A week or so back, I popped into Freebees PR’s spring media day and left with a bulging sack o’ goodies from all their clients. It’s going to take me a while to work through it but I’ll be sure to mention any favourite things that stick out on the blog. The brand that’s impressed me the most first off the bat, however, has to be Cafe de Bain.
A bath and body range inspired by French patisserie treats, Cafe de Bain’s lines include Raspberry & Rose Creme Tart, Coconut Macaroon and Sweet Vanilla Madeleine. While I like vanilla as much as the next person I’m not an obsessive fan, but the moment I sniffed Sweet Vanilla Madeleine I got big time crazy eyes and was instantly hooked! It’s honestly the warmest, butteriest, yummiest, most lick-my-arm vanilla fragrance I’ve ever encountered.
I wanted the Indulgent Bath Creme sooo bad so I could literally marinate in the scent but I don’t have a bath, so I ended up walking off with the Softening Shower Creme. It’s got the same delicious scent, lathers up to a dreamy, creamy foam and leaves my skin feeling clean and delicately fragranced after drying off.
The moment it runs out, I’ll be headed off to Pick n Pay where it’s sold to stock pile and will probably buy from the other lines too. I can’t remember the price, but it was super reasonable – around the R50 mark – and it’s going to be my ‘go to’ stocking filler come Christmas ‘cos I can’t imagine anyone sniffing it and not turning into an instant addict soos ek.
Now let’s talk about OGX. I’d spotted their products around but it took me a while to realise they were an international brand as opposed to a local one as there’s a supermarket (I think it’s Pick n Pay, actually) that has a line up of ‘in house’ body products that have very simlilar branding. But ja, as it turns out, OGX is a cruelty-free American haircare line that’s SLS- (sodium laurel sulphate) and paraben-free.
Their lines include Brazilian Keratin Therapy, Macadamia Nut, Argan Oil of Morocco and several others but I decided to give the Coconut Water sham and con (R149,95 each, Dis-Chem and Foschini) a bash as they seemed like the least heavy of the bunch offered by the PR. While I’ve got colour-treated and heat-styled hair, it’s baby fine and I wash every day so I need something that gets the balance right between hydration without heaviness.
Formulation-wise, both the sham and con contain electrolyte-enriched hydrolised coconut water and hydrating coconut oil. The conditioner has smoothing silicone in it, but not loads which is great for anyone who’s worried about product build up.
Having used the duo for over a week I can tell you they hit the spot in regards to the ‘balance’ I’m after. I liked that the shampoo foamed up well and left my hair feeling really clean but not squeakily so and I only needed a bit of the conditioner to cover my entire head. Detangling my hair while wet was easy and, after blow drying, my hair felt bouncy yet sleek. It smelled great too – like coconut – but very gently so. These guys aren’t going to interfere with your perfume.
Last, but not least, we’ve got Ordinary Skincare Co, a new proudly South African doctor-developed basic skincare line free of petrochemicals and colourants. I like that they don’t test on animals; they don’t make any crazy, far-fetched claims and their ingredients are simple and proven – no ridiculous platinum truffle essence from the inner rim of a blerrie volcano.
I tried the night cream (R306) the other day and appreciated that it’s packaged in an airless pump. (Regular readers will know how I feel about unhygienic and unstable jar packaging.) It’s got a light to medium-weight texture that reminded me a bit of a light body butter that should suit most skin types, especially since you’re applying it at night where you shouldn’t worry about any shine on your T-panel.
Ingredients-wise, it’s an uncomplicated mix of emollients like olive and grapeseed oils; mango and avo butter and soothing aloe ferox leaf extract that also happens to be an awesome antioxidant. In fact, there are several nice antioxidants in the mix including green rooibos, vitamin E and Q10, the last two being proven to help improve your skin’s collagen production. Not as well as retinol, of course, but they should make some difference for the better.
While this isn’t a potent anti-ageing treatment (and nor does it claim to be), it’s a nice night time pick for anyone looking for a super simple night cream to hydrate, soothe and protect their skin from the damaging effects of free-radicals.
To shop the brand online with free delivery anywhere in SA visit their website.