Drunk Elephant: Worth It? (Product by Product Review)
Okay, so Drunk Elephant is coming to the UK (and, therefore, at least before Brexit, it will be easily shippable to the whole EU) and I couldn't be more excited!! It's a whole hype around this brand and they've been growing and growing and have become a huge success with a cult following!
So many of you asked for reviews on the brand, if it was worth it in general, which products should be the first to get, among all other things. So I, having tried most products from the brand (the ones I haven't tried yet were both eye products, the lip balm and the cleansing bars), felt it was only fitting to write such a post before the launch.
I want to say beforehand that I have chosen to use original HQ photos of the products from the brand's website because, although I have tried all the products pictured above, I do not own them all at this exact moment (either because I've finished and have not gotten around to repurchasing or because I wasn't too crazy about them, as will be explained below).
As a general, the brand is definitely impressive!
It's a beautiful and unique cross between natural beauty and scientific "lab" beauty - clean beauty, if you might; mostly natural but not 100%. They do pride themselves in using only gentle ingredients so that all products can be used by sensitive skin types. And we'll get into this as well for each product. So let's jump into it!
Beste No9 Jelly Cleanser: I like this but I don't love this. I mean... It's a nice cleanser, it does what it's supposed to and it's not too drying. But at the same time, I do have other cleansers I prefer the texture and finish of, the after-rinsing feeling is just more comfortable. It's a jelly cleanser, as the name suggests, it does sort of "melt" into skin but I wouldn't necessarily recommend this as a make up remover, I'd use this as a second cleanse or morning cleanse (also it stings on your eyes if yours are sensitive so do not remove your eye makeup with this). Overall, is it good? Yes! Is it worth the hype? No. I've had better jelly cleansers, such as, for example, the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel and the Pestle & Mortar Renew Gel Cleanser (both jellies that melt into oil once in touch with skin and emulsify into a milky solution when water is added and, in my opinion, are gentler and more nourishing and more of what I was expecting this to be like.
B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum: To me, personally, the most overhyped product of the whole range. It's a lightweight hydrating gel serum (which is denser than all the other serums by DE so, in my opinion and preference, would go last if you were to apply more than one) that sinks into skin quite fast and deeply hydrates. It's an amazing product, do not get me wrong. It's just... Not worth the price tag, in my honest opinion, as I've encountered similar products in the market that are more affordable and perform the same. This claims to hydrate deeper than most competitor products - which, clinically, I can't say it doesn't, but to the best of my knowledge about how my skin feels, it does just about the same. So, it is good if you want to splurge, but some cheaper and amazing alternatives would be the Caudalie Vinosource SOS Serum and the Glossier Super Bounce Serum.
TLC Framboos Glycolic Night Serum: Definitely one of the brand's best sellers and I can see why - it's potent! It's one of the most exfoliating serums I've come across and yet still apt for sensitive skin, or so they say. I do feel like it works its magic but it does tingle slightly on my skin (which isn't usually that sensitive to acids to be honest) and I can't use it every single night, I use it two or three times a week, MAX. Is it worth it? Yes. But bear in mind it is not exactly ok for all sensitive skin types, do patch test if you can first or keep in mind it's a once in a while treat. A gentler version of this product that actually does not sting me would be the Sunday Riley Good Genes (although it uses lactic acid as a main ingredient instead of glycolic; and lactic acid does break some people out, not me) but for glycolic exfoliation I usually go for either masks or toners (such as the Pixi Glow Tonic or the Paula's Choice Resist Weekly Resurfacing Treatment with 10% AHA).
C-Firma Day Serum: The actual MVP of the brand, the most talked about product and probably the #1 best-seller. I've got my issues with this product but they have actually nothing to do with performance. It does perform rather well, it does what it says and as far as I can tell the Vitamin C is excellently preserved and still very potent when you're nearly finishing the bottle. But, first of all, this is a oil-serum type of product - which may in itself be a turn off for some people; the oil used is Marula Oil (as is typical for the brand) and that also does break some people out so keep an eye out. Second of all, it does have a funky, rusty sort of scent that is typical of many vitamin C products, which wouldn't have bothered me too much if it went away but I find it lingers on the whole damn day and it really annoys me; it even stays on my hands after I wash them, it's weird and definitely something that puts me off repurchasing this to be honest. Other than that, even being a oil-serum, it does skin into skin super fast and actually works well even when layered upon (I would definitely recommend this to be the first product applied after cleansing and toning though). Is it worth it? Yes, definitely if the scent doesn't bother you, so I'd test in in person if possible. Other alternatives for this product, although nothing is really a dupe for texture (or maybe results, that is hard to say) would be the Glossier Super Glow Serum or the Lumene Nordic C [Valo] Glow Boost Essence - both runnier, almost watery and non-oily with no nasty scent.
Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil: A simple oil that is 100% Marula but is luxury indeed. Now, marula oil is actually ultra nourishing, high in fatty acids and overall amazing for dry, dehydrated and mature skin types (actually great for acne-prone skin in the sense that it increases elasticity and therefore helps prevent scarring but some people do break out from it - not all, not me, but some). However, marula oil is also usually really thick and "greasy-feeling", it takes a while to get used to and does sit on top of the skin a bit. Somehow DE were able to source the highest quality marula oil and process it in a way that surprisingly makes their oil lightweight and fast-absorbing. It's weird and unheard of, nothing I've ever experienced with this type of ingredient from other brands and I do believe that it's also better for acne-prone skin and doesn't break out as many people (although it can still happen, it can happen with any ingredient really). So it's superb! And I definitely understand the high price tag for such a "basic" ingredient. So, is it worth it? Yes, if you're looking into an excellent and refined elasticising oil, this is perfect! If you're looking to soothe your acne, this will be better than any competitor. If you have dry skin but you don't care as much about the texture and would rather have a cheaper dupe, we have the Oils of Heaven Marula Oil and the Marula Pure Beauty Oil (you also have the much cheaper The Ordinary 100% Marula Oil but, in all honestly, I'm trying to steer off Deciem due to the recent controvery).
TLC Sukari Babyfacial: The "step further" to the TLC serum meant as more of a weekly treat (although that's already quite how I see the serum). So this is more my type of product, which means that, between the serum and the mask, I would definitely prefer the mask. If we're doing this a treat, the mask is better, more efficient and it just suits my needs. It still stings a bit, maybe a tiny bit more than the serum, but it does also work better and faster and then I can apply soothing and hydrating serums on top, which is much better for my skin. It's an amazing mask and I do definitely love it and recommend it! It's sort of like a jam sort of texture and very pleasant to use - bar the tingling sensation that kind of fades about 5 minutes in, it's just absolutely lovely! Worth it? Definitely! If you do, however, want a cheaper option to this I also love the non-tingling (and gentler) REN Glycolactic Mask - same jam sort of texture and also absolutely lovely - (and, if you absolutely want something dirt chip then I do recommend The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% which is more of a liquid solution you apply all over).
LaLa Retro Whipped Cream: I think this was my first product from the brand and I still love it all the same. Have repurchased it twice and plan on doing it in the future. It's an absolute beaut with a whipped textured and it's deeply nourishing, while still offering a soft matte finish (no greasiness) and sinking into skin fast. I love it for my acne-prone yet dehydrated skin as it doesn't break me out yet still offers just enough nourishment and elasticity to keep my skin healthy. Worth it? Heck yeah! Go get it! I can't seem to find a good dupe for this to be quite honest, maybe the Antipodes Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day Cream is a good second option but not as nourishing.
Protini Polypeptide Cream: I had to get this as soon as it launched since I loved LaLa so much! It's a much lighter texture, being more of a gel-cream so maybe I'd use this more for daytime and LaLa for night. It sinks in faster as well, of course. And it's just absolutely wonderful for adult acne because it tackles the aging part of us that realises we're already way past our 20s but also doesn't aggravate the acne that's just the teenage rebel inside of us that won't grow up. Is it worh it? For me, yes! It's a no-brainer. Get it giiiirl. A dupe for this would be in terms of texture maybe the Caudalie Vinosource Moisturising Sorbet Cream, but it does not have as many anti-aging properties.
D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops: I've spoken about this little gem on my last post; it's probably the most decently priced product of the whole range. It's lovely for Summer and I really like to mix it with my sunscreen. This does not offer SPF (though maybe it should?) but rather has a two-in-one bronze effect - it does have a bronze-coloured texture that sheers out but is still quite potent; and it has a very light gradual tan that doesn't stain at all or go patchy (also no nasty scent, which is a huge plus). Worth it? I'd say so, I'd maybe only go for this in the Summer as this on top of my pasty complexion in the Winter would be just sad, but it is a beautiful product. I don't think there's a dupe for this to be honest, there are some lovely gradual tans for face that I love but none offer the anti-pollution qualities.
Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense: Finally, their first product ever I believe. It also comes in a tinted version but it's only one shade and (from the swatches I've seen online) it's too dark for me to consider it a possibility lol. The untinted version is quite lovely, SPF 30 and definitely good to be worn daily (I wouldn't necessarily wear it at the beach as I prefer my SPF in its 50+ on my face when I'm under the sun for prolongued periods of time). It does not have much of a white cast and no funny smell either, which can be hard to find in physical sunscreens - and no added fragrance. Worth it? Well, yes. I guess it is, it's a good stand up product. But you can find the same a bit cheaper I'd say. Maybe not physical but I don't mind chemical SPFs so... I say I'd maybe prefer to get the Cetaphil SPF 50+ I love and/or the Uriage Hyséac SPF 50+ - both are just as sheer, sink in fast and layer well and are cheaper. So if chemical SPF is not a problem for you, this product isn't all that. If you are sensitive though and prefer physical sunscreen in general, this might be the best option in the market for a daily product that you can layer makeup on top of.
So these are my unfiltered opinions, I am clearly mixed and I can't say the whole range is amazing! But it is a very unique brand that's breaking all expectations and creating wonderful and innovative products with complex and beautiful compositions that actually do work!
You can buy The Littles kit, which basically brings minis of their cleanser, Lala Cream, all 3 face serums, the oil and the Shaba Eye Serum - perfect if you want to try each of them by yourself and decided which you'll want to go full-size.
Have you tried them? Do you agree with me? And what are you faves?
If you haven't just yet, which products will you be picking up? Let me know in the comments x