The bath and beauty department is getting a bit of a re-jig for spring with lots of lovely new brands on the way. First up is Tangent GC, arriving in full spring clean style with their range of beautifully simple and natural products made in Sweden.
GC stands for 'Garment Care', something we've become woefully bad at in the age of mass production, according to co-founder David Samuelsson. Tangent GC have thus made it their business to "provide a superior range of garment care products that will naturally and effectively give your garments a long life."
We're stocking their delicate liquid detergent with orange oil as well their organic hand soaps. We've sampled a fair few hand soaps in our time and these are very, very good.
Soap & Paper is our go-to range for a bit of a pick-me-up, especially at this crazy time of year. Rummage behind any counter and you'll likely find a stash of their lovely hand cream or lip balm. Here we have a peek behind the scenes for a sprinkling of festive magic from NYC.
In 2011, French entrepreneurs Boris Gratini and Lilian Monnier focused their attentions on nail polish, and the idea of “leaving the world of cosmetics and getting closer to the world of fashion”. They wanted to be kind to the environment and make their products in France from start to finish. They wanted great colours free from nasty chemicals. And first and foremost, they wanted to sell their nail polishes from vending machines.
And so started Nailmatic, and probably the most fun, friendly and fashion forward nail polishes out there. We haven’t got one of their cool vending machines but we do have shelves stocked with their grown-up polishes (great colours, solvent free, phthalate free, formaldehyde-free); a nail polish remover that actually smells nice (lavender and 100% natural); plus their kids range featuring polishes (removable with just warm, soapy water) and rollerball lip-glosses (glittery and made from apricot kernal oil). A whole lot to love right here.
We are absolutely always on the lookout for new and interesting. So imagine how delighted we were to find Nathalie Bond Organics on a recent scouting/spying/buying mission: a skincare brand made from 100% organic raw plant ingredients, produced in the UK and beautifully packaged. This is a small, but growing, family business run by Nathalie and her husband Andrew and all the products are handcrafted in their workshop in Sheffield.
Nat's pregnancy in 2013 marked the start of the company. She became increasingly sensitive to synthetic chemicals in mass produced bath and beauty products and began to create her own simple soaps, balms and candles using only natural ingredients which could be safely absorbed by the skin and weren't harmful to the environment.
The company remains very conscious of their wider responsibilities. A percentage of profits are donated to World Vision to help children in some of the poorest communities in the world.
Nathalie Bond Organics skincare products and candles are available instore and online now.
Our new love. All the way from the coast of Sweden where the sun shines bright and the wind blows strong. No, we're not talking about some rugged blonde. This is skin care, people, very scrummy skin care designed for the likes of fishermen, surfers and sunworshippers... and sorts like us who know a good body lotion and salt scrub when they see one.
In this case, all 'low-tech' and mostly organic, crafted from high quaity, beautifully scented botanics, waxes and oils. We've got liquid soaps and lip balms through to shampoos and scrubs in coriander and black pepper, sage, rosemary and lavendar, lemongrass, and cucumber and mint. No need to try and pronounce the name, just follow your nose.
Noses to attention please. Here's welcoming Bella Freud's fragrance range to the bath and beauty department. Created in collaboration with renowned ‘nose’ Azzi Glasser, the collection is inspired by Bella's signature slogan sweaters - Je t’aime Jane, Ginsberg is God and 1970 - and features both perfumes and candles.
On the perfume front, Je t'aime Jane is the 'free spirit with a guitar, a baby and long bare legs' - an ultra girly scent combining jasmine night flower, ylang ylang and orange blossom. Meanwhile, 1970 is 'the girl dancing til dawn on the beach', a heady blend of vetiver, frankincense, patchouli and sandalwood. Now we're never going to be that girl but we've got a nose for a good fragrance and we're always a sucker for a chic perfume bottle.
Over with the candles, the line-up continues with Ginsberg is God (a poetic, unisex aroma blending fig leaf and fresh tomato), Lion (fiery notes of Poivre, Star Anise and Nutmeg) and the Bella Freud signature candle (smoked Incense from Morocco with cedar wood, amber and myrrh). All natural poured wax, of course, and the matt black candle votives a deserving mantlepiece fixture.
Has to be the colour of the season in womenswear. From candy to peachy to fluro, there's a shade here to suit every style and skin tone.
01 Rivieras | 02 0039 Italy Shirt | 03 J Brand Jeans | 04 Necklace | 05 Beck Sondergaard Scarf | 06 Paul & Joe Nail Polish
Dr Bronner makes soap. Magic All-One soap. Organic, fair trade, biodegradable, sulfate free and vegetable based pure castile soap for 18 different uses. Suitable for washing face, body, clothes, pets, muddy vegetables and even for brushing teeth, these soaps have been certified as safe to eat by the US Department of Agriculture (though why whould you?). Dr Bronner himself is no longer with us but his eccentric philosophy (transcendent unity across religious and ethnic divides anyone? Planetariums as the 'All-One' temples of the future?) remains printed on each and every bottle.
We have a Christmas survival kit stashed behind the counter and it contains Haribo, Diet Coke, Berrocca and the thing we really couldn’t do without - Rosebud Salve. Hats off to Dr. Smith who developed the “all purpose family salve” in his Maryland drugstore in 1895 because we don’t think it’s ever been bettered for smell, consistency, finish and all round usefulness. Here's what to do...
1. Slather generously on cracked knuckles, parched lips, under sore noses, around tired eyes or any bit of skin starved of moisture.
2. Use instead of lipgloss or over lipstick. It gives a lovely dewy effect without being sticky.
3. Smooth over eyebrows to tame an unruly brow line while also giving sheen.
4. Apply sparingly to tresses to combat fly-away or frizzy hair.
5. Dab a small amount on cheek bones, shoulders or collar bones for a subtle accent.
6. Use as a base under eye shadow to help hold the look.
7. Work into cuticles to soften them.