Too many skincare potions, too many brands, who can keep up? NOT ME. But! Thanks to the lovely YvetteMyPet and her Deal of The Day feature, I discovered and immediately ordered adorable lil samples from adorable lil company Cotarde, who offers adorable lil day and night gloops to smack on your face. Let’s look!
WAIT WHAT IS COTARDE EVEN
They’re a small independent skincare outfit based in Miami (with their products actually made in France), and bill themselves as “the first beauty brand in the world entirely dedicated to pilots and frequent travelers.” That apparently translates to formulas using antioxidants, botanical extracts, and some heavy-hitter humectants to combat the mega-dry air and other skin stressors present during the usual travel routine. Accordingly, their packaging and descriptions are all travel-themed, and did I mention adorable? ADORABLE. The products — of which there are currently two — both come in 1.4oz bottles with a travel-friendly flip-cap. Both are free of silicones and petroleum products, so if you’ve got ‘cone issues (AS I DO, OMG) or loathe the feel of petrolatum or mineral oils (AS I DO, OMG), you’re good. They’re also cruelty-free, yay!
WHAT THAT IS
The only two actual skin products currently on offer (they’ve also got cute leather triple-wrap “Around The World” bracelets in silver and gold, which are kinda tempting tbh) are Day Dream Mousse Cream and Face With A View Concentrated Cream. While their 1.4oz bottles run $64 each, you can pick up this tiny 3ml-each “Try And Fly” set that includes little bottles of both. It’s FREE, with just a $3 shipping fee. NICE. The set also includes a pair of little “tester” strips to determine your skin type — you hold them against your cheek and forehead for the allotted time, and they’ll show darker dots where they’ve absorbed oil. I find these of pretty minimal utility, obvs — I already know I have oily skin, and the instructions don’t specify when to apply them (right after washing, when my skin is quite dry? an hour later when it’s become oily already?). But who cares, we’re here for the face gloop!
DAY DREAM MOUSSE CREAM is, yeah, kinda mousse-y and also creamy? It’s a pale peachy pink hue which Cotarde’s info claims can help brighten the complexion and even enhance the color of cheeks and lips? IME, nah, not so much, but I don’t care about that. They also claim it’s super hydrating, plumping, and with a smoothing and mattifying effect. Is it, tho? YES ON ALL COUNTS.
Since, again, I have oily skin, this feels like “enough” moisture for me, definitely. However : it doesn’t have SPF, so you’d need to layer that in. Also if you have other things you prefer to use during the day, I find that while this stuff DEFINITELY gives a nice smoothing slightly mattifying effect (for a while — my oily skin can conquer anything), it’s definitely a bit less effective if you apply it over other serums or oils etc. But it feels LIKE A VELVETY DREAM on its own or (as I’m wearing it right now) layered over a little of my fave Gia Naturals niacinamide serum. It also tracks with their “silicone effect without silicones” claim in that it does indeed function rather well as a primer — it gives the skin a slightly “grabbier” surface, which seems to improve my foundation’s adhesion and opacity, and even seems to make it sliiiightly less prone to gathering in the little creases under my eyes. Yay!
I’m probably not the best person to tell you whether this is A Good Primer Product, as I typically don’t wear primers (I’m lazy and also most of them are siliconey which = big breakout for me) and also it’s high summer here in south Alabama so my makeup would be in a state akin to “Nazis melted by the power of GOD” as per the seminal skincare treatise at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, even if I used fucking acrylic housepaint, so. But will it help a little in that regard? Yeah, probably! Plus it feels lovely and it has a beautiful faint scent and is all ’round just a pleasure to use.
INGREDIENTS : Water (Aqua), Propanediol, Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Dicaprylyl Ether, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Sodium Polyacrylate Starch, Arachidyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Behenyl Alcohol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Fragrance (Parfum), Chlorphenesin, Disodium EDTA, o-Cymen-5-Ol, Rubia Tinctorum Root Extract, Gaultheria Procumbens (Wintergreen) Leaf Extract, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Punica Granatum Fruit Extract, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Alum, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Fruit Extract, Tocopherol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil
FACE WITH A VIEW Concentrated Cream is, like it says on the
tin bottle, a concentrated cream. The texture is a pretty typical Very Fancy Moisturizer feel : it seems rich and ~luxurious~ without being heavy or oily in the least.
It has (I guess) the same scent as the Day Dream stuff, which I would describe as “maybe light apricot ‘n’ flowers” and which is very nice indeed, but not at all strong. It soaks into my skin pretty easily, and makes it feel plump and hydrated but not greasy.
Proof that it’s pretty damn potent : when I had a GNARLY head cold last week? I was frequently rubbing little blops of this stuff onto my nose, and occasionally following it with a little Polysporin (my usual) and you know … I had very extremely little dry-flaky-crusty-horrible shit happening in the nostril area like I allllllways do when I’m blowing my nose constantly. And I had zero when my cold finally cleared up! Believe me when I tell you I’ve rubbed a LOT of different things onto my sick nose over the years, so this impressed me mightily. I’ve been using it occasionally as a night cream, applied an hour or so after my usual evening azelaic acid stuff, and I invariably wake up with noticeably smoother/nicer skin. You guys, I think this has converted me from my lifelong position that Night Cream Is Bullshit.
INGREDIENTS : Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Ethyl Macadamiate, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Polyacrylate, Cetyl Alcohol, Fragrance (Parfum), Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Sclerotium Gum, Stearyl Alcohol, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Phytosterols, Disodium EDTA, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Smithsonite Extract, Sodium Salicylate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Punica Granatum Fruit Extract, Tocopherol, Pinus Pinaster Bark Extract, Sorbitan Oleate, Malic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Caviar Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil
THE VERDICT : SO FREAKING GOOD. Damn it, I kind of hate how much I’ve been enjoying both of these, because at $64 each they’re not exactly cheap? Gob knows I’ve spent that much or way more on face potions previously, but right now I just feel like there’re so many new (or new-to-me) brands doing fantastic things at Extremely Reasonable Bordering-On-Dirt-Cheap price points that …. sigh. You know what, I’ll probably end up pulling the trigger on one or both of these eventually — they feel glorious, and they seem to actually Accomplish Something Visible for my skin, and both of them give my acne-prone face ZERO problems. But in the meantime, do what I did and get your butts over to the website to order the mini set, if you haven’t already!
TRIED ‘EM? LURVE ‘EM OR NAH? Discuss! <3