September 8th 2021
To Buy For
Beauty sleep in a bottle: why Spectacle Performance Crème is the insider tip to know
July 31st 2021 / 0 comment
Discovered in an A-lister's bathroom, this new all-in-one-super cream has makeup artists, derms and us hooked.
It’s not often that you come across a word-of-mouth super cream that has every industry insider you respect raving about it. I liked Spectacle Performance Crème as soon as I tried it a few weeks back, even though I didn't know much about it, as it was firmly under the radar. Its smooth, primer-like texture made my skin look like someone had set a lightbulb under it. Turns out it was gathering fans far more eminent than me; makeup artists, surgeons and A-list facialists began posting their praises for this moisturiser that's rammed full of all-star ingredients.
Plastic surgeon Rajiv Grover called it “effective with a capital E” while aesthetic doctor Dr Wassim Taktouk hailed it “beauty sleep in a bottle”. Makeup artists Mary Greenwell and Kenneth Soh are both fans and super facialist Joanne Evans said it was the one cream with actives she could still use when her allergies flared up.
What is the buzz about this decidedly low-key-looking tube from a newcomer brand with only one product to its name? In my experience, it's pretty much everything you want in a cream – age-proofing, hydrating, calming, protecting and a perfect base for makeup. It's a day and night cream, serum, eye cream and primer in one, that works on sensitive skins too.
It’s a true skin insider’s discovery. It was spotted by a top red carpet facialist in the L.A. bathroom of one of the most famous women in the world (they’d kill me if I told you who). She urged him to try it. He then tipped off British beauty editor Olivia Falcon who runs a high-end beauty and tweakment concierge service The Editor's List. She tells me that her skin was suffering under the stress of the pandemic and homeschooling and Spectacle came just at the right time. Her face started to look noticeably fresher.
Once in a blue moon you stumble upon a beauty product that makes you sit up – you know you’ve discovered something special
She suspected that her A-list clientele would be biting her hand off for it. “Once in a blue moon you stumble upon a beauty product that makes you sit up – you know you’ve discovered something special,” she says. She tracked down the young entrepreneur behind Spectacle, Andre Condit in New Mexico and told him she wanted in. His early batches had sold out in lightning-quick time and together they set about making it more widely available on both sides of the pond. It launched in Cult Beauty in May.
What I love is that it's so easy. If you are fed up with the faff of multiple skincare steps this is a one-pot wonder that will simplify your routine. I'm going on holiday next week and am planning to take just this tube and my SPF. Dr Wassim says he recommends it to his patients who “want the effects of a five-step skincare routine without the hassle”.
What's in it? There's squalane, a lipid that’s very similar to the squalene (with an e) that we naturally make ourselves to keep our skin supple. Our skin recognises it and it sinks in immediately, so you won't get a greasy film. Add to that a next-gen acid called gallic acid, which is 60 times more powerful than kojic acid for pigmentation and is anti-inflammatory and can take down redness. There are lot of other goodies including a peptide complex, three weights of hyaluronic acid plus an encapsulated retinoid complex (meaning it won’t go off in sunlight so you can use it in the day) and skin barrier building niacinamide.
The big hitter as far as age-poofing goes is a copper amino acid called copper lysinate/prolinate, which we’ll be seeing a whole lot more of due to its retinol-rivaling clinical trials. In concentrations of two per cent (which you can find in Spectacle) it has been shown to improve wrinkles and firmness, working on both collagen and elastin, by 16 per cent in the first two weeks, without the irritation of retinol. As soon as I heard that they’d used this ingredient, which is still pretty hard to find in any skincare yet oh-so-effective, I knew that this was probably a bit special. If you do want to beef it up with vitamin C or a more powerful retinol, it won't clash.
My one complaint, which I relayed to Olivia, is that the tube isn’t bigger, but they are working on it. Meanwhile, it's good to know that the tube is made from an eco mix of sugarcane and sawdust – a by-product of the German carpentry industry, and has a fully recyclable pump. The soy ink printed cardboard is made from hemp which uses less water to grow than trees and all the fulfillment is done in factories that use green energy and electric forklifts!
Intelligently formulated and packaged, this is one time-saving cream that suits everyone. It’s not the cheapest, but it will declutter your regime and it works.