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Beauty
January 18, 2016

Does The New Chanel Sublimage Actually Work?

Text by Nisha Jhangiani

A beauty junkie rediscovers the radiance she once had

For someone who possesses fairly respectable skin, I seem to harbour acute paranoia that something will go irreversibly wrong someday. A zit now and then implies emergency appointments at the dermatologist’s, a quick oxygen facial to remove toxins, a multitude of ointments that can aid with drying, healing, peeling — whatever it takes to get the confounded pimple to dissipate. On the whole, though, my relationship with my skin is a harmonious one; I stick to a fixed regime, apply only prescribed products and worship sunblock like the divine god it is. In return, my skin has cooperated by staying blemish-free, choosing to shower me with an occasional glow as well.

Over the years, this halo of light has gone a wee bit astray. I have days when my visage beams like an eternal ray of sunlight and other moments when it eerily imitates visuals of a car wreckage. I can blame it on pollution, stress, hormonal imbalances or fatigue — what has troubled me most is that I haven’t been successful in counteracting these world problems.

My introduction to Chanel’s Sublimage was spectacular, even to my sceptical senses. A research process that began around 2002 found the release of the first Sublimage only in 2006. Ten years forward, a brand-new avatar is ready to hit the market this month; a pot of magic that pumps collagen and encourages circulation, halts pigmentation, delicately softens lines and wrinkles, firms, tones, redefines contours and all in all is simply the best elixir that exists.

All these wonders are the result of Vanilla Planifolia, one of the 117 varieties of vanilla found and tended to painstakingly by the village women of Madagascar, who deftly and physically pollinise the vanilla flowers at their prime, fertilising their potential to transform the skin, and speedily ship them to France in this vital state. Clearly, the charm has worked; Chanel has sold one Sublimage La Crème jar per minute since 2006.

What convinces me to be my own guinea pig though is none of the above. It’s the laborious testing on women of various age groups and skin types, factoring in multiple lifestyles, climatic conditions and personal needs. Most of all, it’s the women from Chanel’s team passing around versions of creams that assure a sensation of silk satin, silk jersey or silk velvet, depending on the density you require. It’s these women’s faces sparkling with dewy luminosity that convinces me to embark on my one-month trial.

I opted for the Sublimage Texture Supreme — the heaviest of the three — winter is coming after all. I religiously followed the application technique; smoothing on the cream to my cheeks, neck, forehead and décolletage, gently massaging centre outward, paying more attention to the chin and jawline area. I ended by making fists and circling around the contours of my face via clenched fingernails.

I admit that I wasn’t strict with regularity. I applied this cream maybe four to five nights a week, supplementing it with L’Essence, a lighter fluid from the same family that acts as an extraordinary base before make-up. I didn’t venture near the host of other products in the same range — cleanser, lotion, SPF moisturiser and the L’Extrait potion where one drop is treatment enough.

To be honest, I didn’t notice any difference. Sure, the dark circles seemed marginally paler and the crow’s feet looked fewer in number. My skin felt exactly as it always did, unexpected, given the heavy consistency of the cream (it melts away within minutes of application). Until friends and acquaintances began to comment on my ‘glow’. Ah, that extraordinary word and all that it implies. I still don’t see it but everyone around me immediately jumps on to the bandwagon, greedily questioning my secret. And that question, for me, is the answer to all my problems.

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