Here come the……..erm…….boys? Well that’s not strictly true but “here comes the unisex” just really doesn’t seem to work. I have been awaiting this moment for a while wondering when the natural world of beauty, what I call the new generation of ‘Orglamic’ ranges, were going to really start targeting the male market in tandem with the female. Finally I think I have found the brand that has managed this and hit the nail squarely on the head straddling the two genders perfectly.
I was contacted by the brand Alex Carro and they asked if I would be interested in testing and reviewing three, out of a range of 5, of their products: a Balancing Face Oil, a Face Cream and a Multiuse balm. I was excited when the postman turned up at the door with the package and as soon as I opened it I could see from the packaging how amazingly well the brand were walking the tightrope between a male and female aesthetic. The products looked really bold and strong in their predominantly black packaging yet the way the white lettering was so simple, clean and chic really had a feminine touch. They looked classic with a simplistic authenticity. This obviously piqued my interest even more and I went to check out their website which has the most beautiful branding and photography. I can just see a whole plethora of GQ reading guys happily stealing these products from their girlfriends bathrooms so they can let them ‘accidentally’ fall out of their bags at the gym before boasting to their mates about their new natural range they have ‘discovered’.
Now to the important areas though, how do they stand up to their competition in terms of their function as well as their form. I have to say that when I opened them to get my first impressions of the scent I found them to sway more to the masculine than the feminine in terms of their smell. They definitely reminded me more of a barber’s than a perfumery. The smell was very natural and felt clean and fresh but it had a certain herbiness to it, I guess this might be what people refer to as a kind of musky scent. Alex Carro has labeled the range of 5 from 1 to……well…… 5, so I guess it makes sense to work my way up numerically.
⅕ Balancing Face Oil – This one definitely had the most masculine aroma to it with hints of herbs but a lemony over tone. It’s a very nice smell but not one that I would usually be drawn towards. The ingredients list states it is comprised of: Rose, Geranium, Patchouli, Argan, Evening Primrose, and Japanese rice bran oils. The full ingredient list sounds wonderful and ultimately solely focussed on regenerating your skin. I was instructed to warm 3-4 drops in my hands and massage them into face, neck and decolletage. At 69€ for 30 mls I was a little taken aback at the cost for this small jar but that seems to be my standard response these days when I see the pricing structure of these new high end natural ranges. I am sure James Bond wouldn’t even bat an eyelid at this price to keep his skin refreshed after a fight on a cable car while the cold siberian wind batters his face. Alex Carro also helpfully gives you ideas of which products are best to combine with which others in their range and the advice for this one is to team it with the……..
⅘ Face Cream – As i opened this pot I instantly loved the contrast of the pure white cream against the black and it made me want to dive straight in and get a big splodge on my fingers to cover my face with. The smell was far more subtle than the Face Oil and seemed to me to be quite woody and made me imagine being in a forest in scandinavia. I think this subtler scent works well as the cream is meant for daily use and so won’t be overpowering. This cream is also light and absorbs well so again perfect for its intended twice daily use schedule. Alex Carro unsurprisingly advised me to use after cleaning my face and neck thoroughly (I am not sure at what point I no longer need to say this in my reviews but it’s always better to be safe than sorry). They also told me that the formula combines crocus bulb extract which boosts collagen and elastin production and hyaluronic acid to promote hydration and smoothness. So far, so good! Can you guess where the stumbling block for me came again……the price! At an eye watering 78€ for 50ml I had to take a seat for a second and get my breath back. I knew when I saw these products that they would be in the high end price bracket but it still takes me a while to become accustomed to this. I know how much dedication and years of development these brand put into their products and that the pricing is fair but it still shocks me when I think of how much money must be in some peoples bathroom cabinets! As the old adage goes though……..if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys!
5/5 Multiuse Balm – This little pot confused me slightly more than the other two products. I think I must like clear direction in life as when someone says something is multi use I often can’t decide exactly where it fits. I just ended up using this as a lip balm mostly as I have so many specific products for specific areas of my face and body. However at 22€ for 10mls I felt this was kind of under utilising this product and that I should be more inventive. The direction that Alex Carro gives is for use on dry lips and skin so I guess I wasn’t too far off. The scent of it was warm and you could feel the shea and cocoa butters in the formulation of it. There is also Calendula, Chamomile and neroli butters in there too. All of which are intended to condition, soothe and protect your skin. As I have stated before in my blog posts I never like to take pots of balms out with me as I find dipping my fingers into them after using public transport, or typing on a shared computer, is a breeding ground for bacteria. So pot balms are restricted to staying in my house and therefore mostly used before bed or first thing in the morning. I will say that this stayed on my lips for a good amount of time and left them feeling nicely refreshed. If they packaged it in a stick then I might have taken it out and used it far more regularly. They suggested using this one in combination with their exfoliating powder but sadly as they didn’t send me any I can’t comment on that.
After using this range my skin felt wonderful and I really loved all three of the products. I honestly think their range works brilliantly for both genders but ultimately I have a niggling feeling that they appealed slightly more to my boyfriend in terms of aesthetic, scent, brand and price. He took a shine to it instantly and it’s the first time I have ever seen him actively want to steal one of my products and use them. I think Alex Carro will do wonderfully well with guys and fit perfectly on Saville row in London next to the bespoke tailors and suit makers. I can just envisage it being applied to a perfectly groomed chiseled jawline after diving off a yacht for a swim in the mediterranean sea. However none of that detracts from its equal appeal for women as the formulation is so amazing I think they will do just as well with the female market too! If any of you guys have tried their products I would love to hear your thoughts and if you agree with me.