Neals Yard Remedies generate a buzz with their Bee Lovely campaign!

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 16 - 2012

Just before our big move, I headed to London for a very good friend of mine’s nuptuals… well, that and a couple of sneaky press events while she wasn’t looking.  One of which was the (re)launch of Neal’s Yard Remedies Bee Lovely campaign which introduces an entire range of bee-inspired bodycare goodies to the brand’s lineup.  These treats all share the moisturising properties of organic honey and the energising uplift of orange and mandarin essential oils.

5% of the RRP of every Bee Lovely product will be donated to a charity or good cause and the brand encourage you to sign their petition to encourage the UK government to ban the use of neonicotinoids in an attempt to help save the bee population from further devastation.

I haven’t tried the new range myself, but I did get to have a big sniff whilst at the event and if you love your body products with a zingy, citrusy-honeymonster twist, you’ll never leave the bathroom again once you get a whiff of these.

Neals Yard Remedies Bee Lovely Collection is available to buy instore and online now, prices start at £6.50


Tried, Tested and (mostly) Rejected: Sun Protection

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 1 - 2011

I owe you an apology for the sun protection series that never happened.  I planned my posts, split the topic down into the main aspects I wanted to cover but then a few things happened that prevented me from seeing things through…

1).  Turns out there are only 24 hours in a day.  Who knew.

2).  I wanted professional input but one contact went silent halfway through the process and the other replied to my questions with single word answers and I was frankly too aware that they were both doing me a favour to push my luck.

3).  I may have also got the mega wobbles about doing such an important subject justice.

So basically, I failed but I can honestly say that I failed with the best of intentions.

Still, all the ‘homework’ that I put into the series hasn’t entirely gone to waste as it has given me understanding and knowledge that has left me far better prepared to comment on some of the sun protection I’ve discovered this Summer and I’ve needed this time to use, compare and decide on my favourite facial sun protection products on the market today.

Let’s start from the top shall we?

1.  Dr. Brandt UV SPF 30 PA+++* is an an advanced broad spectrum UV protectant that contains ‘dry touch’ technology.  It wears exceptionally well under makeup and provides a satin finish with no white cast.  Packaged in an airless pump, it refused to dispense for me on a few occasions leaving me pumping nothing but air until I swore at it and it behaved again.

I wasn’t hugely keen on the scent but it deserves top marks for leaving a practically naked finish.  Medium-textured and water resistant for 80 minutes.

Price:  £30.00 for 30g at SpaceNK

Repurchase?:  Probably not, it contains Oxybenzone and I don’t like the scent.

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2.  Alpha-H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 50+ is an incredibly light-textured solution blended with antioxidant Vitamin E, calming Aloe Vera and pure Honeycomb extract for hydration aswell as sun protection.  This is another superb sun cream to wear under makeup leaving no white residue and providing a dry finish without a hint of greasiness.  Claims water resistance of up to 4 hours.

Price:  £21.82 for 50ml at QVC

Repurchase?:  My heart says yes but my head says no.  Again, this contains Oxybenzone.

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3.  Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+ PA+++ is a fluid-textured solution that feels cooling to the skin when applied.  It leaves no white casts and a slightly dewy (but not greasy) finish.  Perhaps better for normal/dry skins though as it lacks the immediate touch-dry feel of the other two.  It sets after a couple of minutes, which is how long I usually wait before applying makeup over it.  No claims of water resistance.

Price: Around £12 for 50ml from eBay

Repurchase?: Again, probably not.  It’s great value but contains Octinoxate.

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4.  Avon ANEW Solar Advance Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF50 PA+++* similar in finish to the Biore but with a heavier texture.  This is definitely more cream than fluid but the most pleasant smelling of all sun creams trialled.  Packaging is a frustration because the bods at Avon decided it would be a good idea to print orange text over a yellow bottle, cue much squinting.

Again, this works best if you leave it a couple of minutes before applying make up but again, it left no white casts on my skin and once ‘set’, I experienced no issues with products that I used over it.

Price:  Currently £8.50 for 75ml at Avonshop – an absolute bargain!

Repurchase:  Unlikely, it’s another one to use Oxybenzone as a UVA/UVB filter and is a little heavier textured than the others.

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5.  SkinCeuticals Sheer Mineral UV Defense SPF50* is an all-mineral sunscreen that employs physical UV filters Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide to protect the skin from the sun.  You would usually expect to be left with a white residue as these ingredients sit on the skin’s surface, physically deflecting the UV rays but SkinCeuticals Sheer Mineral UV Defense uses micronized particles to provide a sheer, non-chalky finish.  The texture is extremely fluid and needs a good shake before applying as it does separate in the bottle.

Paraben-free and contains plankton extract to increase the skin’s defences against UV and heat stresses.

Price:  £26.99 for 50ml at Dermacare Direct

Repurchase:  Possibly, though I found the mattifying effect a little drying for my combo/dry skin.

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6.  Neals Yard Remedies Wild Rose Daily Moisture SPF 30* is the first sunscreen to be certified by the Soil Association (it’s 56% Organic) and contains only one active ingredient: Zinc Oxide.  Naturally scented (as you would expect), the tube dispenses a heavy-textured cream that takes a bit more effort to massage into your skin compared to the others on trial.  Once rubbed in, it dries to a velvety finish with no white residue.  It feels more comforting for my dry skin than the SkinCeuticals but otherwise, very similar once set.

Also contains antioxidant-rich wild rosehip oil and milk thistle, is paraben-free and wears beautifully under makeup.

Price:  £23.50 for 50ml at Neals Yard Remedies.

Repurchase:  Absolutely.  100% mineral, matt-finish but with the added benefits of moisturisation makes Neals Yard Remedies my winning choice.

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A note on my personal choice to avoid some synthetic UV filters:  I’ve made the decision to avoid some UV filters that have been linked to possible hormone disruption.  The jury is still out on the validity of studies that have flagged these safety issues but whilst there are good alternative choices available, I’m pleased to be able to make them.

* press sample

Product Love: 25th July 2011

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 25 - 2011

I’m not letting the end of the month sneak up on me again like usual.  Infact, I’m gonna do my “product love” post right now in a rebellious “up yours” to the Gregorian calendar.  Screw you end of month!

 

Veet Hair Minimising Body Moisturiser*(£4.99) - The difference in hair growth since I’ve been using this has been minimal BUT I’ve just repurchased a bottle regardless because it smells amazing and has become my go-to body moisturiser this month.  Light, easily absorbed and keeps my skin soft and supple during the warmer weather.  If it is slowing down my hair re-growth, good… but I’m not completely convinced on this (though do keep in mind that I has weird hair issues!)

Goody Tortoiseshell Slide Combs (under £2 a pack) - I get annoyed with Goody because they seem to discontinue my favourite hair accessories at such a rate of knots that it sometimes feels like a conspiracy *looks around*.  I’m not sure if these have been discontinued but I haven’t been able to find a backup pack when I looked this month.  These side combs are brilliant because they grip my fine hair like no other.  Brilliantly well made and discreet enough to make it look like you’re creating awesome hair styles with the help of magic pixies.

Kings & Queens Sultan of Grenada Lemon Flower Roll-On Deodorant (£3.50) – My best friend at Uni came from Grenada so this always reminds me of her.  I’m not sure she’d be keen to know that our friendship lives on in my bottle of roll-on mind you.  Without compromising on efficacy, this is simply a lovely (and slightly different) choice for deodorant scenting.  If you haven’t tried Kings & Queens yet, you should.  Keep your eyes peeled in T.K. Maxx too because I’ve seen some mini sets in there recently.

ASDA Little Angels Liquid Talc (£1.47) – If you’re well-endowed in the chest department, you may be familliar with the overuse of talc on particularly warm days.  This liquid talc is Leila’s but I stole it this month and plan to steal it again.  Talcum powder that applies like a lotion?  Clever!  No more mess, no risk of talc on dark clothing but with the same effectiveness as the powder alternative.  For less than £1.50… gerroff Leila, it’s Mummy’s now.

Neals Yard Power Berry Daily Moisture (£22.50) – This was in a try-me kit that I bought a couple of months ago and I’ve been using it on and off since then.  Whenever my skin feels like it’s ‘playing up’ I return to this… it’s like the nurturing, inoffensive aunty of the skincare world that safeguards your delicate state until you feel ready to take on the big boys again.  Make sense?  Well… it did in my head.  It also has anti-inflammatory properties, something I lurve to find in my skincare.  Big thumbs up!

Bare Minerals Purifying Facial Cleanser* (£15.00) – This has been a staple on my bathroom sink since I was given it a few months ago (and it’s still got a 1/4 left!) – I use this after oil cleansing as my second cleanser and it cleanses away any residues and leftover grime without leaving my face feeling stripped.  To be fair, that’s all it does… but it does it just as well as Cetaphil but with less product.  Basically, it’s my Cetaphil replacement.  I take issue at the product’s claims to remove eye makeup (it doesn’t) but I’m going to forgive it just because everything else is spot on.  Definite repurchase when it eventually runs out.

Trevor Sorbie Beautiful Curl Beach Hair (£5.10) – Currently a massive bargain at Boots because of a 2for£6 offer across the range, this salt spray gives my natural waves some good definition without the crunch you’d get from mousse!  I spray this on to almost dry hair and comb through with my fingers.  If I’m near the hairdryer, I give it a blast to finish.  It’s a quick fix for lazy hair days!  Also very excited that Trevor Sorbie have brought their original curl cream back recently, it was discontinued for a while, hoorah for consumer pressure!

Tommy Hilfiger Tommy Girl EDC (£9.00) – Still only £9.00 makes for an incredible bargain Summer fragrance.  I won’t go on about it because you can read my review here but more than one of you have fallen under its spell at ASDA’s bargain price since I mentioned it last.  I’ve been reaching for this one more than any other this month.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant* (£27.99) – This has become my morning cleanser/exfoliator in one… non-stripping and effective at ridding my complexion of dead skin it’s hugely convenient when I’m time-pressed.  I love the exfoliating action which makes use of Papain and Salicylic Acid to help dissolve excess surface cells in a more gentle way.  Who doesn’t like results-driven skincare?  Mr. L has also discovered its delights, something I’m not so keen on, it won’t be cheap to replace!

Floris London Florissa EDT (£22.50) – Another one that’s already been mentioned recently but deserves another shout out as my 2nd favourite fragrance of the month.  I’m particularly appreciating the complexity in this one which is (to me) a real outdoorsy, traditional scent and one that I’ve been complimented on more than once this month!

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Phew!  That’s quite a few products… what have you been loving this month?

* press sample

Scrub This! Neal’s Yard Remedies Rose & Geranium Body Polish

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 18 - 2011

When it comes to exfoliation, I’m an advocate of all things gentle for your fizzog but I reckon you can get a bit tougher on those crepe-y elbows and knobbly knees.  I like salt scrubs, sugar scrubs and all manner of granular things!  In a pinch, I’ll make do with an industrial sander for my heels.  Put simply, I like to feel a good body scrub working.  I am…when all is said and done, a bit of a scrubber.

Which is just as well, ‘cos Neal’s Yard Remedies Rose & Geranium Body Polish is one hell of a scrub.

I once had a scented geranium plant in a pot next to my desk, it was lush… all lemony and I used to accidentally-on-purpose brush into it when walking past just so that it would release some of that aroma into the air.  This scrub takes me right back to those days but without the endless watering and tiny cobwebs.

The “scrubby” bits are comprised of exfoliating argan shell and rice powders, both providing a decent amount of exfoliation, this is definitely on the ‘I can feel it working’ end of the spectrum.  The particles are suspended in a creamy shea-butter base that doesn’t collapse under a splash of water like some.  Basically, you’re looking at the Ross Kemp of body scrubs.  It’s tough but with the potential to be a bit girly on the inside.

Being Neal’s Yard it obviously contains no nasties, is bunny-approved and suitable for vegans.  A 150g tube will set you back £16.35, placing it at the higher end of what I’d usually pay for bodycare type things but that familiar scent ensnared me and I can’t say I’ve been disappointed.  It leaves my skin so baby-smooth that I can see the jealousy in Leila’s eyes.

You can purchase Neal’s Yard Remedies Rose & Geranium Body Polish instore or online at www.nealsyardremedies.com

How do you like your scrubs?  Scrubby scrub or gently does it?

Neals Yard Rejuvenating Frankincense Facial Serum

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 23 - 2010

There are two types of people in this world.  Those that eat McDonald’s gherkins with reckless abandon and those that peer at their open burgers, fingertips poised like pincers ready to remove the offending article.  Usually, those second type of people flick their gherkins (not a euphemism) in my direction.  LOVE them.

I can’t say the same for the scent of frankincense though.  My mother boarded at convent school and can’t get enough of the pungent resin which is said to contain healing properties that promote the well-being of both the body and the soul.

Neals Yard have based an entire collection on the aromatic resin and it’s at the very heart of their anti-ageing skincare range.  I’ve been trialling the Neals Yard Rejuvenating Frankincense Facial Serum for the last 4 weeks and scent-aside, it’s been an absolute pleasure to use.

[stextbox id="custom" caption="Ingredients" ccolor="ffffff" bcolor="b0c4de" bgcolor="e6e6fa"]Aqua (Water), Glycerin*, Sucrose distearate, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) seed oil*, Centella asiatica (Gotu kola) extract*, Palmitoyl tripeptide-5, Vaccinium corymbosum (Blueberry) oil, Curcuma longa (Turmeric) root extract, Sodium hyaluronate, Boswellia carterii (Frankincense) oil, Citrus bergamia (Bergamot) peel oil expressed*, Citrus nobilis (Mandarin) peel oil expressed*, Tocopherol, Xanthan gum, Cetyl alcohol, Sucrose stearate, Levulinic acid, Potassium sorbate, Citral, Citronellol, Limonene, Linalool.

*Organically produced ingredient. Natural constituent of essential oils listed. Made with 41% organic ingredients. This is a vegan product.

[/stextbox]

When I began to use the serum, I was looking forward to experiencing a continued reduction in redness (thanks to anti inflammatory ingredients such as Turmeric) and whilst I can’t say that my skin tone has improved further… I’m definitely not suffering from any increased redness despite external factors that would usually cause me problems.  The central heating has gone on since I’ve started using this serum and temperatures outside have dropped considerably.  On this count, I’m impressed.

It’s November now and I’d also usually be doing daily battle with dryness… I have a few drops of my Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream left but I’m not having to use it.  So far (touch wood), my skin… which would normally be parched above my eyebrows, under my eyes and around my mouth… is completely normal.  Can I put this solely down to the serum?

No, my moisturiser isn’t the same as last year and neither is my diet.  There are too many other factors that could be influencing my skin but my gut instinct is telling me that the immediate moisture boost I can feel this giving my skin is definitely helping to keep my skin hydrated day in and day out.

Above all else, Neals Yard Rejuvenating Frankincense Facial Serum is a joy to use.  A thin, slightly oily cream that melts into my skin immediately hydrating and softening.  It leaves a non-greasy base that welcomes my night cream without demanding it.

After washing my face, I pat my skin a couple of times to remove excess drips and apply this while my skin is still slightly damp… I find that this is key to squeezing the full benefits from the product and makes all the difference to how soft and hydrated my skin feels after application.

At £39.50 for 30ml, it’s not an inexpensive product though it spreads so well (especially on damp skin) that I could probably eke out daily usage for an minimum of three months.

Neals Yard Rejuvenating Frankincense Facial Serum is available to buy online or instore at Neals Yard.

Autumn… the year’s last, loveliest smile.

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 6 - 2010

If it weren’t for those pesky prematurely dark evenings… Autumn would be my favourite season by far.

The excitement at dragging our lovely knitwear out from storage, discovering warming new recipes for the slow cooker, 100 denier tights and nature’s most vibrant display of colour.  It all combines to fill me with that pre-Christmas thrill.

For me, Autumn is the season of scents… crushed leaves underfoot, cordite in the air and hearty stews on the stove.

Here’s my take on some of the nicest Autumn scents that money can buy.

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Ancienne Ambiance Scented Candle Collection – Romana (£28)

Brainchild of Adriana Carlucci, Ancienne Ambiance offer luxury goods inspired by Antiquity.   When you burn an Ancienne Ambiance candle, you’re burning more than just a beautifully blended scent.

Romana is like a portal to another age.  Described as: A powder-like scent with sensual & comforting effects..particularly good when desiring a calm ambience.

Comforting is exactly right… it’s soft and evocative.  The amber tones are rich, earthy and overwhelmingly Autumnal.  Perfect for warming up these dark evenings.

The quality in this candle is evident with a flame which burned evenly throughout the many hours of enjoyment I’ve had thus far.  The scent remains true and consistent from the first time you light it through to the moment it extinguishes itself.

The Ancienne Ambiance Scented Candle Collection is available to buy online and instore at Fenwick of Bond Street.

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OCCO  Motovun no3 Bath & Body Wash (£18)

Croatian-inspired OCCO are a new to the UK, natural brand with a wide range of luxury products.

The Motovun no3 range combines essences of Cypress Leaf, Labdanum, Oak, Cedar Leaf, Vetiver and Black Pepper, to create an earthy and woody selection.

They say:

Oil of cypress tree fuses with gentle oat-based cleansers with anti-oxidant properties, to help restore elasticity and cleanse your skin. Natural extracts of pine and oak calm and centre your mood.

With an impressive list of active ingredients including: Pine Oil, Cypress Oil and Sage Oil Grape Extract, OCCO’s Motovun No3 promises to be a moisturising experience.  Something that our skins definitely crave this time of year.

All OCCO products contain a minimum of 95% natural ingredients and 100% natural fragrance blended from absolutes, extracts and oils to reveal subtle top, heart and base notes. All products are free from parabens, sulphates, petrochemicals and synthetic colours.

The brand are set to open a central London boutique this Autumn but for now, you can purchase online and instore from Harrods and John Lewis.

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Haus of Gloi Parkin Bubbling Scrub ($9)

My latest Haus of Gloi order turned up yesterday morning and amongst it was the newly released Parkin Bubbling Scrub.

Heavy in black treacle, ginger and roasted chestnuts… the initial ginger sweetness morphs into a richer, darker base that lingers on the skin for hours.  Synonymous with Bonfire Night, I was delighted to scrub myself silly with this yesterday morning to mark the historic date.

Now, if only I had some real sticky Parkin to go with it *nom*

Parkin Bubbling Scrub is available online from Haus of Gloi (for a limited time).

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LUSH / Gorilla Perfumes – Tuca Tuca (from £2.50)

I wanted to include an out and out fragrance in this selection but I found myself struggling to choose.  Sure, there are many amber and woody offerings…. even heady orientals that would fit with the theme but as I was exploring my stash of lovely things, I remembered Tuca Tuca.

It’s a love it/hate it pick.  Mr. L hates it, I love it.  Not quite as much as I love some of LUSH’s other new fragrance offerings (I’m looking at you Lust and The Smell of Freedom) but by Jove it reminds me of Halloween!

Tuca Tuca is an explosion in a Parma Violet Factory… and in this house, Parma Violets are king… or yano… queen… whatever, I ain’t discriminating.  Even better if we can find the jumbo ones… am not fattist either.  It’s playful, girly and comforting all at the same time.  But most of all?  It’s impish… mischievous and defiantly bold.

A pied piper of fragrances.

Tuca Tuca is available instore at LUSH or online.

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Neals Yard Remedies Lip Gloss with Organic Orange Oil (£9)

Neals Yard Remedies are new to cosmetics and I’m finding it hard to decide if this is a gloss, a balm or maybe just a bit of both!

Advertised as a gloss, it does indeed leave a lovely (if subtle) sheen behind.  It’s non sticky and wears just as well under a lipstick as it does over it!

But the real beauty is in it’s scent!

I have literally spent an entire car journey with the end stuffed up my nostril.  Well, not *up* my nostril… that would just be dangerous, imagine if we had to brake?

Let me explain…

As a child, around this time of year… I used to make orange pomanders and use them to scent drawers and wardrobes around the house.  The organic orange oil is an acute reminder of those days.

It’s got enough tartness to it to steer it away from being sickly, but enough softness to stop it from smelling like a kitchen cleaner.  Fragrance blenders… I have so much respect for the delicate balancing act you do!

No parabens, no silicones and no carmine.  Neals Yard Remedies offers the first collection to include Soil Association certified cosmetics.  But I’m still all about that orange!

Neals Yard Remedies Lip Gloss with Organic Orange Oil is available to buy instore and online.

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What are some of your loveliest Autumnal scents?  And which season is your favourite?

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