August 29 2014

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4 posts tagged "Crème de La Mer"

Two If By Sea


Looking offshore for skincare solutions took off after Max Huber started marketing his Crème de la Mer “miracle broth” back in the eighties. Deep-sea water, salts, mud, and even blue-green and red algae have been blended, bottled, and branded as sunken treasure for your complexion. Somewhat less well utilized are the creatures that inhabit the world’s vast briny basins. But two new companies are now tapping into the phenomenon—let’s call it fish for your face. (Vegans, stop reading here.)

From Norway, With Love

Among its many superior civic services, the Norwegian government gives out grants to small biotech companies to boost the level of research and technology coming out of its pristine country—biotech companies like Dr. Runhild Gammelsaeter’s Regenix, which she set up to look into the wound-healing properties of arctic salmon roe. Noticing the smooth, uniform skin on the hands of women who mix the roe at Norway’s salmon hatcheries, Gammelsaeter developed a complex named LEXA, which combines an extract that’s taken from salmon eggs, immediately frozen, and then combined with biomarine proteins and peptides to stimulate fibroblast cells that produce collagen. Somewhat revolutionary in its stabilization of marine omega-3s, which are more readily absorbed by the body than plant versions, Regenix caught the attention of Ole Sandberg, who was scouring the biotech scene for a hot new skincare idea. The brains behind Norway’s Voss Water, Sandberg turned Gammelsaeter’s product into Freya+, a five-piece antiaging line that just launched at C.O. Bigelow. The collection boasts a Hydrating Day Cream, an Intensive Anti-Aging Serum, a Firming Eye Cream, and a Restorative Night Cream, all of which pack the LEXA complex and nano-encapsulated marine omega-3s into luxuriously emollient formulas. Also of note is its Arctic Cleansing water, an über-gentle cleanser that you pat on with a cotton pad and don’t wash off. It stems from the Norwegian beauty ritual of washing your face with cold water to increase circulation and vitality.

Newfoundland, Found

Somewhat less glamorous but with an equally sound scientific background is bio-tech entrepreneur Elliot Entis’ Lift Lab, which uses that perennially chic ingredient, fish blood. The son of a Boston seafood wholesaler, Entis began experimenting with cell protection proteins in the nineties. Having evolved over millions of years to help protect cold-water organisms like deep-sea arctic fish from cold-induced injury, dehydration, UV damage, and free-radical oxidation, CPPs boost the production of skin proteins and enhance cell rejuvenation and replication. Entis originally devised a serum using the clear, tasteless liquid he extracted from the white blood cells of winter flounder in Newfoundland to help preserve organs designated for transplantation, but it wasn’t long before the beauty industry came calling. Having sold his technology to an unnamed (but well-known) producer of marine-based skincare products, Entis became dissatisfied with the low, nearly ineffective concentrations of the stuff used at the retail level and decided to branch out on his own. With an edited selection of four products launched on and at Milan’s 10 Corso Como this month, Lift Lab’s standouts include the Lift and Repair Treatment Serum, which is a long-term anti-aging solution that has the line’s highest level of concentrated active peptides and proteins to increase elasticity, and its Lift and Fix High Potency Solution, which reinforces the skin barrier and fights redness and sensitivity, making it an ideal post-procedure solution to the irritation often caused by lasers and deep peels. Both are a boon to even the most fish-phobic of beauty fiends.

The 411: Ji Baek


The 411 is a new feature on Beauty Counter, in which we ask some of our favorite experts to reveal their go-to gurus for everything from manicures and highlights to perfumers and holistic healers. Because when it comes to being the best in beauty, it takes one to know one.
Ji Baek doles out lots of pampering touches at Rescue Beauty Lounge—the chic downtown nail spa she opened more than a decade ago, where La Mer manicures and oxygen-therapy pedicures are par for the course. In her own life, though, she’s decidedly more low-maintenance. The stylish nail expert would much rather touch up her roots at home than spend two hours with her hair in foils at the salon. Her idea of relaxation is wandering around the farmers’ market in Union Square for fresh strawberries or flipping through old books, which is usually when inspiration strikes to create new shades for her hit polish collection. Baek isn’t totally bare-bones in her beauty routine; she does splurge on a few well-chosen items when it counts (two words: skin creams). Here, she shares her edited list of essentials.

The Pro: Ji Baek

Founder of Rescue Beauty Lounge.

The Lacquer: Rescue Beauty Lounge Nail Color in Bangin’ and Plié

“I’m obsessed with Bangin’, a hot red coral, and if I want to tone down the brightness, I love wearing Plié, a nude-pinky that’s the same color as the chiffon skirt of a ballerina. I wear the same color on my hands and toes—always matching, that’s my rule. For next season, I was really inspired by flipping through this book of brocade prints, so I’m playing with that concept for the fall collection.”

Rescue Beauty Lounge Nail Color, $18 each,

The Hair: Serge Normant at John Frieda

“But only for cuts. Going to the salon for anything else takes waaaay too much time.”

Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon, 825 Washington St., NYC, (212) 675-0001.

Continue Reading “The 411: Ji Baek” »

If The Dow Is Down, Keep Appearances Up


In what is being called the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, women are apparently drowning their sorrows in antioxidant serums and spending even more money on beauty treatments and luxury skincare than they did last year. According to a report published by Brandweek, the personal-care industry is not feeling the effects of the economic slump, with sales of prestige skincare brands rising 2 percent to $1 billion in the first half. Products costing more than $70 are up 8 percent, and those above $150 are up 21 percent (these figures also translate to makeup and fragrance). Less shocking are similar reports that have found sales of alcohol also not slowing (ex-Lehman Brothers associates are likely finding out that aged, single-malt Scotch habits do tend to die hard). Truth time: Have you already transferred your designer skincare habit to the drugstore aisle or are you more likely to give up $5 lattes, choice organic produce, and other such overpriced frivolities to keep yourself in Crème de la Mer permanently? Go on, be honest. We’re not in the habit of passing judgment—at least not right now.

Photo: Getty Images

A Field Guide For The Beauty Thrill Seeker


Thanks to some intrepid reporting from our editor friends across the pond, we bring you a roundup of the bizarre and terrifying beauty treatments that have made headlines this year. As London’s Daily Mail reported yesterday, there is in fact quite a glut of women (and presumably some high-maintenance men) who will simply not settle for anything short of new, extreme, and borderline crazy when it comes to treating their skin.

—For the discriminating facial customer, there’s nightingale excrement, packed with guanine that contains enzymes and an illuminating amino acid that has been used in Japanese skin-brightening treatments for centuries.

—Looking for a new way to quench parched hair? It’s all about the sperm from organically reared Angus bulls, which is apparently high in pure proteins that penetrate the hair shaft, nourishing it from within.

—If a normal pedicure doesn’t rid your feet of calluses to your liking, forgo the pumice for flesh-eating garra rufa fish, tiny toothless fish known as doctor fish in their native Turkey, which produce a chemical in their saliva that softens outer skin layers, which they then painlessly nibble away.

—The marine botanicals in Crème de la Mer have nothing on Elicina, the cult anti-wrinkle cream made from the secretion of 10,000 snails, which contains allantoin, a powerful antioxidant said to protect the skin from free radicals.

—If the idea of botulism toxin turns you off, how do you feel about snake venom? Syn-Vipe, a protein that is a replica of the venom produced by the temple viper, is the active ingredient in Biodroga’s Venom Cream—and allegedly has the same face-freezing effects as Botox, relaxing facial muscles to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Photo: Getty Images