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Drunk Elephant isn't the cheapest brand out there so I'm a big fan of the mini sets they do, as they allow you to sample some of their products and decide what's worth investing in the full-sized version of. They recently released the Drunk Elephant Get Even Kit* | £84 | and I have it here to review for you...
I'd actually already tried a couple of the things included here, but they're much larger bottles of the products in this set, which is great given how much I liked them! As the name suggests; Get Even is a targeted set, aiming to combat dullness, skin texture, fine lines and uneven skin tone. All Drunk Elephant products are free from essential oils, drying alcohols, silicones, chemical screens, fragrances / dyes and SLS. There are a few ingredients in this set that shouldn't be combined together and some that should be used in a specific order or at a certain time of day, which I'll cover off as we go through the products one by one.
We'll start off with the most potent ingredient that dictates the routine around these products and that is the retinol: A Passioni* | £62 individually. In this set there's a glycolic overnight serum and a Vitamin C day serum - neither of which should be used in conjunction with this product. I use this cream before bed so it doesn't interfere with anything else I might want to apply. Retinol (or Vitamin A) is a proven anti-ageing active that can smooth fine lines but is also to help even the skin tone and fade dark spots. This formula comes in a nourishing cream, which I really like because it helps calm the skin a little. This is a 1% formula, which I wouldn't recommend if you've never used retinol before; however it's perfect if you've been using something less concentrated and want a really potent formula. Peeling is a common side-effect of retinol, especially if you're new to using them. Though I don't tend to get it, even I experienced some peeling when using this product as it's so intense! The cream base does counterbalance it a little and after a week or so it did stop. However it's worth it for me because I just love the effects! I feel like my skin is renewed; it's softer, smoother, looks more even and has a healthy appearance. Are there cheaper retinol products on the market? Yes. But I am really enjoying this one and I'm considering picking up a full-sized tube (this contains an introductory 10ml as opposed to 30ml for the standard size).
The other transformative product in this set is the T.L.C. Framboose Glycolic Night Serum* | £76 (30ml) or £113 (50ml) individually. This product contains an impressive 12% concentration of AHAs and BHAs, so it's another one I'd say is better-suited to people who have used acid exfoliators before (I recommend 5% for beginners). These ingredients chemically exfoliate the skin - AHAs like glycolic acid and lactic acid are amazing for radiance and BHAs like salicylic acid can penetrate deeply into the pores so are great for blemishes and scarring. As this is a serum; I apply a night cream afterwards to nourish the skin (usually something shea butter-based that doesn't contain any actives that might interact with the acids). I do get a bit of a sensation with this product, however it's nothing irritating for my skin. Over prolonged use this has really helped resurface my skin and even out hyperpigmentation so it's less visible. When I use this I wake up with radiant, smooth skin. Now it's something I reach for on a weekly basis when I really want that intense glow boost.
A more gentle everyday serum that still does the job for me is the C-Firma Day Serum* | £67 individually. I think this is probably my favourite product from Drunk Elephant! It's a light, dewy, non-sticky serum to be used in the morning that's formulated with antioxidant Vitamin C and fruit enzymes. Fruit enzymes also chemically exfoliate the skin but this is definitely less concentrated than something like the overnight serum in the set - it's gentle enough for everyday use and paired with glow-boosting Vitamin C, I think it makes my skin look its best. I just feel my skin is brighter, smoother and looks healthier when I use this serum and - of everything in the kit - this is what I definitely want to pick up a full-sized tube of, though this and the TLC serum come in generous 15ml tubes (vs. 30ml for the full size).
The B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum* | £44 individually | isn't my favourite product from this brand, in all honesty, however I think it has a place in this set. I originally tried it in the Littles set and concluded it was nice but not essential; it wasn't really doing anything above and beyond much cheaper hydrating serums I already have. In all honesty I've even tried serums at half the price that I liked more than this (it's £44 for 50ml and there's an 8ml tube in here). It doesn't have any active ingredients (it's formulated with Vitamin B5 and ceramides to help retain water in the skin's barrier), so I don't feel it's the most essential thing in the world. However, given the other products in this set, I actually think it's a welcome addition. As retinol can cause peeling and a high-concentration AHA/BHA concoction can be a lot for your skin, using something like this the morning after these night treatments helps to calm and replenish the skin.
The Protini Polypeptide Cream* | £57 individually | was the second product in this set (along with the retinol) that was totally new to me. You get a nice 15ml sample of this (the full-sized product is 50ml) and again; it's a product that really works well in the morning if you've used an intensive treatment overnight. The amino acids and single peptides help stimulate collagen production and the lightweight gel-cream texture makes this great for combination skin that needs hydration but isn't going to appreciate something overly rich. It's hydrating and fast-absorbing. Personally, when I'm spending on skincare; I'm all about investing in products with active ingredients, so I'm unlikely to splash out on a bit tub of this stuff but it works well for my skin type and definitely makes sense as part of a routine with the other products in this set.
Overall, I really like this set; the products in here make sense as part of a targeted routine for smooth, even skin and as well as the active ingredients, you have stuff in there to balance the skin and restore hydration afterwards. For me; as someone who is already a big fan of the overnight serum and the Vitamin C day serum - Get Even would be worth it just to get the larger sizes of them than the 8ml I have from my the Littles set. Trying the retinol and some other bits was just a bonus!