The fear of missing out is such a valid concern when it comes to beauty buys, that I’m sure you’ll relate to this. Despite having a plethora of beauty brands at our feet, somehow, the more exclusive and only-available-in-said-home-country it is, the more we’ll want it, to the point where we’re hounding our friends during their leisure travels. Human nature? Perhaps. Witness: the hype of Glossier, or, before last year, Charlotte Tilbury, Drunk Elephant, and in closer shores, Korean hair brand mise en scène.
The brand’s success and popularity in Korea is remarkable. Beauty junkies would recognise these translucent bottles of goodness, which has earned their holy grail product, the Perfect Serum, multiple beauty awards and the elusive title of Korea’s No.1 Hair Essence from 2012 – 2019. That’s 8 consecutive years by the way, in a sales survey conducted by the third-party Nielsen Retail Index. 60 million bottles later, k-beauty fans in Singapore are finally able to get their hands on their range of hair products, since mise en scène, pronounced as “me-jang-sen”, will be exclusively available at selected Watsons stores and online.
So why do they deserve all this hype, and how does the best hair serum in the market fare under our humid weather and my unfortunate dry hair? Read on as we introduce and share our review of the coveted brand.
The cult item to try: mise en scène’s Perfect Serum Original. No lie, I’ve been using it, even listing that under my extensive beauty regime, before the range of serums arrived in Singapore, mainly because of two things — one, it’s certainly effective in smoothening out my hair, and two, how affordable it is. At just $15.90 for a 70ml bottle, that puts it at a great price point for daily use. Oh, and it’s very lightweight too, but more on that in my review below.
All of the brand’s Perfect Serums are formulated with 7 different naturally-derived oils, including Argan Oil, Camellia Oil, Jojoba Oil and more, all of which work to improve the 7 symptoms of damaged hair in just three days. The Perfect Serum is clinically proven to detangle messy hair, as well as reduce split ends, increase your hair’s moisture content, and deliver some necessary shine and lustre. As for the Original, it delivers all these nourishing benefits, while still being ideal for both day and night use.
Perfect Serum Rose Edition — for all hair types. This features the same nourishing formula of the original, but with added Rose Damask Essential Oils, known for its deep hydration properties.
Perfect Serum Styling — for permed hair / heat styling. Protects your hair while you’re using your curling tongs, and gets it to stay in place as well. Perfect for heat styling.
Perfect Serum Coco Water — for fine hair. Compared to the original, this has a more watery, ultra-light texture, which we think makes it most suitable for our hot and humid weather.
Along with the Perfect Serums, mise en scène is also introducing the Perfect Serum Haircare range, which contains the same 7 naturally-derived oils in the original Perfect Serum so you get the most nourishing effects from these serum-in-a-bottle formulas. Give them a go and complete your hair care regime for soft, manageable hair.
For my review, I was excited to try the Perfect Serum Original, since the one I had gotten in Seoul was from a while back. It’s also the most raved-about product, with a formula consistent across their range of serums — so if this one works, the rest should as well. As for my hair, it’s long, thick and messy, and in need of serious hydration, so I thought the nourishing formula of this hair serum would work in my favour. Quick verdict: this one definitely didn’t disappoint, especially when comparing my hair before and after.
First, a look at its texture, which I feel is a hit or miss for most hair treatments. You’ll definitely want something that doesn’t weigh you down nor leave a greasy feel in your hair after slathering it on. That wet hair look? Not great for our humidity. The great conundrum is, of course, that the humidity also causes our hair to be more frizzy than usual, so you really can’t win. Not without help.
I’m pleased to say that mise en scène feels very lightweight on my hair. Even from the above image, when dispensed, the product is of a watery-gel texture that’s less viscous than the average hair serum. I applied 2 – 3 pumps into the palm of my hand, rubbed them together to introduce a bit of warmth, before smoothening the product out onto my hair, starting from the roots to the tips. Due to its lightweight nature, the formula was quickly absorbed without much rubbing or needing a comb. My favourite part is how weightless yet nourishing it felt once absorbed — my hair feels smoother and doesn’t look clumpy, while it smells good too. I know, it’s supposed to be a floral scent, but I’d say it’s more neutral than cloying, so that’s good to know too.
The biggest difference I saw was, of course, in my hair texture. I obviously can’t see the back of my head without a mirror, so this one surprised me. Do pardon my poorly-maintained dye job as it’s been months since I hit the salon, but you can immediately tell that my split ends and flyaways are less obvious, while my hair also looks smoother and less tangled. After continuous usage, I also noticed an overall smoothness and a subtle lustre to my hair; this is most apparent in the Day 3 picture above, where you’ll also see neater hair ends and significantly less flyaways. Overall, my hair now feels more moisturised and more manageable — I can run my fingers through my hair without coming across an unfortunate knot, and that’s a big win for me.
mise en scène Perfect Serum range, exclusively retailing at selected Watsons stores and online.