Today I’m going to try something a little different on Emm in London. I often talk about my adventures in London and what I get up to here but I rarely blog about the day to day stuff. Back in 2008 when I began this blog, I often wrote about my search for a decent hairdresser or beauty salon, lamenting on how much more affordable these things were in South Africa. As I became more settled, I finally found people I could both rely on and afford and so I no longer felt the need to write about these things.
That all changed in January of this year when I decided to go completely animal-friendly in my cosmetics. This is not a judgement on what other people choose to buy nor am I trying to preach about the virtues or legitimacy of vivisection, but I took one last look at a shampoo advert and decided that while I may be worth it, my vanity certainly isn’t.
I began to look out for the leaping bunny logo on all the products I buy. I must say, Superdrug and Sainsbury's have been lifesavers when it comes to the basics (all of their own-brand products proudly sport the leaping bunny logo) but the idea is to support those brands who are making the choice not to test on animals.
I was therefore thrilled to discover the Burt’s Bees Pop-Up Hive in Seven Dials, Covent Garden. Burt's Bees celebrated their 30th anniversary this week. Back in 1984, artist Roxanne Quimby hitched a ride from beekeeper Burt Shavitz and they immediately hit it off. Burt was well known in Maine, USA for his roadside honey stand and soon Roxanne began making candles from the unused wax from Burt’s hives. After launching their famous lip balm in 1991, Burt’s Bees relocated to North Carolina in 1994 to focus exclusively on health and beauty care.
Burt’s Bees went global in 1999 and the Burt’s Bees Pop-Up Hive in London is the first UK Brand Store. The pop-up was originally only meant to stay open for 8 weeks from May 1st but has been so successful that they have extended the opening dates until January 2015.
Burt’s Bees is a green brand and are proud to send zero waste to landfill. They have been instrumental in drawing attention to the plight of bees worldwide and in 2012 launched their Wild for Bees campaign. Most importantly, for me, Burt’s Bees joined the Leaping Bunny programme in 2008 and do not test their products on animals.
So what of the products themselves? I was sent a whole loot of products to review and am going to tell you about some of the most notable of these. As is always the case, I promise to share sincere and honest opinions with my readers.
Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream 15g £5.99
This product should really come with an instruction not to eat it because that is the first thing I wanted to do when I smelled the lemon buttery goodness emanating from the tin. In fact, it was all I could do to put the cream onto my cuticles where it belonged and not slather it on my lips, such was my compulsion to eat it. My cuticles loved this cream and looked infinitely more healthy after I layered two thin coats of cream on them. This product is a winner.
Burt Bee’s Radiance Eye Cream with Royal Jelly 14g £19.99
This was the first product I went for when I received my loot because I have been looking for a decent eye cream for some time. While I have naturally dark eyes due to my Mediterranean heritage, I have noticed that my under eye area has been especially baggy, puffy and almost spongy in texture lately. I used the Radiance Eye Cream for two weeks so that I could give the best possible idea of how the cream works and I can confirm that the improvement over this period was definitely noticeable. The skin directly under my eyes appears far more elastic and healthy now and that horrible spongy texture is gone. I’ve also noticed an improvement on my eyelids and my eyes feel more comfortable. The price does seem quite steep but I did notice that I use far less of this cream than any other eye cream I’ve used before.
Burt Bee’s Radiance Day Cream with Royal Jelly 55g £19.99
Strangely enough, this was the only product I didn’t really like which is surprising because ,any of the ingredients are similar to the eye cream above. The cream felt quite oily going on but then left my skin feeling tight and in need of moisture. This is one of the reasons why it is always important to sample products before you buy, even if they are from the same range.
Burt Bee’s Hand Salve 85g £9.99
This is a really interesting product and is described as an everyday miracle for rough, dry hands. The product has very little scent except for a faint odour of lavender and it includes 100% natural ingredients such as beeswax, sweet almond, olive, rosemary and sunflower. It has the consistency of a balm and you apply a very thin layer to your hands. I have to admit – it is very much like a miracle and gave my hands a lovely silky feel without making my eczema flare up.
Burt Bee’s Tinted Lip Balm in Caramel Daisy 4.25g £5.99
I have to admit that this is my favourite product, in the whole world, ever. It is absolutely divine and not only does it keep my lips moisturised for hours after application, it does so with just the hint of matt colour. I love that I don’t need to wear lipstick with this product and I will definitely be exploring some of the other eight shades in the range.
Will I be buying Burt’s Bees products in the future? Definitely. The cuticle cream, eye cream and tinted lip balm will most likely be permanent features in my regime in the future and the hand salve looks like it will last forever anyway. I love the company’s focus on natural products and their views on sustainability and so this is a company that I feel comfortable with showing loyalty to going forward.
Burt’s Bees Pop-Up Hive
Do you have special requirements when buying products? What lengths do you have to go to in order to meet those requirements?