We Tried Every Product From Sunday Riley — Here's What We Thought

Between Wild Wild Country and the endlessly disturbing details of the NXIVM bust, cults are dominating the mainstream news cycle in a way they haven't since 1969. And yet, provided you're not breaking any laws, having a "cult following" remains a very good, generally benign thing.

That is exactly what Sunday Riley has — a breathless legion of devoted fans and Sephora VIBs who worship the smart, high-performance skin-care line as if it's the only one on earth. The brand (which is named after a real person, by the way; she just prefers to stay behind-the-scenes at the company) has taken the beauty industry by storm with a relatively curated lineup of 18 highly covetable products, which is no small feat for an independent company based out of Houston, Texas.


While we can't possibly confirm whether or not the lineup will work for your
skin, we can say that all 18 are worth giving a shot, if only to size up their five-star reputations for yourself. So what are you waiting for? Maybe it's time to try the brand out for yourself.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. The product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment

Arguably the line's buzziest — and best-loved — product, this multitasking formula contains everything your skin needs to become a brighter, clearer version of itself. Does it slightly smell like milk that someone squeezed a lemon into? It does indeed, thanks to the high concentration of lactic acid. But this tingly treatment works so well at creating fresher, smoother skin overnight, it's easy to overlook the scent.
Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment$85.00 Buy

Good Genes Glycolic Acid Treatment

ICYMI, Sunday Riley also has a glycolic acid version of the bestselling Good Genes. It's got a similar creamy texture and exfoliating benefits, but with a more noticeable tingle factor.
Sunday Riley Good Genes Glycolic Acid Treatment$85.00 Buy

Luna Sleeping Night Oil

This retinoid oil earns high marks across the board for its plumping, fine line-fading properties. What's special about this bright-blue solution, in addition to the fact that it smells uncannily like beef jerky, is that it seeks to bust the myth that retinoids are always drying, instead working to reduce redness, calm irritation, and leave skin soothed — and not even a little bit blue.
Sunday Riley Luna Retinol Sleeping Night Oil$105.00 Buy

A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum

This potent retinol serum is no joke. Featuring a 6.5% concentration of retinol ester (a "storage" form of retinol that is converted into retinoid), this bright yellow formula works wonders to smooth and invigorate your complexion.
Sunday Riley A+ High-Dose Retinol Serum$85.00 Buy

C.E.O Glow Vitamin C + Turmeric Face Oil

This glow-boosting face oil contains vitamin C (in the form of THD ascorbate), plus turmeric and a base of raspberry seed oil. In addition to offering instantly hydrated, glowing skin, it helps make dull skin and dark spots a thing of the past with continued use over time.
Sunday Riley C.E.O Glow Vitamin C + Turmeric Face Oil$80.00 Buy

ICE Ceramide Moisturizing Cream

This intensely nourishing, ceramide-enriched face cream is pretty much the opposite of the Tidal water-gel moisturizer. It has a thick, creamy texture, and a noticeably sweet (all natural) scent. However, if you're looking for round-the-clock hydration and calming benefits, this will do the trick.
Sunday Riley ICE Ceramide Moisturizing Cream$65.00 Buy

Clean Rinse Clarifying Scalp Serum

This glycolic- and salicylic acid-infused scalp serum marks Sunday Riley's first foray into hair care. (If you think about it, the scalp is also skin, so it's not too much of a stretch.) While it doesn't offer the tingling, clarifying benefits that you may be used to from certain scalp products, it did leave my roots feeling cleaner than just using shampoo and conditioner.
Sunday Riley Clean Rinse Clarifying Scalp Serum$48.00 Buy

Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask

Packed with 10% sulfur, 4% niacinamide, and a handful of other antibacterial ingredients like tea tree oil, turmeric, and manuka, this mask goes on bright green and rinses away to reveal smoother skin free of planet-sized zits. That said, it's best for the mild-to-moderate acne sufferer who's concerned with whiteheads and occasional breakouts; if you're concerned with more hormonal activity or have highly reactive skin, look elsewhere. (And, as with all acne products, for some people it won't do much of anything at all.)
Sunday Riley Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask$55.00 Buy

Ceramic Slip Cleanser

The brand recently reformulated one of its first products, the Ceramic Slip cleanser, to be gentler on sensitive skin that couldn't handle the potent deep-cleansing properties of the original. The new formula — which is a blend of various clays and non-foaming surfactants — is indeed gentler, but depending on how oily you are, might not get the same deep clean feeling from the original.
Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser$35.00 Buy

C.E.O. C + E Antioxidant Protect + Repair Moisturizer

With a rich texture best described as buttery, this faintly citrus-scented moisturizer isn't suitable for daytime use, except for the very, very dry. But its potent combination of vitamin C, gentle chemical exfoliants, and a fruit-basket worth of oils and extracts make it an excellent reparative night treatment, without being too heavy.
Sunday Riley C.E.O. C + E antiOXIDANT Protect + Repair Moisturizer$65.00 Buy

U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil

This fast-absorbing dry oil redefines salicylic acid the way Luna does retinoids: by putting the typically drying ingredient in a well-balanced formula that keep skin smooth and hydrated, not parched and flaky. It smells like sticking your head in a spice cabinet, but for acne sufferers in pursuit of minimized breakouts and a newfound glow, it's worth a shot.
Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil$80.00 Buy

C.E.O. C + E Micro-Dissolve Cleansing Oil

You probably won't notice major brightening results from any one cleanser alone, but this is an excellent cleansing oil for all skin types regardless. It's full of fatty acids to nourish as it dissolves makeup and grime, and natural AHAs and BHAs are a solid addition for gentle exfoliation.
Sunday Riley C.E.O. C + E Micro-Dissolve Cleansing Oil$38.00 Buy

Auto Correct Brightening and Depuffing Eye Contour Cream

This hydrating eye cream, like many eye creams, is divisive. If you believe in a special moisturizer for the half-moon area under your eyes, then this one is excellent for brightening up dark circles and depuffing (especially when stored in the fridge); if you can think of 65 better uses for $65, then skip. Unless, of course, you're feeling open-minded... in which case, it wouldn't be the first time this formula in particular made an eye-cream skeptic change their tune.
Sunday Riley Auto Correct Brightening and Depuffing Eye Cream$65.00 Buy

C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum

Our first impression was that this is the strongest-smelling vitamin C serum we've ever gotten a whiff of — fortunately, in the fresh-squeezed O.J. way, not the dreaded copper-penny kind. With a slightly heavier feel than we've come to expect from serums, this formula feels rich and nourishing and works as a nice dewy base under makeup, though it's a bit too greasy for use on oily skin.
Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum$85.00 Buy

Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil

It smells funky and might leave oil stains on your pillowcases if you get overzealous with it (and you're probably going to get overzealous with it — it's that good), but this oil, jam-packed with vitamins and cold-pressed seed oils, is truly brightening, and leaves our skin looking like we've never seen the sun or environmental pollution in our lives.
Sunday Riley Juno Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil$90.00 Buy

Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream

The name might bring the ocean to mind, but this water-cream hybrid does much more than hydrate: Its most targeted function is as a brightening treatment that uses dark spot-diminishing alpha-arbutin and papaya enzymes to clarify skin and fade discoloration. But this formula also provides immediate satisfaction in the form of a dreamy cooling sensation that makes skin feel instantly refreshed.
Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream$65.00 Buy

Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm

We can confirm that, if you close your eyes and use your imagination while massaging this luxe cleansing balm over your face, you might almost — almost — be able to forget that you're in your bathroom and not an actual spa. Yes, it also removes makeup and leaves skin feeling super fresh and clean, but any old cleanser can do that. This one is an experience (which, for $50, it should be).
Sunday Riley Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm$50.00 Buy

Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner

If mattifying is a major concern for you, then this unique toner — it transforms from a lightweight gel to easily-absorbed liquid — will do the trick, using bentonite clay to minimize shine all day long. It might be too drying for more sensitive, less problematic skin types that need a bit more moisture, but it smells like cucumber water, which is nice.
Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner$55.00 Buy
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