24 August, 2014

Merlot Moonlight Radiance Night Cream and Grape Seed Eye Cream Reviews

Roadtrip update: I'm still in Texas! Honestly, I did not expect to enjoy myself this much, but every day has been an adventure, with so many historical sites to visit, and delicious foods to eat. Speaking of foods, the portions are huge because, as they say, everything is BIGGER in Texas, just like the Merlot skincare products that I'm going to talk about below. ;-)

There's a raffle to win a Merlot-brand product of your choice at the end of this post!

Believe it or not, I had more money back in college than I do now as a "real" adult! Back then, I was all about Caudalie; I had read up about the benefits of grape seed extract, and wanted only the best for my skin, so I used almost only Caudalie products. You can say that I was quite a brand snob.

When college ended and I had to start student teaching for nearly six months, full-time and unpaid, I could no longer afford Caudalie. By chance, I was at Walgreens one day, and saw grape extract-based skincare products by a new (at least new to me!) brand called Merlot, and my interest was piqued. I bought the SPF 15 day cream, and the night cream. The helpful cashier who assisted me in picking out my Merlot skincare products asked me to keep her updated on the progress.

Two weeks later, I went back to show her how much my skin had brightened up, and how much healthier it looked.

Okay, I have gotten a bit sidetracked up there, so back to the question at hand: is Merlot just as good as Caudalie?

Would you believe me if I'm telling you right now that, despite costing only a fraction of Caudalie, Merlot is much, much better? Because it is!

First, I'm going to compare Merlot Moonlight Radiance Night Cream to Caudalie Vinoperfect Cell Renewal Night Cream, because both products:
  • contain grape polyphenol -- their star ingredient.
  • claim to reduce wrinkles.
  • claim to promote better skin tone.
  • moisturize.
Merlot Moonlight Radiance Cream ($20 for 4 oz) features grape polyphenol 8th on the ingredients list, and the other ingredients that come before it are very beneficial for the skin, with scientific researches to support their effectiveness. In fact, Argireline and Matrixyl 3000 are proprietary ingredients that have been patented by Lipotec and Sederma, respectively.

I also need to mention that, despite being a cream, it is very non-greasy, which I appreciate!

My explanation of what each of those ingredients does is in blue

Merlot Moonlight Radiance Cream: Purified WaterArgireline (prevents the formation of expression wrinkles by inhibiting muscle movement), Matrixyl 3000 (builds collagen and prevents structural aging), Squalane (softens your skin without adding greasiness. As you age, your body's Squalane level drops, thus speeding up the aging process in your skin), Cetyl Alcohol (an emollient), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (an emollient that helps the good-for-you ingredients to absorb into your skin better), Glycerine (a humectant that attracts moisture to your skin), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil (naturally makes your skin silky-soft by increasing cell production/turnover), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract (a very strong antioxidant that effectively fights free radicals that cause aging), Glyceryl Stearate, PEG 100 Stearate, Polyacrylamide, Phenoxyethanol, C13 14 Isoparaffin, Grape Seed mask, Laureth 7, Methylisothiazolinone

Now, let's look at Caudalie Vinoperfect Cell Renewal Night Cream ($64 for 1.3 oz): the grape polyphenol appears 10th on the ingredients list, and the nine ingredients before it are mostly fillers. In fact, the only redeeming ingredients are glycerin, and shea butter, which the cream contains so little of. Again, my explanation of what each ingredient does will be in blue. The remainder of the ingredients that come after the grape extract are mostly fillers as well.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Cell Renewal Night Cream: WaterButylene Glycol (a solvent to help dissolve products in water) , Glycerin* (humectant to attract moisture to the skin), Cetearyl Alcohol*(emulsifier to give emulsion to the product), Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil*(inexpensive vegetable oil to temporarily moisturize the skin), Isononyl Isononanoate (an emollient), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter Extract* (a moisturizer from the shea butter fruit), Cetyl Alcohol* (an emollient), Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil* (grape polyphenol), Caprylic Capric Triglyceride*, Peg-20 Stearate*, Glycolic Acid, Squalane*, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate*, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Bisabolol*, Parfum (Fragrance), Benzyl Alcohol, Palmitoyl Grapevine Shoot Extract*, Caprylyl Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxide, Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide*, Arginine, Carbomer, Dehydroacetic Acid, Carbomer/Papain Crosspolymer*, Sodium Phytate*, Sodium Hyaluronate, Acrylates/ C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Tocopherol*, 1,2-Hexanediol, Algin*, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool. *Plant Origin.

A few things about grapeseed antioxidant:

  • It is 50 times more powerful than Vitamin E.
  • It is nearly 25 times more powerful than Vitamin C (this is one of the most important anti-aging ingredients that are beneficial to your skin!).

Next, I am going to compare Merlot Grape Seed Eye Cream ($13 for 1 oz) with Caudalie Polyphenol-15 Anti-Wrinkle Eye & Lip Cream ($49 for 0.5 oz), as both products claim to:
  • contain grape extract to fight against free radicals.
  • contain Horse Chestnut to fight dark circles. This appears 13th in the Merlot Grape Seed Eye Cream, and 16th in Caudalie (listed as Escin).
  • reduce wrinkles.
  • brighten dark circles.
  • moisturize.
Please note that on Merlot Grape Seed Eye Cream ingredients list, the grape seed extract appears 6th, while it appears 11th on Caudalie's ingredients list. Again, my explanation of what each ingredient does will appear in blue.

Merlot Grape Seed Eye Cream: WaterCetyl Alcohol (an emollient), PEG 8 Distearate (helps bind water and oil together), Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice (moisturizes, reduces signs of aging, and fades stretch marks), Glycerin (attracts moisture to the skin), Vitis Vinifera Seed Extract (Grape extract that is a superior antioxidant, effectively fights free radicals), Glyceryl Stearate , PEG 100 Stearate , Panthenol , Chrysin , N Hydroxysuccinimide , Palmitoyl Oligopeptide , Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed ExtractHorse Chestnut , Biotin (Vitamin H) , Oenothera Biennis Oil (Evening Primrose) , Retinyl Acetate (Vitamin A) , Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) , Phenoxyethanol , Grape Seed mask , Hydroxyethylcellulose , Sodium Hydroxide , Glycolic Acid , Steareth 20 , Titanium Dioxide , Methylisothiazolinone

Caudalie Polyphenol-15 Anti-Wrinkle Eye & Lip Cream: WaterGlycerin* (attracts moisture to your skin), Butylene Glycol (a solvent to help dissolve products in water), Isononyl Isononanoate (an emollient), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride* (an emollient to help ingredients absorb into your skin), Cetearyl Alcohol* (an emulsfier to give emulsion to a product), Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil* (inexpensive vegetable oil to temporarily moisturize your skin), Peg-20 Stearate (a binder for water and oil), Cetyl Alcohol* (an emollient), Tocopheryl Acetate* (Vitamin E), Palmitoyl Grape Seed Extract* (grape extract that fights free radicals), Carbomer, Cyathea Cumingii Leaf Extract*, Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopherol*, Escin*, Ammonium Glycyrrhizate*, Potassium Sorbate, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Leaf Extract*, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract*, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hydroxide, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Sodium Phytate*, Polysorbate 20, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Glyceryl Caprylate*, Cinnamic Acid*, Levulinic Acid*, Sodium Levulinate*, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7. *Plant origin.

My final thoughts: When we spend our hard-earned money on anything, we expect it to effectively meet our needs, and live up to its claims, especially when it is produced by a big brand that prides itself on quality and trust. However, trust is difficult to gain, and even more difficult to maintain. In our modern age, when information is so readily available from just a click of the mouse, it is not difficult to compare and find the best.

Am I still a skincare "snob"? Absolutely! However, these days, instead of being a brand snob, I am an ingredients "snob." I expect high-quality, effective ingredients in my skincare products, because I have neither the time nor resources to waste. What good is a fancy-brand is going to do for my skin if the vital ingredients appear so low on the ingredients list? 

Where to purchase Merlot skincare:
*All Merlot skincare products are proudly made in the USA.
**The Merlot skincare products featured here were sent to me, free of charge, to be reviewed.

Win a Merlot-brand skincare product of your choice:

Follow the prompts below to enter the raffle! Upon winning, the winner will select a Merlot skincare product of his or her choice. Merlotskincare.com is the sponsor for this raffle, and it is open only to U.S. readers. International readers, don't feel left out; there will be another raffle just for you later this month! :o)


  1. This is such a detailed post. I really enjoyed reading the ingredient comparisons.

  2. Excellent post! I loved the in depth details. I would love to a little more about Merlot skin care...I will certainly check out their website.

    Keisha xo

  3. Great post. Looks like great products!


  4. Great review, very detailed!

    Sarah x

  5. Because of you, I will try the eye cream and check out the rest of their line!I want a good eye cream that won't break the bank. Lamer wanted me to pay $185 for .5oz, WTF!!!! Thanks for the review! Teef

  6. I would enter by I am in the UK :( I love anything with antioxidants in it!!

    Love this post!

    Thanks for visiting my blog!!



  7. I have only used a mask containing grape seed extract so I do not have much experience with it. It's always exciting when you find a product that works just as good or better then the expensive alternative.

  8. Great post sweetheart!
    Keep in touch xx :)
    Antonella <3

  9. I want to win the night cream.


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