Unapologetically fancy serums coming your way.
The expensive, the luxury, the big promises, the empty purses and the more-often-than-not fancy packaging to reassure you that spending hundreds on a serum ‘really is worth it hun’.
I love my skincare and I have worked in the beauty industry for nearly 15 years and have been fortunate enough to try some amazing skincare over this time. For me, skincare is an investment and it’s something that I do spend my money on…even more-so than makeup and any other beauty business. I’m nearly 37 and I have been using ‘anti-ageing / anti-wrinkle’ products for a good old decade now. I’m not suggesting you need to spend £400 on a serum, in fact my next post is gonna be all about fabulous serums for under £35, but I know some of you love to read and find out about luxury skincare. So here we are.
For transparency. I have only been sent 2/6 of these serums and that’s the two ‘cheapest’. Shall we go in order of price? Let’s go...lowest to highest.
Gatineau Perfection Ultime Serum (£69) A slightly more *purse-friendly* luxe serum. Gatineau is fast-becoming one of my go-to skincare brands. Gatineau is super old school ; as in it’s been around for like a million years or so but their formulations are modern, innovative and we know the French always nail it with skincare and regimes. This serum isn’t their most extravagant or pricey but for me, it’s one of their best. It’s an energising serum containing ginger root extract to boost circulation, comfrey root extract & vitamin E to protect and soften the skin and magnesium that clarifies and brighten the skin. This is a great serum for most skin types, particularly combination, when your skin is feeling dull, lacklustre and in need of that kick-up-the-ass.
Algenist Elevate Retinol Serum (£81) The newest to my clan of serums and in honesty, one I have only tried for a few days so I am not going to report what it has done for my skin in this time BUT I am going to tell you about what’s in it and what it *should* do. FYI I am pregnant if you didn’t know and Retinol is not advised so I’m not going to use it continuously until after, although I’m not avoiding it totally, I don’t want high doses daily and this is their key ingredient.
Algenist a a great brand and everything I have tried from them has been good, so I’m gonna take their word. This serum is all about their ‘vegan retinol’*, which is encapsulated with green algae to keep it’s efficiency. It also has a good dose of Algenist’s *signature* ingredient of Alguronic Acid (sourced from algae) that supports elastin in the skin AND improves the retinol efficiency. With the combination of ingredients (and we KNOW Retinol does work) this super serum will enhance skin strength & elasticity, improve skin texture and minimise the appearance of wrinkles.
*I was confused when I saw they were promoting how they use vegan retinol as I didn’t think retinol was anything else. Upon some investigation and some advice from skincare GOD Andy I have come to the conclusion that the majority of retinol is vegan anyway FYI. Very few companies will still use animal-derived retinol and it is more often than not lab mimicked.
Omorovicza Gold Flash Firming Serum (£140) Formulates with Omoriiiinoviczaasasas’ signature Hungarian thermal water, this firming serum contains anti-inflammatory gold ferment to strengthen and heal damaged skin. alongside these 2 key ingredients, you have minerals, peptides, collagen-boosting vitamin C, hyaluronic acid & zinc extract. A really good all-round instant pick-me-up as well as having long term benefits for the skin. It absorbs in super quickly, and you will instantly have that nice taught and firm feel to the skin.
Chantecaille Bio Lifting Serum (£198). Chantecaille are possibly the *only* makeup-brand in the world that do skincare as good as their makeup. This lil’ silver bottle of goodness contains botanical stem cells to help repair the skin’s DNA & raspberry stem cells reduce redness. It also contains bionymph-peptides, lipsomes and anti-wrinkle hexapeptides = perfect for when you are starting to see those fine lines not being so fine and you are concerned with loss of firmness and bounce in the skin. It’s a clear, gel-like serum that absorbs in really well, no silicones that can make the formula feel a little heavy in other serums, and it’s a super clean & botanical formula. I have finished this completely now (I legit kept this empty bottle for like 4 months for this post) and it’s definitely one of the best, and improved my skin’s look and condition. If you can’t stretch to the bio-lifting range then their Vital Essence serum is a great, hydrating and brightening one to look into.
La Mer Regenerating Serum (£260). Possibly the most well-known and sought-after of the luxury skincare brands. I remember when working in a department store around 14 years ago (gulp!) and us beauty gals used to love to hate CDLM and that bloody ‘miracle broth’ that the perfect-lipstick-assistants used to bleat on about. That slightly unobtainable pot of dull-looking-miracle-broth-containing white cream that the certain types of ladies used to love and look VERY smug once they had picked up their pot as they trotted out of the store to go and meet Cynthia for afternoon tea. I think CDLM has come on a long way since that one pot of cream ; they have an extensive line of skincare (& a bitta makeup) and I have tried 3 products now over the last couple of years, all which I have really rated (at first begrudgingly, now I have accepted it, sorry House of Fraser gals ’02).
Ok so the regenerating serum : . I do like it. Do I think it’s worth £260? Not quite. Yes it has improved and helped my skin’s appearance, I enjoy using it but looking down the ingredients list, I wish they would miss the fillers and silicones which is quite a hefty portion of the makeup of this serum. It does contain great ingredients, like the renowned and aforementioned ‘miracle broth’ that’s within all the La Mer skincare products. It also contains a regenerating ferment that supports skin renewal, collagen production and skin elasticity.
In short : you will see a difference from using this, you really will, but not quite enough for £260 in my honest opinion.
Tata Harper Elixir Vitae Serum (£348) The priciest of them all. The one that I am just finishing up now (gulp) and one that I had on the back burner for absolutely ages as I wanted the right time to use it to REALLY see if it made a difference. My crazy pregnancy skin saw my skin going really dry, patchy, red and my wrinkles, particularly on my forehead are WORSE than ever right now. So I dusted off my Tata Harper Elixir Vitae, took a gulp and cracked it the fuck open.
Tata Harper, in general is an expensive skincare brand. I mean, their cleanser is £66 for crying out loud. I do get it though : The integrity, the non-toxic ingredients, the quality of the ingredients, the packaging and the fact that the skincare is all produced in their own labs on their own farm is really unique and it’s a brand that I will 100% invest in when I can afford it.
This serum. The Elixir Vitae is ‘the ultimate wrinkle solution’ containing a cocktail of 38 potent actives that help relax the skin and muscle contractions (a lil’ botox in a bottle), regenerate the skin cells, plump and firm the skin and clinically proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and crow’s feet. I have been using it as my PM serum. It’s a slightly thicker serum than most (often I have to wipe the pump to make sure the product doesn’t clog/dry) but it still absorbs into the skin rapidly and doesn’t feel heavy.
I have been targeting my forehead and crow’s feet (side of the eyes) mainly as these are my problem areas and because of the price, I wanted to eek this out as long as possible. I would say one full bottle (30ml) has seen me through 4 months using it once a day. It has helped my skin 100%, as in it’s had a bit of a turnaround since I have started using it, and has softened the wrinkles on my forehead although obviously not completely made them disappear *cough no serum will do that no matter what they tell you*. I would recommend Tata harper to anyone and everyone who wants the cleanest, non-toxic formulas and ingredients that have anti-ageing benefits AND obviously have the funds to support this expensive habit. Will I be re-purchasing? Not right now no, as I have plenty of others to finish up and I have a nursery to pay for *but* I would re-purchase this in the future for sure when my skin needs an all-out boost and re-charge.
Did you tell that I initially forgot my Tata Harper serum when I was taking my fancy photo’s of my serum line-up? Yeah that happened as it was in my bathroom.
I hope you found this round up and overview helpful, particularly if you are intrigued about any of these serums and are on the market for something a little more potent in your regime. I think it’s important to invest as much as you feel comfortable with into your skincare and the next post coming tomorrow will be all about the more affordable yet-still-fabulous serums.