Dry skin, moustache hairs, knee pain… They told me that ageing was going to be tough but I did not anticipate how papier-mâché textured my skin was going to end up looking.
When I turned 33, I wondered why I just wasn’t feeling my overly confident, borderline delusional self. I was wearing the same clothes I usually wore, but things just didn’t sit right anymore and my makeup wasn’t going on as smoothly as it used to. When I saw myself in a mirror recently, I couldn’t tell if I was looking at me or if I was looking at an unglazed donut - my skin just wasn’t giving off that juicy glow that it used to.
I always made sure to moisturise my skin before I leave the house, but I always felt a sense of heaviness and stickiness after I slathered up. My thighs gripping and begging to chafe as I walked out, hands feeling greasier and sweatier as my BYO $6 bottle of cleanskin wine slipped out of my hands. I thought there must be a better way to look hydrated and supple without feeling like unmoulded sweaty jelly.
The answer: body oil. They claim to be lightweight, non-greasy and fast-absorbing - exactly what I was looking for.
I started using what I had at home, a tried and true, trusty bottle of basic generic baby oil. Baby oil works great but it was a little uninspiring, and I wondered if my adult skin needed something a bit more… fancy.
Do I deserve the best of the best? Maybe not, but who was going to stop me? I was going to try out some legit body oils, four of the supposedly best out there, to restore the appearance of what I once was.
We love to make fun of straight men for their 2-in-1 body products but this Elizabeth Arden body oil claims you can use it all over your body, face and even your hair. On an especially dry day, I was almost tempted to just pour this over my head and let it drip down, but no, being sensible, I first tried it on my arms and legs.
The bottle has a handy spritz style nozzle, which I recommend using in the bathroom - not near your nice duvets or laptop - as it comes out hard and fast and in different directions.
It absorbed nicely into the skin, and didn’t feel greasy or heavy like a body lotion would. The scent reminded me of a super popular ‘90s perfume, which for a week I could not put my finger on. After a quick Google search, I realised it smelled like Sunflowers by Elizabeth Arden; of course! It instantly reminded me of the perfume pages in ‘90s magazines - every woman’s magazine smelled of Sunflowers, CK One, Charlie or Vanilla Kisses by Impulse. Very nostalgic.
The bottle itself is probably not very ‘Instagrammable’ compared to a lot of products that you see on your feed these days. The frosted plastic with an ‘8’ pattern design is a reminder of how old-school the Elizabeth Arden brand is, but it definitely fits the look of a local pharmacy shelf or your great-Aunt's vanity.
A couple years ago, this body oil bronzer was so in demand that it sold out completely hours after its release online. Influencers were coveting it, sharing rave reviews and hot beach body IG pics. I wanted my skin to look like that too: a flawless FaceTune Photoshop appearance, but for real.
The easy pump nozzle disperses a sensible amount without any mess, which I really appreciate. You’re instantly hit with the smell: a sweet vanilla-esque cupcake scent that personally for me, was kind of sickly to the point that it was slightly off-putting, but I persevered.
It's very shimmery and as you smear it on, you can see micro flecks of glitter sit on your skin - tiny enough so you don’t look like a disco ball, although if you are aiming for that aesthetic, you can add more to build up the glittery effect.
Like most body oils, your skin looks hydrated instantly once you rub it on which helps a lot when you’re in a rush and you need to get into your clothes ASAP. Although it claims to be transfer-resistant, I found that the bronzing colour did slightly rub off on white clothing.
At only 30mls the bottle feels very tiny and as a plus-sized person, I could easily use half the bottle in a day if I’m going to use it all over my body - especially if I think I’m going to get nude in front of someone (fingers crossed).
It’s a great size for travel but personally I’d rather use a regular body oil and add a bronzer with a brush. This would be a more economical option as the Sol de Janeiro body oil goes for $62, which is really going to make your pockets hurt compared to a $9 half litre bottle of generic baby oil.
At $135 for a 250ml bottle, this is definitely the bougiest on the list. The scent is very strong - citrus, slightly woody, but I say this with no expertise on perfume. It probably smells great to someone with much more expensive taste, but I found it a little overwhelming.
The oil itself had a thin consistency, more watery than oily compared to the other products I tried. On my skin it didn’t give me the hydrated, glowy look that I was craving from a body oil; it just disappeared and left little to no effect. The hydration was too light for my dry, cardboard skin.
The bottle is super sleek but I found it tricky to pour - it doesn’t have a pump, but a tiny hole at the top relying on you to control your squeeze of the plastic bottle itself. If you’re a fan of Tom Ford and wanting a lighter oil then this is definitely a good option, but for me, the scent, price point and level of hydration wasn’t gelling with what I was looking for.
If you’re into a clean, minimal aesthetic with your beauty products, this bottle is probably the one for you - and definitely the one I would gravitate to on my cool friend’s bathroom shelf that I’m nosying through without asking.
The dark, heavy amber bottle with its clean eggshell white label and glossy raised print makes you feel like you’re really about to use something that has been carefully considered and especially curated. I’m a sucker for packaging and design, and I need to remind myself that it’s what’s inside of the bottle that actually matters.
It has an easy to use pump nozzle and disperses a modest amount of oil, but still enough to cover an entire arm. The oil had a much thicker consistency than the others I used, not unsimilar to a nice cooking oil.
Once it’s rubbed in, it’s lightweight and the skin looks very hydrated. It smells like a super trendy bouquet: the ones where it’s like, three flowers and then the rest is tree foliage and twigs, but it’s still $120 a bunch.
I wore this every day for over a week and each day my skin started to look and feel nicer, and definitely seemed healthier and dewier.
This was my favourite of those I tried - surprisingly the most affordable one on the list, but still coming in at $56. I do think you are getting what you pay for: it’s a local brand and you can tell that a lot of care and effort went into every aspect.
It’s also a massive upgrade from my ugly plastic bottle of baby oil, and the bottle now sits nicely in my bathroom with my other everyday beauty items. If you’re choosing to spend your hard earned coin on some good body oil, I would massively recommend Maryse.
The majority of product in our beauty reviews is gifted to our reviewers with the requirement it be trialled over a period of time. Editorial opinions are the writer's own. Is there a product you’d like to see reviewed? Let us know.