This one product has completely changed my 41 year old skin and here’s how I found it

For those of you that follow me on Instagram, you will have seen my mini skin appreciation post last night. I was woken up with a flight cancellation at 2am and was venting my frustration on stories at 3am for the whole world to see. While that is mildly embarrassing, it doesn’t hold a candle to the embarrassment I should feel at fawning over my own skin. Yes, at 3am I was perving over my glowing complexion without a lick of explanation. This is all sounding very random but trust me when I say it’s worth sticking with me there. You see that was the first moment I truly realised the effects of what I had been sampling for the past month for new skincare products and I was just blown away.

Let me step back in time here for a second. So, it’s May of this year. Not that long ago, I know. Cult Beauty was spotlighting Sunday Riley for the month and asked if they could send me a few things to showcase the collaboration. I trust everything Cult Beauty say like they are the official published guidebook on beauty. If you don’t, I ask you…why the hell not? The package arrived and within it I found two boxes that I instantly loved simply because they were something I had always hoped a brand would do.

There were two kits inside, one called the Wake Up with Me and the other Go to Bed with Me. Both kits are designed to showcase how one would use Sunday Riley products as a routine for getting ready in the morning and winding down for the night. They each feature a six step routine from cleanser to eye cream and everything in between. Genius. Just genius. Although I have to say my mother gasped at the idea of so many steps and continued to crack jokes about my “two hour get ready and go to bed routine.” In truth, it took me an extra five minutes to use these sets. Ridiculous!

So why are these so genius and what’s the life changing product discovered?

The kits themselves are genius because beauty is so damn intimidating. Truly. You could do two step routines, you could do ten. You could do them correctly, you could be doing them so that the products cancel each other out and aren’t effective at all. I find the whole thing scary and it changes so fast that I truly feel like a fish out of water every time I have to talk about the world of beauty. Sorry I can’t instil more confidence there.

But the fact that a brand has done this for you and written out step by step instructions is truly inspired. I felt general relief as I unpacked these kits and laid them out on the vanity. Someone was telling me what to do, no guesswork, from start to finish and I loved it. I loved every single part of this experience.

Now, I will be completely honest and tell you that after two weeks of using the kits, I discovered two things. One, my skin does not tolerate oils. It’s breakout central. So, I weened the oils out of the routine. It took out two steps for me that I might try to incorporate later, but I had to take them out for now. Second, I discovered three products that made all the difference in the world and immediately purchased all three to be used as staples in my routine moving forward for the summer.

From the day kit I repurchased the CEO Vitamin C Brightening Serum and for the evening kit I bought the full size bottle of A+ High Does Retinoid Serum. These serums are simply outstanding. My skin drank them both up like my pores were the Sahara desert! Both work towards giving you a youthful radiant complexion and both worked on my highly sensitive skin. I have not had a good track record with Vitamin C or Retinoids, so I was skeptical at first but absolutely proven wrong. If you are stepping into the world of serums for the first time, or simply looking to include some more active participants in your regime, I can’t recommend these enough.

While the serums are noteworthy, there was one product from the kits that I WILL NEVER, not a single day moving forward in life, be without! This is the famous Sunday Riley Good Genes.

And you know what? It deserves that name. This gives one the skin of those fortunate people who always tell you their good skin was just “handed down.” I’m calling everyone’s bluff now. They weren’t referring to genetics, they were talking about the actual product that will forever be my glow in a bottle…Good Genes!

Seems I’m totally late to the game on this one but people are religious about this product and all seem to have the same reaction I do. It’s a game changer. Cult Beauty claims it’s the closest thing you can get to elixir to youth outside of a fairytale. And they aren’t lying. My skin radiates. It glows. This is the power of their glycolic acid cocktail. I read reviews from women saying you would miss it after one day and I thought they were all a bit extreme. Well, in fact, they weren’t at all. I ran out of the bottles sent in the kits and urgently ordered another bottle that arrived a week later. My skin started to lack the radiance I had grown accustomed to with this bottle in play. In short, if you buy only one thing, right now, from Sunday Riley, make it a bottle of Good Genes. You will thank me for this, I promise you. It’s a tad pricey but worth every single cent.

Now, let’s recap here.

If you’re struggling with what to use when and just need a bit of a hand holding experience, invest in these before they sell out:

Wake Up with Me and  Go to Bed with Me

If you want to continue with the regime, buy everything! If you want to use the products with the most punch, in my humble opinion, buy:

CEO Vitamin C Brightening Serum

A+ High Does Retinoid Serum

However, let’s say you want to put your hard earned money behind one product and one product only, that you’re hoping will make a big impact. My advice? Buy this and never look back:

Good Genes

Any questions? Feel free to ask below!



  1. Shweta
    11th July / 8:21 am

    Thank you so much for this review! I am always inundated with products And loose trace of what to use when!
    This 2 kits have been ordered
    PS totally agree on cult beauty – they are amazing!

    • Emily
      14th July / 12:09 am

      I am absolutely sure you will love them and if you have any questions at all feel free to email me and I’ll see if I can help!x

  2. Pippa
    11th July / 9:15 am

    I have the exact same overwhelmed anxiety as soo many options. Million dollar question, now you have your favourites which order to you use them in your skincare routine, before or after other products and moisturiser?! Especially good genes?

    • Emily
      14th July / 12:10 am

      Ok this is why I loved the kit because it told you exactly what order to wear everything.
      I put the good genes on after my vitamin a serum and after my retinol serum, so twice a day as a second step!

  3. Sofia
    13th July / 9:28 pm

    Do you use the Good genes serum and “leave it in”, then put the other serum or do you rinse in between serums? Do you still use a cream on top of all the serums?
    Thanks indeed for your reply.

    • Emily
      14th July / 12:11 am

      It’s a leave on! Although it can be worn as a mask and washed off. I have found it works best left on with moisturiser on top!

  4. Jules Barlan
    18th July / 12:21 pm

    Now that you’re in the UK, you should try the original Good Genes, with Lactic Acid – it is a holy grail product! We can’t get it in Europe/UK anymore 🙁 Your skin always looks amazing though 🙌 x

    • Jules Barlan
      18th July / 12:36 pm

      *meant US 🤦🏼‍♀️

  5. Amy
    24th November / 11:08 am

    You’re literally one of the only people who gives a truthful review and all the products you have recommended that I have used are always great x
    I will be giving them a go x

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