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The Most Expensive Beauty Buys of 2020

Get ready to indulge *and* see results. They are actually worth it!
Reading time 7 minutes

Over-the-top price tags in today’s consumer world often represent a newsworthy novelty or something to brag about: Japan’s most expensive melon, New York City’s priciest pizza, or Italy’s fastest racecar plated in solid gold. In the beauty world, however, the cost of a luxury cosmetic product or treatment can often indicate quality. Women and men of all ages strive for in the quest for perfect skin and a fountain of youth. But how are consumers supposed to distinguish price from worth? We’ve conducted some research and tested the world’s most expensive luxury cosmetics and beauty treatments, these are the ones that are actually worth it. 

A new line by Nobel Prize-winning chemist Sir Fraser Stoddard, Noble Panacea totally lives up to its glowing hype. Each product from the brand’s two lines is divided out into aluminum-free packets to preserve bioavailability, totaling a 30-day supply. When using the products individually, perfect skin is inevitable. For the brand’s Brilliant Collection, combining each of the four products comes out to a monthly price tag of $849. Prices aside, this is definitely the best new product on the market. Prices involved, it is absolutely worth it.

Brilliant Collection, products sold individually, Noble Panacea

 

Aging isn’t always as chic as Carrie Bradshaw described it when she talked about a woman’s years in Sex and the City. Lines around eyes, nasolabial folds (commonly called smile or laugh lines), and cheek loss are common concerns as we age and deal with the stresses of life, men, and social media. Luckily, thanks to celebrities like Kylie Jenner opening up about their love of dermal fillers, the stigma around luxury cosmetic dermatology is rapidly dissolving, making it more accessible and guilt-free.

For a long-lasting, structural filler in areas like the jawline (to decrease the appearance of a double chin) or the cheekbones (to create more definition), Juvéderm Voluma is the gold standard. RealSelf lists the average cost of Voluma at $1,450 per 1cc syringe, making it the most expensive hyaluronic acid-based filler on the market. Though the price may sound high, given its ability to replicate the appearance of bone and its lasting power, Voluma is definitely worth it. 

For the best dermal filler in NYC, I recommend Dr. Marnie Nussbaum. She’s brilliant and fun, and she doesn’t leave bruises. You’ll leave her office feeling like you just took a quick med-school course, and looking like your favorite filtered selfie. 

To try Juvéderm Voluma, consult a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon near you. More information on the treatment available here.

Foundation is the meat and potatoes of every makeup routine. At $250 for 27ml, this is the most expensive luxury cosmetic foundation on the market, and honestly, one of the very best. Every time I’ve worn this, I’ve gotten compliments from strangers, and even boyfriends who never discuss skin—it’s that good.

The Foundation SPF 21, $250, Clé de Peau Beauté

 

The holy grail of Dr. Barbara Sturm’s vast line of skin-changing products may very well be the Hyaluronic Serum. Lauded by many beauty authorities as one of their desert island products, this hydrating serum for all skin types affirmed Dr. Sturm's place as the queen of skincare. There are only a few cases in which I’ll have a full-blown existential crisis if I forget a product at home while traveling, and this is one of them. I start to cry when I get down to my last few drops. It does clock in at $800 for a limited edition 100ml size, but Dr. Sturm newbies should definitely take action on this one. It’s thick, hydrating, and totally worth it.

Hyaluronic Serum 100ml, $800, Molecular Cosmetics

 

This year, German doctor Augustinus Bader put out a new product to add to his cult face creams. At $165 for a monthly supply, The Body Cream is the epitome of luxury and self-care. This took the keratosis pilaris off of my arms after 3 uses. The brand’s clinical trials show over 70% reduction in the appearance of cellulite on the hips and buttocks. Who needs photo altering apps when this luxury cosmetic cream exists and you can live the real thing?

The Body Cream, $165, Augustinus Bader

 

This 30ml perfume retails at $550. The niche Swedish fragrance giant promises that this perfume extract is so concentrated, it delivers a long-lasting scent with just one drop—and they’re not kidding. This perfume lingered on my dress months after I wore it out for an event. Sweet top notes of currant and saffron give way to a musky incense and midnight rose. This is perfect for date night or any time you just want to stand out of a crowd.

Extrait de Parfum - Reine de Nuit, 30ml, $550, Net-A-Porter

 

If you only buy one hair tool for the rest of your life, let it be the Airwrap. Like all of Dyson’s home and personal care products, this one over-exceeds expectation. With six different attachments, the Airwrap brings you all your favorite styling needs without extreme heat or hair damage. At $549.99 for perfect hair every day, I actually start to wonder: who’s paying who? 

Airwrap Styler Complete, $549.99, Dyson

 

A few years ago, Kim Kardashian posted a photo with blood all over her face and hashtagged her trend-setting ways: “Vampire facial,” the tag read. Beauty aficionados everywhere wanted to know who the luxury cosmetic vampire was, exactly, that was biting Kim’s face. It’s actually PRP (platelet-rich plasma) and a micro-needling dermal pen. First, a doctor draws your blood—hence the vampire title—and then it's centrifuged to remove red blood cells. Afterward, a micro-needling pen is dragged across the face while PRP coats the surface, speeding up healing. The result? Diminished pore-size, scar healing, and overall baby skin for weeks and/or months. The price? $1500 per treatment. Worth it? Absolutely.

To try a PRP facial, find a medical spa near you.

You’ve seen it on your Instagram feed: models and beautiful women with sheets of gold on their face in a spa environment. The culprit? Mimi Luzon and her iconic medicinal metal facial. With devout fans like Irina Shayk and Elsa Hosk, this facial treatment has become like celebrity catnip. Now, Luzon has made it possible to achieve a golden glow at home—for the cool price tag of $99. For a one-time use, that makes this mask one of the most expensive out there, but it's totally worth it—and not only for the golden selfie. 

24K Pure Gold One Treatment, $99, Mimi Luzon

 

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