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Product Reviews

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Packaging: A lime green, natural looking product decorated with love hearts and flowers. It’s a feminine, earthy, product appearance wise.

Price: £8

Scent: The alluring scent of fresh cucumber and revitalising melon combines and enthuses to form a very appealing and delicate aroma.

Texture: A slick product with a gritty undertone that makes skin feel buffed and cleansed.

Bang for your buck: This is a facial scrub which is advisable for all skin types although I wouldn’t recommend the product for acne prone skin because such skin needs specialised attention. This product feels like it works and it smells heavenly and it’s a cute add on to any bathroom shelf. The product does leave skin feeling cleansed and also brightened.

Does it work?: As someone with problem skin who is prone to break outs, I think I would need something more synced with my skin to work effectively. That said, my skin was definitely left brighter and lighter.

Does it last? I rushed through this product and not intentionally. It has decent lastability but other products last longer in my opinion.

Would I repurchase? I would, simply because I love the smell and the brightening effect, but I would not use it as a regular cleanser.

Overall rating: 7/10

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Eyes are delicate, eyes are dainty. Eyes express our innermost desires and out latest nights. Whether you’re issue be existing (under eye bags, fine lines or wrinkles) or whether you are taking the preventative approach so prevalent in today’s climate and culture of constantly cute, an eye gel is a beauty investment that will pay you back tenfold. I adore the Body Shop so I enjoyed trying out their offering for the eyes.

Packaging: 15 ml of silvery gel in a small tub with a noir lid. Little, compact and sophisticated, you could carry this with you everywhere.

Price: £7.00.

Scent: The scent of an eye gel isn’t really important as it doesn’t intrinsically alter the value of the product. Nonetheless, I include this section because I think the power of the human nose is very much involved in all things relating to health and beauty. This has a distinctive gel smell, which is soothing and subtle. As an unperfumed product, it has no potent, lingering scent but that only means it’s better suited to your skin!

Texture: I previously reviewed an eye care product that was thick and gloopy. It was a gel in the worst way. You almost had to butter it on with a knife. This is the antithesis of that product. This is how a gel should be made. It is soft as butter with a lovely slinky texture. Application is so easy because there is no gloop or thickness. It’s the perfect consistency; thick but airy on.

Bang for your buck: Imagining you apply this gel two times per day, and only a little, and at just seven pounds, I think this is well worth it! Plus points include its portability and non-confrontational design, the perfect texture and consistency and the brilliant cooling effect. It doesn’t tighten or dry out the skin so you don’t really feel as though you are wearing anything. Elderflower is one of those ancient, wonderfully English sounding ingredients that has been in use for a long time and with good reason. This is particularly useful for invigorating tired eyes rather than assisting with aging, although of course the gel aids with moisturising the eye area.

Does it work?: The aim of the product is to brighten eyes and reduce puffiness. I don’t personally suffer with puffy eyes so I am unable to comment on whether it aids this suitably, but it does soothe, cool and calm the eye area in a similar fashion to Aloe Vera.

Does it last?: You don’t need to slather gel onto the eye area, so indeed it will last you (assuming the average buyer will apply 2x daily)

Would I repurchase?: Yes! As it usually the case with The Body Shop!

FINAL VERDICT: 4/5

roseHands are one of the most used and abused body parts. They are in use virtually all day and it’s almost impossible to conceal hands from harsh environmental conditions whilst still being able to make appropriate use of them! Investing in a quality hand cream is essential for well cared for hands. Hands are also one of the easiest indicators of age and betray your chronological years very quickly! An airport impulse led me to purchase the above listed product. Here’s what I thought of it!

Packaging: A squeezy tube (it really is a fun squeezy tube too!) with 100ml of product. I always love The Body Shops designs. The tube is a little crinkly and crackly rendering it a recycled look (knowing The Body Shops ethics it probably is). The colour scheme invigorates and enlivens the wild rose theme with a light pink segment in English and a second segment written in French in hot pink (borrowing the allure and elegance of the French is never a poor marketing move!) It’s easy to acquire from the tube – just a gentle squeeze. It’s easy to get as little or as much as you would like without wastage.

Price: 440 baht (approximately £8.50)

Scent: Roses have a beautiful scent as anyone with a garden, or a nose for these things, will understand. Roses have long been affiliated with romance, because of the delicate sweetness and freshness of their aroma. There is something so spring like about a rose, that it perfectly represents budding relationships and infatuation. Wild rose has a slightly stronger scent, making the dainty rose a little more powerful and adding a touch of the untameable to this domesticated garden flower.The scent is strong but not imposing and I can imagine it would not be to all ‘tastes’. I find it to be a very feminine scent and to state the obvious, very flowery. Sometimes flowery smells can feel ‘old’ but I do quite like this one.

Texture: This has a lovely cool texture. The product is thick and creamy with none of the gloop or sludge or some products. It leaves no residue and doesn’t cake. It’s simply into your skin as soon as you put it on. Hands need some extra TLC so the thick consistency is of real value. My hands feel so amazingly soft after application but not as though they have been ‘coated’.

Bang for your buck: Plus points are the easy application, delightful scent and the baby softness that this product delivers. The container can stand to take a beating which means it doesn’t matter if this gets knocked about in your bag. The texture of the packaging also means you can eek out every last morsel of cream as is not always the case with tougher containers. You can squeeze in whichever direction you like to ensure you get your money’s worth. Containing SPF 15, you also get your sun protection in here and the product is designed to hydrate and protect against the appearance of dark spots forming on the hands. Although I cannot attest to this, I still believe the best way to avoid dark spots is to keep skin out of excessive sunlight whenever possible. A cream will be an effective barrier, but only with regular application. It contains some of my favourite ingredients, rose hip oil, which is constantly saluted by the gorgeous Miranda Kerr and Brazil Nut Oil. The products are sourced from Community Fair Trade means meaning that although Body Shop products can be a little pricier, they are ethical purchases helping to sustain the lifestyles of the workers who source the materials. There are also a hell of a lot of other ingredients listed on the back, so if you’re an ingredients purist, you may want to take a pass. Another plus point is that the Body Shop is against animal testing so you can enjoy their products knowing that you are not participating in a cruel, abusive and unnecessary practice.

Does it work?: It does. I cannot attest to the prevention of brown spots on the hands, because I try to keep my hands shielded anyway, but I can say it is an excellent moisturiser to keep on hand (pardon the pun). My mum agrees!

Does it last?: I always think hand creams, when used properly, should be used up pretty fast. If you are really taking care of your hands you will moisturise every time you wash, work or face the elements. But if you moisturise your hands a normal amount and not obsessively, this will last you perfectly well.

Would I repurchase? I would repurchase, but I think I preferred the Hemp Hand Protector (also from The Body Shop), which doesn’t smell as fragrant but is a far more intense, powerful moisturiser, particularly for winter. This product is great for summer!

 

Hawaiian sunblock

I’ve spoken previously about the importance of incorporating a sunblock into your skin care routine. The sun is one of our fastest ‘agers’ and is also responsible for pigmentation problems, moles, freckles and numerous other skin mutations and malfunctions. We’ve all heard of the phrase ‘fun in the sun’, and although it’s during the hot months that most of us want to frolic, we do need to bare in mind the dangers IF we wish to age gracefully and defend ourselves against skin cancer. One of the most effective means of achieving this if outright avoidance is impossible is to shield the skin by slathering on a sunblock. This is true regardless of your skin colour or type, although fairer skins will be more visibly affected by regular sun exposure.

Hawaiian is another brand that has been around for a long time but that I have only begun using. Naturally, I purchased factor 50 for maximum skin protection benefits.

Packaging: Initially, I was off-put by the small bottle (120 ml)) cramped up in a little tense container, but it’s shortness is compensated by it’s stoutness. It’s pocket sized making it the ideal travel companion in comparison to cylindrical bottles. It’s baby pink with hot pink and dark blue lettering (and lid) and the golden Hawaiian logo.

Scent: Another strong summer scent. I don’t know what it is about sunscreens, perhaps it’s the memories they encapsulate, but the smell for me is like 100 hot summers in a bottle. This one has a sweet, heady aroma.

Texture: Thick, but yet it applies smoothly, easily and evenly.

Price: I purchased this product before I had committed myself to reviewing it and did not make a note of the price. However I know it was roughly 300 baht which translates to £6. It will be more expensively priced in Western markets.

Bang for your buck: Don’t let the size fool you. The saying ‘good things come in small packages’ wasn’t just invented for the sake of it. A really small application goes a really long way and glides in like a gull. The product smells divine and my skin was afforded maximum protection. The product claims to protect and smooth skin simultaneously and can be used on both the body and face which means you won’t have to make two purchases (sometimes body sunblock’s can be too heavy and oily for the face). It also contains aloe Vera extract and is absent of PABA.

Does it work?: This is another of my favourite sunblock’s. Application is so effortless and the thick, creamy consistency means skin feels shielded, thoroughly nourished and hydrated but not buried. This seems to take a relentless beating without fading. I’ve used sunscreens previously that leave my skin barren as soon as I make contact with the water but I can see and feel the force field of this protection even after excess water exposure, of course, that’s not to say you shouldn’t reapply every two hours!

Does it last?: As covered above, minimal application really lasts a long time meaning that this product will be with you for a long while. If you take skin care seriously and reapply often you may want to invest in a larger bottle, or if you are on a month long beach holiday (then it is essential!)

Would I repurchase?: I am on my second bottle. This and Ocean Potion are my two favourite skin savers!

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The ancestor of this product, Neroli Jasmin Eau De Toilette, has sadly been discontinued. I say sadly because this delicious product was a sexy slam on the senses; feminine, powerful, sizzling but also zesty and fresh. The vibrant orange of the bottle dictates that the product would be fruity and juicy, but the ingredients also lend themselves to romantic scenes such as midnight canoe trips and sojourns on the beach. There was something so fabulously, exotically, erotically intoxicating about it making it so exciting to where!

For whatever reasons, The Body Shop decided to discontinue this fragrance. I truly will never understand the decisions of big bosses! Nonetheless, the scent has been replaced by one designed to be almost identical – Indian Night Jasmine.

What is an eau de toilette?

Eau de toilettes are less concentrated versions of perfumes. They are essentially subtly perfumed water. Eau de parfum is slightly more concentrated whilst parfum (or perfume) has the highest concentration making it the most potent of the three. Eau de toilettes are useful for those who like lighter, subtler scents, notes and accords, as you can literally apply them moderately after showering.

What’s the story?

The Body Shop have recently launched a new range entitled ‘Scents of the World’. This scent pertains to the mystery and intrigue of India with all of its courtship and charisma and none of its bustle! It contains jasmine, sandalwood, orange blossom and violet leaves.

Bottle design:

A translucent, lightly tinted bottle decorated with vivacious jasmine blooms and containing 50 ml of delicious, delirium inducing scented water. The silver cap releases a spritz with a light push. It’s a very attractive, feminine, romantic bottle which hints at a fun, frivolous and seductive scent inside. Its square block-like shop gives it a slightly more severe, but elegant edge.

Scent:

This scent really seduces and enchants the nostrils. It’s delicate, but memorable. Undoubtedly female but powerful. It’s the smell of the seductress. It really conjures images of moonlit mermaids and sun splashed sirens to me. It’s a dainty scent that also really gets into you. When I catch a whiff of this on myself or my clothes, it’s like I fall a little in love. It’s fun loving but also mysterious. It’s just a really gorgeous, sweet and heady scent that nonetheless has a subtlety to it – what a paradox!

Durability:

This scent will linger long after you, oozing out of you like a sweet, sultry, seductive skunk! Really, it’s much less offensive than this. It’s dainty, girly but it clings to you, as if part of you, rather than as if you’ve bathed in it!

Affordability:

At £15, it’s not too bad. We’ve all come to expect that scents are somewhat of a luxury as they evoke elegance, class and our inner ladies. We can conjure characters through smell alone. It may be our most powerful sense, what with the intoxication of pheromones determining whether we feel chemistry with another or not.

Does it last?

This product has staying power if you apply if liberally. A little at the pulse points, behind the ears, on the neck or behind the knee, or as I was once advised, at the top of the thighs!

Would I repurchase?

YES. I love the Body Shop but I really adore this product! It’s the combination of quiet charm that builds into a near hysterical love affair. You’ll be a very popular girl indeed if you wear this!

Overall rating:

9.5/10

Packaging: 125 ml in a translucent tube with a pastel green lid. A perfect, pocket-sized bottle, ideal for a handbag, work space or even a cup holder in your car!

Scent: Johnson’s are renowned for their mild, ‘baby’ scents. This is a pleasant, light, lovely aroma. I’ve always found something very comforting about the scents of Johnson’s products, possibly because I affiliate them with my own infanthood!

Texture: I find Johnson’s oils so unique. It’s almost like rainwater on the skin. It’s best applied to skin up to three minutes after showering or bathing so as to lock in moisture and you can run it over your body like morning dew or drizzle in under 20 seconds and be shiny and soft as a new-born seal!

Price: 100 baht (equivalent of £2). Please check your relevant currency.

Bang for your buck: This is the original baby oil formula enthused with vitamin e, which prevents early rancidity of a product and aloe vera (a brilliant after sun skin soother). I adore Johnson’s products and consider them a staple. Application is so effortless, the smell is lovingly pleasant and a little goes far.

Does it work?: This is one of the mildest and yet most powerful, not to mention cheapest of moisturisers, that I know of. The inherent purpose of a moisturiser is to do just that – moisturise – and Johnson’s really lock in that moisture. I don’t know anyone who dislikes or distrusts the Johnson’s brand. I perceive it as the perfect moisturiser. A stranger even ran her hand up my arm and complimented me on how soft I was! Please be aware that Johnson’s oil contains mineral oil which has been criticised as a pore blocking product. Although I’ve never noticed any blocked pores, it is of course essential that your skin is able to breathe. If you suffer with acne of the body or other skin conditions, I would not advise that you use this product. Furthermore, if you have oily or acne oriented skin on your face, do not use this product there as your pores will struggle!

Does it last?: You’ll still be soft not only by the morning but for the entire day.

Would I repurchase?: Without a shadow of a doubt. I would recommend to anyone!

Overall rating: 9/10

At the tender age of twenty three, I have already been bombarded with more beauty buys, quick fixes, celebrity staples, ageing essentials and revolutionary miracle products than it is financially possible to afford whilst still having the luxury to buy food and water (for survival and that).

The assault descends upon all senses and in every available medium. Surely I’m not the first to ascertain that half of Vogue consists of advertisements for physical beautification. The domain of beauty has exploded, eclipsing almost all else. In a social and cultural climate that perceives the natural and inevitable aging process as a kind of vampire that drains you of your youthful vitality as you sleep, and worships nubile youth as if Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez were Zeus and Hera, it’s no wonder that in the ensuing storm cloud of ‘God, I’m past it at 19’ panic that women (and an ever increasing number of men) clamour at boutiques and beauty bars for that one god send that will eliminate all existing ageing and safeguard against the ever-looming process.

Most of the anti-aging brigade will be fully aware that the delicate, thin eye skin of the eye area is one of the first to betray the final flush of youth. Every time we smile, frown, or indeed show any expression, we are creasing the eye area. Experts consistently advocate the wearing of sunglasses to prevent squinting in direct, harsh sunlight and the regular application i.e. twice daily, morning and night, of thick moisturisers to hydrate this most vulnerable of areas, preventing the early onset of fine lines and wrinkles.

For any existing under or side eye crinkles, the moisturiser essentially acts as a lagoon over desert sands, penetrating inwards, plumping up and perishing signs of aging. This is usually only a temporary solution in combating the permanence of markings. Creams should be applied lightly, using the baby (pinky) finger so as to exert the least pressure. It goes without saying that skin should never be tugged or pulled, particularly here where the effects are likely to be most visible. After all, unless you lock yourself away in a room all day staring at the wall, you are going to be using your eyes to express yourself and communicate.

Given that I’ve exposed my skin to five months and counting of excessive sunshine and Miranda Kerr endorses an eye cream or gel as being one of her most essential youth investments, I picked up the titular product at a pharmacy in Koh Phangan, Thailand.

Scent

Frest and intoxicatingly natural, I’d say it encapsulates the love child of aloe vera and cucumber. It has a soothing, balmy scent.

Packaging

A miniscule white pot with a pastel green lid and simple flowing gold lettering. I picked this because it looked natural and simplistically fancy.

Price

Unhelpfully, I cannot recall exactly but I believe it was the equivalent of £6 in Thai baht.

Texture

As a gel it has the appearance of kids TV green gunge. The picture makes it look like a paradise to plunge your fingers into, but the reality is somewhat different. It looks like aloe vera gel with a thicker consistency, almost like a fairy with a massive head cold sneezed into the only available container.

Bang for your buck

The pot may be miserly but the inside looks like Scrooge himself filled it. The product was glooped together inside a quarter of the pot. Disconcerted at the abysmal emptiness before me and questioning if I’d actually inhaled half of it in my excitement at purchasing my first eye gel, I also found the sticky, gunge-like texture hard to apply in a gentle fashion. You either have to tug and try to smooth it on or apply the smallest possible amount known to man and ‘leave it’ to sink in itself. It looks and smells good but for such a small amount of product it was about as easy to apply as a top hat to a giant with nothing but a step ladder.

Does it work?

Despite the long list of disappointments this product was effective. Cucumber is renowned for it’s recuperative properties for the eyes. Once you manage to get the product on, it leaves a refreshing film over the area that you can feel acting as a barrier and replenishing the skin. It feels good on the eyes and the following morning my eyes looked fresher, brighter, more youthful, smooth and relaxed. It has a calming, soothing effect on the skin.

Would I repurchase?

This product may have worked for me HOWEVER the meagre amount and tough application mean that you’d have better and cheaper results applying actual cucumbers to your eyes for twenty minutes or making your own gel using natural ingredients. No – I will not be repurchasing. As a suggestion to the manufacturers, I am not sure whether I just happened upon a poorly prepared pot, but if the consistency and texture of the gel was improved rendering easier application and the pot was filled to the brim (as images suggest it is), this product would be highly recommended.

Does it last?

You only need to use a little bit but the pot provides so little product in the first place that it won’t last you long.

 

Overall rating: 3/10