So, with all that explained, the Irish brand featuring in this inaugural Viva Irish post is Green Angel. We were sent this skincare range for the purpose of this series and, considering it is one we had never come across before, it more than justifies our reasons for wanting to give Irish beauty products more of an even footing on this website along with the likes of MAC, Benefit, Bobbi Brown, Stila and many other huge brands.
Sinéad: A quasi lucky-dip of packages (i.e. grabbing one on the way out the door to circuit training) left me with the line's Sunset Body Smoother. This natural salt and Irish seaweed scrub is created with ingredients including lavendar, marjoram and juniper to help a stressed body relax and encourage a good night's sleep (There is also a Sunrise Body Smoother which contains ingredients that aim to rejuvenate the body).
|Green Angel Sunset Body Smoother|
I am a massive fan of body scrubs as I suffer from mild keratosis pilaris (KP) on my upper arms. In English, this means that the skin protein keratin blocks hair folicles leading to bumps which give the appearance of "chicken skin." Sexy, no? Understandably, I despise when my skin looks like plucked poultry and so, am obsessive about scrubbing and moisturising the crap out of it and, for scrubs, the rougher, more abrasive the better!
The initial consistency of this body smoother is both grainy and oily (thanks to grape seed, lavender, marjoram and juniper oils) and so, needs a good stir before you stick your paws into it. The mixed product results in a coarse scrub that sloughs away any dead skin cells and smooths chicken skin while leaving a moisturising film on the skin until dried off with a towel (don't worry, no oil-stained clothes with this one!).
|L: Unmixed, with oil pooling on surface R: Mixed|
You scrub this into dry skin before you turn the water on in your shower and then you allow it to rinse off as you shower normally. The oils left a lovely surface for the water just to roll off of and, getting out of the shower, my skin felt and, more importantly, looked so incredibly smooth without a hint of chicken skin (Note: My sister suffers with KP worse than I do so, I also had her try this as a remedy. She found that it did help but, she didn't get the same results as I did).
You get a whopping 500g of an ultra-effective Body Smoother for €24.95 in a beautiful chunky glass jar. The radioactive green appearance of the buffer is a bit off-putting but, it's nothing we can't deal with! I love that Green Angel don't test on animals and that their products are biodegradable. The instructions also recommend that the scrub is used pre-mani/pedi to remove dead skin, cuticles and nail ridges which is a good dual-purpose to have, especially for nail obsessives like me! My only qualm would be the scent which is quite overpowering and reminds me of, err, a more mature generation. However, once the initial pong wears away, the lingering lavender scent is beautifully calming.
Dee: Due to our aforementioned lucky dip, I have been road-testing the Pure Indulgence Seaweed Body Lotion. It also contains neroli and chamomile and claims to 'nourish, soothe, condition and tone leaving the skin soft and silky'. A fairly tall order, no?!
The bottle (pictured below) is fairly standard with a flip-top cap. There's nothing offensive about it at all, but it is a little on the plain side for the price (€14.95).
|Pure Indulgence Seaweed Body Lotion|
As for the product itself, it's quite a runny, almost watery lotion, but not in a bad way. As someone who prefers body butters, this took a bit of getting used to but it feels just as moisturising in spite of its texture. The smell is very strong - quite herbal - but fades to a relaxing lavender scent. This makes the lotion perfect for applying just before bed.
So does it deliver? It is definitely a nice lotion to apply, as it sinks in really easily, isn't greasy at all and leaves my skin feeling really smooth and fresh. However the smell was a little too strong for my taste, and so I found myself using it mostly on my legs. This led me to discover that this lotion is excellent to apply straight after shaving - it's really soothing. I also think this would make a great after-sun lotion as it contains camomile.
|L: The lotion applied R: Rubbed in|
So what's the verdict on this lotion? I do like it but it isn't something I would have picked out for myself. This doesn't mean that the product is lacking in merits; it is relatively multi-purpose and made with some lovely natural extracts. The price is a little steep for just 200ml of product, but you can buy it here as part of a three-product set for €29.95, which is much better value. I'd suggest this as a great gift for mammies, and anyone who is into their natural/organic products. Overall: a good buy, especially if you want to support an Irish enterprise.
If there are any other Irish brands you think we ought to check out for this series, please let us know. We feel it is really important, especially during these crappy economic times, to support homegrown talents and use Irish products when possible.