Pixi's Retinol Tonic is an example of a product that gets so much right… but then adds non-essential ingredients that make it an iffy choice for the health of your skin.
Much like its cult favorite sister product Glow Tonic, Retinol Tonic comes in clear plastic bottle with a twist-off top and has a water-light texture you can apply using either your fingers or a cotton pad.
The clear packaging is strike one against this tonic: antioxidant retinol (aka vitamin A) is delicate and exposure to light causes it to break down, meaning it loses effectiveness over time. We contacted the brand, who confirmed that this packaging isn't UV coated, meaning you'll have to store it in a dark place.
This tonic absorbs quickly without any sticky feeling whatsoever and boasts some impressive ingredients like vitamin C, sodium hyaluronate, and a peptide.
Unfortunately, they're here right alongside fragrant rosemary leaf water, jasmine flower extract, lavender extract, and clove extract. Those additions are apparent as soon as this comes out of the bottle, as Retinol Tonic has a strong herbal smell. That smell means this has the potential to irritate skin, especially if used daily, meaning this is not the best option for anyone's skin, let alone the sensitive skin that this product is supposed to soothe!
- Texture is water-light and absorbs quickly into skin.
- Contains retinol alongside vitamin C, sodium hyaluronate, and a peptide.
- Contains fragrant ingredients that aren't the best for skin.
- Clear packaging exposes retinol and the antioxidants to light, hindering their effectiveness.
This potent youth preserving tonic features a unique time-release Retinol to help rejuvenate the skin for a natural glow. Powerful antioxidants and botanicals replenish the skin for a smoother, softer appearance while soothing sensitive skin.
Strengths: Tester units at the Target stores; complete ingredient lists on pixibeauty.com; excellent gel liner; great sheer cheek gel.
Weaknesses: Really overpriced; the Illuminating Tint & Conceal SPF 20 is poorly formulated, with irritants and an unreliable SPF; no decent concealer option; all eyeshadows are average at best; no customer care phone number available in the United States.
Swedish-born makeup artist Petra Strand is the creator of the Pixi line of makeup products. She started it in London, opening her first shop alongside the salon of her aesthetician sister, Sofia. The Pixi line is positioned as being packed with skin-beneficial ingredients that will help women get the "Makeup to Wakeup" essentials that they need to stock their cosmetics bags. That sounds cute and potentially helpful, but in fact the main ingredients in Pixi's makeup don't distinguish it as being more skin careoriented than any other makeup product on the shelf.
Even if Pixi's products did have a two-in-one benefit it comes at a high cost. Although the line is sold at Target, it's priced as high as, and in some instances higher than, any line sold at a department store. However, these products are not makeup with a pronounced skin-care benefit, so they are not worth the extra money.
Of the new makeup artist lines now available at Target (JK Jemma Kid and NP Set along with Pixi), this one is actually the least impressive, and we predict it will be the first to be pulled from shelves. We recommend you shop this line with extra caution to avoid a pricey purchase that you're likely to regret or that you have to jump through hoops to return.
The good news is that, like fellow Target newcomers JK Jemma Kid and NP Set, the display for Pixi includes testers for every product. What a wonderful surprise! And if you happen to choose an item you're not happy with (hint: perhaps because there are better options for less from other lines) Target has a good return policy on cosmetics (just be sure to save your receiptmy strong opinion is that you'll need it).
Note: We were unable to locate a customer service phone number for Pixi and our e-mails to the company have gone unanswered. This is not a line to shop if you're expecting customer support beyond what Target offers.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.