Last week I went to the La Prairie Essence of Caviar Foundation launch event at the Dorchester in London, which was secured via the Influencer’s Diary run by PR Queen Rosalind Shimmen. Seated in the Cristal Suite adorned with clean white floristry, tea cakes and glistening mirrors, we listened to a presentation by makeup artist Georgina Graham on her favourite products to use, why she loves La Prairie and the science behind the swanky Swiss brand.
La Prairie’s newest product comes in at a cool £148, making it one of the most expensive foundations money can buy at either Selfridges or Harrods – so what is it this luxury item delivers, that a standard foundation doesn’t? Well it contains a Roe delicacy as its key ingredient for a start… The official press release explains:
‘The exquisite formulation of skin caviar essence in foundation is a first of its kind blend. Caviar water captures the most delicate components of caviar in a pure, potent, highly concentrated infusion. La Prairie’s exclusive cellular complex uses cutting-edge biotechnological research to give new life and energy back to the very cells where beauty is born.’
It’s essentially two products in one, being skincare and makeup simultaneously which is important as no amount of layering can conceal a poor skincare regimen. An SPF 25 provides a good level of sun protection, while PA+++ guards specifically against UVA (which is responsible for premature skin ageing). It is the first compact of its kind to contain pure caviar in a potent and concentrated infusion for an enhanced complexion and is sourced sustainably from farmed Siberian sturgeon.
Why is Caviar surprisingly good for your skin? Of all the ingredients that have transferred from plate to face, it’s easily the most decadent but could also be the most efficacious. There is some data showing that extracts can help slow skin ageing and it’s loaded with vitamins and amino acids that provide building blocks for skin to function optimally. A recent study showed that when mixed with an antioxidant, it could boost mitochondrial function (every cells little energy house) and strengthen the skins structure.
La Prairie’s own research team have run vigorous tests and used cutting edge technology to study the ingredient’s hydrating and plumping effects. Jacquelline Hill is the brand’s director of strategic innovation and science and states that the Caviar Water is ‘preparing and hydrating and we would expect from an essence, but it’s actually doing more than just that. We’ve shown that it firms and lifts over time, minimises the appearance of pores and re-texturizes the skin. It’s really quite a multidimensional benefit.’ And it’s not just the contents that are precious. The compact itself is refillable and keeps contents sealed from both light and air to ensure the formulation remains pristine.
During the afternoon, it was explained that the application pad is sanitised so as to prevent the transferal of bacteria from face to product. To use it, you simply press into the centre of compact until you hear a satisfying click, which distributes the perfect amount of product, in an aesthetically pleasing flower shape, onto the pad. The texture is smooth and most importantly – leaves skin looking like skin, without looking overdone or presenting dry flaky bits combined with an overly shiny T zone after a mere few hours.
Georgina Graham is a London-born makeup artist and editorial beauty director with a plethora of work showcased in the likes of Vogue, i-D and Vanity Fair. She talked about the importance of a good skincare routine to protect and repair the dehydration and pollution caused by our modern lifestyles. ‘The secret is to perfect the complexion without masking it. That is when the skin looks and feels flawless, but crucially also looks real.’ As well as adopting a healthy lifestyle, Georgina’s personal tip was to invest in good quality products for long term results.
We were individually colour matched by Georgina and I was found to be shade ‘Peche’, which was pretty much indistinguishable from my natural, eurasian skintone. The compacts are ‘blended together with soft focus treated pigments conceived for colour artistry’. I found it left my face looking well-rested and glowy, effective enough to conceal the previous nights Netflix binge, without looking or feeling cakey. Throughout the day it didn’t sink into my pores, crust over fine lines, give me eye crease woes or slide off in the thick of the harsh city smog. Akin to a real-life Insta filter, I was impressed with the results and look forward to trialling them over the coming months.
We were also given some La Prairie Cellular Energising Mist. Containing ‘aromatherapeutic fragrance oils of ruby red grapefruit, cardamom and verbena’, it’s another miraculous multi-tasker, acting as a perfume, mood lifter and moisturiser all in one. I made the mistake of spraying it on my face (in my defence the bottle doesn’t specifically mention otherwise) before realising it’s actually formulated for the body. I would recommend that you do not repeat my error, as the fragrance really does deliver.
So yes, the La Prairie range is full of gorgeous products but is it really worth the price tag? Well I think if you’re of an age where you’re already spending excessive amounts on anti-ageing wrinkle creams and want a foundation that’s literally got it all covered, this is the one. Similarly if your accounts can’t quite justify the price, there are plenty of cheaper alternatives but if you did feel like making concessions to treat yo self or splurge on the VIP in your life – you do you. There are also a rising number of luxury spas offering Caviar facials and you could even attempt a DIY version at home – but personally I feel this probably offers a more pleasant experience than either of those.
You can preview some of the official press release below