Squeaking a VS post in at the very last minute here, but as I was trowelling through my stash last night I found a little gem I hadn't had a go of in aaaaages: Yes to Carrots (bear with me now) Pampering Hand & Nail Spa. I've got an ArtDeco product - Hand Balance Beauty Flash Manicure - that does exactly the same thing, so thought I'd see how they square up against each other.
Before we begin, lets make something clear: no one needs a product like this in their life. It's just one of those nice little pampering bits that you often get given as a present, but not all that necessary to your continued health and happiness.
Right! lets begin.
Size & Price
Yes to Carrots tops the scale here with 250ml of product for €14.95. ArtDeco is the lightweight (but only in weight) - a mere 50ml will set you back €22.65. Winner? Oh, in value-for-money terms, it's got to be Yes to Carrots. But it's worth pointing out that these brands don't sit side-by-side on the pharmacy shelf - ArtDeco is heading towards the upper end of the mid-price market, while Y2C is nudging the top of budget.
I actually don't love either of them and both are firm 'hide in a cupboard' products. I'd describe ArtDeco's tub as hickey at best, and Yes to Carrots is grand - it is what it is for this affordable brand. Winner? Neither.
Ingredients, Consistency and Fragrance
ArtDeco's big claim here is that they're using Himalayan rock crystals, a prized form of rock salt that's packed full of nutrients and which tends to be used in Very Expensive Products like INA Crystals skincare, which you can get at Space NK. Yes to Carrots hits back with their Dead Sea salts complex. The battle of the salts! Who prevails? Hmm, for efficacy and poshness, I think ArtDeco has won this one.
Consistency differs quite a bit between the pair: Hand Balance is moist, but not dripping with oils, it's easy to scoop out and store as you're not worrying about leakage. Y2C's offering consists of 50/50 salt and oil, which you need to mix before use. It's messier, and for me, ArtDeco wins this one.
Fragrance: I'm not a fan of Yes to Carrots baby-powderish smells, but on the other hand, Hand Balance smells of artificial pineapple. Um. No winner here.
Both work really well - they're scrubby, lovely and emollient and really do make hands feel soft and smooth. Each cleans nails really well, nourishes cuticles and basically does what it says on the tin. As I can't pick one for effectiveness over the other, I'm going to go with Yes to Carrots purely because it's the cheaper option.
The verdict? Both of these are nice treat products for at-home spa emulation, and if you're really into nails, you'll love both. But thre can be only one winner: for price, size and effectiveness, I'd have to say Yes to Carrots is the winner here.