Notes on Sunday Riley

Hello there! I’m back with a detailed skincare post solely focused on the products I’ve tried from Sunday Riley. On the whole, my experience has been inconsistent which is also why it took me so long to get this out (other than me procrastinating). I’ve now used these up quite a while back with the exception of Juno. This might as well be an empties post.

As a general overview, this might feel like an overpriced brand to a lot of people, and I generally agree. Especially so with the arrival of brands like The Ordinary which can do a lot of the same things.  I’m not really comparing products here, just sharing my experience with these. I however, like the packaging of items when it comes to Sunday Riley. It’s unique, heavy and feels luxurious to use. I can’t really bring myself to throw them away, I might just keep them for other things!

Let’s start with my favourite product from Sunday Riley, Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil, or just Juno if you hate jargon. This isn’t one of the star products but to me, it stands out because of it’s relatively clean ingredient list and texture. Juno is a dry oil packed with seed oils like broccoli, blackberry, blueberry, black cumin, red raspberry, carrot, marula and many more. They’re a combination of antioxidants, provide UV protection, Vitamin C, Omega 3,6 & 9, Amino Acids. Together it’s great for hydration and giving healthy radiant skin. It’s a healthy breakfast for your skin and the formula is surprisingly so light which I like the most about this. I hate the feeling of a heavy oil in my night time routine, I don’t want it getting on my covers and stuff like that.

2-3 drops are sufficient for a light layer on my face and neck which get absorbed with relative ease. In winter when I want to use more, I massage in 2-3 drops first and then add another layer instead of adding 5-6 drops at a time. I’ve also used this in the morning a couple of times and haven’t felt greasy at all though I do have dry skin. This is potentially good for any skin type as long as you work it in and adjust how much you use. I find this a lot lighter than the previous ones I’ve used such as the Pai Rosehip Oil or Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Oil. It’s a product I will repurchase in the future but to break the monotony, I have purchased a different face oil to use after this.

Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Seed Oil, Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Seed Oil, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Vaccinium Corymbosum (Blueberry) Seed Oil, Rubus Idaeaus (Red Raspberry) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Chardonnay Grape) Seed Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Seed Oil, Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin) Seed Oil, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Oil, Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Kernel Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E) Please note: Due to the nature of the ingredients, the colour of the serum can vary slightly between batches.

 

Moving on to the much hyped Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment. I feel like only someone South Asian would understand this, but it basically smells like lemon pickle! It’s quite strong but it doesn’t bother me too much. It’s kinda spicy and acidic which completely threw me the first time I used it. The product itself is a white in colour and a bit creamy or lotion like in texture. It feels like you’re applying a light moisturizer.

I think this is one those products that everyone likes but I’m underwhelmed by it. One of my main reasons for this is that I use a lactic acid toner (Biologique Recherche Lotion P50) almost everyday. It keeps my skin exfoliated, smooth and all the things that Good Genes promises. So to give this a proper go, I stopped using P50 for a few weeks and only used Good Genes every 3 days. So during my little experiment, I did notice my skin looked smooth and radiant, it was very subtle though. However, unlike P50, this did not help with hormonal breakouts. As much as I wanted to like Good Genes, I also didn’t want to use this and P50 together and wreck my skin by over exfoliating it. Instead I’ve used it sparingly as a treatment. The star ingredient here is lactic acid which is a gentle AHA that exfoliates dead skin cells and also helps with reducing hyperpigmentation. I do have certain leftover scars but I’ve found them to fade more rapidly with the Vitamin C serum that I use.

If I haven’t used an acid toner for a couple of days (if I’m travelling), I use Good Genes after I’m back for a thorough exfoliation and on other occasions like that. It’s basically been relegated as an alternate toner which isn’t really worth the price. Thus I’m sticking with my usual routine and won’t be repurchasing this. If you use a mild acid toner or none at all, this is great to add to your routine. Unless you have really sensitive skin, I would recommend it but as I exfoliate regularly anyway, this didn’t add significant value to my routine.

Opuntia Tuna Fruit (Prickly Pear) Extract, Agave Tequilana Leaf (Blue Agave) Extract, Cypripedium Pubescens (Lady’s Slipper Orchid) Extract, Opuntia Vulgaris (Cactus) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract & Saccharomyses Cerevisiae (Yeast) Extract, Lactic Acid, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butylene Glycol, Squalane, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Ppg-12/Smdi Copolymer, Stearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol And Ceteareth20, Glyceryl Stearate And Peg-100 Stearate, Arnica Montana (Flower) Extract, Peg-75 Meadowfoam Oil, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Oil, Triethanolamine, Xantham Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Steareth-20, Dmdm Hydantoin.

 

Right from the beginning, Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil has been miracle oil I’ve been sceptical about. Curiosity got the better of me and when the Good Genes + Luna duo set came out, I thought this is a good chance to try it out. My experience with this has been such a rollercoaster, I can’t quite decide if I like it enough. It’s blue tinted oil which is looks insane when you first apply it but after leaves no trace of colour after massaging it in. The scent here is easier to deal with than Good Genes, it’s more herbal and earthy.

I don’t get a lot of acne, mainly hormonal and acid toning coupled with a new spot treatments keeps me afloat. I had never really used or felt the need to use Retinol specifically for anti-aging before either, so I was very curious about it as an ingredient as well. From what I understand, the retinol used in Luna is a derivative, trans-retinoic acid ester which is meant helps renew the skin more quickly, help with fine lines, reduce appearance of pores and give a smoother appearance of skin. When I first used it, I definitely went through a purging stage where spots grew out of nowhere. I had read other reviews of something similar happening so I stuck with it, using Luna every alternate night when I didn’t exfoliate. After a week I noticed my skin was so incredibly radiant, pores appeared to be reduced the morning after using this and there was a distinct glow. I ready to sing all praises.

After that initial gratification and a few days of that same supple and glowy skin, there wasn’t much else it did. Soft and glowing skin is also something that Juno delivers consistently. I stopped using it for a while, maybe I had become jaded with having good skin so I might not be noticing what it did. I started using it again after a few weeks and this time it did absolutely nothing to make a difference. So I’m scratching my head here over whether this actually worked or it was a fluke but I’ve read similar experiences from a lot of people.

When I bought Luna, it was a time when I wanted to try out different ingredients. Right now, I definitely know what works for me and when I’m going overboard with my skincare. This is not in my routine now as it doesn’t really give reliable results. I don’t think I’ll be buying this again either. Maybe I’m just not ready for retinol right now. One quick thing to mention is about the colour, a gorgeous navy blue which is why I secretly still like this. The official claim that this colour is derived from Blue Tansy is false, there is a colouring agent present in the formula.

 

Persea Gratissima (Extra Virgin, Cold Pressed Avocado) Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Organic, Cold Pressed Concord Grape) Seed Oil, Rubus Fruticosus (Cold Pressed Blackberry) Seed Oil, Salvia Hispanica (Cold Pressed Chia) Oil, Dimethyl Isosorbide (and) Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Tanecetum annuum (Blue Tansy) oil, Anthemis nobilis (English Chamomile) oil, Eriocephalus punctulatus (Cape Chamomile) oil, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Neroli) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Blood Orange) oil, Cananga Odorata Flower (Ylang Ylang) Oil, Vetivera zizanoides (Vetiver) oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil (and) Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, CI 61565 (Green 6), CI 60725 (Violet 2).

 

Overall, Sunday Riley isn’t a brand where I can blindly buy a product and expect it to work. Also, these are expensive so it helps that they occasionally have travel sizes or gift sets to try things out. Hope you guys liked this post! I might do a similar post on the Glossier and Drunk Elephant products I’ve tried so far. Let me know your experiences I’ve you’ve tried this products and if there are any other Sunday Riley products I’m missing out on.

 

Sunday Riley – Juno – CultBeauty, Nordstrom, Sephora, SpaceNK UK

Sunday Riley – Good Genes – CultBeauty, Nordstrom, Sephora, SpaceNK UK

Sunday Riley – Luna – CultBeauty, Sephora, SpaceNK UK

Sunday Riley Good Genes and Luna Power Couple Duo Set – Sephora

Some of the links are affiliate links.

  • I would love a post like this on Drunk Elephant products that you’ve tried. I really liked Good Genes but I haven’t tried P50 so I might try to get my hands on that xx

    Beautylymin| LuxurySkincareGiveaway

    • I’ll defintiely do one on Drunk Elephant in the future, so far though, I completely love all the products I’ve tried. With Good Genes and P50 I feel like I don’t both in my routine.

  • I love the Ceramic Slip Cleanser, but it is targeted at combination oily skin and might be too stripping for you. As for Luna, you know my review, I wasn´t wowed either. My prescription retinol has much more impact on my skin. Good Genes is a staple for me, but I usually use glycolic acid as my daily exfoliator and use Good Genes as a treatment once in a while. Juno is one I have not tried yet, but I have a sample in my stash I think ans will see how it works for me this summer.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • Yes, I remember you review and I thought it was a very similar experience. I had the urge to try that cleanser but never got around to buying it, I guess it might not really be suited for me though in summers by the end of the day I feel quite sweaty, not exactly greasy though. Should have probably given you a tmi warning first! :p

      • No TMI, but if it is just sweaty, it is probably too much for you.

  • I’ve never heard of these, thanks for such an informative post!

    http://www.myclusterofthoughts.com/

    • Thanks Katherine, so glad you enjoyed reading it.

  • Cindy Wang

    Hi Advaita! I recently discovered your blog and I love your in-depth reviews. I’ve used almost every product she has and my experience has kind of echoed yours in that some of them are over-priced and I’ve had mixed results with the lot of products.

    I’m oily/combo and find the Martian toner, UFO, and Good Genes work best for me (her ceramic clay cleanser is coming in the mail next week and I hear that’s great for oily types). I found that I really like the lemongrass scent of Good Genes and that my skin really agrees with lactic acid and not glycolic. I don’t know if it’s a staple for me because while I like it, I don’t know if I can justify the high price point. My $15 bottle of vitamin c brightens and works just as well, to be honest. I had a 10ml sample of Juno and like Luna, didn’t find a major enough difference to warrant buying it again.

    I found that Tidal is not super moisturizing at all and it’s a hard pass for me, though it smells nice, like a cucumber spa facial. Same with the Blue Moon balm; it’s nice, smells like blue tansy, but at $50 I could get a giant tub of other first step cleansers for cheaper. I’m gonna sound like a broken record, but her CEO line smells really nice as well, like a freshly-squeezed tangerine. Again, I found that the moisturizer wasn’t particularly moisturizing, and the serum was just… ok, especially at that robbery looking price point. The form of vitamin c used is tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, which is newer (not as much research done on it) and much more stable than L-AA (found in those dropper-based serums and Drunk Elephant’s C-firma) and works by turning into vitamin c upon contact on the skin, so the concentration is 15% and it’s a bit gentler on the skin.

    Anyway sorry I just talked your ear off! I am hoping you’ll do a mega/completionist blog post on brands like Glossier and Drunk Elephant!

    • Hi Cindy! Always happy to talk to another skincare junkie! The reason I stopped trying Sunday Riley products is exactly that, it’s so inconsistent that unless I have a sample, I’m not really going to fork such a large amount. Though your point about the new type of vitamin C does intrigue me and I’m going to look into that. Drunk Elephant’s C-Firma has worked wonderfully for me so far, if the SR alternative is just and good and cheaper, I’m all for it.

  • Cindy Wang

    Hi Advaita! I recently discovered your blog and I love your in-depth reviews. I’ve used almost every product she has and my experience has kind of echoed yours in that some of them are over-priced and I’ve had mixed results with the lot of products.

    I’m oily/combo and find the Martian toner, UFO, and Good Genes work best for me (her ceramic clay cleanser is coming in the mail next week and I hear that’s great for oily types). I found that I really like the lemongrass scent of Good Genes and that my skin really agrees with lactic acid and not glycolic. I don’t know if it’s a staple for me because while I like it, I don’t know if I can justify the high price point. My $15 bottle of vitamin c brightens and works just as well, to be honest. I had a 10ml sample of Juno and like Luna, didn’t find a major enough difference to warrant buying it again.

    I found that Tidal is not super moisturizing at all and it’s a hard pass for me, though it smells nice, like a cucumber spa facial. Same with the Blue Moon balm; it’s nice, smells like blue tansy, but at $50 I could get a giant tub of other first step cleansers for cheaper.

    Her CEO line smells really nice as well, like a freshly-squeezed tangerine. Again, I found that the moisturizer wasn’t particularly moisturizing, and the serum was just… ok, especially at that robbery looking price point. The form of vitamin c used is tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, which is newer (not as much research done on it) and much more stable than L-AA (found in those dropper-based serums and Drunk Elephant’s C-firma) and works by turning into vitamin c upon contact on the skin, so the concentration is 15% and it’s a bit gentler on the skin.

    I’m hoping you’ll do mega blog posts on brand reviews like Glossier and Drunk Elephant!

  • I loved this post and I would definitely love to see a focus on Drunk Elephant and Glossier too! They’re all brands I’ve bought from and are particularly interesting to me so I love reading reviews from sources I trust. 🙂 I got the Power Couple duo as a Christmas present but haven’t opened either of them yet as I was finishing up other products that were similar, but they’ve juuuust about run out so in the next couple of weeks I should be able to bring these two into my routine.

    I’ve used samples of Good Genes before and didn’t find any problem with using it on consecutive nights, say 3-4 times a week alternated with other serums, while using an acid toner most mornings if I felt I needed it. But that’s the thing I’m finding more and more with acid treatments – because I use an acid toner daily (though I don’t think mine are quite as strong as P50, but I haven’t tried it so I’m not sure) I don’t actually need that much in the way of acid treatments or serums. I like to have one on the go, but when it’s a really strong one that’s meant to be a once a week thing (or say a mask or something) I think it’s become a bit superfluous in my routine because if you’re exfoliating daily then you probably don’t need that extra boost once a week, but if you weren’t using an acid toner then it would probably work wonders. I’ve never really over-done it with acids before but that’s because, like you, I’m pretty careful and use my best judgement when I know I’m using multiple acid products. Although I’m happy to have a 15ml Good Genes and I enjoy the results it gives me, tbh I found the REN Wake Wonderful to be exactly the same thing and it’s about half the price.

    That’s a shame Luna didn’t wow you though. As I said I haven’t tried it yet but I know it got sooo hyped up when it first launched. I personally think that can be put down to the fact that basically every guru got sent a bottle and a lot of them probably didn’t have any experience with retinol/retinol derivative products to begin with, but it meant the ingredient got super hyped up and because of it too. I personally have used a couple of tubes of the Indeed Labs Retinol Reface and have really enjoyed the results I’ve gotten, with no adverse reactions whatsoever. But obviously using something like that, and probably like Luna as well means that they’re not going to be anywhere near as strong as a prescription product. I guess I’ll find out what I think about Luna once I give it a shot and compare it to the results I got with Retinol Reface, which, for the record was clear, plumped skin + faded acne scars and also the idea that it’s preventing premature ageing which of course we can’t see.

    littlehenrylee.net

    • I’d love to know your experience with Good Genes and Luna! With acid toning, I did it everyday when I first started using one, I eventually discovered that my skin would be ok even if I didn’t use it everyday. It’s also more seasonal, my skin is usually would smooth and plumped when it’s humid, drier in winter, so I also adjust it accordingly.
      Other than Luna I haven’t really tried any retinol product. Just using an acid and Vitamin C seem like enough for me at the moment but in the near future I feel I would look into retinol products.

  • Kiri Yanchenko

    I am so glad I read a post like this.
    These products are everywhere – and if you think they are expensive for you, they are even MORE expensive in Australia.
    I would really love you to do a post like this on both drunk elephants and glossier.
    I have not tried glossier and I think I might like to – but a post like this might tip me over the edge.

    I love how you have included the ingredients. I am so glad I found your blog – I will follow you on bloglovin.

    I have used one drunk elephants product – and since it is expensive and wasn’t anything to get me excited about I didn’t keep using it.
    I love active skincare. At the moment I am trying to change what I use.
    I wash my face with a basic cleanser, then use Dr Jart+ Ceremidin Liquid and sorbelene cream if I need to.
    In the evening I use a glycolic lotion for about three days after cleansing and then have a bit of a rest.
    I laser my face nearly ever two months instead of a facial.

    Good Genes sounds interesting and I really would like to get my hands on a sample.
    I wonder where I can get one from?
    Kiri
    Set to Glow
    http://www.settoglow.com.au

    • I’m so glad you glad you liked the post and the blog! Definitely let me know if there are certain posts you’d like to read.I was so excited when I visited Australia but I was just shocked at the prices when I went into Sephora, it’s brutal. Decided I would shop at Hong Kong where I had my layover instead!

      The Sephora Duo set I mentioned contains a deluxe size and I have found samples sometimes at CultBeauty. Not really sure if they give them out at counters.
      Over the last year, I’ve really trimmed my skincare routine with just the products that really work for me, it’s simpler now (by skincare blogging standards ofcourse) and I’m so happy with it.

  • I want to try Juno! I feel underwhelmed by Luna as well. I just don’t think it did much for my skin. I do like Good Genes, but again, if you’re using other AHAs then it’s not something super amazing or different, you know? I’m conflicted on it because I personally do like it, and it does help with texture, but lactic acid is so popular now that you don’t have to spend over $100 on it. I feel like it became super popular when lactic acid was fairly “new” and not that prevalent in everything. And now that more and more people are using acids on their skin on the daily, it’s not as amazing as it would be to someone who hasn’t chemically exfoliated their skin before.

    xx
    Nida | Caked To The Nines

    • True, when Good Genes came out I don’t think we had as many options with Lactic Acid. I don’t think acid toning was even mainstream the way it is now (blogging wise). There are definitely more appropriately priced options now.

  • I can totally understand why you say Good Genes was underwhelming! I actually liked it but that price point is just too much, as with other SR products. I understand that hyped products can really affect how people shop and even to a point assess the product, but I’m one of the few who really has not been successful with using their line. The only one that has truly worked for me is UFO, but even then I probably won’t repurchase it since I don’t use it as often and I’ve found other products that are a better price point. I try not to hop on the bandwagon when it comes to beauty products but most of the hyped things I’ve tried have not really worked for me, which I guess is a good thing since it’s taught me to not follow the trends and majority! Thanks so much for this post!

    xoxo
    http://www.hellohimawari.com

  • Bernadette

    I love how detailed this post was. Sunday riley is definitely an interesting brand everyone eye balls but for the price I always uhhh & umm I feel like i just can’t justify the price. Thanks for the detailed post! x

    http://www.themakeupaficionado.com