Monday, 26 October 2015

Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum

I should start this post with an apology. There are a few product reviews coming your way this week and they're none of them cheap. They're all LUSH, but we're not talking £20 here. We're not even talking £50.00. In most cases we're over £100.00. 
Same rule applies as always though, if you can't afford it, please don't buy it. Simples.
If you would spend that amount on shoes or a handbag however, and have pictures of said shoes or handbag on your Instagram openly for all to see, please save your 'HOW MUCH?' comments for another time. If you choose to spend your hard-earned money on shoes or bags but not products, that's 100% your call and your business. 
No, I would not spend £400 on a face serum (well I haven't been persuaded thus far), but I wouldn't spend that on shoes either so..... choose your priorities. Your money. Your call. Same for me.

With that (slightly borderline rant) out of the way, Vintner's Daughter is one of my three favourite serum oils around at the moment. The others are coming your way this week.

What is it?
'Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum is a luxurious multi-correctional infusion of 22 of the world’s most active organic and wildcrafted botanicals.'
Right. A lovely serum/oil then.

Who is it for?
Everyone. Although I would personally would recommend to someone slightly older - i.e. 30+.

What’s in it?

Possibly acne/allergy/troubling for some ingredients?
essential oils

Natural? Organic? Man made? Vegan?
organic/natural - no definitive list of what is organic vs natural on the site. I assume it's organic and high quality naturals - most 100% organic products bang on about it so much that it's hard to miss ;) 

Tested on animals/sold in China?

What's not in it?
synthetic fragrances

How do you use it?/Where to use in your routine?
1/3 dropper into the palm of your hand, therapist swipe, straight onto skin. Massage in.
I've been using about 1/3 of a dropper directly on to my skin, underneath moisturiser to counteract the drying/flaking effects of my prescription retinoid. 

What’s good about it?
I'm not great with jargon at the best of times. This is a lovely formulation. It gives 'oomph' to the skin - especially a mature skin, and more importantly, an extra cushion of oil in faces that may need it more, as we all tend to do at this time of year.  The formula is very nicely refined and absorbs beautifully. I'm really enjoying using it - and my skin loves it.

There is more information on the Vintner's Daughter website here but it's very jargon-heavy, be warned.

What’s not so good about it?
A grapeseed oil is not the most expensive base, but it does contain a whole host of other oils and leaves including dandelion, nettle and alfalfa - 22 to be exact.
I personally like the smell, but it is strong, so worth bearing in mind if you aren't keen on essential oils/scents.

'Gives Good Glow' score - 8/10

Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum is £150.00 and available from or
$185.00 from 

Similar products?
Sjal Bio-Regeneratif Serum -
Anne Semonin 100% Active Serum -
Sunday Riley Luna/Artemis/Flora -
Perricone MD Chia Serum -


  1. Hi, Wich serum would you recommend for a dehydrated combination skin? I'm 27 and since I moved to London my skin became more sensitive, dehydrated and oily in the T-zone. :/ Love your blog. Thanks for sharing your reviews and advice. ( sorry for posting a comment not related to the post, but I'm kind off desperate )

  2. Hello Caroline, thank you for taking the time to write all of these lovely reviews. I was wondering how this product compares to Zelens Z22 which is what I am currently using. Many thanks and best wishes Bxx

  3. I love the sound of this & think it is worth investing in skincare more than make-up! xx


  4. Well, now....I bought a pair of $400 Jimmy Choo boots (that were, even at that price, on sale 50%) and they have lasted me more than 10 years, and still look fantastic. The longest I have ever gotten out of a skincare product was 8-12 months. I also don't see the point in paying for the "violet glass" that was blown by venetian elves under the full moon.

    I am a major fan of SR's Juno.

    But I commend you, Caroline, for taking the time to review these products for us people on the inter-web. This particular product surely classifies as "skincare porn."

    1. Agreed, it's not a fair comparison as skincare does not last very long but designer shoes and especially bags can last decades. Cost per wear...

      But this is coming from a shoe junkie and I'm always curious to know what the justification behind such expensive prices on skincare is.

    2. But your skin lasts you your life time.

  5. What really caught my attention was the mention of "prescription retinoid" (sorry!) Really looking forward to that review/opinion/method etc!!!

  6. Thank you Caroline! I always say l, "everyone spends their money differently"

  7. Yes, would love love love to get your take on prescription retinoids. I've been on one for several years for acne, and now that my skin is cleared up, I'm still using it for it's other skin benefits (my skin has never looked better). But you're the skin goddess, what are your thoughts?

  8. I think for anyone with a bit of sense, if you can't afford it, you can't afford it. I don't have a problem with reading reviews for things I can't afford, just if that's all you post then I'm the sort of person that will wander off because there is only so much 'pressing my nose against the glass' I'm going to do. No point in torturing yourself. (FWIW I bought the Dr Brandt resurfacing serum on offer at - £65 ish, that's about the top of my budget, like a pay day treat, very top of my budget, not a regular occurrence. I have some *really* cheap moisturiser because kids need shoes more than I need 'stuff').

    On a total aside. Any good recommendations for cleaners for teenage boys would very much be appreciated.. (in a blog post, not personally I might add - like a mention in the post for something affordable because there are three of them here and they have no concept of portion control!).

  9. I have been using a prescription retinoid for a short time, I have found my skin will tolerate every third night, but when I increase to every other night my skin gets very chapped looking. Do you use it nightly? What other products do you like to rotate it with?

  10. As a relative of someone who recently has had a facelift but has never used proper skincare all her life, I am always surprised by people's priorities! I imagine how her skin might have looked if she had invested that huge amount of money into swapping out her oil of olay moisturiser (the original pink one!) for something more benefitial and preventative. (By the way, she has an envious shoe wardrobe!) I only recently discovered her lack of skincare knowledge and pointed her straight to your website and booked her in to a facial with someone I know knows what they're doing. She's invested so much in her face now, she needs to invest in its upkeep now more than ever.

  11. Caroline, I agree with you. Everyone have their own priorities, even if maybe it doesn't make sense to someone else, it's their right. I have a price limit for everythiing, bags, shoes, even for skincare I draw the lines. This much for serums, that much for cleanser, etc etc.
    With that being said.. I haven't even tried SR juno/artemis/flora and now thiss.. Well at least you said it's better for 30+ so I guess I can postpone my wishlist.

  12. Sounds gorgeous - wish I had hundreds of pounds to spend on skincare..

    Emily x

  13. Hola Caroline!! Thanks for the honest and clear reviews. Your emails are the first thing I read every morning :o)
    I have one request/question. I am 39 and my skin is quite OK, after following all your recommendations (from the double cleansing to shamelessly copying your routines on Instagram). However this summer I was diagnosed with premature menopause. My hormones dropped drastically and unexpectedly. So aside of the obvious sad effects of not being able to get pregnant, the hot flashes and more... I know my skin will also suffer a lot of changes, too soon! Are there any basic products that you would recommend me to add to my routine? Would you be willing to post something about this? I have learned that this is a common condition and according to the 3 doctors I have seen, they are getting more and more cases of women like me, or even younger, with early menopause. I would really appreciate your help! Thanks!!

  14. Could you use Tata' Harper's Replenishing Complex in the same way? (under moisturizer to counteract tretinion's flaking) Even on days where you're wearing makeup?

  15. Dear Mrs Hirons,
    I'm curious to know if you've ever tried any of the Transderma serums (Swedish brand). They're quire expensive, but I'm curious to know if they are worth the splurge or if there are other products you would recommend.
    I'm looking for a serum to help my dehydrated, sensitive skin that needs the extra omph - radiance, a bit of 'youth' and a lot of hydration. Have probably quite few wrinkles for my age (39), only a few 'laugh wrinkles' around my eyes, but you should always be preventative, right?! ;)
    I do get some break-outs, or rather deep pimples, but mostly during ovulation or if I've been stressed/worked too much during a period. I can get a bit red on my cheeks, especially now that the weather is changing and we have cold outside and heating is turned on inside.
    Would appreciate your advice, or at least comments on the Transderma serums.
    I just came across your youtube channel (and then your blog) a month or so ago, but you have already made me reconsider how to spend my money (face care vs. make-up), find some new favourite products and to double-cleanse! So you are never to old to learn and do things differently! A big Thank you for that, and for being highly educational and entertaining at the same time! I now look forward to every new post (be it youtube, blog or instagram) from you. Thanks!
    Best regards from Sweden :)

  16. Thanks as always, Mrs. Hirons for the level-headed review.

    Yes, this serum is far too expensive for me. What I've found that works for me is to find two or three less expensive serums and combine them in my hand to get the best mix of beneficial oils and ingredients; e.g., Nude Rescue Oil with some carrot seed oil and maybe some Evan Healy serum. That way I can also customize the oil/serum depending on the weather, how my skin is feeling, etc. Mountain Rose Herbs site in the U.S. is a lovely way to buy less expensive carrier oils and specialist oil to either mix your own serums, or just add select oils into your existing regime. Boots Organics also has some inexpensive serum/oils that can be used as a sort of "starting point" to custom mixes.

  17. Mrs Hirons - I recently purchased the Kypris Moonlight Catalyst and Antioxidant Dew and use Nia24's "chemical" sunscreen. I thought these products would help heal the NINE major spots I picked and re picked recently on my face (stress picking, usually im good at resisting). It seems like they are taking forever to heal. What can I use to help the healing process along? I would greatly appreciate any suggestions. My current routine follows your regimes

  18. Evening Mrs Hirons
    Thank you so much for this review I was just looking at this very serum/oil on cult beauty, and decided to look for some more information as A I had never heard of it before and B it is quite expensive. Lucky coincidence its on your blog! Can't wait to see how the week pans out with the rest of your reviews. I am half way through a bottle of Zelens anti age serum and my skin is loving it so far, so not sure whether to stick or change yet. On another note I'm really enjoying your weekly vlogs really brightens my Sunday evenings so thank you so much for all your hard work it is very much appreciated. You really are a mind of information thank you for sharing much love and respect ��

  19. even though you suggest it's for 30+ I think i would try it in winter to support my skin
    Yukova Fashion and Beauty Blog

  20. Hi please could someone help me? I've very recently started a facial routine of Oskia cleansing gel, pixi glow tonic, then serum then moisturiser am and pm. Should i also be using an exfoliant every few days as well? Or is the pixi glow tonic enough to exfoliate? Thank you!

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. Hi Caroline,
    First of all I love, love, love your blogs. Here I have a quick question: have you ever tried SK-II products?

  23. Love the blog and your YouTube channel, so fantastic! I will turn 30 this December and I've found you just in time, my skin is changing for the better every day since I started reading. I've been slowly adding more active and proven products into my routine as my budget allows and I 100% agree with your "if you'd spend it on a bag" thinking, I've only got one face after all. I've been struggling with how to give some of the most pricey items a fair trial on my skin without truly breaking the bank though. Do you have any recommendations for obtaining samples? I know Sephora will give some out on request but I'm not often near any of their stores (likewise with most stores you mention as I'm in the U.S.) and their online samples *with purchase* are typically fragrances, not skin care. I know some brands will allow me to return a product if it doesn't work out, but that leaves me out the shipping fees and I'd much rather not waste such a large amount of expensive product if I could get a sample instead. Any tips?

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. I fully expect a well chosen, and well cared for pair of Jimmy's or other designer goods to look good for decades. The question is, will you? Good skincare is cumulative. Invest in your face! That's where people look first, no matter how fab the shoes.

  26. who care about "sold in china" more in interested in NOT "made in China"

    1. Because even if a product is not made in China but sold there it has to be tested on animals

  27. Question here...I currently have Vintners Daughter and adore it. My question is can I cocktail it or wear it over/under Sunday Rileys Luna which I also love??? Thanks for any input,
    Sarah W.