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This Luxurious Facial Gave Me the Brightest Skin of My LIfe

After the La Prairie caviar facial

 Faith Xue

There are a lot of differences between my early twenties and late twenties, from the people I date to the way my skin reacts to my lifestyle. Of the latter, it’s been somewhat of a rude awakening. When I was in my early twenties, I could stay out until the wee hours, fall asleep in my makeup, and still somehow wake up with bouncy, bright, slightly-oily-but-still-overall-glowing skin. This is, unfortunately, not the case anymore. Nowadays, if I’ve had one too many tequila sodas, if I don’t go through my painstaking skincare regimen before bed, if I don’t treat my skin with the utmost care, it shows—in the form of tiny wrinkles, dark spots, congestion, unevenness…I’ll just go ahead and cut myself off there because I’m getting upset. The point is, I’ve learned that getting a facial every so often is key to helping my skin reset and go back to homeostasis.

So when I happened upon a skin treatment that promised to transform tired skin into the glowy-bouncy-bright stuff of my youth, I jumped at the chance. This is no ordinary facial, either, but a caviar facial—i.e. one that is entirely grown-up, thanks to luxe ingredients (La Prairie, anyone?) and a full-on face massage.

Keep reading for my experience with the La Prairie Caviar Lifting and Firming Facial, and how it impacted my skin.

What is the La Prairie Caviar Facial?

The La Prairie Caviar Facial can best be described in two words: pure luxury. "The Caviar Lifting and Firming Facial at La Prairie Spa at Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills uses La Prairie's iconic Caviar line, their original product," says Amanda Raich, spa director at La Prairie Spa at Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills. "In its quest to create the most indulgent skincare, more than 30 years ago, La Prairie unveiled to the world caviar’s unique power to nourish and regenerate the skin."

The facial itself utilizes both caviar pearls and a caviar-infused face and eye massage, to transform dull and uneven skin. I considered the treatment an apology to my skin. Sorry for all I’ve put you through; I hope you accept this token of my appreciation for all that you do and do not continue to punish me any longer. If you could reciprocate by suddenly producing lots of collagen, that would be great.  But I’ve learned that not all facials are equal. I gravitate toward ones that involve fancy devices that tighten and tone my facial muscles, bring oxygen to my skin, kill bacteria with infrared light…the more high-tech and futuristic, the better. Pain? Worth it. Weird ingredients? Bring them on. Needles? I’ll think about that for a second, but the answer is probably yes. Thus, I admit I was slightly dubious about receiving La Prairie’s Caviar Facial at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in Beverly Hills. It promised to lift, firm and brighten my skin, but in reading through the description, it all sounded so…soothing. I have a Pavlovian response of equating painful facials with the most noticeable results, so—much like men I date these days—I was suspicious of something that sounded so, well, nice.

Benefits of the La Prairie Caviar Facial

• Lifting

• Firming

• Hydrating

Thanks to the copious amounts of caviar-infused products used during the treatment, the La Prairie Caviar Facial is ultra-moisturizing. And yes, there's actual caviar in there—the company's iconic Skin Caviar line is comprised of caviar-derived nutrients which work to bind moisture to the skin.

The Caviar Facial also lifts and firms the skin (that's thanks in large part to the facial massage component). "The caviar facial is all about lifting and firming. Instantly your skin feels plumper, tighter and more lifted," says Raich. "[Estheticians] perform a specialized facial massage designed and only taught by La Prairie’s skin experts to ensure the skin is invigorated and stimulated."

 Faith Xue

What to Expect from the La Prairie Caviar Facial

First of all, let me just say that the La Prairie spa is truly an oasis you’d be happy to hang out in all day. Light-filled and airy and tucked away in a corner of the Waldorf, it took me from frazzled to instantly calm the second I stepped in. There’s a steam room, waiting/lounge area complete with fruit-infused water (because truly, what is a spa without fruit-infused water), and all the bathrooms are stocked with La Prairie products—if peaceful luxury is what you’re looking for, this is it.

The facial itself (which clocks in at $250 for 60 minutes or $375 for 90 minutes) involves zero devices, instead relying on a mix of brightening products from La Prairie’s White Caviar line and your esthetician’s skilled hands to plump, tone, and brighten your skin. After cleansing and toning my skin, followed by a three-minute peel and steam, my very lovely esthetician then proceeded to give me an intense lymphatic massage, starting with a gentle one around my eyes and ending with her quite vigorously kneading my face. I loved every second. I wish I could share more details of what, exactly, happened next, but I went into a bliss blackout. Sorry. I do know that she frosted me like a cake with a copious amount of La Prairie White Caviar moisturizer, applied the White Caviar Hydrolift sheet mask, and gave me an indulgent shoulder massage, then used two crystal rollers on my face at the end to push the products deeper into my skin and help with any leftover fluid retention. It was one of the most luxurious facials I’ve ever gotten. But still: no devices equals a nice time, but no results. Or so I thought.

I was wrong. When I came back to my hotel room and looked at myself in the mirror (fine, I snapped some selfies), I couldn’t believe how much brighter and more even my skin looked. It was actually slightly shocking. In fact, later that night when I was getting ready to go to dinner, I decided to forgo foundation altogether—something that hasn’t happened before going out since, well, my early twenties. My skin was a pearly orb, reflecting light from every direction. I felt like an angel—nay, a cherub.

Set aside a few hours for the full experience and take advantage of the spa afterward for ultimate relaxation.

The Final Takeaway

The effect was temporary—the next morning, I glowed just a little less and still reached for my tinted moisturizer—but my skin still felt incredibly smooth and more toned. I can only assume that my skin looked brighter because of the White Caviar pearls that were slathered upon my face, along with the copious amount of vitamin C, gold caviar (because why just have one type of caviar), and antioxidants used throughout.

I would 100 percent recommend this facial right before a big event because the post-facial glow-up is real. Even my friend, who saw me directly after, responded with just one word: “Wow.” If you’re looking for a facial that gives instantly brightening results and also just feels like the definition of luxury, this is it.

Next up: See the moisturizer that promises to work better than Botox.

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