So, I purchased this set from Selfridge's when I was in London in June under advise from the sales lady that this was perfect for combination skin, and I held off on using it for a while because I was a little worried that this would work great for my skin and I would become an addict. In short: Financial ruin averted!
[La Prairie's Advanced Marine Biology Range]
I started using this kit in its totality after my H20 review phase was over, and it didn't take long for me to see the difference between gentle, yet effective skincare, and skincare that is far too harsh for your skin.
[La Prairie's Advanced Marine Biology Foaming Mousse Cleanser]
Yes, that is quite a mouthful.
When you squeeze it out of the tube, it's a rather pearlescent white foam which lathers quite nicely. It smells pleasant enough. Marine Biology-like, in fact, but very subtly medicinal in nature. It does leave you with that squeaky clean feeling which is never good for your skin.
Next up, let's talk eye cream.
[La Prairie's Advanced Marine Biology Eye Gel]
This is a translucent blue gel which sinks in extremely quickly and tightens the eye area somewhat. Let me backtrack a little here. My first, and only, prior experience with La Prairie was with their Cellular Eye Contour Cream and I loved it. Right now, though, I'm not entirely sure if that's because it was my first experience with eye cream, or because it was actually that fantastic. I do think, however, that it really was one of the better eye creams.
In any event, this really didn't work out for me and I'm rather glad it was such a tiny tube. It felt like it did nothing to hydrate my eye and it was definitely not moisturising enough. If you like extremely light eye area stuff, this might be a good product for you, but personally I like something rich, which feels like it's drenching the eye area with moisture and this just didn't do it for me.
[La Prairie's Advanced Marine Biology Tonic]
This is a tri-phase system, so you have to shake the bottle up before using it. It's absolutely horrendous. For the entire month that I used it, I couldn't help tearing up with how strong the medicinal/chemical smell in this was. I do believe this collection is meant to target those with serious issues, and not someone who doesn't want to burn their skin off. I truly hate this product, and it's meant to be patted, not swiped into the skin, so you're supposed to leave something that reeks of chemicals to sink into your face. I should have known better.
[Advanced Marine Biology Revitatizing Emulsion]
This is a very light, light blue cream and it may be the only decent product in the collection for my skin. It's very light and sinks in nicely enough. It also smells reasonably pleasant...but then again, anything would after the horror show of the tonic.
Needless to say, I am very displeased with this system because it did a real number on my skin. I've never been someone who breaks out or reacts very easily where products are concerned, which is why I don't mind testing out lots of different stuff. This broke me out with a few big pimples and multiple tiny bumps along my skin, as well as leaving it dehydrated, dull, but all without the added benefits of being mattified. In short, it made things worse. What I find really vexing is that there are no other reviews which mirror my experience with the stuff. Everyone simply loves it. On some level, I think that has a lot to do with the fact that they either don't want to face that a product which costs this much could be so mediocre, or they have skin which is suited to the use of such strong products.
I do feel that it's possible this could be a good line for someone with blemish-prone skin or someone with extremely oily skin, but for me it was just far too harsh and after a week, when my skin started developing dry patches and itchiness, I limited the use of the cleanser to once a day which allowed a reprieve from that. After the presence of an enormous pimple which emerged in the middle of last week, I promptly stopped using the entire line and lo and behold my skin is hydrated and pimple free as of today. I highly doubt that is a coincidence.
So, take a lesson out of economics and don't equate price to quality. There are a thousand far more affordable products out there which would do a better job as long as you know what you need for your targeted skin type. I honestly would have been better off using the money I spent on this kit in Boots. I could have gotten an obscene amount of makeup for it!