I've just finished trialling a face cream that was designed just for me, in a lab, using my blood. Now, I'll start this by saying this isn't any cream kit you'll find on the shelf at your local supermarket. This isn't even a cream you'll find on the top beauty sites around the world. So don't bother. Dr. Sturm's Blood cream is so exclusive, you have to wait until Dr. Barbara Sturm herself comes to town, and you'll need to join the queue. Heard of the Vampire Facial? Yeah, this is the lady behind it. So, her exclusive blood cream, officially known as the MC1 cream, shouldn't come as too much of a shock seeing as she's already known for promoting the power of one's blood as the ultimate facial ingredient. But now, she's giving her clientele the power of their own blood at home. Alright, that sounded a little bit strange. Bear with me.
I met Dr. Sturm at 45 Park Lane in London, where she was sitting comfortably in the upper lounge area with PR, daughter and nanny in tow. The fact that Dr. Sturm herself wasn't wearing a lick of makeup was more of a shock than anything else in this morning meeting. She was the first woman I've met, who works in the world of beauty, that had come to the table au natural and looked absolutely impeccable. It's enough for me to go all "Alicia Keys" and swear off the big bad makeup of the world forever. Instantly, I'm ready to do whatever it takes, whatever recommendations Dr. Sturm may have, to give me this natural glow.
Dr. Sturm is in fact an MD. Her original area of expertise was orthopedic surgery, and, well, things evolved, as they do. It was in her role as an orthopedic surgeon where she pioneered a method of molecular science that would lead her to develop her cutting edge skincare procedures and products under the Dr. Sturm brand. Chance meetings in this world, like becoming friends with the legend that is Cher, yes the "Do you believe in life after love" Cher, and the development of a killer skincare range, have made Dr. Sturm a name that is in every little black book going. In fact, as I'm sitting with her in 45 Park Lane, I'm starting to wonder what life lottery I've won to be there in her presence, just chatting skincare like it's a regular day in London.
It isn't long after we've talked through Dr. Sturm's history that she's pulling out a needle and vial kit. Seconds later she's pocketing my blood, which will be taken back to her lab in Germany. It is there that Dr. Sturm will use a patented process to "extract and activate valuable proteins from the blood" to create my custom MC1 cream. I'm pretty sure I've fallen into "Weird Science" at this point. My blood, along with a list of secret anti aging ingredients in the cream promise to deliver on reducing inflammation, strengthening tissue and stimulating collagen growth. It basically promises the fountain of youth, or at least that's what I'm reading into this whole situation. It's going to stop time dead in its tracks and work to make my skin better than it was when I was just a wee baby, right? Alright, sadly no cream in the world can do that, ever. And, to be honest, Dr. Sturm isn't promising that either. She's simply promising a healthier, happier and younger appearing complexion.
It's one week after my blood is taken from me and flown back to Germany, that my MC1 cream arrives back in London. Call me crazy, and blame it on the vampire facial, but I wasn't expecting a rather normal looking jar with stark white cream inside. All this talk of blood cream and I was expecting to see a receive a crimson shade in return. Maybe even find that it's stored in a Vampire like vessel? Yes, sometimes I can be slightly naive and ridiculous. My first instinct is to take off the lid and smell it. What would blood cream smell like? Well, I can happily report that the MC1 Cream does not smell anything like blood, thank God. It actually smells quite clinical. It is, in fact, fragrance free. It's resembles just your average non scented cream.
I pledge to wear the cream for 30 nights, and take it from there depending on the results at that point. Today is day 30. And yes, I have feedback.
First of all, I think it's important to say that after 30 days of usage, I still have about 1/3 of the jar of cream remaining. I say this because, at $1400 a pop, you will want to know that it's possible to stretch this cream out. I haven't been putting big dollops on my face, as I quite literally feel I might as well be stretching twenties across my face if I do so. I've also not been a prude with the product. I've given it enough room to work it's magic, a happy in between. It doesn't, after all, have a massive shelf life, so you must strike while the iron, or proteins, are hot!
My first few nights with the blood cream I find myself warning my partner before bed - "wait, don't kiss me, I'm wearing the blood cream." I say this as if he may be freaked out by kissing me and my blood. He seems to think it's all quite hilarious and he isn't bothered at all by my new regime. How lucky am I? It's a tad bit greasy, so I am wearing it only at night. But, my skin absorbs it all within about an hour of application and I am, from the get go, left with a rather luminous glow. Over the next two weeks I start to see this shine through in the day time as well. Friends, family, colleagues and beyond start to ask if I'm actually beginning to sleep again as I look so healthy and refreshed (it must be said I haven't really slept more than four hours a night since starting FFG... don't ever let anyone tell you running a small business on your own is easy). I find myself saying goodbye to foundation altogether, in favor of light minimal coverage with tinted moisturizers and I embrace the glow, wholeheartedly.
For me, this whole experience is a tough pill to swallow. I feel I've been shown the path to skincare salvation, only to have to remind myself that such a regime will require me to reinvent the lightbulb or some such nonsense. A $1400 bi-montly skin bill is nothing to laugh about. But hey, I can never subscribe to any particular skincare regime for long, or what would I have to tell you guys about? So, I've dealt with the pain that will come from saying goodbye to the blood cream in my life. I have no doubt that when this pot is finally empty, I will scrap the very last dollop of cream from the edge and apply it with such a smooth and thankful stroke just to say, "dear MC1 Cream, our relationship has been fast and beautiful, but more meanfinful than anything I could have ever dreamt of." Perhaps I'll read it a soulful sonnet from Shakespeare, or play a loving tune from George Michael as I vow "never to dance again, guilty skincare's got no salvation (apologies Careless Whisper fans)."
Now, for those of you that are wanting to get in on Dr. Sturm's pioneering skincare, but have reservations about such forward thinking in the technology of skincare, let's start with baby steps. Dr. Sturm's wide ranging skincare line is actually stocked on Net-a-Porter (and let's be honest - they only stock the best in beauty), to be shipped worldwide. Clients of Dr. Sturm of course prefer their MC1 cream to all else, but they are also regular users of her sunscreen solutions, hyaluronic serum and the oh-so-famous mask that she co-created with Cher. My advice? Take the plunge if you can and make an appointment with the beauty herself for the MC1 Cream. I'd do it every month if I could afford it, or if someone wishes to take me on as a sponsor for my skincare. Now accepting donations!