What are the perfect ingredients for a luxury bathing experience?
Heritage Bathrooms want to find out and this month I've teamed up with them as a judge in their Bathroom Chemistry campaign to put 19 different bath and beauty products to the test.
For the past couple of weeks I've been busy reviewing lotions, potions and fragrances across 5 different categories - hair treatments, bath products, face masks, scented candles and body lotions - picking out my favourites and giving each one a rating out of 5, and in today's post I'm sharing the 5 star must-have products I'll be adding to my regular bath and beauty routine.
Moroccan Oil Intense Hydrating Mask
I already use Moroccan Oil to style my hair but hadn't tried the mask before. It did a great job of improving the texture, shine and manageability of my hair and left it feeling smooth and silky. It also helped to tame some of the frizz that my colour treated hair is prone to. You need to leave it on for 5-7 minutes, so it's one to apply in the bath rather than during a quick shower.
Korres Repairing Hair Mask
This is a colour protecting, deep moisturising and repairing hair mask for colour treated hair. I haven't yet used it enough to comment on its colour protecting properties but it left my hair feeling soft and hydrated and it smells lovely.
I like the brand's natural ingredient ethos and the clean minimalist packaging too.
Moisture Seal Mineral Hair Rescue Masque by Charles Worthington
I really liked this product. My hair felt light, soft, supple and nourished after using it, but not weighted down with product. It was a close call between this and the Moroccan Oil mask which I also loved, but I've given this the higher rating because it's more convenient to use. You only have to leave it on for a minute so it's perfect for when your hair needs a nourishing boost but you are in a bit of a rush. It's also a fairly inexpensive product and the results are better than many pricier hair masks I've tried so I'll definitely be using this again.
System Professional Repair Mask Deep Hair Strengthener
Suitable for colour treated , damaged, coarse or brittle hair this does the job. My post wash hair felt soft and manageable and definitely had less frizz. My only criticism is that I wasn't sure how long I was supposed to leave it on for as there are no directions on the jar. I only left in on for a couple of minutes, but the product website recommends 5 minutes so I'll try it for a little longer next time I use it.
REN Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil
I've tried quite a few REN products recently and I've yet to find one I don't rate. I really liked this. I added just a couple of capfuls to my bath - you don't need much as a little goes a long way. Although it's an oil it didn't leave any oily residue on my skin, or the bath. It has a lovely subtle fragrance and left my post-bath skin feeling soft, supple and lightly scented.
Sensual and luxurious it's perfect for a stress relieving bath at the end of a long day when you want to unwind and calm your mind before bed. Of the 4 different bath products I tested this is the one that I'd definitely buy again.
MOA Fortifying Green Bath Potion
This is a product with a real kick. The intense peppermint smell took my breath away when I first poured it into the bath. It's definitely invigorating rather than relaxing and left my skin tingling afterwards. I'd possibly use it when I want to soak my aching muscles in the bath after a tough game of tennis, or even as a cold remedy as it certainly clears the head, but I found the smell quite overpowering and to be honest it was just a bit too much for me. I quite liked the green glass bottle it came in though.
Sanctuary Spa Luxury Bath Float
I've only given this product 3 stars because personally I'm not hugely keen on the scent of the Sanctuary range, but there are times in life when all you want is a bathtub full of sumptuous foamy bubbles, and if that's what you're after then you really can't go wrong with this.
Neal's Yard Aromatic Foaming Bath
With relaxing aromatherapy oils this is a lovely treat if you are feeling a bit tired or stressed. The soothing blend of lavender, Spanish marjoram and geranium smells amazing and is perfect for a soak at bedtime to help you get off to sleep.
Sanctuary Spa 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask
I was really disappointed with this. The warming sensation as you apply it is quite pleasant but I disliked the texture and feel of the product. Although there are some notable exceptions I do think you often get what you pay for when it comes to skincare products. This is a fairly inexpensive product and the results perhaps reflect that.
It's supposed to be a cleansing and a purifying treatment but there was no discernable improvement in the texture, feel or appearance of my skin after using it. Quite the opposite in fact as my skin flared up immediately after I removed it, so I wouldn't use it again.
Dr Bragi Marine Enzyme Intensive Treatment Mask
This fabric mask is forumulated to target redness, dehydration, loss of firmness and signs of premature ageing. It definitely helped to alleviate some of the symptoms of my rosacea and left my skin feeling plump, smooth and nourished. Perfect for when your skin needs a rejuventating boost before a special occasion.
REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask
Containing natural fruit acids to exfoliate the outer layer of the skin this mask from REN is formulated to promote cell turnover and smooth out fine lines. The sweet fresh citrusy scent- it contains extract of passion fruit, grape, pineapple and lemon - makes it an uplifting product to use and I loved the results. My skin looked brighter, radiant and healthy and felt smooth, clean and super soft.
The Daily Musts by Anne Semonin
I loved these. The creme mask soothed my rosacea prone skin and left it feeling plumper, softer and deeply hydrated. The effects were immediately visible. My skin tone appeared more even and my skin had a healthy radiant glow.
I'd definitely recommend this product as an occasional luxury treat and will be buying it again.
Wax Lyrical RHS Rose Candle
It's always nice to light a scented candle to add a sense of ritual to bathtime. With packaging that features original botanical illustrations from the RHS Lindley Library in London this candle from the RHS Fragrant Garden collection combines the delicate scent of rose with a hint of gardenia. Fresh and clean it's a pleasant fragrance that succeeds in evoking the scent of a British summer garden.
Secret Garden Candle Tin
I think of candles as decorative accessories for interiors as well as a source of mood lighting and fragrance, so I tend to be drawn towards simple glass jars with subtle minimal branding that will look good in my home.
This probably isn't one that I would choose for myself if I'm being honest as I didn't really like the packaging. The scent is floral and quite summery but it felt a bit artificial to me.
White Rose candle by The White Company
I'm a big fan of The White Company's home fragrance range and have several of their candles at home. This one has a lovely pure rose scent that feels soft, natural and enticing.
It comes in a prettily packaged and perfectly minimal glass jar and is one that I would be happy to either give or receive as a gift.
Hand & Body Lotions
Davines Authentic Moisturising Balm
I was quite intrigued by this multipurpose product which can be used in 3 different ways - as a face cleanser, a moisturing body wash or a rinse out conditioner. Initially sceptical, I was impressed when I tried it.
You apply it to your face with a cotton pad to cleanse or remove make up and then rinse. To use it as a body wash apply it to damp skin, leave it for a few minutes and then rinse off. It contains shea butter to hydrate, soften and condition and has a really lovely subtle fragrance. I haven't yet tried it on my hair but I loved how soft, clean and fresh my skin felt after using it.
I'd definitely pack this as a handy all-in-one product when I'm heading off on a trip and need to travel light.
Balance Me Revitalising Hand & Body Lotion
This has a pleasant smell and feels revitalising and refreshing. It's a fairly thick and creamy lotion and didn't absorb quite as easily as some of the others I tried. I'd probably use it as a hand cream rather than a body lotion.
I love the minimal white bottle - I'm not a fan of brightly coloured packaging in the bathroom. This fits in really nicely and is one that I'd be happy to leave out on display next to the wash basin for guests to use.
C.O. Bigelow Lavender & Peppermint Body Lotion
Originally made exclusively for hotels, this lavender and peppermint body lotion from New York based Bigelow Apothecaries has a nice light consistency and a fresh invigorating fragrance. It absorbed into my skin quickly and easily without leaving any greasy residue and left it feeling soft and hydrated.
Elemis British Botanical Body Cream
I was already a fan of Elemis products before testing this one out - their hand cream is one of the best I've come across - and I absolutely loved this body cream too.
It's made with skin conditioning milk and essential oils from ingredients grown in the British countryside including Lavender, Camomile and Geranium and has a lovely light texture. It glides on and absorbs really easily. There's no stickiness or greasiness and it leaves my skin feeling soft, silky, nourished and supple.
It smells amazing too - it has a comforting lingering lavender aroma that's absorbing and uplifting. Simply gorgeous.
Of all the products I tested for this trial, this was one of my favourites. It really did make me feel as if I'd just had a luxury spa treatment and having used this I'll probably now be tempted to buy the shower cream from the same range.
As a design blogger I don't often get asked to review beauty products, so I absolutely loved having the chance to try out so many different bathtime luxuries. I discovered several that I will definitely be buying again.
Which bath and beauty products do you love? I'd love to hear any 5 star recommendations you have.
Huge thanks to Heritage Bathrooms for inviting me to be part of this campaign. If you are planning to create your own dream bathroom you can discover more about their luxury bathroom collections here.
Styling and photography by Design Hunter in collaboration with Heritage Bathrooms as part of their Bathroom Chemistry campaign.