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How The Other Half Live: Mile high with La Prairie

May 3rd 2014 / Christa D'Souza

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In-flight shopping and champagne are a dangerous combination - but you might just discover a miracle product en route

Are you a duty free shopper? I mean ON the plane? I’m not, usually, but if I’ve had a few, or I’m a bit bored, sometimes I’ll succumb. On a flight to Dubai a few months ago and well into my sixth glass of headache champagne, I found myself buying a pot of Skin Caviar Luxe cream from La Prairie, a product I’ve never used before a) because its so bloody expensive and b) because, well, because you can buy it on a plane. Imagine, for example, finding out the scarf your beloved got you for a significant birthday was bought in-flight? Doesn’t matter how sweet the thought, or nice the scarf, that’s grounds for divorce, right?

Well, going back to La Prairie, what an epiphany that was. No WONDER it costs so much. What do they put in it? To make it do what it does for middle-aged, sun-damaged skin like mine? To make it smell like that? Actually I don’t care what they put in it, no really, I don’t - I could be married to that smell, it’s like white truffles, only better, in fact, excuse me while I go and have a sniff.

The story of La Prairie all started in 1931 in Montreux, Switzerland at Clinique la Prairie which was founded by Professor Paul Niehans, a pioneer in cellular therapy. The clinic and the La Prairie skincare brand completely went their own separate ways back in 1982. That's when I remember it - when that rich Texan socialite Georgette Mosbacher was involved.

God, 1982! Was Nicky Kinneard of Space NK even out of primary school then? Like I said there’s something that feels dated about the product. One thinks the new stuff is always the stuff that is going to work best, the stuff with the least parabens and so on and so on and blah-di-blah-di-blah, but maybe, just maybe, it’s the products with heritage and no desire to be sold in Wholefoods which are the ones that actually work.Heritage plus f***off technology, I know that sounds a bit press release-y, but this may be the future.

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At the moment I am using a combination of their new Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal dry oil as a serum (key ingredients: swiss snow algae, purple saxifrage and soldanella alpina) in combination with their new Cellular Radiance Night Cream (a blend of caprooyl tetrapeptide-3, tripeptide-1 and extract of wild yam). The latter is £430 a pot. £430 a pot? How does one maintain a habit like this? Deal drugs? That’ll learn me not to go inflight shopping when I’ve had a few. In the interim, every other face cream in my bathroom cabinet is now being used on my legs…

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