Of course, let's look to the positive side of things!! As today is September 1st and it's just the beginning of the work week for us here in Malaysia, after a long Independence Day weekend, I will start a short series of posts called "Workshops I've Attended" series whereby I will describe and review in details the workshops that I have attended for the last 2 months (July and August 2009) though not in chronological order. And this will not be a daily and/or weekly post but I promise to review all the workshops as soon as possible subject to the availability of my time (being a stay-at-home-mom doesn't mean I have plenty of free time everyday, in fact, very much on the contrary) and also the Internet connection.
So I will 'premier' this 'series' with a special acknowledgment to the hard work and efforts of my good friend Miu who had co-organized a skincare workshop with Clarins Malaysia exclusively for her friends and blog readers called Clarins Power To Try Workshop on August 22, 2009. Actually, this Power To Try Workshop was a series of workshops organized by Clarins for its members. When Miu came to know about it, she contacted Clarins and discussed with them for a special session to give us the opportunity to meet up with one another and of course, to hang out and have fun! ;)
This workshop was held in the Clarins Training Center at their headquarters. The place was easy for me to get to and had ample parking space in the shopping mall, Times Square, right opposite the building where their HQ was. If you know this area well, you will know how crazy traffic in the area is and what kind of horrible parking situation they have.
So I was greeted by Grace at their office and she helped me with my registration and ushered me to their Training Room. Even though this was a free workshop, I had to commend Clarins for going the extra mile to build a good rapport with their current customers like Miu and potential customers which many of us were. After this workshop, many of the participants who had not used Clarins prior to this were busy rushing to various Clarins counter to purchase their Starter/Trial Kits for skincare and even bodycare, though bodycare wasn't covered in this workshop.
As it was quite early in the morning, Clarins had prepared some light snacks/breakfast for us - croissants, pastry puffs and little fruit tarts from Delifrance, with drinks and chocolates and sweets. But NO COFFEE!!! And that morning I happened to have a sluggish start to my day. Anyways, my day perked up as the workshop went along.....
So the workshop started with the Clarins Trainer, Ms Erinn Tan, giving us an introduction to Clarins and a brief summary of Clarins latest HydraQuench range and its main ingredient, the Katafray bark. We watched a video presentation followed by explanation by Erinn of some of Clarins star products. Clarins have many star products but I am just going to write in general, highlighting their star products as I write. As Erinn explained some of the products one-by-one, the Beauty Advisors (BAs) present to assist and guide us let us try out the products at the back of our hands 1st. We could feel the texture of the products and also check out the scents (some kind of Skin Patch Test also, I reckon). After explaining, it was time for the Power To Try!! Yes, the 'power' for us to try out Clarins products.
As my day had started out quite sluggish, I didn't take any note on the products I have used, only some photos. So Erinn introduced quite a wide range of beauty serum/essence from Clarins. And I learnt that for your daily skincare regime, you can use up to 2 different types of serum, which each addressing different skin problems you are having, for example: for enlarged pores and pigmentation, respectively.
Erinn had started our hands-on session with the purpose of letting us try out a wide variety of their products, hence, she taught us a how-to "weekly skincare regime", instead of a daily one. Firstly, of course, we did a cleansing of our face. As I have been told this will be a skincare workshop, I had come there with my bare face, only splattering on some of my own Stila tinted moisturizer with SPF. I used the Cleansing Milk with Gentian for combination or oily skin. This cleansing milk had quite a light texture and scent. Erinn demonstrated each and every step on Wing, who had volunteered to be our model for that session.
Erinn taught us to spread the cleansing milk between the palms of our hands and then gently apply it all over the face. Instead of normally massaging the milk on our face to remove the makeup, dirt and/or any impurity, Erinn taught us to do some gentle sucking movement like a little vacuum by cupping our hands on the face and then pulling it up, thus, 'sucking/vacuuming' off the dirt from our face. It wasn't easy to do it at first, for me at least, but the BAs assisted us and finally we got the hang of doing it. Then, instead of just wiping off with plain dry tissue papers, we were provided with pre-moistened mittens to wipe the remaining cleansing milk off our face.
Clarins really did use toner a lot. After every cleansing step, we were told to apply toner to our face. The rationale was firstly for triple cleansing purpose - to wipe off any residue of cleanser; and secondly for toning the face (decrease pore size as well??) to prepare our skin for better absorption of the serums and moisturizers next
After cleansing and toning, and since this was a weekly skincare regime, we got to use the Gentle Facial Peeling, a clay peeling mask, which I found it to be a bit messy to use. And why messy?
I will briefly explain how the Gentle Facial Peeling works. (See also pix). It's a thick silvery-colored mask which you spread on your whole face. Leave it to dry for a few minutes, then cupping your cheeks with one hand, use the other hand to slowly slough off the dried clay. That's the messy part, with the dried clay falling all over onto the table, partly onto my clothes and thanks to the helpful BAs who quickly placed paper towels onto our clothing top like a baby's bib and also onto our laps. the sloughing off process were repeated until all the clay had almost come off and we were given the pre-moistened mittens again to wipe off the remaining clay. Then, it's time for toner again. (Sorry, no pix for the mess, as my hands were covered in clay and couldn't reach for my camera..haha!)
After the gentle peeling, indeed I felt my skin was much brighter and rather soft to the touch. Then, it's time for mask application. We were given so many choices for mask that I couldn't even decide at first.
I settled for Extra-Firming Facial Mask with Plant Auxins. I am one for firming, lifting and anti-aging (that is fine lines prevention, etc.) when it comes to my skincare! Hydration comes in next! This mask gave me some tingling sensation after application which I know is quite normal for firming/lifting masks as the ingredients were working to tighten up the skin. I have the same experience when using my Lancome Renergie Morpholift Firming Mask as well....this is another LOVE!! Will review it some day..... But the tingling sensation was always well-tolerated by me. After a few minutes, time to wipe off the mask again with the pre-moistened mittens.
Again, toning, and time to choose 2 serum of our choice. I chose Extra-Firming Tightening Lift Botanical Serum and we were recommended to use their star product, Shaping Facial Lift, whereby we were taught the Manual Auto-Face Lift Method. I will re-write this method in another post.
After serum, it's time for moisturizer and sunblock. It's done!
Erinn requested a bit of our time to fill up a questionnaire and we got our goodie bags. In the questionnaire, we were also asked to write down 2 travel-sized samples of our choice to be collected at 1 of 2 Clarins counter at a later date. I chose the Bust-Firming Lotion and Shaping Facial Lift *Wrap (the mask) samples. We also got a 50% off voucher to try out their facial.
Overall, a workshop well-conducted and speaker/presenter, Erinn, was quite eloquent, had very good product knowledge, interacted with the participants by doing some Q&A's in which I won a travel-sized High Definition Body Lift for myself.
The organizers are warm, welcoming and hospitable. The BAs were friendly and helpful. And the generosity of Clarins, in terms of letting us try a wide range of their products and the quantity of each product they let us try on our face deserved some applause from us. Usually, in workshops, especially free ones, the organizers would stinge with the amount of products that they would let us try hands-on, and sometimes, only let us try on the backs of our hands. But definitely not Clarins.
Just 1 suggestion.....when an event is not held in a place where the sales counter is not within reach, I hope Clarins can take into consideration our convenience by preparing some starter kits/trial packs for sale during the workshop, instead of us having to hunt down the Clarins counter to make our purchase(for those who are interested). Please don't worry about us getting the impression of Clarins trying to hard-sell. We are discerning consumers and we know when we are being pushed to make purchases!
Once again, a big THANK YOU to Miu for her initiative and effort in organizing this workshop and to Clarins!