Sunday, 24 November 2019

Lush Toothy Tabs

RRP: £6.50 for 50g (around 100 tabs)

--What does the promo say?--
"Keep your mouth in mint condition. Cleansing kaolin and a triple whammy of minty goodness ensure this solid toothpaste will freshen up your mouth and make your teeth sparkle." 

These used to come in a cardboard box. Sadly now, though, they come in a plastic bottle. At least this bottle is recyclable - so you can either throw it into the recycling bin at home (unlike a normal toothpaste tube) or take it into a Lush store for recycling (recycle 5 in one shot and you get a free product). It was really this environmental factor that led me to switch from traditional toothpaste. The monochrome label is unisex and minimalist and so should appeal to all. The travel advantage is also obvious: the bottle is much smaller than any toothpaste tube and the tabs clearly don't count towards your liquid allowance when flying.

"For intensely icy airwaves," the website instructs, "simply nibble one between your teeth and start brushing." This really is as simple as it sounds (although I went in with some trepidation). 

This depends on the flavour you choose. Limelight is green with yellow streaked through, Boom! is black, and the two I went for - Dirty and Miles Of Smiles - are white. Not feeling quite brave enough to try the former, the latter two are more like traditional toothpastes in appearance, dissolving quickly in the mouth to create a white foam.

--Scent and taste--
Miles of Smiles is a really very minty concoction whose aftertaste lasts hours. As a result, I tend to use this in the morning, switching to Dirty in the evening, which is mint and neroli flavoured, and slightly milder as a result. It's an unusual combination, but taste-wise really works for me (although I've read reviews by others who disliked it - so it's definitely personal and you should definitely have a sniff in the shop before buying). 

--Texture and consistency--
These tabs are based on kaolin (clay) and bicarbonate of soda, leading to a chalky texture. This is fine and doesn't take long to get used to: the tabs are small, so break down quickly upon chewing and with the addition of water, the chalkiness giving way to a smooth, fine foam. However, I have found that the binding elements of kaolin and bicarb do tend to gel with any excess saliva in the mouth overnight, leading to yucky strings of white gel populating in my mouth that I then have to scrape out. Yep. Lovely. BUT other reviews don't suggest that this happens to other people. So I'd recommend trying it first before discounting the possibility.

--Effects on the teeth--
Teeth feel clean after use and the flavourings make breath feel fresh for hours. 

--Value for money--
At £6.50 a pop this isn't cheap - especially if it turns out not to be for you. As for myself, I really wanted to like this product as I so loved the concept. However, the mouth residue is not something I can live with long-term, which is such a shame. Once my 2 bottles are finished, I'll be looking for other toothpaste alternatives.

perfect partner
Mouthwash Tabs, £6.50*

*available in 3 flavours: clove & mint, mint, and lemon

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

ByKathryn Padstow Rocks Perfume

RRP: £35 for 15ml

--What does the promo say?--
"PADSTOW ROCKS is our Get Out Of Town perfume: Fresh and fragrant, inspired by coastal walks, feel the stress simply melt away. And breathe! BYKATHRYN has partnered with Surfing England and some of Team England’s top female athletes as they set their sights on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics . The partnership is underlined by the fresh ocean vibes of PADSTOW ROCKS perfume. A perfect fit for the surfer girls and for the effortlessly cool, laid back woman who takes each day in her stride & goes with the flow. Designed to be carried with you PADSTOW ROCKS comes in a hand luggage sized 15ml perfume spray bottle in colourful eye catching packaging so your perfume stays fresh and uplifting."

The orange box in which the perfume comes is vibrant and modern, emblazoned with the name of the perfume in bold white lettering. A beach scene is watermarked in the background, giving every impression of the sand being soaked in this scent at sunset. This colour scheme is reversed on the bottle itself, with orange lettering taking pride of place on a transparent glass spray bottle, enhanced by a gold-effect cap.

Spray onto pulse points behind the ears, on the wrists, and at the neck. 

The transparent liquid leaves no visible residue on the skin.

The promotional materials promise "ocean vibes" and there's a definite saltiness at the heart of this perfume that makes it truly unique. While in some ways, as with the brand's other perfume (Petrolhead), it's still more masculine than I would like (thanks to the cedarwood base), this would be my preferred choice from the brand. As someone who enjoys light, sparkly fragrances ordinarily, this fragrance is definitely lifted by the citrus head notes. Over the day it develops into a subtle yet sharp finish.

A powerful perfume that lasts all day.

--Value for money--
It's actually quite unusual to find a perfume in this 15ml travel format - so to compare prices I had to look for perfumes retailing at around £70 for the more standard 30ml. This leads us to brands such as Michael Kors, Giorgio Armani, Clinique, and one of my all-time favourites: M Micallef. All of which are far more widely known than ByKathryn. But that's inevitable for a new brand and with luck will change over time. Quality-wise, what the brand offers is undisputed, and as such worth the money. What I'm mainly hoping for is that their next scent will be more in my usual territory: something light, floral, sparkly and sweet. Third time lucky?