In the spirit of full disclosure, I should say that I absolutely love Sunday Riley products, so I am not unbiased -I would sell my firstborn (if I had one) to the very Devil hisself for the last bottle of Good Genes in the shop. With the UK release date for the much vaunted LUNA sometime in May (I think), I ordered from Sephora in order to get my hands on it stat.
Sephora’s International delivery was incredibly fast -it was with me in 4 days and packaged really sturdily so there was nary a bump or a blemish on the beautiful blue box. I should probably state now that I am not the sort of blog that takes exhaustive pictures of items from every conceivable angle -you won’t be scrolling down and watching me unwrapping items one maddening photo at a time. Having said that -here’s a couple more:
The packaging, as you would expect from SR, is absolutely gorgeous. The Lapis Lazuli coloured bottle is cosseted snugly inside the box and the oil is delivered via a dropper. And this is where the magic happens, because this stuff is blue.
It’s a dark turquoisy bluey green colour, which is due to the Blue Tansy oil. Blue Tansy (I should know this, being a florist) is the ingredient responsible in Luna for healing damaged skin, calming dermatitis and being an all round anti-inflammatory good egg. This was the element I was particularly interested in, as I’ve been struggling with my rosacea over the winter due to working in a freezing (mostly outdoor) environment with little but a fan heater and my own bitter tears for company. My skin has not thanked me and regularly flares up, glowing bright red as soon as I re-enter anything approaching a normally heated room.
The oil does smell fairly pungent -it has a herby, hippyish chamomile aroma tinged with ylang-ylang which triggered something Proustian in my mind that took me back to my childhood garden in the ’70s. It’s not offensive -to me, anyway- but it does linger once you put it on, which is not something I’m particularly fond of in cosmetics, and I imagine that if you actively don’t like the scent you might struggle with it.
Three little drops do my whole face. I find I have to work it into my skin a little -it doesn’t have as much slip as some oils, but for something so expensive I guess the last thing you want is it going everywhere. It doesn’t sink in particularly quickly -there is a sheen to my skin for 20 minutes or so after application. I’ve been using it two to three times a week (face, neck and eye wrinkles) and my habit has become to use it after cleanse, acid tone and a hydrating mist. I haven’t bothered with a moisturiser afterwards as the amount of various oils in LUNA (Extra Virgin, Chia, Avocado, Grapeseed, Blackberry, Chamomile, Neroli, Sunflower, ylang ylang, Vetiver and Blood Orange) surely mean nothing else water based is getting through.
Now -does it work?
My skin -apart from the redness and flushing- is usually in reasonably good nick. I wasn’t sure how much transformation I was going to see, given that the overnight product that I have been most impressed with up to now is Liquid Gold, and I thought my quest for an overnight skin rescue had pretty much ended there. I think I thought that after using LUNA I was going to wake up to find choirs of angels singing round my bathroom mirror.
Yeah, not so much.
My skin did look good. But then it looks good after using Liquid Gold, which is a third of the price. At first I was disappointed. There has been so much love for this product that I think I’d deluded myself into thinking that once used, people would have to shield their eyes from my sheer beauteousness in a kind of reverse Medusa effect. But after I scaled back my expectations and actually looked at my skin (and again after a week, and now two weeks later) I can see a definite improvement. I don’t have a massive amount of wrinkles to work on, but that was never my goal with LUNA. I was looking to strengthen my skin, build up its defences and improve my lipid barrier. All of which it seems to have done. My skin feels less reactive, more protected and seems less likely to go haywire in crazily hot and dry (or cold and dry) environments. The tiny ‘sahara-desert-viewed-from-space’ wrinkled look that my dehydrated skin gets in the winter is relaxed and my skin looks plumper the morning after I’ve used it. I generally follow with a serum for dehydrated skin and a nourishing moisturiser (-currently Vichy Aqualia and Ole Henrickson’s Nurture Me). And I will continue to use it, because I do love me a luxurious product, even if the smell makes me think of Abigail’s Party.
In summation: Would I buy it again? Hmmmm -ask me next winter. I don’t think I will use this much in the summer when my skin seems to naturally regulate itself better, but for now I would say that it is putting down the foundations for well protected skin. My rosacea is never going to go away, but my skin looks more uniform and less blotchy after a night of LUNA. If you are in your twenties, I would say steer clear. This is fairly heavy duty for skin that should be repairing itself on its own with gay abandon, and I believe the jury is still out on the skin thinning properties of retinol in the long term. If you are in your mid thirties and upwards I would say, crack on. Especially if you are looking for a game changing product and you don’t want to be faffing about with a thousand serums and oils. If you want one product that has the potential to change your skin for the better -LUNA might be it.
**Not to be used during pregnancy or on young children (who would do that??)
Full disclosure: Bought with cold, hard cash.