Tuesday, 29 June 2010
Natural Empathy - Beautifully British Luxury Hand & Body Lotion and Top-to-Toe Wash
As soon as I saw the packaging, I fell in love with these products. I don't know if it's my patriotic streak, or because it awakens nostalgic memories of getting dressed up in Union Jacks for the Silver Jubilee when I was a kid in the 70's or if it's just the appeal of the bright colours, but as soon I see a product flying the British flag, I want one ! I felt the same about the Union Jack-bedecked Firefly Tonic called Britannia, which I reviewed here.
Now, I don't really know what I was expecting a "Beautifully British" product to smell like, but I have to say, I was slightly surprised and - if I'm honest- a bit disappointed to get a whiff of lavender. There's nothing wrong with lavender - it's a lovely natural, relaxing scent. But it does have connotations of old grannies or, going to the other extreme, baby products aimed to get sleepy heads calmly off to the land of Nod. This is probably because of my formative years being lived out with a musical backdrop of Britpop by the likes of Oasis, Pulp and Blur or hearing Tony Blair going on about "Cool Britannia", but I was expecting something a bit more cutting edge, in-yer-face, loud and proud ! The product is really nice but I just felt like it was having a bit of an identity crisis and didn't really belong in this bottle !
Once I got over the initial surprise and really breathed in the scent, I did actually quite like it. As they explain on their website, " This exclusive luxury, natural hand and body lotion is a distinctive blend of the traditional and the modern, celebrating pride and passion. This rip roaring, flag waving, barnstormingly British body lotion with a fine nostalgic fragrance of cedarwood English lavender and patchouli is evocative, sensual and immaculately turned out. A Beautifully British skin nourishing and protecting formula for discerning Ladies and Gentlemen." The lavender, cedarwood and patchouli blend nicely together to create a subtle, relaxing, natural fragranc that is great for a wind-down shower at the end of a long day.
The Top-to-Toe Wash left my skin feeling lovely and soft, and the Hand and Body Lotion completed the pampering session, leaving me with perfectly moisturised and ungreasy skin. I could tell both products were made with high quality ingredients.
I was really pleased to learn that, as their name suggests, Natural Empathy deal only in natural products that aren't packed full of harmful chemicals. "This paraben free, cruelty free, synthetic free, natural beauty product is made lovingly in small batches and is suitable for even sensitive skin."
But the Union Jack isn't just there for show. They say, on their website, "Buying British doesn't just mean stocking up on Union Jack designs. It's about celebrating all the unique skills, traditions and creative ideas that make us truly Brit-tastic." The Hand & Body Lotion contains cold pressed extra virgin moisturising oils from Northumberland. They not only produce their products in Northumberland, they also use locally grown and produced ingredients. In a recent article in the Mail Online, founder Philip Stuckey said : "‘We believe that in Britain we should make things, and not simply be a shop window for other countries."
For that reason alone, I'd be happy to add it to my shopping list, but when you also take into account the high quality of the products, the eco-friendly natural skincare range and the beautiful packaging, they're definitely on to a winner.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : LUXURY HAND AND BODY LOTION (WOODY) 200ML £15, TOP TO TOE WASH 200ML £12