FOUNDATION REVIEW | La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Foundation

Review of La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Foundation in N-20 Pure Ivory

I am back with another foundation review! I love testing foundations. I used to be one of those people who would only have 2-3 bottles of open foundation but now I have something like 10+ open at all times. I am constantly testing new ones and if some don’t work for me, then I don’t hesitate to give them away. I previously did a post on my top favourite foundations of all time, and one of them was the La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation. I was super excited to find out that they were releasing a new cushion foundation and I was very lucky to receive one to try out.  I’ve been wearing this for the last month so I’m finally ready to write the review.

The La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Foundation (C$255) is an ultra-hydrating fluid foundation in a convenient cushion compact. It features La Prairie’s signature Skin Caviar essence so that you can beautify your skin will wearing this foundation. The shade I wear is N20 Pure Ivory, which is a great match to my skin tone (I wear Warm Linen in the Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation). The cushion itself is 15mL, and you also get another 15mL refill (and a replacement sponge), so the size is the typical size of foundation you would get on the market. The packaging is hefty but not heavy, so while it takes up quite of bit of space in your makeup bag, it won’t weigh it down. The mirror inside is phenomenal. I love the mirror inside the Concealer + Foundation lid because it is such a high quality mirror, but the lid on that one is tiny so the itty bitty mirror isn’t super useful. The mirror on the Essence-in-Foundation is a good size that you can use to apply your makeup with when you are out – very high quality, zero blurriness or distortion, and just super clear.

Review of La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Foundation in N-20 Pure Ivory

I want to say upfront that I don’t generally like cushion foundations. I find it a little bit unsanitary, especially because you are applying the foundation with the sponge and then you put the sponge back right on top of the cushion. It just seems like a breeding ground for bacteria. That being said though, I’ve been using my sponge for the last few weeks and the idea is to transition to eventually throwing the sponge out and applying this with my fingers (which is my usual preferred method anyways).

Now back to the La Prairie foundation… the texture of this is much lighter than the Concealer + Foundation, similar to a fluid milk where as the Concealer + Foundation is creamier. Most cushion foundations have a light coverage, so that is what I was expecting of this one as well, but I was very pleasantly surprised when I tried this on for the first time and actually got medium to full coverage. I try not to wear a heavy layer of foundation so I only wore very little, and it still gave me medium coverage! It layers beautifully as well, so you can layer it to get fuller coverage. Not only does it cover my redness, it also smooths out my skin texture so that it looks almost airbrushed. I absolutely love the finish of it.

It is very hydrating on my skin, I can feel my skin soaking up the hydrating goodness and it also makes my skin looks very supple and plump throughout the day. Application is an absolute breeze as well – I literally just swipe it on my face, very little blending required, and my skin looks flawless. This makes me look like I have amazing skin to begin with, not like I’m wearing any foundation.

I love bringing this with me when I go away – you get amazing skin in such a small, convenient package. It’s much easier than bringing an actual bottle of liquid foundation, and you don’t have to worry about it leaking everywhere.

In terms of downsides, I feel like this foundation doesn’t sit very well on my nose. I have no idea what it is about it but it sinks into the pores on my nose such that it looks like there are little dots of foundation. In addition, it doesn’t have very good oil control or staying power. I get surface oil on my skin throughout the day, and whenever I blot, a bit of foundation comes off with it. I absolutely have to powder this, otherwise it will just slide right off my face. By contrast, the staying power of the Concealer + Foundation is amazing. I don’t need to powder and it never fades or gets overly greasy.

Last thing to mention is that it has a very strong La Prairie smell. I really love La Prairie’s signature scent and this one has it as well, but if you don’t love fragranced makeup then you might want to check this out first in store before you buy. It does dissipate after a few minutes, but it will be pretty obviously scented while you are applying this. The scent is stronger than the Concealer + Foundation.

Do I recommend this? I’m not sure. While I’m really impressed with how airbrushed my skin texture looks, I don’t like that it doesn’t sit well on my nose and that it doesn’t have any oil control properties. I much prefer the Concealer + Foundation. Even though it is $40 more expensive, you do get an extra mini pot of concealer and a mini concealer brush, which is actually a steal for La Prairie. Both of these foundations do make my skin look incredible, with very good coverage and skin blurring properties.

You can purchase La Prairie at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver, or online.

Review of La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Foundation in N-20 Pure Ivory
Product received from PR for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

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Essence lotions, what are they, how to fit them in your routine, and some recent discoveries from Tatcha, La Prairie, Sekkisei and Omorovicza

Essence lotions have been in Asian skincare for as long as I can remember. Back when Western skincare brands were heavy on the alcohol-rich astringent-type toners, Asian skincare was all about that enriched essence water. Long story short, an essence lotion (or essence water) is basically a supercharged, nutrient-dense watery serum. There are a ton of them on the market, but the most famous one is the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. In recent years, a lot of Western brands have also started to release more of these essence lotions, or global brands have started to bring their previously Asia-exclusive essence lotion products to Western countries. What makes these different from an acidic toner (such as Pixi Glow Tonic), is that in general essence lotions tend to be more on the hydrating side, and you also are encouraged to apply this by patting it into your skin with your palms rather than using a cotton pad.

In terms of how to fit this into your usual skincare routine, generally you want to use the lightest/most watery products first in your routine. I use my essence lotion after cleansing and after my exfoliating toner (such as the Pixi Glow Tonic), or to replace my exfoliating toner. Then I apply my serums and moisturizers, and sunscreen during the day. You can use essence lotions during the day and at night, and I love it for both.

Tatcha The Essence (C$114 for 150mL) was probably one of the launches by the brand that I was the most excited about. It contains 98.7% of Tatcha’s proprietary blend of Japanese superfluid made with green tea, rice, and algae. It is marketed as a skin plumping skin softener, which is a very Japanese skincare concept. I’m not sure if it was the hype or how much I was looking forward to this, I was actually just okay about it. It is completely scent-free, which I appreciate in the morning when my senses are just waking up, and it does do a pretty decent job at hydrating and softening my skin, in preparation of the next steps. That being said, for something to be called an essence, I expected a bit more than just basic hydration. I didn’t notice that it did anything to help smooth fine lines or firm my skin over time. It’s decent, but didn’t blow my socks off.

The La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Lotion ($330 for 150mL) contains primarily Caviar Water, which is active water infused with Caviar extracts. This is the thickest of all the essences here,it felt more like a light serum than a water essence. It used this on a trip to Toronto on a cold spell and I was very happy to say that it kept my skin feeling very hydrated, plump, and smooth. My skin was also smoother and more radiant after a few weeks of using this. That being said, it has a super strong scent that is very fragrant. I generally love La Prairie’s scents but this one seemed too potent and was a bit bothersome after a while. It does work, so if you are able to stomach the strong scent (and the price), then I would recommend this.

Newly released last year from Omorovicza is the Omoressence (C$150 for 100mL), a product developed in collaboration with a Hungarian Nobel-prize winning lab. This product contains primarily Hungarian Thermal Water, which will help to balance, hydrate, and prepare the skin for other products. It also helps to guard against environmental stress throughout the day. I love the way it smells, very fresh and energizing. I also love that it’s very nicely hydrating and helps to smooth my lines. It leaves my skin feeling moist, which is what I want after using an essence, and then other products cling onto it for better absorption. I’m a little bit disappointed that the bottle is a bit smaller than I was hoping – it comes in only a 100mL size, compared to other essence lotions which tend to come in bigger sizes.

An oldie but serious goodie is the Kose Sekkisei Lotion (C$57 for 200mL) and the Sekkisei Enriched Lotion (C$77 for 200mL). These were one of the first essence lotions that I was ever exposed to, so I’m very happy that they are now available in Canada through Shoppers Drug Mart. These lotions were designed by the Japanese to create luminous, smooth skin. I use this as a toner at night because its not the most hydrating of essences. It contains quite a bit of alcohol, which may not be great for sensitive skin folks. It does a fantastic job at keeping my skin clear, even-toned, and also improving brightness.

I’ve also previously reviewed the Tata Harper Concentrated Brightening Essence, Pixi Glow Tonic, as well as some essences in spray form.

Do you use essence lotions in your routine? Which ones are your favourites?

Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Holy mother of serums – La Prairie Platinum Rare Cellular Night Elixir

Honestly, if you had told me that I would be sitting at an exclusive banquet dinner to launch the new La Prairie Platinum Rare Cellular Night Elixir, I would have said that you must be dreaming. But alas, this did come true and in February, 2018, I attended a launch event for this serum of serums – a C$1,555 night elixir that promises to encourage skin detox, improve skin respiration, provide life-infusing skin nutrients, and boost the skin’s self-defense capabilities as you sleep.

The Platinum Cellular Night Elixir is probably one of the most expensive skincare products on the market, containing the highest concentration of La Prairie’s exclusive Cellular Complex, combined with the Advanced Platinum Complex that is exclusive to La Prairie’s platinum line. Each bottle contains only 20mL, but a tiny bit goes a very very long way (thank goodness because this stuff is $78 per mL!!!). It comes in the most beautiful bottle – designed to look like a purple diamond, with a platinum-hued dropper.

I was sent home from the event with a 3mL sample bottle, which, to be honest, I haven’t opened. If this stuff is unicorn tears, then I will be saving it for a special occasion, like for my wedding or the month after I have my first child (and need my skin to bounce back despite lack of sleep).

If you have $1,750 to spare (after tax), then get yourself to a La Prairie counter. La Prairie also offers complimentary mini-facials where you can experience this magical elixir applied on your skin first before you make the investment. I’ve had amazing results with pretty much every La Prairie product I’ve used in the past, so I’m expecting that my socks will be blown off by this one as well.

The La Prairie Platinum Rare Cellular Night Elixir is available now at Holt Renfrew Vancouver, as well as other La Prairie counters across Canada.

Thanks to the La Prairie team for inviting me to the dinner, and for gifting me with the product.

You are invited to the La Prairie Pop-Up Lounge at Holt Renfrew Vancouver!

I wanted to share with everyone an exciting event that’s happening right now at Holt Renfrew Vancouver – a pop-up La Prairie Lounge to celebrate the launch of the White Caviar Crème Extraordinaire, the newest addition to the La Prairie White Caviar range. This amazing cream launched yesterday across Canada (I was sent a bottle of this amazing White Caviar Creme so I will be reviewing it in detail in a separate post).

This lounge is open to everyone, and will include interactive and social media-able moments, as well as an “Art of Illumination” service. In addition, the event will offer:

  • Refreshments and light bites on opening day and Saturdays & Sundays
  • mySkin dermograph appointments (you can read about my experience doing the demograph
  • Black & white portrait photography
  • Various complimentary skin and hand treatments using the White Caviar products, including a by-appointment 45 minute White Caviar facial.

I visited the lounge to check out the space and also to get the White Caviar Facial Treatment. The lounge is such a cool pop-up space where you can sit and chat with your friends, and learn about La Prairie’s White Caviar products. All of the products are on display, and it’s an informal way of experiencing La Prairie, especially if you’ve never tried the products before or if you feel a bit more intimidated to visit the actual counter. It’s located next to the elevators on the beauty floor at Holt Renfrew, behind the Christian Louboutin counter and across the the Diptyque / luxury fragrances spaces.

The White Caviar Facial Treatment was such a treat! It came at the perfect time because I will be travelling next week and my skin has also been super out of wack from the change in weather. Even though it is a complimentary facial, you actually get to experience a real La Prairie facial inside their facial room. The products used are all White Caviar products, which help promote brightness and skin luminosity, as well as instant lifting and smoothing. The two main products used were the 3-minute peel, as well as the Swiss Cellular White Intensive Illuminating Mask.

If you want to try out a La Prairie experience but don’t have 45 minutes to spare, you can also walk-in for a quick 5-10 minute treatment as well. Check out the treatment options below.

The La Prairie Lounge is a pop-up only and is available at Holt Renfrew Vancouver (737 Dunsmuir St, Vancouver) from today until March 31, daily from noon to 6PM. You can also call Holt Renfrew at (604) 681-3121 to book one of the complimentary treatments.

Thanks to La Prairie for inviting me to check out the Lounge!

Top 4 favourite foundation formulas of ALL TIME, featuring La Prairie, Guerlain, Dior, and Too Faced

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As a beauty blogger, I go through so many products. One of the things I love testing out the most is foundation. In addition to great skin, it’s also important to start your makeup with a beautiful and smooth complexion, with the help of a good foundation. Today, after nearly 10 years of blogging and foundation testing, I want to share with you my top four formulas.

La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation

If money was no issue and I could have an unlimited supply of any foundation, it would be this one. My go-to foundation for when I need my skin to look flawless for endless hours, the La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation never ceases to amaze me with how amazing it can make my skin look and feel. It does an incredible job at smoothing out my fine lines and pores, and also hides any dryness really well. Every time I use this, I am basically guaranteed to have good skin. It’s so expensive though, so I really only use this when my skin needs it, otherwise I’m so scared to run out because the high price means I am likely to pick up another one. I did a full review here. I wear the shade Warm Linen, which is the perfect match for me.

Guerlain Parure Gold Foundation

My second favourite foundation, and something I am actually very likely to repurchase is the Parure Gold Foundation by Guerlain. Again, this is something I use when I need good skin, whether its for an event or wedding, or maybe I have something after work and I need my makeup to look good all day. This doesn’t have as good staying power as the La Prairie, but it does make my skin look lit from within. This is my go-to foundation to take with me when I travel, because flying wrecks havoc on my skin so I need a good foundation to balance out the dryness and also give back some of that glow. You can check out my full review here. I wear the shade 02, which is a 95% good match to my skin.

Diorskin Air Nude

My go-to foundation for when I need to cover a bit of redness, or on a good skin day, the Diorskin Air Nude is a “serum foundation,” super lightweight, easy to apply, and generally foolproof. It doesn’t have very good coverage, so I only really wear this when I have nowhere fancy to go, and it’s also great in the summer when I want something lighter. The only thing is because the foundation is so light, I tend to go through this very quickly. That being said, it’s not too too expensive that I can definitely repurchase this when the time comes! I wear the shade 020.

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation

I was so in love with this foundation when it first released that I wore it nonstop for months. I was later introduced to a few other foundations and then forgot about this in the back of my foundation drawer. I recently took it back out because I remembered how much I loved it, and alas, it was like falling in love all over again. The Born This Way foundation is the most high coverage of all the ones here, and in addition to being a high coverage foundation, it also soft focuses my skin and blurs out all of my imperfections. I can layer this over itself and it never looks or feels heavy or cakey. It is also extremely long wearing – after a full day’s work without touchups, it is still mostly intact on my face. I wear the shade Warm Nude, which is a great match for me. You can see my previous review here.

You can purchase La Prairie, Guerlain, and Dior at Holt Renfrew, and Too Faced at Sephora.

What are some of your favourite foundations?

Products provided by PR for review consideration; all opinions are my own. My original Diorskin Air Nude was purchased by me, but then the Dior PR graciously sent me another one.

Top 10 splurge-worthy luxury products, featuring La Prairie, Guerlain, Vintner’s Daughter, Charlotte Tilbury, and more

Guerlain Spring 2017 Meteorites 30th anniversary review

On this blog, I feature a ton of beauty products all the time. A lot of them are luxury products, some of them are worth buying, others not so much. I wanted to do a quick roundup of some of the luxury products truly worth picking up, and also give you guys a quick guide as to what to invest your money in to get the best bang for your buck.

  1. La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer and Foundation* (C$295 for 30mL) – Starting this list with a bang is my all-time favourite luxury foundation. I’ve talked about this a ton on the blog, and you can see my original in-depth review here. This is what I use when I need a guaranteed good skin day and night. It lasts all day and into the evening, and wears beautifully on the skin. It is expensive, and the price has actually gone up since the last time I reviewed it. Your foundation covers your face for usually 12+ hours a day, you really want something that will not just cover up your skin, but also treat it at the same time. If $300 is just way too much for you, I also love Guerlain Parure Gold foundation. It doesn’t have quite the level of skincare benefits in it, but it also gives me a flawless complexion that I can count on.
  2. Guerlain Meteorites Pearls* (C$76) – I love these and I’ve talked about them extensively on the blog as well (one review here). They are the perfect finishing powder to give you a blurred, glow from within look. They are truly the real life Instagram filter. I love them so much that I own four jars of the Pearls from the different releases, as well as two variations of the pressed version (the first few I purchased myself so I’m not just saying that because I received some as PR samples!). If you have the extra budget, the Meteorites Voyage Compact is the ultimate luxury version, but will set you back C$200.
  3. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow (C$80) – My favourite bronzing, sculpting, and highlighting compact, reviewed here. Actually, my favourite highlighter of all time. Mine actually cracked recently and the highlight is now missing a big corner of it, so I can’t travel with it. I’m so devastated that I might actually go pick up a brand new one just so I can take it around with me.
  4. Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum* (C$240 for 30mL) – The ultimate in face oils, this is the best of the best. I originally reviewed it here, so you can hear my backstory about how I started using this. I love this for when I have tired, stressed, dry, or angry skin that just won’t cooperate. It has amazing active ingredients in it, and is so nourishing. It feels amazing on the skin, both during application and afterwards, and then the morning after. It also smells incredible. I use this whenever I need that extra oomph!Guerlain Spring 2017 Meteorites 30th anniversary reviewLa Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation review
  5. May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon (US$180 for 50mL) – Another favourite face oil / balm is this blue cult favourite. I’ve talked about May’s products repeatedly on the blog, and I can’t rave about it enough with my friends. I love using this when my skin is feeling congested, as it has amazing healing and soothing properties. Compared to Vintner’s Daughter ABS, it’s lighter and more soothing, less nourishing. Both are moisturizing, but I like them for different purposes. I love using this to de-stress, and the scent alone calms me. Yes you need both, yes both are simply amazing.
  6. La Prairie Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Dry Oil* (C$430 for 30mL) – The last oil on this list, this relies on high tech and science, rather than natural botanicals. Different than the other two, I love this one for its versatility. It is a very lightweight oil that dries down almost immediately, with no residue or leftover greasy feeling. It’s fantastic for mixing in with your foundation or moisturizer, or used on its own. It also smells really fresh, and I love that for my mornings when I want something lighter. I mostly use this in the morning, compared to the other two that I use exclusively at night.
  7. Diptyque Room Spray (C$89 for 150mL) – I used to love burning candles, until I got my princess Noodles the Siamese cat, and then I got really paranoid about candles because she might hurt herself (or burn our home down if she accidentally knocks one over). I fell in love with Diptyque Room Spray on my trip to New York. The one I picked up was Baies (berries, which is scented with rose and blackcurrant), and it smells so good. One spritz is all you need for a medium sized room and it lasts a really long time. The bottle is pricey but we’ve used it every night since we’ve been back from New York and we’ve barely made a dent. I plan on picking up Figuier next; that was boyfriend’s preferred scent when we went to try it out, but I really loved Baies and have been wanting a Baies candle for a long time, so I had to get it. Well now I have an excuse to pick up Figuier too!
  8. Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser* (C$104 for 125mL) – The only cleanser on this list because I don’t generally believe in splurging in cleansers, but this one is SO GOOD. It’s a physical scrub and enzyme-based cleanser in one, and it’s pretty much the only physical scrub I use. I actually have the 50mL one because I couldn’t bear to spend over $100 on a cleanser, and I’ve been using it sparingly. I really love it, and you can also layer it with the Resurfacing Mask for a deeper cleanse.
  9. T3 Featherweight Blow Dryer (C$320) – I’ve never talked about this on my blog, but I have a T3 Dryer that I purchased from Sephora in 2012, and it’s still my favourite hair tool. I’ve used other blow dryers after that but I always still go back to this one. It’s lightweight, relatively quiet, hot, and dries my hair in record time. I have the older, original model, the current one is the Featherweight 2i, so I don’t know how this one performs, but I really love the original. With a good hair dryer, you save yourself a lot of time every time you wash your hair.
  10. Laura Mercier Body Souffle (C$72 for 355mL) – It’s a pain for me to say this because for a body cream, it is SO exorbitantly expensive. It is so good though, which is why I have to put it on this list. I purchased a set of six minis during the holidays, which came with six different “flavours” of the famous LM Body Souffle. I really wish I didn’t, but I fell in love so quickly that I had to buy the full size. Thankfully I did have the $20 VIB gift voucher from Sephora so I paid “only” $52 for this. I love this stuff because it’s so moisturizing, but it absorbs really quickly without feeling sticky. I have perpetually dry skin and this body moisturizer lasts until I wash it off, leaving my skin feel silky and hydrated, and also prevents itching. I compared it with the Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum cream that a lot of people are obsessing over, but I actually prefer this one. The Bum Bum cream leaves weird residue on my skin that never fully absorbs, whereas this one will absorb fully. Both smell AMAZING, but the Bum Bum cream scent will pretty much never dissipate, whereas this dissipates after an hour or so (which is my preference).

In terms of products I generally don’t prefer to spend too much money on, those are usually products that get washed off, such as cleansers or body washes. I review some luxury cleansers but only a select few will get the thumbs up from me, and usually because it does more than just cleanse. I generally use pretty inexpensive body products; I will buy LUSH shower gel but that’s pretty much it.

Facial mists are the other thing that I don’t spend too much money on, there are a select few that I think are worth the price (such May Lindstrom The Jasmine Garden), but I won’t necessarily go out of my way to purchase it. You can get pretty inexpensive facial mists that do the same thing, and I’d rather spend my money on something more potent like serums or moisturizers. I was recently gifted a tube of Marvis toothpaste. They are $12 for a small-ish size tube here. While it’s a nice splurge once in a while, I don’t think it’s a total necessity, and in my personal opinion, I’d rather buy cheap toothpaste, then pool the savings together over a year and buy myself a nice serum, you know?

What are some luxury splurges you love?

Products that were provided by PR are denoted with *, others were purchased by me. All opinions are my own.

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.

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.