Lancôme Advanced Génifique Serum: Testing Complete!

genefique anti-ageing skincare

I have just finished a month-long testing session using Lancôme’s best-selling serum, Advanced Génifique*. Actually, it was slightly more than a month; I managed to tip out the very last drops of serum on day 34, which I thought was pretty good going considering that I’d been applying it twice-daily to face, neck and decolletage! The whole testing idea was sparked off when Lancôme presented me with some recent research on serum use; whereas 55% of UK women buying into the “anti-ageing” sector wanted a cream formulation, only 26% wanted a serum. This really surprised me – I thought that serums were all the rage! But a quick survey of friends and acquaintances showed a definite lack of interest in serums – mainly, I have to say, because most of them didn’t really know what they were for. I suppose I lose sight of the fact that I’m constantly submerged in a sea of beauty information and love sitting reading about the latest products; many of my friends couldn’t give two hoots. They just want to know what works and how much it costs.

Read more about serums and their potential benefits…

Which is why I thought that a month’s trial of the Advanced Génifique serum could be rather interesting. I wanted to be able to sum up in a nutshell the main distinguishing features of a skincare serum – what it did, how it felt, how it should be used – and to this end, I kept a bit of a “serum journal”, noting down my thoughts on texture, ease-of-use, any specific skin changes that I could easily observe and so on. I also gave my admin assistant Rach a bottle of the serum to test – you’ll be hearing a lot more about Rach, she’s a total beauty obsessive who really puts products through their paces! – and she noted down her thoughts too. (You can follow Rach on twitter here, if you fancy saying hello!)

I have to admit, before going any further, that asking me to use a serum for a month was kind of like preaching to the converted; I think that a well-formulated serum is one of the most hard-working elements of any skincare routine. With it, you can quickly deliver your active ingredients into the skin, whether their purpose is to hydrate, calm, protect or repair. But I don’t think that I’ve ever consciously applied a serum and thought about how it fits into my beauty product line-up, how it works with other products or what kind of specific effect it’s having. So I was actually really keen to spend some time thinking about the benefits and advantages (or disadvantages!) of a serum over other product types and textures.

I also should stress that – for the moment, at least – I have no obvious wrinkles. I know that wrinkles and fine lines aren’t the only sign of ageing (we can add in sagging and loss of tone and dark spots and all of the other things we become concerned with) but they are a useful one, if useful is the right word, for monitoring the effects of a product. Hence the bottle of Advanced Génifique that winged its way over to Rach; she’s in her early forties, she has a magnifying mirror and she’s not afraid to use it.

genefique skincare range

So, on with my serum “journal” notes. A couple of things to bear in mind: to keep things fair and to monitor the effects of the serum as best as I could, I used the Génefique creams from the same range when I needed a product to follow up with. I also used the Genifique Eye Light-Pearl in the eye area, just to keep my testing neat and tidy! (I raved about Light-Pearl a couple of years ago, you can read that post here.) I didn’t try out any new super-duper cleansers during the month’s trial and I avoided any kind of chemical exfoliants. (Shunning my AHAs always gets my heart thumping a little; I dread that my skin will suddenly shrivel up and die!) Let’s take a look at my notes.

1) Daily Use and Routine

Day 8: “This is the first time I’ve used a serum religiously, day in, day out, without getting bored and switching to some other product. I have to say that it’s an easy step; I don’t feel as though I’m adding any hassle to my regime. The Advanced Génifique is incredibly light and absorbs instantly into the skin, which makes it even more convenient. Some serums can be a little oilier or “stiffer” and I find that you need to wait a little while before following up with moisturiser. But this one is quick, easy and I don’t mind having to apply it at all. My routine is cleanse, Génifique serum, moisturise. On very hot days, I skip the moisturiser and apply my SPF over the serum, which seems to work well for me. In fact, I like the simplicity of it and the fact that I’m getting my “treatment” step without needing loads of product layers.”

Rach’s comments: “I’m using this serum straight before makeup in the morning, then following it with a moisturiser at night. I have really dry skin, but it feels enough without moisturiser in the daytime. Perhaps because it’s summer?”

2) Texture and Effects

Day 22: “I’m really used to using the serum now; it feels like a little pep-up shot of skincare coffee before I put on my moisturiser or BB Cream or whatever it is I’m following with. It’s so, so light to apply. No massive skin changes yet, though it does look really clear and maybe a bit brighter?”

Rach’s comments: “The serum is non-greasy, which is important for me. I feel like I get instant results in that my skin looks smoother very quickly – my pores look smaller, and I do feel as though my skin is generally a bit plumper. The main noticeable thing is that a few people have remarked on “how well I look”! Nobody could put their finger on what exactly, just that I looked more youthful!”

3) Overall Notes and Changes

Day 34: “After quizzing Rach on her Génifique thoughts, I’ve had a good look in the magnifying mirror. I do try to avoid this at all costs, but sometimes it’s a necessary evil. My skin seems very good, but noticeable differences? There’s a general smoothness, the texture is better and there’s a kind of clarity and radiance to it. Subtle, but definitely there. I have also had quite a few comments on Youtube about a “glow” when I’ve had no makeup on.”

Rach’s comments, after I told her mine: “You’re not going to notice such a massive difference on you, there’s nothing to dramatically improve! I saw a definite change in my skin, I love it. I used too much of the serum at a time, did my whole chest as well, so it would get expensive at that rate, but worth it for me.”

Verdict? My month’s testing has reaffirmed my love for serums; I like that they deliver the skincare “power” without adding a layer of gunk. The Génifique is especially light and fast-absorbing, water-based, with enough “slip” to spread the serum quickly and easily over the skin. I especially like the way that this serum is applied; the bottle has a self-loading dropper and it dispenses just the right amount for one application. You only need a few drops, so it’s better than dispensing loads from a bottle and then not being able to get it back in! Also, if you happen to knock over the bottle when the lid is off (which I did pretty much every day, because I had it balanced on the edge of my ridiculously small sink), the contents don’t all pour out. Overall, a great success. So much so that since my official testing ended, I’ve started a new bottle of Advanced Génifique and have been mixing and matching it into my skincare routine with other products – it seems to sit well underneath pretty much anything, which is a bonus!

Even more of a bonus, though: I have ten bottles of Advanced Génifique for readers to try. It would be great to get your feedback, so if you put your name down for this then please be prepared to report on your findings when you’ve finished it. Even if you just leave a little comment; I’m intrigued to see how different products work on different people. It’s becoming something of a preoccupation, in fact. The Génifique claims are that it “reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improves the appearance of radiance, clarity, firmness and evenness in skin tone and texture“; I think that between Rach and myself, most of these have been ticked off the list, but I’d be really interested to know how it works for other peopleIf you’d like to give Advanced Génifique a go then please leave a comment below before 12 noon on Monday.

You can find Advanced Génifique serum online at; at the moment if you spend over £30 you get two free samples, chosen by you at checkout, and if you spend £60 there’s a free gift worth over £40. (Code is SUMMERSKIN, enter at checkout.) And if you’d like to try the serum first-hand, then all Lancome counters offer a complimentary Youth Activating Ritual which is a little cleanse-tone-serum-moisturise pamper treatment. Free, no booking required, and the consultant will advise on how best to use your Génifique. Lancôme have also just launched a 20ml size instore, it’s £35, so handy if you want to give it a more lengthy trial session!

genefique close-up bottle

Phew – I need a lie down! One last thing; how lovely is the empty bottle (above)? I never usually look at used-up packaging but in this instance, the finished bottle is actually prettier than how it started! The empty dropper looks like a little pearl perched inside the glass. I like the attention to detail. I’ve just noticed that there are a few drops of serum left in the old bottle – I’ve left it standing on its head in the bathroom so that I can use it all up tonight! Waste not want not…

*The product trial and post have been sponsored as part of my work with Lancome

Continue reading

My Everyday Essentials with Sure Maximum Protection | AD

My Morning Essentials with Sure Maximum Protection

Now that I have precisely twenty-eight seconds to get ready in the morning, I tend to gather together little groups of staple beauty products that I can rely on to get me through the day. The windowsill in my en suite is my “essentials” storage area – all of the bits and pieces that I know I’ll need on a daily basis, including scissors and cotton buds and tweezers, because when can you ever find tweezers in a hurry? 

Most of the products in today’s post are old favourites, but there are a couple of new things I’ve been testing out. The first is Institut Esthederm’s Intensif Hyaluronic serum, a deeply hydrating treatment for very dry skin that leaves it feeling softer and plumper. I’m really into face creams and serums with hyaluronic acid – it’s amazing how a lot of fine lines disappear when the skin is no longer dehydrated. It’s like instant youth! I’m testing loads of hyaluronic things, all at different price-points (this one is on the expensive side) so I’ll do a round-up post soon.

My Morning Essentials with Sure Maximum Protection

The second new thing I’ve been using is Sure Maximum Protection antiperspirant*. A big one, for me, because I rarely change my essentials and I’m quite picky about my underarm protection. This is the brand’s most powerful sweat protection, trusted by 9 out of 10 women** – it lasts for a whopping 48 hours!

My usual way to test antiperspirants used to be to put on quite a few layers of clothing, preferably made from nylon or viscose or some other man-made sweat-inducing fabric, and then hot-foot it into London to meetings, making sure to run up all of the escalators in the tube stations. (Holborn and Angel are particularly good for getting a sweat on, but don’t attempt them if you have reduced fitness levels, because you’ll need medical assistance by the time you get halfway up! If you don’t like escalators then the steps at Covent Garden are also great for making you swear like a trooper and leak sweat like some sort of human pasta-drainer.)

Now I have a baby, and a pram, and about three thousand bags full of stuff, so I don’t even need to wear nylon to start to sweat. I just need to leave the house and walk ten metres up the driveway. I can tell you that Sure Maximum Protection did the trick very nicely – trustworthy in the extreme. I like the easy to apply, cream-stick format – the formula feels very gentle and moisturising and the scent (I’ve been wearing Confidence) is clean and fresh and reminds me of the Sure antiperspirant I wore all of the way through my teens. Although of course that was a different product, because I was a teen in the days when the SEGA Megadrive was the height of technological sophistication and very few people owned a mobile phone. (Ah, I still remember my Mum buying me my first antiperspirant – I really had to persuade her that my armpits smelt, even though they didn’t. Not really. I can’t believe she actually sniffed them, to be honest.) You can find Sure Maximum Protection Confidence at Boots – it’s £4.99.

deciem hylamide glow

And now for some more familiar things, starting with my favourite everyday radiance booster. My fondness for Hylamide Glow has been well-documented; I promised I’d test out some alternatives for you, just to mix things up a bit, but I’m afraid I’m back to this one. It’s just so gradual and so believable – no orange pores or weird, browned fine lines on my forehead. You can read the full review here.

My Morning Essentials with Sure Maximum Protection

In terms of makeup, I’ve been relying on a juicy layer of Laura Mercier’s Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser (full review here), a bashing of Guerlain’s wonderful Joli Teint powder (see here) and Chanel’s Le Volume de Chanel mascara in Rouge Noir, which was a special edition late last year and has a deep brownish-purple hue. It’s gorgeous, especially if you have blue eyes, but it’s unlikely you’d still be able to find one online. Let me know in the comments if you see it, I’d definitely stock up on an extra one.

My final morning essential, if it’s not a dry shampoo day (or even if it is, thinking about it) is a quick slick of Toni & Guy’s Radiating Tropical Elixir on the lengths and ends of my hair. I’ve been using this for years, now, and it works really well to smooth my dry, bleached ends without weighing them down or making them look greasy.

My Morning Essentials with Sure Maximum Protection

Continue reading

New Launches, Heroes & Mahalo in the UK!

The April Beauty Heroes Box!

A new month means only one thing… A new Beauty Heroes box of course. This month’s expert selection is worth $118 and could all be yours for only $39 (shipping worldwide) so what’s the brand? Well. It’s a good one. True Nature Botanicals! And the product? Their cult classic Exfoliating Moisture Mask ($90) and a deluxe sized sample of their original face oil ($28).
TNB is one of my all-time favourite brands and they’ve been featured countless times on the blog. The Exfoliating Moisture Mask is deceptively small but mighty. Green and white tea, lactic acid and mango butter combine to hydrate, refine and brighten skin, you only need the thinnest layer for 5-10 minutes to see a serious difference. This mask is powerful. Get the box.

Alyaka Is The Green Beauty Shop To Watch.

Alyaka has been busy doing some really exciting things lately and is bringing us previously impossible to get in the UK brands. Most recently Axiology lippies, Mahalo Skincare and MUN Skincare! Finally! Not to mention they also stock brands such as Kjaer Weis, de Mamiel, RMS, Earth Tu Face, May Lindstrom and many more. I would have a look at their sample service too, you can sample the entire May Lindstrom line for £22 which you can then redeem against a full-size product, they also off this for the makeup brands too! Very cool.

New From Moss & ILIA.

Moss has just launched a new, more gentle version of their best selling spot treatment Zen Physic. Zen Doux is it’s gentler sister, with fewer essential oils for sensitive skin but still as potent for healing acne. ILIA have launched their spring collection recently too, featuring a radiant beauty balm, SPF powder and two tinted lip conditioners with SPF.

Offers & New Releases at Cult Beauty!

I’m really interested in the new brand Kiki Health that has just launched, I love me some superfoods. I especially want to try their aloe vera juice and magnesium oil spray. Plus any purchase over £20 receives a free Nature’s Living Superfood (20g).
Tata Harper currently has a great offer running too, perfect if you want to try their new Purifying Mask or Eye Serum. A £60 spend rewards you with a free 50ml Regenerating Cleanser worth £38, nice.
Finally, SkinOwl’s latest release Neck + has launched exclusively on Cult Beauty (with free delivery worldwide) I haven’t seen many, if any green products specifically for the neck so I’m interested to hear more about this.

New & Exclusive Brands at Being Content.

As always Content have been busy discovering new british beauty brands for us and their two latest brand launches are Amly and Supernatural Beauty (who you should already be familiar with if you’re a regular reader!).

The Latest Detox Market Beauty Box!

The lovely folks over at the Detox Market have just released their spring box, and it’s pretty epic! The box contains 8 full size items, is super limited edition and costs $129, but is valued at $230 if you were to buy everything separate!
The box contains: Odacité Invigorating Jasmine Mimosa Body Scrub, Pure Provence Lavender Soap, Pursoma Minerals De Mer, Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, MV Organic Skincare Signature Mineral Mask Set, One Love Organics Organic Cleansing Sponge, Osmia Organics Sunset Body Oil and the Affect Health Daily Balance. Get the box.

New @ Naturisimo.

Finally! More new beauty bits to wet your whistle. This time from Naturisimo. Lily Lolo’s Sculpt & Glow kit looks like a great way to start learning the art of the contour. Kure Bazaar have some new spring shades out. This new tea brand Bloom looks beautiful. and many, many more.
Plus spend £35 and use the code “SATORI” to recieve a sample vial of Lina Hanson’s Satori perfume (this sample usually costs £9!).

Continue reading