Sunday, October 19, 2014

Caudalie - A First Look and Review


After over a year of beauty blogging, I've come to realize that there is just SO MUCH out there to try. And of course you want to get your hands on all of it, but money and time tend to be pretty heavy limiting factors. Caudalie is one of those brands that I've known about for ages, but has always been a little too far out of my price range for me to splurge on. As with other prestige brands, I always keep an eye out for sales, coupons, and other deals so that I can maybe snag a luxe product on my drugstore budget. And sure enough, my patience and persistence paid off. I was able to snag this set of three full-sized Caudalie products at a crazy discount during Sephora's End of Summer Sale. I was excited, to say the very least. Sadly, it looks like that set was on sale because they were discontinuing it, so it's no longer available for purchase. However, each of these products is still available individually as part of their regular skincare lineup.

Regardless, I can finally say that I've been able to experience Caudalie skincare. What did I think about this long raved about beauty brand? Were any of these products amazing enough to re-purchase? Here's  an in-depth look at my first impression.


Make-Up Remover Cleaning Water
$28 (200 ml)

Cleansing waters seem to be all the rage lately. They remove makeup, dirt, oil, and other nasty things from your skin without being harsh or irritating. I actually haven't tried a cleansing water before (despite reading many a review of them) so I don't have a comparison basis for how well this performs opposed to other brands. The first time I gave this a whirl I tried to use it to clean my fully makeup-ed face. That was kind of a disaster. What felt like 10 cotton pads and a lot of cleansing water later, my eyes were still black and vaguely smudgy, and my face didn't feel completely clean. Even though you aren't supposed rinse your face after using this product, I admitted defeat and used my regular cleanser to remove the rest of my makeup.

After quite a bit more trial and error, I'm still on the fence about this product. It smells lovely - light and fruity without being sickly sweet or overpowering - and is incredibly gentle and non irritating. It just doesn't seem to quite meet my needs when it comes to makeup removal. If I'm wearing a full face of foundation and waterproof eye makeup I feel like I'd need to use a 1/4 of the bottle just to get it all properly off my face. It also doesn't seem to have enough oomph to completely remove stubborn eye makeup on its own. As a second step to my usual cleanser, this does do a great job of removing traces of makeup while leaving your skin feeling soft and hydrated. However, I'm not sure that it's a step that's worth $30 to me, especially when I have other toners and eye makeup removers in my arsenal that serve the same function.

Long story short, I will certainly continue to use this product to help remove any residual makeup from my face, or to cleanse on no-makeup or very light makeup days. However, I will most likely not be repurchasing this.


Gentle Buffing Cream
$35 (2 oz)

I wasn't in the market for a new exfoliating scrub, since I've already got quite a few on hand, but I suppose I can never have too many. Turns out I LOVE this product. It may have immediately shot to the top of my favorite exfoliating products ever. With my skin being so acne prone, exfoliation is something I have to be careful with. When you're using products that help increase cell turnover to treat acne, it's important to give your skin a little help in sloughing off dead skin. However, acne prone skin also tends to be more sensitive, and harsh scrubs can actually make breakouts worse. This buffing cream is the perfect balance of being gentle and effective. It uses very fine jojoba beads, which help to buff away impurities without having harsh edges that can damage or irritate the skin. It also has honey and grape oils to leave your skin feeling soft and moisturized. I use this twice a week in my morning shower and it makes my skin feel oh-so-happy. I've also noticed that when I've tried my other scrubs in lieu of this, I'm more aware of how gritty and harsh they can be. The $35 price tag does make me cringe a little, especially because the tube is so small. But when something makes my skin so happy it may be worth the investment.


Moisturizing Cream Mask
$40 (50 ml)

This product is definitely different than any others I own. It's a bit of a cross between a night cream, and a hydrating mask. You are meant to apply a thick layer to your skin, leave on for 15 minutes, and then wipe off any extra product with a cotton pad - no rinsing required. It's got a very thick texture that vaguely reminds me of a peel off mask before it dries. After letting my face soak in the mask and removing the excess my skin felt hydrated, although a little tacky. I honestly don't mind the sensation, especially if I'm about to go to sleep, but it might be a little weird under makeup. The Caudalie website recommends using this product as a second step to their buffing cream, which I could see might make for an excellent bedtime facial. Since I've been mostly using the buffing cream in the morning, I've only used this mask maybe once as intended. However, I've started using a small dab after my night time cleansing routine in lieu of a moisturizer, and noticed that I wake up with baby soft skin. I'm a bit on the fence as to whether or not this product is repurchase worthy. I think it's intensely hydrating, and would probably be a lifesaver for anyone with super dry skin. However, it'd be more of a luxury/extra pampering step in my skincare routine, and with my affinity toward trying new and different face masks, I would probably be more likely to try something else with my $40 than to repurchase.

The final verdict? My first experience with Caudalie has been a generally positive one. I appreciate that they leave the sulfates, parabens, and mineral oils out of their products, and opt for healthier, high quality ingredients. I understand that they are a luxury skincare brand, and they're still a little expensive for my budget, but I would like to try more from their line. I'm going to keep an eye out for gift and value sets (like this one of Caudalie Favorites) as well as the sale section of the Sephora website to see if I can get a little more bang for my buck.

Are you a fan of Caudalie products? What's your favorite?


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