Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel ($52.00 for 1.69 fl. oz.) is supposed to be a hydrating serum that uses the following ingredients (as called out by the brand): Pro-Vitamin B5 for “attract[ing] and hold[ing] hydration to skin,” Pineapple Ceramide to “help boost luminosity and improve the appearance of skin texture and tone,” sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer for “intense hydration,” and “watermelon rind/apple/lentil complex” for “up to 24 hours of skin hydration.”
It had a clear, gel-like consistency that spread easily across the skin, and one to two pumps was all I needed to get enough product for my entire face and part of my neck. It dried down quickly, never felt tacky or greasy, but it definitely kept my skin hydrated throughout the day. I noticed the effect of it more when I used a more lightweight moisturizer in my routine (rather than a moderate to intensive hydrating one), but even when I was using a richer moisturizer with it, B-Hydra never felt like overkill or made other products feel greasy or heavy. I often use this one at night and occasionally in the morning if I’ve done a number to my cheeks through swatches. It is also nice under makeup when one needs more hydration but doesn’t want to use a heavier cream. I didn’t notice any scent to it.
Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 PIGM400 ($66.00 for 5.1 fl. oz.) is a marginally gentler version of the brand’s long-time favorite P50, which I have used (and I really enjoyed but prefer the PIGM400 slightly). One of the big “wins” is that the PIGM400 smells less abrasive (less vinegar-like) compared to P50. The scent hasn’t bothered me (even in the original formulation), and I don’t find it lingers. It’s supposed to “exfoliate, hydrate, and balance the pH of the skin” and is the “prep step before any skincare.” It is an exfoliating toner that uses the following active ingredients: “Alpha-Hydroxy-Acids, Australian Finger Lime Extract, Beta-Hydroxy-Acids, Poly-Hydroxy Acid, Phytic Acid, Levulinic Acid.” I find it works really well for keeping my skin smooth with a better overall tone–less ruddiess, less hyperpigmentation, and just a more even tone. It was one of the few products that I felt made a measurable difference in my routine, which is obvious as I’ve gone through almost two bottles, and this post is reminding me to pick up a new bottle as my current is getting low!
It’s available in three sizes; the one pictured here is the medium (5.1 fl. oz.) size, which lasted for around four months for me.
Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream ($45.00 for 8.1 oz.) is a very rich, heavy cream with an equally heavy fragrance (described as “pistachio-caramel,” though I get creamy, sweet and fruity, beach and sand kind of vibe from it). It had the kind of scent that I could smell at any given moment during the day and many hours later. It’s not my favorite scent (personal preference), though my husband likes it and can always tell when I’ve used this cream. I would highly recommend ensuring that the scent is up your alley before splurging!
The cream absorbed within five to ten minutes as long as I was very sure to massage the cream in for a few minutes until I could no longer see the cream on my skin, but just lightly rubbing or massaging (as I do with most other creams!) wasn’t sufficient and just left the cream sitting on top of my skin. It hydrated well and the effect lasted without needing to use it daily, but I did not notice any firming or smoothing of skin.
Sol de Jeneiro Brazilian 4 Play Moisturizing Shower Cream-Gel ($25.00 for 13.0 fl. oz.) is a frothy, cream body wash that kept my skin lightly hydrated and never left my skin feeling stripped. I liked it, but my husband loves it; the household has gone through three bottles of it. The body wash has a light-medium, creamy texture that lathers up well without being too frothy nor requiring too much product for total body cleansing. I need a lot more hydration for my body, since I’m terrible at consistently applying body moisturizer, so while it didn’t dry out my skin and may have marginally hydrated it, it was just a nice effect but not a significant one as it was not replacing any step in my routine. For me, it has been an indulgence and not a must-have.
It has a strong scent, which the brand describes as “pistachio-caramel,” and it absolutely lingers throughout the day, though it is subtle and doesn’t seem to interfere with the scent of a perfume if I wore one on top. That is by design, so if scented body washes aren’t for you, I’d skip this one.
Tatcha Violet C Radiance Mask ($68.00 for 1.7 oz.) is supposed to be an “anti-aging” mask that brightens and improves skin texture and tone. It had a light-medium weight texture that was creamy and spreadable on the skin; it was easy to apply a thicker layer but equally easy to go for a very thin layer. There was a subtle, berry-ish scent that I barely noticed–only when I initially opened the jar and started to work the product across the skin was the scent present to my nose. I’ve used this a dozen times now, and I never notice anything significant after using it — at best, slightly more hydrated skin that feels a bit pampered, but I don’t get brighter skin, didn’t see an uptick in evenness or texture (but I would say my skin is fairly smooth normally with only some unevenness in tone). It was a very comfortable mask to wear, easy to wash off (as directed), and definitely didn’t hurt my skin, but I didn’t personally see enough benefits to repurchase it.
Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ($48.00 for 5.1 fl. oz.) is supposed to be a “two-in-one makeup remover and cleanser” that will break down “even waterproof makeup.” I know I tried this a couple of years ago, but it didn’t register as more than a blip on my radar at the time. My sister raves about it, though, so I figured I’d give it another try and picked it up whenever I last indulged in Tatcha products. I liked it, and I felt it did its job well–it broke down all of my makeup, whether waterproof mascara, full coverage foundation, or red lipstick–without leaving behind any filmy or greasy residue. There was a light, clean, floral scent that I could barely detect personally.
Farmacy Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask ($56.00 for 4.1 oz.) is supposed to hydrate and smooth the skin that has a warming, tingling effect as one massages it into the skin that is noticeable for about ten minutes (in my experience). Per the brand, the mask should be left on for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing off and can be used two to three times per week. It had a sweet, honey scent and had the consistency of a smoother, less-sticky jelly that turns into a creamy, white consistency after being massaged onto the skin.
It was a strong enough warming, tingling sensation that I think that has to be an effect one enjoys in a mask to consider this product. The first time I used it, the effect was a bit too uncomfortable for me, and I removed it after five minutes, but subsequent uses were more tolerable. It took me a few uses before I was able to figure out the right amount of product to apply as well. One of the neat aspects about the product was actually in the packaging: the included, metal spatula stuck to the jar, which made it easy not to lose it! The mask itself is not one I’d use right prior to an event but a day or two ahead as prep for an event, as it did leave my skin slightly redder initially, but the next day, my skin did seem brighter,slightly glowier and plumper overall.
Clarins Fix’ Make-Up (2017) ($29.00 for 1.7 fl. oz.) is supposed to be a setting spray that “keeps makeup looking freshly applied for hours” while also “moisturi[zing] and sooth[ing]” the skin. The mist is particularly lovely, as it was ultra-fine and never spit onto the skin with big droplets, and the fineness of the mist seemed to cover the skin more evenly than less fine mists do. I felt like it extended the wear of my makeup by a couple of hours–not the most intensive, most effective setting spray–but it also was one of the lightest, least detectable (weightless and natural in feel after it dried down) setting sprays I’ve tried. Like most setting sprays, that mist also helped to tamp down any excess powderiness and breathe a little life back into the skin for anyone who has a tendency toward mattifying products.
Kiehl’s Crème de Corps ($48.00 for 16.9 fl. oz.) has been a long-time favorite for me–almost a decade of love!–and I might have reviewed in the past, but I have newer photos and did intend to review it at some point, so let’s do a speed review of it! Over the last couple of years, I have found that squalane is particularly effective for me for keeping my skin hydrated, so it didn’t surprise me at all when I saw it as the second ingredient (right after water) in this formula, as it has served me well over the years.
It’s a light-medium thick lotion-cream hybrid–it absorbs faster than most creams but is heavier than a true lotion formula–that dries down to a non-sticky feel, starts to smooth and hydrate the skin immediately and keeps going all day long. There’s no lingering greasiness, which makes it comfortable to wear, even if I slip on clothes before it’s fully absorbed into my skin. There doesn’t seem to be any added scent; it smells a bit like almond and cocoa butter to me, so it just smells like an unscented cream might to my nose (a lot like an unscented lipstick smells of its waxy base). It’s a go-to when I don’t want any additional scent on my body or if I plan to wear perfume, so I can get my hydration without altering my scent of the day.
Kiehl’s Crème de Corps Nurturing Body Washing Cream ($22.00 for 6.8 fl. oz.) is a product a picked up on a whim as I’m a big fan of the original Creme de Corps body cream. It’s a more expensive body wash product, and I felt like it was most “worth it” when I felt drier, particularly for legs and when I shaved them, as it did seem to make them a bit smoother and less scaly post-shower (without using anything else). There seemed liike a slight, hydrating film left behind post-shower, which may not be for everyone (it didn’t feel bad or greasy to me, though). To cover the whole body, a fair amount of product was needed, which again, made it a more expensive product that had a marginal, positive change on my skin but simply taking the time to apply body cream or lotion would do a lot more. It seemed unscented to me.