Beauty Bible Loves

From the bestselling Beauty Bible team: our latest product finds and classic faves – because they're worth it!

Body washes

For the contents alone, we’d be lusting after this new Balance Me Beautiful Skin kit.

But the gorgeous gold bag kinda brings out our inner rap star – because (in a good way) we have been gold-diggers from way back.

As regular readers know, Balance Me – founded by sisters Rebecca and Claire Hopkins – is a favourite brand of ours, and this is either a fab way to discover the range in useful trial sizes, or (if you love it as much as we do) to get your hands on the range in a format that’s travel-friendly.

Inside this, then, you’ll find four treasures.  There’s 100% Natural Radiance Face Oil with its unique blend of eight essential oils.  To soothe and brighten tired eyes, find Wonder Eye CreamSuper Moisturising Body Wash is exactly what it says on the tin (er, bottle) – but the pièce de résistance is Super Moisturising Hand Cream, winner of an Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible Award, and one of the most fah-bu-lous hand-softeners ever.

Several times lately, Jo’s been using it on public transport (like the good beauty editor she is, making the most of ‘down-time’), and strangers have asked her what the glorious scent was.  And been surprised to discover:  it’s a hand cream, not a perfume.

What we plan to do, then, is slip the travel sizes in our spongebags – and decant our make-up into bag itself.

Which doesn’t just deserve a gold star:  it is a gold star.

UK readers find Balance Me Beautiful Skin Kit at£20 – buy here

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Tea tree, we concede, isn’t everyone’s cup of – well, tea…

But as an anti-bacterial, antiseptic ingredient, there’s little in the natural world to rival it.  (Some trials have shown tea tree to be effective at fighting MRSA.)

This body wash, then, is fantastic for problem skins – especially breakouts on bodies (and above all, on backs).  It’s so popular that it comes in whacking great bottles:  500 ml and even a litre size.

But we’re rather excited about its ‘double-duty’ action:  as a wash for your make-up brushes.  The lather’s gentle, but the tea tree works brilliantly to banish bacteria from the brushes and sponges you whisk across your face.  (Because if you don’t do that regularly – particularly for creamy formulations like foundation, cream blusher etc. – then you’re at higher zit-risk.)

The key is to wet the brush, add a little squirt of the Skin Wash, then smoosh the bristles until they come clean.  Rinse, rinse and rinse again, and leave to dry on a towel on a table/countertop, with brushes themselves air-drying off the edge.

Make-up professionals do this at least once a week, but we say once a month – minimum – is about right for ‘home-use’.  If you find yourself lending your brushes to anyone, though, wash before you use them again.

Better safe than spotty.

UK readers find Australian Bodycare Tea Tree Skin Wash/£19.50 for 500 ml at here

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Just as tout le monde is poised to return from les vacances, we bring you:  our favourite travel set of summer.  Better late than never, we feel.  (And we’d be happy to slip this in our luggage anytime.)

We’re long-term fans of Diptyque‘s bodycare, and this features four favourite finds from the range in a black-and-white drawstring bag, inside a lovely box.  (We’re upcycling ours to store USB sticks in the office, since it’s way too nice to throw away).

Unusually, all the products in the range have different fragrances, but they seem to fuse together prettily.  (And though we’d expect nothing less than fab smells from Diptyque, the products are impressively high-performance, too.)

We think you’ll love the lot.  Let’s start with the Fresh Lotion for the Body (50 ml size), with orange blossom water:  light, but skin-quenching.   Apply it after the Revitalizing Shower Gel for Body and Hair (a useful multi-tasker, this), which has a wake-up scent of bergamot and peppermint.  (Comes in a 50 ml size, here.)  If your body needs a buff, Smoothing Body Polish does that gently and thoroughly with jojoba beads and silica microspheres, a sloosh of pomegranate seed oil for moisturisation, a scoop of peach butter – and a dash of jasmine floral water, for a lightly heady scent.  (The kit features a 50 ml tube.)

You may also be tempted to slip the Luxurious Hand Balm in your handbag, after the holiday’s over:  a sinks-in-fast balm with a fruity hint of ripe apricot, plus tonka bean.  (The 30 ml size is super-bag-friendly.)

Just crying out for a stylish boutique hotel room, to unpack it in, we think.

UK readers find Diptyque The Travel Collection at£35 – buy here




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What are all the smartest loos wearing, these days…?

For years, of course, it’s been that good old Molton Brown Naran Ji duo – but as of now, there’s competition.  As sleek-looking as you’d expect from the designmeister Sir Terence Conran comes this pairing of Bath Wash (good for hands, too) and Body Lotion, with a simple, minimalistic look – and a delightful floral/citrus scent that delivers wafts of lemon, orange and mandarin.

There’s a woodsier option, too, based on Oudh – and fashionably brown in colour.  (On balance, we’d say this one’s ‘Hers’, and the Oud’s ‘His’, in the battle of the bathroom shelves.)

Can’t afford the Conran sofa?  (One of those is still on our interiors wishlist, after too many years to count…)  This duo may just satisfy your Conran lust, and leave you with a couple of grand change.

Though less comfortable to sit on, of course…

UK readers find Conran Bath and Body Set ’2′ at£34 for the duo (300 ml each) – buy here
NB  If you take a couple of seconds to go to Mankind via our website – here – and enter the code BEAUTYBIBLE at checkout, you’ll receive a 10% discount on the price – and on everything else on the site


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We trust by now you are waving your flags while glued to the Olympics.

(In our case, Union Jacks – though we know this blog attracts readers from round the world, and we wish your teams well.  Unless they’re up against ours, of course…)

A good time, then, to wave the flag for a truly British new brand, Noble Isle, which features ingredients from around the UK infused into bodycare/haircare, and candles.

Think:  Heather Honey sourced from the Scottish highlands, sea oak from west Cork in Sea of Green Roaringwater Bay, rhubarb (yes, rhubarb) in the Rhubarb, Rhubarb! collection – and our favourite:  the deeply woody and unisex Oak Hertford Heath range, using extract of oak from the majestic old ‘Lightning Oak’ of Halleybury College, in Hertfordshire.  It was struck by lightning but went on to thrive again.  (The equivalent of some of our athletes’ careers, perhaps.)

Within this last collection we’re especially loving Oak Hertford Heath Hair & Body Wash – an excellent multi-tasker (it really does perform both tasks well), and wonderfully grounding.

Deserves to be slipped into in a few gym bags at the Olympic Stadium, we’d say.

UK readers find Noble Isle Oak Hertford Heath Hair & Body Wash at£20 for 250 ml – click here

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Yoga bunnies, this one’s for you.

Or for anyone, come to that, who needs to feel a bit more chilled.  (Hang on, we’re still counting hands…)

We’ve always marvelled at the way certain fragrances can shift our mindset, instilling calm or transporting us through time and space.  In this case, impressively, we really are whisked straight to a yoga shala in India, cool breeze coming through the verandah doors, while incense trails curl up towards a thatched roof.

Well, you get our drift:  this range – from a leading Aussie naturals brand – is infused with divinely calming scents like rose attar, vetiver-y khus attar, blue lotus and champa incense, familiar to many yoga devotees.  (It’s a magnolia-like scent from the ‘Indian flower of love’.)

The collection’s extensive but all the fragrances mix-and-match well and cry out (chant out?) to be layered;  we especially like the champa-scented Meditate Body Butter, the Meditate Hand Cream with Jasmine and Meditate Shower Gel.  Not much is available on-line yet – it’s at selected Tesco stores (they’re pretty rubbish at on-line beauty) and Debenhams Oxford Street (worth a detour if you’re in the area), but Debenhams is offering one Natio Meditate Uplift Set on-line:  Meditate Hand Cream with Jasmine Attar, and the khus attar hand wash (see below for details).

The whole lot would be perfect for a yoga kit-bag, for a post-class shower.

Before you go om again…

PS  You might like to know we’ve a fab prize draw to win the whole Natio Meditate collection at if you click here – we’ve three entire sets on offer, each worth over £85.

UK readers find Natio Meditate Uplift Set at£16.50 – click here
Australian readers find the range at$9.05-17.23 – click here

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