Sisley Black Rose Precious Face oil Review

 I have had a few samples of Sisley’s Black Rose Cream mask over the last few months (I think the poor woman in Liberty is sick of my sad little begging face appearing regularly at the counter) and whilst I do absolutely love it and its miraculous plumping and smoothing properties, the one thing I am not on board with is its consistency, which for me is too sticky. It also seems to take an age to sink in. (I could of course just be using too much of it?) And that is what has stayed my hand in the past when I’ve considered buying it. Because although I loved the results, I didn’t enjoy the process.

I’m not sure what propelled me the day I bought the Face Oil (from the delightful lady in Liberty -I owed her that much; plus, you know, points). My skin had been feeling particularly winter stressed: grey, wind whipped, chapped and thin and needed some nourishment. I hadn’t been using an oil for a couple of weeks, relying more on heavier night creams. And I hadn’t actually been thinking about the Black Rose oil at all, even as I automatically gravitated to the counter and tried some on my hand. It was probably the two glasses of Pinot I’d had at lunchtime to be honest, but after a little chat during which she assured me that my Rosacea would absolutely adore this oil, I took her at her word and ponied up.

I mean, it’s Sisley – of course it’s expensive. But even so, I gulped as I handed over my card.

(*think of the points!*)


expensive box of goodness

Oh My Goodness, but this stuff is amazing. It’s a dry, clear oil ( didn’t take a photo of that because, well, it’s a dry, clear oil…) that smells entirely and lushly of roses.


       Lush, lush, lush…

Beautiful, luxurious packaging, as you would expect – the glass bottle feels weighty and the shape is monumentally satisfying in the hand, like a paperweight.



I went in with the oil on cleansed and toned skin, and used about five drops – the pipette is fairly accurate at dropping small doses- I spread it lightly around the palms of my hands and then started to press it into my skin, my whole face apart from my eyes. The consistency is dry and sinks in pretty much instantaneously. I’ve never really liked dry body oils, but somehow on my face this just works, leaving skin plumped and even toned with no tacky or sticky residue. Within five minutes my skin looked positively radiant – the thin tissue- papery sensation I often get in winter had disappeared and I looked like I had had a good eight hours sleep. Instantly. It’s Witchcraft, I tell ye!

Serum and moisturiser can go on top, but in all honesty, this restored the equilibrium of my skin so perfectly that after a ten minute period to make sure it had sunk in as much as it was going to ( and it is invisible to my eye), I just slung my normal make up on top. And my skin stayed perfectly hydrated all day with no oily patches.

Ingredient list


I used it religiously for a week before I noticed a definite tailing off in effectiveness – or maybe I was so dazzled by my new skin that I was expecting it to look increasingly great every day until my face was effectively a supernova, too bright for mortals to look upon. In terms of rescuing my skin from a scaly dry episode, I don’t think I have ever used anything as effective as this oil, but now I’m using it only when I’m hungover  my skin needs a supercharged injection of luminosity. Which is going to make the eye wateringly expense a little easier to bear.

I use it as a night time treatment under moisturiser, and on hungover days, after cleansing on its own with maybe a dab of Beauty flash balm on top for insurance. I simply wouldn’t be without it. It’s that good.

Sisley Black Rose Precious Facial Oil is £136 and can be bought all over the place, but especially here.


Disclaimer: Purchase.


New Purchases -Aesop


I’ll be honest with you: I’m a sucker for an Aesop product. I’m not actually sure that they deliver the level of skincare that is promised at their price point: because when I’ve drilled down on their ingredients list there are a few products that make me think ” I’m paying for what?” However – if you like herbaciously scented no nonsense products that are the equivalent of an Aussie bootcamp then who am I to stop you. And hell knows, I keep going back for more. Maybe I wasn’t birched enough as a child. So recently I went on a splurge in Liberty as I wanted to investigate their Fabulous Face Oil, but of course I got completely carried away…

First up is the Resurrection hand wash. .

I can’t tell you how much I love this stuff. The first time I used it, about 6 years ago in a restaurant behind Fenwicks, I smuggled a bottle out in my handbag. I know. I haven’t behaved that way before or since, but the combination of rosemary, mandarin and cedar atlas (basically pine) hits up my central nasal system in a way nothing has before or since. A bottle (500ml) lasts about 4 months, so while being prohibitively expensive, I can just about get away with asking for this for birthdays and Christmas, meaning I only have to shell out for one bottle a year.


Yes, it contains SLS, so it REALLY shouldn’t be £27, but the liquid is so silky and aromatic and foams gorgeously. It doesn’t feel drying on my already overworked hands, and did I mention it smells heavenly? Surprisingly it’s the lavender notes that hit me first, then the mandarin and orange, rosemary and finally the pine, holding it all together. It smells Nordic, clean, no-nonsense and luxurious all at the same time.

Next up: Purifying facial exfoliant paste

Aesop exfoliating paste

I’m a big fan of Lactic acid -I first became aware of it when I started to use Sunday Riley’s Good Genes and noticed a dramatic improvement in pigmentation marks and all over skin quality. It’s also present in Pixi Glow tonic which may be another reason why I love that too. And I’m guessing that this is the magic ingredient here too.

Aesop exfoliating paste

aesop exfoliating paste spread out

The first thing that hits you is the smell -it is fairly earthy and robust. Personally I really like the smell of rosemary but I know it hasn’t received a huge amount of love in some reviews. There is lavender oil in there too but that doesn’t come through for me. The quartz particles are small but gritty. I gave up on mechanical exfoliants a long time ago (looking at you St Ives), and in the last couple of years have been using acids to get rid of flaky skin, but there is something reassuringly old school about massaging this in and feeling the grit get to work. I don’t go in too hard as I’m wary about my sensitivity issues but I do leave the whole lot on for a minute or so after the initial scrub to give the lactic acid time to kick in.

It’s a bugger to rinse off -if anyone knows how to avoid ALWAYS ending up with a mouthful of grit I’d be eternally grateful. But the end result is amazing. Soft, clean skin that simply drinks up serum and moisturiser afterwards. I don’t use this above once a week in case my face falls off through over stimulation, but as a quick blast when skin feels a bit dull, you can’t beat it.

Next: Fabulous Facial Oil


During the winter I am ALL ABOUT THE OILS, people. My poor windswept, cold-ravaged florist’s face needs all the help it can get, and man, do I love me an oil that sinks in, smells fabulous and softens my skin until it’s plump and glowing again. I’ve done my time with Clarins Blue Orchid and Santal, which are fabulous for older skins that like a thicker oil, but recently I’ve come round to thinner, dryer oils which seem to pack the same hydrating and calming punch but without leaving a ‘film’ on my skin.

fabulous face oil dropper

Like the Clarins oils it uses an eyedropper to deliver the product so you can control the (tiny) amount that you need. I was particularly interested in its claims to ‘smooth patchy skin’

Fabulous facial oil on skin

It’s a clear, easily spreading lightweight oil that smells incredibly wonderful. The sweet, custard-y, heady scent of ylang ylang is out first, followed by jasmine. That’s just about all I can smell in this, it’s simply a sweet floral smell but frankly that’s enough for me, as they are two of my all time favourite scents. I use it after moisturiser and five small drops are enough for my whole face and neck. The oil absorbs immediately leaving no tacky residue at all and the scent dissipates after about five minutes leaving a slightly herbaceous but not unpleasant echo.

The next morning, my skin always feels great. Plumped, even textured and coloured, my rosacea prone areas seem calmed and are less likely to flare up during the days when I’ve used this the night before. It does seem to smooth out the random patches of dryness I’m prone to on my cheeks, while leaving my T-zone completely balanced. They’re not wrong in calling it fabulous.

And finally! Elemental facial barrier cream

Aesop Elemental barrier cream

So, going from the hyperbole of ‘Fabulous’ to the distinctly unsexy word ‘Barrier’. I don’t hold a lot of truck with ridiculously amped up names, but this one really could do with a bit of oomph. HOWEVER. What caught my eye was the word ‘Elemental’. I spend a lot of my time in cold, windy, skin stripping conditions and am constantly looking to put comforting, emollient creams on my face when it feels knackered and sore.

This cream is rich in castor seed oil, shea butter, glycerin and a mix of other moisturising and essential oils. Copper, Zinc and Bisabolol help strengthen skin, fight inflammation and calm redness. All of which I am perennially interested in in my skincare.

As with any moisturiser that comes packaged in a pot  I’m always slightly annoyed at the possibility of contamination, even though I use scrupulously clean hands to apply it. I will forgive this one not coming in a pump as the formula is pretty thick.

aesop barrier cream

Aesop barrier cream

barrier cream on hand

It has a fairly strong scent; the ginger and cloves come through first, so it’s quite a Christmassy smell, which I don’t mind. It takes a bit of working into the skin -it’s a proper cream rather than a lotion formula and feels slightly waxy, which I guess is the ‘barrier’ element. You don’t need much -a pea sized blob does my face and neck. I found it easy to apply too much and then be left with a slightly tacky feel to my skin which I found unpleasant, but once I cut back and went easy on the application I found that it sunk in beautifully, doesn’t look or feel greasy and gives immediate comfort to tight, uncomfortable skin. Make up goes on smoothly over the top, although I do give this one a bit longer than other moisturisers to sink in before I apply any. I can’t say that I’ve noticed a huge improvement in terms of protection against the environments or calming of redness -I still look like I’ve come back from a day on a trawlerboat most days- and I don’t use it at night because it doesn’t feel like there’s any point. I’ll probably also give this a miss when the weather gets warmer and I switch to lotions for my moisture fix. Maybe I’ve come a little late to this party and would have benefited from starting to use it earlier in the year *gnashes teeth*. However, if your skin is in need of some heavy duty protection, if you work outside a lot or in harsh environments that dry or strip your skin, you could do worse than invest in a jar of this.

Aesop Resurrection Hand Wash £27

Aesop Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste £35

Aesop Fabulous Facial Oil £40

Aesop Elemental Facial Barrier Cream £37

All available here

All paid for by me. *looks sadly into empty purse*