A Valentine’s gift to share from Amphora Aromatics

So you are looking for the perfect Valentine’s gift, but are trying to think outside the box, moving away from the flowers, chocolates and cuddly toys. But you are also on a tight budget. maybe with less than £20 to spend on the perfect gift. I have a great gift idea to share with you today, and the best thing about it is that this is a gift that you and your loved one can share, and perhaps have a lot of sensuous fun with.

Amphora Aromatics is a Bristol based company that specialises in natural beauty and skincare. All their products are handmade at their headquarters in Bristol, with inspiration coming from essential oils, spices and formulations that are found in the Souks of the near East – Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria. Amphora Aromatics are one of the UK’s largest suppliers of essential oils, and, this year they have put their expertise to good use to create a lovely gift set that has been made with lovers in mind.

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Amphora Aromatics ‘Love It’ collection is just beautiful. Coming wonderfully gifted wrapped in an eco-friendly box with a silk ribbon embellishment, the box contains three wonderful products. First there is a 100ml bottle of relaxing body lotion. The relaxing body lotion is a blend of chamonile, lavender, lemon verbena and Melissa oils. The lavender comes through as the strongest scent at first, but when this is rubbed onto the skin the air is filled with the fragrance of the lemon verbena. It feels very soft on the skin and the scent lingers, the lotion is also none sticky and easily absorbed into the skin.

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The sensuous massage oil smells divine. With sandlewood, patchouli and ylang ylang meshed with sweet almond, this is a heady scent that is so right for a massage with a loved one. Obviously this is an oil, but again I was surprised that it sank into the skin so easily without leaving a sticky residue, and it was just so soothing. The bath oil had a similar scent, but with added sweetness from the extra ingredients of geranium, rosewood and orange. The orange adds a very slight fruitiness, it is not over powering but very light. Both the massage oil and bath oil are 100ml bottles, with the bath oil being enough for about eight baths.

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The Love It collection is a lovely gift idea, and a bit of a bargain too, coming in at just £11.95. You can get it in store, or by visiting www.amphora-retail.com

 

eness – ethically responsible beauty arrives in Birmingham

South Africa’s ethically responsible beauty brand eness has arrived in the UK, with their first shopping opening on Birmingham’s Cannon Street. The brand has created a range of beautiful body products that range from butters to bath and pamper washes and soaks that are highly affordable, with no product costing more than £10. The brand is promising a huge assault on the UKs beauty market, with two more stores promised before the end of 2016, and with beautiful and affordable prices this just might be the answer to your Christmas shopping woes.

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I was lucky enough to be invited to the opening of the Cannon Street store, and I have to say it is a really lovely addition to Birmingham’s thriving beauty and pampering scene. The store is organised by different fragrances, with packaging that ranges from traditional (the Magnolia being absolutely gorgeous) to funky and modern (the strawberry range) to products that look like something you would find in Victoria’s Secret, yet cost a fraction of that price (I’m talking about the beautiful Diamond range).

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Eness uses the purest of ingredients to create its products, including shea butter, bio pharma oil and a range of vitamins and minerals. Nothing is tested on animals, and it further pushes its ethical responsibility through its loyalty programme, which is committed to saving the rhino. The store reflects this, with models of wild rhinos and elephants everywhere to show that beauty can have a conscience and be a source of good.

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The fragrances offer something for everyone. There are traditional lavender, magnolia and rose scents, fruity strawberry and soothing cocoa butter, and, the sophisticated scent of Diamonds – my personal favourite. There is a try before you buy policy, so if you want to test how something smells on your body, or are worried about sensitive skin, you can collect some sample sachets from the store, which I think is another great idea.

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You can find out more about eness by visiting their Facebook page. (Click here to visit). There you will find details of an Instagram competition that is currently taking place.

eness, Unit 14, Number 4, Cannon Street, B2 5EN Birmingham

Reviewed – All Boxed Up Beauty Box

I have to be honest and say that, in general, I am not a fan of beauty boxes. The main reason for this dislike being the lack of full sized products they contain – too many half sizes, or worse, too many samples and sachets. Add in the fact that there will probably be at least one product that you don’t like or doesn’t suit, and I often feel the value isn’t there. But. I will certainly eat my words and scratch that when it comes to the first beauty box of 2016 from All Boxed Up – all full sizes, all great products, and costing just £19.99 for products that are valued at £113, I think this is incredible value.

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The All Boxed Up beauty box contains five full sized products from top names, all of which you will be familiar with. There is no fancy packaging with this beauty box, but if you wanted to give this as a gift, you could easily transfer it to a gift box or bag. The names in the box are Percy and Reed, The Sanctuary Spa, Lulu’s Timebomb, Pecksniffs and Cowshed – pretty good eh!

The products

Sanctuary Spa Luxury Bath Float (RRP £10) is from a brand that I use, although I am not familiar with this product. However, as someone who struggles to sleep I have been using this as a soak before bedtime. I love the delicious scent, with Ylang Ylang coming through strong, and the creamy consistency of the bubbles. You can use this quite sparingly, just run a little under a hot tap for a bathtime treat that will leave you feel silky soft, and ready for bed.

Definitely a product I would use again…and again.

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Pecksniff’s Dry Body Oil (RRP £25) A premium British brand, and again, one which I love for its retro scents, the Pecksniff’s Dry Body Oil is scented in Sandlewood and Vanilla and is described as intensive moisturiser enriched with Argan Oil. I am not usually a fan of dry body oils, I always find them sticky, and that they take a long time to soak into the skin. This one, however, is lovely. The oil is a light mist that is quickly absorbed into the skin and leaves a lovely scent that is more Sandlewood than vanilla (a good thing for me – I hate the scent of Vanilla in general.) The skin does feel soft, and you can put your clothes straight on without getting the oil on your clothes. This could actually be used straight after a bath, or just as a quick spritz in the morning. A lovely product.

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Percy and Reed Lovingly Foaming Treatment Mask (RRP £20) Percy and Reed are a great haircare company – I love their dry shampoo above all others, so I was excited to try this, especially as I have the sort of flat, fine hair it is said to be great for. The problem for me is that my hair is also greasy and I felt this made it slightly greasier, especially in the next day after washing. The scent is lovely, and it is easy to apply – running through with a comb from root to tips of the hair. But I still feel that this could have different results on dry hair that it is made for.

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Cowshed Wild Cow Invigorating Body Lotion (RRP £20) This is amazing! Containing Lemongrass, ginger and rosemary, this is a product that smells fresh and clean, and it is strong enough that you can smell it in the air when you applied it, it is such a premium product. It is a luxury product, really thick and creamy, and with Lemongrass coming through strong, I was reminded of a Spa scent. It is certainly invigorating,with a pop! that would definitely wake you up in the morning.

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Timebomb Derm Warfare night serum(RRP £33) This is the most expensive product in the box, part of Lulu’s Timebomb range that was launched on QVC quite a few years ago and is dedicated to the fight against anti-ageing.  I love Serum’s as I think they make a real difference as part of a good skincare regime, and am enjoying using this so far, although I will wait a little longer to pass judgement on the effects. What I will say is that the gel like substance is quickly absorbed by my skin (it must be so thirsty), the scent is gentle, and although it tingles slightly, it doesn’t irritate, and my skin does feel soft in the morning.

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All in all, this box is a total bargain, the best money saving Beauty buy of 2016 so far. You can check out this Month’s Beauty Box by clicking here.

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