Back in the mid-'90s when I was first getting into beauty in a big way, flash balms were all the rage. Promising to perk up tired skin with an instant lifting and tightening effect — without sacrificing hydration — the first wave of these do-it-all skin treatments were never far from the pages of glossy magazines, or the wish list of a 16-year-old me.
But I didn't really need anything to perk up my naturally youthful skin back then. Fast forward a decade (OK, more like two decades) and now I am well-and-truly in the market for a product that promises to make me look younger and perkier. Step forward, Pixi Rose Flash Balm (£26).
This oil-free balm waves goodbye to tired skin, acts in place of a primer, evens out skin tone, and gives skin an overall perked-up feel. This is not a moisturiser (in fact, if you have very parched skin, you'll probably want to go heavy on your hydrating products in between uses), but neither does it dry the skin out. It smells beautiful (assuming you like rose) without being overpowering. And it really does wake the skin up. The trick to getting the most out of it is not to rub it in too much. You simply smooth it over the skin gently then leave it to dry: as it dries, you'll feel it working, gently lifting the skin as if by magic.
I love this stuff for faking a good night's sleep, but if you're not quite ready for a facelift in a tube, this is part of a whole range of rose-infused products from Pixi that are just as gorgeous. You can also stock up on the exciting-looking Rose Caviar Essence (£26), the Rose Oil Blend (£26), and (be still, my beating heart) the new Rose Tonic (£10) for the full rose facial.