A couple of months ago I won the mother of all Instagram contests: the entire line of products from R.L Linden, a small brand, founded by a pair of herbalists from Colorado. It was the perfect stroke of luck for a newbie beauty blogger: a chance to review one of the most charming and beloved green beauty brands. So why haven’t I done a review? Well, here’s the problem: this might well be the first time since I have started using, well, anything, that I have not only enjoyed, but actually loved every. single. thing created by Robin and Lynn – R.L. Linden’s adorable owners. I suppose it helps that the line is fairly tightly edited, but it’s still pretty remarkable. Faced with so much deliciousness, I was a little overwhelmed (and very grateful I didn’t get the products from a PR – never was I ever more worried about looking like I’m lacking objectivity). Since apparently attempting to do a review of the entire R.L Linden lineup is giving me anxiety, I shall tackle the challenge by taking baby steps. So up first is my review of the Time After Time Frankincense Restoring Serum: the product that, aside from being decidedly wonderful, ended up taking me completely by surprise.

When it comes to facial skincare, I tend to lean towards higher-priced luxury products. It’s not just snobbery: I do think that the kind of ingredients required to address my skincare concerns (loss of firmness and elasticity, dryness, thinning skin, etc) tend to be expensive and must be used in a fairly high concentration. Which is why it took me quite a bit of time to try Time After Time, which, at $42, is a third of the price of some of my favorite facial oils and serums. And then I did finally try it and, to my utter surprise, immediately fell in love.

Time After Time is a beautiful golden oil and its list of ingredients, while short, is impressive: rosehip, medowfoam and tamanu oils, olive squalene and jojoba oil infused with a beautiful selection of herbs, including calendula, comfrey, rose and licorice. I think it’s this selection of herbs that makes Time After Time so special: Robin and Lynn have a deft hand with herbs and the ones they chose for the serum help fight inflammation and heal irritation and assorted skin boo-boos (calendula and comfrey), lighten the skin (licorice) and provide anti-aging benefits (rose). Time After Time absorbs incredibly fast and feels both nourishing and light. It seems to calm inflammation and redness and gives a lovely glow. It also works well under foundation, providing a moisturizing base without excessive grease.

Linden Drops

For me, Time After Time is the perfect summer oil. I think it would be absolutely ideal for oily and combination skins: jojoba oil is the perfect oil for controlling sebum production and anti-inflammatory and skin lightening properties of the serum would be great for healing active breakouts and treating post-acne marks and hyper-pigmentation. On the heels of the recent contribution by The Englishman, I also think this would be a good oil for “the blokes”. Unlike R.L. Linden’s other products that have distinctly pretty smells (oh so pretty!), the Time After Time serum smells herbaceous and slightly woodsy (my guess is that it’s mainly thanks to the frankincense). It’s not the mildest smell in the world, but I find it quite pleasant and, even if it should not be quite be to your liking, it dissipates quickly. The accessible price point and the light texture would make Time After Time the perfect introductory facial oil for those first making the switch to green beauty, while its fabulous ingredients make it a treat for even the most sophisticated of consumers. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Now that I have made this first step towards reviewing the R.L. Linden bounty, I am so excited to tell you about more of their gorgeous, delicious products! Up next, the R.L. Linden superstars: Close to Me deodorant spray, Thousand Petal Beautifying Mist and La Balmbla Rosa Healing Rose Balm.

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