-the-spot Relief, $30

This handy little stressbuster has been around since the 1990s and many customers – stressed-out professionals, pregnant women, migraine sufferers – say it’s their foolproof fix for tension and throbbing heads. Peppermint essential oil is an instant pick-me-up, while eucalyptus essential oil helps you breathe better.

People with chronic headaches swear by it. They say a couple of drops massaged into the temples and earlobes are all it takes to relieve tension and pressure.

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8 Chanel Sublimage La Brume, $390 with three refills

This vanilla water facial mist provides an antioxidant and moisture boost to hot and tired-looking skin. It’s even said to protect skin against microclimate changes, like when moving in and out of air-conditioned buildings or cars.


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9 Estee Lauder Pure Color Desire Rouge Excess Matte Lipstick, $62

Intense colour pay-off with just one glide and lasting enough to see you through meals. And unlike many long-wear and matte lippies, the creamy formula won’t feather or highlight lines, so lips stay smooth and plump looking.
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10 Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin Care & Perfect, $150-$200

The primer has plenty of ingredients that improve skin quality, like shea butter and mineral-rich Alpine water. Fans use it as a makeup base or on its own after skincare. It gives skin a pretty, softfocus looking finish with a natural radiance.
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11 Shiseido Nourishing Mascara Base, $41

Users with short, straight lashes say the lash primer gives them significantly more volume and length. It also keeps whatever mascara you apply after intact, so you’ll hardly see any smudging.

Intensive Treatments 

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12 Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solution Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate, $99

It’s a very effective but very gentle peel that even those with sensitive skin can use to tackle rough, dull or uneven skin. You simply apply it before bed for softer, smoother skin the next day.
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13 Lancome Advanced Genifique Hydrogel Melting Mask, $125 for box of seven

Those looking for an instant fix for dry, tired and lacklustre skin will find it here, with each sheet mask loaded with as much probiotic extracts as one bottle of Genifique serum.
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14 Hera White Program Capsule Ampoule, $220

Despite attention mostly falling on the range’s serum and cream, this six-week vitamin C-based programme is a favourite with users who have reported brighter skin and reduced spots after one round of use.
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15 Sulwhasoo Herblinic Intensive Infusion Ampoules, $248

Meant for use over eight weeks, this creates a rich moisturising barrier for those experiencing very dry skin due to weather changes, or are looking to boost skin recovery.