It took me a long time to come around to the brand ‘cos most of their sales happen via agents and I’m not that kind of consumer. I’m more of an online shopper kinda girl and my friends and I make fun of the type who like to throw or attend ‘sparties’ (spa parties) ‘cos, well, we’re horrible bitches.
Still, I do love indulgent, well-formulated beauty goodies and, once I got more familiar with Sh’Zen’s products over time, I came to realise they’ve got some serious gems in their line up. In fact, I’m so in love with their Skin Stimulator sponge which I was introduced to a few years ago by my amazing spray-tan chica, Lisa, that I’d probably cry should they ever discontinue it. I love how it strips off any self-tan in a flash and leaves my skin tingling for ages after use. You can read my review over here; it includes a shot of my best guy friend’s barenaked ass covered in a pool of Caribbean Tan. It upset him sooo much and he thinks I’ve taken it down but that’s so not happening ‘cos, like I said, I’m a horrible bitch.
Anyway, I’m now also crazy in love with their Mystique Marine bath and body line, particularly the Extra Rich Body Balm, R179:
Its got the most deliciously musky-patchouli scent that makes me think of those little pink sweets you’d get in Lucky Packets (remember those?!) but in a more grown up, Narciso Rodriguez-type of way. The first time I sniffed the scent it was via the line’s bath salts (R149). These were a real waste on me ‘cos using just a few scoops wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to REEK of the scent. I needed it to engulf me in a giant, all-encompassing patchouli cloud so I kept adding more, more, MORE to the water and pretty much used it all up in two days. The balm is ideal because I can slather myself in it and sit with my nose in my hands or stuck down the front of my jersey all day long.
Formula-wise, you’re looking at a very indulgent little room thanks to a very high concentration of nourishing Shea butter, various other humectants (Marula oil, sesame oil, urea etc) and a host of aromatic oils like patchouli, geranium, bitter orange, lavender and sandalwood. Honestly though, it could include a smattering of cyanide and I’d still want to drown in it; it’s sweet yet earthy and sexy at the same time.
Another Sh’Zen goodie? Their Vanilla Cashmere hydrating body wash, R159.
If you’re big into vanilla, you have to give this guy a bash. Aside from the comforting warmth of sweet vanilla, it also boasts a generous amount of ginger. When I lather up with it in the bath on cold, wintery days, I feel like I’m at my aunt’s place in Seattle in December and she’s baking gingerbread houses in the kitchen. Immediately I feel cozy, calm and good enough to eat; like a sweet vanilla meringue with a dash of ginger… or a gingerbread cookie with a big dollop of vanilla buttercream icing…
Naturally, I thought the Vanilla Cashmere Cocooning body cream, which has just as lush a formula as its Mystic Marine cousin, would be just as awesome. Alas, it lacks that dash of ginger that manages to send the body wash into ‘must buy’ territory.
Anyway, while I’d definitely suck it up and attend a ‘spartie’ (if I really had to) to get my mitts on my beloved sponge and new bath and body buddies, I’m thrilled to discover that a quick google brings up shops like Body Align and The Spa Shop that sell the brand online. Yayness! On the other hand, if you’re the exact opposite of me and actually prefer a little face time with an agent, you can find one over here.