It’s 2020 and despite some heavy marketing attempts, innovation in skincare is not exactly what it used to be. In fact, more and more people are making a return to more low-fi makeup, sustainable beauty routines and, y’know, the Victorian era. Couple this product-fatigue with spending some time working in the world of beauty and even a once avid beauty obsessive ends up in a place where you’re just… not that excited by skincare anymore.
Everything changed when I saw this Calippo for your face.
Everything about Synth Labs Intl and their multi-purpose face mask/serum/ice block called ‘Chill!’ appealed to me. The strong vaporwave meets Y2K aesthetic. The fact it’s vegan, cruelty-free, fragrance-free, micro-batch and made here in Australia. The fact their manifesto that says they were “born in the age of augmented digitality.” Synth Labs Intl’s description as “neo-beauty with a cerebral approach to deconstructing and reimagining skincare,” and “a manifestation of the synthesis between the natural and the synthetic.”
Ohhhh yeah, sign me up. I no longer want to be an organic embodied being, I am here for the Hajimes Sorayama sexy android gooood times.
Wait, so what is the Chill! face mask/Calippo?
Synth Labs Intl describes Chill! as a neo-cryo jelly serum/mask treatment. If that’s a bit too deliciously Matrix-y for you to parse, it’s essentially a combination of a ‘grass jelly’ and a grass powder that you mix, freeze and then rub all over your face. Like the phallus of an alien from a distant ice world in a foreign solar system.
If you can get over the compulsion to suck down the lil grass jelly straight from the packet—it really does look like an Asian jelly drink—both it and the powder contain a pretty impressive stack of ingredients. The jelly’s base is the soothing and hydrating ingredient aloe vera leaf juice, coupled with sodium hyaluronate (a form of the v hydrating hyaluronic acid). As well as this moist duo, we also got some centella asiatica, which goes heavy on the saponins known as asiaticosides—great for soothing and healing sensitive or inflamed skin. Plus there’s some Japanese 24k gold in there. Just for good measure.
The lil powder vial contains a heady mix of adaptogens–basically plant-based medicines that help our body adapt to stress and function better. Among them are snow mushroom, chaga mushroom, an algae complex and kakadu plum. Synth Labs Intl is truly speaking to both sides of me. The skincare sceptic, balls-deep running an ingredients list through CosDNA, and the crunchy-granola yoga hippie who just wants to live alone in the woods in peace.
How to use Synth Labs Intl Chill!
First, open up the pleasingly cylindrical tube. The kit comes with the Calippo-esque mould, a packet of grass jelly, a vial of grass powder and a very pointy stirring apparatus. It looks like a really skinny Aria award weapon. Synth Labs Intl calls it a ‘probe.’ Love it.
Mixing the two together is pretty straightforward. I stood the silicone vessel up in a glass, dumped in half the jelly and then the powder, before topping off with more jelly. It really takes you back to DIY skincare experiment vibes that involved mixing honey/olive oil/sugar/whatever else thinking, “yes, this could absolutely be a viable business,” as an enterprising 12-year-old. I did end up using a clean chopstick to mix the very bottom, though, because the tube is pretty schlong.
After that, it was just a matter of throwing it in the freezer and waiting to try it out.
Synth Labs Intl Chill! experience & results
There are a bunch of tutorials on the Synth Labs Intl Instagram, you’re meant to kind of use Chill! like a frozen gua sha. Moving in gentle strokes upwards and outwards to help depuff, until you’re covered in a nice layer of beauty mucus.
If there’s ever been some primal part of you that wanted to rub an actual Calippo over your face, please try this out. It’s so incredibly satisfying and soothing, even just during the actual application process. Rubbing the slime on your face is a totally different experience to the fleeting moisture of a face mist and you don’t get the squishy, plump, serum-slick feeling if you’re trying the same with ice cubes. It’s not just a gimmick either, the icy-cryo application actually does constrict blood vessels, which takes down inflammation and drains fluid build-up.
Because, uh, anxiety has been a little higher than normal during coronavirus, I’ve also had the chance to try this out after an evening of ~emotions~ and tiring crying. Emotional turbulence–yet another reason our evolution can’t stop at bi-pedal flesh sack. We gotta go full Blade Runner replicant styles. Regardless, pleased to report that the Synth Labs Intl Chill! took down a lot of the puffy, tight feeling you get after a big cry. They also say it’s good for calming down an angry blemish, but we imagine you’d want to wipe the top off afterwards, to avoid cross-contamination or spreading acne bacteria, if you did that.
If you want to use it as a serum, heed their warning, a little goes a really really long way. A quick swipe over key areas and then spreading the serum out works the best. Follow it up with your fav moisturiser or face oil because the humectant ingredients in it are “sticky” and want some moisture to pull into and keep on your skin.
As one of Syrup‘s fave beauty and self care journalists, Jessica de Fino, notes: topical skincare can only do so much, a lot of it comes down to your genetics and lifestyle habits. I can’t speak to the long-term use results of Synth Labs Intl’s Chill! yet, or whether it will help you achieve transcendence from to a superior augmented form. But, if you’re intrigued, Chill! is very fun, soothing, hydrating and phallic and it’s on sale now at Synth Labs Intl and for every Chill! purchased, one will be donated to a healthcare worker. 💕
Ice while you watch Harry Styles’ “Watermelon Sugar” video for peak maxo relaxo/horny vibes.