Review: Caudalie Vinoperfect Complexion Correcting Radiance Serum

caudalie_1Mmmm, grapes.

Since it’s Food Week in America, I might as well stick with the theme and review something from Caudalie, a French spa/skincare line that touts the power of grapes, which apparently are far more kick-ass than I ever knew. Kind of makes me wish I didn’t secretly throw out the grapes that my mother put in my lunchbox when I was a kid, or try to trade them for those little peanut-butter-cheese-cracker thingies (which, sadly, have not been shown to have any skincare value whatsoever).

Now that I am Older and Wiser, however, and no longer have the skin of a ten-year-old, I’m taking a fresh look at the restorative power of grapes. In the last several years there’s been oodles of research showing that many berries, including the humble grape, are potent sources of antioxidants, and that a lot of these antioxidants are concentrated in the skin of the berry. Fortunately, no need to try the Lucy Ricardo grape-stomping foot treatment to reap the benefits of this discovery — Caudalie has made the grape their signature ingredient, and almost all of their products include some portion of the grape: skin, seeds, pulp, or vine. Luxe skincare, no stomping required.

For some reason, I stayed away from the Caudalie line for a long time. I really don’t know why this is, except that the harder the sell is on a particular ingredient, the more I tend to resist. I am stupidly stubborn about some things; as I probably have mentioned before, I am a Sagittarius, and therefore I have four feet to dig into the ground in resistance, not just two. Anyway, that’s probably been one of my stupider decisions, from which I hope you can benefit.

During the recent Caudalie F&F sale (and with some other financial incentives that lowered the price considerably), I picked up the Caudalie Vinoperfect Complexion Correcting Radiance Serum. If you order from the Caudalie website, you also get to choose one of five free multi-product sample kits at checkout, all of which are very nice, so if you can find a way to order during a sale and take advantage of free shipping, etc., the what-you-get to what-you-spend ratio improves enough to make it a reasonable, though still spendy, splurge.

I was interested in this product because this fall, for the first time, I noticed some uneven pigmentation in my skin, which I suspect is due to a summer in which I did a lot of driving and probably didn’t have adequate UV protection on for the car. (I think this because the uneven pigmentation is on both the left side of my face and my left arm, both of which get more sun while driving than the right side.) I also had a place near my hairline in which some old acne discolorations had never really faded away, and I thought this serum might help with both — which, I am pleased to report, it has.

This serum comes with a squeezie eyedropper applicator, so you can drop the product onto your fingers one drop at a time, without ever needing to stick your hand in the jar. This is great, and helps keep the product free of skin oils and bacteria, so long as you don’t actually touch your finger with the dropper tip while you’re dispensing the product. I use it twice a day, as directed, after cleansing and toning and before applying other products. When applied to skin that is still slightly damp with toner, I only need about two drops to cover my whole face. So it’s not a cheap product, but at the rate I’m going, it will probably last four or five months, even with twice-daily application.

The product is thin and goes on smoothly, but as it soaks in it leaves skin with a level of moisture I usually expect from a much thicker product. It has a fragrance that I had some trouble identifying at first, but now I think it smells like grapefruit. I do perceive both a more even and radiant skin tone overall and a definite reduction in uneven pigmentation. My old acne discolorations are much reduced after about 6 weeks of use, and my new freckles are starting to disappear; if you are interested in products to reduce discoloration but don’t want to use hydroquinone, this would be worth checking out. Other moisturizers and makeup go over it easily, although you may find that you want a lighter follow-up moisturizer or night cream when you use this.

I haven’t yet dug into the sample kit I received (I chose the Vinexpert Anti-Aging Firming sample set, which includes generously sized samples of the Vinexpert Anti-Aging Eye and Lip Serum, Radiance Day Fluid, Night Infusion Cream, and Firming Serum), but now I’m kind of anxious to do so, since I’m so happy with the Vinoperfect Complexion Correcting Radiance Serum.


Caudalie Vinoperfect Complexion Correcting Radiance Serum: $79

Provenance: Purchased

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Oof. At full-price, this is expensive, but it lasts. I’ll give it a “fair.” However, if you can get it on sale or find it through another retailer for less, and especially if it comes with other Caudalie products for sampling, that can go up to “good.”

Purchase again? Probably, but I’ll really be trying to make my current bottle last until the next sale.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Let us know in the comments!)