Today is World Oceans Day, and considering the still-flowing Deepwater Horizon oil spill, there's no better time to take action to protect the sea. La Mer, whose skin care and makeup are infused with marine plant extracts, is celebrating its fifth year of partnership with advocacy group Oceana. To commemorate the organization's expansion into Belize — home to the world's second largest coral reef — La Mer sponsored a days-long deep-sea dive with Oceana spokeswoman January Jones. Here's a look:
Along with donating $200,000 to the nonprofit, La Mer is "going blue" in a limited-edition jar of Crème de la Mer ($310). And if you ever have the opportunity to visit Belize, do it — there's truly nothing like seeing a sea turtle up close to make you want to protect the sea.
One of the best things you can do for your skin is to wear sunblock every day. But with warm weather around the corner, even the SPF slackers will want to wear sunscreen to protect their skin. Here are three that I've tried recently.
If you want ultra-light texture...
La Mer's SPF 30 UV Protection Fluid ($65) isn't a traditional sunscreen. Sure, it blocks UVA and UVB rays, but true to La Mer's heritage, it's high on the luxury factor. The mint-colored fluid is incredibly lightweight, and it sinks into skin right away; small reflective particles give skin a light-catching glow. A friend of mine spied my sample, tried it out, and tried to sweet-talk me into surrendering it. Fat chance.
If you need reassurance of the age-fighting factor...
You probably know that SPF stands for sun protection factor, but do you know what PA means? Well, it's big in Japan — really! The PA rating describes how well a sunscreen blocks UVA rays, which cause skin discoloration. Bliss Best of Skintentions ($35) is rated PA++, the medium rating. While I generally go for SPF 30, the light citrus scent and lack of greasiness make this one a winner for rainy days. (Yes, I wear sunscreen even when I'm staying inside.)
If you're concerned about anti-aging
Sunblock generally helps prevent signs of aging, but to get full protection, look for a broad-spectrum product that filters both UVB (burning) and UVA (aging) rays. L'Oreal Dermo-Expertise Revitalift UV ($13.99) is one of the few American sunscreens to feature Mexoryl SX, a photostable ingredient that won't break down in the sun. It's lightweight enough to wear under makeup, and it doesn't leave white streaks. The only drawback is the miniscule pump opening; it doesn't dispense as much as I'd like, so I wind up pumping like crazy.
La lovely La Mer is getting ready to release a brand-new skin care genre for Fall 2008. This September, the brand introduces Hydrating Infusion ($95), a prepping base (think of it as using double the lotion) that wets the skin and locks in moisture so that you can fully receive even more of the moisture benefits from Crème de la Mer.
I know what you're thinking — are they serious with this? Why is this even necessary? I thought the same thing until I read an interview with Paul Tchinnis, the Director of R and D for La Mer, and he makes a strong case. He explains that:
"There are two ways to hydrate and moisturize the skin. One is to trap the moisture that already exists in your skin, and the other is to add moisture to your skin through creams. Some consumers want even more moisture. You can’t just apply double the amount because your skin can only absorb so much. So, part of the reason we’ve invented Infusion is to approach moisture using a different delivery system."
I'm all for having a fresh looking, well hydrated face, but I don't suffer from super-dry skin to the point where I need twice the amount of moisturizer. However, I have tried "The Infusion" and it's not something I'd totally turn my back on, either. It has a silky texture (thicker than water, thinner than a gel) and when used under Crème de la Mer, it creates a heavenly, rich and dewy effect. I love it for nighttime, but for day, it makes me look a bit oily.
Come September, would you be interested in doubling your pleasure with La Mer's new Hydrating Infusion? Or are you as moisturized as you'd like to be?
Last Summer, we featured scores of SPF-enhanced tinted moisturizers, and a year later there's a new gaggle of goodies to explore! What I love about tinted moisturizers is that they serve three purposes. They simplify your prep time, since they act as a foundation and a moisturizer; they offer SPF so now you don't have to apply (or worry about) sun protection; and they help even out your skin tone. Below are three SPF tinted moisturizers that I'll think you'll fall madly in love with this Summer.
Just a few weeks ago Chanel launched Hydramax + Active Tinted Lotion SPF 15 ($55), a great alternative to wearing foundation in the heat of the Summer sun. It contains UVA and UVB protection while providing even coverage, a non-greasy feel and a healthy, radiant, almost dewy finish on my skin. I use #15 Sunlit (the medium shade out of the three) and not only do I find it moisturizing and extremely blendable, but I also really like the sweet scent.
La Mer has created The SPF 18 Fluid Tint ($65) in three shades of light, medium, and dark. It's moisturizing, it absorbs quickly, the formula is water-based so it's not oily whatsoever, it contains UVA and UVB protection, plus it's made with crushed gemstones (tourmaline and Brazilian malachite), so it helps give skin a radiant glow.
For one more tinted moisturizer with SPF, read more
I've already tried the La Mer Eye Concentrate, but a few weeks ago, I learned about The Eye Balm ($130) and decided to test it out. What I really liked is that it is especially suited for younger skin. It's not nearly as heavy or greasy, it spreads easily and it absorbs almost immediately.
Also, it feels slightly cooling and it has a lighter, almost cleaner version of that well known La Mer smell, which I find interesting since it actually contains triple the concentration of their famous miracle broth.
After using for about a week, I've noticed that the skin around my eyes is softer, and less red. This is because it contains Brazilian Malachite, which not only makes your eyes brighter (it has an illuminating quality), but it also has a light green tint to help dilute the redness — genius! I realize that it's going to take longer than a week to see any dramatic results, but so far, I like what I see. If only we could do something to adjust the cost.
Talk about at-home spa treatments. This La Mer Body Cream is so unbelievably thick and creamy, the folks at La Mer HQ call it a "seaweed wrap in a jar." Lucky for me, I was sent a sample because $195 for body cream is holy outrageous, Batman!
The lotion comes packaged in a pale green celery jar and smells exactly like the face cream and the hand treatment. That's probably because it contains all kinds of ingredients from the sea along with four kinds of algae, omega 3, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. Funny enough, it doesn't contain the company's most famous Miracle Broth, which I thought was their secret weapon.
I'll level with you: If this became your guilty pleasure, you'd need to take another mortgage out on your house, but for anyone who's got some cash to burn, I'd put this at the top of my list. It really is that fabulous. The cream comforts and seriously moisturizes dry, damaged skin. For everybody else who is looking for a less expensive option, check out my drugstore pick for body lotion.
Within the past month, two girlfriends have separately claimed that the La Mer Lip Balm is the cat's pajamas. With rave reviews like this, I naturally couldn't help but satisfy my curiosity and check it out for myself. There's pretty much one word I can think to best describe this product and it's ohmig-d! As expected, it contains the famous La Mer Miracle Broth, vitamins, mint, and plant extracts to help regenerate, hydrate, and insulate your lips from extreme temperatures — hot and cold.
You first notice the refreshing cooling sensation followed by a sweet and minty scent (the taste is equally pleasant). It is incredibly moisturizing without being sticky whatsoever and the texture is light, so your ring finger only needs to take one lap around the edge to cover both of your lips.
While I am painting this product picture perfect, it wouldn't be fair to withhold its two drawbacks. First, where's the SPF? It claims to protect your lips from hot and cold, all the while dismissing sun protection. And lastly, any way you slice it, 45 bones for a lip balm is steep. That being said, I feel strongly enough about it that I'm still willing to recommend it despite the cost.
Too bad for my other friends that I'm a little bit of a germaphobe. If this was the kind of thing you could share — like body lotion — I'd be more than happy to let them have at it, but no can do. Sorry girls, get your own.
Leave it to La Mer to come up with a luxurious way to clean your face. Its new Foaming Cleanser ($65) contains jade and crushed pearls, deep sea algae fibers and magnetized tourmaline to help break down debris, dirt and makeup. The ingredient that's really getting attention is really the pearl powder, which contains restorative minerals and amino acids essential for healthy and bright skin.
La Mer Cleansing Foam is suitable for all skin types and is recommended to be followed by none other than Crème de la Mer. When it becomes available for purchase in January, do you think this is something you would buy? Or is $65 way too steep for a cleanser?
Relatively new to La Mer are its three first-ever cosmetic products. The product with heaviest coverage, The Treatment Crème Foundation SPF 15, is intended for dry skin. The Treatment Fluid Foundation SPF 15, a lighter version of the crème foundation, is meant for for normal to oily skin. Lastly, The Powder has been created with a sheer veil finish to wear alone or to set either of the foundations.
All of the items contain the same antiaging ingredients as the crème, yet also provide coverage to produce a flawless finish! I was really excited to learn about these new products because like most people, I only knew about their skincare.
Also, La Mer has some juicy gossip for you. Apparently the makeup artist for Blake Lively and Leighton Meester, the gorgeous stars of Gossip Girl also use these products on set! I can't wait to try them — are you interested in checking them out, too?
For a detailed description of each of the products, read more