Yes, the smell is pretty raunchy. But it dissipates quickly, so it's not really a factor. I really like this stuff. My skin feels firmer when I use it--I'm not sure it LOOKS any firmer, but I really believe that a large part of beauty lies in attitude, so this is a big plus for me. I've found that it works even better with the Vitamin C powder mixed in.
I'm somewhat undecided about this serum. I usually use the Cellex-C serum and then top it off with Cellex C Hydra serum and then Juice Beauty Antioxidant serum. While I was using this for a couple of days, it felt as though this was making my skin worse. I didn't feel protected from the environment or sun. I won't be purchasing this again as there are a lot better antioxidants out there for this price range.
I love how light and absorbent this serum is. I usually mix this stuff with the hope and a prayer a.m. powder in the mornings before I apply my laura mercier tinted moisturizer and the results are natural looking, smooth, healthy skin. The serum has a very thin syrupy texture but mixed with the a.m. powder, it turns to a watery liquid (probably due to chemical reaction with acids in powder). Needless to say, it's hard to apply a watery film to your face, but the results are worth it. Please try this with the a.m powder! The vit. C in the powder improves the effectiveness of your sunscreen while neutralizing free radical damage from the sun.
I'm currently using (and loving) the following philosophy products: purity made simple, when hope is not enough serum, hope in a jar (original formula), hope in a tube (eye and lip cream), and the 2-piece microdelivery peel. I don't think it's easy to review individual product results so I'll review as a whole with comments about the seperate products.
I have "normal" skin for the most part. I'm occasionally oily in the T-zone. I'm not seeing any signs of aging at 33. I'm not sensitive and rarely have any reactions to skincare. My biggest complaint is slightly rough skin texture. I do get a hormonal zit almost every month, but beyond that I have pretty okay skin. Since beginning using the philosophy "makeup optional" products, my skin texture has improved dramatically. My skin is soft and smooth. My pores are less visible and I think I have a bit more of an overall glow.
purity made simple: I think this is the best cleanser I've ever tried. I absolutely love the natural, herbal scent. It melts off all makeup, even mascara, and it doesn't sting my eyes! It doesn't strip or overdry my skin. I just feel clean and soft after washing. Love it! *****
when hope is not enough serum: Stinks! If you can get beyond the awful scent, this serum has a light, non-sticky texture that absorbs quickly. It has anti-oxidants and even a hair growth inhibitor. I'm not sure if my facial hair growth has slowed at all, but I'll keep using for the other benefits. **** UPDATE: Only my first bottle of this smelled bad. My next two purchases were "fresh herbal" scented.
hope in a jar: I love the scent of lavender. If you hate lavender, you may not like this cream. This has a really nice, light, almost whipped texture. It seems to be slightly pearly also which gives a healthy looking finish to skin as applied. It is not a heavy moisturizer. I'm crediting this for smoothing my skin texture. I don't know if this has a proper pH or % of AHA for exfoliation, but I'm happy with the results I'm seeing. *****
hope in a tube: I don't have eye lines or wrinkles so I can't comment of how this affects those issues. It seems to keep my eye area nicely moisturized and I'll continue to use it. ****
microdelivery peel: It's a nice citrus scrub that heats when an activating gel is applied. My skin really looks fresh, glow-y and is super soft after doing this peel. Love it! *****
I actually found the smell of this product very therapeutic too! Love the smell. This is a good serum, moisturizing but not greasy, sinks right into the skin, leaving my skin smooth and soft. Packaging is great w/ the dropper, I dont have problem getting the last few drops of the product, just tilt the bottle or if it's really to the last few drops, then I just directly pour out the product, no problem with that. No big deal. It lasts for a while, a little goes a long way. Retail is $35, but I say it's worth the money.
I have used this serum every morning for the past three months and I think it has improved my skin quite a bit. I can't say it's JUST this product because I've been using other things in conjunction with it but I remember the first couple weeks after adding this to my regimen, my skin had a nice glow and reduced redness. I sometimes use it at night, it depends on how my skin has been acting. I wish it was easier to get the last bit out of the bottle (I don't really like the eye dropper) but I will say that for the price ($35 retail, cheaper on ebay), it lasts quite a while. The scent doesn't bother me and it sinks in quickly to my skin...I don't feel oily or greasy when using this. I didn't have any breakouts (any more than usual) when starting this product (I have sometimes-sensitive, combo skin). I think my skin looks slightly firmer and I know my face overall looks a lot better. I like the thoughts of anti-oxidant power. I will continue to use this daily. Oh, and no more flaking around my mouth and nose, yippee!
I didn't truly appreciate this product until I stopped using it a couple months ago. I had been using this and Hope in a Jar daily for over a year and while I did like them, when they ran out I decided to use up some GWP from Clinique and Lancome to save money. Bad idea! The overall quality of my skin went downhill and I started to notice a lot of sagging. I'm 43 and a bit overweight, and sometimes my cheeks and jawline really droop, especially when I'm tired. Even though I was using Clinique's anti-gravity products, gravity was clearly winning. I decided looking younger was worth ponying up $35 for a new bottle of When Hope is Not Enough to see if it made a difference. After just a couple days, I was delighted to see my face back up where it's supposed to be! This product really helps reduce sagging under the chin, giving me a nice, firm neck instead of that dreaded double-chin. I also notice that regardless of whether it's summer or winter, my face never has dry, flaky spots anymore. Until I read others' reviews, I had forgotten about the product's claims to reduce facial hair, but now I realize that it has helped in that area, too. My one complaint would be that the packaging makes it difficult to get the last few drops out of the bottle. I add a couple drops of water and shake, then slightly increase the daily dose (I usually use 5 drops, undiluted) until the product is all gone.
Had been an avid Proactiv user for years (before that Murad and H2o prior to that.) Although Proactiv kept the blemishes at bay ('cept for those hormonal ones) it never felt like I was nourishing my skin. In the last month I've slowly and completely switched my entire skin care regimen to Philosophy. While purity is just that, very pure and simple and works well, I tried on a clear day super wash and was much happier with the results. So I've been using purity in the evenings with when hope is not enough serum and hope in a bottle for congested skin and the super wash in the morning with HIAB and their vitamin C powder. The super wash in the morning helps keep the mid-morning shine away when used together with HIAB and their vitamin c powder. I also apply on a clear day protection cream for maximum shine control before applying make-up. Agree that the products need to be used in conjuction with eachother to reap the most benefits. And by the way, on days when I'm feeling bold and running quick errands and I go without much make-up, using the super wash and HIAB with the vitamin c powder but skipping the protection cream still keeps the shine at bay for a while. The fragrance isn't that great, ergo the four lipies, and I can't quite tell if the serum is really helping or not. The positive affirmations on each product are a nice touch.
I got a bottle of this in a try me kit from QVC and like it pretty well. I have to confess to being bothered by the pine-y smell somehwat, as others have been. However, it doesn't linger, and the serum seems very effective otherwise, so I think I'd buy again. I have sensitive middle-aged skin. Finding this pretty effective to boost moisturization. Also, may be helping reduce facial redness (not sure, since I've also started using microdelivery peel pads and hard to know which of the two is helping me a lot - or the combo? I've been alternating these two, one night serum, one night pad, both nights topping with when hope is not enough replenishing cream). Good results! Knocked a point off for the scent.
Love it! This was my favorite item (along with the microdelivery peel) from the kit. I have normal to combo skin, slightly acne-prone - no breakouts from this, unlike HIAJ (did not do well w/that moisturizer). Sinks in well, and leaves a matte finish...nothing greasy. The smell doesn't bother me at all - I find it rather therapeutic! The apothecary bottle is very cute, and very hygenic. Huge rave!