E:31/03/17, Win 1 of 2 Organic Surge Rose Whisper Hand & Body Washes, RRP £14.95 each

This week, we are offering two of our most active reviewers a chance to test and review the Organic Surge Rose Whisper Hand & Body Wash 300ml worth RRP £14.95 each, an Ecocert certified product containing a minimum of 96% naturally derived ingredients.

Why we love it?

The Promise Collection brings you indulgent, natural perfumes combined with exotic ingredients, creating a finest selection of skincare products and making the everyday a little more special. The Wash is enriched with Damask Rose, Geranium essential oils & Organic Aloe Vera to offer all skin types an elusive scent of rose whispers through a warmly fragranced caring wash. It is proudly formulated in Britain to lavish the skin with naturally-derived, intensely nourishing ingredients and deliciously fragrant essential oils. Read more & Review.

  • 98% Natural Hand & Body Wash
  • 70% total ingredients from Organic Farming
  • Enriched with Damask Rose and Geranium essential oils & Organic Aloe Vera
  • Conditions and soothes all skin types
  • Elegant, luxurious natural fragrance
  • Animal-friendly, suitable for vegetarians and vegans

How to apply for the trial?

Apply before the 31th of March 2017. To enter, follow us and retweet this article on Twitter or like us and share it on Facebook. The details of the winners will be published the next day and the products dispatched shortly after. Read carefully the Terms & Conditions before entering this giveaway. 

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E:19/02/17, Win 1 x Alteya Organics Bio Damascena Ageless Rose Otto Face Cream, RRP £34.55

Time to discover the aromas and properties Bulgarian Rosa Damascena. This month, we are offering our reviewers a chance to test and review one Alteya Organics Bio Damascena Ageless Rose Otto Face Cream 50ml worth RRP £34.55, produced by a family-owned, award-winning company with their own organic rose farm and distillery, in the heart of the Bulgarian Rose Valley. Read more & Review.

This Natrue certified organic intensive rich cream, enriched with rare Bulgarian Rose oil helps reduce wrinkles and boost skin’s natural repair mechanism. It is known to restore skin’s natural balance and resilience for a firmer, more radiant look. The cream is best for line and wrinkle reduction, rejuvenating, firming and nourishing. It is suitable for all skin types but it is specially recommended for dry, lifeless and aging skin.

  • Rosa damascena / Organic Rose Oil-Rose Otto: Refreshes, nourishes and soothes the skin. Fights free radicals, stimulates collagen production and helps slow down the aging process. Has a toning and astringent effect on the capillaries just below the skin surface. Makes skin glowing and charming.
  • Oenothera biennis / Organic Evening Primrose: Stimulates cell turnover and diminishes fine lines and wrinkles. This precious oil deeply hydrates and firms lifeless skin. It is known to brighten skin by reducing discolorations and brown spots.
  • Punica granatum / Pomegranate extract: A powerful antioxidant that supports skin regeneration and fights free radical damage. It is rich in vitamin C that plays a key role in collagen production. Pomegranate penetrates deep into the skin to provide lasting hydration.
  • Pentaclethra macroloba / Organic Pracaxi Seed Oil: Nourishing oil that helps even skin tone and improves natural glow. Also, it possesses strong hydrating, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties for clear and well-hydrated skin.

How to apply for the trial?

Apply before the 19th of February 2017. To enter, follow us and retweet this article on Twitter or like us and share it on Facebook. The details of the winners will be published the next day and the products dispatched shortly after. Read carefully the Terms & Conditions before entering this giveaway. 

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E:15/12/16, Win 1 x APPLE & BEARS Honey & Hemp Luxury Body Care Gift Set, RRP £34.95

What about a special gift from APPLE & BEARS this Christmas? Discover their luxurious Body Care Collection and enter our Christmas giveaway for a chance to spoil yourself, or a loved one, with a radiantly balancing Honey & Hemp Gift Set - worth £34.95. The cold winter days of the festive season are the ideal time to enjoy a bath and body experience that will rejuvenate and re-energise body and soul.

The Luxury Body Silk Collection Honey & Hemp Gift Set

APPLE & BEARS Luxury Body Care Gifts are the perfect sets to pamper yourself or to treat someone special in your life. A wonderful present for any occasion, this set contains one full size Luxury Body Wash to indulge when bathing, alongside one full size Luxury Body Silk to rejuvenate and protect your skin after a bath or shower.

Luxury Body Wash Collection Honey & Hemp, 300ml: Revitalise your skin to reveal a healthy glow with this anti-oxidant rich and mineral balancing organic body wash, bursting with natural vitamins and minerals. Organic Honey, known to improve skin’s elasticity, leaves you glowing from head to toe, whilst anti-oxidant rich Hemp nurtures with Vitamin E, Carotene and essential minerals such as Calcium and Magnesium to balance dry skin.

Luxury Body Silk Collection Honey & Hemp, 250ml: Replenish the moisture in your skin with the fresh, subtle, earthy fragrances of this rich and luxurious silk, infused with organic natural ingredients to delight the senses. Nourishing Honey delivers power packed nutrients that hydrate, while Hemp’s concentration of Omega 3, 6 and 9 detoxifies and soothes. Light and non-greasy, this rich, smooth silk nourishes and renews, while the natural firming ingredients actively work to tighten and firm.

How to apply for this Twitter giveaway?

Follow @AppleAndBears and @beautyontrial on Twitter and Retweet before the 15th of December 2016 to enter this prize draw. Read carefully the Terms & Conditions before you apply.

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E:30/06/16, Win 1 x Nourish Argan Beauty Collection, RRP £25.00

Time for a reward! This month, we are offering our reviewers a chance to win a deluxe Nourish Argan Collection of three products containing a stellar array of ultra-moisturising and radiance boosting bioactives, to enhance your natural beauty.

All reviews posted in June 2016 will be considered for this prize and the winner will be selected taking into account not only the number of posts but also the usefulness and quality of the reviewer's findings. Read carefully the Terms & Conditions.

What is inside the box?

Argan Beauty Collection is a luxurious collection of shimmering gold, rejuvenating frankincense and revitalising myrrh, with omega-rich organic Moroccan argan oil and a stellar array of ultra-moisturising and radiance boosting bioactives.

  • Nourish Argan Skin Renew, 15ml: An advanced cream to boost skin hydration levels and cellular density for naturally smoother, firmer skin. With the Rose of Jericho and frankincense, it provides the ultimate in protective skin care. The Rose of Jericho plant is responsive and adaptive in nature. Rejuvenating, toning and firming, frankincense has been revered for over 2000 years.
  • Nourish Argan Skin Rescue, 5ml: This silky formula deeply nourishes the skin, restoring flexibility and brightening your complexion, leaving it looking rejuvenated and smooth. Its active ingredients combat the formation of wrinkles by strengthening the protein bonding structures. In combination with the anti-irritation complex, it neutralises harmful free radicals and reduces the blotchiness and scarring associated with injury, acne, eczema and psoriasis. It inhibits dehydration and simultaneously brings the skin back to equilibrium.
  • Nourish Golden Glow Illuminating Face Shimmer, 15ml: An illuminating moisturiser with light responsive bioactives for even-toned skin with a beautiful golden glow and a healthy sunkissed radiance. It is 86% organic and the perfect skin highlighter for all skin care regimes. Using golden mineral powders to lift and define your complexion and leave your skin with a sun kissed glow. This formula includes radiance enhancing tonka bean extract to emit visible light leaving the skin looking even toned and lustrous with a vibrant and natural glow.

Read more...

E:06/06/15, APPLE & BEARS | Win 1 x 4 Luxury Body Care Gift Sets | RRP £34.95 each

This month, we have teamed up with family owned skin care company, APPLE & BEARS, to introduce their truly pure and luxurious Body Care Collection launched in 2011.

Their founders, Kay and Dean Butt, are on a mission to harvest the power of beauty in nature and unleash the one within. They are committed to produce locally, ethically and responsibly premium cosmetics using the finest organic and natural ingredients.

We are offering our members a chance to pamper themselves or to treat someone special in their life with a wonderful duo perfect for any occasion. Apply before the 6th of June 2015 to win 1 of 4 Luxury Body Care Gift Sets worth RRP £34.95 each. 

The Ethical Values & Inspirations

APPLE & BEARS deluxe, gentle but effective beauty range is ECOCERT certified, not tested on animals, packaged with recyclable material, produced in the UK, suitable for Vegans and Vegetarians and encompassed sustainable development and fair trade. As an official partner of Breast Cancer Care, they donate 5% of the profits on the sale of every bottle to this charity

Their name is inspired by the goodness of nature (APPLE) and a reminder of our duty of care (BEARS) of our world. Their logo is a tribute to the courage, perseverance and faith (Koi Fish) of the breast cancer survivors and to their mystical grace and enchanting spirit of freedom and adventure (Mermaids). Their luxurious packaging is handmade, refined and luxurious.

The Luxury Body Wash Collection

APPLE & BEARS Luxury Body Wash Collection is formulated with the finest, natural extracts and gentle aromas to produce a pure blend that cleanses impurities gently and effectively. It nurtures and nourishes your skin delicately and naturally whilst revitalising the senses with full and luxurious foam for a bath and shower experience that rejuvenates and re-energises mind and body.

 

The Luxury Body Silk Collection

APPLE & BEARS Luxury Body Silk Collection is a sensationally creamy and luxurious body care experience. Infused with a blend of natural ingredients to boost the skin’s elasticity and firmness and formulated with the finest natural fragrances and gentle aromas, it revitalises and relaxes the senses. 

 

 

The Luxury Body Care Gift Set

APPLE & BEARS Luxury Body Care Gift Set is the perfect gift to pamper yourself or to spoil someone special in your life. A wonderful treat for any occasion, this set is beautifully presented in a traditionally handmade box and contains one full size Luxury Body Wash to indulge yourself when bathing, and one full size Luxury Body Silk to rejuvenate and protect your skin after your bath or shower.

 

Stay in touch

Receive regular updates and stay informed about special offers and giveaways when you follow APPLE & BEARS on social media.

Visit their website to discover more about the brand and their environmentally friendly collections. Would you like to find a reseller near you? Check their list of stockists nationally and Internationally.

To find out more about an item, or even just to say hello, feel free to drop a line to Kay Butt, Co-Founder & Managing Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call +44 (0)1784 483 886.

How to apply?

Read carefully the terms and conditions before applying for this prize draw.

Read more...

Apple & Bears Pomegranate & Aloe Vera Collection

  • Published in Dese

First Impressions

Unwrapping the lovely parcel containing the Apple & Bears gift collection I was due to review, I felt really excited.  I am a great fan of bathing and moisturising products due to my stressful job and having a very dry and sensitive skin, so this item sounded like a Godsend to me!

I was quite overwhelmed by how luxuriously the packaging presented the contents and my first impression was one of a luxury brand and that this item would make a marvellous gift. Although the main logo for this collection is a neutral colour the body cream contained within has a pink monogram, which probably leans this set more towards the female market, although only the body cream is particularly identified for women.

The Box

I researched a little more about the box, as my Japanese friends always tell me that it is rude not to pay close attention to presentation of a gift, and this is equally important as the contents as the giver has taken care to choose and present this to you.

The gift box for the Apple & Bears Collection has a fine pedigree supporting British craftsmen, having been hand made by a British company with a long history of making bespoke gift boxes since 1816. I suddenly feel transported back to an age of elegantly dressed ladies from Jane Austenesque scenarios in beautiful Georgian homes opening their gifts made by this same company and I feel delighted. Apple & Bears comments particularly on this aspect of their ethos of sourcing British made packaging to house their British brand items and I have to say that the quality really shows here.

The Bottles

The bottles themselves are opaque, squeezable but slightly stiff, white plastic, the body silk has a pump dispenser and the body wash has a cap with a dispensing insert which snaps open and closed easily to dispense the gel. My first thought was that I was pleased to have a pump and dispenser on the items as the plastic of the containers is fairly robust although not completely rigid. The thoughtfulness of this inclusion was very much appreciated. The monogram gives the product itself a classy look and, on closer inspection, I could see that this bore reflected mermaids, fish and a spiral which could be interpreted as a shell form.

Swatch test

Swatching the products on my hand for the first time I noticed that the body wash has a mid coloured transparent look and has a very stiff, jelly-like texture. It has a light fragrance which is not overwhelming. Rinsing the product, I noticed that it produces a light lather, but not lots of foam.  This is pleasing as it suggests that Apple & Bears do not overload their products with foaming agents.

The body silk is white in colour and has a mid texture, and is delivered cleanly by the pump. On my hands the product is readily absorbed and has a deeper, headier fragrance than the body wash which leaves me in raptures. I am a keen fan of exotic fragrances which deliver me from stress, and this one seems to work a treat! The fragrance seems to leave a lingering scent on the surface of the skin and the product leaves the skin feeling hydrated and plumped.

Maker’s scent information

Near the start of the trial, the makers of this product gave the reviewers additional information about the contents of the fragrances of each of the range. I was informed that:

‘The Pomegranate fragrance is Jasmin with a combination of different scents’

The idea that the main content of my product’s fragrance was jasmine only increased my excitement about this product review, as this is one of my all time favourites, being a real fan of deeply sensual and oriental fragrances. I really adore the fragrance of my product but I found it really hard to put my finger exactly on what the content might be. It reminds me a little of one of my very favourite products and I wonder it one of the ‘combination of different scents’ might well include tiaré blossom, which is often used with monoi oil. Certainly, to me, the fragrance is slightly reminiscent of this and is not purely the fragrance of jasmine.

Each time I reach for the bottle of body silk I just can’t resist cupping my hands whilst holding the pumped product and inhaling deeply before smoothing the cream over my skin. My instinct to treat my brain as well as my body has continued with each application and has become part of the ritual of application of this product. I have found this helps to relax and relieve stresses of daily life during those precious moments of pampering.

Body Wash

The body wash has lasted well; a little goes a very long way. The product lathers well, so that you feel it is doing its job, but does not produce clouds of foam. My skin does not feel dry after use which is a great bonus! I still feel that the texture is very stiff when dispensed, so I thought that a good way to keep my bottle would be on its cap to keep the product at the top. However, I have noticed that the bottle has still become slightly damaged over time from the need to squeeze it. The plastic is flexible, but robust and a little unreceptive to my constant battering and now bears some scars across its middle. If I were to have another I might replace the cap with a pump, similar to that on the body silk as this bottle still looks as chic as the day I opened the box and is a pleasure to look at on my window sill each morning and evening.

Body Silk

Using the body silk on the body after bathing, I have noticed that this product needs a little massaging to help it to be absorbed on damp skin. I use about two pumps for half a leg and, although the instructions recommend circular motion of application, I have found that an upward, brushing motion of application with the palms of both hands helps the product to be absorbed more quickly. Using less product initially also reduces the need for a great deal of time of application. It requires a little massage as white traces are left on the skin without this, however the massaging process is a small hardship and helps circulation within the skin tissue and the delicious fragrance left on the surface of the skin deserves further inhalation! The product leaves a moisturised and ‘locked in’ sensation of hydration from bathing, which lasts throughout the day. I have skin which is prone to eczema and psoriasis, but I have experienced no difficulties using the body silk on my skin although I have avoided one little patch just to be on the safe side.

Charity support

I was very pleased to see that this brand supports a charity, in this case: Breast Cancer Care. The fact that some proceeds will go to support those experiencing cancer will encourage patronage by families who have been touched by cancer as well as others who just wish to give to good causes.

Overall impression

Details given regarding the ingredients state that it has ‘anti-aging and healing properties’. It certainly helps with the retention of moisture after bathing and I have noticed that my skin feels hydrated and youthful after application of both products. The body silk requires some massage to encourage absorption, but this is counter balanced by the amazing fragrance which makes the whole process worthwhile.

The body wash seems to have a texture which is stiffer than others I am used to and the bottle has become damaged during the product review period from dispensing the contents. The box used for the collection the collection is of superlative quality and I feel that this offers a truly luxurious first impression to the recipient.  

The pricing of the product is quite high, but this collection would make a wonderful gift, especially in the knowledge that part of the money given will support charity and any recipient of this particular ensemble would not help but be thrilled to receive this item.

Read more...

Apple & Bears Honey & Hemp Gift Set

I was so excited when I was accepted for the trial of the Apple & Bears Honey & Hemp body duo. This is a brand that I have not tried before, and with my love of natural ingredient body products, I was intrigued.

When my gift set arrived, I was thrilled with the packaging. The Body Silk & Body Wash are housed in a stunning, high quality sturdy box package that instantly spelled quality and the promise of something special inside… I will start with the Honey & Hemp Body Wash as this is the first product you use in your bathing routine.

Apple & Bears Honey & Hemp Gift Set

Apple & Bears is a wonderful family run UK based business and I was thrilled to note that 5% of all profits are donated to the charity Breast Cancer Care. The ethos of this company is clear to see even from the packaging!

The bottles are beautiful! They look classy, quality and make a beautiful visual addition to your bathroom. They are made of recyclable plastic in a block white with beautiful and intriguing logs printed on the front. The Body Wash bottle has a handy and practical flip top lid which makes the gel easy to dispense.

On the rear of the bottles is an extensive list of ingredients. Pure proof of what is in your product with no veiled or hidden ingredients. Honey is a well-known ingredient that has instant and effective firming qualities whilst hemp is a deeply nourishing, moisturising and protective ingredient. There is an impressive and extensive list of natural oils and minerals in this product that in combination have amazing benefits on the skin.

Apple & Bears Honey & Hemp Body Wash

The Body Wash has a surprisingly thick consistency which promises a quality bathing experience. It has a beautiful gold colour and the fragrance is stunning!! You can certainly detect the hemp, which is a fragrance that I adore and there are tons of juniper and citrus which in combination give a mildly heady, exotic scent that infuses the bathroom during bathing! This fragrance is definitely suited to both male and female tastes and my husband was also rather impressed with this unisex fragrance.

I always use a body puff to apply my product and it is always a true test of the concentration of a product. Many shower gels that use synthetic ingredients result in an overwhelming explosion of bubbles which whilst being a pleasant bathing experience, always causes concern for me as to how much detergent ingredients are contained within a product.

The Apple & Bears Body Wash creates thick, creamy bubbles that are completely different to a synthetic product. This is proof for me that the ingredients are quality and I am not applying nasty chemicals and detergents to my skin. My skin feels instantly cleansed and energised and the product wraps you in a soothing and exotic cocoon of fragrance! The foam is easily and quickly rinsed away.

After drying with a towel, you can truly feel and instant toning and tightening sensation on the skin but do not mistake this for dryness, it is by far the opposite. My skin feels toned but moisturised with a subtle fragrance of product remaining on the body. The gel is so concentrated you only need a small amount for a full bathing experience.

On the hair, I did not find this product as favourable as my hair requires deep moisturisation. As a quick fix, on the go product, it has great benefits of being a multitasker but I think this is better suited to my husband as a shampoo as he cares a great deal less about moisturisation of his hair. Saying this, I suffered no irritation from this product as a hair wash so it is a big thumbs up for the capabilities of this bottle.

Apple & Bears Honey & Hemp Body Silk

The Body Silk is housed in a practical and beautiful shatter poof bottle with a handy pump action dispense lid. This is perfect for an easy application and prevents over dispense of your product. At no time, has the pump clogged with product like some other lesser quality products can do.

The Body Silk has an indulgent medium thick consistency and pearly white in colour. Its fragrance is intriguing. I was expecting the same fragrance as the Body Wash; however, there is a combination of the same fragrance of hemp, juniper and citrus but with a nostalgic and simplistic tone of a generic un-fragranced body cream.

This is very difficult to describe in written words but it gives a feeling of the expected fragranced body creams most popular on the market but with a simplicity of a quality, non-fussy body product! I use 4 pumps of silk for my entire body and the cream is absorbed quickly and easily into the skin. A testament to a highly concentrated product! Once again you can feel a toning sensation upon application and your skin is left mildly fragranced and deeply moisturised. The moisturisation lasts throughout day with no dissipation.

In combination with the Body Silk the Honey & Hemp range most certainly does as it says on the bottle. You are not bowled over by overwhelming fragrance but you are treated to a very effective, toning, nourishing and indulgent bathing experience. I would not hesitate to use other options from this brand.

Throughout my trial, these products have proven their worth and I could not fault their performance in any way. All in all, I have developed a very fast love affair with these products. The price tag is high but the quality and quantity of the ingredients justify it. If you are looking for a high performance and high quality bathing product that uses only natural ingredients then I could not recommend this brand enough! As an addition to your own bathroom, or as a gift for a loved one, Apple & Bears have rocketed to the top of my list of quality bathing products.

A luxury body product range with visible benefits and quite clearly ‘made with love’

Read more...

Apple & Bears Bergamot & Green Tea Gift Set

I was lucky and was chosen to try this lovely gift set of the Apple & Bears product in return for writing my views about it on this site in my blog page.

I admit that prior to their offer I had never heard of this company so I was keen to see what they made and what their products were like.

A bit about Apple & Bears

I have been very impressed with what I have found out about this company. They are a family owned, small, British company which I always like to support and to make it even better they only use organic and natural ingredients in all their products.

...."formulas are created by a team of specialists dedicated in the field of natural and ecological products. Our manufacturing process pursues ethical and social responsibility towards the environment. Each of our products are manufactured wholly in the United Kingdom and overseen by our head office in Wraysbury, England." Apple & Bears

I also was impressed to find that 5% of every bottle of their products sold, they donate to Breast Cancer care charity which is a worthy cause and a long term commitment to a good cause. All their bottles have the Breast Cancer ribbon on them.

"Apple & Bears aspires to make a difference by investing back into our planet and purposely avoiding direct conflict between the environment, human and animal rights.
Our ethical philosophy embraces responsibility for the manufacturing process from sourcing ingredients to transportation and distribution. We also take responsibility for the care of the people who make our products possible and the environment they live in." Apple & Bears

More about the products

The set I had was one full sized bottle of the Apple & Bears Bergamot & Green Tea Body Wash (300ml) and also a bottle of the Apple & Bears Bergamot & Green Tea Body Silk (250ml). These are both sold individually on the site too so you don't have to buy both as a set:

Apple & Bears also sell a number of other scent options in the same individual bottles and gift sets and they are the same prices: Grapefruit & Seaweed, Pomegranate & Aloe Vera and finally Honey & Hemp. They all sound great and quite original combinations too.

Apple & Bears Bergamot & Green Tea Body Wash

"Stimulate and rejuvenate your body and mind with powerful anti-oxidant Bergamot & Green Tea renowned for their anti-ageing properties. Moisturise and re-hydrate your skin with this boosting body wash and citrus aroma for an energising bath and shower experience." Apple & Bears

This is suitable for both men and women and all skin types. It is free of parabens, gluten, SLS and phthalayes and formulated with 100% natural fragrances and plant based ingredients so suitable for vegans and vegetarians too. All their products are 100% free from any animal testing. You can buy this in either 300ml for £18.00 or 500ml for £25.00 or as part of the gift set like I had for £34.95.

My views on the body wash?

This smells very natural, sort of gentle herb like citrus, which is mainly the bergamot I feel. I am not really sure the green tea has much of a scent to be honest. It is fresh and green, as in leaf sort of scent but not really a strong scent to me.

This comes in a pretty white plastic, recyclable bottle with a classy sort of minimalist logo in the centre front and the name of the company and scent variety also on the front. The body wash has a press down flip up lid and you just tip the bottle squeeze and out comes the clear honey coloured gel like shower/bath wash.

It does not have a strong scent but it is pleasant and fresh. The gel lathers up gently and gives enough to feel like you are getting your body clean and once the gel is damp the scent comes through a bit more strongly I felt.

I have also used this as a bubble bath and it gave a decent amount of lather and a lovely citrus scented bath. The bathroom did fill with the aroma and made it a lovely luxurious bath experience.

When using this I have not had any reaction or skin irritation. My skin didn't feel particularly moisturised but neither did it feel parched and dried our either. Once I had dried myself the scent didn't linger on my skin. My skin felt nice and fresh, not tight and dried out and if I really sniffed, I could just about detect a nice gentle freshness, not obviously bergamot in my view.

The finest organic & natural ingredients inside

"From sourcing to manufacturing, our product ingredients contain the purest quality extracts of flower and plant that are ethically sustainable and Eco-certified natural and organic." Apple & Bears
"...formulations are safe, organically derived where possible and 100% paraben and SSL free." Apple & Bears

Would I recommend the body wash?

Yes! This is a lovely natural scented product. I have faith that as a natural and eco friendly company, they are not slipping in chemical into the products. As they state, they are honest and open about what goes into all their products.

I think this is quite expensive for a body wash but it does compare with Bohdi & Birch and other high quality natural products so a fair price for the quality I suppose. If you compare it with supermarket brands then it does seem a bit expensive.

If you are looking for a quality British company making natural, animal and eco-friendly products then take a look at what Apple & Bears have to offer. You can't buy directly from their website but that it does have links to resellers, so take a look and check them out.

Apple & Bears Bergamot & Green Tea Body Lotion or Body Silk 

Moving on to the Apple & Bears Body Lotion or Body Silk in the same scent...

"Who says you can’t enjoy a little luxury when you’re up against time each morning?"Apple & Bears

In my gift box I also received the body silk in a bottle containing 250ml of the product so a full sized bottle as the gift set was exactly the one you buy for £34.95. I won't go through all the benefits of the company, Apple & Bears, again as all the ethics and philosophy will be the same as it is for all their products. 

"Beautifully balanced with natural botanical ingredients, our Bergamot & Green Tea Body Silk gently uplifts and nourishes the skin with antioxidant rich Green Tea and citrus Bergamot. Re-energises and improves the overall appearance of your skin while the silky, smooth and natural active skin firming ingredient leaves your skin looking firmer, youthful, nourished and radiant." Apple & Bears 

Rather oddly that they say it is formulated for women while the body wash was for men and women. Obviously they feel that men don't need to use a body lotion!

It is suitable for all skin types and scented with extracts from real fruit and flowers so the fragrance is 100% natural. The ingredients are Natural & Organic Ecocert Greenlife certified.

As with the body wash, the ingredients are gluten free and have no parabens or phthalates. The lotion is suitable for vegans and vegetarians. The ingredients are chosen as they are naturally skin firming.

The product is 100% free from animal testing and as I mentioned before Apple & Bears support the Breast Cancer charity. 5% of all their sales go to the charity and all their bottles carry the pink breast cancer ribbon. I also like the fact that they pay a fair wage to the people in all the countries they source the ingredients from.

My views on the body silk?

This comes in a matching white classy looking bottle to the body wash only instead of a flip top cap this has a pump with a nozzle. This works well and one pump give s good amount for applying to your skin. If I get too much of a lotion out at a time I find I have to dot it around so that I spread it evenly. You can vary the amount that comes out depending on how hard you press down the pump.

The lotion is white and quite thick, a normal sort of body lotion thickness, certainly not butter thickness. It feel cool and refreshing when applied and soaks in pretty quickly as all natural products do as they are absorbed by the skin rather than sitting on top which is what petroleum base products do.

It smells of mild citrus but more herby than lemony. It smells to me exactly like bergamot smells in my garden mixed with a creamy lotion not dairy cream so maybe some plant based oils and of course the leafy aroma of green tea also adds to the garden aroma. Not earthy and deep but leafy and natural with that lemony herb aroma.

It leaves my skin feeling smooth and well moisturised but not greasy at all. After application I can get dressed pretty much straight away and there is not greasy or damp feeling on my skin.

I find the scent doesn't hang around long on my skin but the nice soft and well moisturised feeling does. I quite like that the scent is subtle as it means I can wear my own perfume and this does not interfere with it.

Would I recommend the body lotion?

Yes! This is a lovely body lotion, gentle, not irritating to sensitive skin, it smells pleasant but not too strong and makes my skin feel nice to touch and how it feels in itself inside.

It is certainly more expensive than the average supermarket or high street brand but it is comparable with other high quality, made in UK, natural products.

Read more...

Apple & Bears Luxury Body Care Gift Set - Grapefruit & Seaweed

This is going to be a little more complex than normal as I've asked my friend G. to try these products as well as me so this blog will be a combination of both of our views! Let's start with the products themselves.

Introducing Apple & Bears Grapefruit & Seaweed Body Wash 

Restore your body and oxygenate your skin with this potent anti-oxidant and mineral enriched Grapefruit & Seaweed body wash. Pure Grapefruit extracts boast vitamin A and C renowned for producing healthy skin. Detoxifying Seaweed improves skin texture and is known to reduce cellulite, whilst nourishing and restoring your body with essential minerals and anti-oxidants. Get ready for a re-generating and detoxifying bath and shower experience. Apples & Bears

Key benefits: • Formulated for men and women • Suitable for all skin types • Suitable for Vegans and Vegetarians • Paraben, SLS and Phthalates free • Gluten free • Available in 300ml / 10.1 fl oz & 500ml / 16.9 fl oz

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder*, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Lauryl Glucoside, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Coco-Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Sodium Chloride, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Leaf Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Peel Oil Distilled, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Ascophyllum Nodosum Extract*, Fucus Vesiculosus Extract*, Laminaria Digitata Extract*, Elettaria Cardamomum Seed Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Flower Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil, Myristica Fragrans Fruit Oil (Nutmeg), Camellia Sinensis Leaf Oil, Tocopherol, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides Citrate, Ascorbic Acid, Limonene, Linalool. *Ingredients from Organic Farming. Natural and Organic cosmetic certified by Ecocert Greenlife according to Ecocert standard available at http://cosmetics.ecocert.com. 99% of the total ingredients are from natural origin 12% of the total ingredients are from Organic Farming.

The sniff test on this is interesting as it's very nice, very fresh but not really a grapefruit smell (or even a seaweed one). It's more like watermelon to me but let's see what G. makes of it.

Introducing Apple & Bears Grapefruit & Seaweed Body Silk

Invigorate your senses with our luxuriously smooth Grapefruit & Seaweed Body Silk. Freshly squeezed Grapefruit and nutrient rich Seaweed nourishes your skin with a rich blend of minerals and vitamins while refreshing bursts of citrus deliver a deep, long-lasting hydration. Light and non-greasy, our natural active skin firming ingredients gently firms and tightens your skin, while the refreshing aromatic hints of citrus stimulate your senses. Apples & Bears

Key benefits: • Formulated for women • Suitable for all skin types • Natural & Organic Ecocert Greenlife certified • Extracts from real fruit and flowers • 100% Natural fragrance • Gluten free • Suitable for Vegans and Vegetarians • Natural active skin firming ingredients • 100% FREE from animal testing • No Parabens or Phthalates • Available in 250ml /8.5 fl Oz

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder*, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Lauryl Glucoside, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Coco-Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Sodium Chloride, Decyl Glucoside, Sodium Benzoate, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Leaf Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Peel Oil Distilled, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Ascophyllum Nodosum Extract*, Fucus Vesiculosus Extract*, Laminaria Digitata Extract*, Elettaria Cardamomum Seed Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Flower Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil, Myristica Fragrans Fruit Oil (Nutmeg), Camellia Sinensis Leaf Oil, Tocopherol, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides Citrate, Ascorbic Acid, Limonene, Linalool. *Ingredients from Organic Farming. Natural and Organic cosmetic certified by Ecocert Greenlife according to Ecocert standard available at http://cosmetics.ecocert.com.

A little something about Apple & Bears themselves

...is a family owned and operated, British company that produce luxury cosmetics made from the finest organic and natural ingredients. Our formulas are created by a team of specialists dedicated in the field of natural and ecological products.Our manufacturing process pursues ethical and social responsibility towards the environment. Each of our products are manufactured wholly in the United Kingdom and overseen by our head office in Wraysbury, England. Apples & Bears

Charity

"Here at Apple & Bears we believe it's the little things we do that make a big difference: We are proud to be an official partner of Breast Cancer Care with our commitment to donate a portion of our profits to this very important cause. With the sale of every bottle we donate 5% (including VAT) to the Breast Cancer Care charity as we continue to dedicate ourselves and support this cause by helping those in need.When you buy a bottle, you can make a difference too.Our bottles and packaging proudly display the Breast Cancer Ribbon and affirms our continued commitment to support this worthy charity." 

To have a look at the Apple & Bears website go here. There are few retail options to purchase their products at the moment but you can look on their website for online options. Having a look on the Big Green Smile website the prices for these products are:

What are G findings after a 2-week trial?

So on to the blog! Let's see what the two of us think :). Sorry for the (slight) delay: Christmas! G has been using the products for a couple of weeks and this is what she thought.

I was very kindly given the Apple and Bears Grapefruit and Seaweed Luxury Body Care Gift set to try and review, and upon receipt the packaging and look of the product was very appealing. Apple and Bears have an organic and fresh-looking product, and the fact that 5% of their sales go to Breast Cancer Care is of real appeal to me. G 
Unfortunately the fragrance of the product didn't match the 'Grapefruit and Seaweed' label that I was expecting, more of a generic "fruity" scent. On the other hand I'm in two minds about whether that's a bad thing; I'm not a fan of grapefruit and smelling of seaweed isn't so appealing to me either! G

Note: Since we started trying the product Kay, Co-Founder & Managing Director at Apple & Bears, has provided some extra information regarding the fragrances of their products. For this one "...the main ingredients leading to the fragrance is the Bergamot Leaf Oil and Cirtus Aurantifolia (Lime) peel with additional scents combined which gives it a distinctive citrus fragrance as there is no known grapefruit fragrance." The Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil and the Fucus Vesiculosus Extract (seaweed) ingredients give rise to the name rather than the fragrance. 

The texture of the body wash was a lot less 'luxurious' than I had hoped for. The wash had a pleasant fragrance but didn't lather very well without using a body puffer, and was reflective of a fairly low to average grade product. (Bayliss and Harding came to mind). G
The body moisturiser was the most disappointing; again a pleasant smell, however lacked the ability to absorb into my skin without vigorous drying movements (you can imagine!). I used very little of the moisturiser because I got bored of waiting for it to absorb. When it did eventually do so (I used it for 3 concurrent days), the moisturiser didn't leave my skin feeling any softer. G

G provided this picture of the Body Silk not absorbing into her skin

What would be G overall recommendations?

I tried this product before looking at either the Apple and Bears website or the price of the products, and my guess (purely based on the quality of product) would have been circa £5-£7 for each bottle, and around £15 for the set. Having taken into consideration the quality of the product versus the high quality 'organic' packaging and branding, I would expect to pay no more than £25 for the set. Having then seen that the product is priced at £35 for the set was a little surprising. G
The Apple and Bears website is high quality and aimed at a middle class consumer group however the quality of the product really is not reflective of this, and I personally wouldn't be prepared to purchase the product. All in all, excellent look and feel of the product, however disappointing in quality and end result. G

My intensive testing of the products during 10 days

Okay so not so great from G. On to me.

  • Day 1Okay so they came with me to the gym. Not the first choice for location I admit but it's what I do so it's what they do. The body wash can be used on your hair which is great for me at the gym. I mentioned that I like the scent which is fresh and very nice. The texture is... gloopy. I really rather liked it but it is a little unexpected. G mentions that it doesn't lather up and that's true but again I quite liked it. It's very gentle but cleanses well. There is however no scent in use or scent transfer which disappointed me.

On my hair (and as ever this is different for me as my hair is very very short) the body wash worked fine and I was happy enough with it.

I liked the body silk. It's light and easy to use. For me the silk did absorb into my skin and did transfer the scent. The absorpsion is likely to be because I have much much older skin than G and frankly I need the extra moisture.

So day one for me was fine. I liked both products and they worked well. Let's see what day 2 brings!

  • Day 2: (well sort of!) G took the products back to take the picture above so I didn't actually use them yesterday but... I did get to let others try sniff tests. Everyone who tried really liked the smell and the packaging. They all had the familiar scent confusion as per above but no one was bothered and everyone liked it either way.
  • Day 3: Took them to the gym again and liked them again! I really don't have the issue that G does with the Body Silk. It absorbs easily and works well for me. G and I compared notes and as you can see from the picture it really doesn't absorb into her skin. She tried it with a few colleagues and they liked it and it absorbed well. I suspect amount and need are entering the picture!
  •  Day 4: Another gym day and everything was fine. As I've already said I like the gloopy texture of the body wash and also the low lathering (probably not a word!). I am though tending more towards G as regards the moisturiser. You have to hit a sweet spot to get the absorption. Too much and I struggle but too little feels, well to little! 
  • Day 5: In France! Yes the blog never sleeps so the two bottles have traveled to a French ski resort. They were packed in the hold given there size but didn't suffer from explosive opening after there flight. It interesting but here the scent seems stronger which I think is the less rushed nature of using them in a hotel rather than at the gym. The body wash is still nice but the silk is struggling more which given my general level of dehydration seems odd. 
  • Day 6: The second day of skiing is over! I've been using the silk as a general moisturiser before skiing and to be fair it's choping fine. As ever the amount has to be carefully judged but... The scent is definitely more obvious but it almost makes it worse as it fades so quickly. Anyway they're making a nice alternative to the hotel products.
  • Days 7 to 10: No daily updates as I've been focused on the skiing! But I have been trying to find the right amount of body silk to use. Basically a full pump is too much and a quarter one about right. There will be a photo when I get back to show what I mean so hopefully it'l make sense then!

On another note, I'm not seeing any firming despite using the silk everyday. Oh well, on to tomorrow.

Okay so it's hard to see but this is the body wash. As you can see (hopefully) the liquid is quite stiff but that's fine by me as it's much easier to use in the shower.

The left blob is the full pump and the right the quarter pump. That's the one that works for me as it's enough to moisturise for me.

What would be my recommendations?

This has been an interesting experiment with both G and I reviewing the products which gives a very different perspective. G really didn't get on with them and I had an initially good experience but gradually found them less satisfying. Overall I liked the body wash but wouldn't choose to buy it and whilst I could use silk again I wouldn't choose to. I liked the quality and the ethos of the products but not the price. Great products but in the end not ones for me.

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My Weleda Insight Day Experience 2014

This week I was lucky enough to be invited to a Weleda Insight Day. We were asked to arrive by 9.30 and as everyone was gradually arriving from paces as far away as Northern Ireland, London and so on we were offered a drink and biscuits. The drinks ranged from delicious organic cordials , fresh filtered water and a range of organic fruit and herb teas as well as the usual tea and coffee.

Once everyone was there we had a short introduction before we were taken by mini bus to the thirteen acre organic and biodynamic gardens about a mile from the main Weleda buildings. This site is in Ilkeston in Derbyshire and is the pharmaceutical side of Weleda. They don't make any of the skin care products here , only the medicinal stuff.

We were given a tour of the gardens by the ex head gardener at Weleda who had been there thirty years. He was fascinating and told us so much about the work of Rudolph Steiner, the founder of Weleda. Steiner observed the plants and they way they grew and from these observations and studies he developed his medicines, both homeopathic and for general use.

Every product made by Weleda is created using their philosophy “ In harmony with nature and the human being”. 

So not only are the medicines made this way but also all their skin and beauty products too. There is nothing in any Weleda product that does not have a job to do. There is no padding or bulking out with unnecessary scents or perfumes. Every single Weleda product is 100% natural, there are no parabens or other synthetic preservatives, no colourants, no mineral oil derivatives and ever since they were founded Weleda has never tested on animals other than will human volunteers.

After our tour of the garden we went into a marquee where the current head gardener showed us ,with the help of a couple of volunteers, how they made the tinctures for the calendula through using the fresh maceration method. Our volunteers had to chop up a weighed amount of calendula plant, the whole plant minus the root. This chopped mixture had a very specific amount of plant based ethanol added to it. They weigh the calendula, work out its moisture content and the ethanol added is based on that calculation.

This mix is then allowed to sit for a fortnight before being pressed and strained. The resulting tincture can then be stored for up to five years until needed for whatever medicine or product requires that tincture. The ethanol is the natural preservative.

Having made our tincture we were then transported back to the Weleda base for a really lovely lunch. It was a bit like a posh afternoon tea with mini sandwiches, a tasty salad, strawberries dipped in chocolate and some cakes and scones.

Then came the second fun part. We were told about the products, how they are beneficial and much more. We got to try different oils so that we could tell which were natural and which were petroleum based. Interestingly one oil we tried was actually a well known product sold as a natural oil which in fact is far more petroleum based if you look at the ingredients.

We got to try lots of the lovely Weleda products and my arms and legs have never been so well fed with cream and oils.They also let us try some of their new products recently released and then told us what was about to be released later this year.

The ladies who did the talks were not only informative but we also so enthusiastic about the company, its ethics and the products that it was a real pleasure to see and share their excitement.

At the end of the day we had to go to their little shop to hand in our badges and be given a bag full of great products as well. Inside the bag was a voucher for 25% off so I felt it would be rude not to take advantage of that and treated myself to a full sized bottle of Birch cellulite oil and also a bottle of their new hayfever relief oromucosal spray as I do suffer from hayfever and would love not to have to take ant histamines daily all summer. 

This was a fantastic day and I would like to thank Weleda for treating us to such a lovely welcoming and interesting day. I met a few other bloggers too and we all got on so well that I feel I have also made new friends as well.

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