Beauty Product Reviews
Holy Grail Status
Okay, I put off this review because I kept thinking, this can't be as good as I think it is. It's going to stop sometime. I'm in the honeymoon period. There's a catch. I'm being fooled. But, no, *knock wood* *smudge sage* * lay salt*. It's real. I no longer get a cystic pimple when that time of the month rolls around. Not only that, this has to a large degree - not 100% - but seriously, a ton, cleared out the clogged pores on my nose that oxidize and look like blackheads - you know the ones that aren't raised but just look like little specks of dirt, and that I was constantly wanting to extract. I'm no longer looking in the mirror a few times a week, squeezing them out, doing damage to my face!
I was extremely wary of this one. I mean, it even warns on the box of a purging phase. I introduced this alone (as I do with all skincare products, but for this one, absolutely no makeup or anything at all added at this time either) and slowly, every other night, and just in my most acne-prone areas, the t-zone and lower cheek area. The smell is INTENSE. Another reviewer said it was tea tree, but no. I think maybe it is the cumin seed oil? It is like nothing I can describe - it's not really herbal or grassy or green. It's...unique. It made me low-level nauseous for about a week and a half, like the entire day, it is that pungent (like you can smell it before you even take it out of the package), but now I don't notice even notice it once it's done being applied to my face. So it's definitely an acquired taste. Happily, I didn't even experience any purging. I use three drops every morning after my toner with my Paula's Choice Resist C15 Booster serum before my The Ordinary Rose Hip Seed Oil and moisturizer.
And guys, I can add a touch of this oil on a pimple and within less than 30 seconds the inflammation is taken down significantly. This stuff is seriously amazing. I can't see myself being without it. I bought the Martian toner first, and I don't know exactly what it's doing for me, but I like it, and I know I want Sunday Riley to keep doing her magic. Whatever she's doing in her products works for me.
On the other hand, this product seems to be a love it or hate it thing. I have read reviews where this has really effed people's skin up. And this replaced the Artemis oil, which was beloved by many, so proceed with caution. All I can tell you is that this is amazingly expensive, but I think it is so worth it. It is indispensable to me.
Clear, glowing, skin - no need for physical exfoliation - such a bargain
because I had read many reviews that concluded they were extremely comparable. I was very happy with Glow Tonic, but I just couldn’t resist the price of The Ordinary, especially with the additional price/ounce savings, and the additional bump up from 5% glycolic in the Glow Tonic to 7% glycolic in The Ordinary’s Toning Solution.
I read that some people are more sensitive to the Pixi toner even though it has less glycolic because it has fragrance (an inoffensive light rose scent), but I found that feel a tingle with The Ordinary's glycolic (which is unscented) that I didn't with the Pixi Glow Tonic. It isn’t anything bothersome, and I actually like that I feel like it’s working more effectively. I don't get any added sensitivity from using this, but I don't use it at the same time as my retinoid (this is part of my AM routine and my retinoid is part of my PM routine) - and you should NEVER mix glycolic acid and retinoids at the same time! Also, be aware that glycolic is the strongest AHA because it penetrates the deepest. If you have very sensitive skin you may want to try a more gentle AHA (lactic, mandelic, malic).
The Toning Solution is great at keeping my skin exfoliated without needing any physical exfoliation (I do occasionally use my Clarisonic if I've used benzoyl peroxide to dry out a pimple), and my skin has never been as healthy, toned, or glowing since I started using a glycolic toner. I like the packaging much better than Glow Tonic, but I still transfer mine to a spray bottle so I don't have to waste anything on cotton pads. This way, I just spray on my face and rub it lightly in. I can also get it on my back and the heels of my feet (great for baby-soft feet in winter and sandal season). I will definitely be repurchasing; this is an amazing product at an amazing price.
Helps diminish redness, not so much for acne; drying
I was quite hesitant to start using this because I had a very bad reaction to The Ordinary's Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, but I love their 100% Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil, so I was wondering if I like their pure ingredients, rather than their formulations. In addition, dimethicone is the third ingredient in this product, and I can break out from dimethicone depending on what particle size is being used (which you can't know from the ingredient list). So, I introduced this very slowly into my routine. I've now been using it for about 3 weeks.
I only want it to fade some PIE remaining from the damage that the Niacinamide + Zinc did, so it as a spot treatment only at night in between my glycolic or retinoid and oil/moisturizer steps. I do think it has helped with fading the redness left by the breakouts the Niacinamide + Zinc caused. I don't know if it has done much more than my Paula's Choice Resist C15 Booster, but the combination (I use C15 in my AM routine) has been very effective. If you are looking to get this to treat acne, I wouldn't say this has affected acne at all (but I am sensitive to dimethicone, so I don't use it on active pimples).
This would be quite drying without the addition of both an oil and a moisturizer afterwards, and I can feel a slight tingling if I use it after I shower when my skin is most absorbent, so I would not use this product all over. I am combo-oily with sensitive skin, so I don't know if someone with dry skin would find this product ideal. If you are not finding this effective, this is a mild formulation of azelaic acid. I believe the FDA approved RX is 15-20% strength, so you might want to look into that.
Really hydrated, great for sensitive skin
I bought this to help with dehydrated, skin after I accidentally combined Differin with glycolic acid (I added Differin back into my routine after not using it for years, not realizing that it does not mix well with glycolic acid), resulting in raw, red, peeling skin. Normally I have sensitive, oily skin, and I am going through an acne-prone phase (hence the addition of the Differin), so I was worried about the addition of an oil, but after some research and recommendations from trusted sources that the linoleic and linolenic acid would react well with - and, even better, be beneficial for - my skin type, I grabbed this up. I mix this in with my moisturizer (Vanicream) morning and night, and it has helped immensely with healing my skin.
It feels great to apply and is very moisturizing. I only use three drops per use. I have oily skin, and I personally don't find it fast absorbing (although I mix it in with a creme moisturizer which is also not fast absorbing, which might contribute), but it doesn't interfere with makeup application, break up my makeup, or make make up wear for a shorter period. I am sensitive to smell (it's a trigger for migraines), and I do find this to have a slight vitamin-y oil smell. If you apply this as a last step and don't apply any products after, I find that it has a slight fish oil vitamin smell that can linger (even if I spray a rosewater or use a strong smelling oil like Sunday Riley UFO after). I am QUITE sensitive to smells though; this will sound pretentious, but I am a super taster (it's a real thing), if that gives you any idea. I don't think it will bother most people.
This is a great price for a quality product that has really helped my skin.
I don't really know how to describe why I liked this so much, but I bought it when my skin was really angry with me after being pretty perfect for a couple years. I have oily skin that is prone to small whiteheads and the occasional cystic pimple around my period. I had accidentally used glycolic and retinol together, so my skin was red and peeling, but this just really calmed down and soothed my skin, helped it smooth out and heal, and it felt really cooling. Despite the ingredients that might sound irritating, it didn't aggravate. The smell might bother some, but I didn't have a problem with it.
I did find a reduction in blackheads and my pores seemed clearer (not smaller, which is impossible). I wouldn't say it made my skin less oily, maybe for the initial couple hours, but not past that.
Overall, if you are acne prone I would definitely recommend something like this over a harsh toner that will strip and irritate your skin, and this is a really affordable option from Sunday Riley's range.
Natural or glam, you'll love it
You can't beat this powder. Whether you like a light dusting of powder or to bake all day, this will do the job flawlessly. No flashback, no caking; it sets the undereyes without making them look crepe-y or dry. So affordable. The only downside it the packaging, but just buy a cheap ELF HD powder container and transfer it into there.
This doesn't provide a smoothing or filling effect like a Chanel powder or a je ne sais quoi luminous effect like the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders or the Guerlain Metiorites, but for an everday setting powder, I can't ever see myself wanting anything else.
Unfortunately, bad reaction
I'm one of the unfortunate few who had a bad reaction to this. I think I must not agree with the high percentage of niacinamide in this formulation, or perhaps the addition of the zinc. This made my face itch and break out in little red bumps that went down pretty much the next day after I stopped using it. I don't think the product itself is bad, I just don't interact well with it.
It is a fairly thick, viscous texture that must be applied fast since it dries down pretty quickly. Three drops was sufficient for my whole face. It can leave your skin feeling a bit tight. I also found that I had to apply this right after I cleansed or it would pill over other products. There was no scent.