April 18, 2013

battle of the huile - caudalíe vs nuxe

A long long time ago so long to the point that I don't even remember how long ago it truly was, I bought my first bottle of oil for use on skin. It was from Guardian and it was made by Nivea. I thought it was a grand idea, until I gave it a go. It felt like slathering on a highly fragranced concoction of diluted minyak chap kapak on my arm - overnight, my arm started to break out in one of the itchiest rash I've ever experienced ... for a week. Needless to say, I've have steered clear of oils since.

Then in a span of one week in early April, I received not one but two bottles of oils; a 100ml bottle of Caudalíe Huile Divine {courtesy of my mom and Sephora US} and 50ml bottle of Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse {courtesy of TheLilacBox}. 

My arms shuddered in fear but I was actually excited about giving them a go because I've read nothing but rave reviews about Caudalíe Huile Divine so I did a little raving myself too when my mom bought me a bottle. Then, when I received my bottle of Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, according to Google it too apparently shared the same raves.

I figured the industry has had about ten or so years to pucker up on their act and ingredients so I gave them a go a week each. Since me and me arms survived the experiment, I suppose a review is very much in order.

Both Caudalíe Huile Divine and Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse are actually dry oils, eventhough the word "huile" means oil in French. Dry oil is a new generation of cosmetic oil that is formulated to not leave a greasy film on skin like conventional oils yet is able to effectively moisturise, as well as help seal in that moisture. It's also suitable for use, literally from the top of your head to the soles of your feet. See! They puckered up ...

Let's talk packaging first since this is the first thing consumers like moi notice in a product. Caudalíe Huile Divine comes in a tall cylindrical gold tinted glass bottle complete with a grape relief on the back of the bottle and a wooden cap-on cap. Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse comes in a classic square sharp cornered glass bottle with a screw on gold cap.


THE PACKAGING 
Both bottles are gorgeous in design and heavy in weight, but I tend to lean in favour towards Caudalíe's design because they seem to have put in more thought into their packaging. Sure, the grape relief on the back is beautiful and unique but it also provides a klutz like moi a better grip. Underneath the wooden cap hides a spray nozzle which explains the tube inside the bottle - this makes application an absolute breeze.


Nuxe's design on the other hand is very old school but then Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse has been around since 1991, making it 22 years young this year - it was the product that started it all, the Nuxe heritage. I have to be extra careful when handling this bottle because the bottle is heavy, even at 50 ml. The combination of heavy glass and having to splash the liquid is quite dangerous with a certified butterfinger, moi.


THE SCENT
I think the top notes of both oils smell quite similar to each other upon application. However, after it starts absorbing into the skin, Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse takes on a slightly musky almost powdery scent while Caudalíe Huile Divine takes on a sweeter note, almost gourmande-like like dark chocolate cupcakes in a flower garden. Weird, I know but it's how it smells like on my skin and the scent may vary between individuals. Both scents did dissipate after half an hour or so.

THE TEXTURE
Compared to Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, I find Caudalíe Huile Divine's texture to be slightly richer which means it is a tad bit oilier and takes a little while longer to absorb into the skin. The upside to this is that it also blends smoother - however, this may be because Caudalíe's spray nozzle compared to Nuxe's splash top.

THE INGREDIENTS
Made in France, both Caudalíe Huile Divine {or Divine Oil} and Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse {or prodigious oil aka multi-purpose oil} are formulated with natural ingredients:
  • Caudalíe Huile Divine contains a high content of omega-6 with a blend of grape, hibiscus, sesame and argan oil. It also contains their patented anti-oxidant grape seed polyphenols, a Caudalíe signature that is formulated into all their skin care products. The ingredient list is below and I see that parfum is quite high, which might be a concern to some of you. However, it does not contain preservatives, silicone,  parabens, phenoxyethanol, colouring or mineral oil.

    INGREDIENT LIST: VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPE) SEED OIL, SESAMUM INDICUM (SESAME) SEED OIL, ISOAMYL COCOATE, COCO-CAPRYLATE, FRAGRANCE, ETHYLHEXYL PALMITATE, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA) BUTTER EXTRACT, HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED OIL, HIBISCUS SABDARIFFA SEED OIL, ARGANIA SPINOSA KERNEL OIL, ETHYLHEXYL METHOXYCINNAMATE (OCTINOXATE), BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE (AVOBENZONE), TOCOPHEROL, ETHYLHEXYL SALICYLATE (OCTISALATE), PALMITOYL GRAPE SEED EXTRACT, SOLANUM LYCOPERSICUM (TOMATO) FRUIT/LEAF/STEM EXTRACT, CITRIC ACID, HYDROXYCITRONELLAL, BENZYL SALICYLATE, GERANIOL, BUTYLPHENYL METHYLPROPIONAL, LINALOOL, CITRONELLOL, LIMONENE, ALPHA-ISOMETHYL IONONE.
    ..
  • Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse on the other hand is formulated with six different oils: St. John's Wort, sweet almond, camellia, hazelnut and macadamia. 98% of the ingredients are natural while 30% are of plant based precious oils. It also contains vitamin E.

    INGREDIENT LIST: ISOPROPYL ISOSTEARATE, MACADAMIA TERNIFOLIA SEED OIL, COCO-CAPRYLATE/CAPRATE, DICAPRYLYL ETHER, PRUNUS AMYGDALUS DULCIS (SWEET ALMOND) OIL, CORYLUS AVELLANA NUT OIL/CORYLUS AVELLANA (HAZEL) SEED OIL, CAMELLIA OLEIFERA SEED OIL, PARFUM/FRAGRANCE, TOCOPHEROL, BORAGO OFFICINALE SEED OIL, OLEA EUROPAEA (OLIVE) FRUIT OIL, HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED OIL, ROSMARINUS OFFICINALE (ROSEMARY) LEAF EXTRACT, HYPERICUM PERFORATUM FLOWER/LEAF/STEM EXTRACT, SOLANUM LYCOPERSICUM (TOMATO) FRUIT/LEAF/STEM EXTRACT, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, BENZYL SALICYLATE, BUTYLPHENYL METHYLPROPIONAL, CITRONELLOL, GERANIOL, HYDROXYCITRONELLAL, LIMONENE, LINALOOL [N1005/D]

THE FINAL VERDICT
In the single week I've trialed both these oils individually, I find them both great as skin moisturisers especially after a bath. The scent that enveloped me was of sheer luxury and decadence although Caudalíe's version brought in a gourmande factor to it, which I secretly do love over Nuxe. Sorry ... I'm just in a gourmande fragrance phase right now. I also love that neither these oils did not break me out in an all-week-itchy-body-allergy-rash causing me to scratch like a babboon.

I've also tried them out on my Mufasa-like hair; I have long coloured dry hair that sticks out like twigs a few inches past my shoulders. I lightly applied the oils starting about three inches from the ends after a good wash and dry and I'm glad to report that both oils did not sport me that oily-unwashed-hair-look by the end of the day, which a lot of oil-based hair serums do {I wonder why that is?!}.

I've yet to try the oils as face moisturisers though. I guess I'm chicken that way but for good reason - the skin on the front of my noggin is the most sensitive and will redden and erupt like a volcano in acne and a red burning rash within hours if I apply something it don't like and takes forever to heal. However, when I do pluck up the courage, I'm sure I'll be writing about it ...

Application wise, I do prefer Caudalíe's well-thought out bottle design and the spray nozzle is genius compared to Nuxe which I have to be extra careful with, but other than that - it really is hard to choose a favourite between the two because I love both them both equally.

Now, the only downside to both these products is the price and availability {isn't that always the case in Malaysia?!}. SaSa outlets do carry both Caudalíe and Nuxe lines but the last I checked, only Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse was available and is at RM148 for 100ml. I've yet to see Caudalíe Huile Divine but perhaps they might bring that in on a later date.