Saturday, February 13, 2016

Luz de la Riva: Massage + Perfume + Salt Scrub

A few months ago, I got acquainted with Luz de la Riva, a brand making "couture intimate cosmetics". The idea behind Luz de la Riva was to create fun, flirty, woman-centric intimate products that are cruelty-free and contain no silicones or parabens. With its simple and straightforward packaging, each product is designed around/named after a woman. I'll be talking about the more PG products from the line, and just note that the brand makes a water-based lubricant, as well as some rather luxurious accessories (like these Swarovski crystal cuff restraints). With Valentine's Day coming up tomorrow, I figured now would be a pretty good time to be talking about products with "aphrodisiac aromas" :P

By the way, before you start imagining some sordid, smutty testing sessions with bf, let me squash that thought LOL. Sorry, but it's just me sitting in my room, un-sexily taste-testing edible massage oil and scribbling down notes.

Luz de la Riva couture intimate cosmetics review
Luz de la Riva couture intimate cosmetics review
Each product is represented by a particular woman with her own personality and style. The colouring work and exaggerated proportions give me major fashion illustration vibes, and is a nod to founder Luz's background in fashion design.

Luz de la Riva Lulu edible massage oil review
Lulu is the edible massage oil, and for a majorly luxurious experience, you can shell out just a little more for the version with edible 24K gold flakes. The Dulce de Leche scent smells amazing. It's unmistakably all caramel and burnt sugar, sticky and sweet. It's edible in the sense that it's safe to consume, but unfortunately that delicious scent isn't present in the taste, which is very neutral.

I'm seriously considering decanting this into an empty polish bottle to use as cuticle oil. The problem is that it will probably look really strange if people catch me smelling my nails constantly :P

Luz de la Riva Lulu 24K edible massage oil review
The 24K version is available only in the Forbidden Fruit scent. It has a pleasant, tropical fruit scent, but it's not nearly as intense or delicious as the Dulce de Leche. The gold flakes stay whole inside the bottle, but they break down and disappear on the skin with a little rubbing.

Luz de la Riva Lulu 24K edible massage oil review
Luz de la Riva Stella massage oil review
Stella is a non-edible massage oil comprised of almond, jojoba, coconut, and sesame oils, plus a little shea butter. As you might imagine, these ingredients combine to make a very skin-nourishing oil that absorbs readily and doesn't feel greasy. I was expecting the Marrakesh fragrance to be pungent and spicy (i.e. not really my cup of tea), but it's surprisingly mild. It's warm and inviting, with lush floral notes and maybe the tiniest hint of pepper. I've been using it on my cuticles and love how my skin drinks it up. I could also see it being a lovely bath oil or body oil.

Luz de la Riva Zoe body lotion review
For those that don't like the feeling of oils, there's Zoë, a massage lotion option. The texture is not heavy, but it still hydrates beautifully. At the very top of the ingredients list are an impressive bunch of oils: evening primrose, sunflower seed, avocado, rose hip, and jojoba. I love the Sweet Chérie fragrance: it's a bright floral scent with jasmine and rose, with a light musk and fruitiness in the background.

Luz de la Riva Sophia massage candle review
Last in my line-up of Luz de la Riva's massage products is Sophia, a soy wax-based candle housed in beautiful coloured glass. The twist is that it can also be used as a massage oil!

Luz de la Riva Sophia massage candle review
Once lit, you'll start seeing liquid pooling near the flame--that's the soybean wax, jojoba oil, coconut oil, and shea butter. You can carefully pour this liquid into hands or onto the body to get a massage session going. It was initially a scary thought to pour it into my hands, but the liquid is pleasantly warm. The packaging promises that the wax "never burns too hot", so no burn risk there. The candle doesn't give off much fragrance (unless you stick your nose right in) and neither does the liquid, which is unfortunate since I love the Sweet Chérie fragrance. Bonus points for a product that both sets the ambiance and serves as a massage product though.

Luz de la Riva Lily pheromone perfume review
Lily is a "pheromone perfume" that claims to have "natural aphrodisiacal fragrances that release the hormone Oxytocin". FYI Oxytocin is a hormone involved in social bonding (not just romantic), said to relieve stress, and is released by the brain upon orgasm. All in all, a very nice thing to have in a fragrance, but not something I'm able to evaluate, haha! Although Sweet Chérie's scent is my hands-down favourite, I also like Wild Orchid's fresh floral scent with orchid, mimosa, and camellia.

Luz de la Riva Lily pheromone perfume review
The bottle initially comes with a simple cap, but there is an atomizer included in the box. I love how the atomizer's black squeeze bulb and tassel give it that vintage boudoir vibe.

As you might expect from a perfume from a couture intimate cosmetics collection, Lily wears close to the skin, so only people who come close to the wearer will catch the scent.

Luz de la Riva Lisa salt scrub review
Lisa is a "pheromone inducing" salt scrub made from a combination of three different salts: Alaea Hawaiian, Himalayan, and Bolivian Rose salts.

Luz de la Riva Lisa salt scrub review
It looks really funky but based on other photos online, I think the salt crystals and the oils in mine separated somehow? Like it should be basically dry with the oils infused completely into the large salt crystals, rather than the salt just sitting in oil, I think. In any case, it's a big change-up from the more finely-ground sugar or salt scrubs I'm used to. Even the coarse sea salt in LUSH Ocean Salt is nowhere near as big as the salt crystals in Lisa. Because the crystals are so large, they don't dissolve as easily as fine salt (good!) but the scrubbing feels somewhat more cumbersome and not as effective (not so good). However, because of the combination of almond, jojoba, sesame, and coconut oils, it is easily the most hydrating scrub I've ever used--my legs feel so silky.

The concept is interesting, but ultimately I like Lisa for the oils, and not the salts. The funny oil/salt separation was maybe a windfall for me--I treat it more as an in-shower body oil treatment than a scrub. I think it would actually be pretty nice if used as a bath salt--dissolve a few spoonfuls into a hot bath to infuse it with the ingredients' hydrating properties, as well as the pretty scent of Wild Orchid/Sweet Chérie.

Overall I wasn't sure what to expect from a brand whose products are mainly carried by lingerie and adult retailers. However, I discovered that these products are full of hydrating ingredients for soft, smooth skin; they're lovely products even beyond the sexy massage angle! The scents of Sweet Chérie, Wild Orchid, and Marrakesh are available across most of the products, allowing for layering to create a fragrance that lasts all day, if you wanted. The minimalist packaging with fashion design-style illustrations also makes them beautiful additions to a vanity.

What do you think? Would you use Luz de la Riva's massage products with your partner?

Luz de la Riva Lulu edible massage oil review
Available at Luz de la Riva:

Lulu massage oil ($28 USD / 2 fl oz); Lulu 24K massage oil ($40 USD / 2 fl oz)

Lulu edible massage oil ingredients: organic Prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, organic flavor

Lulu 24K edible massage oil ingredients: organic Prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, organic flavor, 24K edible gold flakes

Stella massage oil ($29.50 USD / 3.58 fl oz)

Stella massage oil ingredients: Prunus amygdalus dulcis (almond) oil, Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil, Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, Sesamum indicu (sesame) oil, Butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), isopropyl myristate, fragrance

Zoë body lotion ($27 USD / 5.25 fl oz)

Zoe massage lotion ingredients: Oenothera biennis (evening primrose) oil, Helianthus annus (sunflower) seed oil, Persea gratissima (avocado) oil, Olea europaea (olive) oil, Rosa canina fruit (rose hip) oil, Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, quanternium-79 hydroluzed silk, vegetable glycerin USP, emulsifying wax USP, citric acid, tocopherol (vitamin E), sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, phenoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol

Sophia massage candle ($29.50 USD / 8.5 fl oz)

Sophia massage candle ingredients: Glycine max (soybean) wax, Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil, Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, Butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), fragrance

Lily perfume ($70 USD / 3.58 fl oz)

Lily pheromone perfume ingredients: purified water (aqua), Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) leaf extract, propylene glycol, polysorbate 80, fragrance, sodium benzoate, FD&C Red #40, FD&C Yellow #5

Lisa salt scrub ($28 USD / 16 fl oz)

Lisa salt scrub ingredients: Alaea Hawaiian salt, Himalayan salt, Bolivian rose salt, magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt), Prunus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil, Cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, Sesamum indicum (sesame) oil, Vitellaria paradoxa (shea better), isopropyl mistrate, fragrance

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