One of my favourite experiences during my career in the beauty industry was being involved in developing new products. I adored visiting the labs and getting hands on with ingredients, putting new formulas to the test and tweaking them until they were just right, even hosting day long workshops to find just the right scent. So much goes into the whole process and it’s fascinating from beginning to end, but it’s not one you can replicate yourself at home. Although brands like Lush make you feel part of the process, and names such as Concoctions helped to provide bespoke solutions that really matched your needs, until now creating your own beauty products has been either an expensive or limited experience. The Beauty Kitchen aims to change all that, helping us to create our own pampering treats in a really fun (and most importantly, affordable) way.
Starting as a little standalone Glaswegian shop over a decade ago, The Beauty Kitchen brings to life the idea of natural beauty – but without really focusing on the ‘natural’ part. Founder Jo Chidley originally studied Chemistry at university and went on to become a qualified herbal botanist, so her skills and passions have a huge impact on the way the products are made. They use only the best and most sustainable resources, even utilising discarded packaging from other brands in order to minimise negative environmental impact, with the pure purpose of helping their customers look and feel great. But that’s all supplement to the fact these products are actually really rather smashing on their own.
Available exclusively in Holland & Barrett, if you’re lucky enough to live close to one of their larger stores you can experience product creation for yourself in only a few minutes. I popped along to the flagship store on London’s Oxford Street to create my own body scrub, and I felt like a kid in a candy store: you pick your base ingredient (either rose, seaweed or orange), salt (depending upon how fine or abrasive you like it to be) and your chosen oil (either hardworking skincare ingredients or more pampering and invigorating experiences) before letting it settle and taking it home to enjoy. The ingredients smell amazing and the joy of creating something truly special and unique is unparalleled by anything else the store has to offer. Being able to see exactly what goes into your products and the simplicity of the formula is really quite refreshing, but the product itself is gorgeously pampering and effective simultaneously.
Even better is the fact the bespoke body scrub will set you back only
£12.99, meaning it’s great as a little treat or even better as a
stocking filler. The Beauty Kitchen isn’t expensive and won’t charge you a premium for the privilege of injecting a little creativity into your purchases, instead wanting to offer something fun and refreshing amongst a wall of stuffy ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ formulations that are often inferior to their techy counterparts. (I’m a firm believer that you should only trade in for ‘natural’ if the ethics or ingredients are really important to you, because pure ingredients aren’t always better than the alternative.) If that’s tickled your fancy, then you can even buy their ‘Raw Inventions’ kit – a collection of ingredients that together allow you to create your very own washes, lotions and balms. (I’m totally doing this over the festive break and reliving my childhood fantasies!)
I’ve been really impressed and intrigued by everything The Beauty Kitchen has to offer and I can’t wait to see what’s next for them in 2018. They have so many fabulously formulated beauty treats (everything from lipbalms and bath bombs, to facial serums and the best hand treatment I’ve ever tried – more on that in the future!) at affordable prices that they’re hitting that ‘discovery’ position just right. I’ve no doubt they’ll be appearing in many a Holland & Barrett customer’s basket in the months to come… But will they be in yours?
Find out more about The Beauty Kitchen on their website: www.beautykitchen.co.uk
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