epically epic: awesomely awesome – part deux

Sunday, February 13, 2011 6:22

Finally, we’re on to Part Two of my Epically Epic review – here’s product scrutiny, and my conclusion! :) Part Une/One can be found right here.

If you thought the service was good, the products are even more mind-blowing (in a good way.) I’ve found a fair few HG’s/go-to products just from this shop alone.

A reminder of what I bought:

i love lychee roll on perfume oil

Bamboo the panda (a t.y. beanie baby!) really seems to love lychee, too. Not surprising, we're both Asian. (Bamboo's a gift from my mate Leah. <3)

Bamboo the panda (a t.y. beanie baby!) really seems to love lychee, too. Not surprising, we're both Asian. (Bamboo's a gift from my mate Leah. <3)

I’ve nearly forgotten what lychees smelt like, but this definitely brought it all back. Overwhelming isn’t a word I’d use to describe it, though memorable certainly is! I apply it in the morning before lessons and can still catch a faint whiff in the mid-afternoon, which is pretty darn impressive considering the fact that my skin can fluctuate from being dry to just-alright (the face is another story :P)

Been using it everyday for two weeks, and it looks like I’ve hardly touched it. I’ve had quite a few lovely comments from my boyfriend and the schoolmates, which is interesting since I’m not sure lychees are that widely known in the UK. A schoolmate who is an absolute perfume junkie (the department store kind) and knows her Poison(s) (ha, ha, ha) jokingly asked me what new perfume company I was beta-testing for (as if xD) She was vair (very) impressed when I mentioned that it was indie…I might have to get her a custom scent when her birthday rolls round!

It’s made with sweet almond oil and jojoba oil – skeptics who are thinking “OMG MORE OIL EEEEWW” can relax, because it’s absorbed relatively quickly. After all, jojoba oil’s renowned for its remarkably similar make-up to our own sebum. I’ve tested it on my mate who has slightly oiler skin than mine and it soaks in fine and dandy.

Definitely well worth $8.00 for 9ml/0.3 fl oz, it lasts for ages and you’re less likely to knock out anyone in the room with an excess of scent. The roller ball also ensure you don’t overapply or spill it all over your vanity in case you’re a clumsy pot. The perfume oils are also available in a shedload of other scents, and you can even customize your own for just an extra $0.50.

As for me, I’m going to say that I Love Lychee is definitely “Nailed It!”/HG status for me. Sorry, DKNY. You’ll still be my first. :P

Psst – any other perfume I’ve tested in the department store now smells of alcohol. Weird.

My concern is that nut allergy sufferers might not get on too well with sweet almond oil, so maybe offering allergy-sufferers an option to switch that out with an alternative oil (on a case-by-case basis) might be an idea.

sampler set: 5 mini solid lotions

Monday (my stuffed beaver, a gift from the boyfriend) along with the Sampler Set.

Monday (my stuffed beaver, a gift from the boyfriend) along with the Sampler Set.

I love and prefer solid body lotions because their solidity means I’ll apply less of them (equals less wastage and more savings, woot!) Palmer’s Solid Cocoa Butter Formula has been my go-to moisturizer for yonks, especially since it helped me heal my scars after a really bad rash/insect bites (we don’t know what it really was) incident. Lovely smell, and it does its job – but I do have a gripe: I can’t apply it in the morning (a pain during really windy or wintry times) because it’s as rich as Bill Gates – so I usually restrict it for night use, and only on my body. Ditto in the summer, even at night. Argh!

To elaborate, I’ll apply the thinnest layer I can and there will still be a bit of residue on my skin even after aeons. The fact that a good percentage of it is mineral oil and microcrystalline wax (more of those present than actual cocoa butter, bleh) might be the contributing factor – how irksome. Hence why I insist on including the word “formula” in the name, because it’s not pure 100% cocoa butter! The main thing stopping me from buying an actual block of the pure stuff is probably the fact that it’s quite impractical to store (groan.), and the mineral oil/wax issue is what’s keeping me from trying out alternative solid lotions. (Body Shop’s body butters? Not really a solid lotion, and too pricey.)

EE and their solid lotions, however, have solved that woe for me. Not only am I able to get the tiniest amount of solid lotion possible that I need, but they absorb so well – no residues or ickiness! So far I’ve only used Green Tea (I’m going through the tins one by one), and all I do when I apply is rub my finger on the surface for a bit to melt the lotion slightly, which swipes on nicely on to where I need it. My hands have never been happier, and ditto my brain – it’s in awe of such a good formulation. It’s so good that I can safely say that it’s definitely a year-round, day AND night moisturizer.

A little really goes a long way: the sample tins are so dinky (UK folks, they’re about 1cm bigger in diameter than a 50p coin), but I’ve used less than half of my Green Tea tin in what, over two weeks? They went mostly on the hands, but I’ve put the stuff on my whole legs and arms a few times too.  Muchos impressivo!

All 6 scents are absolutely lovely without being in-your-face! Here’s my twopenny take on them:

  • Caribbean Sea is my pick out of the two seaside-inspired scents, and by far my fave of the bunch. It might be the patchouli that does it, but it’s not earthy – it’s very fresh and I can really smell the sea in this one! It really reminded me of my old beach holidays back in Malaysia. I’d go as far as to say this is my other HG scent, because it’s really me (okay, I don’t lay claim to beaches anywhere!) Must get a full size someday, and maybe a custom perfume oil of this…
  • Green Tea is delicate, and very unisex. I’m not too sure if it’s -really- true to what green tea smells like to me, but I’m not fussed…see, I like it so much, I want a full size of this!
  • I Love Lychee is a milder version of the perfume oil, so you can use it as a subtler perfume or layer it with the perfume oil for a longer-lasting scent.
  • Margarita has a 100% citrus zing and 0% ethanol (scent). A good fix, sans the after-effects/hangovers. Happy days! It’s also on my must-get-full-size-of list, and perhaps one that lads wouldn’t mind using…
  • Married to the Sea (not one I purchased per se, but I might as well review anyway, no?) definitely does remind you of beachy times – you get a good whiff of coconut, but if you pay close attention, you -might- catch a hint of sea salt. (Or maybe Ari’s hallucinating.)
  • Midnight is a blend of Jasmine and Sandalwood, though I seem to mostly smell the latter. It’s true to the description and is definitely spicy – as mysterious as its namesake!

Nut allergy sufferers, take care: there’s macadamia nut and pistachio butter in these. Also, I’m aware that some fragrance oils contain coconut oil, so coconut allergy sufferers might want to be a bit cautious too. In both cases, it’s best you send Allison an Etsy convo to ask for more information before you place an order (and even if you’re allergic, there’s no stopping you from giving a non-allergy-sufferer these goodies!)

I think newbies are better off starting with the sampler set ($12 for 5x 1/4 oz tins), as you get loads of product and a variety of scents from it (you can always mix and match.) Full-sizes in the proprietary scents and custom scents (like the perfume) are available too, with the former being $6.50 for 2 oz (that’s 8 times more product, woohoo!) and the latter just $7.00 for 2oz. Did I also mention that you can name your own scent with these (as well as with the custom perfume?)

Ari recommends Caribbean Sea + Green Tea for freshness, and Margarita + I Love Lychee for fruity sweetness (though one’s zingy and one’s dewy-sweet.) Next to sample will have to be the florals!

lip balm trio

Bamboo again, with the Lip Balm Trio.

Bamboo again, with the Lip Balm Trio.

I’m a lip balm junkie because I have a tendency to get slightly dry/flaky lips, and have spent quite some time finding a fix for this issue. Us partnered people who kiss from time to time know how icky it feels to be kissing dry chapped lips, so I do my part and take care of them. Let me put it out there and say these EE babies have been the end-all to that woe, after yonks…they’ve absolutely “Nailed It” with their formulation!

I got suckered into Chapstick because I personally love flavored lip balm (a lot of unflavored formulations just smell weird to me.) Petrolatum and I don’t get on very well, however, and Chapstick does feel like a dead-on greasy barrier instead of something that sinks in and is properly absorbed by the lips. (Some people have said that any balm with petrolatum usually exacerbates the issue of dry lips. Eek.) At the time, though, I did think that all lip balms felt and were just that: a barrier to keep whatever precious moisture you have left in. (Most pretty much are, anyway.)

There was also that slightly scary looking ingredients list (I once cried out “what the function is aluminium doing in my lippie?!”), and with so many other unique flavors, I could NOT pass up the chance to try these.

These lip balms apply very well – instead of a thick sticky barrier, I get this lovely feel of the balm actually melting into the lips and being absorbed relatively quickly. After it wore off/got absorbed, my lips had no yucky residue and felt very soft (I’m starting to see a pattern here, like with the solid lotions :D) They’ve honestly changed my view on what an ideal lip balm should be like.

It’s a different feel than Chapstick, which stayed for yonks – Chapstick was good that I didn’t have to reapply like heck (thought ditto EE), but bad because it was pretty thick, and would feel horrible after it wore off. I know that a common gripe people have with vegan lippies is that they apply too thin/oily-feeling for their tastes, but these definitely don’t feel like that in my opinion – it still takes them a while to sink into the lips, but at least THEY SINK IN and I’m getting proper moisturizing goodness instead of just a hydrophobic barrier. If you’re like me and don’t like heavy-as-lead balms, these do the job well.

  • Fuji Apple is definitely apple-y, though pink (it’s green in the tube) would’ve reminded me more of  an actual Fuji Apple (only because the ones I’ve had are all pinky/reddy!) Not fussed, though, and I’m glad I picked it – apples are one of my fave fruits. My friend sniffed it and said that there was a hint of cherry in the scent, funnily enough.
  • Gummy Bears (again, didn’t purchase but might as well review) was one that I wasn’t too sure what to make of. Far as I recall, gummy bears were juicy and came in a variety of fruity flavors. This one, however, smelt/tasted somewhat milky and buttery. Sweet, yes, but definitely very milky and buttery…and reminded me a bit of white chocolate mixed with a mystery flavor for some reason. I’m not complaining, I still love it!
  • Mango Lychee smelt more mango than lychee to me, and is chock full of fruitiness. I have only three words: yum, yum, and yum. (I’m a real fruit junkie.)
  • Mint Chocolate Espresso was the first thing I smelt when I opened my replacement packet. Even with the bubble wrap and zebra paper packing. Absolutely divine smell where all three elements stand out equally (I can also smell some vanilla), and you guessed it…HG flavor! I wish I could smell like this, too…might have to brew up a custom scent of this methinks ;)
  • Vanilla Coke probably beats Lip Smackers’ own (Vanilla) Coke flavored lip balms by a mile…and then some. (You gotta give EE brownie points for all the flavor and moisturizing function, sans the nasties.) The boyfriend kissed me today when I had it on and was very impressed by how it really tasted like Vanilla Coke, which happens to be one of our fave sodas. I don’t drink soda very often, and Vanilla Coke less so because I haven’t come across it recently…but among the fizzies I’ve tried, it’s my fave. The balm itself? HG flavor, it’s bang on.

These are $3.50 a pop, and you can also get them in sets of 3 for $10.50 or 6 for $20. I know Chapstick can be a bit cheaper, but they’re definitely not ridiculously priced – c’mon, they’re cheaper than Burt’s Bees, which seems to be the HG balm of choice of many. Plus, I like the fact that I actually know EVERYTHING that’s gone into these lippes, since I will be ingesting bits of it throughout the day anyway – no, I don’t eat the tube, even though the flavors ARE lovely enough. It’s nice to know that you’ve got Pistachio Butter instead of some randomly-numbered saturated hydrocarbon.

Next on my to-sample list are Banana Split, Vanilla Bean, Coconut Lime/Lemongrass, Raspberry Pie A La Mode and Mimosa (I hope you noted the word “junkie”!) Also, I would dearly love for Allison to make a Strawberries and Cream flavored lippie – my life will then be complete. Hurrah! :D

on the whole

I know that genuine independent sellers hold themselves to very high standards, and I can safely say that Epically Epic is one of them. Here’s a quick round-up:

  • Customer service/resolution is impeccable, and in a weird way, I’m glad the mix-up happened because it just reflected on how well you’re handled/treated. (I find a problem/hiccup can bring out the best/worst in a person.) Apart from that, Allison is super-helpful and prompt with responding to convos, so you can be assured of speedy assistance!
  • Products contain no nasties, do what they say on the tin, and definitely cater for a good market – I’m not vegan, but I like vegan products because they fit in with my 2011 resolution.
  • Tremendous variety at reasonable prices – especially with the soaps, solid lotions and lip balms!
  • Packaging is understated but beautiful, professional and complements the product (don’t you hate having flash packaging but a dud product?) From labels to wrapping paper to the boxes, and you also have the option of having it gift wrapped (for an extra $3) if you’re sending the goodies as a pressie!
  • Insanely good turn-around time, and no shoddiness that comes with being a Speedy Gonzales. Needs no explaining, methinks.

repurchase?

Hell yeah, and I’d glowingly recommend them too. Apart from my aforementioned custom scent suggestions that I’d like to turn into reality, I think Yellow Cake would be perfect for my mum (she bakes lovely cakes!) I have a sneaking suspicion that future birthday pressies for my friends will be sorted now… ;)

Whether you’re new to bath/personal care products, already a junkie, already support independent sellers or not, EE should definitely be on your to-try list. This is one shop that I won’t be sending to the Regretsy category! :D

DISCLAIMER// Married to the Sea and Gummy Bears were mix-ups, and Mint Choc Espresso is a complimentary item, so I didn’t pay for those three. Other than that, all products mentioned in the review were purchased with my own dosh. All opinions on every product mentioned here are my own.

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5 Responses to “epically epic: awesomely awesome – part deux”

  1. epicallyepic says:

    February 13th, 2011 at 9:49 am

    What a fun and thorough review! Thank you!  :love:

  2. alyssa says:

    February 13th, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Very informative review! I love Epically Epic! And just to let you know, the Vanilla Bean and Mimosa lip balm flavors are awesome! Two of my favs from EE! :)

  3. Ariane says:

    February 13th, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    No, thank *you* Allison! ;)

  4. Ariane says:

    February 13th, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Cheers Alyssa! :D They are *very* well made balms, and I’m sure that every flavor is great. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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    September 13th, 2014 at 8:29 am

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