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Lauren Coleman Plays With the Suspension of Time in Her Second Campaign for La Prairie

Lauren Coleman isn’t your average studio photographer, optimizing her lighting and occasionally styling her own shoots. She’s a fervent experimenter who uses an arsenal of unusual tools and materials to try to achieve a certain mood or effect, then lets the final part of her process surprise her. “I never know quite what I’m going to get,” she says. When we first invited her to team up with the luxury Swiss beauty brand La Prairie on a series of cinemagrams last November, Coleman’s unique methods — which proved the perfect complement for La Prairie’s scientific approach to skincare — were already on display, as she sent viscous fluids spiraling through lab equipment and liquefied a hunk of gallium metal. But for the second round of the collaboration, marking this month’s release of La Prairie’s groundbreaking Platinum Rare Haute-Rejuvenation Protocol, she got even more ambitious with her techniques.

For this new project, the idea was for Coleman to create three animated GIFs that would freeze a moment in time on an infinite loop, celebrating the way that the Haute-Rejuvenation Protocol does something similar for your skin. The Protocol is a treatment that uses modern technologies to achieve what the founder of La Prairie set out to do back in 1931: manipulate our skin cells in order to reverse the signs of aging. In this case, La Prairie has combined its exclusive cellular complex and platinum multi-peptide with two growth factors to create a formula capable of breaching the skin’s barrier, reanimating its cells, and — for the first time in the company’s history — creating new tissue. Now for the fun part: To use the Protocol, you insert one of its jewel-like bottles into an acrylic base until you hear a “click,” at which point a plume of purple “activator” shoots up into the clear formula in a cinematic burst.

This “burst” moment provided the inspiration for Coleman’s first GIF, in which its mesmerizing effect is writ large. She tried a few methods for creating an atmospheric exploding cloud, including dry ice, but eventually settled on shooting powder through an airbrush. Two of the three bottles that come in each Protocol set she placed behind frosted glass, as an elevated nod to a bathroom setting. Even more experimental is the second loop in the series, in which Coleman captured what she calls the “fantasy of skincare” using a magical yet everyday medium: super-absorbent polymer beads, which can soak up enough water to grow to 200 times their size, and which have a gel-like feel when saturated. “It’s exactly what we want from any product that we’re putting on our skin at this age,” explains Coleman. “I want it to absorb, plump, and firm everything.” To get the shot, she put the beads into a vintage Halston x Elsa Peretti glass dish, watered them every 10 minutes, and filmed them in a 6-hour time-lapse as they expanded, cell-like.

Last but not least, Coleman captured the brand’s “dream of eternity” tagline in an image of colorful clouds, which she shot several summers ago from her studio window in Brooklyn and projected here — on top of a glass sculpture made by her friend Hugh O’Rourke — in a way that evokes memories, suspended in time. View the series below, then read more about the Platinum Haute-Rejuvenation Protocol here.

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This post was sponsored by La Prairie, but all thoughts and editorial content are our own. Like everything at Sight Unseen, our partner content is carefully curated to make sure it’s of the utmost relevance to our readers. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Sight Unseen.