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).


Miss Rubber Ducky said...

Love the honesty in your post! You're right about Body Shop products, some things are awfully overpriced for the quality payoff and I quote from the lady in my local Body Shop: "Yes but remember, you're also paying for a morally conscious brand". Ha. Yes but I'd also like to get a decent product too...

Lipstick Rules said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
UnicornSmile said...

The Body Shop used to be a morally conscious brand, now they're just l'oreal. The makeup is pure rubbish but I do like some of the creams and body washes. Great honest post. Quite refreshing.

Lipstick Rules said...

Your post gave me a lot to think about and I wanted to add to my original comment.

I appreciate your honesty here.

For myself, my motto is that regardless of whether I bought a product or if it was sent to me, I will try to give the good, the bad and the ugly about that product. I don't think though that we should assume though that just because someone got products for free that they aren't being honest.

I bought a few of the lipsticks from Body Shop and I do really like them. I agree they tend to be sheer but they feel moisturizing to me. I also bought the eyeshadow too and initially I loved it but as I've been wearing it, I realize that it is just okay. Not that super special really.


BrionyLou said...

I do love an honest post. I've never been stuck on the Body Shop make up either so I was really interested to see what the people who were invited to the event thought. Glad its not just me that doesn't rate it xx

VexInTheCity said...

I've only used the hand cream and the perfume so far. Love the perfume, and like you say teh hand cream's nothing to writ home about.

Lord knows when I'll get round to trying the lipsticks and other stuff. Maybe by Summer 2010?!

I don't go to TBS for make up anyway. I'm set in my ways regrading the brands I do and don't buy from.

Must get round to doing some reviews.

Good post x

Emma said...

Well done for being honest!

Cat@catslittleobsessions said...

this was a breath of fresh air, i was nvited along to Aussies 'project angel' but as of yet, none of these 'events' its really depressed me at times and made me feel like my blog isnt good enough so thanks for the very frank 'just cause your invited doesnt mean your special' view!! i completely agree!! xxxxxx

Nicole said...

thanks for the honesty! great post

PeachykeenCheeks said...

I think I might be the only one that isn't keen on the perfume, I loved smelling it separately, but the whole fragrance is just makes me feel a bit sick, so can't wear it!
The prices of the makeup is expensive, specially for a whole lot of shimmer! I love the brown eyeshadow trio, but the others I'm not too sure about!


Doma-Nikki said...

I really liked your honesty in this post!

I dont buy from the body shop myself either, iv only ever bought three items from the place..ever :s

Scotlass99 said...

Thank you for your honesty! It's both rare and very refreshing! I'm all for raving about a product you like (whether it was a freebie or not) but not everything is "ah-mazing"! (Or maybe I am just a cynic?!). I also agree about giving money straight to charity, thats always the best way! Oh, and the make up is completely overpriced! £9.50 for one eyeshadow, i'd rather go to Superdrug and get 2 Sleek Palettes! Lol Great post though! x

jobetterdays said...

I just tagged you for an award on my blog! x

donna AND navaz said...

Excellent points made about the PR/blogger relationship, it's so easy to get seduced by it all. Love your take on everything. Actually though, your honest opinion is surely more valuable to a brand than just saying 'isn't everything fabulous' because you feel obliged cos it was free! Now... about the price of Body Shop's Body Butters...

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