I’m Kristel. I vlog. I blog. Professional makeup artist based in Manila. 300 hours training in Make Up For Ever Academy, Seoul, South Korea. I live makeup, you have no idea.

Monthly Skincare Snippets: Caudalie 2013 Favorites Set for July!

Monthly Skincare Snippets is a year-long project of mine using one skincare set consistently for a month. I only have two rules: use it at night and don't allow more than seven days of non-usage. I wanted to set a period of usage for products (one month) instead of waiting for them to get emptied. This is my way of making a dent on the various skincare samples I've accumulated.  
You may read more Snippets here.

Hey everyone! I'm so excited to share the July Skincare Snippets because I've always been fascinated with how the French are so minimalist in their skincare. I feel like they have a completely different approach to skincare and the creation of the Micelle Water just proves how out-of-the-box they think. (This article from Glamourbox served as my primer on French skincare.)

caudalie 2013 favorites set review

I love contrasting French with Korean skincare, which seems to employ a 'the more is merrier' approachCan you imagine a 12-step skincare regimen? My heart sinks just thinking about it!

However, since I ship Koreans, I tried layering first and have actually found lots of success with it, especially with sheet masks. I totally believe in layering yet everything about a 'no-water, minimalist' skincare routine makes as much sense to me.


USD 32 + 8.25% sales tax in Texas. That comes up to around Php 1600 total for this 5-pc. set. I purchased this in Sephora. You can read the rest of my haul story here.

Caudalie is a French brand available internationally through their boutiques and spas. You can also buy them online or through Sephora.

Product Description:

Caudalie is a French skincare brand found in many local pharmacies. It is cruelty-free and vegan. They embrace Cosm-ethics or the ehtical production of cosmetics. Click here for more information on their green goals.

The brand is majorly inspired by grape vines, as founder Mathilde Thomas saw potential in the family vineyard. Their three main ingredients are all derived from the grapevine: Polyphenols (antioxidant) from the seed, Reservatrol (anti-aging) from the stalks and Viniferine (anti-spots) from the sap.

Caudalie 2013 Favorites Set

The Favorites Set is Mathilde's own selection for radiant and healthy skin. The Caudalie 2013 Favorites Set contains:
  • Caudalie Lip Conditioner (4.5g)
  • Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream (30ml)
  • Caudalie Divine Oil (15ml)
  • Caudalie Beauty Elixir (30ml)
  • Caudalie Makeup Remover Cleansing Water or Micelle Water (50ml)

This year's (2014) set replaces the Divine Oil (15ml) with the Vinosource Sorbet (10ml.) This kit creates a 3-step routine whereas my Laneige MSS (Korean) was a maddening 7-step. In hindsight, I should have done this right after my Laneige trial to contrast better.

How to Use:

Here's my PM routine with a bit of explanation on the French way of doing skincare:

caudalie makeup remover cleansing water review
Caudalie Makeup Remover Cleansing Water

  • Caudalie Makeup Remover Cleansing Water or Micelle Water
Use this to remove makeup. If you wore waterproof makeup for the day, use a biphase makeup remover for that first, and cleanse with the Water.

Tap water characteristics depend by region. French tap water is notoriously hard, meaning, it contains a lot of minerals. It sounds good for you, but no, not really. Minerals in water cause alkalinity, which imbalances or irritates our naturally, slightly-acidic skin.

The "hardness" or mineral content also makes it more difficult to completely rinse soap off, since the water is occupied by minerals and cannot interact as well with the soap particles. Even if you do get all the soap off, minerals themselves stick to your skin. This residual coat of mineral can suck out your natural moisture, circling back once again to dryness and irritation.

Aaaand, that's why the French have had to innovate waterless cleansers and makeup removers :))

Caudalie Beauty Elixir review
Caudalie Beauty Elixir

  • Caudalie Beauty Elixir
This is a very refreshing, highly stinging (even with eyes closed) face mist. Use it before makeup or moisturizer. There is a very noticeable glow afterwards, especially when it was newer- sometime last year.

It is inspired by Queen Isabelle of Hungary's Elixir of Youth. Not limited to skincare applications, it is also a great pre-makeup or setting spray. The pump dispenses a thick and even mist.

caudalie divine oil review
Caudalie Divine Oil

  • Caudalie Divine Oil
One of Caudalie's best-sellers, the Divine Oil is a dry oil that's meant to be the "sealing" or final layer of skincare. Dry oils are not like your normal essential oils in that they're formulated to be very easily spreadable (usually sprayed on) and are meant to seal over other moisturizers.

As there were no serums or moisturizers, I used this to seal the Elixir mist. It has a wonderful white musk fragrance and dries with a very comfortable powder-like, demi-matte finish.


See, here's my issue with all-natural, anti-paraben brands. I bought this set August of last year (2013). I used it a few times to get a feel of the brand but couldn't commit to full use since I had other priorities.

By the time I put it into full rotation, nearly all the items suffered mild to grave deterioration in quality.

  • Lip Conditioner - went rancid. Completely unusable. I tried to stick through at least one night wearing it but the nastiness would not go away. I couldn't do day 2.
  • Hand Cream - not much difference from purchase to one year later. It has a pleasant smell and sufficiently hydrates without leaving you greasy fingerprints.
  • Divine Oil - developed a heaviness to the lighter, white musk fragrance but otherwise performed the same on my hair and face. I was using SO LITTLE of this the first few times. I was getting pretty upset at how bumpy my skin had gone due to lack of moisture. I was as bumpy as if I wasn't doing skincare at all! As soon as I figured out that it's supposed to seal over the Elixir, I used enough and my skin got better.
  • Beauty Elixir - became way less stinging and developed a woody tone to the fragrance. I remember it smelled fruitier at first. Even with eyes closed this mentholated like hell. After one year, it is much more bearable, but of course I'm not happy about that. It's more comfortable but that's not how it's supposed to perform, so I wonder; what else got diminished?
  • Makeup Remover Cleansing Water - was pretty good! It retained its zesty, citrusy smell and overall performance. It dissolves makeup really quickly; faster than Bifesta though not up to par with Bioderma. Of the three though, Caudalie feels the cleanest and freshest after use.


Cruelty-free and vegan. Also minimalist (for the lazy, this is an absolute edge!)


In order of favorites, it goes like this: Beauty Elixir, Divine Oil and Micelle Water. I'll probably try to find a sample sized Vinosource Sorbet to test if the routine gets better with it. But wouldn't that be moving further away from minimalist and closer to layering?

In any case, I'm most likely to pick up the Oil, and even then, I'm not really depressed about how inaccessible it is.

Beauty by Tellie score: 2 / 5 - Technical Difficulties

I'd give this regimen a 2, womp womp. Even after using enough oil, my skin was still a bit bumpy and not all that healthy-looking. I try to consider that my items had probably expired / diminished in performance but then again, that's pretty hard to forgive as it's my number one gripe with green brands.

caudalie 2013 favorites set review
Caudalie 2013 Favorites Set

It's just sad. I really wanted to succeed with this routine and I like these items individually. I like the Micelle Water (3.5/5). I liked the Elixir (5/5 - when it was fresh.) And maybe it all went downhill 'cause I blame the Divine Oil for aiding and abetting a significant number of bumps on my face. I still like it, though. It's for the face, hair and body how darn useful is that? It makes my hair so gorgeous and fragrant, and my scaly legs so silky and plump.

This routine would probably resound more with sensitive skinned people (hello, Kira!) Though water around these parts is not particularly hard, at least you get the benefit of soap-free, "clean" formulations free of common irritants. It might have failed me and my horribly dry skin but I think it can really work for other people, especially those with oily skin.

I could ponder all day long about the pros or potentials of this set, but we live with what we have. I really wanted to love your simple ways, Caudalie. Yet... You were weighed, you were measured, and you were found wanting.


You may visit Caudalie at

What's your minimalist skincare routine?

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