Acca Kappa’s Calycanthus Body Milk – Like Velvety Silk Carassing Your Legs… Seriously!

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Acca Kappa, wha?

If you’re one who is familiar with this brand then I salute you because prior to me receiving this nondescript bottle of body lotion, I had no idea about the heritage, history and products of this brand.

Except for the fact that the brand name is really cute – Acca Kappa. Alpaca, anyone?

 

But okay, jokes aside while the name is seemingly cute, the brand itself really isn’t aiming to portray that sort of an image because Acca Kappa is an age-old italian artisan brand.

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Starting their roots in something so foundational in the grooming environment – hair brushes – they have since branched out to create a whole myriad of products from Body Milk (mentioned later) to bath products, parfum / cologne, after-shave, homme ranges and much much more.

It’s crazy, the amount of stuff they have and the amount of heritage they have backing the brand (which you’ll see the minute you pop by their website), dating all the way back to 1869 when their founder Hermann Krull started on his journey to become one of the finest brush manufacturers of Italy.

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Not that he knew he would become an artisan and exquisite brand but while I know of Acca Kappa from it’s body pampering side of things, I was told (by the sales assistant at Takashimaya) that most tourists recognize Acca Kappa for their brushes and if they were to zoom in to the counter, the first thing they ask for would be to see the range of hair brushes.

Which is mighty extensive, mind you!

Now, I don’t want to start on a history lesson because if this brand piques your interest, it’s always best to head down to Takashimaya (level 3) and give it a look, taking time to carefully browse their entire range of bath products and more.

Though just to steer you in the direction of where this entry is heading, it was in 1980 (many decades later) that Acca Kappa decided to shift the focus of their business a little and start on luxury bath and beauty products.

At that point, bathing and pampering oneself in luxurious cream baths, lotions and all were a huge thing especially amongst those of the higher social class, hence that move continued to bring the brand awareness and prestige, all the way to this date where those familiar with the brand’s rich heritage will feel a strong connection to its deep artisan roots.

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That all said and done, let’s move on to explore the body products that they have.

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I’ve given their counter at Takashimaya a few rounds and exploration and I have to say that the whole vibe of the brand is a minimalistic approach – soft, gentle and quiet but don’t undermine that daintiness for something mild because the products are an absolute joy to use and what they claim to do, they do it darn well.

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Minding my language and keeping this post as poised as I can now…

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The white moss range – one of their best sellers!

Acca Kappa’s range has grown to the point that they have a good amount of ranges to cater to different needs – invigorating scents to refresh you, calming scents to soothe you, and the relatively neutral scents just for your pleasure to use.

Of the lot, I am showcasing their Calycanthus scent here.

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Calycanthus, unbeknown to me prior to this, is a flower available in many colors but the one featured here is in yellow. These flowers are famed for their beautiful scent that fills  the air during spring time.

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To me, this flower smells vaguely familiar – almost like Jasmine but more floral without the ‘tinge’ that Jasmine has that some people dislike about it. It’s got a slightly green edge to it to keep from being a heady sweet floral but overall, it’s an absolutely beautiful scent.

I had no idea why I have never heard of this flower before because I am definitely down for anything Calycanthus right now. I kid you not, if florals with a tinge of ‘green’ to it is something that you might enjoy then this scent is perfect for you.

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What’s more, the Acca Kappa Body Milks have this ability to keep your skin scented well into the wear of the lotion. It isn’t an overpowering presence but if you occasionally wave your arm (assuming you have it there) infront of your face or if someone were to smell your skin, they’ll detect that soft scent playing on the surface. Almost like you just smell really good all the time.

I think that’s quite awesome.

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So the whole ‘aesthetic’ part of the Body Milk aside, I want to add that beyond this simple and relatively ‘plain’ looking bottle is a lotion that glides on the skin in a watery and cool way (as in the sensation, unless you apply your lotion cooly that is…), before settling down to a fairly soft and smooth texture that seems to make it feel like your caressing your skin with silk.

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Given the initial watery texture, I figured this may be a light-wearing body lotion but boy was I wrong.

So wrong.

Once you start spreading this bad boy on your skin it clings and seems to seep into your skin instantaneously.

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I know of lotions that supposedly do that and once you’re done with your routine, yes your skin is free of the tact but it hardly feels quenched either.

Or that could just be me and the perpetual dry spell my skin is facing.

Though what I noticed after using Acca Kappa’s (Calycanthus) Body Milk, scent-aside, is that my skin seems to feel softer, smoother, and hydrated almost immediately. The product sinks in extremely quick but yet it seems to linger around in the skin for a bit to keep it moisturized, plumped and smoother to the touch.

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It’s quite amazing and an experience I’ve never felt with any other body creams which is saying a lot if you know my penchant for going through body lotions like water and always using a zillion and one bottles to see which can placate my skin.

All in all I am pleasantly surprised and very very pleased with how Acca Kappa’s Body Milk has worked out for me and what’s more, effective hydrating and skin softening abilities aside, it smells oh-so-wonderful!

I’ve been using this Calycanthus one so much the whole time I’ve had it and I think I’m even considering getting another bottle (in a different scent – maybe Rose!) once I’m out. I can’t bear to be without this bottle of awesome right now.

I’m really glad I got introduced to it else I would have just passed it off as another body lotion from yet another brand.

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If you’re huge on skin hydration or have perpetually parched skin, like me, or just prefer your body lotions to sink in and get their job done without a trail of tact then this little bugger might be for you!

Acca Kappa’s Body Milk retail for S$50 a bottle (approx 250ml).

Acca Kappa is available at Takashimaya (level 3), Beautique

Thank you for reading!

Sponsorship disclosure

Surratt Beauty At Takashimaya! – Swatches & Pics

Incase you haven’t heard, Surratt Beauty (founded by Troy Surratt) has very quietly and discreetly crept into our sunny little island!

I heard some whisperings and caught some wind about Surratt Beauty being available to us a little while ago but I had no idea it was this soon!

I’m not complaining though!

It was only of late that I started taking interest in the brand but only very slightly. I didn’t mange to dive into their sea of products – which in this case is thankfully not too extensive. I have only managed to scratch the surface of Surratt via their blushes; I have 2 on my wishlist but I’m afraid I could be adding more…

Their range is good enough with a good number of shadows, blushes, lippies and some base products to complete a look but not huge to the extent that it has you overwhelmed on where to start.

I am also pleased to report that, as of now at least, we have the entire collection available at Takashimaya (Level 3)! Woots!

Not a stray eyeshadow or two, a handful of blushes or missing a whole range – we have it all from their lip crayons to concealers and such so if you’re new to the brand and want to see what the buzz is about or have been eyeing this brand for awhile, I highly urge you to head down and give it a look!

In the meanwhile here are some pictures I managed to snap and swatches I managed to do while hovering over the counter for a period of time.

T’was Friday and I was waiting about in town for the hubs so I’m glad the Sales Assistants over at Beautique (the retail outlet at Taka Level 3) were kind enough to give me the privacy to swatch & snap while still being on the ball with makeup removers and wipes!

A little background about Troy Surratt that I had read via Rougedeluxe’s very informative lowdown about the brand is this makeup artist extraordinaire (Troy Surratt) was a protege of Kevyn Aucoin and was subsequently very inspired / fascinated with Japanese beauty products. It’s no wonder that to a certain extent while this is very much marketed as a ‘western brand’ it seems to lend that soft asian touch that brings to mind THREE and ADDICTION – in a couple of ways but I’ll get to that.

The products, as you’ll see later, are nicely saturated but not scarily so, they are easy and quick to work with and do emphasize largely on quality as does Japanese departmental-store makeup brands.

The concept of Surratt is much like ADDICTION whereby you can buy the products individually or decide to choose enough to make a palette from. Though unlike ADDICTION where the individual packaging is pretty sturdy and decent, Surratt’s is a little simplified – a clear acrylic ‘sleeve’ which while pretty isn’t overly sturdy.

I feel it’s good enough but don’t we all just love customizing a palette?

It comes in the same amount of options – a 4 pan or 6 pan and we’re talking eyeshadow size here. A blush is equivalent to 2 blocks of eyeshadows so… you do the math and palette jigsaw!

The ideal situation, much like how I customized my ADDICTION palette (which I’ll talk about soon), would be 4 eyeshadows and 1 blush in the bigger pan option. It’s a splurge that’s for sure but a very pretty one if you pick the right colors that you take with you anywhere and everywhere!

 

So anyway, that’s the concept behind Surratt’s products, let’s have a look at some swatches now!

In terms of the quality I really like what I swatched. I can’t give a proper impression because my experience with the brand thus far is only fingers and the back of my hand but from that, the blush and eyeshadows are nice and soft, creamy but dense powders that don’t pill up or result in fallout once swatched.

It blends incredibly well and feels like it would be a dream to work with.

Here’s a look at the blush first – they range from lightly to intensely pigmented and give a nice diffused look that would be most beautiful when worn.

Surratt Artistique Blush – S$42 each

I skipped out swatching 2, I believe simply because I didn’t have anymore space but of the lot the 2 blushes I was eyeing would be Ponceau and Aureole. So stunning!

Moving on to eyeshadows, this I did manage to swatch the whole lot. It involved a lot of wiping and having shimmer-bombed hands after but it was well worth it because now I can slowly picture ways to put together a palette for myself down the road.

 

Surratt Artistique Eyeshadow – S$33 each

Surratt Artistique Eyeshadow – S$33 each

Surratt Artistique Eyeshadow – S$33 each

Surratt Artistique Eyeshadow – S$33 each

While I say ‘shimmer’ above, the shimmer factor in these are very nicely done. It isn’t gritty nor obnoxious and instead melds into the color to provide a nice reflex, adding depth and dimension in a subtle and sophisticated manner.

Some shades felt notably drier compared to others which were a total creamy dream – especially Greige, exceptional quality – but even then it still feels smooth and blends well. As you can see above, they all still look and swatch beautifully.

With blush and eyes set, of course we can’t forget the lips!

Surratt offers 2 lip products (lip liner and gloss aside) to choose from – the Automatique Lip Crayon and Lipsliques.

 

Automatique Lip Crayon – S$45 each

The Lip Crayons are, as the name goes, very much like matte-finished chubby pencils. They swatch intensely and are very saturated. I can’t remark on how they will feel like the lips but if I recall right, it’s not slippery or buttery but it doesn’t tug much either. I have my eyes on these and can’t wait to try them out!

I swatched all the Lip Crayons above.

 

Lipsliques – S$50 each

The Lipsliques are Surratt’s take on lipsticks as they come housed in a sleek twist-up and long bullet.

The formula is akin to Japanese lip products where it feels moist, has some transparency and yet is nicely saturated at the same time. I wouldn’t say it is ‘creamy’ but I think glossy lipshine with a juicy glide sounds like a better way to describe these. I’m not sure if they set eventually or stain with wear, you’ll have to test that to see!

I didn’t swatch the whole range because it comes in way more than just these few!

p.s. Some don’t have names because I couldn’t recall which one I swatched, oops.

 

Last but not least (in terms of what I checked out), would be these Smokey Eye Batons which I find very interesting.

This dual ended pencil-powder-stick comes with a creamy twist-up liner on one side and one of those sponge saturated with powder on the other.

Surratt claims this to be the perfect way to throw on a smokey look with ease – simply smoke on the cream liner and then smudge it out with the powder on the other end for a perfectly smokey and edgy eye look. These come available in 5 smoking hot variants, because a black smokey eye is so been there done that.

Surratt Smokey Eye Baton – S$55

I particularly like Cendres when I swatched it. The cool mid-brown and champagne eyeshadow goes so well together for a simple smokey day look.

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In all, I think there’s a whole lot to discover about this brand be it if you’ve been hearing buzz about it online or are completely new to the name.

It’s a nice sized collection thus far with great products on hand and although your wallet might wince a little at the prices, Iris (of Rougedeluxe) has informed me that it is quite comparable to the price range at Libertys in London so… I guess it’s not too bad.

 

I’m just really excited that we managed to get this brand on our shores so soon! What’s more I heard that they will be adding makeup brushes to their line up real soon and the quality of which is said to be comparable to Suqqu. Le gasp!

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they’re as lovely and not as expensive (as Suqqu)!

 Surratt Beauty is now located at Takashimaya Departmental Store (Level 3), along with Koh Gen Do, Cowshed, Appa Kappa and more!

Thanks for reading!