On a beautiful evening in early December, I found myself sitting in a theater at the Frost Museum of Science Planetarium in Miami, head perpendicular to my body, gazing upward as I watched stars burst across the sky-high screen and listened to the rich voice of Whoopi Goldberg, who narrates Journey to the Stars, talk about the life and death of stars. I tried to take pictures of the screen, like the Instagram-obsessed millennial that I am, but they photos didn't translate. Earlier in the day, I'd sipped Champagne and toasted Mario Botta, the swiss architect who unveiled his latest creation, an actual, life-size Archisculpture made from fragrant cedar wood that evokes the ideas of timelessness, origin, and life, at Miami Art Basel. I had once again tried to get a good shot of the interactive pavilion, but couldn't capture the experience on camera-phone. But I, with my own limited artistic capabilities, was here at the epicenter of all things creative to celebrate another work of art: La Prairie's newest offering, their Platinum Rare Cellular Life-Lotion, which contains actual platinum, an ingredient, as they say, "from the stars."
Spread out on the chic counter in my chic bathroom at the very chic One Hotel in Miami (they have the best mirrors literally ever—plus the hotel is on the water and has a killer rooftop pool, etc., but I'm telling you the mirrors), La Prairie's range of Platinum products looks like its own luxe shelfie installation—and comes with a price tag to match. Like the Archisculpture La Prairie commissioned from Mario Botta, the Platinum Rare Cellular Life-Lotion immediately evokes something: In addition to the ideas of rejuvenation and renewal, the overwhelming feeling is luxury.
The newest member of the Platinum Rare family is actually a "pre-serum," which took two years for La Prairie to develop. The product contains platinum peptides, which help boost collagen production in skin cells and promise to detoxify, rejuvenate, and address multiple signs of skin's aging, but, as Dr. Jacqueline Hill, La Prairie’s Director of Strategic Innovation and Science, explains, the lotion is also meant to be used in tandem with the Swiss brand's other offerings.
"The idea is to use it as part of the regimen, but we also know that not everyone uses the whole Platinum regimen, that's why we tested it as a product," she explains. "A fresher look is one of the things that I would say is more directly linked with a detoxification activity, but we also saw this improvement in elasticity, hydration, radiance, and even skin tone. The full spectrum of the signs of aging are addressed with this product. It's more than a pre-serum; it's not just a simple essence and lotion as you could imagine, but it's something extra."
So, where does the pre-serum fall in your skincare routine? "You start with the cleansing and toning part of the regimen," says Dr. Hill. "The Cellular Life-Lotion would be the first one of the Platinum Rare collection we consider as a pre-serum, so before the serum. Then in the morning, you would use the serum and in the evening, the night Elixir and the cream, and parallel, you'd be using the eye essence for the eye contour area and the eye cream, if you want to do the full regimen. And of course during the day, we also recommend sun protection—we have our UV Veil SPF50, which is really light, so it can go on top of a series of products. In Europe and America, we're less used to layering as they do in Asia. But that's what we would recommend for the full regimen."
But the real questions, of course, are does it work and is it worth the $655. Well, if $655 is in your beauty budget, yes, this stuff is legit. My normal skincare routine is basic—you can usually find face wipes on my bathroom sink—but waking up the morning after I’d slathered on some of my new Platinum prods I could feel a difference in the texture of my skin, and see the glowing effects of the stuff reflected in those magnificent hotel mirrors.
But in addition to the immediate results, it’s about the rich experience these products deliver—which is why we were at Art Basel to celebrate the launch of the lotion in the first place. La Prairie isn’t shy about the luxury factor—their product lines are named Skin Caviar and Platinum Rare, after-all—and that’s encapsulated in these lush creams. The Cellular Life-Lotion is touted as the latest in “haute-rejuvenation” and taking the time to apply the luxurious layers of this routine is definitely haute self-care. And after a few days using the collection, I could see magic of it reflected on my photo-ready face.