Here's why I would actually spend my own money on this ridiculously cute serum

Turns out it's not JUST cute

Digital Beauty Editor / January 14 2021

Cards on the table: there’s not much in the ‘pinky-purple’ category that I won’t snap up; I’m a sucker for a colour-coded beauty collection.

Glow Recipe is pretty much the perfect example of a brand that’s feeding the obsession. Considering its status as the planet’s most ‘gram-able skin care line, I’ll admit some of the products may have made their way into my collection for aesthetic purposes only. It’s a very fortunate part of my very tough gig, I know. Embarrassing examples include me, someone who lives in fear of retinol, getting my greedy hands on an eye cream built around it solely because it’s a cute-as-can-be shade of avocado green.

So, imagine my simultaneous delight and devastation when their latest release (the Plum Plump Hyaluronic Serum, to be specific) was not only my dream blush-lilac hybrid hue, but also a gentle, sensitivity-friendly hydrating serum with no goal but to offer my face a cool drink of plum-powered water.

Why devastated, you ask? Well, for starters, a formula that actually sounded tailor-made for my skin couldn’t possibly sit on the shelf forever, now could it? TBH, I swear I heard my vanity crying tears of grief as I slathered the first coat onto my face.

And secondly, because the only thing more upsetting than an amazing product staying on the shelf, is it coming off. Because falling in love with the formula inside means that at the end of the journey, I have to do something very tricky: weigh up whether or not it’s worthy of an actual ‘spend my own cash on it’ restock. Basically, a beauty editor’s biggest stamp of approval… big stuff. Here’s how it went...


Okay, so we’ve already established that it was indeed love at first sight. But believe me when I tell you, it was just as beautiful beneath the surface. The texture is a silky gel-like one that when applied feels something akin to smearing aloe vera over sunburnt skin. There’s an instant cooling factor, which I cannot stress enough, is an utter gift to any redness or reaction-prone face, especially during the steamy summer months.

Despite the fact that it’s very evident you’re helping yourself to a hearty hit of hydration, though, it actually absorbs super quick, so you can move onto makeup within the minute if you really want to, or if your complexion’s going commando for the day, just sit back and enjoy it sinking in.

I generally go for a moisturiser layered over oil duo, but the plum serum truly felt like it covered both bases; it feels both luxurious and light. It definitely delivered some instant relief and hydration, as well as, dare I say so myself, a pretty impressive level of glow.

My favourite foundation is a matte one (which FYI, I rate for the coverage more than the finish), so it was certainly a nice treat when said finish seemed to develop into the dewy-but-still-sturdy base of my dreams when layered over my new serum. Don’t you worry; I’m addressing letters of gratitude to the formula’s hydrating hyaluronic acid and vitamin C-packed Kakadu plum right after this.

Results wise, my skin’s definitely the dewiest it’s been in months, but I’ll admit the luminosity train tends to leave the station to an extent when I’m fresh out of the shower or not actually wearing the product (so it may be a tad soon to speak on long-term changes; I’m about a month in). But boy, when it’s on: glistening is the only word that does it justice.


I know: you smell a rave, right? Well, yes and no. The price is, how can I put this nicely – not ideal. The only thing I’d usually pay $67 for 30ml of would be a vile of love potion designed specifically to work on Shawn Mendes, so as a beauty journo whose (extremely fortunate) champagne problem is that I’ve got ‘too many serums to test’ (ugh, am I right?), I wasn't completely sure I could justify a restock.

However, the dewy-skinned devil on my shoulder makes sure to keep reminding me that it’s been over four weeks now, and I’m not even close to being halfway through the bottle. So, while the ‘little goes a long way’ trope is definitely a cliché, it’s also absolutely true in this instance.

The thing is, though, despite my job, because of my badly-behaved complexion, I do in fact shell out the dosh every few months for a new hit of my oil and cream combo of choice. And the cost of the double restock definitely sets me back more than 67 bucks. I was really only alarmed by the price because it was for one product, but hey, if that one product makes up your entire treatment routine, that seems sort of reasonable, right?

And honestly, I've seen improvements in my tone, texture and hydration levels while letting it fly totally solo, so if it’s a clean swap for what would usually be two products, then maybe, just maybe, I can cop the cost when the dreaded 'need a new one' stage eventually arrives...

Main image credit: @glowrecipe

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