The Truth About The Unicorn Facial Serum You've Seen All Over Instagram

Whether it’s for over-the-top Halloween makeup #inspo or as a kind of social experiment, if you watch enough 15-second Instagram clips of beauty vloggers doing their thing, you’ll soon notice that the question of how the products actually work is secondary to how they look on camera. That’s easy for sparkle-packed shadows and luminous highlighters, which are always aesthetically pleasing, but it’s a lot harder to find skin care that has the same degree of visual appeal.
Enter Farsali’s cult-favorite Unicorn Essence — or, as one Reddit user called it, “that sexy oil stuff.”
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From the name to the shimmery, rose-tinted fluid itself, this serum was practically born to be an instant hit on the unicorn-obsessed internet when it launched late last year. (At some point the under-the-radar brand ditched the original reference to unicorn tears — because what kind of sicko wants to see a unicorn cry?) Sold exclusively at Sephora and on the Farsali website, you'll find a cameo from the Unicorn Essence and its chic glass vial dropper in countless videos from the biggest beauty vloggers on the web, where it's most often used as a makeup primer or as the second-to-last step in a skin-care routine before moisturizer. In many instances, you'll even see it dripped directly onto the face rather than smoothed on with hands, which makes for a good screenshot but is probably not recommended IRL.
But what is the Unicorn Essence really, once you get past the exterior? A water-based solution of superfruit extracts (acai, blueberry, goji berry, elderberry) and essential oils (bergamot, grapefruit), all of which make it smell good and look pretty. Perfect for the Instagram, but if you're a serious skin-care enthusiast who'd rather invest in something that really works regardless of how it looks in a Boomerang, it may not be worth your $55. Stay mixing your go-to oil or serum with a little bit of a pinky liquid highlighter (the Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Blossom are perfect for this) for all the dewiness plus major hydrating benefits — it won't make you feel like a unicorn or give you a million followers instantaneously, but it will make you glow more than the average human. Much more.
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hosted by Mi-Anne Chan ; appearance by Ryen Williams.