Pret-a-Reporter

Cult French Beauty Brand Debuts $25,000 "Haute Couture" Skincare System

Courtesy of Biologique Recherche

It may be the world’s most expensive beauty regime.

Some might think Los Angeles — or Beverly Hills for that matter — has way too many facial offerings as it is. But the latest debut at The Peninsula Spa at the tony Beverly Hills hotel proves there’s always room for improvement. Biologique Recherche, the luxe French line of powerful clinical-quality skincare — loved by Sharon Stone, Kyra Sedgwick, J. Crew president Jenna Lyons, author Jill Kargman and many others — is at the heart of five extraordinary new facial treatments.

The exclusive launch starts with the most basic Healthy Glow facial — which is personalized with a manual lift technique, customized anti-aging serums and a facial mask designed to treat your skin type — at $295 for 60 minutes. It goes up from there to the $395 Remodeling Face, Neck and Decollete treatment (90 minutes), recommended in a series, and a $445 facial using customized electro-spun hyaluronic acid patches to give skin the illusion of being plumped by injectable fillers (the Forever Young is a 90 minute version). In keeping with the Peninsula’s emphasis on experience, no two therapies are the same.

But those rates are nothing compared to the almost 40-year-old’s family business’ most intensive offering, the Haute Couture Custom Skincare Program, which has a price range starting at $25,000.

Dr. Philippe Allouche, whose parents began the company, has a Robin Williams-esque sparkle in his eye when he talks about the science behind the products, which include the cultishly obsessed-over — and famously strong-smelling — exfoliating Lotion P50. "The obsession of the brand is to get results," he says, adding that since the beginning they’ve combined creative energy with biochemistry to produce "a kind of magic."

The Haute Couture program lasts six months and includes hyper-customized skincare based on the client’s daily regimen, habits, lifestyle, environment (weather) and diet, starting with an individualized "measurement session," meant to identify needs and create a baseline starting point. Allouche uses the data collected to design the program, which is passed onto the Paris-based formulation team. In made-to-measure fashion, each Haute Couture Box Set is produced with hydrating creams, three to eight special serums and precise instructions for application. Each month, the treatments get more active and intensive. 

"Jean Paul Gaultier is a friend," says Allouche. "He does haute couture too, but my material is skin, and it’s always changing."

About 500 clients — both men and women — have taken part in the program since its launch three years ago, recently including princess in the six months leading up to her wedding. As in fashion, while not everyone can afford haute couture, the ready-to-wear version (starting at $295) is even more sought after.

To advance its efforts, the Biologique Recherche team also is studying DNA in search of the specific genetic marker for aging, Allouche shares with excitement. "And then we will see how we can influence that."

The Peninsula Spa, 9882 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills; (310) 975-2854, beverlyhills.peninsula.com

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