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La Mer Night Balm Review: Putting the Coveted Cream to the Test

La Mer, the luxury skincare brand coveted by beauty junkies and A-list celebrities alike, is known for its opulent products—including, but not limited to, its bestselling Crème de la Mer moisturizer, of which aestheticians have sung the praises for decades. The brand released in January a new product called The Concentrated Night Balm—a sumptuous cream advertised as having the ability to “soften the look of fine lines, wrinkles, pores, and age spots.

“Night after night, an ageless transformation unfolds,” La Mer says of its Night Balm. Does it actually work? Four W editors gave it a shot, and recorded their honest opinions.

Stephanie Eckardt, Staff Writer

When someone says “La Mer,” what’s the first association that pops into your head?

I plowed through the Gossip Girls series as a tween, but for whatever reason, only one detail sticks: that Blair Waldorf occasionally name-drops La Mer. I didn’t (and still just barely) know a single thing about beauty, but it was clear to me that this absurdly overpriced, and apparently miraculous, product stood apart. (Hence why my other association with it is “rich people.”) I was astonished to receive not even a sample, but a whole mini bottle of lotion through work a few years ago. Initially I planned to sell it, but curiosity got the better of me. I found it to be a rare moisturizer that actually hydrates and doesn’t cause breakouts.

Describe your experience using La Mer’s Night Balm. Did you see results?

I used the cream off and on over the course of two weeks, pausing for a few days after I got a pimple, and then another. I’m still wondering if the cream had something to do with it, because I don’t typically get this type of deep-rooted acne, nor much acne at all. I really love how the applicator atop the pot is magnetic—except when I’m actually using it. While it had a nice cooling effect, it made the cream harder to rub in. Overall, the cream felt silky, with a pleasant, light floral scent that felt calming before bed. I noticed that there would still be a thin layer when I washed my face in the morning, but it somehow still felt light.

I’m afraid to report that I don’t believe I look a day younger—not that I expected to just yet, after only two weeks of use. My skin is, however, notably smoother, and seems to stay hydrated—perhaps more so than when I apply lotion throughout the day, which I’ve largely stopped doing.

Would you use this product again?

Def! I plan to give it another go when my skin clears up, then save the rest up for winter. Unless that “ageless transformation” does dramatically unfold, though, I can’t imagine a world in which I’d spend that type of money on lotion.

Oona Wally, Senior Visuals Editor

When someone says “La Mer,” what’s the first association that pops into your head?

I think of pure luxury. I’ve always known that La Mer is pricey and luxurious, even before trying any of their products. I had used the La Mer cream many years ago from somehow scoring a small jar of it on the free table at work—the formula was really thick which was great for the dry winter months.

Describe your experience using La Mer’s Night Balm. Did you see results?

I used the cream for one week nightly. Unfortunately, I got a rash on my face during this time—and I’m not sure if it was due to the cream or other reasons, but my dermatologist told me I had to stop using everything until the rash cleared so that cut my experimentation short. The smell is powdery and the cream melts into your fingers and face into a semi-oily consistency and provides a nice, substantial coating which feels like it’s keeping the moisture in. My skin felt hydrated when I woke up; some of the cream was still not absorbed.

I didn’t see a dramatic difference in my fine lines, wrinkles, pores or age spots—but again, I had to stop using it after only a week. I’m not sure any cream can really give you an “ageless transformation night after night,” as La Mer’s Night Balm is billed as doing. I’ll pick this cream back up in the fall for a lengthier use and see if I experience any of the advertised benefits.

Would you use this product again?

I would definitely use this product in the colder, drier months of the year. This feels like the perfect winter cream.

Tilden Bissell, Digital Designer

When someone says “La Mer,” what’s the first association that pops into your head?

When I picture La Mer, I see luxury and being on a beach somewhere in the South of France. I haven’t tried many Le Mer products except for a few odd samples that I’ve been given, but I’ve never really been able to justify spending $300 on a face cream. However, when I did use it, I really liked it and I felt that my skin was more luminous and refreshed, so I was excited to try their night cream.

Describe your experience using La Mer’s Night Balm. Did you see results?

I applied the cream religiously every night before I went to bed for a few weeks. It had a delicate sort of floral scent, a little powdery, but not overwhelmingly fragranced, and it felt like a rich emulsion going on and very hydrating. When I woke up, my skin felt plump and dewy. One thing I will note is that this felt like a great evening moisturizer in the colder winter months since it was heavier, though I don’t know if I necessarily would want to use it in the summer when my skin is a little bit more finicky.

I have what you might consider a baby face, so I don’t have a ton of wrinkles and age spots to noticeably diminish. What I did notice is my skin’s tone and texture was smoother, and the overall moisture was slightly better. I would not say this was a revolutionary change to my skin, but it definitely ranks high as far as the best night creams I’ve ever used.

Would you use this product again?

I really enjoyed the product and was so excited to see how my standard night routine stacked up against the A-list version. If you have the extra money to invest in prestige skincare, I would say go for it, but it’s not a must-have for a flawless complexion. This does make me want to revisit the classic (and slightly more budget-friendly) La Mer products to see if they’re as effective.

Brooke Marine, Culture Editor

When someone says “La Mer,” what’s the first association that pops into your head?

I think of opulence, wrinkle-free skin, and an exorbitantly large amount of disposable income. I’ve never used the products, though I have always heard good things. Celebrities swear by it! Normal people (with a lot of money) swear by it! I figured it must be worth the price, because I had not really heard much negative news about it in the past.

Describe your experience using La Mer’s Night Balm. Did you see results?

I love the little metal, magnetic accoutrement you use for application of this magic potion, because I’ve heard the minute you open up a pot of cream and dip your fingers in it, you have allowed the materials to oxidate. Plus, the bacteria on your hands may contaminate the product. I prefer to use a dropper or a pump for products like these, but every night, I would wash my hands, wash my face, then use the tool to apply the balm. The metal ensured that it always was a little cold going on, which felt refreshing. I have to say, everything felt hydrating and silky. It did not really smell strongly of anything, which I appreciated as well. In the mornings, my skin felt hydrated and smooth, but no more so than when I applied any regular moisturizer before bed.

I am not sure how transformative the La Mer Night Balm may actually be. Did it hydrate and smooth my face? Yes. Did I notice fewer lines and wrinkles after a few weeks of applying the product to my face every night? Not particularly.

Would you use this product again?

I enjoyed the nightly experience of putting on my robe, washing my face, and rolling the cold metal coated in La Mer Night Balm on my face, while pretending I was a wealthy Hollywood actress living in her 1950s bungalow. So for that, I would like to try it again, but I cannot say it actually changed my life in a substantial way.

Source: W Magazine

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