Do These Insta-Famous Beauty Prods Live Up to the Hype?

We put these too-pretty-to-be-true products to the test

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Raise your hand if you’ve ever window-shopped beauty products on social or been suckered into buying something just because it looked pretty. It’s kind of hard not to when Instagram has become a virtual gold mine of dreamy packaging (the sort that makes you a hoarder) and beautiful swatches (the kind that convince you that you need glitter eyeshadow in your life). Just before you empty your wallet, here’s the scoop on whether these Instagram-famous beauty products are worth the $$ or just eye candy.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, $57, glowrecipe.com

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K-beauty product: check. Gel-like texture: check. Pretty packaging: check. But the cult favourite sleeping mask isn’t all show and no substance. Packed with moisture-boosting hyaluronic acid, gentle exfoliators and soothing watermelon extract, it’ll make you want to slather it all over your face to get that K-drama-worthy dewy glow.

Overose Paris Nudesse Candle, $80, vincentpark.ca

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The minimalist millennial-pink packaging set against fancy floral tableaux on the brand’s Instagram isn’t the only eye-catching thing about the French brand. Even the wax comes in the same dusty pink hue as the container.  The environmentally-friendly packaging, fairly decent price point and delicate rosy scent make it worth the purchase.

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum, $100, sephora.ca

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This mega-brand’s bright, poptastic shades might be all over your Instagram feed and that’s because it’s won fans all over thanks to serious and effective formulations. This potent Vitamin C serum serves up brightness while protecting skin against pollution and free radicals. FYI: If you’re also after the T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial to get your exfoliating fix, it’s now in Canada.

Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Coconut Oil Body Polish, $38, sephora.ca

Herbivore has several Insta-bait products, thanks to the brand’s mastery of creating vanity-worthy packaging. This exfoliator is a best-seller for a reason. It blends virgin coconut and Moroccan rose and gently sloughs away dry skin. There’s also that irresistible whipped pink texture. Just take our money already.

Boy Smells Candle in Kush, $48, at Holt Renfrew H Project

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Another candle with millennial pink packaging—we know, but this one is just so good! The brand hand-pours each candle in its Los Angeles studio. What you get is a unique blend of beeswax and coconut oil in a glossy black tumbler boasting unusual but sniff-worthy scents. The most Insta-famous of the bunch is Kush, which pulls off an oddly perfect medley of notes like tulip, suede and cannabis, and has a nice, slow burn so you get your money’s worth. Bonus: it’s also an excellent conversation starter.

Byredo Gypsy Water Hand Cream, $47, nordstrom.com

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Expectation: a beautiful Byredo candle you can show off on your coffee table. Reality: you can actually only afford the hand cream. Once you’ve tempered your expectations, know that it’s not the cheapest hand cream either. If you’re ready go cold turkey on those $4 lattes, consider this an entry point to the cult favourite brand and scent yourself with notes of bergamot, pepper, incense and amber.

Ouai Wave Spray, $32, sephora.ca

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Yes, the brand requires you to part with $32 for a hair styling product. Why would anyone pay that much, you ask? If you’ve seen celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin’s star-studded army of clients (like Chrissy Teigen and Khloe Kardashian) with their picture-perfect waves on her Instagram, you’ll know why. The spray isn’t revolutionary, but it works well and smells amazing (so amazing that the products prompted Atkin to create a limited-edition fragrance set, which sold out instantly, obvs).

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