Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Festive Fun With The Body Shop, A Discount Shopping Opportunity And Some Mini Reviews*

If you're a regular reader of my monthly empties posts then you'll already know that I'm a tiny bit obsessed with The Body Shop. I've been shopping there since my early teens or is it tweens that they say now? From White Musk fragrance, to Japanese Washing Grains, Kiwi Fruit Lip Balm and Dewberry everything, some of my earliest beauty memories are associated with The Body Shop. 

Although most of my old favourites are long gone, lots of new ones have taken their place, I'm a huge fan of the Tea Tree skincare line, and you'll always find at least one of their Cocoa Butter products in my bathroom cabinet. As I've mentioned on numerous occasions though, my real love is reserved for their limited edition Christmas scents, from Sparkling Ginger, to Rich Plum, Cranberry, and Vanilla Spice, I've probably tried it, loved it and then bemoaned it's demise.

Last Friday along with lots of other North East bloggers I was invited along to an evening of festive fun at The Body Shops, Eldon Square branch, right in the heart of Newcastle city centre. Normally I wouldn't have considered going shopping on Black Friday but I braved the crowds and the nightmare that was public transport and headed into town.

The store was still open to the public and given the day and the time of year it was busy, but the staff welcomed us with open arms and couldn't do enough for us. After welcoming us with soft drinks and mulled wine we were given the chance to explore the store and a chance to try out some of the new festive items. Members of staff were on hand to answer any questions that we had, and we also were given the opportunity to have a mini makeover (this is the lovely Becca having here make up done), or a hand massage.

As per usual The Body Shop have got it spot on when it comes to Christmas. Although I wouldn't say no to any of their products in my stocking, they have a fab range of gift sets and gift items ranging from just £4.

The highlights as per usual are their Christmas specific fragrances. Available in both gift sets and as individual items, this years fragrances are Glazed Apple, a sweet, apple fragrance, not dissimilar to Apple Sourz, Frosted Cranberry, a sweet yet slightly tart fruity fragrance and finally the one that's stolen my heart this year, Vanilla Brulee.

I'm a huge, huge fan of Costa's White Hot Chocolate and to me that it the smell of Vanilla Brulee. It's sweet and creamy, with just a hint of burnt sugar. It not as spicy as some of their previous vanilla festive lines, but it was love at first sniff.

I was one of the bloggers that was lucky enough to have a hand massage, and the festive scent that I chose was of course Vanilla Brulee. The assistant did the one hand challenge. My hand was soaked in the Bath Jelly, then massaged with the Body Polish, before being gently dried, and then massaged with the Hand Cream. Finally my hand massage was finished off with a squirt of the Vanilla Brulee Eau De Toilette. My hand literally felt like heaven and I just couldn't stop sniffing it!

It's no surprise then that I bought a couple of Vanilla Brulee items. Given the mountain of bath products that I have to use up and the increasingly tight timescale I couldn't justify the Bath Jelly so instead I went for the Vanilla Brulee Shower Gel which retails at £4 for 250ml

To accompany it I went for the body butter, I'm the hugest fan of The Body Shop Body Butters, and this one is no exception, crammed full of vanilla extract and cocoa butter it smells like something you want to dig a spoon into. Their body butters aren't the cheapest but they really do last. You can get a mini size gift set but the Vanilla Brulee Body Butter in this 200ml size retails at £13.

I have to say I was really good and only made one other purchase. You might have seen him earlier but I just couldn't resist.

I loved last years Gingerbread Man and I couldn't resist this Bob The Polar Bear Bath Sponge. He's just £4 and the Perry The Penguin variant is £5. Either of them would make a lovely stocking filler or even as  an extra large tree decoration.

As well as the things that I bought, the lovely people from The Body Shop also kindly gave us a bag of goodies, including some very festive shortbread and candy canes,

and a little wrapped Christmas pressie. I know some people have opened their parcels but I'm going to try and be good and keep mine for the big day :)

We also received a lovely cellophane package containing four products from some of their newest, and some of their most popular lines. I've had a little play with some of them so I thought I'd let you know my thoughts so far.

If you ask me The Body Shop Hand Creams are ridiculously underrated, in fact my mum actually prefers their rose scented one over a certain French brands equivalent

Absinthe has an almost cream, gel texture, that sinks into the hands incredibly quickly  and leaves them smooth and soft. It has quite a strong, herbal scent and whilst it could be too much for some people, I actually quite like it. It does linger on the skin, and even after chopping onions and garlic, I could smell it and not the food odours. So far so good this cream does indeed leave your hands soft, and clean.

I'm going to hold my hands up and say that this is the only product that I haven't had the chance to try. Both me and Mummy Lou have used products in the Vitamin E line in the past though and we've both been pretty impressed.

One of their oldest skincare lines and suitable for all skin types most products in the range are characterised by that light floral, almost rose scent. This cleanser feels creamy, yet non greasy on the skin and it'd definitely something that I will be trying out soon.

Although I'd fell out with lip gloss over the last few months I seem to be using it more now the colder weather is here. As the name suggests this one has a lovely vanilla flavour and scent.

It's quite sheer but it's crammed full of sparkle making it ideal for the festive season. It would look fabulous on it own for a more subtle look but personally I'll be wearing it over colours for a full on dramatic, sparkly look.

My name is Louise and I hate honey with a passion. The word honey had put me off this range before I'd even seen it in the flesh, I'm going to hold my hands up though,I was wrong and in this case I've saved the best till last.

To me Honeymania doesn't really smell of honey, instead it has a sweet, rich floral fragrance. Swirl a bit of this sticky gel into a warm running bath, and you get a bath full of bubbles with an intoxicating scent that literally filled my house. It  only goes to show that you shouldn't judge anything on it's name alone. I'll definitely be taking another look at the Honeymania range next time I'n in store.

As you can see this goodie package really does have a little bit of something for everyone and it could very easily be divided up into 3 or 4 gifts. These four items are of course available individually but if your a fellow North East beauty lover then keep on reading!

On this Thursday and Friday (the 4th and 5th December), the Eldon Square, Newcastle branch is holding a Love Your Body members event. I'm a huge fan of the scheme, you pay £5 to join, which entitles you to 10% off your purchases as well as special discounts on event days and free gifts. Shop in the Eldon Square store this Thursday or Friday and whether you're a new or an existing member you will be able to get 40% off everything and if your total spend is more than £30 after you discount is applied then you will get a free gift worth over £28. Whats in the free gift? Well it's the four products that I've just talked about. Not only that if you mention me, aka Louise, LouLouLand or LouLou699 then you will also get an extra mini goodie bag, and extra special service.

Unfortunately (sob) I'm not going to be able to make it into town this week but last weeks event has ignited my love of The Body Shop to new heights, and I'm definitely going to be stocking up on some more festive goodies before they disappear for good. Are you a fan of The Body Shops festive ranges? Leave me a comment and let me know x 

(*This Post Contains Goodie Bag Contents And Products Purchased With A Discount)

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