Are facial sprays all they're cracked up to be? I put this celebrity-approved one to the test
For those of us devoted to all things beauty, using a facial spray has been a part of our routines for years. I started out with my trusty Mario Badescu spray and eventually made my way through the rest, from Glossier to Lush to Herbivore. I’ve taken them all for a spin, and for the most part, adore each and every one.
Call me a facial spritz connoisseur, if you will. I am such a hardcore face spray evangelist that I even converted my partner into an obsessive, and he now keeps two bottles in the fridge for himself. Spread the good word, my darlings.
And yet, after all this time, I’d yet to try the holy grail of facial sprays: Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir ($49).
Touted for decades as the best face spray in the business, this cult-fave facial spray always intrigued me. And yes, I’ll admit that the price tag always freaked me out. There’s only so much I’m willing to go into debt for beauty, especially something that’s essentially water. Because let me tell you, as someone who has tried about 25 different face sprays, there’s very little variations on the theme. So I could really never justify the expense.
But when the 20th anniversary of Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir rolled around a few weeks ago, I felt ready to give it a try. And let me tell you, it’s been a while since I’ve been so excited to get a beauty product in the mail.
If you know me, then you’re aware that I’m a total history buff — and if we’re talking about beauty history, I am in heaven. That is my jam. If you ever see me on the street, ask me about Marie Antoinette’s favorite perfume or how colonial women kept their skin soft. I’ve got STORIES.
It makes perfect sense that Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir would be right up my alley, as it’s steeped in beauty history lore.
According to Caudalie’s site, legend has it that in the 16th Century, the Queen of Hungary used a youth elixir so effective that she charmed the King of Poland (he was 35 years her junior) with her radiant complexion. Hundreds of years later, a recipe was found in France that claimed to be for the tonic that the Queen had used centuries before. Caudalie was inspired by this recipe to create the iconic Beauty Elixir. Many other brands have tried to recreate it based on this ancient recipe, but none have succeeded quite like Caudalie.
This is just the kind of fancy-lady beauty history that I eat up, so when my Beauty Elixir arrived, I accepted it — and the forthcoming results — with an open heart. This beauty-enhancing mist claims to tone and tighten pores, set makeup, boost radiance, and hydrate skin, among other things. Celebrities swear by it, claiming it’s the source of their perfect skin. Guys? I am ready for radiant skin.
Before spraying the elixir:
Right off the bat, you can see that I’ve got some pretty serious redness to contend with, to say nothing of usual dark circles. I’m a splotchy lil baby. What can I say? This is full-on morning face. I’ve literally never needed a refreshing spritz more in my life.
I figured you’d really want an action shot of the magic going down. The things I do in the name of beauty journalism! I can promise you that I was feeling extra refreshed and calm while spraying myself.
Side note: Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir has a delightful scent — it’s incredibly soothing and it definitely woke me up a bit.
It smells faintly of roses and rosemary and is equal parts invigorating and relaxing. I’m fully into it, even if my grumpy face suggests otherwise. I am not a human being until lunchtime, and I’m not sorry about it.
After spraying the Beauty Elixir:
You can see that a lot of my redness calmed down, almost immediately. The hydrating effect of the spray also acted as a much-needed moisturizer and gave me a bit of a soft-focus glow, which I am always chasing. Now, this is not makeup or a cure-all. I still had some redness, and that can only be subdued with the help of some good, old-fashioned makeup. However, I love that it made a dent in the madness, especially on my forehead.
I can attest that it is also a great setting spray for makeup. After I did my full face of makeup, I gave myself one final spray before heading out the door.
This photo was taken about two hours later, and you can see that my makeup is still in place despite the gross wind that has rendered my hair oily and flat. And I’m much happier now that I’ve eaten and there’s a gigantic iced cappuccino in front of my face.
And now, for the question of whether it’s worth the price or not:
Honestly, I don’t know. I would say it is much, much better than 80% of facial sprays, especially those under $20. But I can’t really say that it’s $30 better than those that are in the $20-or-higher range. It does actively make your skin look nice and fresh, but only a touch more so than a mid-range spray.
Without a doubt, add the Caudalie Beauty Elixir to your wish list. Ask for it for your birthday, holidays, and baby showers, because it is a delight and really does give you a lovely little glow. If you have the budget for it, then by all means, spray away. Do I think that if you’re saving up for skin care that you should necessarily spend it on the Beauty Elixir over a great serum or moisturizer? Nope. You gotta prioritize.
However, I’ll be desperately clinging to every drop for as long as it lasts and feeling like a fancy old-timey glamour girl every time I indulge in a spritz.