PIXI Rose Caviar Essence and Rose Flash Balm – My Honest Thoughts on Both

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PIXI Rose Caviar Essence and Rose Flash Balm Review - via @glamorable #pixibypetra #pixibeauty #skintreats #skincare #essence #cleanbeauty #nonasties #nontoxic

PIXI Rose Caviar Essence and Rose Flash Balm Review

One of my blogging resolutions for 2018 is to stop diluting the content so much with one-off reviews, instead focusing more on brands that I already love to support. PIXI products have been among my favorites for many years, so you can expect to see them featured more often from now on! Today I wanted to share my thoughts on two new-to-me products I recently got to try: Rose Caviar Essence ($24 for 1.52 fl oz) and Rose Flash Balm ($24 for 1.52 fl oz).

It’s probably the clever marketing messing with my head, but the closer we get to Valentine’s Day, the more I reach for rose-scented skincare, and both of these products happen to smell like a freshly cut bouquet of large, fragrant roses. I just adore that bittersweet aroma!

PIXI Rose Caviar Essence and Rose Flash Balm Review - via @glamorable #pixibypetra #pixibeauty #skintreats #skincare #essence #cleanbeauty #nonasties #nontoxic

PIXI Rose Caviar Essence is a lightweight serum-gel with tiny inclusions of plant extract droplets designed to look like rose petals. It’s just so pretty to look at!  The texture is the same as the typical aloe vera gel, and the essence starts liquefying as soon as you apply it to warm skin. There is a little tackiness that persists for a while after the application, but it goes away after a few minutes, leaving the skin feeling cool, fresh, and hydrated. Rose Caviar Essence gives my dehydrated skin a nice boost, without making it feel sticky, heavy, or clogging the pores.

It’s tempting to use a lot because the product is so pretty, but a little goes a long way – I use a pea-sized amount for my face [1/3 of what I used for the arm swatch], which is plenty. The essence feels cool and refreshing, and has a strong rose fragrance that doesn’t completely disappear. You can catch faint whiffs of it throughout the day long after the initial application.

For a drugstore brand that doesn’t market themselves as a clean beauty company, the ingredient list is surprisingly ‘green’, when compared against entries in the EWG ingredient toxicity database. I know the point where we draw the line is different for everyone, but if you go by EWG standards, this is a really clean product.

You will LOVE it if:

  • You have dehydrated skin.
  • You live in a dry environment.
  • You could use an extra level of lightweight moisture in your routine.
  • You love the smell of roses.
  • You avoid parabens in skincare.
  • You prefer to support cruelty-free brands.
  • You like the hygienic tube packaging.

You will HATE it if:

  • You dislike the smell of roses.
  • You live in a very humid environment.
  • You only use all-natural skincare.
  • You prefer unscented beauty products.
  • You are sensitive to any of the ingredients.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Peel Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinenesis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Caulerpa Lentillifera Extract, Bixa Orellana Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Adenosine, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Carbomer, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Tromethamine, Chlorphenesin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Iron Oxide (CI 77491).

PIXI Rose Caviar Essence and Rose Flash Balm Review - via @glamorable #pixibypetra #pixibeauty #skintreats #skincare #essence #cleanbeauty #nonasties #nontoxic

PIXI Rose Flash Balm appears to be a much more affordable drugstore dupe for the cult classic Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. I never owned a tube of the original, although I tried it once at a friend’s place a long time ago, and never quite understood what it was supposed to do for me. Now that I have a near identical product from PIXI in my hands, I had the chance to play with it for a bit, so now the whole concept makes more sense. Basically, the balm is sort of like a makeup primer that makes enlarged pores and fine lines appear less visible. It also contains a faint pink tint to make the skin look brighter, and other ingredients that tighten the facial contours temporarily, making you look more awake. This explains why a lot of pro MUAs swear by the Clarins version, actually. Even though the effects are not long-lasting, the skin does tend to look better overall when you use this balm, so it’s a nice product to have on hand for photoshoots and movie sets.

PIXI says it can also be used as a mask, but frankly I find it to be a waste. Do yourself a favor and use it as a hydrating, skin-enhancing primer, because it works wonders that way.

You will LOVE it if:

  • You are looking for a non-greasy hydrating primer.
  • You love the smell of roses.
  • You have oily, combination, or normal skin.
  • You avoid parabens in skincare.
  • You prefer to support cruelty-free brands.
  • You like the hygienic tube packaging.

You will HATE it if:

  • You dislike the smell of roses.
  • You have very dry skin. The witch hazel extract would be too drying.
  • You prefer mattifying primers.
  • You prefer unscented skincare.
  • You only use all-natural skincare.
  • You are sensitive to any of the ingredients.

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water, Propylene Glycol, Octyldodecanol, Tapioca Starch, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Stearate, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Triethyl Citrate, Aminomethyl Propanol, Sucrose Cocoate, Glycerin, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Rose Extract, Bisabolol, Ethylhexylglyercin, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Citrate, Red 40 (CI 16035).

PIXI Rose Caviar Essence and Rose Flash Balm Review - via @glamorable #pixibypetra #pixibeauty #skintreats #skincare #essence #cleanbeauty #nonasties #nontoxic


If we’re really being honest here, neither of these products is a ride or die must have for my beauty routine. I mentioned in my recent skincare philosophy blog post which products I think are truly essential, and anything beyond that is just lovely extras. Extras are fine, they’re great, but they are just that – extras. You really need to have your basics down first, and then build up from there.

With that said, I think the essence would make a good addition to any beauty routine because it adds a thin layer of moisture and contains a fair amount of antioxidants. Every skin type could use those, IMO. The balm is more of a makeup product, and it just really depends on whether you have a need for a hydrating primer or not.

Also, I can’t emphasize this enough – both of these are really fragrant. The fragrance is not synthetic and comes from a blend of real essential oils and pure rosewater, but if you are not a fan of roses, it will just drive you crazy as there will be no avoiding it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Do you like rose-scented beauty products? Have you seen these PIXI goodies on the shelves at your local Target? Have you tried PIXI skincare before? Let me know in the comments below!

This post features products received for editorial consideration and may contain affiliate or referral links. For more details about my product review policy, copyright, and information about affiliate links, please refer to Disclosures & Content Use page.
  • Kristi Vasquez

    I really love the look of the serum – they do look like rose petals! I don’t think i’ve tried rose scented beauty products. I had some lotion once, but the hubs said I smelled like an old lady so I tossed it.

    • I know what he means, some rose products can smell a bit dated and cloying 🙁 It really depends on your body chemistry too.

  • Yvette Price

    I really like the concept of the essence and balm, but my skin reacts badly to rose products. I really like pixi, so hopefully they will come up with a different ingredient.

    • It would be awesome if they made an unscented line with Hyaluronic Acid, or maybe cucumber water 🙂 That would be so refreshing.

      • Yvette Price

        Cucumber water, that I would line up for!

  • I adore rose scented products and I’d love to try these, especially the essence.

    • Rose scented skincare is my fave, too!

  • Side note, I love your blogging resolution. I find it so hard to find the balance in the blogging world between press samples that I may not care for vs things I’ve actually purchased or companies that I love to support… Kudos to you for really buckling down and DOING YOU. It’s motivating and refreshing to see.

    I really want to try the serum but it’s good to hear that the balm may not work for me (my skin is super dry). I’m super into rose products and smells so I’m excited to check it out.

    • Thank you! Last year I had so many amazing opportunities and tried a whole lot of different brands and products, but as a reader I find it very confusing. There are bloggers who feature only certain brands and I always know what to expect when I visit their websites. I want to be more like that 🙂

  • Ehmkay Nails

    I need more Pixi in my life. Seriously, they’ve been stepping up their game! Also, agree that I love the idea of focusing on your favorite brands. I don’t mind random reviews though!

    • I think random reviews are great too, but when there are too many, it’s kinda hard to tell what brands the blogger actually loves the most. It’s fun to discover new things though! I will still have randoms once or twice a week, but not as much as I did last year.

  • Living in the south we only know humid, glad to know these might not play so well during the summer months!

    • Happy to share! I know how disappointing it can be to buy a product that doesn’t work well in your environment.

  • Yes, you are conditioned by Valentines day haha. But really, like you, I would rather focus on products I really enjoy

    • Haha, totally brainwashed 🙂 But at least I’ve always liked the smell of roses.

  • marciaf

    I’m worried about the fragrance of these. I love my Pixi Skintreats but these might be over the top of the fragrance world for me personally.

    • I think they might be too strong for you, Marcia, even though the fragrance is from a natural source, and not synthetic.

  • Jen Sky Walker

    I really want to add my Pixi into my life. I just can’t go the rose scents.

    • They have other fun products you could try that don’t smell like roses. Have you tried the famous Glow Tonic? It smells like honeyed ginger 🙂

  • Shelley Polarbelle

    I haven’t used the Rose Caviar, but I do use the Rose Flash balm and I just love it. To the people worried about fragrance, I am sensitive as well and I don’t find the rose scent Pixi uses to be overwhelming or overly rosy. It’s a fresh scent which dissipates quickly and isn’t annoying at all.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience! The balm makes a great hydrating primer, doesn’t it?

  • Doesn’t sound like it would work for me, I like matte primers, and I don’t like the smell of roses! Those pros and cons list are helpful!

    • I’m glad to hear those bullet points are helpful!

  • Great review. I would love to give both of these products a try.

  • Julie Shilov

    I LOVE your NY resolution to share the products you love. I think that’s so important. Also love how you included the ingredients. It’s the first thing I always check out when looking at products. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you for the kind words! I am happy to hear that my resolutions resonate with you 🙂

  • These both look like great products. I don’t seek out rose products, but I will tolerate them for a good product.

    • I think there are enough amazing alternatives out there that you probably don’t need to tolerate a product if something about it is not ideal for your needs. Thank goodness for all the choices we have these days!

  • Stacie Wacie

    I want to try these! I love a good rose-scented anything, which is dangerous for my wallet since we’re getting close to Valentine’s Day.

    • Rose-scented products are the best this time of the year! (or any time really)

  • Madhubani

    I love products from pixi.. The tonic being my most favorite.. Would love to try these as well..