Considering the wave of celebrity perfumes that has submerged us over the past decade, it's interesting that so few famous names have appeared on the labels of fragranced body products. The only examples that come to my mind are Jo Wood Organics, a high-priced niche line created by the ex-wife of a Rolling Stone, and Lisa Hoffman Beauty, a body/fragrance spa brand founded by Dustin Hoffman's wife, but neither of these women is exactly a household name.
Now, however, we have Nuance, a full collection of cosmetics, skincare, haircare, and body products launched by actress Salma Hayek. Hayek herself is probably no stranger to fancy fragrances and indulgent self-care products, since she's married to François-Henri Pinault, the CEO of a multinational luxury goods business. Yet her new Nuance brand is sold at CVS drugstores; as Hayek says in one of her promotional videos for the line, "I wanted to make sure that every woman could afford it." (She also mentions the inspiration of her grandmother, who concocted homemade beauty products in her kitchen, and the long history of natural ingredients in traditional Mexican remedies.)
I picked up two Nuance body products at CVS on a whim; I was there to buy something else, probably razor blades or a nail file, but the Nuance display caught my eye. I liked the line's sophisticated packaging, which is a range of containers in subdued, earthy tones, decorated with elegant botanical designs. Moreover, I was all out of lotion and scrub, and there was some kind of "buy one, get one at half-price" special going on. I was even more pleasantly surprised when I used both products, because their quality is quite high for drugstore offerings.
Nuance Walnut Body Scrub is packaged in a flip-top tube, which really is the neatest and most convenient way to use a scrub in the shower. Its exfoliating properties come from a mix of fine grains (walnut-shell powder and synthetic particles) in a creamy base that leaves no greasy after-feel on the body or on the floor of the tub. Its formula is paraben-free and contains a few interesting ingredients such as rice
brain bran oil, coffee extract, acai, and babassu oil. And it happens to have a grown-up gourmand fragrance: a refined cocoa-vanilla blend with a woodsy-smoky edge that keeps the sweeter notes from turning too cupcake-like.
Nuance Rosehip Moisturizing Body Lotion is also sold in a flip-top bottle (one that can even be stood on its "head" when it's running low, so that you can get every last bit of product). It has a lightweight texture that absorbs quickly yet noticeably softens the skin. Its fragrance is a light scent of freshly-cut roses with green leaves, which just happens to work as an easy "layer" under most of the perfumes in my collection. It's harder than you might expect to find a rose-scented lotion that doesn't smell harshly perfumed, sour, or vaguely soapy, but this one really pleases me. The lotion's ingredients include shea butter and various plant-based extracts and oils in addition to its namesake rosehip oil. There are also a few less "natural" ingredients, but no obviously cheap fillers like mineral oil, and it's another paraben-free product.
I've always liked Salma Hayek, partially for her film work but even more for her appearance in Allure magazine in 1999, when she posed for an editorial photo shoot with her extensive team of makeup artists, hairstylists, facialists, physical trainers, business managers, et al. At the time, it was a refreshing change from the usual, "Oh, I'm just the girl next door" and "Me? I just eat well and go for runs on the beach" spiels that many starlets were giving in interviews. Hayek was cheerfully reminding us that a star is often a business with a large support staff, and that she doesn't just roll out of bed in the morning looking quite so sleek and sultry. (On the other hand, she also regularly admits to knowing that she is beautiful, and she has never insulted our intelligence with the "Oh, I was such an ugly duckling growing up!" story. It just doesn't work that way, does it?)
I'll be curious to see how well Nuance succeeds; I'm hoping for it to prosper, since I happen to like these two body products I've used and would gladly try more. (I'm also using the Blue Agave Curl Cream, which is not fragranced, but gives a nice texture to my wavy-curly hair.) They smell great, they work well, they're reasonably priced, and their packaging is practical and attractive. If there were an Oscar for drugstore body products, I'd consider them for nomination.
Nuance Salma Hayek Walnut Body Scrub and Rosehip Moisturizing Body Lotion are sold for about $8 each in CVS stores and through the CVS website.
Glad to see some love for these products! I bought the rose hip lotion right after it came out and was very pleasantly surprised by the high quality texture and esp scent. You are so right, it’s very difficult to find a true rose smell, esp at this price point. I was disappointed in the foundation I tried but you can get returns at CVS with no problems. I like the face cream, too. Next I’ll probably try a lipstick.
Thanks, Rosarita! I’m curious about some of the other products, too… I might try the shower gel or a shampoo next.
I’ll be ready for new shampoo soon, might try the Nuance one! These products sound like a fun buy.
It’s a nice way to stay within a drugstore budget while trying something new that feels a little fancier!
Out of lotion?!? Admit I raised an eyebrow at that. If I live to be 150 I will not use up all the lotion in my house, and would have thought you were worse than me. Now, frequently I am out of lotions I’m in the mood to use
I know, it does seem unlikely! However, the current inventory of body lotion in my bathroom is: a nearly-empty Nuance Rosehip lotion, a nearly-empty Avalon Organics Ylang-Ylang lotion, a nearly-empty Burt’s Bees Milk & Honey (which I’m sad about, because the reformulated version is awful), a travel-size bottle of Alvarez Gomez Agua de Colonia lotion, and a decanted sample-size jar of some Ormonde Jayne lotion, probably Frangipani.
However, I have plenty of hand-cream. The pendulum swings back and forth, product to product.
LOL! I have a thing about lotions and hand creams, and a great fear of being survived by the ones I already have and by those I will no doubt acquire in the future. I’m short and rather thin, maybe if I had a bigger expanse of skin I would use them quicker. Aha!
I like your logic!
I have an cabinet underneath my sink in the bathroom full of body lotion and shower gels. It’s really egregious. I should probably never buy anymore. The one saving grace is that I am getting married and my fiance enjoys the shower gels. So he’ll help me use them up.
Well, that works, then! and, congratulations!
Well this is interesting. I have chosen to think of lotion as a necessary condiment, like yellow mustard, and overlook its potential to be something more, say, mint chutney or chipotle marmalade. I regularly almost run out of lotion the way I almost run out of toothpaste. This helps explain the distance I keep even from the mere idea of Carnal Flower body butter. Can I afford to care this much about more scented products? How do the rest of you manage such an array of desire?!
Hah… well, I seem to be managing this particular desire pretty well, if I only own three nearly-empty bottles of lotion… but I do usually like to have one rose-based lotion on hand and one in a more comfort-type scent. Not so nearly specific or extensive as my perfume “wardrobe.”
Almost-but-not-quite empty lotion bottles and tubes lurk all over my house. It’s because I can’t bring myself to throw away that last little bit even though it would require more hand strength than I possess to extract it.
I have a hard time with good-byes.
The thing to do then is cut the bottle open with kitchen shears or a sharp knife and extract the last few precious drops ;-D
Thank you for reviewing these, I’ve been eyeing the line at CVS and wondering if it was worth a try. Love Selma Hayek, and in my dry-skinned world there is no such thing as too much lotion!
I always type her name as “Selma” first, too!
I’m also curious about the richer Body Creams, but they were sold out when I went back to look. Maybe that means they’re good!
I’ m horrible at typing.
I really like the raw honey color protect shampoo & conditioner from this line. I might have to mention the other items to my husband for stocking stuffer ideas!
Melinda, their sample/travel-size items *would* make perfect stocking-stuffer treats!
It contains rice BRAIN oil? I am sorry but I going to have to boycott a product with such a gruesome ingredient
LOL! Thank you for noticing, it is fixed
hah! Yes, that was a typing error. No actual rice was harmed in the making of this lotion.
Oh, those tricky Mensa members brought to you by Uncle Bens.
I have been using a bunch of these products since early October. I am a big fan of the skin care line. I have sensitive skin and the products really agree with me. Both the facial serum and the eye serum are great and her day time moisturizer is SPF 30. And the wild lime facial exfoliating gell is wonderful!
Good recommendations! I’ve been curious about the eye serum…
Jessica, this line sounds wonderful, and I’ll be trying some things from the rosehip selection before this night is over. Loved the vid about her grandmother; my grandmother was also one to make her own creams and remedies.
Also very curious about her champion ingredient…what is it she says it completely regenerates??
Joliefleurs, I had to “rewind” and listen again and guess at the spelling… but it seems to be ” tepezcohuite.” Apparently the bark of this plant is used for various medicinal purposes…
Something new to me!
Salma is gorgeous, with that prosaic view of Life that so many Latina have (I am Latina on my mother’s side and the women are a lot like that). But I disagree with the ‘ugly duckling’ dismissal – some of the most gorgeous women on the planet seem to have had to grow into their beauty. Nothing wrong with that, imo. I also like that Salma understands her beauty is a Business. That’s exactly what it is – her beauty is what sells her, nothing wrong with that.
My current obsession with shower gels and body lotions is terrifying. I am totally in love with (gasp!) Amouage Epic and Jube25! So painfully expensive – but! a little dab’ll do ya. The other downside is the increasing water bill…hard to get out of the shower with the smell of Epic wafting around..