It’s not escaped my attention that every couple of days we’re getting a bit of summer. I’m not a sun worshipper – my beach wear is more huge hat, huge sunglasses and kaftan than tiny bikini and the gentle sizzle of grilling flesh – but I love the fizzy positivity of sunshine and I do, like many English roses, enjoy the opportunity to get into bronzers and shimmering body oils when I’m getting my milk bottle limbs out in public.
I noticed that the Body Shop had recently launched their new Honey Bronze make-up range and opted for the Honey Bronze Shimmering Dry Oil and the Honey Bronze Bronzing Gel for Face.
The story is a little Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The Shimmering Dry Oil is very nice but it’s perhaps a little bit too fair. I have pretty pale skin, particularly on my legs, and I didn’t notice the hugest difference in colour. What I did notice was a very attractive sheen, a layer of healthiness if you like, easy application and a light, tropical floral fragance that wasn’t cloying or overpowering (or at all ‘self-tanny’). The oil is very light in texture so wasn’t too heavy over my usual body moisturiser or oil and it contains gold-flecked, light-reflecting shimmer particles for a healthy glow. If you want the effects of a tan, you’ll need a bronzing product underneath but this is like the statement necklace that you add to your outfit for the finishing touch.
The Bronzing Gel for Face was initially offputting as it seemed much too dark. I’m too fair to apply this neat, even as a shader. But it comes into its own when mixed with moisturiser or, better still, an SPF cream. Many of the greener physical sun screens out there, utilising titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, still cause that ‘white-out’ effect, leaving an ashy tint on the skin. I started mixing the Honey Bronze Gel with one of my current facial sunscreens (Korres Watermelon Sunscreen SPF30) and found that I could create a healthy, slightly bronzed glow and avoid the ‘seen a ghost’ ashy effect altogether. Meaning I’m less likely to scrimp on the SPF and will have better overall protection.
Now, the Body Shop are particularly good at promoting fair trade and supporting small-scale community producers – these products contain fair trade honey and beeswax – but they are now a little behind the curve when it comes to their ingredients policy. These products are no exception. There aren’t as many truly natural ingredients on the list here and I could have done without the inclusion of parfum and silica. For occasional use, these are just about ok and the price is reasonable, but I’ll be continuing my hunt for a slightly more natural range.
Honey Bronze Shimmering Dry Oil (£16) and the Honey Bronze Bronzing Gel for Face (£11) are both available in Body Shop stores and at thebodyshop.co.uk.
Ingredients (Shimmering Dry Oil): Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Emollient), Isononyl Isononanoate (Emollient/Skin Conditioner), Mica (Opacifier), Silica (Absorbent), Bertholletia Excelsa Seed Oil (Emollient), Persea Gratissima Oil (Emollient), Parfum (Fragrance), Cera Alba (Emulsifier/Emollient), Tocopheryl Acetate (Antioxidant), Benzyl Salicylate (Fragrance Ingredient), Mel (Natural Additive), Amyl Cinnamal (Fragrance Ingredient), Linalool (Fragrance Ingredient), Tocopherol (Antioxidant), Hydroxycitronellal (Fragrance Ingredient), Geraniol (Fragrance Ingredient), Eugenol (Fragrance Ingredient), Benzyl Benzoate (Solvent), Citronellol (Fragrance Ingredient), CI 77491 (Colour), CI 77891 (Colour), CI 77499 (Colour).
Ingredients (Bronzing Gel): Aqua (Solvent/Diluent), Ethylhexyl Palmitate (Skin Conditioning Agent), Dimethicone (Skin Conditioning Agent), Phenyl Trimethicone (Emollient/Hair Conditioner), Glycerin (Humectant), Steareth-2 (Emulsifier), Steareth-21 (Emulsifier), Mica (Opacifier), Caprylyl Glycol (Skin Conditioning Agent), Cera Alba (Emulsifier/Emollient), Mel (Natural Additive), Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer (Emulsion Stabiliser), Magnesium Aluminum Silicate (Viscosity Modifier), Phenethyl Alcohol (Fragrance Ingredient), Isohexadecane (Emollient/Solvent), Cetyl Alcohol (Emulsifier), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Skin Conditioning Agent), Sodium Hydroxide (pH Adjuster), Xanthan Gum (Viscosity Modifier), Polysorbate 80 (Surfactant), Caprylhydroxamic Acid (Chelating Agent), Disodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Sorbitan Oleate (Emulsifier), Sodium Hyaluronate (Humectant), CI 77492 (Colour), CI 77491 (Colour), CI 77891 (Colour), CI 77499 (Colour).