The realest versus in life, is that of expensive vs. cheap. Think about it – aren’t we always wondering where is best to treat one’s self, and where frugality is in itself the best reward? And nowhere is this more prevalent than in beauty.
It’s really the only place where a product can cost £500 or £5. One has to blindly assume that you get what you pay for and that can be a scary gamble, when it comes to a wad of cash. Here I illustrate said expensive vs. cheap conundrum using a product near and dear to my heart: hair oil.
The two in question, are the L’Oreal Ever Riche Oil Preciuex and the Davines OI Oil. The former is an £11.99 oil spray from Boots. The latter, a £32.50 pump affair found at upscale online spots, such as Cult Beauty.
In terms of packaging, although the L’Oreal does well for Boots, where the shelves are commonly crammed full of heinous, clunky, neon bottles, the Davines clearly wins. It’s so minimal and, though I hate to say it, chic. Also, for me, a pump beats a spray. Oils are best applied to damp hair to help it to dry not in a huge frizzy triangle, so I prefer hands for even distribution. While you can spray the L’Oreal into hands first, it’s pretty liquidy and inescapably messy. Plus, the spray effect makes it necessary for the L’Oreal to contain alcohol. Not to criticise alcohol (love you baby!), but it has no place in my dry, damaged hair.
L’Oreal feels more like a dry oil, which is nice; it works well as a sort of finishing, shine spray. But the Davines, oh my God. It feels expensive – thick and rich, yet easily absorbed and non-greasy. I love it both as a post wash leave-in-conditioner and as a shine-enhancing finisher.
On smell, I have to say both are surprisingly sophisticated. You’d expect that from Davines, whose OI range is based on exotic and thus sexy roucou oil from the Amazon rainforest. From a cheaper oil, you’re most likely to expect sugar coated and immature scents. Not so from L’Oreal: this is an oriental, floral. In fact, I’d go so far as to say both smell remarkably similar.
In terms of hair effect, though, the differences are clear. As mentioned, the L’Oreal is alright: much better as a shining, styling product than a true hair nourisher. The Davines, simply makes my messed up hair look healthy, shiny and well behaved whenever I apply it. It’s honestly the best hair oil I’ve used, and I’m somewhat of an aficionado.
My last, final push in favour of the Davines is a comment on long-lastingness. To get a good effect from the L’Oreal, you need to be pretty generous and because of the misting action, I suspect a fair amount of product is lost to the air. I’ve blasted through about two thirds of my 150 ml bottle in about a month. The Davines, however, seems to be in it for the long haul. I use two or three pumps and haven’t even made a dent in the seemingly meagre 135 ml.
I’m sure mathematicians could do some sort of algorithm to prove that the cheaper option, in terms of satisfaction, experience, cost-per-use etc. is actually the Davines. I’m not a maths person, but I am a beauty person; and so, I recommend to you with all I have, the Davines OI Oil. Expensive, you win this round.