Editor's Pick: Guerlain Orchidée Impériale White

Not recession-friendly.
Michelle Villett
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Not recession-friendly.

What it is: A decidedly NOT recession-friendly anti-aging and brightening serum.

What it does: My skin's not ready for anti-aging products yet, so my mom usually stands in as tester. A beauty addict herself, she's been the lucky recipient of my press samples of everything from Nivea and Garnier to YSL and Dior. I'm always frustrated that she doesn't discriminate based on price: I've been known to ask her why she's using some $10 cream when she could use a $100 one. But hey, at least I know when she likes something because it works. And that's the case with Guerlain, her hands-down, number-one, absolute favourite brand ever.

This little beauty (it's only 30 mL) costs a whopping $495. Total insanity, right? Well, yeah. But there IS a reason it costs so much. It's because this serum is what you'd call a triple threat. It works on anti-aging, hyperpigmentation AND luminosity.

What's the secret? It contains extracts of real orchids (the white and imperial varieties), which work on a cellular level to slow down skin cell aging, boost cell regneration and protect DNA. They also limit the production of melanin (responsible for those pesky dark spots) and even out skin tone for a more translucent, radiant look.

Would I buy this? Not on my beauty writer's budget! But I do think that if you do the beauty math, you might find that this could replace a number of the products you're using already.

Priced at $495 for 30 mL. Available at Guerlain Boutiques & Institutes in Toronto and Westmount, Quebec; Holt Renfrew; Ogilvy; and select Shoppers Drug Mart Beauty Boutiques across Canada.