I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit the La Prairie counter at Holt Renfrew Vancouver to receive a personalized skin consultation, and to meet with Elizabeth Lamont, VP of Marketing, to talk skincare, brand strategy, and all things La Prairie. Since its inception in the Swiss Alps, all of La Prairie’s products contain its signature patented ingredient – the Cellular Complex – which provides nutrients such as glycoproteins, ginseng root, and horsetail extracts to revitalize, energize, and moisturize the skin. The brand innovates in the skincare industry by using the latest biotechnology and top-of-the-line ingredients to create products that are effective, without all the fillers.
I’ve heard a lot about La Prairie in the last few years. I used to fly a lot, and I’d always notice the giant La Prairie posters hanging inside airports as well as the products at duty free shops. However, it wasn’t until my visit to the counter that I actually touched the product for the first time. Holt Renfrew Vancouver was playing host to Becky Watkins, La Prairie’s Director of Education, and her team, and I was lucky to get an appointment to meet the team. I met with Juan from the education team, who sat down with me to talk through my main skin concerns before recommending some La Prairie products to address those concerns.
I’m finding that my skin concerns have changed significantly as I am getting older. I used to have moderate to severe acne in high school and in the first few years of university, and I was also certain that my skin was combination-oily. As I got older, my skin has turned to become extremely dehydrated, yet still combination on my T-zone. Due to stress, my skin was also losing luminosity and looks dull on most days. Because of these concerns, Juan recommended two of La Prairie’s skincare lines to help address my concerns as well as to help improve the quality of my skin.
The two ranges I was recommended to use were the Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal line, to moisturize and combat the first signs of aging; and the White Caviar line, to bring luminosity back to my skin. Specifically, Juan recommended a mix and match of the products in these ranges to help address my particular skin concerns. I was told to use the White Caviar Illuminating Serum after cleansing for optimal penetration of the potent active ingredients into my skin, then to follow that up with either the Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Dry Oil by itself (which contains a blend of botanical oils to help replenish moisture and protect the skin’s barrier), or mixed 1-2 drops of the oil with the White Caviar Illuminating Moisture Cream (a moisturizer with brightening ingredients). For my eye area, I was directed to use the Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Eye Cream (new as of February, 2015), which will help to hydrate my eye area, smooth out any existing fine lines, and also protect against future signs of aging.
Following my meeting with Juan, I was also offered the opportunity to meet with Elizabeth Lamont, the VP of Marketing at La Prairie. Elizabeth is one of the most graceful women I’ve ever met; she is also very down to earth, friendly, and passionate about the brand. She describes having worked in the cosmetics industry since 1987, and joked that it was before I was even born. Her first job in the beauty industry was as a beauty advisor at Clinique, and since then she’s work on the PR agency side, as well as in-house doing public relations and marketing, before landing her current role with La Prairie. I also notice that Elizabeth has amazing, glowing skin, and it doesn’t look like she’s wearing much makeup either.
With regards to the current strategy and direction of the brand, Elizabeth describes that La Prairie has become more focused on print media and magazines in reaching its target audience. The bulk of La Prairie’s clients are still in the older, age 40+ generation, and that demographic still relies heavily on print media over digital. She states that many of La Prairie’s core customers have used the products for many years and are very loyal to the brand; they sometimes go and try out products from other brands but ultimately return to La Prairie because they’ve found the products to be the best at what they do. Elizabeth also describes that it’s very rewarding when she sees mother-and-daughter duos show up at the counter together, where the mother is introducing her favourite introductory La Prairie products to her daughter, in almost like a “passing of the torch” manner. Lastly, she’s noticed that there’s been a shift in the brand’s customer demographic, especially in the Vancouver market, as many of the younger generations now have more disposable income and are willing to spend it on luxury products to take care of their skin.
As for her favourite products, Elizabeth says she can’t live without the Anti-Aging Rapid Response Booster, an all-in-one anti-aging, pore-smoothing, line-reducing gel-serum; the Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Dry Oil; and the Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask, a brush-on night-time firming and moisture mask. Her favourite night-time routine is to combine a few drops of the Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Dry Oil with the Skin Caviar Luxe Sleep Mask, brush it on the skin, and just go to bed, without having to wait 10 minutes for the mask to set before washing or tissuing it off. The result is waking up with beautiful, glowing, and firm skin.
In addition to skincare, I’ve learned during my time at the counter that La Prairie also has a tightly curated collection of makeup products which include base and colour products. The makeup collection contains classic tones that look great on everyone, and also have skincare properties due to the presence of the Cellular Complex in all of the products.
While it is a luxury line, just looking at Elizabeth’s glowing skin is enough proof that the products work. If you’ve never had the chance to try La Prairie products for yourself, they offer samples at their counters for any new and existing clients who want to expand their skincare arsenal and branch out to try new things. La Prairie is available at select Holt Renfrew and Nordstrom locations across Canada. If you’re in Vancouver, be sure to ask for Fiona as she is an absolute sweetheart and is super helpful.