Martian + UFO.

sunday riley Martian and U.F.O.
Sunday Riley Martian and U.F.O.


It’s a rare day that I’ll review a product for oily skin over here. My skin is naturally very dry. So while I rarely break out, my skin generally needs a lot of moisture or it will get dry and tight.

But then that miserable heat wave struck a couple weeks ago. My skin went completely ballistic. Just walking outside for a few blocks would leave it covered in a mix of city filth and grease. I promise I’m not being overly dramatic… if you’ve ever lived in New York City, you know what I mean. It’s an actual layer of filth. This is not at all scientific but I am convinced that the stench from the trash that sits on the streets is absorbed into the humid air and then promptly redistributed onto our skin the second we step outside. My skin felt dirty, disgusting, and for the first time I can remember in ages, I broke out all over my face. On top of the pimples… the SHINE! Not in the dewey, healthy way I try to create with highlighter and face oil… this is a new, oil slick level of shine. I took to carrying face wipes in my purse and would wipe myself down several times a day. It was that bad.

Lucky for me, a box containing Sephora’s new arrivals (sent by the brand) landed on my doorstep. Inside it were two products from Sunday Riley, who I have loved for a long time. (If you want a laugh, check out this post, this post, and this post. Gotta love old blog posts… I should probably delete them but get nostalgic. ) Usually, anything with the words “mattifying” or “clarifying” would be passed to a friend but in this case, I ran to the bathroom to begin testing, immediately.

Martian is a vibrant mint green gel that instantly melts into your skin, cooling it off and leaving your skin feeling instantly mattified. It tightens pores and instantly removes the filth. It also smells amazing.

U.F.O. is something new to me as it’s a clarifying face oil. I have long told my friends who have oilier skin that face oils are good for them as the oil actually helps to balance out their skin (as long as it’s the right kind – Argan oil is actually amazing on oily skin). This one actually contains 1.5% Salicylic Acid, making it the first face oil (at least the first one I’ve encountered) designed specifically to help clear clogged pores + acne-prone skin.

These products were a godsend during the heat wave. Martian was especially magical. It felt so incredible on my skin and got rid of the grease. And U.F.O. is something I will continue to use, all through the winter. Though it’s designed for oily skin it still leaves my dryer skin nice and soft. It’s a nice, lighter alternative to the heavy oils I typically coat my face with at night. (I always apply a layer of face oil as a last step in my routine… it’s the best way to lock in your night cream).

PS – To spot-treat pimples, I LOVE this, from Indie Lee. Love it. You can’t wear it during the day (unless you are alone) but it works wonders.

sunday riley 2

sunday riley 3

This post is not sponsored, though I did receive these products c/o Sephora (with no obligation to post).

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment


  1. Melanie:

    Hi Grace – I have been using the moisturizer by this brand and loving it! One question I always have is…..when using an oil do you use a moisturizer/cream after the oil? Or just the oil? I have been using by oil at night and my moisturizer in the daytime but just curious if they should be layered or can be layered? Thanks!!

    8.29.16 Reply
    • graceatwood:

      Hi Melanie!
      That is a great question. I actually use oil as my final step. I got this tip at the launch of Gwyneth Paltrow’s skincare line. She told us that her skin gets super dry (so does mine) and that the oil acts as a lipid barrier to really lock the moisturizer in and help it be its most effective. So the proper order is – serum, then moisturizer, topped off with oil. That being said, I think it’s fine to replace your moisturizer with oil at night.

      Hope that helps!

      8.29.16 Reply
  2. Nicole Coppins:

    Great post! I always love reading your beauty posts… You find the best stuff. If only I had an unlimited beauty budget!! And as for linking your old posts- don’t delete them. I started my blog in 2012, during my freshman year of high school and there were so many cringe-worthy posts that I deleted. While I’m glad my Abercrombie and braces days are no longer published on the Internet, I wished I saved them, just for myself. Just something to keep in mind! XO, Nicole //

    8.31.16 Reply
    • graceatwood:

      Thank you so much Nicole. You are so right. The old posts are definitely cringe-worthy, but fun to look back upon. It’s also reassuring to see that I still loved the same brands, six and even seven years ago!

      8.31.16 Reply
  3. Emily B.:

    I definitely appreciate the oily skin recommendation! I love your beauty write ups, but with my oily complexion, it’s hard to know if some of your favorite products would work for me. I wish someone with oily skin and your thorough approach to beauty existed!

    8.31.16 Reply
    • graceatwood:

      Oh good to know! DEFINITELY try the toner, you will love!! I will keep my ear to the ground for great beauty bloggers with oily skin!!! Will send you a note if I find one. Xx

      8.31.16 Reply