Posts tagged ‘Neal’s Yard Remedies’

October 3, 2012

Space NK and leaving beauty boxes behind.

I had a subscription to one of the beauty boxes until recently. Each month, I’d get a pretty box filled with a selection of sample beauty products posted through the letter box. And for a while, it was great. I love to get exciting post, and this was a little treat just for me. But after a while, the lustre wore off the whole thing. I heard rumours that beauty bloggers were getting different products to the rest of the subscribers, purely so they could act as free PR for the companies, and then another rumour about a ‘premium, invite-only’ box, that the company were going to just make available to a select few people. Quite how they were going to decide whose £12 a month was the most deserving of this premium line, I don’t know, but it seemed a little bit of ‘us and them’ behaviour to me. Of course, these were just unsubstantiated rumours, and I’m no beauty expert, but I decided to leave.

The other thing that I really realised about the experience is how much I love to go into stores and play around with products before buying them. Even getting the samples in the post wasn’t really the same, because part of the fun for me is chatting to the staff and learning more about the products that way. So, I’m back in the stores, trying things out, and enjoying the great customer service you often find with beauty brands.

One of my favourite places to do this is in Space NK. I like that they have a range of different brands, and that the staff in my local branch all seem to be really passionate about what they do and what they sell. Maybe they’re on commission, it doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that I always feel as though I’m being treated well and leave the store with a happy feeling.

At a brilliant card holders’ event recently (where I had my hair straightened) I came away with a incredible free bag of lovely goodies, after spending enough money (on gifts and for other people, so not spending money to get freebies, which is really bad maths!) and I really don’t think it would have been bettered anywhere else. I have favourite brands elsewhere (Liz Earle and Neal’s Yard Remedies for example), and favourite brands in Space NK (Eve Lom, Darphin, Caudalie, Diptyque to mention a few) and there is room in my life for them all! I’m enjoying the process of choosing things in store again, and I don’t think I’ll be going back to a beauty box subscription any time soon.

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September 5, 2012

Neal’s Yard Remedies: Bee Lovely shower gel review

The minute my Neal’s Yard Remedies Bee Lovely shower gel arrived my daughter pounced on it, asking ‘Is this for me to share?’ Somewhat begrudgingly, I agreed. She’s been frightened of using the shower, preferring the calmness of a bath, and I thought this might be the thing to make her brave enough to give the shower a try.

I was right. She was in there for ages…

The Neal’s Yard Remedies Bee Lovely hand cream has been such a success that they’ve expanded the range to include this gorgeous honey, orange and mandarin shower gel (which can also be used in the bath but don’t tell my daughter, or we’ll be having a water shortage again) as well as a body lotion, hand wash and a multi-purpose balm. All of these are gentle enough to be used from age three upwards, which is why I’ve had to relinquish sole ownership of the shower gel. The citrus fragrance is uplifting without being too strong and used in the shower, makes for the perfect energy boost. The wake-me-up start to the day I need! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I get to use it again, because it’s rapidly become Eve’s favourite too…

As well as being gorgeous to use, 5% of the retail price of all of this range goes to support the Bee Lovely campaign and help fund a number of the charitable partners that Neal’s Yard Remedies are working with. They’re also working with Project Dirt to provide grant funds to projects working in support of bees – so if you think you might be eligible, do take a look (the deadline for applications is 30th September)

One thing that everyone can do to support their campaign is sign the petition, which needs 100,000 signatures by 30th November 2012. I really do urge you to do this, because it’s not an overstatement to say that bees and other pollinators are vital to our survival. A third of the average diet is pollinated by bees and so their disappearance would have disastrous consequences.

Earlier this year we sowed wild flowers that we got through the Friends of the Earth Bee Cause (one of the charity partners), and the brilliant little booklet that Neal’s Yard Remedies sent out to us has lots of facts and pictures. Eve has gone from being really nervous of bees to being fascinated about them, and she is already planning what we’ll grow on the allotment next year to encourage them to return. Once we’ve decided which plants to grow, I’ll share my top ten flowers for bees here on the blog. If you want to know more about why bees are so vital, do have a look at my previous post about the Neal’s Yard Bee Lovely campaign and I urge you once again to get involved, perhaps buy one of the lovely products or plant some seeds and sign the petition.

With huge thanks to Neal’s Yard Remedies for sending me the lovely shower gel to review.

April 27, 2012

Neal’s Yard Remedies: Bee Lovely hand cream review.

I have been using the Neal’s Yard Remedies Bee Lovely hand cream for a few days now and I’m really impressed with it. I have to say, I’m not surprised at all. I’ve been a fan of the company for a long time and love their Melissa and Garden Mint and Bergamot hand creams. In fact, at the moment, my daughter is using the Melissa cream to prevent her little hands from getting dry (lots of hand-washing going on!) and she loves it too.

The Bee Lovely hand cream is being sold to raise funds for three charities involved in supporting the bee population, which as I wrote about the other day, is in serious need of help. It’s a cause that I completely support, but I really wanted the product to be great too and thankfully, it is.

Its a pale cream colour, and is slightly thicker than the other Neal’s Yard Remedies hand cream we have. It has a glorious orange smell, courtesy of the essential oil and, although it’s quite thick, it’s really easily absorbed into your skin so it doesn’t leave a greasy feeling afterwards. It’s got sunflower and brazil nut oils in, to help create the softness, as well as the all-important honey!

I have been using it a couple of times each day and I’ve really loved it. Over the period I’ve been using it, I’ve definitely noticed a softening of my skin and the removal of some drier areas across my knuckles and between my fingers. Although that could be because I’m applying it so often; I’m addicted to the smell…

76% organic, with no parabens, synthetic fragrances or odours, mineral oils or other chemical nasties, this is another winning product from Neal’s Yard Remedies and I really rate it highly. So, I do recommend you either go along to your local branch of Neal’s Yard Remedies (where you can also pick up other Bee Lovely information) or have a look at their online store to buy your own tube of Bee Lovely hand cream.  Either way, please do also sign their pesticide petition and help them to save our bees!

April 18, 2012

Neal’s Yard Remedies: Bee Lovely Campaign

It’s universally acknowledged that bees are in trouble. Before you leave, thinking that it’s not really a concern to you, consider this. Approximately one third of the food we eat is pollinated by bees. So, if you’re fortunate enough to have a nourishing and varied diet, then bees are of extreme importance to you. Not to mention that alfalfa, a major crop fed to cattle, is also pollinated by bees. So, even if you’ve never willingly eaten a vegetable (I’m looking at my husband here) then bees are still vitally important.

Why are the bees in trouble? There are various contributory factors and you might have heard of Colony Collapse Disorder, where no one reason seems to be the cause but one of the major reasons they are dying is because of the use of pesticides. It’s been recognised that a group of particularly powerful pesticides, neonicotinoids (neonics), are at the heart of why the bees are disappearing. Using new technology, neonics penetrate the plant and attack the nervous system of insects that feed of them – posing a deadly threat to all pollinators. These pesticides have been banned in other countries already. The French banned neonics in 2000 after concluding through their extensive studies, that even small doses of these pesticides disoriented bees and impaired their foraging ability. Italy, Germany, Slovenia followed suit and banned sales of two varieties of neonics.

DDT is a chemical pesticide that was used widely across Britain, Europe and the US – until it was shown to have chronic effects on the nervous system, liver, kidneys and immune system. It was banned in Britain in 1984. Neonicitinoids are 7,000 times more toxic than DDT. Yet they are still being used.

If we lost the bee population, The British Beekeepers Association estimated that it would take a workforce of 30 million people just in the UK to do the pollination by hand.  This isn’t a joke. In Southern Sechuan, China, the pollination has to be done by hand as, due to overuse of pesticides, the local bee population died out.

Have I persuaded you that this is important yet? I hope so.

So, onto practical action now. What can you do? There are various ways you can get involved, thanks to the Neal’s Yard Remedies Bee Lovely Campaign.
  • You can sign this petition about the use of Neonicitinoids from Neal’s Yard Remedies. 100,000 signatures are needed before it can be taken to Parliament.
  • If you go into your local Neal’s Yard Remedies store, there are wild flower seeds (from Land Life) and a ‘Bee Lovely and Help Save The Bees’ booklet available for you to take away. These lovely resources will help you to make better choices in your own garden and help support your local bee population.
  • You can buy a gorgeous and limited edition Bee Lovely handcream from Neal’s Yard Remedies too – with a blend of organic honey, brazil nut oil and beautiful orange essential oil, not only will a percentage of the cost be donated to the charities below but your hands will thank you too!
  • You can make different choices in your garden, choose pollinating plants and flowers, leave places for bee habitat instead of being super-tidy and garden organically instead of using pesticides.
  • Neal’s Yard Remedies are working with three partner charities:
  • Land Life, who are planning on supporting a number of bee projects and raising awareness
  • Bug Life, who are running projects to support the 250 different pollinating insects threatened with extinction.
  • Pesticide Action Network, who will be creating a bee microsite on their website, which will be a one-stop-shop for anyone searching for information about pesticides and their effects on pollinating insects.
 
From today, I am starting my own ‘Margot and Barbara Bee Project. Last year I did a day of bee-keeping, and it was superb. This is the next stage!
  • As an inital step, I will be signing the petition above and adding my name to the list of people who think that these pesticides should be banned.
  • I’m going to treat myself to a tube of Bee Lovely hand cream. I’ll share my review with you here too.
  • I am going to turn over a portion of my allotment to flowers that are recognised as being good for bees. Although the bees will benefit, they in turn will pollinate my crops so I will benefit too!
  • I am also going to turn a chunk of my allotment into a wild flower area. By planting native British wildflowers from a reputable source (such as Land Life or Wiggly Wigglers) biodiversity, and therefore bumble bees, can be encouraged. Again, they will also help to pollinate my crops.
  • I’ll be investigating the possibility of joining a local beekeeping group with the long term aim of a hive or two of my own…
  • I’ll be doing a series of Bee Project posts, which will hopefully be useful and informative and perhaps persuade a few of you to join me?
Look out for more blog posts about my Bee Project and I do hope that you will also support the Neal’s Yard Remedies Bee Lovely Campaign. It really is vitally important.