We put La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation Sunscreen to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
When it comes to high-end foundations, very few fall into the $200-plus range but La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation Sunscreen SPF 15 is one of them. Since a higher price tag doesn’t necessarily translate to a product to be more effective, I was excited to further explore this foundation-concealer duo and dig deeper into what warrants its triple-digit price tag.
Ringing in at a hefty $245, would this product be the magic cure-all for all of my skin woes? Would I suddenly have the flawless complexion of my early 20s? Would it outperform my current favorite foundation, which costs just under $7? I put this pricey product to the test, keeping the ingredients, overall texture and feel, longevity of wear, and added skincare benefits in mind.
La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation Sunscreen
Star Rating: 4.6 / 5
Best for: Full coverage of dark circles and imperfections, anti-aging benefits
Active Ingredients: Octinoxate (sunscreen)
Byrdie Clean?: No
Potential Allergens: Fragrance, BHT, parabens, propylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, wheat protein
About the Brand: Swiss beauty brand La Prairie is known as a leader in the anti-aging skin-care space, fusing science with rare ingredients in its luxurious products. It’s the first brand to use cellular anti-aging therapy research in formulating its products.
About My Skin: Dry and dull
My skin is typically pretty normal, except during the winter months when New York’s freezing temperatures and indoor heating dry it out. I typically shy away from full coverage foundations, as they often feel heavy and become cakey throughout the day. Instead, I opt for tinted moisturizers or light-to-medium coverage foundations, my current favorite being The Ordinary’s Serum Foundation, which offers medium coverage with a weightless and dewy finish. Regardless of what I’m using, I always apply a minimal amount, allowing for a natural look with just enough coverage to refresh and perfect my complexion. From there, I’ll tap on a bit of cream blush, brush and fill my brows, and swipe on a bit of mascara.
I swapped this pricey La Prairie product with my usual foundation, applying it after my morning skin-care routine and before the rest of my makeup, taking the extra step of applying concealer after my foundation. While I applied only once a day in the morning, La Prairie does recommend reapplying every two hours if you’re using it for sunscreen purposes.
Ingredients: High-end ingredients, high-end results
As the name would imply, the foundation features caviar extract, which has become quite a buzzy, albeit expensive, skin-care ingredient over the past couple of years. It’s known for its anti-aging properties, protecting the skin against UVB rays and thus slowing the breakdown of collagen and elastin. It’s also thought to be hydrating thanks to its abundance of fatty acids. The formula also contains La Prairie's Exclusive Cellular Complex, which is the basis of the majority of its products. The formula of this complex is top secret, but according to the brand, it's meant to enhance the skin’s natural renewal process by rejuvenating the cells themselves, making it a true force in anti-aging technology. However, like most skin-care products, it would need to be used continually to notice any results.
How to Apply: Includes tools, but fingers are best
La Prairie recommends first shaking the bottle, then dabbing foundation onto the forehead, bridge of nose, cheeks, and chin, and then blending it in. The bottle’s twist-off cap (which holds the concealer and mirror) features a handy built-in spatula that makes application mess-free. The packaging also includes a sponge for blending, though I prefer using my fingers.
During the rare occasions that I use concealer, I apply it after my foundation to better mask any dark circles or blemishes. According to La Prairie, you can apply the included concealer either before or after foundation, using your finger to pat on and blending in with the included concealer brush. I tried both before and after with similar results, and again preferred to use my finger to blend, but found that the brush worked just as well.
Overall, both the foundation and concealer apply smoothly with minimal creasing and don’t require a whole lot of blending. The concealer shade included is expertly matched with the foundation, so it blends in seamlessly.
Coverage: Full, natural-looking coverage
The Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation is considered a full-coverage product, and it definitely did what it promised. I looked flawless! On days I wanted lighter coverage, I used a minimal amount of foundation and skipped the concealer step, and when I needed an extra boost, I spot-applied a second layer of foundation and concealer where necessary. In all instances, I still had a natural-looking glow that never looked cakey or overdone.
The Scent: A subtle, powdery fragrance
While the concealer is unscented, the foundation has a subtle powder-like fragrance that is pleasant and understated. I try to avoid any makeup with fragrance as my skin is particularly sensitive when it’s dry, but I didn’t mind this one. I also didn’t experience any sensitivity or allergic reactions while using this product.
The Results: A natural, dewy finish that lasted for most of the day
This creamy liquid foundation and cream concealer felt like a dream when applied, soft, and hydrating. Being a full coverage foundation, it does have a heavier feel that you’ll notice all day long. The dewiness looks natural, but the days I applied a bit too much, I looked oily and had to either take some off or spot apply matte finishing powder. I would be apprehensive about using it on a hot and humid day.
I put this product to the test during a particularly busy week. While my skin still looked great mid-day (I received tons of compliments), I noticed that by the time I got home, it had started to break down and fade. I still had a bit of a glow, but far less coverage; my under eye circles peeking through. It’ll get you through most of your day, but if you’re planning to wear it into the night, it’ll need to be refreshed in-between.
The Value: A major investment
Not many foundations fall into the $200-plus range, and this one is definitely an investment. While I really loved how my skin looked after my morning application, at $245 per ounce of foundation and .07 ounce of concealer, I would have expected longer wear. Keep in mind, this price reflects a slew of top-notch ingredients and the included concealer brush and blending sponge, 2x magnifying mirror, and stand to keep it all together and nicely on display, but it’s still quite an investment in my eyes.
La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation vs. Chanel Vitalumière Aqua
There are a number of other cult-favorite high-end foundations on the market, one being Chanel’s Vitalumière Aqua makeup, which I’ve also had the pleasure of testing out (read my review here). If deciding between the two, it really comes down to how much coverage you’re looking for (and how much you’re willing to pay). Chanel’s weightless formula offers light-to-medium coverage, while La Prairie offers full. La Prairie’s formulation offers a slew of skin-care benefits, from anti-aging and hydration to SPF 15. While Chanel’s also offers the same amount of sun protection and hydration through hyaluronic acid, it doesn’t promise any anti-aging benefits.
Unlike the weightless Chanel formula, La Prairie’s formula doesn’t magically melt into the skin. While the glow is undeniable, it can feel a bit oily on the skin, and I would be apprehensive to wear on a super hot day. And while both products are considered high-end, La Prairie will cost you almost $200 more.
Our Verdict: The glow was so real
Overall, La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Concealer Foundation Sunscreen SPF 15 is truly luxurious, providing a flawless glow with the added bonus anti-aging technology and SPF protection. But ringing in at $245, I would have expected it to wear a bit longer.
Lee K-E, Nho Y-H, Yun SK, Park S-M, Kang S, Yeo H. Caviar extract and its constituent DHA inhibits UVB-irradiated skin aging by inducing adiponectin production. IJMS. 2020;21(9):3383. doi: 10.3390/ijms21093383