Beauty Bible Loves

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


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Bodycare

 

Early we may be.

But frankly, Jo starts buying her Christmas presents in February and we think there’s no such thing as ‘Too Organised’ when it comes to the festive season.

So this is our second ‘stocking filler’ suggestion (which would also be a sure-fire hit if your Secret Santa budget stretches to a tenner).

It features a trio of travel sizes of Dr.Hauschka‘s iconic (we don’t use the word lightly), bestselling rose products:  Rose Body Oil, Rose Body Moisturiser and Rose Day Cream, all packed with the blissful scent of biodynamic roses which are picked daily on their own farms while the dew’s still on the petals.

Over the years we have discovered that rose is the No. 1 favourite skincare/bodycare smell for our Beauty Bible testers – so we think you’ll love having your senses bathed in this lot.

That Christmas list…?  Your prospects of getting it all done in good time may just be looking a little rosier, with this…

UK readers find Dr.Hauschka Rose Mini Rose Trio Gift Set at www.johnlewis.com/£8.95 – buy here

 

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Francis who…?  If you are not already one of Francis Kurkdjian’s legion of devoted fans (they include those of us at Beauty Bible), this is a wonderful introduction.

Francis is one of the most talented ‘noses’ on the planet, and the man responsible for blockbusters like Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male, Narciso Rodriguez For Her and Elie Saab – one of 2011′s most-praised, gong-winning fragrances.

But alongside creating bestsellers for big names, Francis has for the past three years also been adding to his own signature line:  the fragrances he always wanted to create himself.  One or two new fragrances are added each year (and they are worth setting aside an hour or two to explore, somewhere – like Les Senteurs – which carries the full range).

Until now, though, there’s not been much for ‘layering’ – though actually, these exceptional fragranced body treats go on wafting for hours even if you don’t add a spritz of sunny, airy, zested-up white floral Aqua Universalis, over the top.  The shower gel is divine (and non-skin-stripping), but it’s the Aqua Universalis Scented Body Cream which we’re especially addicted to: though rich and nourishing, it absorbs beautifully and smells heavenly:  a bit like burying your nose in a mountain of white linen that’s been sun-dried on the line.  (Think:  notes of Calabrian bergamot, Sicilian lemon, mock orange and jasmine.)

With Christmas coming, these belong on any fragrance-lover’s ‘Dear Santa’ list, because this is a scent that – as its ‘Universalis’ name implies – everyone will fall for.

Santa, they’re certainly top of ours.

UK readers find Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis Scented Shower Cream/£35 for 150 ml and Aqua Universalis Scented Body Cream/£45 for 150 ml exclusively at Liberty and at www.selfridges.com – buy here

 

 

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This teeny visual doesn’t really give an idea of the hefty jar this innovative, all-natural body butter comes in, but it’s all we could lay our hands on.

Small photo, big news, though.  Because Nourish has been created by Pauline Hili, who for years and years was closeted in the labs of Neal’s Yard Remedies, creating their fabulous natural formulations.  Now she’s gone solo (well, teamed up with an on-line dynamo, actually) – and we’re liking what we’re seeing, touching and smelling.

The range is straightforward, honest (organic percentages are listed, as are full ingredients not just on the packaging but the website) – and effective.  Pauline’s signature strength has always been creating naturals that rival mainstream formulations, so you get the performance – but without the synthetics.  Nourish promises treats for face and body – and this example is just delicious:  almost gel-like, yet wonderfully rich – easy to slather from neck to toe, and (unlike some natural body butters we could name) it doesn’t require lots of rubbing-in.

Age-defying ingredients include vitamin C and omega-intense Rosa mosqueta oil, hyaluronic acid, peptides and marine algae.  And yes, at last women outside France are grasping that there’s a lot you can do to repair, restore and renew not just facial skin, but arms, legs, elbows, etc.  (Maybe our message is getting through!)

The scent, meanwhile, is wonderful:   uplifting with mandarin and orange, refreshing the senses as well as the skin.

Just the nourishment a body needs, now the central heating seems to be sapping every last molecule of moisture out of our bodies, in fact…

UK readers find Nourish Nutri-Rich Body Butter at www.nourishskinrange.com/£15.95 for 150 ml – buy here

 

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One of the weirdnesses of being a beauty editor is eating mince pies and listening to carols when the sun’s blazing outside (we get to see seasonal goodies months before Santa’s packing his sleigh), but we certainly did feel Christmas had come early in another way when we encountered Forest Secrets iRejuvenate at the Urban Retreat Christmas preview.

From Dr. Barbara Olioso’s all-natural range, this is a multi-tasking hand and body cream that feels just the right texture:  not-too-rich, not-too-light, not-too-anything – just perfect for leaving skin soft as Rudolph’s muzzle.  (Wthout the whiskers, of course.)

Referred to as ‘the cream of wonders’ by Forest Secrets, it features milk thistle oil, glycerine, cocoa seed butter, chlorella, honeysuckle extract – and has a really nice, geranium-y fragrance.

We really like the delivery system, too:  no fiddly lid, just twist the cap and a nozzle appears (and duly disappears again, once you’ve dispensed the body-quencher).

Happy Chrismas, every body…

UK readers find Forest Secrets iRejuvenate at www.forestsecretsskincare.com/£25 for 125 ml – buy here – and arriving soon at www.beautique.com

 

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We echo Lush‘s suggestion:  Apply Generously, Use It Up Quickly.

And while we do applaud the efforts of brands who do a special ‘charity’ edition of a product (however slim the sliver that ends up going to a good cause), this is the kind of beautiful initiative that thrills us to the core.

Every penny raised from the Lush Charity Pot (except the VAT which that stingy old Chancellor creams off) goes to grassroots groups striving to make the world a greener place, or towards animal welfare and human rights charities.  (So wonderful to see a beauty brand tackling that.)

What’s more, you know exactly where your money’s going – because the lid of this black pot features details of the beneficiary charity.

Did we add:  it’s based on organic cocoa butter and almond oil, with a melting texture and some really divine essential oils of geranium and ylang-ylang…?  Pretty darned sophisticated, actually.

And any body product that does good while it’s doing your skin good is what we call a win-win.

UK readers find Lush Charity Pot at www.lush.co.uk/from £6.95 for 95 g – buy here

International readers:  it’s available all over the world;  click here for the international page to be directed to your own country’s Lush website

 

 

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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 www.johnlewis.com/£35 – buy here

 

 

 

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File under ‘rediscovering an old friend’.

We go back with Aesop – oooooh, much longer than we care to remember.  (Jo’s probably the only journalist to have visited them in Melbourne.  Three times…)

This smarter-than-your-average-bear beauty brand has always been a bit ‘different’ (they’re into philosophy, art, sociology, not just moisturising molecules and natural ingredients).  Their shops are invariably quirky, and often in very ‘interesting’ locations.  However, if you don’t require a bit of Baudelaire with your body lotion or Marcel Proust with your moisturiser, never fear:  these aromatherapy-inspired products can be taken and enjoyed at face value.

To wit:  after a separation of some years, we just reacquainted ourselves with this scrumptious cream, with a scent that evokes zesting an orange and a luscious, skin-quenching texture just right for a body that’s been exposed to a little more salt and sun than usual, and requires nurturing.  There’s cooling aloe in there, as well as sweet almond oil, orange oil, coconut oil, carrot root extract – but the blend’s easy to smooth into skin.

We’re also fans of the fact that all ingredients are listed on the front of the tube, not tucked shyly away.

Honesty’s always welcome, in an old friend.

UK readers find Aesop Rind Concentrate Body Balm at www.beautyexpert.co.uk/£20 for 120 ml – buy here
(NB  If you visit via our www.beautybible.com site - here – and then go to www.beautyexpert.co.uk, you’ll get a 10% discount by adding the code BEAUTYBIBLE at checkout.  And that applies to almost everything on their site.  Might sound like a lot of hassle but can any of us really afford to turn our noses up at a few quid off…?)
US readers find it at www.barneys.com/$33 for 120 ml – buy here

 

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It’s Friday.

Fancy a cocktail?

Fancy a cocktail of skin-nourishing shea butter and vitamin E, actually, infused with a fruit scent…?

We just adore the packaging of these MAD Beauty Cocktail Shaker Hand & Body Lotions – and can think of several teenagers just old enough to hit the Bacardi Breezers who we’ll be giving them to.  (Though our advice:  go for Apple Martini or Cranberry Cosmopolitan – nicely tangy, that – rather than Strawberry Daiquiri, which tips over slightly into Opal Fruit-iness.)

The thing about MAD Beauty’s creations, we’ve found, is that they look girly and gimmicky but perform rather well:  notwithstanding the funky bottle (there’s a pump, beneath that silver shaker-top), the lotion itself is deliciously and instantly skin-quenching, even for mature skins like ours.

Chin, chin!!!

UK readers find MAD Beauty Cocktail Shaker Hand & Body Cream at www.madbeauty.com/£8.99 for 300 ml – click here

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Nothing worse than opening your suitcase to find your cleanser/moisturiser/body oil’s leaked all over your best holiday gear.

No chance of that, with these.

Somewhat akin to the Lush massage bars, Palm & Sole Solid Oil Moistursers look like lumps of cheese – but in contact with skin they melt at body temperature.  True multi-taskers, they can be used on face, neck, body, hands and feet to deliver nourishment.  Honestly, if space in a suitcase was a real issue, you could get away with one of these – and it’d certainly last for the whole vacation.  (Targeted at dry and mature skins, NB.)  Once used, it gets a little soft – but hardens up once it’s back in its aluminium ‘house’.

The solid moisturisers come in a screw-top travel tin, and of the four fragrances we really enjoy Sparkling:  a prettily uplifting blend of rosemary, melissa and bergamot.

Almost makes us wish we were headed to a music festival to put it through its paces properly.

We said ALMOST.

UK readers find Palm & Sole Solid Oil Moisturiser at www.palm-and-sole.com/£14 for 30 ml – click here (and enjoy free postage and packing till the end of August 2012)

 

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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 www.nobleisle.com/£20 for 250 ml – click here

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