Friday, 11 September 2009

Honest review: Body shop.

Blogger events held by PR companies remind me of men. They take you out for the day, buy you a drink, get you something to eat and give you some presents at the end of it all in the hope that you will put out for them. Now whilst I love free things (who doesn't?!) I always feel obligued to be super nice to a company, but I have decided not to be a PR company's whore and give my honest opinion about products I am sent to review, so here is my open and honest opinion of the body shop products that I have been asked to try out. Enjoy :-)

I wanted to talk about this in one giant post because I imagine most of you are fed up with the whole 'ooo it was so amazing, look at all the free stuff I got!' posts. Because it is a kick in the teeth. It's shit when you don't get invited to something, it turns blogging competitive and into a popularity contest. Just remember that these events aren't about blogging, they are about cheap PR and promotion. I can understand why cosmetic's companies do it, heck I would do it if I were them! But whether it is worthwhile business wise I'm not sure.

Anyway: The body shop.

The body shop had a couple of things to promote; firstly their new make up collection, secondly their soft hands kind hearts hand cream and finally a new perfume called love etc.

So let's start with the make up. The main reason we were there was so they could promote their new 'autumn trend' (hmm, original name) make up range. In this range are some pearlesant shadows, blushes and eyeliners, as well as a whole load of lippies. My initial thoughts of the make up were not inspired. The eyeliners everyone had been complaining about after picking up the free ones in a magazine (can't for the life of me remember which one) and the two shadows and two blushes didn't exactly blow me away.

So let's have a look at some product swatches.

*Blush trios in warm dusk and cool sunset

*Eyeshadow trios in sundown glow and moonlight lustre. My look with moonlight lustre below (how awful do my eyebrows look? It's no wonder I got dumped, those things are a crime against beauty.)

Yes they are sparkly, but nothing amazing. To be honest I have never been overly impressed with the body shop's make up range. I love their brushes, but everything I have ever purchased I have soon forgotten about. Of course when make up artist Chase Aston did a demo of the make it it looked amazing (of course) but just because Kate Moss looks great in a mini dress doesn't mean I will.

I applied the blue eyeshadow trio using my fingers (as chase did) over my lid in above pic. As you can you can create an entire look with the 1 product, darker colour on the outer corner, going lighter on the inside. In fact the formulation of the shadows and blushes are nice, creamy, pigmented and there is very little fallout of 'chalkiness'. I have to admit that I have used the sundown glow trip a lot lately, I just use my fingers to apply it to my lid for work and top it off with some winged eyeliner (I can't leave without some liner, love it).

But of course the ultimate question is would I buy these myself? The answer is no. Yes they are nice shadows, and if they were part of a drugstore brand collection for around £5 I would probably be interested, but as it stands they are way overpriced at £9.50 each (the blush's are £12.50). Part of the problem is the packaging. It's clearly cheap plastic and feels flimsy. If I am paying nearly £10 for a shadow I want something with a bit of glamour and luxury, quite frankly I think TBS are missing a trick here.

Another new range we got to see were the lippes. The colourglide collection is designed to be moisture rich and provide lasting colour. Now out of all the make up products I think these are certainly worth a look at. There's a whole range of colours and the price isn't too scary (£8 each, but have just been on the website and they are on sale for £6 right now). These do what they say on the tin, they are very glossy and glide on easily. However, I'm not so sure about the 'rich' part - the formulation is very sheer so pigmentation is not strong at all.

This is number 58, a really rich deep red with a hint of purple. As you can see the amount of pigmentation lost in the swatch is immense, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, for those looking to try darker colours but a bit scared of going the whole hog this is a nice in between colour.

Finally (yeah I'm nearly done)

We were given some hand cream and perfume to try out.

The body shop soft hands kind heart hand cream has had a lot of press lately, even Ashton Kutcher was tweeting about it. Now for every sale a donation is made to ECPAC which raises money to stop sex trafficking of children and young adults. Pretty darn good cause. However I'm not letting that interfere with my view of the product. I am a totally cynical about beauty campaigns and charity and would rather give my money direct to a charity than have 90% of money made go to the company itself, but I guess that buying these products is a lesser of two evils in some way. I am in some way annoyed at the body shop - with loreal more precisely - since it was taken over the campaigning history and focus Anita Roddick brought to the company is not there any more and I can't help but feel this is all a bit of a marketing ploy (gah, when is anything not).

Anyway, the hand cream itself. Well it isn't anything special. It has a nice fresh non-perfumed fragrance and isn't too greasy so is absorbed into the skin easily. It won't change your life, but it will stop you having dry hands.

Ok, last product (gold star if you made it this far) is the love etc perfume. This retails for a very reasonable £16 for a 50ml bottle of eau de parfum (not toilette) and the scent is lush. It's floral, with a hint of citrus and I was bloody impressed. Apparently it was mixed by world famous perfumers yet whether TBS brought the formula from someone or had it made themselves I'm not sure. Either way, go try this stuff - I reckon you will love it.

So have you tried/been sent any of these products to try? What do you think of them, are they good, bad and how much do you reckon getting the product for free interferes with your review?

Final note:

Sorry I have been away, been busy with life lately (not always for good reason) but I have just had something leave my life which means I will have a lot more time and energy to blog. Fantastic :-)

FYI: I shall be reviewing the illamasqua dystopia collection soon (just as soon as I can get my hands on the products).