Hooray for the fact that the natural beauty market is growing! Just three years ago the Natural Beauty Summit estimated the global revenue of natural and ‘naturally inspired’ beauty products to be worth $20 billion. Gone are the days when such items were restricted to small market stalls and specialist ‘hippie’ shops, and in its place we have a host of utterly more glamorous and interesting brands emerging as the new contenders.
While this is, of course, fantastic for us as consumers, the competition pressure faced by new companies is immense. How to create something new without being a poor girl’s version of a better-known brand? It’s important to make a good product, but there’s far more to it than that; there’s the need to create an entire identity.
And this is where I’m delighted to introduce the very newly launched Ambre Botanicals. Check out their homepage and you’ll see there’s something a little different about Ambre – a first glance and it doesn’t necessarily scream ‘beauty’. The vibrant nature photography hints that this brand is about the outdoors, but it’s not until you click into the shop that you discover more.
The palette of burnt oranges, mossy greens and cobalt blues, encased in clean and understated wrappings, give an assured impression – and it’s one that lasts. Mr B, who slaves over the Buff Beauty artwork, was also highly impressed with the packaging, noting the thought and detail.
OK, now that’s enough of an introduction, I’m sure you want me to get onto some of the products…
Mango & Carrot Seed Extra Concentrated Hand Cream – £17.00 for 60ml
This rich buttery hand cream is ideal for anyone who loves the outdoors, or just hates dry hands! The mango butter and carrot seed oil ensure a host of healing vitamins and essential fatty acids that will plump up even the most dehydrated skin. A little goes a very long way, so if you’re using this in the daytime be careful not to go overboard. I personally like to let it soak in as an overnight hand treatment and find it really gives a healthy shine to dry nails.
Thirteen Fresh Oils Extra Nourishing Body Moisturiser – £21.00 for 100ml
As the name suggests, this body moisturiser is made with thirteen nut, fruit and seed oils, all combined to create a highly concentrated moisturiser. The pump allows for an easy application, with only a drop or two needed per limb! You might expect the number of oils to create quite a whiff but, with only a gentle hint of warmth, this won’t compete with your fragrance. It sinks in quickly, leaving a pretty glow. For anyone not keen on a body oil, I urge you to at least try this on your toes! Parched feet will thank you for the ultra soothing drink this summer.
Costa Del Azahar Warming & Moisturising Soap – £5.95 for 100g
I must start by saying how I love the design of the soap bars with their neat edges and imprinted logos, so very sleek I almost didn’t want to spoil mine! This particular fragrance is inspired by the orange plantations north of Valencia, with safflower, orange, clove and ginger forming the warmth. I found it took a few washes to summon the fragrance, which is only ever very soft. Those put off by the thought of drying soaps, you must try this one; your hands will be clean yet completely hydrated from the mix of cold-pressed organic oils and butters. As the last sentence would suggest, we used this as a bathroom hand soap, but it would also be excellent as an alternative to body wash. It is a creamy bar, so best used with a soap dish!
Rosemary, Thyme and Mint Invigorating Herbal Bath Oil – £18.00 for 150ml
There’s something so beautiful about a sprig of rosemary floating in nectar and with the glass bottle and papery label, this looks like the glamorous big sister to homemade beauty. This oil smells delicious, as in truly edible. Invigorating is an apt description, as the infusion has a very clearing, uplifting effect. This provides an excellent post-exercise bath, with mint refreshing achy muscles and recharging the circulation. The base oil, a concoction of castor, safflower and macadamia, leaves you with the peachiest skin, though of course watch out for a slippery tub!
Mira and Tom, Ambre’s founders, should be incredibly proud of what they have created – this company excites me for both the quality of its products and the strength and individuality of the brand as a whole. The range also includes some lovely looking skin care products, which I will be at the front of the queue to try. Please let me know what appeals to you and whether you’re also taken by what you’ve seen so far.
PLEASE NOTE: I’m currently conducting a survey to find out how you feel about your body. It’s completely confidential and will help towards a future feature. I’d be so pleased if you’d participate (You can even peek at the questions before deciding!): http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RRVNQGF
Thanks in advance, and to all those who’ve already completed the Body Review, your honesty is much appreciated.