When La Mer released a gorgeous pink-tubed illuminating cream, and berry-pink stick cream blush over the holiday period I was at the checkout faster than you can say miracle broth. The brand behind such beautiful, nourishing and luxe skincare including their hero product, Crème de la Mer obviously know what they’re doing. The idea of one of their creams formulated with the added bonus of lit-from-within illumination sounded like perfection. What could spoil it? Those two dreaded words: Limited Edition.
In an age of the more glow the better, I was surprised The Illuminating Cream wasn’t making it to their permanent line-up. However, on applying it the next day – I was never going to have the patience to let this wait under the Christmas tree – it wasn’t quite what I expected.
Firstly, the consistency was a touch lighter than their other creams. This wasn’t a bad thing in my eyes, as the richness of a La Mer cream can be a bit much for my combination skin. Being in a tube, rather than their standard jars, you would expect a slightly lighter cream, and this texture does feel lush. Secondly, there was the colour. Perhaps the rose-hued packaging should have given it away, but I was expecting a subtle pearl or champagne-toned glow. In fact, I was expecting Estee Lauder x VB’s Morning Aura. It wasn’t to be – this is pink.
Difficult to photograph, the pink shift to this illuminator is undeniable in person, and definitely visible on the skin. It is radiant, for sure, but the pink is there and I’m not certain this will be everyone’s cup of tea. Those with a lot of redness in their skin especially, may be weary of layering a glowy, pink flush, while those with deeper skin tones may find the pink tinge presents as a glaringly obvious makeup product on their face, rather than lit-from-within luminosity. But, I love the consistency of this product; the creamy, almost mousse-like texture glides over the skin beautifully. I just really, really wish the tone was a touch different.
Not long after the limited edition stock had dried up and Christmas trees had been brought down, La Mer released another surprise. This time, a permanent edition, The Hydrating Illuminator. My ears pricked up instantly, and I started scanning online beauty shops. Was it the same product? Or new and improved? Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: this is La Mer and it isn’t budget friendly. It contains their Miracle Broth – the cell-renewing potion supposedly formulated with sea kelp and other minerals and nutrients. The most obvious difference to it’s limited edition predecessor is the slimmer, white packaging, the pump-action tube and the considerably lighter texture.
Ultimately however, this is still pink. Perhaps a little more subtle, the rosey-shift is still present but so is the glorious La Mer fragrance, and a beautiful dose of hydration. This lotion soaks into the skin nicely, and once applied you’re left with a subtle, illuminated complexion.
If you’re expecting the richness and serious dose of moisture that your usual La Mer moisturiser gives you, you won’t find it in this product. I feel this is more of an illuminating primer, but not something I solely rely on for hydration. In fact, I can’t help but wonder if the limited edition original packed more of a punch with hydration than this new counterpart, and I do wish the feeling of plumpness stuck around a little longer after application.
There are now, fortunately, a lot of illuminating base products on the market and all with their own unique benefits. What’s harder to find is illumination within such a lovely lotion-like consistency as La Mer, rather than a heavy gel or silicone-feeling primer. If you’re a fan of La Mer, and like that step of illumination before (or instead of) your foundation, this is an undeniably enjoyable product to use.
Find La Mer at Mecca