All hype and no delivery: Caudalie Beauty Elixir

Yes, the eagle-eyed amongst you have read that correctly: this post constitutes my first entry under the ‘thumbs down’ tag. And what a product to christen it with: quite possibly the most hyped skincare product in the blogosphere, the Caudalie Beauty Elixir is often sold as the answer to all of your skincare dreams – brightening, tightening, spot busting and hydrating, all in one product… What more could you want?

My mother often tells me when I come to her all moon-eyed and gushing about the latest skincare innovation that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Hm, quite. I, like many, snapped this little bottle up in a rose-tinted frenzy, convinced that a few spritzes of this and I would be radiant and clear complexioned. But rather I was left red-skinned and broken-hearted. Well, I wasn’t quite sobbing into my Ben&Jerry’s, but it’s safe to say this didn’t quite meet my high expectations.

Perhaps the main issue with this for me was that I wasn’t quite sure how best to use it. Is it a makeup setting spray? A facial refresher? A serum? A toner? A spot treatment? The problem with hailing a product as a wonder does-it-all miracle worker is that its true use can become blurred and lost in translation. I’m not saying this product is terrible at any of the above, it serves all the above purposes fine, but it does them all averagely at best- in each category I can think of better alternatives. Maybe this would be good if you were going on holiday and needed to streamline your skincare, but for day to day I wouldn’t resort to this.

Another point worth mentioning is that alcohol is pretty damn high up on the list of ingredients. This could be why the Beauty Elixir has been hailed as a miracle spot treatment; it dries out any spots you may have, but also dries out your skin. So for those in search of a hydrating facial mist, perhaps during any summer holiday flights, this is not for you. And for those who, like me, have sensitive/dry/irritable skin, back away now – a few days of using this as a toner/serum and my face turned progressively redder, drier and tighter. Alcohol is not my friend.

This has also been hailed as a pore-tightening serum and all-round complexion booster, but I can’t honestly say that I saw a difference in my skin when using this. My stubbornly large pores around my nose remained stubbornly large, and my skin remained as dull and uneven as ever (unless you can describe beacon-redness as ‘radiance’). Any ‘glow’ when sprayed over my makeup could be simply put down to the removal of any post-power ‘cakeiness’ (sp); an almost identical effect can be achieved with any cheap-and-cheerful water spray, and the hydration properties of these products, although minimal, outstrips that of Caudalie’s offering.

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Now, I don’t want to be a complete Negative Nelly/Moaning Myrtle (delete according to personal preference); there were still aspects of this product that I enjoyed. Although I disagree with the prospect of spraying this all over the face multiple times a day due to the high alcohol content, I did find this product to make a decent spot treatment when sprayed onto a cotton pad/bud and applied only to the affected areas (and then moisturised!). This only worked for small-medium blemishes, however, and did nothing on those nasty under the skin bumpy boos. On an entirely artificial level, I also quite engaged the dainty packaging and the expensive-feeling glass bottle. The spray is nice and fine too, and so you can spray this over your makeup without completely washing it away (oh the eye makeup I have ruined!). The smell is a divisive issue – imagine if peppermint and rosemary had a baby; rosemint? – and although I personally found it a little nauseating, it certainly wakes you up in the morning, and would serve a treat in hot, sluggish conditions.

I’m fully aware that the fact that I didn’t get along with this product could simply be down to it was completely the wrong product for my skin type – products with high alcohol content will never be my best friends (although it has to be said this product is advertised as being ‘for all skin types’). I just think there are better and more effective ingredients out there than just resorting to a shedload of alcohol, for any skin type, and selling this as a ‘skincare marvel’ as I have seen some do is a bit misleading – for me it did absolutely nothing, if anything it had a negative effect on my skin. If you’re feeling a bit spotty or a bit dull and grotty in the morning, then maybe give this a go, but to be honest I think you can find better alternatives with little effort and little expenditure.

Sorry Caudalie, I think you’re very pretty but it just wasn’t meant to be this time around.

Caudalie Beauty Elixir – link – £10.35 for 30ml

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