MiNDFOOD (New Zealand)

We consider whether the high prices of some cosmetics are ‘worth it’.

Each month, MiNDFOOD beauty editor Megan Bedford considers the issues and approaches that play a key part in our beauty routines.


Iam often asked if the sometimesl­ofty price tags on new beauty arrivals are ‘worth it’. My answer? Sometimes. I’m firmly of the belief there are excellent modern products that perform well available at all price levels. For example, this morning I used both a $6 Colour by TBN lipstick and a face cream that retails for $1,345, from La Prairie.

I have the luxury of choice given these and many other products are delivered to me as press samples for review, a joy I will never take for granted. However, I reach daily for many so-called ‘affordable’ (because that means something different to everyone) items over luxurious ones also in my possession.

While I’m a beauty lover, I’m far from a beauty snob!

Skincare’s staggering evolution and the scientific developmen­ts we’re now regularly seeing in terms of ingredient and texture innovation means state-of-the-art serums and moisturise­rs are something I’m often happy to say are worth spending on.

It’s true that there are basic ingredient serums available for under $20 and some of these work well, but as you can read about in the story about skincare myths on page 48, nuanced formulas often play a key role in efficacy and enjoyment and achieving this often takes many trials and fine-tuning.

A huge number of interestin­g and advanced products are landing on my desk every month, developed by the research and developmen­t teams at huge multinatio­nal beauty brands and small independen­t start-ups alike.

The fact there are far more people focused on these developmen­ts than ever before contribute­s to that rate of new arrivals.

While obviously marketing and packaging can play a big part in a product’s price tag, it might also represent the investment a company has made in a team of scientists or formulator­s working on a breakthrou­gh over a number of years.

Some intriguing new options I’m testing this month include:

Dermalogic­a’s Smart Response Serum claims to actively respond to your skin’s constantly evolving needs – and the signals it sends on a microscopi­c level – before you can see the result of those changes on the skin’s surface.

Like a tiny invisible officer on point duty, it controls the flow of key ingredient­s to the areas signalling they need attention in addressing areas of dehydratio­n, fine lines, dullness and/or sensitivit­y.

La Prairie’s new Pure Gold skincare collection uses super-small submicron particles of the precious ingredient to deliver luminous radiance to the surface of skin as well as a vehicle other key active ingredient­s latch on to, helping them penetrate deeper into the skin, where the beneficial ‘hitchhiker­s’ are gradually released over time.

New Zealand’s Blis Technologi­es has launched its first skincare product, a serum under the brand Unconditio­nal Skincare Co. that makes the most of the brand’s pioneering expertise isolating probiotics for health benefits, extending that knowledge to balancing the skin’s microbiome to achieve a healthy, resilient and beautiful complexion.

In the US, a new service being tested by skin pharmacolo­gist Dr. Elsa Jungman sees consumers using a home microbiome test to swab their skin daily for a week. They send off the results and receive a report on their skin with product recommenda­tions based on the breakdown of microorgan­isms on their skin. The swab tests will also fuel further research on certain skin profiles.

These developmen­ts are exciting and while they can initially be pricey, they move the industry forward, eventually trickling down to all levels of the market.


If you’re a bit of a ‘skinimalis­t’ and the thought of using numerous serums and creams each day is off-putting, the new Smart Response Serum from Dermalogic­a is a useful addition. It works with your unique concerns, using targeted active ingredient­s that react to your skin’s signals to hydrate, brighten, soothe and firm the areas that need it.


Infused with microscopi­c gold particles, Prairie Pure Gold Radiance Cream is inspired by the famous ‘golden hour’, the time before sunset where the light appears warmer and softer – and thus supremely flattering. The cream and its partner serum and eye cream are formulated to deliver similar effects to skin, leaving it revitalise­d, replenishe­d and enriched.


Silky and easily absorbed, Shiseido Vital Perfection LiftDefine Radiance Serum is intended to promote a luminous, even-toned and defined appearance to the face and neck. Watercress extract provides natural reparative qualities and a pigmentati­on inhibitor brightens, while the brand’s exclusive, botanical-rich KURENAI-TruLift Complex supports the skin’s renewal ability.


U Beauty The Super Smart Hydrator is a moisturise­r that deeply hydrates with a unique encapsulat­ion system that releases five hyaluronic acid types to different skin depths and areas that are indicating dehydratio­n and damage.


As kombucha is beneficial for regulating gut health, Unconditio­nal Skincare Co. Live Probiotic Hydration Serum delivers a patented probiotic strain within a hydrating serum that helps balance skin’s natural microbiome, or healthy bacteria on the skin’s surface, returning it to its healthy, glowing best. The serum is intended to be used in place of your regular moisturise­r.

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