Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Villainess Smooch Body Scrub

RRP: £7
retails at: (for UK buyers). The Villainess website,, also ships worldwide.

--What does the promo say?--
"Teasing touches of revitalising mints - spearmint, cornmint, peppermint - grounded with a rich base note of black tea, and barely sweetened with soft vanilla."

--About the brand--
"Our catchphrase is "redefining bad." We're also taking significant steps to redefine the way skincare is formulated, manufactured and marketed. We love gentle, environmentally conscious, and animal-friendly components as much as anyone. But we're not interested in helping perpetuate false dichotomies or marketing ploys. A few premises:

*Ease of pronunciation is not a quality of a skincare component. We will not condescend to our customers by assuming they lack dictionary access or basic linguistic skills.
*Technically, all substances are chemicals and all materials originate from nature. The word "chemical" has been loaded with connotations that are not necessarily warranted. We refuse to exploit legitimate fears of the unknown by using emotionally charged language.
*Even some "natural" components have been processed and compromised; extracted with solvents, grown with pesticides, over-processed at high temperatures, homogenized, hydrogenated and several-steps removed from the "natural" materials they're derived from. These processes aren't always unnecessary, but they should be acknowledge as such and not sanitized with the "natural" label.
*Companies that do not animal test often use components which were animal tested. Most animal testing takes place long before body-care components are made available to small-formulators. Small-formulators don't usually have the budgets for the "ground-breaking new developments in skincare" where most testing is deemed necessary.

We approach things a little differently at Villainess. Our customers are educated regarding their skincare needs, and informed about the issues. Rather than sell the latest market-trends, we're meeting them on equal ground and frankly discussing the challenges we face."

Love, love, love. This is old apothecary style meeting Pirates of the Carribean. It's the sort of thing that wouldn't be out of place lying around the sets of Thunder Mountain and the Indiana Jones rides at Disneyland. The body scrub is a simple screw-top plastic pot. It does take in some water, but not much, and the lid and label seem durable.

Scrub all over body during your shower or bath, and then rinse off.

While the website promises a mint green colour in this body scrub (Scintillating!), I found mine to be more of a mucus yellow. However, this can often occur due to natural colour variations that are a normal fallout of using natural ingredients, so I wasn't too bothered by it. The sugar crystals are clearly visible. On the skin, afterwards, it is not detectable by the eye.

Satisfyingly scrubby - you feel like it's really working. After use, a light and slightly oily sheen is left, but this sinks into skin quickly and is very moisturising. While this part of the proceedings is reminiscent of Lush's Buffy, UNLIKE Buffy it is not gritty and does not leave bits of beach all over your shower floor.

Blindingly correlative with the information given. It's incredibly satisfying when a product ticks all of the boxes that it claims to. Minty freshness? Check. Vanilla? Check. Black tea? It's there too. The resulting fragrance is really unique and is fresh enough to wake you up in the morning while still leaving a sophisticated perfume on your body. Beautiful. Although I do wish that Villainess wouldn't follow Philosophy's path and have 'fragrance' as one of the ingredients on its label. Yes, but WHICH fragrance? Keep your consumers informed.

--Effects on skin--
As well as the surprisingly moisturising element after use, it also does a good job of getting rid of dry skin all over your body, including on my usually persistently dry feet (although the dryness does return if you stop using the product).

--Value for money--
This range strikes me as being an excellent, affordable, unusual Christmas gift - not just for any fan of piratey stuff, but also for anyone who wants something that's just a bit different. Beyond that, it's also effective and pleasant to use. What more could you ask for?

perfect partners
Scintillating Soap, £4 from Posh Brats
Scintillating Whipped! Body Lotion, £7 from Posh Brats
Scintillating Mud Mask, £7 from Posh Brats
Scintillating Perfume Oil, £10 from Posh Brats
Scintillating Kaboom! Bath Bomb, $8.50 from Villainess

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