Honest Reviews: Drunk Elephant Vitamin C + Hanacure Nano Emulsion.

By: Jen Shoop

Sephora just launched its Spring Savings event (tiered access to a discount starts today — 20% off for VIB Rouge), and if you take nothing else away from this post, please consider using the promotion to treat yourself to Westman Atelier’s foundation stick, which is definitely one of the best new beauty products I’ve tried in the last few years. (Just make sure to hydrate your skin well first.) I also love (!) their blush stick and highlighter stick in the “lit” (totally colorless) color and wear them every single day. The highlighter stick adds dewiness rather than shine — it’s an incredible product. I always get excited when I can get these prestige beauty products at a little discount since they so rarely go on sale. And if you are expecting, consider using the promotion towards Clarins Body Tonic! I have turned no less than twenty mom friends onto this. They say stretch marks are mainly genetic, but this stuff made my itchy pregnant belly feel so much better — deeply hydrating! — and, hey, I’ll take a gamble on something if it might help avoid stretch marks. (I have none!) I just updated my shop page to include a section dedicated to beauty showcasing all my favorite products for these recs and others!

+Drunk Elephant C-Firma Vitamin C Serum. I talked a little bit in my last installment of Honest Reviews that I haven’t yet found a vitamin C serum that I love. I appreciate the results of the many different brands I have tried (all of them have noticeably brightened my skin — I liken it to “turning on the lights upstairs”), but I am still on the search for one with an ideal consistency/application. My sister happened to gift me this serum (she loves all things Drunk Elephant) and while I think the results are great, I find the scent off-putting. (Read the reviews — this is a common complaint. Some describe the scent as “hot dog water” — haha! To me it smelled more like over-ripe or rotting vegetables. Regardless, yuck! The scent does dissipate within a few minutes, but…!). That said, Drunk Elephant is a clean beauty line, so that was a compelling selling point. Regardless, I think I’ll be testing La Roche Posay’s formula or Biossance’s serum next on the recommendation of several Magpies. My bottom line remains the same: vitamin C has worked wonders on my skin and I will continue testing different formulas until I find the holy grail. (I still think this is the best budget buy version you can get — just as good as the more expensive ones I’ve tried. Formula is a touch tacky/sticky but no scent and easier to apply than runnier formulas I’ve tried.)

+Youth to the People Superberry Mask. My current regimen is to use differin (retinoid) two nights a week and my beloved glycolic acid pads two nights a week, use an overnight mask one night, and nothing on the other two nights of the week. This has been a good pattern for my skin. I have been testing this hydrating mask (also from a clean beauty line). I do think it hydrates nicely, but it almost makes me feel like I’m going to bed with butter smeared all over my face — ha! I’ll continue to use it when my skin is feeling dry, but I have preferred other overnight masks — especially the now-retired Peter Thomas Roth rose stem cell mask, may it rest in peace.

+Hanacure Nano-Emulsion Moisturizer. A really, really good lightweight moisturizer. Unscented, a delight to apply (a tiny little pump of this rather thin moisturizer moisturizes my entire face and neck wonderfully), and surprisingly hydrating. This will be my new go-to summer moisturizer. (Last summer, I used Avene, which I thought was very good but I now prefer Hanacure to it. It feels to me just a tiny bit easier to apply and more hydrating.)

+IGK Thirsty Girl Leave-In Conditioner. I think I’ve written about this a number of times, but never in an honest review. This spray conditioner is SO good. My stylist used it before blow-drying my hair and I immediately went home and ordered it for myself. It smells like heaven and applies like a hairspray (it’s aerosolized), which feels more foolproof since you can cover more surface area with a single spritz. It REALLY conditions hair — hair feels so soft afterwards. I think this has been a game changer in my styling with heat tools, too — I get the absolute best result when I layer this on over a heat protectant.

A few items on my wishlist at the moment:

+Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector. I have read about this stuff for years — women swear by it! Since I have been blow-drying my hair every other day (and color-treating it for years now), I feel like my hair might need a little love, and this promises “strengthen the hair from within, reducing breakage and improving its look and feel.” I know there are many Magpies who adore this stuff.

+Dyson AirWrap. I’ll admit that as much as I love my Revlon One-Step, I’d love to jump on the Dyson bandwagon. I know many of you love Dyson hair products but somehow I just can’t bring myself to bite the bullet. Sephora’s promotion has led me to deposit this into my cart and then remove it no less than five times…

+Isle of Paradise Tanning Drops. Another Magpie reader favorite. I have been afraid of tanning products since my early 20s, when I overindexed on this beauty category and regret the photo evidence. However, so many of you swear by mixing in just a drop or two into your moisturizer to build a gradual, believable tan…

+Westman Atelier Blush Stick in Poppet. I just need this color for summer. So fun with a white dress and a good tan.

+Charlotte Tilbury Eyebrow Pencil. Y’all know I love my Hourglass brow gel (absolute best I’ve ever tried), but this pencil gets INCREDIBLE reviews. I’m intrigued.

+Saie Mascara. Another clean beauty line that people are going crazy about — my Instagram friend Nan has been raving about this specific brand for a long, long time and I often find our perspectives on cosmetics/skincare align.


P.P.S. The magic of swings as a child.

P.P.P.S. Recent Etsy finds and great spring coats.

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10 thoughts on “Honest Reviews: Drunk Elephant Vitamin C + Hanacure Nano Emulsion.

  1. I’m weeks late to the Sephora sale post (eek!) but I did want to write in and say that you influenced me to buy the Mad Hippie Vitamin C serum and I’m going to start testing it tomorrow! Yay!

    Speaking of makeup/skincare … I went a little bit overboard during the Sephora sale and bought a bunch of lip products from Milk + Kosas, plus Saie highlighter (which I love!) and your Armani mascara, which I’m going to test this weekend. I’m intrigued by the Saie mascara, too, though, because I’ve been trying to focus on “clean” products where possible (though clearly it’s not a hard rule for me!) — so keep us posted! I also bought a jumbo Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen because I’m in love with their sun products. Haha! Oh, and Herbivore Botanicals’ natural alternative to retinol serum (bakuchiol, I think?) — really liking that a lot; my skin feels so smooth when I wake up after using it at night!


    1. Oo love your Sephora haul!! I really, really want that Saie highlighter. I’ve been eyeing for awhile – maybe will take the plunge tomorrow. I have so many highlighter-type products but then again, I subscribed to the Gwyneth Paltrow philosophy of overindexing in that cosmetics category. Haha!


    2. Thanks! Let’s definitely compare notes on the Saie highlighter if you end up going for it. I am a novice in the highlighter category — I’ve really only tried RMS Beauty Living Luminizer and Glossier Futuredew, aside from Saie — and I so appreciate how the Saie is not as sticky/tacky as the others, and imparts a lovely glow. Big fan so far!


  2. I hear you on the vit C… I’ve just started using Sunday Riley CEO glow serum and I love it so far. My morning routine is CEO, then LRP Cicaplast lotion, then sunscreen… I was using tinted Supergoop, but just started using tinted Cerave, and I actually like it better…for 1/3 the price! The CEO sinks in immediately under those other two. (and it almost no scent.) Thanks for the rec on a lighter summer lotion; I love the Cicaplast but definitely a cooler weather item! Also continuing to realllly love my Sunday Riley Auto Correct eye cream!
    I know how much you love your Clarins doble serum and I was just sent a sample of the new Double Serum Eye Cream… the next morning my eyes were so swollen, I looked like I had been punched in both eyes!! Maybe I just used too much?? But I would definitely give Auto Correct a try if you’re still on the hunt 🙂 xo

    1. Thanks, Jessica! I’m super intrigued by your review of the tinted cerave! I might have to order to test.

      Oh no on the Clarins eye cream — it almost sounds like you had an allergic reaction! Not pleasant.


  3. I love that you “overindexed” on fake tans and “regret the photo evidence” – lololol

    Speaking of conditioner spray, do you use a detangling spray on mini’s hair? I’ve been putting off finding one but I’m getting tired of my 3yo’s over dramatic shrieking over tangles.

    Thanks for all the reviews! might need to try that mascara, even though I’m pretty committed to Honest mascara rn

    1. Hehe — ohhh the tans of my early 20s.

      I have used California Baby’s Calming Hair Detangler Spray for two years now and it is incredible:

      However, I would also recommend using a good conditioner (if you aren’t already), because this has really helped with the tangles. We like the Noodle and Boo cream rinse, which is super hydrating and leaves hair impossibly tangle-free:

      Between these two products, we rarely run into snags, and mini has fine hair!


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