| Review | La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-In-Foundation SPF 25

| Review | La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-In-Foundation SPF 25

Here I go again with another extravagantly priced foundation review! If you have been a long-time reader, you know my love for luxury beauty and my love for skincare-makeup hybrids! I think these are something that every makeup lover needs to invest in because why not treat your skin while you're wearing makeup? If all makeup could be treatment-makeup, that would be an ideal world! Anyways, my all time favorite, holy grail, fan-freaking-tastic foundation is the Cle de Peau The Foundation (full review here) but this one may give the Cle de Peau a run for its money! 

The La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-In-Foundation SPF 25 retails for $195.00 USD and is available at Nordstrom and other retailers. 

I had been eyeing this foundation since it's release but with a $195.00 price tag, I was a little hesitant. Still, it's not the most I have spent on a foundation because of the Cle de Peau, which retails at a whopping $250.00! When I attempted to find reviews, there were some but many were not very thorough, they basically just told me that they liked it and it was nice. I personally wanted more information, especially for such an expensive foundation, the information that is available is just not enough. So I wanted to do some investigating of my own. 


This cushion compact is quite large, significantly larger than your standard cushion compacts. Which  makes it difficult to sneak into a smaller bag and it's not exactly travel-friendly. Despite being a portable foundation, you will need a pretty decent sized bag to slip this into. However, the compact is incredibly lightweight, but this also kind of decreases it's luxurious appeal. It is made of plastic and doesn't have that weighty luxurious feel that you'd expect from such an expensive product. Not my favorite packaging for such an expensive and luxurious foundation. It really seems kind of clunky, being so large but it's nice that the mirror is so large. You can really do your whole face with the compact. The top is also a very shiny silver, which is very finger print-prone and very prone to getting scratched.

The whole package comes with 2 cushions, one already in the compact and a refill, totaling 1 oz. of product, which is standard for any foundation. At the moment, it does not appear you can buy a single refill, which I hope this will change soon. If you're going to offer a refillable compact, you should be able to the buy the refills individually. If you're not familiar with cushion foundations, typically it is a highly foundation-saturated sponge but this one seems to have a slightly different mechanism for delivering product. It seems there is a mesh and sponge lining on the surface but all the foundation is contained beneath and is pumped up when you press the sponge or your applicator into the mesh.

This is actually slightly more sanitary than your typical cushion foundation, where you would dip your applicator directly into the foundation-soaked sponge. Over time, this just makes you feel like your foundation is getting grimy and bacteria is getting into the sponge. This cushion releases fresh foundation to the surface, which seems a lot more sanitary than contaminating all your foundation at first use. This also means you can kind of sanitize the surface by wiping the mesh with some 90%+ rubbing alcohol to disinfect the surface. I am a big, big fan of this innovative new delivery system for cushion foundations! This is something other brands should adopt!

I suppose the big question when it comes to this foundation is, will I be able to pump out every last drop of foundation or will some get trapped in the container? This is something I cannot answer until I finish a cushion. 


First of all, there are only 7 shades, which is pretty weak even for a luxury brand. So because it is so pricey, I recommend going to a counter to get matched. I initially almost bought it online after I managed to scavenge for some swatches but swatches for this product are severely lacking. I decided to go to my local counter where I was met by the sweetest and most honest sales associate! I had told her I was interested in the foundation, particularly in the shade Satin Nude because it leaned more neutral and I didn't want my foundation to be too yellow. She applied Satin Nude to one side to my jawline and Honey Beige to the other to compare for me and asked me to head outside to see which shade I preferred. Lo and behold, the Honey Beige was spot on and the Satin Nude looked too dark and too pink on my skin. She told me she was glad I chose that shade because she knew that Stain Nude was not my color and she wasn't going to let me leave the store with it! So lesson learned, go into the store to find your shade! I am about an NC30 in MAC foundations at the moment, and the Honey Beige suits me perfectly! It has just a hint of warmth and yellow, without being too golden for my skin tone. 

While I was there, I was also very kindly offered a sample and the sales associate insisted that I go home and play with it first before I purchased the full size. I had told her I was a blogger and she said if it was worth writing a review about after trying the sample, then I should come back and buy it. I honestly was going to get it straight off of trying it in store but that wouldn't have been wise because I only had it applied to the lower fourth of my face. So after my first full faced application, I was sold and went back for the full size! 

 Swatches (left to right): Porcelain Blush NC-10, Creme Peche N-10, Satin Nude N-30, Honey Beige NW-30

 Swatches (left to right): Porcelain Blush NC-10, Creme Peche N-10, Satin Nude N-30, Honey Beige NW-30


Depending on your skin type and how your skin produces oil will effect how you prep your skin for this foundation. This foundation is targeted to dry and mature skin types. Therefore if you have these skin types, you need to be sure your skin is well prepped and hydrated, this will help this foundation apply evenly and sit on the skin really well. I think this is very important for more mature skin types because the foundation does set to the skin. If you have dry patches, this product will not blend as well over your skin.

However if you have a more normal to dry skin type, your prep may vary on the season. For me, in most summer days, I only use the Erborian Bamboo Matte Lotion (review here) to hydrate and prep my skin because my nose and t-zone get fairly oily and sweaty. This toner lotion hydrates the skin but also helps it control oil. I find the foundation applies very well over just that. Since the foundation has SPF 25 in it and I am going to be inside most of the day, I feel like this is enough. In the autumn and winter, I expect I will go back to using a lightweight moisturizer underneath.

You can apply it several ways, I prefer using a dense buffing brush and stippling it on or using a beauty sponge to work it into the skin. I find that this gives me the most coverage and the most radiant finish. With the beauty sponge you reduce the radiance and it is not as dewy but with the brush, you get the most glow. Using a beauty sponge will also give you a very good coverage. The included sponge is very nice and will give you full coverage, but I honestly hardly use the included sponges unless I'm on the go. I find the flat shape makes application time consuming and a bit annoying. I hardly ever apply any of my cushions with the included applicator sponge. I reserve it four travel and touch ups. 

Like I stated, the pigmentation is phenomenal! I don't understand it because I have seen some reviews on the Nordstom website saying it's super sheer. I do not feel that it is sheer at all! It is a light coverage that easily builds to full coverage, if necessary! I didn't think it would be enough to cover the redness around my nose but it really did an exceptional job The first day I used it, I had more splotchy patches on my skin because the night before I had used an acid peel mask. It took hardly any product to cover my face and the discoloration! It even covers my hyper-pigmentation without looking to heavy and looking like makeup!

It CAN wear solid for over 8 hours! In certain cases, it didn't breakdown on me or fade! It looked flawless from the time I applied it early in the morning to the evening when I went to a late dinner with friends after work! I didn't need to touch up at all, however I wanted to, to see how easy it was to touch up. It was incredibly easy, especially with just a tiny bit of product on the included sponge. My skin just looked radiant and fresh all day long! To be fair, I have a normal to dry skin type, so if you are a more combination or oil skin type, you may experience more fading and breakdown of product throughout the day. Also, this was on an ideal day. The weather was mild and not too hot, I wasn't doing anything too physically exerting, and my skin was on the drier side that day. I have worn this on much warmer days and it doesn't last as long. I find the oils start to come through and the sweat causes it to fade. It can be minimized by priming the skin with an oil-controlling primer on the oil-prone parts and avoiding emollient moisturizers.

When it does start to break down and fade, it is not very pretty. It kind of breaks apart on the skin and creates these uneven splotchy areas. I can't even describe the weird thing it does but I'll try. It's almost like when you attempt to mix oil and water and the oil breaks apart into little pods. It's like when the oil on your skin breaks through, the foundation splits and causes everything on top of it to clump up in this weird way! The strange thing is that you still have coverage and from a distance, you will not notice the foundation breaking apart but if you look closely in the mirror you can see it.

The best way to prevent this is priming your skin well with a primer and avoiding moisturizer, especially if you are prone to oil breaking through. For me, this is especially important around my nose, which with most foundations I experience makeup breaking down in that area. I recommend an oil controlling primer for those areas only and forgoing the moisturizer. This is where skin prep comes into play an very important role. I find that when my skin is prepped well, it behaves like an ideal makeup day! 


The finish of this foundation is radiant and luminous but without being too dewy or wet looking. This foundation really perfects the skin! It actually creates the luminous and perfected veil over the skin! It's this surreal finish that I have only ever experienced with one other foundation! Your pores are non-existent, your texture and lines disappear, and you skin just looks plush and radiant. The glow is unreal, it perfectly mimics really healthy and hydrated skin! It almost gives you this "glass-skin" effect without looking too wet or greasy. I HIGHLY recommend just leaving the foundation alone to set, DO NOT set it with powder! I feel that setting it with powder will ruin the beautiful luminous and surreal skin illusion that this product provides. Also, I set all over with powder once, and the powder just sat on top of my skin,even after I let the product set! I don't understand why because using powder blush and bronzer there is no issue but when I powdered all over, it looked very powdery on my skin. I had to use a setting spray to fix it and then it looked really seamless.

I find that once it sets, you can use powder products on top (just not actual powder) just as well as cream products. It doesn't stay tacky or wet, it just kind of sets to a skin-like texture. It will however transfer, so if you're using a cell phone or touch your face, there is some very minor transfer. The finish allows me to use powder product without it the products clinging to areas and becoming patchy. In fact. it makes my face products apply more evenly and perfectly on my skin. The powder products blend out like a dream but doesn't remove the foundation underneath!

This is one of two foundations that I have ever received gushing compliments on! The first time I wore this, I went and saw a friend and one of the first things she asked me was "What are you wearing? Your skin is RADIANT!" This foundation will get you some serious reactions and honestly it makes my skin look the best it has ever looked with makeup on!

There is a fragrance but to be honest I don't notice it at all when I'm using it. For me, I have to stick my nose into the compact and take a huge wiff to detect it but for those with sensitive skin, you may want to be wary.

All photos below are of the foundation without any powder:


I have never used anything from the La Prairie line before but their whole range revolves around a proprietary anti-aging caviar complex. Derived from caviar, this complex is so revolutionary that in order to keep it a company secret, it takes three different laboratories to create it! La Prairie uses one for the yeast fermentation process, one for the micro-organism fermentation process, and a final one to blend the components together! If you're wondering why it costs so much for these products, there's your answer! That is not only a lot of labor and travel, but you need highly trained chemists and experts to manage these processes. 

The claims are that this complex will tighten, firm, and reduce wrinkles. Since no one except for a very select few individuals knows what it is actually contained in this anti-aging elixir, I can only tell you how my skin feels and looks after using this product regularly. Since I don't use any of the La Prairie skincare range, any positive results will be a good indication that the caviar complex actually works.

My skin definitely feels much softer and looks more radiant without the cushion on my skin. My skin also looks very smooth and plump but I really can't tell if it is my skincare routine or the foundation. I think everyone should take skincare claims in a skincare-makeup hybrid with a grain of salt. I personally don't believe any skin product can completely turn the clock backwards and make your skin look 20 years younger but I think every little bit helps. I think that is the importance of using skincare-makeup hybrids because it will help treat your skin while it acts as makeup.


As per request, I am comparing this foundation with its most comparable counterpart from another brand. The Cle de Peau The Foundation is a long time favorite of mine and the only luxury brand foundation I own that I would even consider to be close to this La Prairie cushion. Here is how they compare side to side:

La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-In-Foundation

Cle de Peau The Foundation

Refillable Light Plastic Compact
Luxurious Heavy Jar


Light to Full
Light to Full

Cushion Liquid
Sun Protection

SPF 25
SPF 21
Skincare Benefits*

Shade Range

7 Shades
12 Shades
Price Per Volume

$195 for 1.0oz
$25 for 1.0oz


Radiant & Dewy
Luminous & Natural
Wear Time

8+ Hours*
8+ Hours*
Best Application Method

Stippling with Dense Brush
Stippling with Dense Brush
Best For

Dry Skin Types
Normal to Dry Skin Types

*Skincare Benefits -This means there are claims of skincare benefits. Take this with a grain of salt, everyone's skin is different and please don't expect a skincare-makeup hybrid or any skincare product for that matter, to be some sort of miracle skin treatment. Consider it like a bonus, that it will help your skin more than hurt it. 

*Wear Time - Again, this varies with the individual and your skin type and needs. Both of these have worn on me beyond 8+ hours without primer or setting powder but that is on a good day with mild weather. They have also worn down before 8 hours in hot and humid climates and weather. Consider your location and activity levels when you are wearing your foundation. As well as, you regular routine, do you normally prime and set?


This product costs less than my favorite luxury skincare-makeup hybrid, The Cle de Peau The Foundation, and I think it is on par with the quality and overall effect! I have to say that this foundation is much more nourishing than I expected and it isn't ideal for hot weather and the summer season. However, I have made it work by forgoing my usual moisturizer and it stays flawless all day! I feel like I have to do a lot more skin prep to prevent the make from breaking down on really hot days but it is still a beautiful foundation and I think come fall and winter, it will be perfect because it is so dewy and nourishing. I think this one formula is quite tricky to work with an your traditional cushions because of the weird way it can breakdown throughout the day, so I really think this is something for a select skin type. I think you really have to be on the dry skin side to have this wear really well throughout the day. That being said, I am actually OBSESSED with this foundation and I have really found a routine that works for me. I think it looks so beautiful and I often receive many compliments on how radiant and beautiful my skin looks with this product on!

Shop La Prairie:  


  1. Just found your blog. Have been enjoying your reviews! I have recently "discovered" Cle de Peau and are absolutely hooked. I have their eye cream and tinted moisturizer. I tried samples of their radiant fluid and cream foundations and definitely prefer the lightness of the fluid version. I went back and read your post about CdP the foundation and I am intrigued. I should definitely get a sample before deciding on which of the three to get. Have you tried their fluid and cream foundations?

    1. Hi! Thank you so much for reading my blog! I am so happy you're enjoying all my reviews! Unfortunately, I only own the Cle de Peau The Foundation, so I can't compare it with any of their others. I have heard many great things about the radiant fluid and it is one that I would love to try. The "The Foundation" I believe probably has the least amount of coverage, however I have managed to get a very good coverage by stippling the foundation on. It really depends on what kind of coverage and finish you're looking for. I would highly recommend grabbing a sample to see which you'll like the best. Maybe the radiant fluid will be my next purchase to review. Thank you again for reading! Please feel free to reach out to me any time!