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Design Hunter

Bathroom Chemistry | The 5 star bath & beauty products you need to know about

Helen Powell

Home spa pamper session | Design Hunter

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.

 

Hair Masks

Korres repairing hair mask | Design Hunter
Moroccan Oil Intense Hydrating Mask review | Design Hunter

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.

Rating: 4/5

 
Korres Repairing Hair Mask | Design Hunter

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.

Rating: 3/5

 
Charles Worthington Mineral Hair Rescue Masque review | Design Hunter

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.

Score: 5/5

 
System Professional Repair Mask | Design Hunter

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.

Score: 3/5

 

Bath Products

REN Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil | Design Hunter
REN Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil review | Design Hunter

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.

Rating: 5/5

 
MOA Fortifying Green Bath Potion review | Design Hunter

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.

Rating: 2/5

 
Sanctuary Spa Luxury Bath Float review | Design Hunter

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.

Rating: 3/5

 
Neal's Yard Aromatic Foaming Bath review | Design Hunter

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.

Rating: 3/5

 

Face Masks

Home spa pamper session | Design Hunter
Sanctuary Spa 5 Minutre Thermal Detox Mask review | Design Hunter

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.

Score: 1/5

 
Dr Bragi Marine Enzyme Intensive Treatment Mask review | Design Hunter

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.

Rating: 4/5

 
REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask review | Design Hunter

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.

Brilliant.

Rating: 5/5

 
Anne Semonin The Daily Musts review | Design Hunter

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.

Rating: 5/5

 

Scented Candles

Bathtime treats for a home spa pamper session | Design Hunter
Wax Lyrical RHS Rose scented candle review | Design Hunter

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.

Rating: 3/5

 
Secret Garden scented candle | Design Hunter

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.

Rating: 2/5

 
The White Company White Rose candle | Design Hunter

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.

Rating: 4/5

 

Hand & Body Lotions

Elemis spa treatment | Design Hunter
Davines Authentic Moisturising Balm review | Design Hunter

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.

Rating: 4/5

 
Balance Me Revitalising Hand and Body Lotion review | Design Hunter

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.

Rating: 3/5

 
Bigelow Apothecaries body lotion | Design Hunter

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.

Rating: 4/5

 
Elemis British Botanical Body Cream review | Design Hunter

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.

Rating: 5/5

Balance me hand and body lotion | Deisgn Hunter

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.

The G Plan Edit

Helen Powell

Blue Hepburn chair by G Plan | Design Hunter

As one of Britain's best known furniture brands the name G Plan is almost synonomous with British interiors of the 60s and 70s when their dining tables and sideboards could be found in homes up and down the country. Still one of the UK's biggest upholstery manufacturers, in more recent years they've worked with Hemingway Design on the G Plan Vintage Collection which draws its inspiration from the iconic furniture the company manufactured during the 60s and 70s.

Their latest launch, the G Plan Edit, is a carefully curated contemporary collection of indulgent sofas and statement chairs for the modern home. The collection was inspired by a selection of Italian bouclé feature fabrics, which have just a hint of the classic Chanel jacket about them. These are complemented by stylish plain base fabrics, with bolsters and scatter cushions available in more luxe pearl or metallic accent fabrics, giving you the option to build up lots of different contrasting textures and fabrics within a single colour palette.

The designs take their names from famous figures in music, film and the arts - Lennon, Hockney, Bowie and Hepburn. The Hepburn (shown above in blue and grey) is a timeless, elegant chair designed to either work alongside other pieces in The Edit collection or sit alone as a statement piece.

Pink Bowie chair by G Plan | Design Hunter

The Bowie has a shapely silhouette, a deep inviting seat and a buttoned back.

Hockney sofa by G Plan | Desgin Hunter

The Hockney, which comes in three different sizes, features elegantly shaped arms and solid oak wooden feet (light or dark wood options are available). Arm bolsters add extra style and support and a footstool and Snuggler chair complete the range.

Cream Lennon sofa by G Plan | Design Hunter

The Lennon combines comfort with an inviting, relaxed and timeless style that will sit comfortably within a wide range of interiors.

The collection is available in a colour palette that includes neutral hues like buff, clay and smoke, as well as on trend dark blues, or coral for those who want to make a bolder style statement. Stockist information is available here.

*      *      *

Photography by Debi Treloar with styling by Marianne Cotterill.

Posted in collaboration with G Plan.

Vipp unveil a new lamp series

Helen Powell

Vipp table lamp | Design Hunter

Vipp have just unveiled their first lighting collection - a series of lamps for the table, wall, floor and ceiling.

Sharing the same function over form aesthetic as the minimal kitchen and bathroom designs for which the Danish brand is best known, the collection seeks to avoid changing fashion and trends, instead offering timeless durable designs that aim to provide a better everyday experience.

The lights are made from powder coated aluminium with stainless steel details and perforated matt glass shades that give off a pleasant diffuse light.

Vipp wall lamp | Design Hunter
Vipp spot lamp | Design Hunter
Vipp floor lamp | Design Hunter
Vipp pendant light | Design Hunter

Images: Vipp

The Hem Swedish Getaway

Helen Powell

Hem Swedish Getaway | Design Hunter

After discovering contemporary rural architecture on our Scottish road trip and falling in love with a Cornish clifftop beach house, today I'm swooning over this stunning Scandinavian getaway.

Located in Linköping, Sweden, the house was designed by architects Björn Förstberg and Mikael Ling.

In contrast to the raw corrugated steel exterior the interiors are warm and light with an exposed timber structure and natural plywood and feature furnishings and accessories from Hem including designs by Max Lamb and Form Us With Love.

Hem Swedish Getaway | Design Hunter
Hem Swedish Getaway | Design Hunter
Hem Swedish Getaway | Design Hunter
Hem Swedish Getaway | Design Hunter
Hem Swedish Getaway | Design Hunter

Architecture by Förstberg Ling and photos by Markus Linderoth.

Listening In

Helen Powell

Master & Dynamic MH40 headphones | Design Hunter

I've always thought of headphones as a 'do not disturb' sign - a tool for finding, or making, time for ourselves.

While outwardly they tell other people we are in our own world, inwardly they help us to focus, tuning out all of the noise and activity around us.

Sometimes they can be beautiful objects of design too. Ever since these MH40 headphones* from Master & Dynamic arrived in the office a couple of weeks ago I've been seizing every opportunity to carve out little creative moments in my day - rediscovering old vinyl, dancing along to Spotify while I'm working my way through the ironing, or catching up with a favourite podcast when I'm out walking the dog.

With their luxe materials and construction - buttersoft leather, a forged aluminium body and stainless steel components - they feel wonderful to wear. The memory foam earpads, which attach magnetically and have a tactile lambskin covering are a particularly nice design feature. These lift on and off effortlessly, allowing you to easily replace them or switch colours (I chose navy) to create a more personalised look. The sound's great too - rich, warm and pure.

We hear so much more through headphones, picking up all those subtle noises in a recording we don't always notice. We listen properly, immersing ourselves fully in the sound, and nourishing our imagination and creativity as we do so.

What are you listening to at the moment? I'd love to hear any recommendations you have.

MH40 headphones by Master & Dynamic | Design Hunter
Master & Dynamic MH40 headphones | Design Hunter
Master & Dynamic headphones | Design Hunter
Master & Dynamic MH40 headphones | Design Hunter
MH40 headphones by Master & Dynamic | Design Hunter
Helen Powell | Design Hunter

Styling and Photography by Design Hunter.

* Gift / review sample.