Villainess soaps are hell-bent on ethical luxury. Their catchphrase is ‘redefining bad’. They redefine the way skincare is formulated, manufactured and marketed. They love gentle, environmentally-conscious and animal-friendly components as much as anyone. But they’re not interested in helping perpetuate false dichotomies or marketing ploys…
The ideas behind Villainess soaps:
1. Ease of pronunciation is not a quality of a skincare component. They assume their customers have access to a dictionary or strong linguistic skills. They say what a component of their soaps is rather than trademark some ridiculous catchphrase ‘word’ to make the component sound more important. And they shroud their product descriptions in loving rendered words, their language so limpid and sumptuously decadent as to feel almost rude.
2. All substances are chemicals and originate from nature. The word ‘chemical’ has been loaded with unwarranted negativity. Villainess avoid exploiting legitimate fears of the unknown by using emotionally charged language.
3. Even some ‘natural’ components have been processed, compromised, extracted with solvents, grown with pesticides… Not all of these processes are necessarily evil. But ‘natural’ can be as misleading a term as ‘chemical’.
4. Companies that do not animal test often use components that have been animal tested. Villainess make sure their customers are educated about their skincare needs and are informed about the issues. Rather than sell the latest market trends, they meet their customers on equal ground and frankly discuss the challenges a small cosmetic company – or a company dedicated to non animal-tested products – faces.
Smooch! Brown sugar and rock candy body scrub
Everything at Villainess smells… unusually special and edible. Villainess products have a dreamlike quality to their scent. A pot of the body scrub was opened and inhaled. A citrus tartness balanced by sweet caramelised sugar assailed my senses with lingering cinammon afternotes. My mouth actually started watering at the prospect of trying some, so I dipped my finger in the pot and tasted it, unable to help myself. There was a faint clean taste of soap but it honestly didn’t taste poisonous at all. In fact, it tasted suspiciously good. It must have been the brown sugar. Forgive me for saying this, but if this body scrub had been internally tested on animals, I think they might have gone so far as to enjoy it.
After a peaceful dip in my lovely foamy bath I opened the Villainess body scrub, inhaled it (see above) and rubbed it into my skin, revelling in the soft yet gritty texture of all that mango seed butter and brown sugar. Needless to say, the body scrub made my skin feel silky smooth, especially on tricky areas like the soles of the feet, knees and elbows. I love a body scrub, and am choosy about them – the sugar and rock candy scrub felt utterly lovely and invigorating.
Whipped! Body creme
Oh, heavens! After the long soak and the towel dry, I felt clean and scrubbed smooth but felt my skin needed a little moisture sealed in while my pores were still open from the warm water, so I opened up the pot of Whipped! Body creme. It smelled… incredible. It smelled somehow like a rich unguent from a secret, ancient palace. Heady, yet light. Exotic, yet not overpowering. The ingredients said the signature scent was a mix of a rich heart of dragon’s blood resin, white peach and pomegranate, washed with sheer plumeria and lightly spiced with sasparilla. A tantalising mix… I don’t think I could have guessed a single one of those ingredients if blindfolded.
Villainess pride themselves on making beauty products that not only smell but also look like desserts. I didn’t try to eat this one, but I can honestly say this beautiful scrub looked like frothy whipped double cream, and it glided on the skin like silk.
My final consensus: Utterly lovely. Villainess not only have a sharp intelligence and a solid ethical backbone, they also make beauty products that truly stand a cut above the rest.
Whipped! Body creme from Villainess
Smooch! Sugar body scrub from Villainess