In a world where many people are now spending a lot of time trying to demystify skin care by decoding INCI lists and searching all over for product dupes, La Prairie is a luxury skincare line that offers up a very different experience. It's a brand that's part poetry and highly dedicated to the art community (this week they will host a special private viewing and dinner at MoMa PS1 in New York), it almost feels mythical. Over the years, the brand has become most famous for its product lines including caviar and platinum. Enter, the La Prairie Pure Gold Collection.
Per the product description, the new collection seeks to recreate [the grace of the golden hour in the crown of the alps] and impart it to the skin. And: It inspires to imbue skin with resplendence, as if lit from within. That's definitely less straightforward than saying the collection addresses skin tone and texture and plumps your complexion but it also sounds much more impressive.
As a three-piece routine, the Pure Gold Collection includes a serum, a facial cream, and an eye cream. There are no complicated steps, days you have to count in between uses, or tricks to applying it. The routine is recommended for daily use morning and night, and purports to deliver a golden hour-esque radiance. But, what does a skin care routine that costs over $2000 really feel like and perform like? Let's get into it.
What it is:
The star ingredient in the collection is, no surprise, gold. According to the brand, not only does gold naturally create radiance by reflecting yellow and warm tones, it is an optimal carrier for active ingredients allowing them to time-release and keep treating your skin all day with their brightening and firming power.
The routine begins with the Pure Gold Radiance Concentrate ($850), which is my favorite of the collection, possibly because it looks like liquid gold and I find it impossible to resist anything subtly sparkly. Just a few drops instantly makes your skin look luminous and like the routine has already done its job, but it's only the first step in the revitalizing routine. Next you layer on the two creams, the Pure Gold Radiance Cream ($850) to deeply hydrate, even skin tone and texture, and the The Pure Gold Radiance Eye Cream ($635) which also reduces puffiness and reduces under-eye darkness (with consistent use). While the formulas do feel substantial, I wouldn't categorize either as lightweight, but both sink into the skin easily (give it a few minutes before applying sunscreen and makeup) and don't leave you feeling greasy.
The creams each come with a matching gold spatula, which feels special and adds to the longevity to the products. (It's better for hygiene, but also helps because you tend to scoop out more cream than needed when using your fingers.) If it wasn't already clear, this is not a skin care routine you would throw in your bag to travel, but that's kind of the point. It's supposed to get a place of prominence on your vanity.
Who it's for?
The La Prairie Pure Gold Collection will set you back a satchel of gold the three-piece collection costs $2335 all together. But, for living out your ultimate fancy lady (or gentleman) skin care fantasy, I've never tried anything that feels so luxe. This routine is for the person who savors and ritualizes the experience of completing their skincare routine at the beginning and the end of the day. Because a little goes a long way, so there's no need to slater it on to make it feel like a lavish experience, which may make the products last a little longer than whatever you have sitting in your cabinet now.
The textures are rich, the concentrate feels almost like an oil until it disappears into the skin, and the creams are on the thicker side. My skin tends to be drier, so it never gave me an issue, but if you're oilier, consider using it as a nighttime routine or hold off until the colder months.
Another element worth mentioning: the collection is refillable, therefore reducing the amount of waste created when repurchasing. The big, brushed gold jars don't need to be thrown out after spooning out every last drop from the container. The glass vials and inserts can be removed, recycled, and replaced. (Refills will still set you back the full price of the products.)
The Final Verdict:
For a skin care routine that costs more than some people pay in rent, you can at definitely feel the cost of the product and see it in the results. The hefty, minimalist gold bottle and jars are wildly glamorous. Just imagine your bathroom with only these three products sitting on the counter. so chic. If you're the type of person who can try this routine, it's the only skin care you'll want to use.
After trying the routine for over a month, my usually dry, generally lackluster complexion now has an easy natural glow. The hydration and reflectiveness even persist before applying skincare in the morning and after I wash my face. It's definitely not a glass skin look (which describes the wet, almost oily-looking skin care trend), but golden hour skin does sound about right. My skin has a soft, satiny glow that I couldn't achieve before without the help of a little highlighter. I haven't been to the Swiss Alps to compare, but let's just say, I'm not looking forward to reaching the bottom of the jars.