Sunday Riley Good Genes Review

Sunday Riley Good Genes

Sunday Riley Good Genes is a product that has had me puzzled – I’ve had these pictures ready to go for a review since I placed a Sephora order where it featured back in April, and it’s only now – December that I’m actually getting to review it – having now just placed it into my empties basket.

I’ve always been curious about Sunday Riley’s line, predominately Good Genes and Luna which seem to have become a favourite of many of my favourite ‘big’ bloggers. The off putting thing about the brand of course is it’s undeniably expensive price point. When I spotted a set on Sephora that featured half sizes of both Luna and Good Genes – at a price that was less than the cost of buying a full size of one – I wanted it immediately. Whilst curious I never wanted to splash the cash – and I almost wanted to hate them so I could scream from the rooftops that they’re not worth your money and it’s all just a con but I unfortunately I couldn’t with Luna. I reviewed Luna a good few months ago now, and I’m pleased to say I’m still loving it – whilst I have been using other things in the past few months I’m always happy when I use it and notice pretty instantaneous results – you can find my review on Luna here if you’re interested.

I’d say I’ve used Good Genes about half the time since getting it in April, it’s a product that can be used either day or night whilst I’ve chosen to use it mostly in the morning, although sometimes if I’ve gotten home from work and showered early I do usually end up putting this on for a few hours before I do my whole pre-bed ritual. There’s no problem with using this treatment daily, unlike for example the Luna Oil, which should only be used 2-3 times a week. I use one pump at a time if I’m wearing this under make up, or two if I’m having a day just milling around the house. There’s been points where I’ve not used it consistently, maybe reaching for it once or twice a week then there’s been times where I’ve used it non-stop for weeks. For the last 6 weeks before I used it all up I was using it every day.


So as always we’ll start with packaging on the review, the bottle of this is so lovely, and I’m almost tempted to keep hold of it as a dressing table piece. The glass is heavy and looks and feels very luxe, with a simple and chic design on the front means you can see the shimmery creamy insides which do make it feel a bit special. This half size bottle does differ slightly from the full size which has a label on the front, personally I think I prefer this over the full size, I think it looks chicer. One problem with it, is that the bottle is so heavy that it’s really difficult to tell that you’re running out of product – and the cream colour of the insides of it are so opaque that even holding it up to the light shows no clues. It was only the day before that I finished it up that it started to show that it was struggling to show signs that it might be running out. Under the gold lid there’s a pump which knows just how much the perfect amount is.


Onto the treatment itself – and what it actually does. This is described as an all in one Lactic acid (AHA) treatment which is suitable for all skin types. The bottle promises to brighten, exfoliate, plump lines, help hyper-pigmentation and increase circulation for radiance. In the past 6 months I’ve noticed that my skin looks better than it ever has for my entire adult life, I can count the number of blemishes that I’ve had on my face with 2 hands. There’s one product which has been consistent in my routine, Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Soap, which I had a sample of and re-reviewed once I got my hands on the full size, this product Ido give a lot of credit to. But I’ve always noticed that my skin has always seemed to slightly shift at points over the past 6 months and I think that it seems to have possibly been when I’ve stopped using this (although have only monitored that more recently).

Prior to using Sunday Riley Good Genes solidly for about 6 weeks, I decided that I hadn’t decided about this product yet – so I put it away completely for about 3 weeks before I picked it up again. I noticed areas of my cheeks where I get slight hyper-pigmentation coming back in, and the surface of my skin feeling less smooth and plumped. Reintroducing it back into my routine within days I saw that it started to calm the hyper-pigmentation back down – and within about a week it was noticeably plumper, after 6 weeks of solid use I was starting to skip on wearing foundation to work more often than I was actually wearing it, as I’ve never felt as skin confident as I did then. I’ve been without this for a week since declaring it empty and I can start to see those slightly redder areas of my skin creeping back in again and already my skin is feeling a bit dehydrated.


One final thing – I’m not sure if this is the same as full size, but when it was not pumping out any more I decided to take off the pump to effectively scrape the barrel of anything that was left, and after much tugging, pulling and screaming “Why isn’t this coming out!?”, it revealed a plastic container where the product was actually homed. I’ve now snipped this open and decantered what remains in a travel pot which should give me a few weeks more use. Unfortunately because the plastic casing was so hard this was a bit of a messy process and some product was lost in the process, I was counting the pennies that were disappearing with every drop that went awry.


The full size of Sunday Riley Good Genes is £85, and that makes me do a big fat gulp when I think about repurchasing it. I do have to remind myself though that this lasted me the best part of the year (yes I know I wasn’t using it every day) and it was a half size bottle. So a full size if I was to use it every day should last me a full year and more. I don’t have plans to repurchase this at this time, I have a few things in my collection that I want to try and replace as my morning moisturiser to get used up and gone, and I kind of want to research some products declared as dupes and see if I can find anything a bit more budget friendly – but once that final decantered stash has gone and if I can see if my skin does seem to deteriorate then I may be picking this up again sooner than I think.

Annoyingly this half size set is not available in the UK, although you can have it shipped from Sephora – with shipping & customs it came to around £85. The full size of Sunday Riley Good Genes available to purchase from Cult Beauty here in the UK – click here to find it on cult beauty.


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Helpless Whilst Drying




  1. December 7, 2016 / 6:51 am

    The packaging is so pretty! I’ve never heard of this before. I’ve been living under a rock lol. xx

  2. catflicksandmattelips
    December 7, 2016 / 2:34 pm

    Amazing review!! Really helped me out- I bought it ages ago when everyone was going on about it and I tried it once during a bad breakout and convinced myself it’s what broke me out haha. Definitely gonna give it another try now. Loved reading this xoxo

  3. sophieinwonderlandxo
    December 7, 2016 / 1:37 pm

    This does sound amazing I would love to know if you manage to find any dupes!! Xx

  4. December 7, 2016 / 2:25 pm

    I just can’t get behind brands like Sunday Riley or Tata Harper because they try to dress up basic ingredients (in this case, AHA in the form of lactic acid) as something revolutionary and charge an arm and a leg for it! I don’t doubt that it works but I think I’d feel ripped off every time I used the product. Right now I’m using a Physician’s Formula exfoliant that cost me $20 and contains lactic acid and works SO well, I’m pleasantly surprised.

    • December 7, 2016 / 4:18 pm

      I completely know what you mean, it’s annoying that I can’t seem to find anything obviously dupable that’s lower cost at the moment despite the ingredients not being distinctively premium! Annoyingly they do seem to really work for me, and I bet there’s something out there that would work just as well and is a lot cheaper but I just haven’t found it yet!
      Grr physicians formula we’ve been promised that for about 3 years and still it has not arrived, didn’t actually know they did skincare!

  5. December 10, 2016 / 1:43 am

    This sounds great. I really like the Sunday Riley line. I had not tried this though. I’ve heard good things and have seen positive reviews on sites that slam everyone and everything. So, I knew it had to be good.

  6. January 27, 2017 / 2:51 pm

    Ahhhh I love this product and I just saw it on Citi Easy Deals (one of my credit cards) for only 63$ for the 1 oz 😭😭😭 how can I not take advantage of this deal?!?

  7. Pingback: How To Use Sunday Riley Good Genes | Betsys

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