When it comes to my dry skin, I’m dealing with a lot: It takes an army to prevent foundation from clinging to my dry patches, my under eyes often look like fish scales, my upper lip is prone to flakiness, and don’t even get me started on my chin. Simply put, my skin is dry AF, and I’m willing to try almost anything to get some relief.
So when I read that Guerlain's Orchidée Impériale Anti-Aging Day Cream is Kim Kardashian West's "fave face cream in the world!" (thanks, IG stories), I was intrigued, thinking I hit the skincare jackpot. A quick Google search landed me at a few luxury retailer pages, and then that three-digit price tag hit me. $335. After giving myself a few minutes to regain composure (insert Kimoji crying face), I put my independent woman face on, placed the order, and shut my laptop, wondering how many meals I could have bought with that money.
I’m not judging you if you don’t feel like shelling out $335 on a face cream. That’s why I’m taking one for the team here, in hopes of a success story at the end of the road. Read on to see if I found my Holy Grail.
I did my due diligence reading the product specs, during which it became clear Guerlain puts a significant amount of research into creating a potentially magical product. 15 years worth of research, to be exact. Impressed by the longevity of the orchid flower, the brand built the Orchidarium—a research center with three locations across Europe and China dedicated to preserving and exploring its potential as a high-performing skincare ingredient. According to Guerlain, the orchid is "the most highly developed species in the plant kingdom."
It makes sense, too, as orchids are the only flower I can keep alive because they’re long-lasting and require little to no maintenance. They're also the star ingredient in Guerlain’s Orchidée Impériale line, which features a slew of products formulated to enhance the skin's longevity, elasticity, and firmness. Along with orchids, Guerlain has incorporated diamond powder into the range (so fancy). Used for its ability to "capture light energy and diffuse it in all directions," Guerlain promises instant radiance as a result.
When the face cream arrived, I was impressed by the packaging—antique gold and cobalt blue with "Orchidée Impériale" engraved on the front. I appreciated that it looked like a piece of art next to my stash of skincare products. I set it aside to look at for a few days before actually touching it.
When I was finally ready to break into it, I took a whiff. Initial thoughts: It smelled floral, exuding notes of rose, white musk, and cedar wood. While the scent could be considered overpowering to some (if you're sensitive to fragrance take note), for me it was a checkmark in the "pro" column.
I dipped in with the provided spatula and started applying (carefully, so as not to waste any). The cream felt silky to the touch and was surprisingly lightweight. It didn’t take much to get an even layer on my face, and it felt like a blend of velvet and satin as I swept it across my skin. The cream took a few minutes to sink in, but once absorbed, I couldn’t feel any sticky residue. Instead, my skin not only looked more radiant than I had ever seen it, but felt instantly hydrated too. Any lingering dry patches on my face had disappeared. So far, we were off to a good start.
When I woke up and looked in the mirror the next morning, my skin looked good. And I mean really good. It was plump, balanced, and even-textured. I had zero dry patches and basically newborn baby skin. I didn’t notice any significant difference in my fine lines, but alas, I continued testing. Day after day I was impressed by the product's ease of application and blendability; I found it rich enough to hydrate yet lightweight enough to not feel overly thick or greasy.
I had high expectations for this cream’s ability to give me Kim KW-level skin. While anti-aging is important to me, the true test with skincare for me is if it can tackle my dry patches and make my base look good. I'm happy to report that this cream passed both tests. Just one application led me to flake-free foundation, an even contour, and a smooth surface on which to blend my other products. After a few weeks of daily use, my skin was less prone to dry patches, and every day felt like a good skin day. (Bonus: I was getting more and more compliments on my glow the days I went makeup-free.) The beauty of this moisturizer is you’re able to instantaneously see results. So, even if you don’t use it every day, you’ll still reap the benefits of glowing skin and an even makeup application. And if you do end up using it daily, you're sure to notice a difference in your overall complexion over time.
All in all, for someone with my skin type, it’s worth getting a sample (a little goes a long way and a sample should last you one to two weeks). I recommend using this sparingly— I’m talking, less than a dime size for your entire face. You really don’t need much to see or feel a difference.
So yes, while I’m bummed this face cream costs more than my usual go-tos, I’m still tipping my hat to Kim for the introduction. Next on my list: the Orchidée Impériale Cream Foundation ($152). Yikes.