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La Mer
report by Lisa L. of the Cosmetic Connection Product Panel

Hello fellow cosmetic junkies! Hope your holidays were happy and safe. To my delight, I found that I had made Santa's "very good" list, as some fabulous La Mer products found their way under my tree!

For those of you who don't know the story, here's the short version: Crème De La Mer was invented by Max Huber, a Nasa scientist who was badly burned in an experiment gone wrong. After countless hours of research, and thousands of experiments, he created a special cream that radically improved the appearance of his scarred skin. Be warned, this is one of the most expensive lines available! Apparently, each batch must be made in small quantities, and "fermented" for months, thus producing shortages and mass panic among cranky socialites. One ounce of the original cream is $85, with other items in the line of comparable cost. Are they worth it? Read on and find out.

Crème de La Mer ($85 for one ounce)
This is the original - a very, very rich cream that has to be warmed between the fingers (it breaks down the texture, and makes it easy to apply) and "patted" onto perfectly dry skin. A dime-sized amount is plenty for your whole face and part of your neck! While this formula was too rich for my combination skin, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it makes the perfect eye cream! The skin under my eyes became noticeably smoother and more supple. I was also amazed to find that it diminished my dark circles, as well as strengthened and nourished my eyelashes. (I thought I was going crazy, but another CC reader confirmed that this was her experience, too.) I don't know how it works, but thank the celestial power of your choice that it does. When used as an eye cream, this jar is actually a good value, and well worth the price. I'm completely hooked.

The Cleansing Gel ($65 for 6.7 ounces)
This cleansing gel is incredibly gentle, yet it thoroughly removes all traces of makeup, dirt, and sebum. You definitely don't need a toner. The thing that makes this cleanser special is that it seems to leave the acid mantle on your skin completely intact. Skin feels squeaky clean, yet soft and hydrated. I love the stuff, but felt it was just too expensive when Origin's Mint Wash is almost exactly the same product, and costs only $14 for the same amount. If you've got the cash, the La Mer gel is a nice splurge, but consider the Mint Wash if you're a diva on a budget.

The Face Serum ($175 for one ounce)
This item really wowed me, and has become my favorite La Mer product. The serum is the fermented "broth" that is added to the cream. Comprised of marine proteins, enzymes, minerals, and "a secret lime thing" (according to the experts at Bliss Spa), this elixir smoothes your skin, clears up blemishes, and makes your complexion glow like a child's. You only use 5-6 drops for your whole face, so an ounce will last a good long time. You apply the serum under the moisturizer for maximum benefit, and the results are clearly evident after only a couple of days. My skin continues to thank me by producing less oil, and glowing like crazy.

Oil-Absorbing Lotion ($135 for 1.7 ounces)
This lotion is perfect for combination and oily-skinned individuals like myself. In winter, I can use a slightly richer lotion, but this will be my top pick for the other 3/4 of the year! This oil-free formula soaks up excess sebum, and keeps your face matte and fresh for hours. Applied in the morning, you won't need to touch up with powder until late afternoon. This lotion also smoothes your skin and fights breakouts, as well as little lines. Another winner!

The Body Lotion ($135 for 6.7 ounces)
This was the only La Mer product that didn't completely knock my socks off. It is a nice lotion, to be sure, but I didn't find it lasted long enough to "skip a day" as they claimed. It smells nice, and moisturizes well, but for this price you want it to be "the best" by a mile. Sorry, it isn't. I prefer Alpha Hydrox "Silk Wrap" lotion, which makes skin amazingly soft, with even texture and tone, with a mixture of 10% alpha hydroxy acids and vitamins. At $11 for 10 ounces, it's an affordable product with results that suggest a much higher price.

review: 01/00



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