Monday, 20 August 2007

Essence Cosmetics Hand and Nail Tabs

RRP: under £5 for 4 tabs

Essence Cosmetics is run by a German company called cosnova. The Essence brand ethos is reflected in the playfulness of makeup and seems aimed at teenagers, while cosnova's other brand, Catrice, seems more sophisticated and seems aimed at women aged 20-45. The current countries and branches of distribution are: Germany (Budnikowsky, Combi, dm-drogerie markt, Galeria Kaufhof, Famila, Globus, Ihr Platz, Jibi, Kaufland/markt, Kloppenburg, Muller, Rossmann, SBK, Schlecker, tegut, Wal-Mart), Austria (dm-drogerie markt), Switzerland (Co-op, Co-op City, Manor, Muller), the Netherlands and Belgium (Kruidvat), Italy (Billa), France (Galeries Lafayette), Slovenia (A. S. Watson Slowenien), Bulgaria (Dodis), Ireland (Eurosales), Malta (Genesis), Russia (Grand Cosmetics), Lithuania (Kosmelita), and Poland (Sense and Body). Unfortunately this does not yet include the UK, but the reason I'm including this product in my reviews is that on their website, they say that an online service may become available in future. Plus, you can always buy this product if you're visiting any of the shops in the countries detailed above.

--The promo says...--
"Your hands deserve a tingling care experience! The gentle care bath cleans hands and nails while at the same time nourishing them with the beneficial active ingredients found in aloe vera, almond oil and lecithin."

One sheet of cardboard, with a sheet of transparent plastic over the top holding each of the tabs in place individually in little pockets. The tabs look quite small - probably no more than 5cm in length, if that. Very pink and all recyclable, yay!

Dissolve one tab in water and then bathe your hands for as long as you want. Unfortunately the instructions given are not very specific, and you're more likely to need a washing-up basin full of water rather than the piddly little finger bowl I was planning on using as part of a pre-manicure hand treatment. I put one tab in the water and it started to froth quite quickly. As the marshmallow-pink froth started to rise up the sides of the finger bowl I started to worry, as it showed no signs of stopping. I asked my boyfriend to bring a washing-up basin so that I could pour some of the foam away. It calmed down quite quickly, though, but there was still rather a lot of foam. I ended up using the foam all the way up to my elbows as well as on my hands. Because it didn't totally dissolve, some particles were left in the bowl which served as a rather nice exfoliant. When you're done you just wash it all off.

Oh so pink and fluffy.

The tabs are quite hard and small so it's a bit of a surprise when they fluff up as they do. The foam is very very soft and light.

--How did your skin feel afterwards?--
Extremely smooth - I noticed the difference straight away.

--Value for money--
Excellent. They're cheap as it is (definitely under £5 if not under £3 for 4 tabs) and given the effects I described when they were just put in a small amount of water, you could probably afford to bash them up and use one tab for 2 or even 3 hand baths.

--Would I buy them again?--
Absolutely, now that I know how to get hold of them (if you're in Paris, go to the main Galeries Lafayette building and go down the the very ground floor, the Version Originale, which is the teen section, and you'll find them there).

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