If you download the Sephora app on Android or iPhone, you’re able to add products to your wishlist with a simple tap of the heart-shaped icon at the top right corner of the screen. This function is meant to simplify the shopping process, but if you saw how many products I’ve “loved” you’d want to throw the very device off a bridge. The Farmacy Perennial Picks Skincare Discovery Kit ($58*) popped on my radar earlier in the year when the company’s products began to show up in my store’s deliveries. Everything from the simple ingredients to the stunning packaging caught my attention, and when I was gifted their Purple Broccoli sheet mask ($32*) in gratis it sealed the deal (read my thoughts here). I had to try more from the line, so I tapped that over-used and abused heart and waited for the right promotion.
Fortunately for me, their PR department beat me to the punch and sent a selection of Farmacy treats for me to try and share with my readers. Um, yes please! In this review I’ll let you know a little about the company, what worked, what didn’t, and whether or not I think the products are worth their price (they’re going for $22-$84 at the time of writing, exclusively at Sephora or on their own site). As always, the motto here is “honestly cheeky beauty,” so don’t you worry about fancy packages tainting my opinion. Much more expensive pieces have suffered my wrath before, so you know I don’t mess around. If you didn’t know, my skin hovers on the drier side, and is prone to small whiteheads here and there. I always layer my skincare unless specifically stated by the manufacturer, so my results are the product of a very specific regime.
The man behind Farmacy is named Mark Veeder, and he was inspired to start the cosmetics range due to his passion for plants. His cruelty-free company employs young locals to grow their signature Echinacea GreenEnvy plants in Greene County, New York. These plants (a mutant variation of purple coneflowers) contain the antioxidant cichoric acid, which supposedly helps to protect the skin and provides the basis for Farmacy’s skincare. The research and development is done by a separate company that also produces potions for giants like Estée Lauder, and Sephora backs them up as the exclusive retailer in all its USA stores. A year after their launch, they’ve recently expanded with a honey-based range that uses honey exclusively made from their own Echinacea GreenEnvy plants and bees, and are currently looking at a certain healing resin for future inspiration. Overall they seem like a wholesome brand with heart, and it will be exciting to see how they grow (pardon the word choice) in the future.
So like I said, a few pieces made their way to my mailbox, and the first to be put to the test was the Honey Savior All-in-One Skin Repair Salve ($44*). Recently hailed as one of the best products of 2016 by Refinery29, I had really high hopes for what this might do for me. The ingredients list is one of the best I’ve seen, containing castor seed oil, sunflower seed oil, honey extract, canola oil, royal jelly extract, honey and a whole plethora of waxes without any traces of parabens, sulfates or phthalates. Ingredient-wise, the salve is soothing and antiseptic, nourishing and hydrating, and calming. As visible in the photo, it comes out as a thick gel that smells (not gonna lie) kinda funky and goes on thick and a bit sticky (could be a little much for oily skin).
But oh. My. GOODNESS! This is awesome-sauce. If you have sensitive skin that gets irritated for any reason, this is the moisturizer for you. Forget redness, itchiness, flakiness – the Honey Savior takes care of all of that. My facial hair grows thick and angry when I shave, but this virtually did away with all the regular discomfort overnight. I was super impressed that it didn’t leave residue on my pillowcase or make me greasy in the morning. You’ll have to keep an eye on my empties series to be sure, but I think this might be a home run. I can’t find a singe negative thing to say about it as a deeply reparative overnight moisturizer. I’m looking forward to trying it on dry lips and elbows, too, but please note that this moisturizer is not a catch-all for every skin need. If you’re looking for anti-aging benefits, this isn’t the right pick – refer to the complete catalog to see what might work best for you.
Next is the Eye Dew Total Eye Cream ($49*), and I’m sorry to say that I can’t get behind this one. The cute packaging make it difficult to scoop out the thick jelly through a narrow opening, and I can never gauge what a “small amount” is to use as directed. Furthermore, I don’t love when the first ingredient in a product is water, and even though cetyl alcohol is typically regarded as fine in moderation, being fifth on the list makes me apprehensive. In fact, as a consumer I wish the whole formula was simplified so I knew exactly the skincare benefits of each of the (many) components. It’s meant to be hydrating, invigorating and brightening, but I found the Eye Dew fine at best. I think you can put the price of this eye cream to better use even in the same line.
Similarly with the Honey Potion Renewing Antioxidant Hydration Mask, I don’t think it’s worth $75*. The packaging is adorable; I mean, if the hexagon glass jar doesn’t get you, the magnetic cap and included spatula will. The mask is very thick, but goes on easier than expected. It instantly turns white on the skin and has a definite warming effect for around 30 seconds – I couldn’t feel it afterwards. Unfortunately, even after washing it off first with a facial sponge, then with my hands, my skin was left feeling tacky. Furthermore, it felt the opposite of hydrated, despite having many of the same ingredients as the Savior. Reviews on Sephora.ca show an equally confused group of people who felt as though the mask dried their skin. What gives? I dug into the ingredient list but came up empty-handed, as everything checks out. I guess it’s a real hit-or-miss situation, so I *highly* encourage you to sample before making your decision (Sephora’s great with this, simply request a small pot in-store or wait for it to show up in the samples section online). For me, as much as I wanted to love it, it’s a no-go.
Overall, I still believe that Farmacy is a good brand with solid products and admirable intentions. I think they’re doing everything right, but I plan to sit back and watch what others say about future releases before rushing out to purchase my own. The Savior is hands-down my favorite piece from what I’ve tried (seriously, so good!), followed by the Eye Dew and finally with Honey Potion in dead last. Will you be giving anything from Farmacy a go after this review? Will you at least give them a Sephora app “heart?” Fans of LUSH, Fresh and similar “natural” brands should definitely have a poke around. Thank you kindly to Mark and Michelle for organizing this review!
*Prices true at time of writing.
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