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I tried over $870 worth of Drunk Elephant for a month and here are my thoughts

I'll be honest, my wallet really didn't want me to like some of these products, but they're just that damn good.

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If you have an Internet connection and Instagram account I'm pretty sure you've heard of the skincare brand, Drunk Elephant.

This iconic brand comes in some of the most recognisable and prettiest packaging around, but it's also well known for sporting some pretty hefty prices which means you'll want this stuff to do its job. So I took one for the team friends, and have taken it upon myself to test whether or not this Insta-brand is really worth the bang for its buck.

As a quick TLDR, I do like a good chunk of these products but I know they're also on the expensive side and a lot of people don't want to be forking out that kind of cash. So if you are looking for some quick guidance my absolute top 3 must-haves are:

  • T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum
  • C-Firma Day Serum
  • Lala Retro Whipped Cream Moisturiser

Want to know why? And know more? Read on and enjoy.

The morning routine

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1. Beste No. 9 Jelly Cleanser ($49)

Rating: 8/10

I really, really like this cleanser. It's soft, gentle and removes all your makeup in one go without the need to double cleanse. The formula sits at a pH level of 5.5, which means it's not going to irritate your skin so it's great if you are a bit sensitive. A small amount of this product goes an extremely long way. I have never had a cleanser that removed my makeup so well in one use... EVER.

On the downside, I would say that my skin didn't feel hydrated after using this product. However, that is pretty normal when you are using a cleanser of this kind. It didn't completely strip my skin of moisture but I wouldn't say it added any either, so you'll need to go in with an oil or moisturiser after using it. No biggie though, that's pretty normal.

Would I buy it again? Yes. A cleanser is supposed to clean your skin and remove your makeup which is exactly what this product does. I like how straight up it is and it isn't super fancy in terms of what it's supposed to do. Cleansed skin? Done.


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2. B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum ($73)

Rating: 7/10

When you read the description for this product, it throws a bunch of fancy ingredients at you that leaves you like... "huh?".

To put it simply, this product is a water-based hydrating serum that contains pro-vitamin B5, which aims to attract and hold hydration to your skin.

This serum would probably be an absolute dream for those with oily skin. I, however, have skin that would give the Sahara Desert a run for its money, meaning that when I apply this product I get that gorgeous glowy result, but it is quite short-lived. I did notice an improvement in my skin's texture from using this and it's probably due to the pineapple ceramide which boosts radiance and enzymatically refines skin texture and tone.

This was definitely a fabulous product to follow up the Jelly Cleanser with as it added that boost of hydration back into my skin post-cleansing.

Would I repurchase? For $73 it feels quite steep and if I had the money to continuously buy products in that price range I would. However, there are products in the Drunk Elephant range I would choose over this one. I could also be wrong because there are 410 5-star reviews of this product on the MECCA site so maybe my dry skin is just a problem child.


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3. C-Firma Day Serum ($122)

Rating: 9/10

Hello, please meet the love of my life.

Before I used this product I had the most uneven skin tone no matter what products I tried. Within a few weeks, I had a brighter, more even skin tone.

When you first use it, the tacky consistency feels weird but I liked to press it into my skin rather than rub it so it wasn't a big deal. The pumpkin ferment and pomegranate extract are a dynamic duo of ingredients that dissolve dead skin cells and can minimise the look of pores.

On top of enhancing my overall tone, I noticed a lift in my skin's radiance and it calmed my skin too. There's a bit of an odd smell to it but I love this product so much I genuinely do not care.

Would I repurchase? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!


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4. Lala Retro Whipped Cream Moisturiser ($91)

Rating: 10/10

I really want to tell you I didn't like this $91 moisturiser. I really do, but I simply CAN'T.

This is without a doubt the best moisturiser my skin has ever had the pleasure of coming into contact with. When I tell you we're talking all-day hydration, I mean we're talking ALL DAY, SON!

This whipped blend of six cold-pressed African oils and ceramides gives a lovely kiss of moisture. Even though the texture is thick, it is so light on the skin and doesn't make you feel greasy at all. The smallest smidge of the product is enough to last you all day long and with skin as dry as mine that is something I can get around.

I'm not the only person who completely froths this product either because it has 890 5-star reviews on the MECCA site, so plenty of us think it is just the bee's knees.

Would I repurchase? My bank account is quivering but yes I would. There are definitely moisturisers out there that will give you great results at a cheaper price but once I tried this I couldn't go back. The good thing though is that this product lasts you a long time so you won't have to fork out $91 every month.


The evening routine

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5. T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum ($137)

Rating: 11/10

Now, my dear friends, we've reached the point you've all been waiting for. The number 1. The head honcho. The alpha.

The T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum.

If you're going to invest in one Drunk Elephant product then please let it be this one. The first night I used this product I had three red angry pimples and by the morning they were barely there anymore. In a couple of days? Non-existent.

This night serum is a chemical exfoliant that works hard to get rid of dead skin cells, unclog your pores and fade nasty pigmentation. It contains salicylic acid which is one of the best skincare ingredients because this is what will get all that dirt, grime and nasty stuff out of your pores.

If you have sensitive skin you'll want to introduce this gradually because it does give you that sweet tingly feeling that I've probably developed an unhealthy addiction to now but whatever.

Would I repurchase? I will be buried with this skincare product so hopefully, that answers your question. In other words, yes.

I know the price point is expensive so if you're on the fence then you can get sample sizes so you can back your purchase decision more.


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6. A-Passioni Retinol Cream ($113)

Rating: 6/10

I feel torn by this product. I feel like the potency of retinol in this was way too much for my skin and as a result, it acted accordingly.

Some people are after highly potent retinols that really go for it but as someone with dry skin that can be sensitive, it missed the mark for me. But if you're after a retinol that is ready and raring to go, this is a product that will get the job done.

For me, I prefer something a little more gentle, otherwise my skin starts peeling and nobody enjoys that. Drunk Elephant says that you can pair it with other serums, oils and moisturisers in order to make it more gentle, but when you're paying $113 for a product I don't believe you should have to spend any more to make it work for you.

Would I repurchase? Probably not.


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7. Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil ($109)

Rating: 7/10

This is great face oil. It's no fuss, no long paragraphs of ingredients and it's an oil that won't clog your pores.

It has the one active ingredient of marula oil which aims to give life and hydration back to dry dull skin as well as reducing fine lines and wrinkles. This product also wears incredibly well under makeup.

However, the price tag is quite hefty. There is a good reason for this though. The marula oil is unrefined, meaning it comes straight from the marula fruit, making the ingredient a higher quality and more expensive. It's also the lightest oil I've ever put on my skin and feels like silk.

$109 is a lot and I'm definitely not saying there aren't other oils out there for a cheaper price, but I will say this product feels worth that price tag. I apply this before I go to sleep and I wake up with my skin still hydrated and glowing from the night before.

Would I repurchase? Yes, but if I had to choose between this oil and the Lala moisturiser I would go with Lala.


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8. C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream ($97)

Rating: 8/10

Reviewing an eye cream is always tricky terrain because we all have disproportionate expectations of what the results will be – including me. We all think we're going to have no fine lines and our dark circles will completely disappear without a trace. If anyone actually finds a product that does that then let me know because you will have found the holy grail.

In saying that, I still saw some incredible improvement using this product. The C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream contains five vitamin C derivatives, peptides, ceramides and anti-oxidants. In other words, it's jam-packed with active skincare ingredients.

After using this product for some time now, I can tell you that you won't see results overnight. It's something that will gradually improve your eye area. I definitely noticed a brighter under-eye area and they were definitely more hydrated and less sunken. I didn't notice a huge difference in relation to fine lines and wrinkles but I am 25 so it's not a huge concern for me yet.

Would I repurchase? Yes, it's the only eye cream I've used where I felt I could see a major difference in brightening and hydration. If you're wanting an eye cream that is more focused on fine lines this may not be for you.


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9. F-Balm Electrolyte Waterfacial ($79)

Out of the two hydrating serums, this is the one I prefer. It's like a big ol' drink of water for your skin and then some.

It's the perfect cocktail of hydrating but not heavy ingredients that allows this leave-on mask to work overnight. When you wake up you've got soft, supple skin that already has a radiant glow to it without even doing your morning skincare routine.

I definitely felt like my skin enjoyed this product over the B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum, so if you're trying to choose between the two I personally prefer this one. The directions say you need 4-5 pumps but I actually found I could use less and get some damn good results.

Would I repurchase? Yeah, dawg. If you've got dry skin this will be your bestie.


Alexandra Hourigan's headshot

Alex Hourigan is Finder's social content creator and manages everything to do with FinderStyle. You'll find her written and video work featured on sites such as MTV Australia and Elite Daily. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Marketing from Macquarie University. See full bio

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