Take Three: We Tried The $$$ Cult Beauty Serum Vintner’s Daughter

If you’ve been checking up on Bleu since we first launched this bad girl just one month ago from today (insert celebration, praise hands, champagne popping emojis here), you’ll likely already know a couple of very important things about us. First, our editors love beauty! As in, we are borderline obsessed with everything in the name of makeup, skincare, haircare, and more. And, because we have the opportunity to test some of the latest and greatest products in the biz, we don’t horse around. We seek the full truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; we’ll always shoot you straight. Because after all, products are expensive (like, astronomically expensive at times, *cough* La Mer) and we don’t want you spending your hard-earned cash money on something that provides anything but reach-for-the-stars, over-the-fence, world-series kind of results. When we recommend something, we 10 out of 10 recommend it, regardless of whether the product was gifted or not. And what works for one of us, might not always have the same results for someone else on our team. Sometimes the product is a total flop. That’s the beauty in beauty though, isn’t it? Different strokes for different folks, continuously being curious about the industry, and allowing yourself the space to gather all necessary information to find out what’s going to be best for you in the end.

Now that we’ve gotten that disclaimer out of the way, our editors are back with three fresh perspectives on a product that’s been causing much chatter around the Interwebs for several years now: Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum. We gave this one a fair go, with some editors having already worked their way well through the bottle and more. If you’ve been debating whether to splurge on this luxe beauty oil, allow us to offer up our various takes. Hopefully, it can offer a semblance of clarity in a very oversaturated consumer world.

Twenty-something, Senior Managing Editor, Tiana Lewis

“I have to admit, I’m not your typical beauty consumer. Not only did I grow up with a hairdresser as a mother, I was also born into a generation where any tip, review, or hack could be accessed with a few simple strokes of a keyboard or swipes on a screen. Instagram has replaced my glossy magazine pages; YouTube is my Bible. I’ve said it time and time again; I live and breathe all things hair, skin, and nails, and it’s been that way for as long as I can remember. I will probably die buried with a backup of my beloved oil-free sunscreen. You want me to shave my face? Done. Rub a painful brush all over my body to ‘improve circulation’? Already did it. All this to say: I love beauty, and I’m willing to try (almost) anything at least once.

When Vintner’s Daughter started trending, I knew I needed it. I understand that may be a bit hyperbolic, but altogether appropriate in this situation. I needed it. Until I saw the price tag.  You see, the thing about being born into a generation where beauty is so easily accessible, doesn’t negate the fact that most of us so-called millennials are borderline broke. I would test the product in-store and come purchase time, would always take my foot off the gas because I just couldn’t justify the price. Until alas, after much waiting and anticipation, I finally got my hands on a bottle.

The best word to describe my mindset going into the entire Vintner’s Daughter craze is this: curious. I was eager to test the serum everyone had been raving about, but I was also apprehensive about what exactly it could do for my super oily, acne-prone skin. Here’s what I noticed almost immediately, and do keep in mind that my skin was already in some of the best shape it had been in years:

Every night I used Vintner’s Daughter, I’d wake the next morning with a plump, youthful-looking complexion. So noticeable that it became an essential step in my routine, and I was truly gutted when I managed to shake out the very last morsel from that 1 fl. oz bottle. I also immediately loved the smell. It’s really divine if you’re into your skincare being more ritualistic and therapeutic, as opposed to merely necessary. But, I thought (and still think) to myself: does a serum that smells good and promises plump skin warrant the $185 price tag?

I truly believe that Vintner’s Daughter is a product that could fit seamlessly into any individual’s — beauty lover or not — daily routine. It’s luxurious, all-natural, and more importantly, incredibly thoughtful. There’s an entire process just for putting it on! And, I have to admit that my skin isn’t quite at the level it was before I ran out of Vintner’s Daughter. However, I just don’t think that everyone will be willing to splurge for the benefits that the product promises. So, I leave you with this: Vintner’s Daughter is a fantastic product. It’s great, there’s no denying that. And, I think that if your regimen is important to you, it’s surely something you’ll want to at least try, if not keep continuously in your rotation. However, I don’t think it’s for everyone. Isn’t that all beauty, though?”

Thirty-something, Editor-In-Chief, James Kicinski-McCoy

“I’ve been using Vintner’s Daughter off and on for several years now. Less off and more on, if we’re getting technical. Out of the gate, VD is an investment — a nearly $200 investment, which is not easy for most people to fit into their budgets, especially for a little bottle that you could fit inside your pocket. I tend to spend a decent amount on skincare because I think it’s money well spent, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. And when it comes to products that come with these high price tags, I secretly hope that I won’t like them, so I have an excuse to not replace them once they’re gone.

When I received my first bottle of Active Botanical Serum (sent courtesy of the brand), I was so curious; would this be the hero product that I kept reading rave reviews about — literally everywhere online — or was it yet another overhyped product that became “cool” to like and use? I was excited to find out for myself. I used the entire bottle. Every last drop. I started out using it only at night and then eventually started to double down in the mornings, although I would apply a lot less in tandem with a cream-based moisturizer, so my skin didn’t look like a grease trap. Now right off the bat, when they say this is an active serum, they really do mean active. You can feel it on your skin, but in the best “this stuff is working” way possible. It doesn’t hurt by any means, but it really gets things flowing within. I did get used to its activeness very quickly and it no longer “sorta stung”.

Here’s what I like about it: it deeply hydrates. It leaves my face feeling new and my skin looking noticeably better after going to sleep with it on. It has also cleared my skin. I rarely get acne as an adult, but when the hormonal breakouts hit, this yellow oil clears it up quick. Here’s what I don’t like about it: the price. Shelling out the big bucks for all natural beauty products is kinda hard for me. I’m not sure why, and I know that’s discriminating towards natural beauty brands, but I want some heavy hitting ingredients and aggressive acids to go along with that kind of price tag. The other thing that I didn’t love about it (but I have grown to not mind so much) is the scent. It’s very, ummm, natural smelling, which I tend to hate. I know, again with the natural beauty bashing, I’m sorry. I still cannot walk into an Aveda salon because the smell is too overbearing. But, because the things that I really do like (maybe even love) about Vintner’s Daughter are so great, it means that it’s one of those products I have begrudgingly repurchased.

So to revert back to my original question to myself: the answer is hero all the way. Now, because I test so many products, I don’t use VD as often as I used to. And, I will admit that I have found other products that I like just as much. Le Prunier, for example, is great oil-based serum that I’ve had wonderful experience with, plus the smell is delicious (it smells like almonds and I would bathe in it if I could) and it’s more affordable, although not active. That said, I always seem to revert back to Vintner’s Daughter. It’s one of those products where after going for a period without and picking it back up, you wonder why you ever stopped.”

Forty-something, Contributing Editor, Sarah James

“First things first, I must point out that I’m a green beauty blogger. I have tried Every. Single. Facial. Oil. Out. There. Also important to note that although I’m naturally a glass-half-full gal in life, I do not take that approach when testing beauty products. It takes a lot to impress me, and if I continually see raves about a product on social media, I am inclined to assume I’ll hate it. (I know! I possess such a great attitude about these things.)

Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum has been a media darling for years. We’re talking mega-hype, folks. I mean, it’s Gwyneth’s fave! #slighteyeroll #sorrycanthelpit It’s made of 22 plant-derived oils and extracts and boasts multi-correctional activity and super-powered penetration, resulting in natural radiance and balanced skin.

I received this oil for the first time in 2015, used it for a few days, and (prematurely) wrote it off. However, when I received another bottle a few months ago, I made a point to use if for at least a few weeks before putting on my debbie downer hat. Well, I am here to admit that I just might have been wrong that first time around.

I have really enjoyed using the serum lately, as it does two things that are hard to come by in green beauty. It deeply hydrates without being congestive and makes my 44-year-old skin look much plumper. Also, if I encounter an irritating situation while testing a new product, Vintner’s Daughter sets my skin straight within a couple uses. That, my friends, is impressive. I also love that the serum is the only product created by the brand – that really goes the distance with me.

If you are comfortable shelling out $185 for a facial serum, I say it’s definitely worth a shot!”

Written by: The Editors

Bleu's team of seasoned writers and editors at your service.


  1. Chantal

    May 2, 2019 at 10:49 am

    I really really wanted to like this serum. I bought it and paid even more for it (CDN$)! The smell was lovely and I looked forward each day/night when I would use it. However, VD being so active and full of essential oils and me being super duper fair skinned, it left me with a red face that wouldn’t go away until I stopped using it (took about a week). Even after taking a break, returning to the serum resulted in the same fried face complexion. So for the ultra sensitives out there, just a heads up 🙂

  2. Lindsay

    May 4, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    Everyday Oil is the most effective and reasonably-priced skincare product I have ever tried. I feel like your readers would love it as an alternative to luxury-priced items. Plus, it is clean, natural, with many organic oils. I swear it has kept me looking in my vague-early 30s! 🙂


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