Any true beauty junkie knows that skincare is a form of art. First comes the product itself: packaged in a sleek jar or tube that is designed to be equal parts beautiful and practical. Then there's the formula, an interactive sensorial experience that highlights silky textures and decadent scents. And finally there's the ritual of application, a kind of personal performance art that requires delicate sweeping and swooping across your face. We've always considered our involved skin care routines to be artful—but now La Prairie is taking that connection into the literal with a new art exhibition and partnership with Art Basel.
It's been 30 years since the Swiss-born brand introduced the world to its Skin Caviar formula (the very first product, Skin Caviar Dermo Beads, still exists in the line today.) With over 12 anti-aging products focused around caviar extract, and one more on the way later this year (more on that in a moment), the brand took its devotion for the decadent ingredient to the art world with an exhibition called The Art of Caviar. Throughout 2017, five pieces of contemporary art commissioned by four up-and-coming artists will travel to Paris (July 4), New York (September 6-8), Hong Kong (Sept. 29-Oct 1), and Shanghai (November 10-12), where visitors will be able to interact with La Prairie's caviar as interpreted through different artistic mediums like photography, audio-visuals, and sculpture.
Courtesy of La Prairie
This week, the brand debuted the first commissioned piece at Art Basel in Switzerland, a sculpture called Living Cells by the artist Paul Coudamy. Large and geometric, the sculpture is made of white steel covered in clusters of black magnetic beads, meant to mimic black caviar. The beads are constantly moving and changing thanks to the science of magnets, so the piece will look slightly different at every stop in the exhibition's world tour. Living Cells is based on the mathematical Weaire–Phelan equation, which represents foam and bubbles. For those of us that glaze over at anything having to do with geometry, just know this: the structure is meant to take up a lot of volume with minimal resources, fitting since this particular piece of art was inspired by La Prairie's forthcoming product called Absolute Filler.
Courtesy of La Prairie
Coudamy will have a second work on display at the traveling exhibition, called Solid Frequencies. The three other artists that La Prairie tapped are Bonjour Lab, Cinq Fruits, and TremensS. "It's the first time that we've brought art to a concrete platform, but art has always been intrinsically part of the brand," says the president and CEO of the La Prairie Group, Patrick Rasquinet, pointing to the Bauhaus-inspired, minimalist design of the product packaging. "This partnership with Art Basel was so obvious, it was a natural fit. We're developing this relationship even further between La Prairie and contemporary art."
For those of us that consider ourselves more product hoarders than art collectors, you'll still be able to get your hands on a brand-new take on caviar come this fall. Launching this September, the La Prairie Skin Caviar Absolute Filler is a day and night cream that might make you think twice about getting injections. Using a brand-new caviar absolute extract (the by-product of spinning caviar in a centrifuge), the plush cream helps stimulate collagen and plump the facial contours both immediately and over time. All that goodness is then sealed into an airless jar that's arguably a work of art in and of itself. The pump mechanism keeps the formula fresh and delivers the perfect dose of product each time. Older skin will benefit from smearing the cream all-over — from forehead to chest — while those with subtle volume loss around the eyes or temples can use it as a spot treatment. We'll have a full review plus before-and-after photos once the product is available in September.