Beauty reviews: Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse dry oil, Optiphi Classic Refine-Foliant and Armani Acqua di Gioia eau fraiche EDT

NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose dry oil, R210 for 50ml, Edgars and Truworths

You know how almost every girl you know has an Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream in her life? Well NUXE Huile Prodigieuse multi-purpose dry oil (for face, body and hair) is kind of like that for French women. You can open any bathroom cabinet in Paris and whoomp, there it is. For this shallowesque reason alone, I love the stuff. I adore slapping it on my skin and inhaling its pretty white floral scent and suddenly feeling like an exotic, sophisticated French girl. For me, that’s my raison d’etre for wanting this baby in my life. But there are other reasons why it’s a goodie.

See how I got all stylie stylie?
See how I got all stylie stylie?

For one, it’s 97,8% natural and makes use of six ‘precious oils’ (Borage, St. John’s Wort, sweet almond, camellia, hazelnut and macadamia nut) with vitamin E. Being a dry oil, it hydrates but sinks into your skin almost immediately. (Admittedly though, if you’ve got very dry, thirsty skin, I’d recommend more of an oily oil like The Body Shop’s Beautifying Oil. The Moringa version, my favourite, has a very similar scent Huile Prodigieuse.)

Regarding the multitasking aspect, there are lots of things you can do with it and these include using it to hydrate your hair, face, cuticles, lips and even mixing a few drops of it with a bit of foundation in your palm before application to create a more hydrating, silkier-feeling product. While I tried it on my face for a few nights and appreciated that it absorbed in a flash and didn’t cause any kind of reaction, I only really use this on my body, after applying a rapidly absorbed but very hydrating body lotion, to add a little glow and indulge in the scent – a mix of what smells like gardenia, magnolia and frangipanies.

Optiphi Classic Refine-Foliant, R520 to R650, selected salons.

Award-winning local skincare brand Optiphi are known for their in-salon peels and now they’re selling a fab li’l peel product, Optiphi Classic Refine-Foliant, so you can get your chemical exfoliation on at home.

Peel and reveal, darlings!
Peel and reveal, darlings!

Refine-Foliant is basically a box containing ten 5ml bottles of the chemical exfoliator. This way, you’re not opening one large bottle that, by the time you eventually use it up, has lost much of its potency due to exposure to air. You’re to use one bottle for each treatment, covering your face, neck, chest and the back of your hands, but I find I can get at least two or three treatments of just one bottle.

Ingredient-wise, you’re looking at a mix of top notch acids including lactic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid that zaps dead surface skin cells), salicylic acid (a beta hydroxy acid that manages to get inside your pores and clean those out; fabulous for blackhead-blitzing) as well as ascorbyl glucoside. The latter is a very stable form of vitamin C delivery and we all know this ingredient’s a goodie. Aside from being a fab antioxidant, it can minimise the appearance of pigmentation and encourage the formation of collagen in your skin. Then there’s hydrating glycerine and various other natural extracts – think soothing mallow and yarrow. The only thing that annoys me is there being peppermint leaf in the mix (like many others, my skin generally find’s it irritating) but thankfully it’s low down in the ingredients list.

Anyway, I slapped the peel on my face and hit the sack despite the fact that Optiphi suggests you leave their peel on for just five minutes. I’m not suggesting you do this; your skin might be less sensitive than mine. Thing is, I’m used to using an Environ’s Alpha Hydroxy Gel, which contains a very high concentration of glycolic acid, an AHA that’s even more fierce than lactic acid.

The next day, I washed my face as per usual and saw the peel had done a great job of completely removing a waning facial self-tan – no scrubbing required – and the dry skin on the side of my nose was gone. And yes, my skin did look smoother over all.

While Optiphi don’t offer their lactic acid percentage or give a recommended usage (i.e. use this once a week), I could merrily use this product two to three nights a week, as I do my super sterk Environ Alpha Hydroxy Gel. I also own Uriage’s Hyseac 18, which contains 18% glycolic acid and have no issue applying it to my face and wearing it for a full day or night, as is the intended use. My suggestion to you, is that you experiment with what your skin can tolerate.

In all, Optiphi’s chemical exfoliator is a very nice product.

Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia eau fraiche EDT, R719 for 50ml.

To date, I consider Acqua di Gio one of the sexiest scents on the planet. I really, really wanted to like its female counterpart, Acqua di Gioia, but it just never blew my hair back. However, last year’s Essenza, to my nose, was a lovely fresh, clean scent; the kind of fragrance that makes you feel like you’ve just got out of the shower. Still, the latest Acqua di Gioia flanker, eau fraiche, somehow manages to top it.

So clean, so fresh.
So clean, so fresh.

The scent, inspired by the ‘purity of nature’, is a citrusy-aquatic blend that opens with grapefruit, lemon and mandarin peel. Its watery heart has a few petals floating on it – ylang-ylang and jasmine tea – and the base is all about cedar, musk and brown sugar. It’s different to Essenza in that the citrus notes are more prolific as opposed to the flowers which dominated its predecessor.

At first spritz, I immediately get all the uplifting, refreshing citrus notes and appreciate that this doesn’t smell a bit like a household cleaning product. (Many lemon-focused scents have fallen into that trap.) I then pick up on the water and flowers with just a hint of musk but can never really sniff any wood or sugar. I’m very thankful about the latter though. If this had a drop of ‘caramel’ to it, I probably wouldn’t like it. I’m also glad it’s not ‘soapy’ in the least. Phew!

See how the bottle's already almost down quarter. I wasn't kidding when I said this is a fab every day scent.
See how the bottle’s already almost down quarter. I wasn’t kidding when I said this is a fab every day scent.

In all, this has merrily slipped into my summer fragrance collection. It’s the kind of scent you could douse yourself with liberally and not offend anyone. A real spritz-and-go, ‘every day’-type of summer scent for when you want to feel clean, fresh and feminine. This also makes it a lovely gift as I can’t imagine many people not liking it.

If you like clean, citrusy or aquatic scents like L’Eau Par Kenzo, Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea or Bulgari Aqua, do yourself a favour and give Acqua di Gioia a sniff.

Love, love


3 thoughts on “Beauty reviews: Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse dry oil, Optiphi Classic Refine-Foliant and Armani Acqua di Gioia eau fraiche EDT

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