The Battle of the Serums

We all love a good serum, right?  And in a genuis ploy from the skincare manufacturers marketing teams we are all now told that it’s no longer enough just to moisturise, you need to get in the heavy serum artillery beforehand too.

You can’t help be skeptical sometimes, and when a recent study showed that the average woman in the UK will spend an eye-watering £18k over a lifetime of face-product purchases, it does kind of make you wonder about the influence the marketeers have over your buying decisions.

But in the case of serum, it really does appear to “go deeper” (‘scuse the pun) than just a means of making us part with more of our hard-earned cash.  You see, these products seem to be the key to making everything else we use work harder.

Importantly though, you have to apply some logic to proceedings, but we are women and we do that anyway so it goes without saying, huh?  Once your skin is prepared in the normal way – cleansed, toned and whatnot, what then goes onto nourish your skin needs to be done in “thinnest first” order – of course the thinner product (ie the serum) is typically designed to be super concentrated and fast-penetrating, so it sinks into the skin priming it before the application of more viscose, thicker products – moisturiser usually, enabling it to more easily do it’s thing.

The serums work at a whole different level to the moisturisers – within the skin rather than on it. The idea is they hydrate, strengthen and balance from within, whilst the moisturisers act on the visible surface of the skin.

I have always loved Clarins products and I’ve been a massive fan of their Hydra Quench Serum for years now and it seems to perfectly suit my skin which is in the 40+ age bracket, and with a tendency to be slightly dry.  It’s about £35-£43 for a 30ml bottle that comes with a simple pump system.  I use it 1-2 times a day, literally one “squirt” is all I need, and I find that a bottle usually lasts me a good 4-5 months, so the value for money is fantastic.  It’s slightly thinner than a serum in the traditional sense but it feels so silky smooth on the skin and I instantly feel hydrated the second I have applied it, even though it’s still doing it’s work deep down under the visible surface of the skin.    It somehow seems to prepare my skin perfectly for whatever moisturiser or night cream I go on to apply over it, though it leaves no residue or oiliness on top of the skin that you can see or feel, just a light smoothness that feels so luxurious.  I literally can’t live without this serum now.

So, imagine my internal conflict when a friend introduced me to the Younique Uplift Eye Serum (£50 for  14 ml) and told me it was the best anti-ageing serum she had ever come across.  Well of course I wanted to try it, but in all honesty was a little put off by some of the hype…. “botox in a bottle” “liquid gold” and a quick google search of just some of the reviews on this product will turn up some really big claims which always makes me a little skeptical.  That said, just looking at some of the before and after pictures which seem to be pretty genuine did pique my interest enough to give it a go.

Now it’s early days for me, I’m about 15-20 days in and actually I do really like it.  I honestly think I can see a slight reduction in the fine lines around my eyes (sorry, I am way to vain to do the “one eye only” test that a lot of people have been brave enough to do to better measure the results) but so far have used it on my eyes only (it is marketed as an eye serum after all), whereas the Clarins one I use on the whole of my face.

I have a couple of teeny tiny issues with the Uplift Eye Serum though – first up it’s even thinner than the Clarins serum, with a more “oily” consistency.  But that makes sense doesn’t it… if you are trying to counteract dryness and lines, you need to inject some oiliness to proceedings don’t you?  However what that means for me is that I don’t like to apply it directly before make-up because whereas the Clarins one sinks completely into the skin, the Younique one leaves a very slight oily residue on the surface for a short while.  That in itself though does serve to make the surface of the eye around the skin look immediately more hydrated but for me personally, I don’t feel its the ideal surface onto which to apply make-up.  I do love putting it on at night though, or if you have the luxury of being able to apply it to the eyes and then go off and do your hair or feed the kids and then apply your make up after about 20-minutes or so, then that would be fine.

My other, really small pernickety issue is with the dispense method.  The lid is a screw-top pipette, or dropper.  Makes it look really laboratorial and teccy from a purely aesthetic perspective, but if you don’t screw the lid on properly or knock it over, that’s your lovely liquid gold all over your clothes / dressing table!  Also, if you’re a bit cack-handed like me (I don’t use a dressing table, my makeup and skincare are usually strewn over my knees somewhere) then it’s quite a fiddle to dispense and apply the product whilst holding the bottle.  But that’s a subjective thing, I’m really splitting hairs now.

But the positives by far outweigh the negatives.  I literally only use one drop per eye meaning that this 14ml is going to go a heck of a long way.  And a lot of people out there seem to be using it elsewhere on their faces (forehead creases and fine lines around the mouth especially seem to be dramatically diminished using this serum) so now I am happy with the effect it’s having around my eyes, I will also be trying it out elsewhere on my face too.

So in the battle of Clarins Hydra Quench Serum versus Younique Uplift Serum, I’ve had to conclude that there is enough room in my life for me to continue using both products.  I do feel I get different things from them both and they seem to perfectly complement each other as part of my overall skincare regimen.  If someone was to dangle me from a bridge to pick a favourite, I’d definitely say the Clarins edges it and as I can’t fault it in any way, it gets a firm 5/5 for me, but you’d be pressed to get a serum that gives more dramatic anti-ageing results than the Younique, but those aforementioned niggles have lost them a point from me, but still earned it a very worthy 4/5.

Be interested to hear your experiences of either product, and if anyone does fancy giving the Younique Uplift Serum ago you can do so via this link.

Stay youthful ladies!


5 stars (Clarins Hydra Quench Serum)

4 stars(Younique Uplift Eye Serum)


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