Perfectionist [CP + R] Wrinkle Lifting/Firming Serum

by Estee Lauder  Perfectionist
$65 - 1 fl. oz.
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Skin Care > Serums > Serums
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This reformulation of Lauder’s former Perfectionist [CP+] adds an “R” to the product name but otherwise not much has changed. The CP + R stands for correct, prevent, and repair; those who used the previous formula won’t notice a big difference from this updated version, but it remains a formidable, ultra-silky serum to consider in the battle against signs of aging. Unlike the previous version, the [CP + R] formula is a bit thinner and perhaps a touch silkier and less fragrant. The updated version still contains silicones (lots of them, which is why this feels so amazingly silky). It’s easy to spread and sets quickly to a smooth, slightly powdery finish. Otherwise, the same comments we made for the previous version of Perfectionist [CP +] apply here, too: This is rated highly not on the basis of its wrinkle-dashing or lifting claims but because it contains numerous skin-repairing ingredients and plenty of antioxidants that help improve the way skin looks and feels. In that sense, which is what matters most for your skin, Perfectionist [CP+ R] Wrinkle Lifting/Firming Serum is a powerhouse option for all skin types (but those with dry skin should be aware this is NOT a hydrating serum).

Just like the previous version of Perfectionist serum, Lauder claims it’s their most effective wrinkle-fighting formula ever (if that's the case, why are they also selling numerous other ultra-pricey antiwrinkle/lifting products in their Re-Nutriv line or La Mer line?) because it begins stimulating collagen production in just two hours. There's no proof of that (Lauder never makes their research available for public scrutiny), but we do know that when skin is protected from sun damage and treated to the ingredients it needs to restore and defend itself, it will make plenty of healthy collagen on its own (skin loves making collagen and would do so in a controlled, manner if we would just stop preventing that from taking place).

It's not as though you can begin using this serum and within weeks your skin will have generated so much collagen that even the deeper, etched wrinkles will be a thing of the past. Besides, if this serum were as adept at generating collagen as claimed that would eventually be to your skin's detriment; too much collagen can result in bumpy skin that doesn't move naturally. Don't forget, excess collagen production is the basis of many scars, including surgical incision scars and deep wounds.

Perfectionist [CP + R] is supposed to blur and smooth lines with its "flexible elastomer," which is a fancy way of saying this serum contains a polymer that works to temporarily fill in superficial lines by forming a flexible, invisible mesh (sort of like a girdle) on your skin's surface. Such technology and ingredients aren't unique to Lauder; you'll find it in similar serums that make firming or lifting claims; however, the effect is always temporary and how long it lasts depends on how expressive you are. Despite some anti-aging claims that still qualify as over-the-top, there's no question that this is a sophisticated formula that does an excellent job of combining and supplying skin with a wide complement of beneficial ingredients. Some of those ingredients can notably improve your skin's appearance, and, yes, reduce the signs of aging, including, to some extent, wrinkles.

If you're looking for peptides, this serum contains them, but they're certainly not front and center. Perhaps this is Lauder's way of acknowledging that peptides aren't the antiwrinkle wonder many companies make them out to be. They do have theoretical cell-communicating ability, but whether or not they can last in skin long enough to penetrate to where they could do the most good is unlikely. This serum does contain mineral pigments that cast a subtle ethereal glow, but that is a cosmetic effect not a skin care benefit. As with most Lauder products, it is fragranced. Note: a 1.7-ounce size is also available; it retails for $95.

This powerful wrinkle lifting/firming serum dramatically reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles with exceptional speed. Breakthrough CPR-75 Technology is proven to double skin's natural collagen building power. Instantly,lines and wrinkles are plumped and smoothed. Skin feels smooth, looks fresher, younger.

Dimethicone, Water, Polysilicone-11, HDI/Trimethyl Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Silica, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Methicone, Sigesbeckia Orientalis (St. Paul’s Wort) Extract, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Extract, Coleus Forskohli Rott Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Hydrolyzed Fish (Pisces) Collage, Palmaria Palmata Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Silybum Marianum (Lady’s Thistle) Extract, Hordeum Vulgare (Barley) Extract, Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Artemia Extract, Pantethine, Aglae Extract, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Cholesterol, Squalane, Boswellia Serrata Extract, Zea Mays (Corn) Kernel Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Caffeine, Whey Protein, Linoleic Acid, Lecithin, Fish (Pisces) Collagen, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Glycerin, Yeast Extract, Polyquaternium-51, Phytosphingosine, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Decarboxy Carnosine HCL, Polysorbate-40, Pentylene Glycol, Propanediol, Lauryl PEG-9, Polydimethylsiloxethyl Dimethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate/VP Copolymer, Sodium PCA, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Isohexadecane, PEG-8, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polysorbate-80, Disodium Distyrylbiphenyl Disulfonate, Laureth-12, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Caprylyl Glycol, Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Beta-Sitosteryl Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Hydroxide, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, BHT, Phenoxyethanol, Mica, Titanium Dioxide

From its humble but attention-getting beginning in 1946, Estee Lauder has grown to become a multibillion-dollar company whose products are sold all over the world and advertised in just about every fashion and women's lifestyle magazine you can think of. Their product assortment is mind-boggling and would be much more frustrating to wade through if their tester units weren't so well-organized and their salespeople so well-trained. (Although most of what they talk about is claim-driven and not worth paying much attention to, they do know their way around the huge assembly of products.)

We suppose the biggest compliment We can pay to the venerable Estee Lauder line is that their state-of-the-art moisturizers and serums have had a hand in redefining how we evaluate products. They (and some Lauder-owned companies, notably Clinique) are so far ahead of their department-store competition in these two areas that they alone have been consistently raising the bar as new research comes to light. In fact, we are confident telling anyone who asks me where to find the best moisturizers in the department store to sail right past Lancome, Chanel, Clarins, Shiseido, and Elizabeth Arden (among others) and park themselves in front of the Lauder counter (or a Lauder-owned line specializing in skin care such as Clinique—definitely not Origins, but you have to read about Origins to see why). We don't agree with most of the claims Lauder makes for their products and the fragrance is often intrusive, but when it comes to formulary excellence culminating in products that give skin what it needs to function optimally, they are tough to beat.

Despite Lauder's formulary innovations, they're not immune to problem products. Some of their cleansers contain irritating ingredients, jar packaging is prevalent, and their sole product for acne isn't going to help anyone's blemishes improve (actually, Estee Lauder is not the line to shop if managing acne is your concern). The company has also taken a somewhat "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" approach, much like the many skin-care companies with cosmetic products targeted at women considering cosmetic corrective procedures. Some of the claims (and statistics) about what their skin-care alternatives (to these procedures) can accomplish still stretch the boundaries of what's possible, but most of them have impressive ingredients that benefit skin. They just can't change skin in the same effective way a cosmetic corrective procedure can.

There are more reasons than ever to consider Estee Lauder. Their products (surprisingly) don't address every skin-care need or concern, but few lines in this book received so many Paula's Pick ratings, and congratulations are due for developing products that, claims aside, keep Lauder on the cutting edge of a very competitive industry. And, by the way, all of this praise is coming from the standpoint that Lauder was resolutely unhelpful in sending us any information for this book.

For more information about Estee Lauder, call (877) 311-3883 or visit

Estee Lauder Makeup

Although Estee Lauder has made some impressive strides with its skin-care formulations, their makeup collection has become a frustrating mixed bag. We were genuinely surprised at how many average makeup items have recently appeared. Of course, there have also been some improvements, most notably in the foundation, eyeshadow, and lipstick categories. But for such an established, worldwide brand to not have more to extol is almost embarrassing. That attitude of bigger and better things is there in the descriptions, but the products tell a different story.

The most frustrating element by far is the number of foundations with sunscreen that either lack essential UVA-protecting ingredients or carry an SPF rating that is below standard. In contrast, the sunscreens in Lauder's skin-care lineup are almost all top-notch. Even more perplexing is that Lauder's sister company Clinique really has its act together when it comes to foundations with UVA-protecting ingredients, and they feature a lower price point for superior products.

Despite the shortcomings, many women will continue to shop for makeup at their local Lauder counter, and there is still reason to do that—just not with the same blanket sense of confidence you may have had in the past. This is an exhaustive makeup line, with seemingly endless choices. We like that Lauder's makeup tester units are much more user-friendly, particularly for foundations, powders, and concealers. Their sales staff is more enthusiastic and present (often to the point of hovering) than the staff of many competing lines, but also quite helpful and up-to-date on product comings and goings. We feel strongly that you won't be disappointed with any of the Lauder makeup rated Paula's Picks below. Without question, those products are shining examples that prove Lauder has the capability to elevate the current state-of-the-art, raising the bar for their competitors. If only such innovation were evident in the entire line, there would be few reasons to shop elsewhere, save for the prices. As is, and more than ever, it pays to be a savvy consumer when you're about to navigate the cosmetics department.

Member Comments

Summary of Member Comments

  1. How would you rate the results? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  2. Was this product a good value? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
  3. Would you recommend this product? (4 = Best)

    2 / 4 Average
Page of 1
  1. CAROL T.
    Reviewed on Tuesday, July 01, 2014
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    My Favorite Serum
    • I have been using this for a few years & love it. In January & June or July Bloomingdale's & other stores have 3.4 ounce size for &145.00. Estée Lauder website should have it too. I don't know if women who use Estée Lauder serums know that almost all have larger size available for $15 more than 2.5 ounce size. Be quick & grab when they have them, they sell out fast.

  2. Jackie C.
    Reviewed on Friday, April 25, 2014
    • Results
      1 / 4
    • Recommend
      2 / 4
    • Value
      1 / 4
    Silky Smooth
    • I had used both formulas of this product for 3-4 years. I really never noticed any difference in my skin. The cost is way too high also. They reformulate products with no noticeable difference just to raise the price. It does have a silky smooth feel, but why pay this amount just for the feeling. I switched to Paula's products a couple of months ago and my skin never looked better. It may work for some of you ladies that are just starting to age.

  3. Annette D.
    Reviewed on Saturday, March 29, 2014
    • Value
      1 / 4
    • Results
      1 / 4
    • Recommend
      1 / 4
    Comparable to Olay
    • I thought the serum was cool looking but wasn't for me. Overpriced. I'm very content with Olay regenerist Micro-sculpting serum. The results are in impressive. And are a fraction of the price.Olay used to be compared to Estée Lauder.Atleast the total effects product used to be compared to Idealist serum.

  4. Rita S.
    Reviewed on Monday, May 06, 2013
    • Recommend
      4 / 4
    • Results
      4 / 4
    • Value
      4 / 4
    my skin glowed
    • It's pricey no doubt and a 1.00 fl oz doesn't last longer then a month , but I used this product for a year & a half and my skin never looked better. Everyone was pointing out how beautiful my skin was which was nice because I always suffered with large pores and dull skin I unfortunately had to stop using it because of the cost. I was no longer working, and had to cut out the luxury's but not without regret my skin has never looked the same the only negative is it glowed under dark lights.

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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