Showing posts with label scrubs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label scrubs. Show all posts

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Quick Pick: Super Facialist by Una Brennan Purify & Refresh Face Scrub

It looks like the team at Super Facialist have changed the packaging since this little tube's been in my bathroom, but I thought I'd write a quick post about it anyway.  If you like your scrubs manual and full of bits, this one is a little more refined than St Ives and less scary than Freeze 24/7.  The scrubby bits are finely ground walnut shell, which gives the scrub a microdermabrasion feel - it also means it does suffer a bit from being difficult to wash off without leaving tiny granules in your hairline (I really hope it's not just me).

It also contains Salicylic Acid and it's supposed to control blemishes as well as giving your skin a good scrub.  Since I started using it, I've definitely experienced fewer spots, although I've not noticed a decrease in blackheads.  Still, less spots and smoother skin make this a damn good product for me, made even better by its very reasonable £8.99 pricetag.  Find it now at Boots.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

St Ives Naturally Clear and Fresh Skin Apricot Scrubs

Trying St Ives scrubs again recently transported me straight back to being a teenager.  I clearly remember saving to buy a cleanser by Aapri - it cost a staggering £3 - and placing it carefully in the bathroom next to a St Ives scrub.  St Ives have been a high street staple for many years, and whilst they're not the most sophisticated of scrubs, they get the job done.  The exfoliating action is provided by apricot stone particles, making it a pretty abrasive scrub - you need to be careful not to overdo it or your skin will end up red raw.  The scrubs also contain SLS in the base, so they're a combination of a face wash and a scrub in one.

Now, many of these things aren't what I look for in a scrub - I avoid SLS where possible, and I prefer fruit acid scrubs to those based on abrasive particles.  Those things do push up the average cost of a scrub, though, whereas this one comes in at just over £4.  For a budget brightener, St Ives is a perfectly decent option - just remember to go easy.  I've been using the Blemish Fighting version for a few weeks now, and my skin (which was going through a bit of a rough patch) has calmed down and is much clearer since I started using it.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Quick Pick: Marks & Spencer Tuscan Escape Lemon Verbena Olive Stone Body Scrub

This body scrub was a bit of a chance find at a recent M&S event - and I'm very, very glad I brought it home with me.  It's a scrubby, bits-in-gel type format, with the bits made of olive stone.  The scent is heavenly - zesty, lemony, and very, very fresh without any of that sickly, artificial sweetness lemon scents can sometimes bring.  It smells like the zest of a lemon - sharp, fruity, and only slightly sweet.

The olive stone scrubby pieces do make this a manual exfoliant which is very effective, and could be too harsh if you have very sensitive skin, so do be careful with it.  Luckily there aren't too many scrubby bits, so my normal skin found it just fine.  I can't find it on the Marks and Spencer website right now, but you'll find it in store for a very reasonable £6.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Introducing Peculiar People Bath & Body

Peculiar People Bath & Body is a new indie brand created by the lovely Deborah, who used to blog at Dvora Divine.  Its products are pretty standard for an indie brand - whipped body butter, whipped scrub, bath oil, soap, bath salts, and face masks - and I was expecting a similarly standard indie brand experience.  You know, nice enough, products a little bit basic in formulation, albeit with interesting scents.

Well, I was wrong.  Unlike other indie bath oils I've tried, Peculiar People's bath oils emulsify in the water, leaving the tub less perilously slippery, and feeling generally more luxurious than plain oils which sit atop the water.  And as for the two scents I tried - Honey Fig and Saffron and Black Orchid - they're both intense enough to leave the bathroom fragrant, but not so intense they linger on the skin.  Black Orchid has a lovely smoky note to it, which blends well with the vanilla and amber base - right up my oriental/woody-loving street.

As for the Whipped Sugar Scrub, I'm in love.  The Good Samaritan scrub contains Colombian coffee and wafts of vanilla, making for a scent that's almost edible.  The texture is a little hard and gritty to scoop out of the tub easily, and you will get some stuck under your nails, but it's worth it - the scrubby particles are big enough for a comprehensive sloughing, and the base is creamy enough to leave the skin feeling velvety soft rather than thoroughly scrubbed.

Evidently the scents are appealling to felines as well as humans - my cat Yoshi couldn't resist a sniff as I tried to photograph the products!

At a mere £4.50 per bath oil, and £5 per scrub, Peculiar People is a lovely range which offers handmade products which really work.  I'll definitely be repurchasing The Good Samaritan when my tub runs out.

Disclosure: PR samples

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Lovely: Elemis Frangipani Monoi Salt Glow

By all accounts, this Elemis body scrub is a bit of a cult favourite, and having tried it I can certainly see why.  I had a lovely bath the other night, finished off with a thorough scrub using this Fragipani Monoi Salt Glow scrub on damp skin, and I was left with amazingly soft skin.

It's a salt based scrub (which means it'll sting if you have any little cuts) with tiny flower petals suspended in it, and it smells divine - warm and floral, with a richness to it from the monoi.  The jar looks really smart in the bathroom, too - the metal catch keeps the jar firmly shut, and the simple white packaging looks very sleek.

At £36.50, this is an expensive scrub, and although you get a good amount of it in the oversize 480g jar it's still an indulgence.  Find it now at Time to Spa, the official Elemis stockist, or at Gorgeous Shop, where it's reduced to £29.20.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Review: & Other Stories Rose Revival Body Scrub and Body Wash

My mini-spree at & Other Stories included two of their colour eyeshadows, and two of their bath and body products - Rose Revival Body Scrub and Body Wash.  I was attracted to them thanks to their simple, pretty packaging, and because of the number of different scent variations available - there's Rose Revival, Morrocan Tea, Shinjuku Bloom, Pink Bouquet, Lemon Daydream, Couture Carnival, Frozen Verbena, Fig Fiction, and Equatorial Dreams.  Plenty for even the most determined scrub user to work through.

Anyway, back to Rose Revival - the packaging describes the scent as "pressed pink rose petals in an old cedar chest".  There are also notes of green pear and magnolia in the mix, which prevents it from being a straight-up rose scent, giving it a little freshness and depth as well.

The body wash is a bit of a let down for me - it doesn't foam a lot, even with a body puff.  But the body scrub is a thing of glory - it has an unusual jelly texture which prevents it from disintegrating immediately in the shower, and helping it to spread easily across the skin.  As it's sugar based, it polishes the skin well without being too abrasive.  Love it.

The Body Wash is £5, and the Body Scrub is £7 - and I'd definitely recommend the scrub, its one of the nicest things I've used for the price recently.  I've got my beady eye on Fig Fiction next.

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating our copyright.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Hardcore Scrub Action: Freeze 24/7 Ice Crystals Anti-Aging Prep and Polish

This pretty little number popped through my postbox just as my beloved Alpha H Micro Cleanse exfoliator ran out, which was very fortuitous indeed.  Freeze 24/7, well known for their icy themed products, have created an "anti-aging" exfoliator, aptly named Ice Crystals.

It contains both micro-scrubby particles and larger turquoise beads for a deep exfoliation which promises to resurface and retexturise the surface of the skin in minutes.

If you look closely, you can see that the white cream is not actually a white cream - the whiteness comes from the density of the micro-scrubby-bits.  And therein is your first clue that this scrub is very, very hardcore.  The first time I used it, I was perhaps a bit over enthusastic in the massaging, and my skin felt a little raw and over scrubbed afterwards.  Since then, I've been using a tiny amount, on wet skin, and barely massaging it over my face.  Sensitive skins should probably avoid altogether, or use it very infrequently - it's so easy to overboard.

If you like your exfoliators closer to the sandpaper end of the scrubby scale, then you may well like this.  If you prefer chemical or fruit based exfoliators which don't really physically scrub, you'll probably hate it.  I'm kind of torn - it does deliver incredible results (brightness, softness, and less noticeable acne scars) but it's also a little bit scary.

Find it at BeautyBay where it's currently reduced to £24.50 from it's RRP of £30.

Disclosure:  PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating our copyright.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

First look: new Soap & Glory packaging

I recently went along to spend an evening with Soap & Glory and take a look at their newly repackaged and revamped facial skincare range. Basically... they've gone minimal. In a really good way. The vintage ladies and the mischievous wordplay are still in evidence, but the retro has been scaled right back in favour of clean white space and squinty-eyed-in-the-shower-friendly fonts.

They've also introduced a very logical colour-coding element which separates their wide stable of products into 4 distinct ranges -
everyday skincare (For Daily Youth) = pale pink,
oily skin (The Fab Pore) = blue-green,
anti-aging (Make Yourself Youthful) = silver,
and brightening (The Bright Stuff) = bright pink
As you will notice, their love of puns remains as strong as ever.

As well as repackaging, S&G have taken the opportunity to reformulate some of their classic products and add some new ones into the mix too.

I took home two products to road-test.

First is the Make Yourself Youthful Super Serum, from the silvery anti-aging range. I had the chance to stick my curious blogger paws in all the products, and I noticed how pleasantly light and un-cloggy the anti-aging bits were. My perception of anti-aging products is that they tend to be quite heavy and rich, but none of the Make Yourself Youthful products fitted this stereotype. Instead they're comfortably emollient and feel very "breathable". This serum is the richer of the two in the range, but it still feels both light and fresh on my first-signs-of-aging-type skin. It costs £20.

My other pick was Scrubatomic, an exfoliant designed for daily use. I'm very keen on the existing S&G facial scrubs because they offer such fine grains - I'm continually annoyed by scrubs that have about 8 gigantic plastic balls and that do basically nothing. Scrubatomic delivers the same fine granularity as Scrub Your Nose In It and The Greatest Scrub of All and has a pleasant tropical fruit scent. It's part of the everyday For Daily Youth range, and comes in a crumply sort of squeezable tube with a screw cap. If you've tried the Body Shop's Hemp hand cream, you'll know the sort of toothpaste-esque tube I mean. It costs £9.

The new packaging and products are getting a gradual roll-out, with products starting to appear on shelves soon (summer 2013). Keep your eyes out!

(This lolly will not be for sale, but it's quite pretty and contains a raspberry.)

Disclosure - PR samples

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating our copyright.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Quick Pick: Apivita Body Euphoria

Apivita is a lovely Greek company which creates natural skincare products using bee products and Greek herbs.  They've recently launched into the UK in a major way via the new Marks and Spencer in-store beauty department, which brings together niche beauty brands under one roof.

I recently tried out the Body Euphoria scent of their Shower Gel, Body Scrub and Body Milk.  Body Euphoria makes use of white tea and jasmine, with the white tea providing anti-oxidant protection, and the scent of jasmine promoting a feeling of optimism and euphoria.

The shower gel is fantastic - it contains aloe and mild cleansing agents to leave the skin feeling clean and soft, without stripping away moisture or over cleansing.  It lathers up beautifully with the aid of a bath puff, and a little goes a long way - a small squeeze is enough to cover the whole body with soft, fragrant bubbles.  The body milk is light yet hydrating, absorbing quickly into the skin and leaving it feeling soft and smooth.  This is a very good thing, as I generally can't be bothered with any body lotion which hangs about on the skin.

The body scrub is the stand out product for me.  It contains Dead Sea salts, and provides scrubby goodness via bamboo and olive grains.  I expected it to contain a lot of scrubby bits, as most of the body scrubs I've used recently are heavy on the grains, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it's a cream based scrub with a reasonable but not excessive proportion of grains.  Rubbed over damp skin in the shower, it provides an effective but not too harsh exfoliation and leaves skin feeling amazingly soft and smooth.  The only problem with it was that there was a strange overtone of antiseptic smell alongside the jasmine - I can live with it for the effectiveness of the product, but I'd far rather it wasn't there.

Overall, this is a lovely line of body products, albeit an expensive one, with the shower gel costing £12, the body milk costing £13 and the scrub costing a staggering £22.  Beware, though - these products are strongly scented, and the scent does linger on the skin after using the body milk, so be sure that they'll compliment your fragrance if you're worried about clashing.  I'm quite tempted to try the Body Relax scent next - it's based on honey and vanilla.

Disclosure: PR sample

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Treatment Review: The Comforter? at Lush Spa

A couple of weeks ago, I trundled down to the Kings Road branch of Lush, which houses not only an emporium of deliciously scented things, but also one of the Lush Spa locations.  I was lucky enough to be invited by Lush to experience their newest spa treatment, called the Comforter?.  It's a scrub/massage type thing - but with a bit of a twist.  The reason for the question mark, I was told, is that whilst the treatment is supposed to be warming and comforting, it also has a fun, light hearted element which is different to your average spa treatment.

When I first entered the treatment room, I couldn't help but smile.  A machine projected sparkles of green light around the room, emulating a starry sky, a bubble machine gurgled away to itself, and the lighting was predominantly pink.  I disrobed and snuggled into the extremely comfortable bed - there was a memory foam mattress and a heated blanket, making it incredibly snug and cosy.  The treatment is accompanied by a specially created soundtrack by Lush's spa composer Simon Emmerson, and it's about as far from whalesong and pan pipes as you can get.  A little bit of instrumental music from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, a little bit of I Can See Clearly now - it was very uplifting, comforting in the way it reminded me of being a child, and it was actually something I wanted to listen to, rather than something washing over my ears in the background.

The scrub itself is administered with a molten hot chocolate product, which dries down onto the skin and is rubbed off, eliminating the need for a shower midway through the treatment.  As with the massage serum used afterwards, it was applied warm to the skin - and it smelled absolutely fantastic.  Warm, comforting, and deeply chocolatey, I kind of wanted to eat it.  Luckily I was too comfortable to try.

After a thorough scrubbing, I was massaged gently with a warm, liquid body serum in a rolling motion which was relaxing but not sleep inducing.  The massage wasn't the kind I'd normally go for - I'm usually a bit of a no-pain-no-gain girl - but it left me feeling warm and fuzzy inside and out.  After the treatment, my skin felt gorgeously soft and smooth, and I felt incredibly happy and content.

Emerging from the treatment room, I went to the country kitchen-style reception area and was treated to a special post-treatment drink - candyfloss and rose syrup mixed with sparkling water mixed in a cocktail glass - which was an unexpected and very sweet way to finish off a spa session (and quite different to the usual glass of water).

All in all, I really enjoyed the Comforter?.  My skin felt amazing, I felt uplifted and happy and for once I'd stayed awake throughout an entire treatment and appreciated every moment.  If you're looking for something a bit fun as well as a bit pampering, I'd highly recommend this - it's the antithesis of most spa treatments I've tried before, and I absolutely loved it.

Disclosure: Treatment received free of charge for review purposes

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Paintbox Soapworks: Dead Leaves on the Dirty Ground Sorbetto and The Immaculate Confection Slip

These products are my first foray into Paintbox Soapworks.  For those of you not in the know, the company make artisan soaps, scrubs, lotions and potions in a variety of interesting scents, sold via handmade goods powerhouse Etsy.  Sorbetto is an emulsifying sugar scrub, and Slip is a hand and body lotion.

I chose to pick up the Sorbetto in Dead Leaves on the Dirty Ground, described as "the quiet, introspective side of fall", with notes of "woodsmoke, rustling leaves & the dark chill of an autumn night."  It's a little more patchouli heavy than I'd imagined - perhaps a little too much for my own liking - but otherwise, the description is bang on - it's highly evocative of that rich, earthy scent you get during the autumn in woodlands.  The scrub itself is rather lovely, and gentle enough to use reasonably frequently - the emulsifying action means that it's not massively intensive.  The scent is gloriously intense in the shower, but doesn't linger on the skin after use.

The Immaculate Confection is a gloriously sweet fragrance with notes of chocolate, vanilla, honeycomb, and all things delicious.  The scent makes me a little hungry, and I almost want to eat my own arm when it's coated in this stuff.  I'm not normally one for body lotion - I hate having even slightly tacky or coated feeling limbs - but this one is a keeper.  It's light, wonderfully slippy, and sinks in very quickly, leaving absolutely no residue on the skin whatsoever.  The scent lingers on the skin for a good couple of hours before it fades.

Unfortunately, Paintbox Soapworks don't have these two specific products in stock any more - such is the nature of a small supplier producing small batches - but I'd highly recommend the texture of Slip, and whilst I've not been bowled over by Sorbetto, I do think it's a nice, gentle scrub I'd happily use again.  Prices are around £6.50 for Sorbetto, and £5.20 for Slip - definitely not cheap, but given the interestingly different fragrances and the fact that you're supporting a small business, they're prices I'm willing to pay.

Find the range at the Paintbox Soapworks Etsy shop.  Be warned that shipping is rather expensive, so it's generally worth buying more than one product at a time (like you need an excuse to do that!).

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Quick Pick: Tesco Skin Wisdom Day Spa Wash & Scrub

I picked this sleek blue tube up at the same time as I acquired my cinnamon and fig bath and shower gel from the same range.  I do love a body wash with scrubby bits included - I'm a lazy girl at heart and anything which does two things at once (and does them both well, mind) gets my vote.

This is supposedly scented with vanilla and neroli, but when I first used it, I was totally surprised by the scent.  It's not overpoweringly vanilla-y, not synthetic at all, but subtle, light and fresh - the opposite of what I thought it would be.  The scent doesn't linger on the skin, and is only barely detectable in the foam.

I use this alongside a bath puff, which gives me double exfoliation, from both the bath puff and the scrubby bits in this wash.  There isn't a particularly high concentration of scrubby bits included in the wash - enough to give you a little abrasion, but don't expect anything near the experience you'd get from a proper scrub.  That said, it's gentle enough to use every day, and leaves the skin feeling clean, soft, and thoroughly refreshed.

I will definitely repurchase this product - at just £3.99, it's a lovely shower gel with an added scrubby bonus. Works for me.  Find it exclusively at Tesco.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Quick Pick: Alpha-H Micro Cleanse

Having heard so much good about the Alpha-H range, I decided to treat myself to their Micro Cleanse exfoliant recently.  And I absolutely love it - the rice bran based scrubby bits combined with glycolic acid makes for an exfoliant that really works, leaving the skin feeling super smooth and looking clear and fresh.

It's a pretty intense experience thanks to the glycolic acid, and I'd probably be hesitant to use it more than twice a week.  Although it doesn't leave the skin feeling wildly dried out and thirsty, you do need to slap some moisturiser on after use to keep the skin moist and comfortable.

At around £24, it's not cheap - but it does work, and my skin genuinely looks better after using it, which makes it a price worth paying for me.  Find it at BeautyBay, where a 100ml tube costs £20.83 at the moment, getting you a few pounds off the RRP.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Quick Pick: Lush Sweet Lips Lip Scrub

Fact: my lips get horribly flaky and dry in the winter time.  I cover them in a variety of balms and creams to keep them well hydrated, but sometimes you just have to scrub off the dead skin to keep them looking and feeling nice.  I recently bought this Sweet Lips scrub from Lush, which is a sugar based scrub with a rather delicious vanilla and chocolate flavour.

The sugar crystals provide a really intense scrubby experience, smoothing the lips effectively with a gentle rub of fingertip to lips.  The oil base isn't very evident towards the top of the pot, and a little bit scooped out is mostly sugar crystals - there's enough oil to leave the lips feeling lightly coated and moist, but not so much that you'd need to remove the excess.

The best thing (or worst thing, depending on your perspective) about this scrub, though, is the taste.  The vanilla and chocolate flavour, combined with the sugar base, make this a literally edible scrub - and one that tastes pretty damn divine, making it difficult to use without licking it off the lips.  All in all, then, this scrub is great for lips - but not so great for healthy eating.  Find it at Lush stores and online, where a 25g pot will cost a reasonable £4.95.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Review: Ila Spa Body Scrub for a Blissful Experience

I recently met Denise Leicester, creator of the Ila Spa line of products and treatments, at an event showcasing some of the brand's high end, highly organic home spa goodies.  She's a down to earth, very regular lady who has a huge amount of passion for the products she produces in small quantities with a small team in a small barn in the Cotswolds.  Describing the very home-made, hand-produced process of creating the products, she told me that each finished jar or tub is blessed by the team as it's completed - bit weird, but excusable given the incredible quality of the products.

The Beyond Organic Body Scrub for a Blissful Experience pretty much does what it says on the gorgeously vibrant, classy looking purple box.  Nestled within the golden inner paper sits a big, heavy white tub of scrub, subtly embossed with golden lettering.

There's no chance of mistaking this tub for anything but an extremely high end product, and the luxe feel of the tub itself plus the outer box makes this a product that's sure to impress as a gift.  Inside the tub, the scrub itself is just as impressive.  It's based on Himalayan salt crystals, with a hefty dose of natural oils to stick it all together.  Scooping a dollop out of the tub, though, doesn't result in a palmful of oil with some scrubby bits floating in it - the texture straight out of the tub is rather dry and definitely not oily-heavy.  The scent is absolutely divine - if you're a fan of roses, you'll adore it.  Heady and potent, it fills the bathroom with a calming, warming scent which lingers on the skin for a few hours after use.

And therein is the other glorious thing about this product.  The directions instruct you to apply to damp skin and then, instead of rinsing off as you'd expect, you soak in a warm bath.  Once dunked into the bath, the salt crystals dissipate into the water, and the intensity of that spectacular scent is magnified twofold.  It really is a blissful, relaxing experience, and after a twenty minute soak, the skin is left coated in a fine film of non greasy oil. The oil sinks in slowly, leaving the skin feeling supple and soft, and scented with roses.

I have no qualms about saying that this is an incredible product, and one that I have thoroughly enjoyed using each time I've reached for it.  At £49 a tub, it is incredibly expensive.. but you only need a little per use, and given that you get a good scrubbing and a gorgeous bathing experience, it's really fulfilling the role of two products.  Yes, I'm sort of justifying it to myself.  This is because I rather suspect I'll be buying another tub when my sample runs dry.

Ila Spa's Beyond Organic Body Scrub for a Blissful Experience costs £49 for 250g and can be found at online organic stores such as Naturisimo.  You'll also find plenty more information about the brand at Ila Spa's website.

Disclosure: PR sample
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