It’s difficult to scroll through your social media feed today without seeing your favorite beauty influencers promoting the latest product craze by Farsali called Unicorn Essence. This product was originally released in the winter of 2016 with the name Unicorn Tears before quickly renaming it and changing the scent due to a trademark issue. Farsali is a fairly new up-and-coming brand that grew very fast off the backs of popular social media beauty influencers, who are quick to promote a “free” product that looks pretty and smells nice. Customers were originally transfixed by their first product called Rose Gold Elixer with the little gold flakes and now by their Unicorn Essence with the pink shimmer and cotton candy smell. But buyer beware because not everything you see your favorite influencer promoting is good, nor do all the products they promote actually work the way they claim they do. Some products they promote can actually be harmful and cause issues such as skin sensitivities, irritation, acne, and worse.
As a true beauty junkie and beauty blogger, it’s my responsibility to truly test out and research any products that I recommend. I am not sponsored by any companies, owned by any management companies, nor do I receive the mounds of free PR that many influencers receive. When an influencer receives free PR, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will throw all integrity out the window and promote a certain product just because it was given to them for free. But many do, and it’s important to understand how it works. This is how the most popular influencers actually make their living. They are not just given products for free, but they are paid very large sums of money to post a single photo of them using a product on Instagram or to post a video of them using that product. They don’t just promote products out of the goodness of their heart. There’s a few honest large influencers, but they are becoming more difficult to find and the exception to the rule. Why is this important to know? Well, this entire brand with their 2 most popular products soared in customer recognition by using this social media advertising method, yet you’ll find very few (if any) influencers who actually conduct real research on the Farsali products and provide you with an outline showing their results over an extended period of time. Actually, they make blanket claims found on the product packaging but usually never have actual personal experiences or results to back up what they say.
It’s very easy to fall for the hype of an Instagram product, especially the Farsali Unicorn Essence. After all, who can resist that beautiful pink shimmering serum that has tiny sparkes and smells like cotton candy? It was originally advertised as a “primer” to be applied before makeup, to extend your makeup wear throughout the day while providing skincare benefits. It really does none of that though. I encourage you to challenge any influencer who claims otherwise by requesting actual data such as Before/After photos and test results, i.e., a time indicator outlining the benefits they saw over a certain period of time (e.g., 1 week, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, etc.). Ask them, “How much longer did your makeup wear last when you wore it compared to a day when you didn’t wear it or any other primer product?” Hold them accountable.
Even I succumbed to the hype of this product being splashed all over social media when I purchased it during the recent Sephora VIB sale.
Yes, due to the large demand of this pink shimmering product, Sephora is now selling it online and in their stores. I have a rule: I don’t review skincare products and make any claims or recommendations until I’ve used a skincare product for at least 4 – 6 weeks. Skincare products aren’t magic. They can’t deliver long-term results within 24 hours, and such claims are usually exaggerated. Sure, there are claims such as peels and microdermabrasion treatments where you’ll notice some immediate benefits such as brighter skin, but the fact remains that there’s no “miracle in a jar” that can deliver results that last for days/weeks after just a few uses. It’s one of my largest pet peeves when I see people posting glowing 5-star reviews on a skincare product after using it just a day. Unfortunately, I couldn’t use this product for 4 – 6 weeks in order to provide an assessment on possible long-term benefits. Why?
Let’s start by looking at the ingredient list, which I was aware of before purchasing but failed to take into proper consideration. Ingredients are important, whether it’s your food or skincare and makeup. When you look at the ingredients in this product, it’s almost shocking. Over half of this product consists of fillers, fragrance, and dyes. There are actually very few ingredients in this bottle that can benefit your skin, yet there are many ingredients known to cause irritation and potentially harmful effects. If you’re not aware, the website COSDNA.com
is an excellent source to research a skincare/makeup product’s ingredients and understand any potential issues those ingredients can cause. Each ingredient is outlined with its ranking on an Acne/Irritant/Safety scale. In general, ingredients listed at the top of a product’s listing are found in greater concentrations compared to ingredients listed at the end of the list. That doesn’t mean the ingredients listed last are acceptable though, just because they are included in smaller concentrations.
I wore this product for 3 days before I had to stop using it. The “cotton candy” fragrance found in this product isn’t subtle. It’s very strong and overwhelming and unfortunately doesn’t dissipate after application. The strong scent literally lasts all day, and I got constant whiffs of it every time I inhaled. That may sound good if you’re wearing a perfume, but it’s not a positive trait in a skincare product. Fragrance is a known irritant that can cause irritation and sensitivity issues in many people. Aside from skin irritation, it can even trigger migraines in people who are predisposed to those issues. But did you know that fragrance in skincare can also increase the aging process of your skin? Yep, added fragrance in skincare products actually assist in the break-down of collagen in your skin and cause your skin to age much faster than normal, leading to more wrinkles and deeper wrinkles. I certainly don’t need a product that causes wrinkles. At the age of 41, I’m aging fast enough, thank you.
The serum has a water-like consistency that absorbs immediately into the skin. I don’t see any way whatsoever that this product can perform as a “primer” and make your makeup last longer, anymore than my other makeup serums would. That’s not what the ingredients in this product are intended to do. I’ve seen some pretty big claims for this product, including that it will help your eye makeup and concealer last longer without creasing. That is all hype with no actual results behind it. If someone makes that claim, ask them what other products they applied to their skin prior to their makeup application. In my experience, this product certainly won’t fill in large pores or even out your skin texture for an even, long-wearing makeup application. I found no benefits or results to substantiate this as a makeup primer.
There are multiple dyes in this product: Red 40, Red 33, Red 4, Blue 1. Seriously!? There is absolutely no beneficial reason for a skincare product to contain so many different dyes. Those dyes go directly into your skin, your largest body organ, and cause irritation and other skin issues. It also contains Mica, which causes the colored shimmer in the product that everyone is in awe of. It’s not necessary though, and it has absolutely zero skin benefits. Why do we want to buy a shimmery skincare product when it can cause irritation, other skin issues, and even potentially expedites the aging process?
The question remains…. Why would any company produce a supposed skincare product such as “Unicorn Essence” in a marketplace where customers are becoming more and more educated and aware about skincare ingredients and their benefits? The answer is simple. They’re banking, quite literally, on the fact that there are still thousands of unassuming customers who will see the pretty shimmering serum with the fantasy unicorn name, used by their favorite influencers, and still be willing to give it a try…. just like I was. It’s time though for customers like you and me to use our knowledge and buying power to change this industry for the better. Companies will only give us better products that actually work when we demand them. When we settle for pink, smelly glitter in a bottle at a high price, that’s what they’ll continue to deliver.
Ingredients for Farsali Unicorn Essence – Water, Propanediol, Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Euterpe Oleracea (Açaí) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Lycium Barbarum (Goji) Fruit Extract, Sambucus Nigra (Elder Berry) Fruit Extract, Tamarindus Indica Seed Polysaccharide, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Red 40, Red 33, Red 4, Blue 1, Mica, Titanium Dioxide.
Price: $54 for 1 oz
Have you tried the Farsali Unicorn Elixer? What are your thoughts? Comment below or visit me on Instagram. Let’s chat!