Skin Care Chronicles: Sunday Riley

After completing my entire Sunday Riley skin care regimen, I am happy to report on my final verdict. In short: the line smells bad but works. So, if you are very sensitive to smell or not sensitive at all but cant get past the odor of rotten eggs or a spa that’s too intense, then pass through this expensive line, there are more out there that can work for you. However, if you can get past the smell, you will enjoy the benefits. Here is a more in depth review of my thoughts:

Blue Moon Clean Balm ($65 CAD, full size).

This is a cleansing balm that you apply to dry skin at night and when you rub it in, the solid balm transforms into an oil, breaking down your makeup making it easier for a cleanser to come in and get your skin super clean. While I quite love this product, it has no scent (whohoo!) and is highly effective, it’s too expensive for what it is. There are more inexpensive and equally effective options on the market (I find cleansing balms are easy to dupe) so I wont repurchase but enjoy this.

Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser ($58 CAD, full size)

Ok, i’m sorry I hate this. It is ineffective when used alone but if paired with my Foreo and the Blue Moon cleansing balm actually gets rid of my makeup. However, if used alone, this literally removes nothing on my face. It comes out like an extremely runny/ watery light grey texture (that you need to shake before applying) and lathers up a bit on the face when mixed with water. There are so many better cleansers out there for makeup lovers that I would pass over this

Martian Mattifying Melting Water Gel Toner ($70 CAD, full size)

How can I describe the sent of something that is so repulsive, I have to take a deep breath before applying? Maybe like rotten eggs in a swap. Yeah, I think that paints a pretty accurate picture from my point of view but it works! This is a toner that you apply on cleansed skin with a cotton pad to control oils on your skin keeping you matte longer. What I love about this is that I have normal skin and prefer moisture but this does not dry out my skin, make me feel tight or uncomfortable. It actually prolongs the wear of my makeup by holding my natural oils at bay. While this applies like a pastel green, it applies transparent on the skin and feels almost like water on the skin. Love this, but hate the smell so for the cost, I wont be repurchasing.

Good Genes All-in One Lactic Acid Treatment ($135 CAD)

I forgot how expensive this is! Sephora has a bundle with the Ceramic Cleanser (that I hate but it has great reviews on line so what do I know) for $26 CAD that I would much recommend if you want to try it out. As much as I’d hate to admit, this stuff really works. It’s meant to exfoliate dull, pore-clogging dead skin cells revealing smoother, fresher and younger looking skin. I basically look like I have face tune on with bare skin and my complexion does appear bright. If you wanted to splurge on one thing in this line i’d suggest either this or the Luna Sleeping Night Oil (below). The texture is like a semi-runny opaque white serum that sinks in quickly into the skin. Oh, and equally important: this has no smell to it! YAY

Luna Sleeping Night Oil ($70 CAD, full size)

I have long been a fan of the Luna night oil because it works! Yes this smells like a spa that tried too hard or had some incense go up in flame BUT it WORKS. The product is a blue oil that you apply at night and works while you sleep to reveal plumper more even looking skin (it eliminates any redness or dullness on my face). I apply this straight to the skin after cleansing with an eye cream and call it a day. Where I usually enjoy face products that deliver moisture, this does that but in an oily way that doesn’t give me the same sanctification as a gel type of moisturizer. It doesn’t completely sink into the skin and if you apply too much your sheets will turn blue but with a bit of product rubbed into the skin, I dont feel dry but I also dont feel overly moisturized. In any case, even though it’s not the most luxurious experience it works and I’d continue to repurchase.

CEO C+ E antiOXIDANT Protect + Repair Moisturizer ($85 CAD) and Serum ($110 CAD)

This smells like a light whiff of orange. I find it quite irritating but I can see how most wouldnt as it’s not overly offensive. There is a cheaper option for the cream at $28 if you were interested in testing it out.

The cream is an opaque cream shade that is not very runny but blends into the skin effortlessly. The serum on the other hand is as runny as water, is a light white shade but absorbs almost instantly into the skin. Where I did not see a dramatic improvement in this, if vitamin C is your regimen jam I dont think you would be disappointed these. There are many benefits to Vitamin C and I did a whole other post on this (linked here) if interested. I just dont think my skin reacts incredibly to it.

Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream ($85 CAD, full size, there is also a $35 CAD option)

This cream is a light gel based moisturizer that delivers intense moisture to your skin. The product is semi-runny and blends in leaving a refreshed feeling to my skin. I love this moisturizer and am also a fan of the formula (I prefer more lighter gel based textures) but find that my Bioderm Aqua Source delivers more moisture that absorbs slightly better and faster into my skin at almost $30 cheaper to this. While a great moisturizer, for that reason I likely wont be repurchasing.


  1. June 28, 2018 / 7:39 am

    I’ve only tried the CEO Moisturizer and found it to be too highly scented for me.

    • beauty.swatched
      July 2, 2018 / 9:21 pm

      Totally! I find that all Sunday Rileys products have such a strong scent to them… I’ve also had to abandon the line for that reason. The only product that I find doesn’t smell like anything from their line is the Tidal Enzyme Brightening Water Cream

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