Lab Series aim sky high with new ‘MAXELLENCE’ collection

maxellenceWith the economy finally picking up (sort of) it’s not surprising that a lot of skincare brands are eyeing-up consumers’ fatter-looking wallets and launching high-end products to empty them come payday. That Lab Series – one of my favourite skincare brands – should be one of them is a bit of a surprise, though, because I’ve always thought of them as a fairly democratic brand and they already have a premium MAX LS range for those willing to pay a little more for their skincare.

In January, however, they’re set to launch the MAXELLENCE collection – a pair of products that best even the MAX LS range’s premium price point. The new products – The Dual Concentrate (a serum which hydrates, firms an supports collagen production) and The Singular Cream (which moisturises skin and is infused with ‘galactic meteorite extract from the heart of an asteroid’) – cost a cool £130 and £105 respectively. Or, since they’re designed to be used together, a whopping £235.

The justification for this high price is twofold. Firstly, they’re using ingredients from outer space (the meteorite extract is rich in two – very earthly –  ingredients, calcium and magnesium, which assist skin function) and secondly the products themselves are made in small batches (a key plank of modern hipsterism). As you might expect, there’s only one logical stockist for MAXELLENCE outside of the Lab Series website and that’s Harrods – a store where price is always paramount.

max-lab-1The question is: are they any good? Having used them for a week I can tell you they certainly do the job though the concentrate doesn’t seem all that different to Lab Series’ excellent Future Rescue Repair Serum whilst The Singular Cream, isn’t dissimilar in feel to their Age Rescue+ Water-Charged Gel Cream. What really marks these new additions out, apart from some of the ingredients, is their fancy packaging and the colour of the products themselves: the lid of The Singular Cream, for example, is designed to look a bit like a meteorite while the cream itself is grey and the concentrate is both grey and white and is mixed at the point of delivery. As someone who associates Lab Series with no-fuss, almost clinical, functionality I personally find these new products oddly (and unnecessarily) gimmicky as well as expensive. They may be boldly going where few skincare brands have gone before but, for once, I’m not entirely sure whether I’m prepared to join them on the journey.

Lab Series MAXELLENCE The Dual Concentrate and The Singular Cream will be available from Harrods and online at from January. 

2 thoughts on “Lab Series aim sky high with new ‘MAXELLENCE’ collection

    1. Jeffery

      RE: Richard Goller’s comment… I thought the same thing!! In fact, it’s not very surprising since La Mer, like Lab Series, is also owned by Estee Lauder.

      Lab Series has been a HUGE disappointment in the past ten years with their gradual decline in product effectiveness and price increases. Ever since they balled up the original Maximum Comfort Shave Cream formulation by removing benzocaine, Lab Series customers have been presented with price increases and in some cases, less product. A prime example of this is their third rendition of the Maximum Comfort Shave Cream, which is now called “Cooling Shave Cream.” The size of the product used to be 8 ounces… it’s now 6.7, yet the increased price remains the same. The launch of the “Maxellence” line to me is like a “slap in the face” to us longstanding customers. Price increases, product reformulations, decreases in amount of product yet no price reductions, it’s quite obvious that Lab Series is desperately trying to find ways to boost revenues. Sad, really. If they just LISTENED to their customers and the feedback provided, they wouldn’t be in the predicament they are in now.

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