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Review of Clarins Contouring Facial Lift Serum and ‘Auto-Lift’ Method

Updated on August 7, 2012
Photo © Redberry Sky
Photo © Redberry Sky

The smell is divine, and the thin cream is sheer silky heaven on the skin, but does Clarins ‘Facial Lift’ live up to it’s claims that it can make facial features more defined and gorgeous?

I’ve been using this cream, and the method Clarins recommends to apply it, for a number of years on and off, depending on whether I can afford the £39.50 ($70 in the US) for 50ml, which lasts about 2-3 months of daily use.

The Scent of Clarins Facial Contouring Lotion

I love the scent of this: I find it light and clean and quite delicate, but one of my friends with an extra-sensitive nose finds it a bit too ‘chemical’ and I know that others find the Clarins range to smell a little ‘old fashioned’. I don’t personally get that with this product, though I have found it with some of their other products, especially their Beauty Flash Balm (which I nonetheless love!).

The feel of the serum on the skin

This is not a moisturising lotion, so it has no ‘thickness’ to it. The serum and the ‘auto-lift’ method used to apply it are meant to work together to reduce any ‘puffiness’ in the face by encouraging excess fluid to drain properly.

The ‘auto-lift’ method of application is basically some massage techniques and a mini facial massage, so the purpose of the serum itself is basically to allow the fingers and palms to glide over the skin to prevent tugging and pulling. In this, the fluid works wonders, because it really does reduce friction and gives your hands the light touch of a real masseuse.

Clarins ‘Auto-Lift’ Method

This is the best part of the ‘package’ Clarins is selling with this, and when I do it correctly (instructions come with a bottle of the serum, and a video is on the Clarins website if you’re unsure), I can feel the tension release and the excess fluid drain away.

Could the ‘Auto-Lift’ method be used without the serum? At times when I haven’t been able to splash out on the product, I have used the method with other light creams, but using the method does mean that whichever cream is used does get on the eyelids and very delicate skin around the eyes. I’ve not had any problems with sensitivity using Clarins’s own lotion, but I have had stinging eyes when I’ve used others.


The bottle is a pump-release which has an upwards-moving inner base so that no cream is left at the bottom and there is no waste because the mechanism squeezes out every last drop of the cream.

Does it work? Is skin firmer and features more defined after using the cream and the ‘Auto-Lift’ method of application?

Overall, I would say yes, it does have the intended effect, which is to reduce puffiness in the face. The biggest factor in this is the ‘Auto-Lift’ method – the mini facial massage you give yourself when applying the cream. There is plenty of research that demonstrates that certain massage techniques improve circulation and the lymphatic system, and reduce oedema (‘water retention’). Clarins seem to have hit on a technique that you can perform quickly and that improves lymphatic circulation in the face – hence reducing sagging and puffiness. If you have no water retention in your facial tissues, you will of course see no (or little) difference in the definition of your features, but this isn’t to say that it isn’t doing any good: what research has also shown is that massaging one part of the body can have beneficial effects on other parts. I enjoy the relaxing little massage before bedtime. I find it relaxing and stress relieving.

The cream plays a big role too, in some ways. It reduces friction so that when I’m giving myself the facial massage I’m not dragging the delicate facial skin, but I also like the scent and feel of the light serum-like cream – it makes me feel pampered, it’s a little treat to myself at the end of the day, and I really luxuriate in the little psychological ‘boost’ it gives me. I’m guessing that there are alternative oils and creams that would do the job just as well, but facial skin can be so delicate and sensitive that I’m quite happy to stick to this one because I’m confident that it does the job and suits my ‘combination’ and quite sensitive skin perfectly.

Does the Serum Itself have any Effect?

I’d be sceptical of any claims that the lotion itself drains excess fluid from the face, but when I use it every evening (and sometimes in the mornings too), I have found my skin to feel smoother and softer. It is not meant to be used as a moisturiser by itself, so it wouldn’t be fair to judge it on those qualities, but it does seem to have a beneficial effect on my complexion, and I do think that I have brighter, clearer skin when I use this regularly for any length of time.


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    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Thanks for the review. I'm curious to try it. There's just so many products in the market now a days that claims to have that "lifting" effect and I'm a careful buyer. So, I normally would research and read the reviews first before actually trying. Thanks for sharing. Voted useful.

    • Redberry Sky profile image

      Redberry Sky 4 years ago

      Thanks, ChrisSp. I know, they all claim it don't they, but I've seen very few of them actually work, so like you I'm always sceptical of the claims :)

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Excellent review, Redberry! :) I love how thorough you are in your reviews as well as giving some helpful feedback on your own experience with the product. :) VUM. I have a question for ya: which product have you experienced has the best overall results with firming skin? :)

    • Redberry Sky profile image

      Redberry Sky 4 years ago

      Thanks TToombs. Funnily enough I'm working on a comparison review of a few different moisturisers right now. I haven't quite finished comparing them yet, but I'm hoping to have an answer for you in the next few hours :)

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      No rush, but I'll be looking forward to it Red! :)

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