Review: Serums

(This post is written for The Glosse Posse.)

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Winter for my combination skin means more dry skin. I like to apply serum right after cleansing my face to lock in the moisture before applying my regular face cream, Nivea’s Pure & Natural Day Cream.

Here are my reviews on 4 serums I’m using or have tried. Except for La Roche Posay, which was part of a gift pack, the rest of the serums I’ve tried are samples.

La Roche Posay – Hydraphase Intense Serum

  • Purpose: Rehydrate sensitive skin and reduce skin tightness
  • Cost: C$42 for 30ml
  • Packaging: Bottle with pump
  • Texture: Very light, translucent gel
  • Rating: 4/5

One pump is enough for the face but because I’m used to a velvety touch from serums and because my skin’s drier during the winter, I find myself using two to three pumps. I make sure that my nose and forehead are definitely covered because those are the two parts that tend to give me dry patches halfway through the day. This serum contains La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water which is meant to be soothing and non-irritating. When I pat my skin, it doesn’t feel as if there is any serum on my face. Personally, I prefer having serums that leave a velvety touch so I’m not a major fan of this serum. I can see how this would be ideal for those with sensitive skin because it’s very light and fragrance-free. Furthermore, I noticed that if I skipped the face cream and applied make-up, I would end up with a dry patch on my nose and any problem areas.

Lancôme – Génifique Youth Activating Serum:

  • Purpose: Antiageing
  • Cost: C$96 for 1oz or C$127 for 1.69oz
  • Packaging: Bottle with stick cap, dropper, or with a pump
  • Texture: Very light, translucent gel (similar to LRP Hydraphase serum)
  • Rating: 4.5/5

I received a few samples of this serum even though I didn’t think I would need it. I certainly didn’t expect much from this at first, thinking it was overpriced and just a ‘scam’. This is currently my favourite serum because of how smooth and even my skin becomes. It’s targeted to improve and treat the following: texture, resiliency, elasticity, firmness, sagginess, fine lines, wrinkles, radiance, clarity, and skin tone. I can apply this serum and put on make-up without having any dry patches. Once I run out of my samples, however, I won’t be splurging on this product. (I have seen Génifique greatly reduced at Winners but still more than what I would be willing to pay for.) I’ve read that L’Oréal’s Youth Code Serum Intense (Youth Rejuvenating Skincare) is the perfect dupe of Génifique. Plus, it’s a fraction of the price at US/C$25.


Origins – A Perfect World:

  • Purpose: Age-defence
  • Cost: US$39.50 for 1oz/30ml or US$54 for 1.7oz/50ml
  • Packaging: Bottle with pump
  • Texture: Opaque light yellow-orange light cream
  • Rating: 5/5

Before Génifique, this was my favourite serum to apply. It has a sweet fragrance (mimosa, orange, and bergamot?) and leaves skin as soft and smooth as Génifique’s.  If the serum wasn’t so expensive, I would consider purchasing this product because Origins uses natural essential oils. Because I haven’t used this serum in a long time, I can’t comment on how it works without face cream.

Vichy – Idealia Life Serum

  • Purpose: Transform skin for all ages, ethnicities, skin types (incl. sensitive skin)
  • Cost: C$59
  • Packaging: Bottle with pump
  • Texture: Opaque shimmery (or pearly) pink light cream
  • Rating: 4.5/5

I shouldn’t really be reviewing this serum since I had a tiny little packet that I received in the mail and it was used up by the second or third day. What appealed to me about this serum is that it’s meant to be the all-in-one serum that would transform tired and damaged skin. The serum is meant to give a fresh complexion, even skin tone, refined pores, and rested features. Sounds ideal, does it not? I didn’t actually think this serum would do much, especially not within a few days, but my skin was hydrated and soft. However, I can’t justify splurging $59 on a serum that might do the same as Youth Code or another cheaper but top-rated serum… Maybe when it’s on sale (because I love Vichy).


She Said Beauty

2 thoughts on “Review: Serums

  1. You gave everything a 4.5 out of 5! If Génifique were cheaper would that have received a 5? I’m not surprised that L’Oréal’s Youth Code Serum Intense is supposed to be the same. l’Oréal owns the following companies: VIchy, LaRoche Posay, Lanôme, Yves Saint Laurent, Kiehls…go to the L’Oréal wikipedia page and check out the “brands” category. Although personally, I’ve been an huge l’Oréal Volumious fan since time-out-of-mind and I do not think their mascaras are identical to Lancôme’s.

    I am constantly perplexed by Lancôme’s Visionnnaire serum and the Génifique. [I’m looking at the Visionnaire bottle now. It says “Advanced Skin Corrector” for “Wrinkles, Pores and Eveness.” Doesn’t that sound incredibly similiar to Génifique? Is the Gen. supposed to take care of texture & redness too?

    I asked about the difference in their two Génifique eye serums and the Visionnaire eye cream and the sales lady gave me a “Pretty Woman-esque” brush off ‘cos there were older women with expensive purses there. All I could get from her is that the black tub Genifique is for wrinkles, the “Pearl” Genifique if for bags and the Visionnaire is for dark circles. Now is it me or do two of those sound the same? There’s a difference between bags and dark circles? Really? And shouldn’t an eye treatment that runs you $60 USD be able to tackle more than 1 thing? Seriously?

    Then there’s the other one that supposedly to [also] take care of redness & dark spots. Hold on, I’ve gotta look it up…Dreamtone. Is this a ploy for us to use all of them together?

    I always assumed that since I have the complexion of a 14 year-old when it comes to acne, I’m “too young” for Génifique. I had my doubts about Visionnaire but it’s worth scrimping to save for it. My skin looks significantly better (I should add that I’ve been ACV-ing that THAT has cleared up my skin in 5 days. No dermatologist has topped that!)

    So yes, I am toying with the Dreamtone but I’d been pillaging free samples of Chanel’s Jour/Nuit/Weekend set as well as their Le Blanc skin whitening. I bought the cream but it’s waaay too creamy for my complexion, ACV or no.

    Wow, I didn’t mean for this to turn into a diatrobe…I guess we should do a make-up thing together.

    • I know! I’m terrible at reviewing products. I can’t bear to give it anything below average. I think LRP is my least favourite because it didn’t do anything amazing. Génifique would definitely receive a 5 from me if it were more affordable. I’ll have to try the Youth Code Serum. Of L’Oréal’s Voluminous mascara collection, I’ve only tried the Butterfly, which I really like though it clumps my lashes. As for Lancôme’s Hypnôse mascaras, I’m not a fan of the brush types. I prefer plastic ones because it seems to clump less. However, maybe it’s my lashes that are unsuitable for any type of mascaras? I have to say, I like Lancôme Définicils – those really define my lashes without clumping. It looks natural but there’s no volume so you can’t see my lashes.

      I think I stopped using my Visionnaire sample because I can’t apply face cream or makeup on top of it. It starts to create little ‘dough’ pieces. Visionnaire, Génifique, and Dreamtone sound very similar to me. I have a sample of the latter and I do prefer it to Visionnaire but I haven’t noticed anything different. I prefer Génifique though I don’t think it treats the dark spots. I should probably go back to the ACV treatment but it’s terribly difficult! I’ve only been using it as a toner. Face has cleared up but my scars remain…

      To treat my dark spots, I’ve been using Vichy’s ProEven dark spot corrector. Process is very slow but my dark spots (or were they beauty marks?) and acne scars have lightened over the weeks. I bought Clinique’s Even Better but I’ll test it after I’m done with ProEven.

      Oh my goodness, yes, we really need to do this make-up blogging together!

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