Let's start with a bit of a disclaimer. You might have heard a little bit about Tropic before. They seem to be exploding in popularity lately! It's an interesting concept - a cosmetics company which tries to use natural products and reduce their impact. It's on trend, it's got good branding, it has very wealthy backers and it seems they're on to a winner. They also have a common business model - they're 'ambassador leadThe'. premise is for ambassadors to utilise their network (family, friends and colleagues) to sell products made by a company - effectively replacing their need for a marketing team. If you sell the products, you get a cut of the sales.
Tropic (co-owned by Alan Sugar) promote their products as responsibly sourced, carbon offset and most importantly for our website, cruelty free and vegan. They're also certified by a whole host of charities like the Vegan Society, PETA, etc. Seeing as one of our friends has just become an ambassador while she has her maternity leave, we thought we'd support her endeavours and share our thoughts too!
Neither of us uses cosmetics regularly - James is one of those people who gets the cheapest shower gel from the supermarket shelf and Amy doesn't wear make up on a day to day basis, so these purchases were very expensive and an extravagant treat for us.
Here's what we bought: body pebble (soap bar) and pouch (to act as a loofah), foot pebble, ocean fizz (foot bath powder), repairing foot remedy (foot cream), ABC + Face Lift (Face creams), Face Smooth (Exfoliation cream) and Let's Get Glowing Complexion Kit (skin serums).
The colourful branding makes for nice pictures and displays - we do like the fact that there's not much plastic (except to hold the products), the vast majority of the packaging is cardboard and paper, which is great. While the company does offer a refill option for their packaging, none of the products we purchased would qualify for this scheme.
James and the Body Pebble (sounds like a rubbish children's novel)
As part of his Christmas presents, James received a coconut flavoured Body Pebble and Pouch. The Pebbles cost £8 and the pouch £3.50 if you buy them individually. James has been using these in place of his supermarket shower gel for his daily showers and said that the pouch is a nice loofah and feels good on the skin. He likes the pebbles and said they foam up quite nicely in the pouch and leave a pleasant smell on the skin. He just can't get over the fact that a bar of soap (which lasted him 2 weeks with daily/ twice daily use) costs £8. That's probably about as much as he'd spend on his soap in 6 months normally. Having said this, the smoother, more moisturised skin compared to harsh chemicals was a welcome treat.
Our DIY Spa Evening
With the products arriving just in time for the UK's third national lockdown, we had plenty of spare time and, after nearly a year of being stuck at home, you have to get a little bit creative to keep yourselves occupied. Amy came up with the idea of a spa evening, to try the products and also give ourselves a bit of TLC - we work hard(ish) after all!
For our spa evening, we brought down the towels, turned the underfloor heating on and enjoyed a foot soak with the Ocean Fizz product. We added it to warm water and dunked our feet in. The first thing you notice is that it smells of strong mint - why does everyone seem to think feet should smell minty-fresh?! The second thing, once your feet have adjusted to the temperature, is that it slightly burns your feet - not in an unpleasant way, but you definitely notice it. We assume that it's breaking down the hard skin on the bottom of your feet. Both of our feet went slightly red on the parts which were submerged. For James, this feeling lasted into the next day.
After our 5 - 10 minute soak, we then used one of the foot pebbles to help tackle the dry skin on our feet. It's slightly strange rubbing a soapy bar with what feels like pumice into your foot, but it definitely seemed to soften them up and feels quite cool and refreshing after the burning of the footbath. A word of warning: if you're feet are ticklish, you may find this difficult to use for more than a few seconds!
The final part of the gift set - the repairing foot remedy - we tried after we'd dried our feet. We used it sparingly and made sure to cover our feet with old socks (as suggested) to get the full benefits of the cream- apparently that's a thing? It did make our feet feel a little slimy, but the next morning, we would say they felt a bit softer overall.
We had a nice time messing around with these products for an evening. James observed that it's not quite the same as getting a head, shoulders and back massage at the spa - and the cost wasn't all that much different, so we know which he'll be going for next time!
The Wrap Up
The products we've tried have been good so far and something a bit different for us. We love the fact they're as green as cosmetic products get; we like that they're sustainable and the company has thought about their impact on the planet. Our friend mentioned a website called Think Dirty which analyses the ingredients of cosmetic products for toxicity and a variety of other nasties and Tropic is one of the verified/ approved brands, which is quite reassuring, especially when you don't really know what is in a product!
Will we buy them again? Probably - for presents and gifts and for other DIY spa evenings (with different products). The products we've tried so far haven't been so good we can justify the price and use these every day, but we will continue to use them and support our friend where we can.
In the meantime, we'll try the rest of the products we have left over and write more specific reviews of individual products as we use them! Stay tuned!