Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm

Hand creams and I, we have a special relationship. Being something of a germophobe, and having naturally really dry hands (thanks dad), balms, creams and lotions have their work cut out when they meet me. I reviewed a lot of mediocre hand creams back in the day, but I’ve decided that now, I’ll ONLY be reviewing the creams that really make me go wow. Maybe when I accumulate a load of crap ones I’ll do a post on them, but for now, lets focus on Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm.IMG_6761

The nourishing ingredients packed into this botanical mixture, are quite something. Shea butter, sweet almond oil, coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, cetaryl alcohol (a fatty acid and amazing moisturiser), glycerin, cocoa butter, wheatgerm oil AND soybean oil. Like, whaaaat? Most hand creams would only contain one or two of these, but the combination of all of them means you get all of their individual benefits too. For example, coconut oil has antimicrobial properties, almond oil helps to protect the skin and wheatgerm oil is high in antioxidant vitamin E. The texture of the cream is gorgeous, while it’s in incredibly rich balm it melts into the skin so easily. The perfect combination of nourishment and absorbency for the busy lady with a dry hand problem.

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The botanical ingredients in Resurrection Aromatique are seriously out of this world. Orange, cedarwood, lavender, grapefruit and rosemary combine to make an intense and complex fragrance, that really does resurrect the senses. There are so many amazing ingredients in this balm, I want to talk about them all! There’s soothing aloe vera, anti-ageing tocopherol and carrot oil in there too.

So on paper this sounds like the best hand cream around, right? I have to say, I genuinely think it’s one of my favourites. I use it every morning before work (I massage it in while I’m walking out of my flat, covers up the smell of central London nicely) and it absorbs really well. Since using this I’ve realised that not only have I stopped having to use a hand cream throughout the day, my hands now look younger too! If you have constantly dry hands, this is such a good option for you, I cannot recommend it enough. It certainly isn’t a budget product, but at £19.00 for a 75ml tube, you’d be insane not to try it if you struggle to find good hand creams. Get it on Aesop’s website. Link

I’m really keen to try more of Aesop’s products, do you have any recommendations?

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Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Hand Cream

Sometime in mid-January, boyfriend and I were having a conversation and got onto the topic of flowers and Valentine’s Day. I wasn’t a fan, I told him, of people buying unsustainable roses for massive amounts of money when they’d just die in a couple of days anyway. I do like cut flowers, they brighten up a room nicely, but I personally don’t like to get them as gifts. I like my gifts to last!

Anyway, when Valentine’s rolled around, I did get some roses. They were mashed up, with beeswax, geranium, aloe vera and soya oil. And poured into a tube with Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Hand Cream written across it.

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This is the best hand cream I have ever used. And no, I’m not saying that because my boyfriend bought it for my first non-single Valentine’s Day (I’m not that nice), it is straight up AMAZING stuff.

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I was interested to see that this contains rosehip fruit oil, rather than seed oil. I moisturise with rosehip seed oil, but I also drink rosehip tea (made from the fruit) every day, and I firmly believe it’s an incredibly rich source of antioxidants. It makes me feel SO good. People in the Andes have been drinking it for centuries because of its health-giving properties, and I love that the fruit extract is in this hand cream.

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The hand cream is 92% organic, which is great for the environment. It has beeswax to protect the hands, sweet almond oil to heal and nourish, and aloe to sooth. This is a combination that’s perfect for someone like me, who’s hands get so irritatingly flaky and red that even cotton catches on them sometimes. It sorts them right out.

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Though the texture appears a bit lumpy, it doesn’t feel that way at all, and absorbs into the skin really easily. Natural hand creams don’t do that very often unless they aren’t very moisturising in the first place, but this stuff lasts almost all day! The cream has a strong, uplifting scent of geranium, ylang ylang and patchouli, which I really adore.

IMG_5562If you saw my post about my makeup bag from the other day, you’ll have seen my horrible flakey hand. I hadn’t been using this cream when I took those photos, and look at my hand now that I have! Soft and smooth. I am very happy. Well done boyfriend!

And thank you Neal’s Yard! You can get Wild Rose Hand Cream from their website, for £10.

Bringing the beauty – a Travel Post!

I’m super excited. Tomorrow I’ll be going to New York for the first time! And then up to Canada, to stay with a friend. I can’t wait, and I thought that before I go I’d share how I roll when it comes to travelling.

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These are my essentials for hand luggage. A good book. Palmer’s lipbalm. Weleda Skin Food (for my face). Weleda Rhinodoron spray for my nose (the dry air doesn’t like my sinuses). A mini Jurlique Rose Hand Cream (luxurious and nourishing, because I’ll be using a tonne of antibac hand wipes too). Pacifica Coconut Milk Wipes (for freshening up). Urbanears Headphones (the best, and prettiest). Gin Gin ginger sweets (for ear popping purposes). Benefit’s They’re Real! (because my eyelashes are more or less see through so I need mascara at all times). Buddha Nose Girl Balm (the smell is calming and refreshing at the same time).

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I’m so glad I invested in a few new mini bottles to decant all this in. Because it went from all that…

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To just these! So satisfying. I’m going to need to wash my hair while I’m away which is annoying, because I need to use so much shampoo and conditioner I have no choice but to bring whole bottles. But being able to shink the rest of the products down to just this has helped SO MUCH. Most of these bottles came from Muji, with the exception of the Travalo perfume bottle, and the oil bottle, which actually came from a Weleda Body Oil set.

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I’ve kept it super simple with make up. To be fair, my make up routine is very simple all the time anyway, as I rarely experiment. I just decanted a couple of broken eyeshadows into my tiniest travel pots to save a little space.

So that’s it! I’m really pleased with how much space I’ve saved with those Muji bottles. Happy travels, touch wood! And if you’re going away yourself this summer, I hope you have a great time 🙂

Hand Cream Review: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Concentrated Cream

Next up in my quest for the perfect hand cream collection is the lovely Cocoa Butter Formula Concentrated Cream by Palmer’s. This is also available in their Olive Butter Formula (I would love to try that one too, but I must say I really hope they do a Coconut Milk version someday!) I feel like I haven’t been doing much beauty blogging recently – but what can I say, the jungle is a compulsive topic. I’ve recently changed almost all of my beauty routine anyway so I’m still working out how I feel about it all (feeling good though so new posts soon!)

This is a quick post because there isn’t much to say about this super simple, seriously effective hand cream. It’s easily absorbed, long lasting, and feels great going on. I love it, and I think its perfect for summer because it has that gorgeous cocoa butter scent.

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I like that cocoa extract is the second ingredient after water, because their expert use of plant butters and oils is the reason I’ve always loved Palmer’s – they’ve saved my hair and skin on countless occasions! This cream also contains vitamin C which is great for protecting the skin.

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Love the colour. This cream is really thick but light at the same time, and it absorbs so quickly. Ideal for using at your desk! It does have a slight scent of mineral oil to it, but its paraben and pthalate free – all things considered, this is a great hand cream. I find that it gives immediate relief when my hands are really dry, and it carries on working for ages. And even better…its only £2.13 from Boots!

Hand Cream Review: Neutrogena Hand Cream with Nordic Berry – and some news!

First things first, I want to introduce a new idea to the blog. I have very very dry hands, they always have been and always will be, and many of my family members are the same. In winter out hands have been known to crack until they bleed, which is always fun. Not. This has obviously led to a constant stream of hand creams coming in and out of my life, from thick natural balms to heavy duty nasties like E45 (never again). So I thought it would be nice if I review hand creams as I try them, because if they work for me they’re probably going to work for you too! I’ll also categorise them under Hand Creams so if you’re ever in the market for a new one, you can easily have a look through past reviews.

So, on to the hand cream – Neutrogena Hand Cream with Nordic Berry.

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Unfortunately there isn’t much to say about this hand cream. It does smell absolutely divine, I’ll give it that. Cloudberries must be delicious, because the Kopparberg cider with cloudberry flavouring is seriously good, and this stuff, scent wise, is gorgeous. I originally had the Nordic Berry lipbalm, which was actually really really good, but one of the ingredients was hydrogenated vegetable oil?! So stupid, putting trans fats in the one skincare products you actually end up ingesting. I threw it out as soon as I realised but I did miss the gorgeous scent, which was why I jumped on this hand cream as soon as I saw it. The cream has hydrogenated vegetable oil in it too, but I’m hoping that the absorption of product doesn’t work that way…

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It’s quite a thick, yet light cream, and takes a bit of time to absorb – as you rub it in you’re left with a thin oil that actually feels a bit like alcohol. Sounds weird, I know, but I’m just trying to describe it in detail. If you’ve ever used a dry oil like almond oil, its similar to that but not as thick. The moisturisers are actually shea butter, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and paraffin, no almond oil to be seen. As far as I can tell from the ingredients there are no parabens which is a bonus. However, although my hands are moisturised, I wouldn’t say they’re soft. The moisture doesn’t last for very long, and it leaves a slightly sticky film over my hands which is really annoying (and no, not all hand creams do this).

If you’re looking for a cheap, fairly effective, nicely scented hand cream to keep in your bag, Neutrogena Hand Cream with Nordic Berry is for you. Otherwise, its not worth the effort.

And now for a bit of news! I spend a fair amount of time talking about the Amazon Rainforest and what an amazing place it is. I get a bit paranoid that I talk too much about it actually. However, while I was there, a film crew were making a TV show, and that TV show is going to start on Sunday 1st June on BBC2 at 8pm. It’s called I Bought a Rainforest, and part of it is going to feature the reserve that I volunteered at. I’m really excited to see what Charlie and his team have made, and will be writing a few posts about the rainforest to go along with it. (FYI: I am in no way affiliated with any of the film makers, companies or the charities involved, I am doing this purely as a person with stories to tell)

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If you want to read a bit more about the show, and the area of the Amazon Rainforest that it’s set in, here’s some links:

Charlie Hamilton James

CREES Foundation

I Bought a Rainforest