4 Fast Reviews of Pricey New Skincare Products from SK-II, Lancôme, Estée Lauder and Josie Maran

Published in: Product Reviews, Skin Care

4 Skincare Product Reviews

Here are some of the skincare products I’ve put through the old testing ringer lately. Most of them are fairly new, like released within the past couple of months or so, but one of them, Josie’s Argan Cleansing Oil, came out back in summer.


The Cleansing Oil also happens to be the only one of these that sells for less than $80, so these are things up in the premium category, which, one would hope, means that they’re all incredibly awesome, right?

Let’s find out. 🙂

SK-II Skin Signature Eye Cream ($110 for a 0.5-oz. jar)

Luxury line SK-II is hooked on Pitera. It’s the brand’s signature ingredient, and it appears in everything across their entire line.

So what is Pitera?

In the company’s words, it’s a “…singular blend of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids that work together to help restore the appearance of your skin’s outer layers, by enabling the skin’s natural surface rejuvenation process to function at its prime.”

Ok, but what is it?

Well, it’s derived from yeast fermentation, and its history traces back about 30 years to a Japanese saké brewery…

No, fo’ reals! That’s when a scientist noticed that the hands of workers at the brewery looked surprisingly beautiful and young. A bunch of research later, a team of scientists that had been trying to get to the bottom of it think they figured out why, and they packaged up the secret formula and called it Pitera.

SK-II touts it as a “miracle water” used to regenerate, hydrate and restore balance to skin, and it’s in their new Signature Eye Cream, which hit counters last month.

It costs an arm and a leg, but it’s probably one of the most hydrating high-end eye creams I’ve ever tried. I’m serious — it’s crazy moisturizing! And it layers well beneath makeup, too.

I’m still waiting to see proof of its purported power to eliminate under-eye circles and firm the skin, but my normally parched eye area feels hella hydrated when I’m using this and looks fresh and dewy all day long.

For straight up moisture, this stuff is tops. Of course, it’s also brutally expensive.

Estée Lauder Resilience Lift Night Firming/Sculpting Face and Neck Creme ($80 for a 1.7-oz. jar)

The actual application of Estée Lauder Resilience Lift Night brings me great joy. There’s something so sweet, soothing and comforting about the rosy apple scent that reminds me of hugging my mom.

Part of the line’s new Lift Firming/Sculpt Collection of moisturizers and treatments, it’s not the most moisturizing cream I’ve ever used, but I sure do like the fluffy texture and the scent.

It’s supposed to tighten and firm aging skin; that’s the big selling point, but I haven’t really noticed much in either respect. I do like slathering it on at night, though, as part of my bedtime ritual, on account of the scent, the texture, how quickly it absorbs and because it doesn’t leave behind a sticky layer of goo.

Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil ($32 for a 6-oz. bottle)

Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil launched back in the summer as a skin-healthy makeup remover/cleanser with Josie’s trademark ingredient, Argan Oil.

I love the way it feels — velvety, rich and yet not greasy at all — and the list of ingredients, which is refreshingly brief. Josie says that 80% of the ingredients, which include a few antioxidants to go with the argan oil, are certified organic.

While it removes most of my makeup with aplomb, it struggles with waterproof products and long-wearing eye stuff. Big points for the recipe and paws up for being cruelty free, but it leaves my skin feeling a little tight after I rinse it off.

Might be better for gals who don’t wear a lot of long-wearing/waterproof products, and who don’t have combination or dry skin.

Lancôme Visionnaire Serum ($84 for a 1-oz. bottle)

Lancôme recently launched Visionnaire Serum to fade uneven skin tone and reduce the appearance of pores and wrinkles.

Sounds good, right?

But then there’s the price. Eighty-four dollars ($84) for one tiny little ounce, which means it costs just about as much as caviar…

I will say that I think Lancôme got the texture down pat with this, though, because it feels no heavier than a feather sitting on my skin, so gals who don’t like heavy skincare products might really like that.


I used it for about two months, always looking for signs of a reduction in my pores and wrinkles, and again didn’t really see much.

Great texture and a nice, uplifting floral scent are my favorite things about this serum, but I don’t think those are enough to make up for the price…

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. So how’s it going out yonder way? What are we having for dinner tonight (I’m starved!)?


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So far, 16 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. I just made some chicken with beans, and plantains. What you eating? I am using Visionarre now too. Haven’t used it long enough to have a review.

  2. Hafsa says:

    Oh I love this! Four quick reviews on products I’ve actually been wanting to try! I’ve always been curious about the SK-II line, I’ve heard great things about the line, particularly their serums. But $200 bucks is a lot! If you see some noticible change in your eyes I’d love to hear a more in depth review!!

  3. I’ve had my eye on the Josie Maran cleansing oil after really liking some of her other products – do you find it’s too much for dry skin?
    The Blossom Shed Beauty Blog recently posted … Friday Frock (on time as well!)

  4. Tracy says:

    Hey dinner was just frozen pizza here, but it wasn’t bad actually!! Hope you’re having something better!
    I love the Sk-II masks. They are just the best. Always wondered about some of the other products.
    I didn’t notice any changes with the Lancome either.Nothing.
    Happy Friday Karen!
    Tracy recently posted … Tarina Tarantino Sparklicity Pure Adds Sparkles To The Holidays!

  5. Lenita says:

    great post karen! i’m starting to invest more in skincare, and we’re around the same age, so would love to see more posts like these, thanks!

  6. Carolyn says:

    I’ve been eying the Josie Maran cleansing oil, though with my sensitive skin I’m always hesitant to pull the trigger on new cleansing products. Anyone with oily/acne-prone skin given this a try?
    Carolyn recently posted … Sephora Holiday Prep Kit Review

  7. Heidi says:

    Great reviews. I’ve just started using a new cleanser that I’m loving. It’s the store brand from Whole Foods 365. It’s like their version of Cetaphil and I’m liking it very much. Haven’t tried it yet to take off a full face of makeup so we’ll see how effective it is, but it’s very soothing and not at all drying, which is nice in the cold weather.

    Dinner tonight was leftover pumpkin mac and cheeze (vegan). So yummy!

  8. I have always wanted to try Josie Maran’s cleansing oil. Seems a little pricy for me. I do love her Argan Oil and 40+ sunscreen.
    Shannon Mackey recently posted … MAC Studio Moisture Cream Review

  9. Natalia says:

    I live in Japan but never tried SK-II. It’s so expensive even in Japan. I’m not ready to pay about 100 dollars for each product. But I adore their spokesperson Koyuki. You can remember her from Last Samurai.

    By the way, did you know that SK-II is Max Factor brand?

  10. Vonvon says:

    I have been seeing Visionnaire around, but I couldn’t score any sample here to try it out, as their previous Genefique broke me out time! I just want to be more cautious, though other Lancome products have been working well for me.
    Vonvon recently posted … Lipsticks That I Own

  11. Em says:

    Going to the grandparents house 2nite so I’m sure we’ll have some amazing home cooked meal! I really like the look of the Cleansing Oil but do you think it would make me break out?

  12. PS says:

    I’ve been using Lorealage perfect for mature skim golden balm for my eyes. Love it. Really soothing & it’s a nice thick cream that absorbs well. I have found that it has made a difference. Seems to be just as good as the really expensive brands.

  13. Nina says:

    i tried SKII a while back and i dont think it agreed w/ my skin.

    im happy w/ my current skincare lineup but out of those 4, i am most curious about the josie maran cleansing oil. 🙂

  14. Jasmine says:

    I use Visionnaire and the texture of my skin is much soother and my fine lines are really reduced. I think people often forget this is a correcting serum not a moisturizer and you only need to use a pea sized amount for your whole face. I have had my bottle since August and it’s still half full so…. Also since it is not a moisturizer you need to use one with it to get results, High Resolution 3X gets my vote!

    Thanks for the SK-II review, their products always sound wonderful and I’m glad ti hear they actually live up to their claims.

  15. Great reviews, especially the Lancome Serum.
    Beauty and the Scientist recently posted … EOTD: Purples

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