There’s something to be said about a brand like La Prairie. At a time when many beauty companies are forced to chase the latest trends and many luxury brands are launching cheaper, more accessible offshoots, Swiss brand La Prairie has managed to preserve their more traditional definition of luxury. I can’t help but feel like I’m playing the role of a wealthy, stay at home mom from a ‘90s movie, clad in cashmere with a perfectly cut bob, as I peruse the La Prairie Center (it’s so much more than a counter) at Bloomingdale’s in New York City. The ornate outer packaging is just the beginning. The real luxury can be found inside the pretty jars and bottles, with products richer in texture that yield more powerful results than what I typically look for in my early 30s. For Christmas this year, I gifted my mom the Platinum Rare Cellular Night Elixir, and we were both amazed when the wrinkles under her eyes nearly disappeared after only four weeks. With those kinds of results, I knew the brand was more than just flashy bottles for the uber-wealthy, and could even be something I would break out my highest limit credit card for.
I recently ventured to Hong Kong for the Art Basel festival where La Prairie released their White Caviar Creme Extraordinaire through a collaboration with artist Julian Charrière. His photographic work of glaciers taken by drones was the perfect mirror of the brand’s aesthetic. The natural images of clean glacial lines cut through by the power of light embody the same key elements behind La Praire’s products, which, if you think about it, kind of look like really fancy little ice sculptures.
The brand prides themselves on what they call a “Swissness,” which can be loosely defined as a sleekness and elegance, with a bit of mystery. This basically means they create really high-quality products they care about but won’t tell you exactly how they make them. What we do know is that the powerful combination of a golden caviar extract and La Prarie’s “exclusive cellular complex,” (their proprietary ingredient that rejuvenates the skin), makes the full White Caviar collection effective at brightening and lifting the skin. This new White Caviar Creme Extraordinaire, however, packs even more powerful brightening agents, and is fittingly called “light in a jar.”
While in Hong Kong I got to meet the man behind the how: Daniel Stangl, the director of innovation for La Prairie. Tasked with finding a new secret formula for success, Stangl, and his team, dove into extensive research before finding what went into the Caviar Creme Extraordinaire. After testing over 50,000 molecules they found what they are now celebrating as a big hit: Lumidose, the “extraordinary molecule of light.”
“We found the best in the class,” Stangl explains. “Much better than the currently available tyrosinase inhibitor,” which is science speak for lumidose’s promise to remove and block hyperpigmentation in the skin better than anything else on the market. This line is best for women with light-to-medium skin tones who have discoloration, unwanted brown spots, or melasma — basically, anyone looking to even out their skin tone. (Women with darker skin tones looking to treat hyperpigmentation, however, will probably not see much of a difference with the White Caviar collection; one of these products may yield better results.)
For a friend of mine suffering from melasma, this cream did wonders at fading the brown spotting around her forehead and under eyes. She noticed a difference in almost four weeks. But the product benefits go beyond fixing hyperpigmentation. For someone like me who doesn’t have pigmentation issues, I still appreciate the soft glow that comes from using this cream morning and night. It’s the kind of radiance you get from using your Lumee iPhone case, except it’s real, and you will carry it with you everywhere — removing both the need for Lumee lighting and the embarrassment you force upon your friend who “isn’t into social media” whenever you use it at a dark restaurant. And trust me, after eight weeks of slathering this pricy stuff on your face, you can look Lumee’d 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
And when I say pricy, that’s actually an understatement. With a price tag of $695, the only way to justify a purchase like La Prairie White Caviar Creme Extraordinaire is to think of it as an investment…kinda like those Gucci sneakers I just splurged on, except even more valuable. This skin will be looking back at me in 50 years. Lord knows where these Guccis will be. And honestly, if my skin is super glowy, with what looks like professional lighting, is anyone even looking at my shoes?
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