Beauty: Splash out

The beauty industry practically invented the term luxury of the old-fashioned, money-does-buy kind. Although many of them don't cost the earth, you may be able to get a small atoll for the price of some exorbitant creams. It's all to do with rarity, being a limited edition or using ludicrously priced materials. And there are plenty of skincare products using ingredients straight out of lifestyles of the rich and famous - caviar and gold, for instance. On a smaller scale, little luxuries are also about finding the perfect colour lipstick or blusher.

1. Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Miniatures Collection 2007
$79 for the box

YSL crossed limited-edition luxury with whimsy and came up with the cutest way to serve perfume - disguised as a pretty box of French fancies. Each has the fruity-floral eau de toilette of grapefruit, redcurrant, rose, peach, grenadine and cedar. Not that you'll ever have the heart to tear off the wrapping and - God forbid - actually use them.

* At Farmers from May 1.

2. La Prairie Cellular Revitalizing Eye Gel
$275 for 15ml

The Swiss skincare company La Prairie has a reputation for turning out some of the best, and yes, most expensive, stuff in the skincare world. Caviar is a staple ingredient, and although this doesn't boast more caviar than a Russian billionaire could put away, it has plenty of other complexes on its side.

The anti-puffiness complex for instance. Then there's the anti-darkness complex, a peptide complex to firm and tighten, hyaluronic wrinkle-filling spheres to infill wrinkles, and vitamins A, E and C. Enough, already. Love what this does for puffy, dark-circled eyes. And it lasts for ages.

* From Smith & Caughey's.

3. Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Bomblicious Voluptuous Body Cream
$120 for 200ml

From fashion's madcap duo comes the latest in the Flowerbomb fragrance range - body products. Like the fragrance, this contains a flora and fauna reference guide's worth of flowers, including bergamot, sambac jasmine, catleya orchid and rose. What makes this really indulgent though is the beautiful heavy glass jar. Perfect for the dressing table.

If you don't have one, you really must - ideal for show-off products such as this.

* From Karen Walker and Smith & Caughey's.

4. Chanel Silky Cheek Colour In Love
$86 for 6.5g

By anyone's standards, anything with the interlocking Cs means luxury.

This makes this blusher compact a shoo-in, and that's not counting its indestructibility, the ample mirror, the brilliant classic design, or the lovely quilted pressed gentle peach blush itself.

From selected department stores and pharmacies.

5. La Mer The Body Set
$410 for 200ml body creme and 50ml hand treatment

If the stonking price doesn't make this luxurious, then La Mer's extravagant creation story about the Nasa scientist spending years to come up with a cream to help his rocket fuel-burned face should.

Or the way the miracle broth involves harvesting only a certain kind of seaweed
at certain times before the labour-intensive process of turning it into some of the world's priciest skincare can begin. The body cream works like a seaweed wrap in a jar, and the hand treatment works wonders on hands, elbows and heels.

* From Smith & Caughey's.

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