I have to admit that four weeks ago, at the beginning of lockdown, I couldn’t bring myself to even apply a moisturiser, let alone write about it. After initially reeling in shock about how fast life was changing, and worrying about what was to come, I realised how lucky I was: I had a warm and cosy home, a large garden, we were all safe and well. While the worries are still there, and the odd moments of sheer panic, thoughts have inevitably turned to what to do in this time that we have apart from others – apart from keeping safe, that is.
As a journalist, most of my work has gone, so I am left with time on my hands (although, bizarrely, the days – filled with chores and activities with the kids – seem to go by in flash). I am not alone – many are in the same position. But, many are in a far worse position and that I am very aware of. For me, I decided that in a situation which we have no power over, grasping back control over how we feel, is a good step forward. The world is still turning, and will return, I keep telling myself, and if a body lotion or caring hand cream, makes us feel better even if it is for just a moment, then why not talk about it?
That’s what my new series – Power in Pampering – is about – a tiny way to feel a bit better about your day, in a world of unknowns. History has shown that when the world faces crisis – the beauty industry peaks. WWD reports that: “In the prestige beauty category, online sales — normally 20 percent of the U.S. business — went up by 47% the week of March 28, capturing about 90% of total beauty spend, according to the NPD Group.”
So, the message is: in a crisis, don’t forget your sense of self. If a swipe of red lipstick makes you feel better, pout away. If applying a beautifully-scented hand cream adds a moment of joy, then why not? This is not to play down the seriousness of what everyone is going through or ignore the realities, it is meant as a tiny diversion.
Last week, I profiled the following products on my Instagram (@angelinavillaclarke) so here’s a recap.
This gorgeous Royal Garden Soap Petal Set from Baylis & Harding will scent your bath like a fragrant summer meadow. They also hydrate and clean skin, leaving it soft and dewy. Best of all, they bring a sense of prettiness to your bath-time routine and an element of joy. They are available for £10, from Amazon.
The Royal Garden series also includes some other sweet items, such as the Luxury Wash Bag, which was £25, but is now reduced to £15 on Amazon. This contains a Shower Gel, Shampoo and Body Lotion, scented with a floral fragrance with rose, poppy and vanilla notes. The bag itself is so gorgeous – with a romantic design showing petals and butterflies.
The Soap Set, of three wrapped soaps, £5 from Amazon, is also really cute, especially during this time when clean hands are essential.
Next up is Tropic’s Super Greens Nutrient Boost Oil, £42.
This is like a shot of healthy greens – kale, broccoli, tamanu oil and green coffee are just some of the ingredients – for the skin. It is packed with vitamins and nutrients that help fight the effects of everyday pollution.
It works at reducing redness as well as calming irritated, sensitive and blemished complexions, with the oil feeling luxurious and indulgent to use. The overall effect is that skin is left looking younger and more healthy. Use 3-6 drops as a first step each morning, before a serum, leaving it a few minutes to sink in., this luxurious oil promotes a bright, healthy, younger-looking complexion that’s full of vitality.
This gorgeous Liquid Hand Wash, £10.80, from Branche D’Olive has been one of my ‘lifesavers’ of late.
The British lifestyle brand has just re-launched with a renewed focus on sustainability, it is also currently supporting the NHS by raising money for the charity Duty To Care which aims to provide wellbeing support to the NHS staff, by donating 10% of the sales from every Olive hand wash and every hand cream sold.
The new relaunch includes a reformulation to all the brand’s products (which are 96.6% naturally derived), plus the Olive body range now comes in 100% recycled bottles and the new packaging uses sustainably sourced, World Land Trust carbon balanced paper. In addition, the brand has a new minimalist look, as well as a revived website https://branche-dolive.com.
The hand soap leaves hand subtly scented with a fragrant perfume – which is fresh and clean, stays on the hands for hours. It also hydrates and the rich formula has revived my dry skin.