Three new Skin Caviar product to feast your eyes on, and La Prairie counter opening Bloomingdales 59th Street

When I was in New York, I paid a visit to the PR office of one of my favourite beauty brands – La Prairie. There, I was introduced to three new Skin Caviar products released recently to lead up to the 30th anniversary of La Prairie Skin Caviar.

The first, Skin Caviar Absolute Filler is a skin plumping moisturizer that’s used as the last step to your skincare routine, before your sunscreen and makeup. It contains Caviar Absolute, a potent derivative of Skin Caviar which helps to fill in skin’s fullness, and also refine the skin’s contour. It comes in an innovative pump packaging that gives you the perfect dose, every time. I played with the Absolute Filler at the La Prairie office, and hastily applied a layer over my makeup. I have to say this stuff is pretty amazing – it’s a light whipped texture that activates immediately to help volumize the skin and also firm the skin. I could feel my skin tightening in the mere minutes after application. Priced at C$775 for 60mL, it is pricey but definitely works.

Next is the Skin Caviar Essence-in-Lotion, the first product in this category released by La Prairie. It contains primarily Caviar Water, which is active water infused with Caviar extracts. It’s a lightweight yet ultra hydrating essence water that you apply after cleansing and toning, and before serum. It helps to increase your skin’s hydration level which will also help the absorption of products applied on top of this. I had this applied on me at my La Prairie facial and it is so amazing, I love how lightweight it is and how it makes my skin feel plump. You only need a few drops of this per application, so a bottle will last you a long time. Press on your skin with the palm of your hands, and you won’t need to waste any product on a cotton pad either. Priced at C$325 for 150mL, it is one of the more affordable Skin Caviar products, and is a great entry-level La Prairie product for anyone wanting to experiment with the brand.

Lastly, we have the White Caviar Illuminating Pearl Infusion. This is a brightening serum as part of the White Caviar line, meant to give you a bright, luminous complexion. It contains stabilized vitamin C encapsulated in pearls to keep the product from oxidizing. Once you pump it out on your hand, the pearls dissipate, releasing the active ingredients within. If you apply this and then wait a few minutes before applying the rest of your skincare, the Pearl Infusion will create an invisible veil which will also help to protect your skin against pollution and environmental aggressors. Living in the big city, this is definitely a must-have function. It is priced at C$680 and you get 30mL of product.

In Canada, you can purchase all of these products from Holt Renfrew.

Coincidentally, I was in New York just the week after La Prairie had re-opened their new counter space at Bloomingdales at 59th and Lexington. This new counter, named “the Penthouse,” has 530 square feet of retail space, including a 95 square feet facial room. The space is GORGEOUS, super modern, with lots of space to browse products. The counter also offers complimentary services, such as a 10 minute hand and arm massage (I had this service and it was such a nice treat after a long week of walking around the city), eye refresher massage (the boyfriend had this done and he said it was super nice), quickie mask, makeup touch up, and more. Exclusive to this counter, you can also get a complimentary 60-minute Skin Caviar facial, which includes treatments using the brand’s Skin Caviar products. If you are a La Prairie newbie and are interested in the products, a facial is a wonderful way to familiarize yourself with which products might work best for your skin.

I received a bottle of Skin Caviar Essence-in-Lotion as a gift from PR during my visit to their office, all opinions are my own.

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Experience the ultimate in luxury with a La Prairie facial at Holt Renfrew Vancouver

I LOVE facials and I also love La Prairie, so when I had the opportunity to try out a La Prairie facial at the new Holt Renfrew Beauty Hall, I was absolutely elated. The La Prairie counter at Holt Renfrew Vancouver is now an expanded space with its own consultation table, sitting area, and luxury facial room that allows you to hat the ultimate in luxury experience.

The space is gorgeous, super spacious, and very modern, featuring their most popular skincare products front and centre, so that anyone who passes by can take a quick peek at what La Prairie has to offer. On the side, there is also space for its makeup products. La Prairie, while widely known for their amazing skincare products, actually also makes some incredible makeup. Their Skin Caviar Foundation (my review) is one of my favourite foundations of all time and a product I highly rely on for special occasions to give me that flawless complexion.

The day that I was invited in for my facial, La Prairie was also offering Dermograph Skin Health Analyses for anyone who was interested in getting a more in-depth analysis of their skin. I filled in my information about my age, as well as my own concerns for my skin. The La Prairie ambassador removed any foundation on my skin, and used a specialized camera to take a picture of my skin’s top layer. The camera was able to see and analyze the deeper layers of my skin, to give me an overview of my skin’s health.

According to my dermograph, I have moderate to low hydration, which is what I was expecting. My skin texture was above average (I had been masking almost every day since I got back from Mexico, so I was happy to hear that it was working), and that my skin was low on the oil. I was happy to hear this because oftentimes I go to a skincare counter, and almost every salesperson I’ve spoken to looks at my skin and says I must have combination to oily skin. I have some surface oil, but the La Prairie ambassador correctly described that my skin was oily on the surface because it lacks oil and moisture on the deeper layers. I also have below average luminosity (too much work and computer time will do that to you), average pigmentation (just got back from Mexico and my face had formed new freckles), and above average elasticity (damn, I need more firm!).

Based on this, the dermograph also recommended a few La Prairie products for me, with the help of the La Prairie ambassador. I was recommended to use the Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal collection, combined with the White Caviar line to promote brightness. This information was communicated to my facialist to create a custom facial for my skin’s needs.

The facial that I received was super comprehensive. I won’t list out all of the products, but it was seriously one of the best facials I’ve ever had. It really focused a lot on massage and applying light layers so that products absorbed. My skin was cleansed very well, and it also incorporated a deep cleansing massage that drew all of the impurities. It also really focused on the importance of toner, as my skin was toned no less than four times during the experience – after the initial cleansing using the Purifying Cream Cleanser, after the deep cleansing massage, after the Cellular 3-Minute Peel, and then after the Cellular Hydralift Firming Mask. The two toners that were used were the Cellular Softening And Balancing Lotion, to help with balancing the skin, and then the Cellular Refining Lotion, which calms redness and hydrates.

The facialist also lightly patted on that Skin Caviar Essence-in-Lotion, which is a product that I am obsessing over right now. It’s such a light fluid but offers so much hydration and skin firming that goes a long way to improve the health of your skin. One of the products that was highly recommended to me was the Anti-Aging Rapid Response Booster, a pre-serum booster that helps to improve the absorption of everything else. It also targets signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores, skin texture, and overall improving the look of the skin.

On the eyes, the facialist first lightly applied the White Caviar Illuminating Eye Serum, followed by a light layer of the White Caviar Illuminating Eye Cream. I have dark circles under my eyes so this helped to boost the radiance of my eye area. My facial ended with a light application of the Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Cream, which was patted on to help absorption.

Even though there were a lot of products layered on my skin, it didn’t feel heavy or greasy at all. Since I got my facial at the end of the day on a Friday, I went home after and let the products slowly absorb into my skin. My boyfriend had commented on how glowy and radiant my skin looked. Honestly my skin hadn’t looked better in a long time, it was truly the perfect start to the weekend.

The best part is that the facial is actually complimentary with a product purchase of $1,000 at Holt Renfrew Vancouver! If you go to New York or L.A., La Prairie facials can cost upwards of US$250-1,200+ just for the facial alone and with no product, so this way you can get both the product as well as the facial experience. In terms of products, I highly recommend picking up the Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Cream (if you have dry skin), the Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Dry Oil (perfect for blending in with any moisturizer, I’m currently using this with a gel moisturizer and it really boosts the hydration and firming properties), and the Skin Caviar Essence-in-Lotion.

If you want to book, just call Holt Renfrew at (604) 681-3121 and ask to speak to the La Prairie counter.

Service received was complimentary of La Prairie and Holt Renfrew for review purposes; all opinions are my own. The La Prairie counter photograph is courtesy of Holt Renfrew.

Give yourself a skin treat with La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation

La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation review

Over the last six months or so, I’ve been using the La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation (C$285)This is by far the most expensive foundation I’ve ever used, and I believe it is also marketed as being the most expensive foundation on the market. Despite it being a makeup product, it contains heavy doses of La Prairie’s signature Cellular Complex, as well as the famous Caviar Extracts, so it doubles as a skincare product. As foundation covers your entire face for often longer than 12 hours a day, you want to make sure that you’re giving your skin only the best products. Why waste hundreds of dollars and hours of time each week on your skincare routine if you’re going to smother your skin in crappy foundation all day?

La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation review

The Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation contains a top and bottom part. The top cover flips up to reveal a high coverage brightening concealer and high definition mirror underneath the cover, and the bottom is a medium to full coverage foundation that is super lightweight but still offers that nice coverage. You get 30mL of foundation, which is normal, but I’m not sure how much concealer you get. It also comes with a nice mirrored stand, which has a slot to rest the mini concealer brush that comes with the set. Presentation-wise, it is definitely very beautiful, intricate, and luxurious. Even in little details like the mirror, which is clear and high quality with no distortions, you get a sense of luxury.

The foundation itself is in a thick, plastic pot with a transparent side so that you can see how much you’ve used. It comes with a spatula, which rests in the foundation pot, and you can apply by directly dapping foundation onto your face with the spatula. This is my preferred method because it doesn’t waste product (this stuff is $9.50 per mL, which means each time you wear it, you are likely using about $10 worth of product!), but the major downside is that it doesn’t protect the product and the skincare ingredients from oxidizing, and also bacteria can easily get into your foundation since you are directly touching the main pot of foundation each time you use this. That being said though, I only use this product after I wash my face, so hopefully that will prevent bacteria.

La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation review

In terms of texture, it is a thicker cream, but still ultra lightweight. I apply with my fingers, again because I want to waste less product, but I also find that the warmth from my fingers helps to blend it in my skin more naturally. It does blend out absolutely flawlessly, and you can also layer it without caking, creasing, or drying your skin out. It does not cling to dry spots at all, rather it is lightly hydrating, and keeps my skin feeling lush and glowy. I don’t always need to powder, especially if I am wearing it in the winter, and it lasts me all day, with minimal fading, until I want to remove it at all. It is one of my go-to foundations for when I want to look my best. I can wear this with light, barely-there coverage, as a tinted moisturizer (by mixing with my La Prairie moisturizer), or as a medium-to-full coverage foundation, depending on my mood. It wears beautifully in all three situations.

As for cons, I’ve mentioned earlier that the pot design isn’t the greatest. I would prefer to see a pump if possible, since there are so many skincare ingredients in the foundation that we’d want to protect. The other con is the concealer – it does not have very good coverage, I feel like I can layer up my foundation underneath my eye area if I wanted similar coverage. It also creases on me, which is a little unfortunate, but most concealers crease so I wasn’t too surprised. Despite the convenient packaging for both foundation and concealer in one, I would actually prefer to see the price reduced and the product coming with only foundation and no concealer.

La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation review

Another foundation-like product that is in La Prairie’s collection is the Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Transforming Cream. Between the two, I am strongly for the Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation, because despite it not having that high SPF protection that comes with the Transforming Cream, the finish and wear times are significantly more favourable in the Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation. The price differential is not big, the Transforming Cream is only $35 less than the Concealer + Foundation.

While a $285 foundation is not everyone’s cup of tea, I do firmly believe in taking good care of your skin, over buying nice clothes or going out to the movies. When you’re 70 and with flawless skin, you will continue to be radiant and feel good about yourself.

The shade I wear is Warm Linen and it’s the perfect match for my light medium skin tone with neutral undertone. For reference, I am also a Guerlain 02, Dior 020, Chanel B20.

You can purchase La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation at Holt Renfrew. If you’re not sure what shade you are, please make your way to a La Prairie counter to get matched. They can also provide you with generous samples to try out your chosen shades at home and out and about in your natural environment before making the commitment to buy. La Prairie is expensive, a luxury brand, but it is foremost an experience. I hope you’ll fall in love with the La Prairie family of products like I have.

Ingredients:

La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation ingredients
La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation ingredients

This post contains PR samples; all opinions are my own.

Urban defense at its best with La Prairie Cellular Swiss Protection Veil and Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Transforming Cream

La Prairie Cellular Swiss Protection Veil and Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Transforming Cream review

I am super excited to share with you my blog post for today because it hails from one of my favourite skincare lines. Last year, I shared with you my love for the La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal range, and this year I’m happy to announce that the range has now been expanded to include three additional products! The Cellular Swiss Protection Veil, Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Transforming Cream, and Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Serum are brand new for April 2016. I’m reviewing the Cellular Swiss Protection Veil and Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Transforming Cream below, and I’ll do the review on the serum on another day.

Did you know that only 20% of aging is caused by genetics and time, and the other 80% is caused by external aggressors such as stress, pollution, and sun damage? We live in a world where we inhale vehicle exhaust every day, lie out on the beach in the sun, and also work long hours at desk jobs, which causes many of us to see early signs of aging that’s reflected on our skin. I’ve always been a huge advocate for prevention before it happens rather than treating it after the damage is already done, and these new products from La Prairie are perfect for preventing early signs of aging, as well as fighting external aggressors and protecting against urban pollutants.

La Prairie Cellular Swiss Protection Veil review

The La Prairie Cellular Swiss Protection Veil (C$235, known outside of Canada as the Cellular Swiss UV Protection Veil) is an ultra lightweight daily moisturizer that doubles as a primer. In addition to the Cellular Complex, which contains glycoproteins, ginseng root, and horsetail extracts to revitalize, energize, and moisturize the skin, it also contains extracts from the Noble Edelweiss (Leontopodium alpinum extract), a resilient plant that enhances the skin’s ability to defy external stressors. The Cellular Swiss Protection Veil also contains ingredients such as Japanese rose fruit extract, licorice root extract, hibiscus flower extract, white mulberry extract (morus alba bark extract), and cucumber seed extract to provide anti-oxidant, hydrating, and soothing properties. A full ingredients list is posted below.

Outside of Canada, it is marketed with SPF 50 and PA++++ for protection against both UVA and UVB rays. I understand that the ingredients are the same in Canada as outside of Canada, but because of Health Canada rules, they can’t advertise it yet with the sun protection factor in it. Since this product hails from Europe and the European health authorities are way more advanced than in Canada, I will take their word that this product does indeed contain sunscreen. The sun protection ingredients in this products are zinc oxide (a common physical blocker), ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (chemical blocker), and benzophenone-3 (AKA oxybenzone, a chemical blocker).

I’ve been using the La Prairie Cellular Swiss Protection Veil for the last few months as my main sunscreen, including on a snowshoe hike up the side of a mountain on a very sunny day. I tend to tan/burn very easily under the sun, but I haven’t noticed any tanning or burning while using this product. Granted it is the middle of winter, but it has been quite sunny in Vancouver in the last little while so I feel like the test is still pretty accurate. The texture is really quite lovely, as it is very thin and absorbs easily, leaving a satin-finish veil of protection. While it does double as a primer, I find that if I do need long-lasting makeup I will turn to an actual primer instead of using this, but the Cellular Swiss Protection Veil is a great all-in-one product for when you are tight for time.

La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Transforming Cream review

The La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Transforming Cream (C$250) is an all-in-one moisturizer, sun care, primer, and colour corrector. This complexion-correction treatment defends the skin against external aggressors, and also brightens the skin tone, refines the look of pores, and gives a natural-looking glow. Outside of Canada, it is marketed with SPF 30 and PA+++ for UVA and UVB protection. The formula is oil-free, and contains the same Cellular Complex, along with extracts from a plethora of arctic flowers and plants. These skincare ingredients are blended with a new generation of colour-correcting pigments that are self-adjusting to suit a wide variety of skin tones. It is available in four different shades – the shade that most closely matches my NC25 skin tone is 20 Nude, which is a neutral light shade. It comes with a mini buffing brush to help apply this product evenly on your skin.

La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Transforming Cream review

La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Transforming Cream was designed for the busy professional who wants to be able to apply something quickly as the last step of their skincare routine that provides all of the benefits of several products. You can take this product with you to the gym to use after your shower, or just to throw in your going away travel bag for when you don’t have as much time to spend on your skincare routine.

I use this in the morning to replace my moisturizer and foundation, after toner and serum. I truly love using this because it is very hydrating, provides adequate sun factor protection for the city, and also has some medium coverage. The lightweight texture just completely melts into my skin, blends effortlessly to create a flawless yet natural-looking complexion. The medium coverage is barely detectable, but it covers my redness, smooths over my pores, and leaves fresh looking skin – no powder required!

All in all, have I noticed significant long-term improvements in my skin while using these products? No, but that’s not the point. As I mentioned before, these products are like insurance – you use them to prevent future damage. I will gladly apply this as my insurance in order to not see additional signs of aging going forward. I work in a very high-stress environment, near a window, and I also commute about 2 hours each day through traffic so I need products like these to manage my external aggressors.

La Prairie Cellular Swiss Protection Veil ingredients:
La Prairie Cellular Swiss Protection Veil ingredients

La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Transforming Cream ingredients:
La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Transforming Cream ingredients

La Prairie Cellular Swiss Protection Veil and Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Transforming Cream

Products provided by PR; opinions are my own.

The ultimate skin indulgence – La Prairie Cellular Radiance Perfecting Fluide Pure Gold

La Prairie Cellular Radiance Perfecting Fluide Pure Gold review

As a skincare fanatic, I’m always in the market to try out new skincare products. Most of the skincare products that I use and review average around $100, which is already pretty luxurious, but La Prairie blew my median out of the water with their new launch, the La Prairie Cellular Radiance Perfecting Fluide Pure Gold.

New for February 2016, the La Prairie Cellular Radiance Perfecting Fluide Pure Gold (C$670 for 40mL) claims to improve skin quality and texture from within; helps stimulate skin’s regenerative capacity and rejuvenates skin’s appearance; and softens the look of dark spots and enlarged pores. It contains real gold and diamond powder, as well as La Prairie’s signature and patented ingredients such as niacinamide (vitamin B3), ginger root extract, field horsetail extract, nicotiana sylvestris leaf cell culture, amino acids arganine and lysine, lotus extract, garden cress sprout extract, raspberry fruit extract, and a whole list of other plant extracts. These ingredients help to improve skin quality and increase radiance, reduces pigmentation of age spots, provide anti-wrinkle, anti-aging and energizing benefits, as well as decrease irritation. You use this as the last step to your moisturizing regime, before sunscreen, and it can also be used in conjunction with other moisturizers or facial oils.

La Prairie Cellular Radiance Perfecting Fluide Pure Gold review

Now you’re probably thinking, for $670 it’d better be absolutely amazing. Well if you are a person who shops based on value then you can turn away now because La Prairie is a high end, luxury brand which produces luxury products for luxury prices. If your $15 or $50 or $100 cream works for you then there’s nothing I can say that will convince you to switch to La Prairie.

My personal experience with this moisturizer has been very positive. My initial impression is that the light gel-creme fluid texture is ultra lightweight and smells like the signature La Prairie powdery floral scent. The fluid contains suspended pearly and gold shimmer that mixes together and mostly It absorbs quickly, leaving a smooth, mattified finish. Despite being such a light fluid, my skin feels very comfortable and balanced. When used in the evenings, I wake up with my skin looking and feeling normal with no additional shine or random dry spots. When used during the day, the hydrating yet matte finish makes for a great base for foundation. My skin feels ultra smooth and my foundation also finished more matte than usual. I prefer using this during the day over using it at night because then I can take advantage of that great glow this moisturizer gives me.

Now for the best part, i.e., what makes this moisturizer magical. A few minutes after I applied this fluid, I looked into the mirror and was surprised by my own reflection because my skin looked absolutely radiant. The gold from the fluid warmed up my skin and made it glow from within. It was a very natural-looking glow that isn’t cosmetic at all.

La Prairie Cellular Radiance Perfecting Fluide Pure Gold review

If I had to point out any downsides, it’d be that if I was having a particularly dry day, this product wouldn’t be enough to keep my skin moisturized. When this happens though, I mix in a few drops of facial oil, such as my La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Dry Oil (quick review below), and it gives this fluid a boost of moisturizing properties without sacrificing the radiance effect. In addition, the second ingredient on the list after water is dimethicone, which is a silicone. Over the years, I’ve learned to be okay with silicones in my skincare products, but with such a high end product, I would have preferred to see less fillers.

In conclusion, would I recommend? Yes and no. If you are looking for a luxury skincare product that’s lightweight with skin perfecting properties, and you have the budget to shell out, then yes I do like this product. The ideal skin type to use this product without adding anything is normal, combination to oily, but if you have dry or dehydrated skin, then you may want to skip. Or you know, you don’t want to spend $700 on a single product.

La Prairie Cellular Radiance Perfecting Fluide Pure Gold review

Because the products work so well together, I also wanted to do a quick review of the La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Dry Oil (C$385 for 30mL). I received a 5mL deluxe sample of this oil, which is actually perfect for me because I only use a few drop per application. The first time I used this oil was in conjunction with the La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Moisturizing Cream (which I thought was just meh on its own), and I woke up with incredibly soft, supple, and radiant skin. I was shocked at how good my skin looked with just a single drop of this oil.  The Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Dry Oil contains sweet almond oil as the main carrier oil, as well as sunflower seed oil, jojoba seed oil. The 11 ingredients that follow after the carrier oils are all essential extracts with no fillers.

The oil is ultra refined, and despite its oil-nature, very lightweight and dries down extremely quickly with no greasy residue. This was the facial oil that made me realize I can indeed use facial oils on my face and it won’t become a giant greaseball! I’ve tried this out with a few La Prairie moisturizers and it works wonderfully with each of them. I’ve also used this with my non-La Prairie moisturizer and it also provides a boost of moisture, although I don’t feel like my skin looks as good as when I do pair it with a La Prairie moisturizer. This is a great supplementary skincare product when you want to maximize the efficacy of your other products. As a facial oil, you can use this on its own or with another product, and it’s a great introductory product into the world of La Prairie because the price is not as high as other La Prairie products but you still get that luxury experience.

Ingredients of the La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Dry Oil: Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower Seed Oil), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Soldanella Alpina Extract, Saxifraga Oppositifolia Extract, Algae Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Rubus Idaeus Leaf Cell Culture, Ubiquinone, Gentiana Lutea Root Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Alchemilla Alpina Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Silybum Marianum Ethyl Ester, C10-18 Triglycerides, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Seed Oil, Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract, Tocopheryl Triglyceride, Fragrance (Parfum), Farnesol, Benzyl Salicylate, Eugenol, Butyphenyl Methylpropional, Geraniol, Benzyl Benzoate, Evernia Furfuracea (Treemoss) Extract, Hexyl Cinnamal, Amyl Cinnamal, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Citronellol, Hydroxycitronellal, Benzyl Alcohol, Linalool, Phenoxyethanol.

Makeup with skincare benefits? Try the La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream Blush in Lotus Glow

La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream Blush in Lotus Glow review and swatch

As I previously described in my introductory post on La Prairie, the brand’s products all include their signature (and patented) Cellular Complex, which provides nutrients such as glycoproteins, ginseng root, and horsetail extracts to revitalize, energize, and moisturize the skin. Their makeup products have the same Cellular Complex, and today I’m featuring the La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream Blush in the limited edition shade Lotus Glow for Chinese New Year.

La Prairie’s Cellular Radiance Cream Blush (C$90) formula is ultra creamy with a lot of slip, and dries down to almost a stain-like effect. The texture is unlike anything I’ve felt before – it is very wet with very good blendability, and just feels extremely lightweight and soft on the skin. The limited edition colour Lotus Glow is a dark fuchsia with some small glitter particles. It is a beautiful colour that would look great on all skin tones, from the fairest to the darkest. I’ve been wearing this nonstop since I received it, and a tiny bit goes a super long way. It blends in flawlessly with the rest of my makeup and leaves a matte, stained finish with a tiny bit of shimmer. The big drawback about the formula is that I’m not a huge fan of the shimmer particles because I feel like it looks like there are bits of glitter on my face; if it was a subtler glow then I’d be all over it.

The blush itself is packaged in packaged in a zippered silver leather-look pouch!

Cellular Radiance Cream Blush in Lotus Glow review and swatch

In addition to the Cellular Complex, the Cellular Radiance Cream Blush is also formulated with Vitamins A, C and E to fight free radicals; chamomile extract to soothe the skin; and silica to absorb excess oils without drying out the skin. My skin feels comfortable when I’m wearing this, but because it was worn over foundation I’m skeptical about how much these ingredients are able to benefit my skin.

Do you really need this? Not really. Again I keep reiterating this whenever I write about La Prairie – it is a luxury brand with luxury prices. If you are looking for value then you won’t find it here. La Prairie is definitely for those who love to indulge in their beauty products, and this Cellular Radiance Cream Blush is no different. If you are looking to sink your teeth in something entry-level La Prairie, then at $90 it’s probably more reasonable than most of their other products.

La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream Blush in Lotus Glow is available for a limited time at Holt Renfrew, as well as Nordstrom Vancouver and Nordstrom Ottawa.

La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream Blush in Lotus Glow review and swatch

Ingredients:  Isocetyl Stearate, Isopropyl Adipate, Isostearyl Neopentanoate, Polyethylene, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Carnauba Wax, Lipoproteins, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Horsetail Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinal Palmitate, Ascorbic Palmitate, Isopropyl Myristate, Silica, Fragrance, Benzyl Alcohol, Linalool, Hydroxycitronellal, Alpha-Is Methyl Ionone, Amyl Cinnamal, Hexyls Cinnamal, Treemoss Extract, Benzyl Benzoate, Geranial, Propylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Iron Oxides, Red 7 Lake

Swatch

Heavy then blended out – can you spot the shimmer?

La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream Blush in Lotus Glow review and swatch

La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream Blush in Lotus Glow review and swatch
La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream Blush in Lotus Glow review and swatch

Celebrating Chinese New Year’s reds and golds with Charlotte Tilbury, La Prairie and Guerlain

charlotte tilbury vintage vamp review and swatch

It’s no secret that every since the brand has launched in Canada, I’ve been completely and utterly obsessed with Charlotte Tilbury. Today is Chinese New Year, and I’m sharing with you my Chinese New Year look featuring reds and golds from Charlotte Tilbury, accompanied by some of my favourite gold-based products from La Prairie and Guerlain. Valentine’s Day is also nearing, and this look with the soft eyes and lip will also make a great romantic look for a night out with your partner.

P.S. Happy Lunar New Year to everyone who celebrates!

On face:

  • La Prairie Cellular Radiance Perfecting Fluide Pure Gold to prep skin (review to come)
  • Guerlain L’Or Radiance Concentrate to prime skin
  • Guerlain Parure Gold Foundation to cover (review to come)

charlotte tilbury vintage vamp review and swatch

On eyes:

On cheeks:

On lips:

charlotte tilbury vintage vamp review and swatch
charlotte tilbury vintage vamp review and swatch
charlotte tilbury vintage vamp palette review and swatch

The Vintage Vamp palette is the star of my look; it is a beautiful palette containing four coordinating shades to create mesmerizing eyes. The shades are:

  • Prime shade: a shimmery metallic pink that feels ultra creamy and smooth
  • Enhance shade: a shimmery light burgundy that’s very smooth and pigmented
  • Smoke shade: a metallic dark burgundy that’s also beautifully smooth and pigmented
  • Pop shade: a glittery gold that has the hardest texture out of all of these. It has barely any base colour, and mostly is just chunky glitter

charlotte tilbury vintage vamp palette review and swatch

I love Charlotte Tilbury’s coordinating eye palettes because they are very easy to use with foolproof instructions, as well as excellent quality in terms of texture and pigmentation. I can also see why the Vintage Vamp palette is one of Charlotte’s more popular palettes. The colours are just absolutely beautiful together, with the ability to create a very soft and romantic look or an intense rock-and-roll look, depending on your mood of the day. Since I received this, it has quickly become one of my favourite eye palettes to use.

The light pink Prime shade is absolutely beautiful, applies smoothly (almost creamy) and adheres very well. There was a little bit of powder fallout with the two darker Enhance and Smoke shades, but it cleaned up easy. The only colour I wasn’t super fond of was the Pop shade of this palette because it felt a lot drier and was chunky compared to the other shades, but even then it adhered very well to the middle of my eyelid. For the Chinese New Year look I put together, this pop of gold glitter worked really well with the rest of the look.

charlotte tilbury vintage vamp palette review and swatch
charlotte tilbury vintage vamp palette review and swatch

How would you recreate your own red and gold look?

Review: La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Emulsion, Cellular Ice Crystal Eye Cream, and Anti-Aging Rapid Response Booster

La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal review

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to get a personalized skin consultation from the skin education specialists at La Prairie. At my age (mid to late 20s), I was recommended to use the Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal line to prevent the first signs of aging. All of La Prairie’s products contain their 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 ingredients are located near the top of the ingredients list (in the case of the Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Emulsion, they are 10th-12th on the list) meaning you get a very good dose of these ingredients with every application. I was also fortunate enough to try the Anti-Aging Rapid Response Booster, which is new for April. Read my reviews on these products below!

La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Emulsion

La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal review

The La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Emulsion (C$365 for 50mL) is a preventative emulsion designed to address the first signs of aging, including the look of fatigue and stress, dullness, dryness and lines. The texture is a light milky emulsion with a light powdery scent that dissipates almost immediately. Even though it is an emulsion, I found it to be highly hydrating without being heavy or greasy. The milky texture absorbs immediately into my skin, leaving it ready for sunscreen and foundation.

As a preventative moisturizer, it is designed to slow down the signs of aging. I have noticed that my skin looks smoother and feels firmer after each application. I don’t yet have any wrinkles, but the hydrating properties help to prevent any deepening of fine lines that I may have. I’ve been using this in conjunction with the Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Eye Cream, as well as the Anti-Aging Rapid Response Booster, and I’ve noticed that my skin looks more well rested in the morning after applying this at night.

La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal review

The only thing I dislike about this emulsion is that it contains micro shimmer particles in it. It is barely noticeable on the skin, but I can see the shimmer particles in the palm of my hands after each application. It’s not a complete dealbreaker, but I just prefer not to have make-up ingredients in my skincare. Another thing I want to point out is that the cream has very slightly cooling effect after application, which is where the “ice crystal” part of its name comes into play. It’s very, very mild and barely noticeable, but if you’re sensitive to things like that, you may want to keep this in mind.

Overall, I really enjoy using this emulsion. It’s a preventative measure, which means I won’t see drastic effects right away, but I like that I am investing in my skin in the long term to prevent any future headache. Also keep in mind that La Prairie is a luxury brand, therefore the prices will be reflective of this.

Ingredients:

La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Emulsion ingredients

 

La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Eye Cream

The La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Eye Cream (C$275 for 20mL) is the best eye cream I’ve ever used in my life. It is designed to treat dark circles, puffiness, dryness and lines with a lightweight cream formula. The texture of the eye cream is a smooth, lightly emollient cream formula that spreads out very easily on the eye area without tugging the skin, absorbs quickly with no residue, and leave the eye area feeling hydrating, and looking smooth and bright. I mostly use this in the evening for a high dose of moisture, but I also use a little bit of it in the morning if I need a pick-me-up. It works great underneath make-up as well, creating a smooth canvas that helps makeup adhere, but it’s not too emollient in that make-up won’t slide around. The best thing I love about this eye cream is that I have these deep smile lines underneath each of my eyes and this is the only eye cream that I’ve used that has noticeably smoothed out those two deep lines. The first time I used it, I was seriously wowed by how amazingly this works.

I highly, highly recommend this eye cream. After years of trying to find a good eye cream that’s effective to “cure” those pesky lines underneath my eyes, this is the only one that I’ve use that really helped to treat and improve my eye area.

La Prairie Anti-Aging Rapid Response Booster

The La Prairie Anti-Aging Rapid Response Booster (C$290 for 50mL) is an all-in-one serum that helps to target signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores, skin texture, and overall improving the look of the skin. It has the texture of a lightweight gel serum that absorbs quickly into the skin and leaving the skin feeling ultra smooth. Again, for me this is a preventative product so I haven’t noticed any significant changes to my skin. I feel like if you were older and had more skin concerns, you’d notice more improvements, whereas I’ve mostly just been using it for the hydrating and smoothing properties. I do really like the texture as it is very lightweight and feels lovely on the skin.

La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal review
La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal review
La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal review

My afternoon with La Prairie, and interview with Elizabeth Lamont, VP Marketing

La Prairie Anti-Aging Rapid Response Booster Collection

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.

La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Collection

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.

La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Moisturizing Cream

Elizabeth Lamont La PrairieFollowing 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.

La Prairie Anti-Aging Rapid Response Booster

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.

La Prairie Holt Renfrew