Monday, January 28, 2013

Guerlain Orchidée Impériale Third Generation Cream

Thanks to the world of generous samples I'm able to "review" and try products that I would never be able to purchase myself. This past summer for instance, I was sent a sample of Chanel's USD $195 Le Blanc Brightening Concentrate Continuous Action TXC. I loved the serum from the texture to the fragrance of the product and I noticed an almost immediate improvement in my skin, but given the fact that there are far more affordable brightening serums in my price range I could never imagine splurging on a full bottle.

Imagine my surprise when a relatively generous sample of Guerlain's Orchidée Impériale Third Generation Cream found its way into my mailbox this past week. Guerlain's orchid based skin care range has an incredible reputation, but at USD $430 for 1.7 oz (yes you read that right) it's not something I could ever imagine myself purchasing. Of their Orchidée Imperiale Cream, Guerlain says the following: "Guerlain has discovered the Gold orchid, which boosts the power of the three existing orchids and adds vital energy to reinforce skin longevity by increasing cellular production and regeneration of the skin." Ultimately Orchidée Imperiale aims to do three things: improve the vitality of the skin supposedly making it look ten years younger, reducing signs of aging by 55% and smoothing wrinkles overall to boost the radiance of the skin.

(If you were curious, the price breaks down to USD $8.55 per ml, meaning that this sample is worth about USD $17!)

I must first freely admit that I don't seem to be in the target age range for this product. I'm in my mid-twenties and as such my current "anti-aging" skin care regimen consists mostly of preventative measures. Moreover, the sample packets contains only enough cream for about two uses, which is (in my opinion) not really enough time to test a product's long term ability to change the overall condition of one's skin. Were I to pay $430 for skin care, though, I would expect near perfection: brightening, tightening, plumping, reduction of my dark circles ... essentially I'd expect that foundation would be rendered unnecessary while using this "miracle product." After about three applications of Orchidée Impériale Third Generation Cream over a period of a few days my skin looked impressively moisturized, radiant and indeed very healthy particularly during the dead of winter.

Ingredients: Aqua, Triethylhexanoin, Isotridecyl Isononanoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Pentylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Jojoba Esters, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, Decyloxazolidinone, Polyglycerin-3, Seareth-21, Orchid Extract, Diglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Cetyl Palmitate, Ave A Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Parfum, Cocoglycerides, Carbomer, cera Alba, Tetrasodium Edta, Tocopherol Acetate, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Peg-8, Sodium Hyaluronate, Xantham gum, Xylose, Tromethamine, Sorbitol,Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Beheneth-25 Methacrylate Cross-Polymer, Hydrolyzed Soy Flour, Adenosine, Algin, Raffinose, Synthetic Fluorphylogopite, Polyvinyl Alcohol, CI 77891, Linalool, BHT, Centella Asiatica Extract, Magnesium Aspertate, Sanguisorba Officinalis Root Extract, Sodium Lactate, Cellulose Gum, Citronellol, Potentilla Erecta Root Extract, Palmitoyl Oligoperpeptide 

I'm sure you're now thinking, as I did when I first discovered the price: is it worth it? As far as I'm concerned the bottom line is that $430 is exorbitant no matter how wonderful the cream may be and no matter how much money you have to spend. But, I believe it ultimately depends on what your version of "is it worth it" is. I cannot fathom spending as much, yet even though I find Guerlain's product overpriced I feel uncomfortable casting stones at those who may be willing to invest. Do I think that there are an incredible number of wonderfully formulated alternatives that won't break the bank? Absolutely. Would I choose one of these less formulated alternatives for myself, or for you? Again, absolutely. Ultimately I enjoyed Guerlain's Orchidée Impériale and got a kick out of having the opportunity to test something so expensive and if you choose to purchase something in this price range then more power to you. For me it's just. too. much. money!

Have you ever tried Guerlain's Orchidée Impériale cream? What are your thoughts on very expensive skin care products?