When I first moved to New York City as an intern, I worked part-time at a luxury department store. I was always fascinated by the women who would come in each day and drop Lord-knows -how-much money on luxury beauty products, and I loved talking to them about which were their favorite, the most efficacious, etc. Still, though, I couldn’t wrap my head around why some products were so expensive. Were they packaged in diamonds? (Some, yes.) Did they contain the dreams and wishes of a bygone mythical beast? (TBD.)
Unsurprisingly, many luxury products are not all they’re cracked up to be and in fact, some are even less effective than their drugstore counterparts. However, after testing several of the most hyped products on the market, we’ve narrowed it down to a select few that really do what they promise. Yeah, we know, money can’t buy happiness and all that jazz but it can buy beauty products. And I’ll be damned if those don’t elicit happiness. Ahead, find our top picks that are worth every penny.
A version of this article was originally published in October 2017.
La Prairie Ultimate Rejuvenating Cream
After hearing through a friend that this particular cream was one of Stevie Nicks' favorites, I knew I had to try it because, I mean, look at her. After using a tiny dollop of this for just a few days, I swear to you my skin looked as though it'd be infused with diamonds and pearls.
Platinum Rare Cellular Cream, $1,165; at La Prairie
Rodin Olio Lusso Jasmine and Neroli Face Oil
I'll be the first to admit that until recent years I avoided oils because I thought they would make my skin oilier. Nope! This particular one, which is made up of 11 essential oils, has become a staple in my nightly routine. I lightly massage it onto my face and neck after moisturizing, and it gives my skin a subtle, glowy sheen. It also smells incredible.
Rodin Olio Lusso Jasmine and Neroli Face Oil, $170; at Rodin Olio Lusso
Rodin Olio Lusso
Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer
This is the Holy Grail of concealers–seriously. It covers dark spots and blemishes seamlessly, and it's waterproof so it stays put all day. Infused with jojoba oil and honey, the formula is thick but not cakey, and has a radiant, dewy finish. And because you only need to use a tiny amount, it will last forever.
Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer, $48; at Kevyn Aucoin
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial
Acid exfoliants can seem intimidating, we get it; but this one truly does God's work. I slather this on my face for 10 minutes twice weekly and have more even-toned, brighter skin to show for it. Since it is such a strong, efficient formula, follow it up with a heavy moisturizing cream/and or oil to ensure your skin doesn't dry out.
Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial, $80; at Drunk Elephant
Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum
This serum contains a cool 22 active botanicals, from frankincense to hazelnut, and together they work to, in layman's terms, restore a vibrant and youthful complexion. Though I'm skeptical of anyone who claims a product breeds overnight results, this one actually does. After haphazardly massaging it onto my face one night, I woke up the next morning with clearer, more supple skin.
Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum, $158; at Vintner's Daughter
GlamGlow Super Mud Clearing Treatment
This mask is literally a vacuum for your pores. I slather it on my face twice per week and within minutes it sucks all of the New York gunk straight from my pores. I've tried several similar masks that claim to achieve the same results, but this is, by far, the best of its kind.
GlamGlow Super Mud Clearing Treatment, $69; at Sephora
Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Longwear High Cover Foundation SPF 25
This foundation is everything a foundation should be. It has impeccable, lasting coverage; it blends seamlessly into the skin and is virtually undetectable; and it's not completely matte, so it has a subtle, healthy sheen to it.
Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Foundation, $64; at Sephora
Chanel Hydra Beauty Créme Riche
I can almost feel my skin cells sighing with relief when using this cream. The formula is heavy without being greasy, and has a semi-cooling effect upon application. It's like the recommended eight glasses of water/day for your face.
Hydra Beauty Créme Riche, $87; at Chanel
Byredo Gypsy Water Eau du Parfum
Do I wish I could charge people for smelling me when I wear this? Yes. But I've also never smelled anything so close to a magical forest.
Gypsy Water Eau du Parfum, $150; at Byredo
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
To be perfectly honest, I was initially skeptical over whether a $400 hair dryer would be worth the price tag (or not). Welp, it is. I was, quite literally, blown away the first time I used it. I was able to blow dry my whole head in under 5 minutes and wound up with much smoother, silkier hair compared to when I dried it with your average, run-of-the-mill hair dryer. Also, the motor is blissfully quiet.
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer, $399; at Sephora