The $3000 Skincare Routine

1
La Mer The Body Crème
2
La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Eye Lift Cream
3
La Prairie Cellular Treatment Gold Illusion Line Filler
4
Guerlain Orchidée Impériale Cream
5
Guerlain Orchidée Impériale Cream
6
Valmont Time Master Intensive Program
7
Natura Bissē Diamond White Rich Luxury Cleanse
8
RéVive Youth Recruit Intensive Four Week Hand Treatment
9

If you were around for Y2K, surely you recall the breaking Us Weekly special report on how J Lo smothered her entire glowing, plunging silk Versace gown-swathed bod in La Mer’s Miracle Broth. Legend has it (read: I’m supposing) that the print of this dress was inspired by that magical fermented sea kelp, and was cut so as to accentuate that glorious La Mer glow. As an IYT (impressionable young thing) during those years, this bit of beauty gossip always stuck with me, and I’ve forever dreamt of the day when I’d be sitting at my vanity, layering on smears of luxury skincare potions, the glints and glistens from my Piaget diamonds magnified in the makeup mirror, the gold used in their settings sourced from the same exclusive mines as the golden flecks in my nighttime serums.

Now I see that I had been wanting to be a divorcée. Post-settlement, of course, sitting in my Southern California beach-front estate, which was a honeymoon gift from my ex-husband (former HBO exec), marinating in heavily fragranced moisturizers that come in at least four layers of packaging. Honestly, who else can afford to reserve four decimal points a month for skincare-routine costs? Nevertheless, I want that life. For experiment’s sake, I tried it out for a few weeks—in my Brooklyn-Queens Expressway-front apartment, a gift from Craigslist. And it looked a little something like this (photos being a dramatic reenactment)…

The Cleanser: Natura Bissē Diamond White Rich Luxury Cleanse [7]. Alas, this does not contain actual diamonds. However, the thick, lavender-scented jelly does make for a plush—and effective—washing experience, removing even the most effective of waterproof mascaras and lip stains.

The Serum: Valmont Time Master Intensive Program [6]. A 28-day, twice-daily treatment serum filled with hyaluronic acids and peptides and DNA juices to hydrate, de-wrinkle, and otherwise rejuvenate your skin. And the soldier-side ranks of tiny white vials make for the perfect jewelry catchall, because no matter how opulent your life, you probably don’t want to get cream in the nooks and crevices of your multi-layered Rose Ring.

The Moisturizer: Guerlain Orchidée Impériale Cream [4-5]. The purple, gold-trimmed jar oozes imagined royal excess. “Gold Orchid technology” is the secret ingredient, but even if the jar were filled with off-brand petroleum jelly, I’d be convinced of its superior efficacy. (But it’s pretty amazing.)

The Eye Cream: La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Eye Lift Cream [2]. I think this one’s all in the name: caviar eye cream. The decadent ingredient really makes sense here, because personally speaking, the only kind of omega-3s coming near my eyes are the ones from delicate, baby fish. It’s cuter that way. And the counter display, complete with special tiny-spoon compartment, felt like a fun Polly Pocket toy for a full-grown, fully functioning adult.

The Primer: La Prairie Cellular Treatment Gold Illusion Line Filler [3]. Gold shimmer for adults—with real mother-effing gold. The wrinkle-masking primer leaves a subtle sun-touched glow, while moisturizing and plumping skin to a silky finish (it contains silk, too), ready for makeup application.

The Body Lotion: La Mer The Body Crème, of course [1]. The scent is a delicious, light floral, and the cream, though thick, absorbs quickly, leaving skin comfortably moisturized without feeling caked in greasy emollients. But what you’re really paying for is that delightful gaiety that comes with having just smothered yourself in La Mer. I get you, Jenny.

The Hand Cream: RéVive Youth Recruit Intensive Four Week Hand Treatment [8]. Maybe not a cream, per se, but the ultimate in luxury products pour les mains. The four-week nighttime treatment improves the skin’s elasticity, plumping the skin on your hands to a more youthful appearance, and is packaged with the care of antique hand-carved chess pieces.

Yes, the products were exceptional. The jars have that expensive heft, come perfectly boxed and portioned—some with intricately designed spatulas (which I may or may not have used), and looked very pretty on my cheap composite bathroom countertop. The creams were thick, moisturizing, smelled amazing (but strongly), and absorbed quickly (leaving no gross film), and layered beautifully. Really, I found that mixing these luxury products was essentially foolproof—no pilling, not even any irritation to my sensitive skin despite the generous helpings of smell-good ingredients. And my skin? Well. It looks like $3,125, which, if we account for colloquial inflation, is a million bucks. Plus, I discovered an exciting new type of anxiety for when you fear a roommate might think your prized tube of Créme de La Mer is for communal use.

So, maybe the regime is a bit unrealistic for my current situation, but a girl can dream. And come birthday season, she can probably spring for some nice body cream and a pair of rose gold studs.

—Annie Kreighbaum

Jemma Baines photographed by Corey Olsen. Feature in collaboration with Piaget. See their latest collection here.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Bella

    Very entertaining article as usual. Laughed out loud at the new form of anxiety! I love La Mer products, which I use sparingly for the purpose for which they were intended ;). When I turned 32 and saw my first fine line I got such a fright I was prepared to invest half my salary in skincare. I used La Prairie products exclusively for 6 months, when suddenly and fortunately a very violent allergic reaction put an end to that! To my surprise my new simplified Dermalogica regime worked as well at the time.
    These products are for people who have more money than they know what to throw it at, and who have no intention of leaving it to their offspring ;).

    • http://intothegloss.com/ ITG Annie

      Bah humbug, screw having kids when you could have drawers full of caviar cream and La Perla panties.

      • Olivia

        This comment clearly indicates that you are my spirit animal.

      • Bella

        It was not about having kids, but about spending their potential inheritance LOL!

  • petal

    haha, wow

  • http://brushandbullet.com/ Teresa

    The photography for this is amazing. Good job, ITG.

  • Beth

    the Piaget jewelry is absolutely stunning!!

  • Gosia

    Back in the day, when JLo wore that dress La Mer range was pretty much like a prescribed medicine. and it could justify the price tag. Few years ago, they re-formulated it using not oh so lux ingredients. Worth checking. The same thing happened with ANR and H. Rubinstein skincare.

  • jax

    But did it actually make a difference? What was the point of this piece if there is no comparison. are these cremes worth it?

    • http://intothegloss.com/ ITG Annie

      Hey Jax. As I noted, I did see a noticeable difference in my skin, but that was with using the products in conjunction. Maybe the conclusion is, "no wonder wealthy people have great skin!"

      So I think that's more of a personal question: are you financially stable enough to purchase a 3 oz jar of cream for $500 based on an online review? I don't know if a "worth it" conclusion and a call to purchase is appropriate here, or ever really is for something considered a luxury product, do you agree? You're paying for more than the actual cream/handbag/shoe.

      Is there a particular product that you're curious about? I'd say, if you have the money, give the La Prairie gold line a try. I've been using the serum version, too. It absorbs lightening fast, leaves teeny little sparkles, keeps me hydrated, and works beautifully with my makeup and other products. Though I can't in good conscience say there isn't a more cost-effective primer alternative, or that you would love it as much as I did. Samples, baby!

      Personally, I can see myself purchasing the La Mer body cream down the line when (if?) I've amassed enough of disposable income, but fully aware that it's more of a guilty pleasure than buying because the Banana Boat After Sun lotion (amazing) isn't doing the job as well.

    • tabimasen

      You also gotta remember that ITG is frequently sponsored by the brands in an article (no mention who actually paid over three grand for the products for one blog post?) so they can't say anything negative. A more critical comparison of ingredients would have been good too, it'd be interesting to know what putting silk on your face is meant to do!

  • mlle p

    Liked the article, but wish the photos had not been on someone who looks 14 years old and flawless!

    • ITGNick

      no one is flawless! except beyonce.

  • http://ausform.tumblr.com minka

    i loved this article! gorgeous girl -- you radiate!

  • Laura Mitchell

    I remember sitting on my bunk at Camp Longhorn reading that article about JLo. We'll get there one day, right?

    • http://intothegloss.com/ ITG Annie

      Camp Longhorn! Were we childhood friends?

  • Laura Mitchell

    (And I totally use the Orchidee Imperial Cream whenever I have a bad facial sunburn. That shit cray.)

  • hellestorm

    You may be interested to learn that JLo uses Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream under her makeup. And as that was recently listed as a winner in the 'Best Moisturizers Under $40' article, that info kinda qualifies as 'best of both', right? You're welcome.

  • CCYY

    I grew up thinking that La Prairie and Valmont were indeed the secret of Hollywood beauties and other demi-goddesses in long fishtail silk dresses and diamond necklesses. A few months ago I've received a generous set of La Prairie samples (including their caviar line) and to my dismay their top ingredients are alcohol and silicones and/or mineral oil. In fact, caviar is the last ingredient in the caviar eye complex. And, out of curiosity, I looked up the ingredients list of Valmont face creams and it is water and dimethicone/petroleum jelly/mineral oil. Nothing wrong with that, and most of the creams of "that era" have similar ingredients but it also means that they cover the pores with a silicone/parrafin film not allowing for anything to penetrate (i.e. peptides from your serum). And being a gal with oily skin it means I'll inevitably get a nasty looking deep pimple of a cute blue-ish green color. And sometimes milia.

  • https://twitter.com/isavella dameagatha

    This reminds me of when George Michael wants to buy Ann the diamond cream on Arrested Development.

  • Candice

    LOVE the Piaget rose rings

  • amisha

    I love the featured piaget jewelry - gorgeous!

  • Victorious_me

    I was once given a tub of La Mer Body Cream by a very rich family friend (she said it was a spare!!!) when I was about 22 and I was so excited about it that I used it ALL THE TIME. i kept trying to be judicious with it but i couldn't help myself and would slather every inch of my person in it like 3 times a day.

    some day i'm just gonna throw caution to wind and buy another one like the boss i truly am.

    • http://intothegloss.com/ ITG Annie

      exactly! ha!

  • http://www.clevergirlreviews.com/ Clever Girl Reviews

    I've only tried the La Mer eye cream and the Lip Balm. The lip balm is worth it the eye cream was not! I think that while these creams are the epitome of luxury, there is plenty out there that is just as expensive perhaps but with more worthwhile ingredients! I think I read somewhere that J.Lo uses some Dr. Haushcka products for daytime!

  • http://youtube.com/thegalsguide Mariah Leonard

    Was reading this aloud to my boyfriend (obviously hoping to persuade him into supplying me with this skincare regime) and we both died at the baby fish omega-3's. Totally agree, to be honest. Way cuter.

  • https://twitter.com/joshrayo J. Joshūa Rayo

    These Skincare articles are seriously marvelous. Granted, the prices aren't very friendly the knowledge is just. Both J Lo & ITG, are culpable for my own skincare purchases. That historic day at the Grammys has embedded the look for healthy skin.

  • Rose Tobin

    babe, be careful! my flatmate used creme de la mer for a month and her skin got addicted to all the nutritious chaos they throw into everything. she got teeerrrible acne as soon as she stopped using it and went back to normal (but comfortingly over-priced, like $80 moisturiser) skincare.

  • anon

    the writer and the woman in the pictures are not the same person (it looks like to me)

PRODUCTS MENTIONED

piaget
Piaget Rose Ring in White Gold With Diamonds
piaget
Piaget Rose Ring
piaget
Piaget Rose Earrings
Natura Bisse
Natura Bissē Diamond White Rich Luxury Cleanse
Valmont
Valmont Time Master Intensive Program
Guerlain
Guerlain Orchidée Impériale Cream
La Prairie
La Prairie Skin Caviar Luxe Eye Lift Cream
La Prairie
La Prairie Cellular Treatment Gold Illusion Line Filler
Creme de la Mer
La Mer The Body Crème
ReVive
RéVive Peau Magnifique Les Mains
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