Sunday 15 May 2011

Eve of St Agnes

What a wonderfully poetic name for a natural skincare brand and in case you didn't know (which I didn't) it is in fact from a poem by Keats, The Eve of Saint Agnes.

So then, what has a saint got to do with natural skincare? Well, Aggie is the patron saint of virginity and it is the purity of nature that is at the heart of this natural, British brand. Obvious really! The poem references the rituals a young maiden performs on the eve of the feast of St. Agnes which is supposed to reveal in her dreams the man she will marry. Now then, I have been using the Palmarosa Nurturing Body Cream for several weeks and I'm not saying it's true, but I've been dreaming about Sir Johnny of Depp a lot recently. (I wish!)

Anyway, whether or not this range has the power to reveal to you your future husband, it is still worth a look to discover a new, very reasonably priced natural brand. 

The Palmarosa Body Cream is a very light weight, creamy, moussey kind of texture that quickly absorbs leaving skin feeling like...well, like comfortable skin. It doesn't leave you sticky, and it doesn't leave you feeling like a slippery eel either. In fact I can't really tell I've used it after several minutes, but I don't think that is a bad thing. I think that means my skin has done what it wanted with it and that's that. See, I don't have excessively dry skin and I don't really feel the need for body creams since ditching the SLS, so I can't comment on its performance for such desperately dry condtitions. But I'll still use a body cream in the name of research and this one is a kind of 'does what it says on the recyclable plastic tub' cream.  

It contains shea butter, the darling of natural body moisturisers, very rich and nourishing. Borage oil for improving elasticity, hemp oil for soothing and calming inflammation and aloe vera for even more of the same. These ingredients are the top four listed on the product, after aqua (water) which means they are in highest concentration and are therefore the most active. It smells very calming, quite a powdery sweet smell, with top notes of something or other and a base note of stuff. I'm not very good at describing smells but there is vanilla extract in there and it is very pleasant. 

Going back to that recyclable plastic tub, I like that Eve of St Agnes have taken a stance on sustainability and have aims to make all their packaging recyclable later this year. They have also phased out their use of unsustainable palm oil, the manufacture of which is having a grave impact on the deforestation of the rainforest, and have sought out suitable, sustainable replacements, like babussa oil. Very commendable.

I have also been testing a lip balm which I really want to comment on. I love the balm, which comes in a little slide - top tin, very discreet and easy to carry in pockets etc... 

Here he is nestling on the corner of Mr. Macbook. The formula is quite a hard balm that quickly softens on contact with the skin and doesn't leave lips feeling too sticky or glossy. It's very nourishing, very softening and, as the name suggests, smells like pineapple and coconut. Yum. The absence of nasty mineral oils means this balm will actually keep your lips soft and happy, as oppsoed to drying them out even further when the initial slick has worn (or has been eaten) off as so many standard balms do. I was quite impressed to find out its vegan credentials, opting for a base of almond oil instead of the common beeswax, so if you're into that then you can sleep easy with this lip balm. And maybe, if you are lucky enough you'll dream of puckering up with your very own Mr. Depp!!

Eve of St Agnes Palmarosa Nurturing Body Cream £13.50 for 175ml (currently on sale at £9.95)
Pineapple and Coconut Lip Balm £2.95 for 7ml
Available on the Eve of St Agnes website.

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