Amid my beauty babble, I’m often asked about favourites from one specific brand, or realise that I’m not talking enough about lesser known gems. ‘In the Spotlight’ is a new feature where I’ll focus on highlights (& lowlights) of big players, new discoveries and the niche beauty brands that make up some of my best finds. In essence, best-of-beauty round-ups to save you some legwork (& hopefully cash).
First up is a relatively new discovery for me… Sunday Riley is a brand that I’ve been aware of for a year or two, but only recently got the chance to try. I had the pleasure of meeting the Sunday Riley team when they popped over to Belfast (from Texas, as you do) during their launch into Space NK stores. You may remember I blogged about Caroline Hirons being in town for this and I know lots of you enjoyed consultations with her on the day (totally worth several hours of queuing!). It was great to hear first hand how each of the products work, the benefits of each one and how they complement oneanother - and even better to be sent home with some to try out for myself - so after several weeks of testing, here are my thoughts.
To give you a little background, Sunday Riley’s skincare range incorporates high percentages of sophisticated active ingredients balanced with gentle botanicals. With an onus on flawless, glowing ‘obsession-worthy’ skin, it’s earned a cult status among A-list celebs, models (and regular peeps like us) world wide. This is reflected in the price - but with good reason - not always the case in the beauty world.
It’s been a real treat using these products, though it took a little experimenting to get the right balance for me (thanks to Caroline Hirons for advice on that) - there were definitely a couple of stand outs which I think suit me best and quite frankly, I never wish to part with.
CERAMIC SLIP CLEANSER
Ceramic Slip Cleanser is a clay based cleanser which smells very green and reminds me of something I can’t quite put my finger on. I think it’s the scent of chopping vegetables - which is kinda weird, but I like it! I adore the satisfyingly creamy texture when massaging this into my skin, though in all honesty, think it works best restricted to a few times a week for me. My skin is quite dry and twice daily use left a slight tightness that I now avoid by (reluctantly) cutting down. I LOVE how soft and smooth it makes my skin feel immediately after use. If you’re oily/combination - or even normal - consider this - it’s pretty darn divine.
If I could only have one Sunday Riley product, Good Genes would be IT - as this has made a significant physical improvement to my skin. Possibly more than any other I’ve tried, which I don’t say lightly. Made with 40% Lactic Acid to plump, exfoliate and refine, this is a brightening, radiance treatment, which I use post-cleansing, under an oil and/or moisturiser. Although I’m dry, my skin is prone to congestion and I am PLAGUED with under skin bumps, which had recently been joined by a batch of milia on my cheeks, as well as a permanent rash on the sides of my neck. 3 weeks in, 90% of this has GONE. The texture of my skin looks and feels finer and my pores are much clearer. They aren’t going anywhere - more’s the pity - but I think they look less obvious. Good Genes can also be mixed with Ceramic Slip Cleanser and applied as a mask, which is great for a pre night out skin boost.
NB this did tingle a lot and cause some redness when I first used it, due to the Lactic Acid content, which worried me as I’m prone to rosacea flare ups. I was using it morning and night, which I’ve since been advised is too much (for me at least). Switching to every other day has reduced my reaction to a mild tingling, which I’m barely aware of.
I haven’t had any rosacea flare ups since using any of these products, which I’m delighted about. If you have sensitive skin, I do recommend trying a sample of Good Genes before buying. It’s in Space NK now, so even if you can’t get hold of an official sample, try a little dot of it on your skin from a tester to see how you react. Also, half a pump is plenty for me - the more I use, the more tingling I experience and I’d rather err on the side of caution.
JUNO HYDROACTIVE CELLULAR FACE OIL
JUNO, aka The Glow Giver. I do love a good face oil and JUNO is in a league of its own. Antioxidant-rich, it’s high in natural retinol, Omega-3, 6, & 9, essential amino acids, Vitamin C, UV shields, and natural anti-inflammatory agents. Besides all that good stuff, what I actually love about it most (no, not just the swoonworthy purple and yellow ombre bottle), is purely and simply how it feels on my skin. And how my skin feels with it on. It’s lightweight and created to penetrate more deeply into the skin than most oils, delivering goodness where needed. This also has the effect of minimal residue - and I can even apply a small amount of this under make-up if my skin feels the need (or add a dot into my moisturiser). I usually restrict oils to a few times a week, but have used this at least once daily since I got it - and noticed a softness and brightness that wasn’t there before. Suitable for sensitive skins, even eczema sufferers, this contains no essential oils.
I know I said I love Good Genes the most, but it’s a very close call people - and while Good Genes may not be for everyone, I honestly think this is. (Mind you, Sunday Riley has just released a new oil called LUNA, which also sounds all kinds of wonderful.) Oh it’s all too much!
OVER ACTIVE EYE CREAM
Start Over Eye Cream has a silky, soothing texture that feels exceptionally comfortable on the skin and leaves my eye area feeling well nourished and hydrated. Designed to treat puffiness, dark circles and damaged skin, it’s a great all rounder that sinks in quickly and doesn’t interfere with make-up applied on top. I can’t say I’ve noticed a major difference in the physical appearance of my eye area, but in all honesty I’ve been more obsessed with examining the results of the above on the rest of my face! Some of you may have heard me lament about dry patches around my eyes a couple of months ago - these are now gone, which is a big bonus. NB this is a sample tube and normally comes in a similar pump bottle to Good Genes.
If you’ve tried anything from Sunday Riley I’d love to hear how you got on?