Haute couture has always remained a mysterious, elusive world for me. The details, the cutting-edge silhouettes – it’s pure artistry. Let’s face it, designer clothing isn’t something I partake in all that often in general. But as a self-diagnosed skin obsessed woman in my thirties, with a slew of dermatological issues, the idea of trying haute-couture for my face seemed like a great opportunity, and most importantly, something that I could afford. I came across Codage looking for a high-quality hyaluronic acid serum and discovered a dazzling new realm of made-to-measure skin products that held much promise. Twenty-three questions later, a specially formulated serum for my exact skin type, lifestyle and climate arrived at my door. But more about that in just a sec…

If you are thinking that Codage is another one of those stuffy, European brands think again. Founded by two young (and typically attractive Parisians) Amandine and Julien Azencott, it’s a brand that understands the cutting edge in skin care. They grew up in a family of pharmacists, dermatologists, and doctors, who inculcated in them the importance of tailoring remedies depending on the clients’ specific needs. Flash forward to 2010, Amandine and Julien hired a compendium of top talents in the French and European cosmetics scene to create a line of skin-care that treats everyone specifically.

Each of their products contains what they call Nutri-Elements (a play on elements of the periodic table) that each contains around two to three of the highest quality of active ingredients and targeting a specific issue: hydration, mattification, anti-oxidation… Their products, most notably their serums, contain these Nutri-Elements to help give you the best skin of your life.

Now back to the twenty-three questions. Besides their gamma of creams, peels, oils and ready-made serums, they offer the chance to create your own haute-couture serum. I answered their questionnaire that doesn’t just ask about my current skin concerns (I am one of those lucky people with eczema) but also about the climate I live in (polluted, dry and cold, no wonder my skin is so dry), as well as my lifestyle (thankfully I get enough sleep, and am not addicted to coffee). Excited to see if this would really turn out to be the panacea that my skin needed, I began to integrate the specially formulated serum and creams into my routine. Here’s what I found:

While the thought of a scrub on my sensitive skin already gave me nightmares, the Creme Gommante left my skin perfectly polished and without a trace of redness. Furthermore, the specially made serum worked much better (went deeper into the skin) after using it. So, if you want to give their serums a try, I’d definitely recommend getting the scrubbing cream too. It’s slightly granulated, but as long as you don’t rub to intensely, it will leave your skin feeling smooth and ready for the next step.

The V/C serum that I ordered (those are my initials) contained Nutri-Elements like Hy+: “Intense hydration of the top layer of the skin, providing immediate, long-lasting comfort for dry skin” and Cn3: “Reactivates microcirculation and reduces skin coloring to prevent and correct dark circles under the eyes.” It feels a little sticky but my skin was immediately smoothed, plumped and hydrated. After several weeks of using it, I noticed that the quality of my skin improved as did the amount of moisture I had, even without the serum on. The only thing that I wasn’t in love with was the strong floral fragrance of the serum. But that’s just my taste, some may love it.

The day and night cream each had a lovely silky whipped texture to them that felt amazing on the skin. After using them for a week my skin definitely seemed brighter and in a better state.

The best thing about Codage is that they offer sample sizes and travel sizes. So if you want to get a taste to see if their products work on your skin (everyone’s is different after all), then you have that option without deep-diving into a full sized product. Not only is this great on the wallet but it helps to solve the issue of how to bring your favorite skin products on the plane without having them confiscated by TSA. That’s happened to me more than once.