Luxe Products Worth Their Price
Why the most expensive beauty products cost what they do.
Esteé Lauder Success Powder Compact ($75)The Translucent Powder alone costs just over $30, but this gold compact features a thick slice of semi-precious amethyst, meaning each one is totally unique, the kind of thing you pass on to your daughter.
Christian Dior Grand Bal ($200)This scent, developed by Dior's perfumer Francois Demachy, gets its jasmine scent from jasmine absolute, an oil concentrate made from over 10,000 flowers gathered by hand.
SK-II LXP Ultimate Revival Cream ($350)In the late '80s, scientists decided to find out why sake brewers had super smooth hands. The answer was Pitera, a metabolic solution generated in the fermentation process of a unique strain of yeast. SK-II used Pitera to launch their first face cream and the brand's new LXP has eight times the amount found in that classic formula. So unless you're going to soak your face in sake every night, this is your best bet for plump, youthful, radiant skin.
Serge Lutens Refillable Lipstick ($75) in 10: Garde RoseSerge Lutens, the legendary perfumer and makeup artist, built the industry's favorite lipstick in 2000 when he launched his own line of cosmetics. His formula strikes just the right balance between oil and high melting point wax--with highly dispersant pigment--to smooth over your lips without drying them out. (Bonus: you only have to pay $75 once, the refills are $55.)
By Terry Or De Rose Baume Précieux ($70)By Terry's lip balm, an Olsen favorite, actually contains 24-karat pink gold. That's why it looks pretty. It works, however, thanks to a blend of 26 different anti-aging ingredients. The gloss (which is wonderfully non-sticky) also has SPF 15.
Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Body Oil ($110)Stylist Linda Rodin spent years mixing and matching oils from all over the world before she finally whipped up the perfect blend. Each of the 11 oils that made the cut is known for its skin-soothing, softening, and glow-giving properties.
Tom Ford Bronzing Powder ($90) in Gold DustIt's what's inside this pretty compact that counts. To get the perfect bronzer Ford mixed sunstone, amber, and semi-precious black tourmaline crystals to highlight the skin's natural radiance instead of faking an unnatural shade.
Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer ($70)Every makeup artist swears by Clé de Peau's gem-topped stick of concealer. The moisturizing formula's full of high-performance powders that cover dark circles and spots without ever creasing or drying out.
Oribe 24-Karat Gold Pomade ($49)Yes, there are crushed gold minerals inside this gleaming jar, but Oribe's pomade is also full of Vitamin B5 to strengthen and moisturize your hair, keravis to condition, and UV protection to save whatever blonde you're hoping to highlight with this formula in the first place.
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Comme des Garçons Large Classic Pouch ($135) in GreenWe just thought you'd need something worthy of your fancy new skincare wardrobe. This buttery soft Comme des Garçons pouch might actually be more steal than splurge, especially if it doubles as a clutch.
Why is one product $.99 and another $99? It's not always due to pretty packaging (though yes, that adds a few dollars). The eye-popping cost is, more often, thanks to a range of luxury ingredients like 24-karat gold, jasmine absolute, or exotic anti-aging strains of carefully cultured yeast mixed into everything from a jar of lip gloss to a bottle of face oil. So if you need someone to justify a bit of luxury in your life, read on.