Every week, fashion and beauty editor Jolene Khor, makeup artist Fiona Bennett, hair guru Christian Maranion, and beauty connoisseur Monica Saranya Selva De Roy — collectively known as The Clubbers — test drive the latest (and with hopes, the greatest) makeup, skincare, hair care, fragrance, bath and body drops to land in Singapore. Tools and brushes too. You get the idea. To buy in bulk or to take a hard pass? We give you the 411 so you never have to second-guess again.
In the spotlight this week:
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intense Reset Concentrate

While a consistent — and carefully curated — skincare routine does wonders for the skin, it is often ill-equipped to deal with curveballs. Traveling, hormones, the weather... even a dirty pillowcase can push one's already stressed complexion to the edge. As good as we try to be, sometimes the only break we catch is a breakout, 'seeing red' happens in the mirror, and irritation is not just a feeling, it's a symptom on your face. Depending on their severity, these visits can span the length of days to months. Besides praying (atheists join in, because desperate times = desperate measures), we find ourselves dreaming up a clean state; a skin reset to rescue and restore our complexion to its former glory. It is a wish Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair Intense Reset Concentrate wants to grant. This velvety emulsion — technically a pre-serum to its OG Advanced Night Repair — claims to boost skin's clarity and simultaneously calm it down through its potent blend of fermented yeast, patented salicylic acid, and high-powered antioxidants. A miracle worker or just plain ol' monkey business? The Buro. Beauty Club gets to the bottom of it.
What the Health
If my self-esteem could talk, she would tell you that last week wasn't the best week my skin has ever had. Blessed is I who inherited my mother's superior genes; they have shielded me for decades, many of the complexion ailments I watched my peers struggle with growing up. 2019 is when my luck would run out. You see, a new facial I tried went awry. Not only did I develop allergies to the mask they slapped on me, the therapist on call was too, umm, enthusiastic during the extraction of my comedones — the latter of which caused bloody pimples, the former, red, bumpy rashes and itch. Severe itch. Only after a visit with the doctor who prescribed me a steroid cream I called bedside companion for three nights did my symptoms subside. Even as I'm typing this, they haven't disappeared completely.

When my skin calmed down enough, I gave the Advanced Night Repair Intense Reset Concentrate by Estée Lauder a shot, since it's meant to "bring back what once was mine". (You bet that magic song from Disney's Tangled was playing in my mind for days.) She didn't disappoint. I applied a thin coat on my sandpaper-ish complexion, hoping it will "heal what has been hurt" (ok I'll stop with the reference), and heal it did. The hint of redness left subsided further by morning and my skin felt considerably less angry. The heavy formula also softened the dead skin cells which the steroid cream formed for days as a layer of protection, making their removal with a natural coffee scrub, a smooth journey in more ways than one. While this won't (and shouldn't) be on regular rotation on my vanity — because it's made for occasional deep revitalisation and not everyday use — I will keep it within reach for emergencies in the future.

Jolene Khor

Time Will Tell
I have been a long time, an on-and-off user of the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II (ANR). Occasionally, I go off it to try other brands and their latest potions because there are so many in the market! To be honest, I have never been a die-hard fan of the Advanced Night Repair range but my good friend is obsessed with it. In fact, the last time I bought the ANR was because of her. She swears that it cures everything — fine lines, wrinkles, pimples, sunburn, wind rash... I could go on and on.

The new Advanced Night Repair Intense Reset Concentrate is more of a creamy serum. It feels silky and smooth, and it has a light texture compared to the ANR, which has more of a gel consistency. I immediately like it! I popped on my usual night cream and it worked beautifully together. It didn't feel too heavy, not like I have too many layers. The claims that it "resets" skin, reduces irritation, and boosts clarity, which I'm not too sure about — maybe it's because my skin doesn't have these problems in the first place. But my pores definitely looked reduced and skin texture more refined instantly. In the morning, I sort of expected miracles. I mean, it is a 20ml bottle going for $140. But nope! Still the same old mug. It's a product you need to try for several weeks to find any improvement to the skin. Let's just wait, sit tight, and hope.

Fiona Bennett

Best Friend Material
Just about anything can aggravate my skin; I've had bad luck with as environmental hazards, perspiration, even cleansing. The featured S.O.S Technology in the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intense Reset Concentrate is surrounded by many skin-conditioning agents, humectants, emollients, and extracts that create a beautiful formulation — one with a slightly thick consistency though it absorbs into my skin easily. I noticed the redness in my skin reduce within the hour. Considering how rich the product is with its hydrating properties, I was able to remove other steps from my already extensive night routine. Also, I wanted to experience the full extent of its abilities, so I shut out all the lights in my room to promote more melatonin production in my body as I slept. You should try it!

I awoke with a well-hydrated face and noticed the overall appearance of my skin to have improved in terms of texture, condition, and plumpness, which only further highlighted the richness and efficacy of the product. A week with it led to further reduced appearances of pores and less redness around my acne spots; the resveratrol ingredient which helps the skin renew itself was working. One of the things I look forward to doing is using this product on long flights to fight the hazards of recycled air. With a decent amount of antioxidants in the formulation of Advanced Night Repair Intense Reset Concentrate, it is truly an all-rounder that handles skin recovery beautifully.

Christian Maranion

Heavy, in More Ways Than One
Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair Intense Reset Concentrate was much raved about. When it arrived for me, I had sky-high expectations of what Estée Lauder, a frontier in skincare and makeup, can produce in terms of formula for an "intense reset" for the skin. I've had this serum on on nights when I spotted inflamed acne on my cheeks, and on nights when I had OK skin. In both situations, the product was able to whip my skin back to shape. It held very well onto my skin overnight too. When I washed my face the next morning, there were heaps of it left on my skin. Has Estée Lauder put their money where their mouth is? Sure.

Unfortunately, I've also been more prone to blackheads. Given the serum's heavy creaminess, I presume its moisturising ingredients are potentially clogging my pores and adding to the already oily T-zone on my face. You have to figure out how to manage your blackheads (or your version of clogged pores, which could be whiteheads or breakouts), perhaps by reducing use to only days when your skin truly needs it.

The Concentrate was marketed to "significantly boost skin's luminous clarity". I didn't see a difference in this regard. A very good example of a night product that moisturises and boosts clarity is the Sunday Riley C.E.O Glow Vitamin C + Turmeric Face Oil we reviewed weeks back. While the former is a repair serum and the latter is an oil, they were essentially brought into the market to resolve very similar problems. Given the steep price of the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intense Reset Concentrate, I'd personally choose something lighter on the pocket — and on the skin — to start.

Monica Selva De Roy
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intense Reset Concentrate is available at all Estée Lauder counters and stores. It is also available online at Sephora.
The Clubbers
a.k.a. the people who will never lie to you, the beauty enablers you never thought you'd have, the voices of reason when logic goes out the window on payday, and when Sephora goes on sale.
Jolene Khor
Beauty Editor of Buro. Singapore
The fashion and beauty editor at Buro. Singapore swiped on her first glitter lip gloss at age 12 and have never looked back since — except the rare (only not so rare) occasions when she wants to feel better about her makeup skills as an adult. That kohl eyeliner look wasn't working out despite the fact that she was listening to The Cure and quoting Oscar Wilde. Her mother is thankful that K-beauty happened though that means her glow isn't just genetic. These days, her worst crimes are knocking out with full makeup on and forgetting to apply sunscreen on her neck. Old habits die hard.
Christian Maranion
Hair Specialist & Makeup Artist
Nine years. That's how long Christian Maranion has been in the hair game. Having honed his craft, he then began dabbling in makeup, finding equal joy in killing it at both. He has worked with the likes of Vanessa Fernandez aka Vandetta, Tabitha Nauser, and Charlie Lim. He also frequently collaborates with names such as Sephora, Elizabeth Arden, and Kat Von D to up their beauty game. Don't be fooled by appearances — though he may love dark humour and even darker outfits, he is a pocketful of sunshine.
Fiona Bennett
Makeup Artist & Hairstylist
Fiona Bennett is a makeup artist and hairstylist by profession, and a wife, mother, and part-time Kardashian expert when she's not hustling. Hailing from Australia, she reluctantly came to Singapore with her husband almost six years ago but she's grown to love it so much she wouldn't want to be anywhere else. She began her journey (sometimes by force) pinning her friends down to make them up before going out — only now she gets paid for it! You might find the self-proclaimed beauty-obsessed Fiona snapping up the latest products in the department stores on weekends. You name it, she has probably tried it.
Monica Selva De Roy
Henna & Makeup Artist
Monica doesn't have enough heads for the hats she wants to wear. When the sun's out, she's selling ultra cool tech that makes logistics look sexier than ever. Then, she slaps on some face cake to moonlight as an actress on Vasantham; from nasty stepmother to varsity mean girl, she's seen them all in the realm of antagonism. Oh, her makeup and henna businesses keep her busy during the weekends too. Amidst all this, she's finding time to test and review makeup — if that's not true love, what is?