Tester comments on Botanicals body polish

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body-polish-200wdIt’s always great to receive customer reviews on our products. But in many ways, it’s even more interesting and valuable to hear the views of independent testers.

Our customers will usually know our products and like what they offer. For many independent reviewers, it will often be the first time they have have tried them. And they will also be comparing them to a whole range of similar products – with a particularly critical eye.

All three of the products we entered for the 2014 FreeFrom Awards won silver. We were told they all missed out on the top prize by just one or two marks. But since we won ‘Best Brand’, we really can’t complain. Here’s a selection of the independent testers’ comments on our Revitalising body polish: (View the product on our website.)

“Great morning shower product but a real luxury too! In my opinion it was just right; the crystals are said to penetrate deep into the skin and stimulating tissue. I would say this is a very accurate account. Sometimes beads or crystals can scratch the skin – this one didn’t! No irritation or sensitivity experienced. I would buy this product.
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FreeFrom 2014: the judging process

Wendy (left) receiving her gold award from Janey Lee Grace.
Wendy (left) receiving her gold award from Janey Lee Grace.

Wendy (left) receiving her gold award from Janey Lee Grace.

Many thanks to everyone who sent us messages of congratulations following our gold-plated success at last week’s FreeFrom Awards.

Getting the ‘Best Brand Award’ was the most important prize and accolade. But winning silver for all three products we entered was also just amazing. Especially considering there were more than 260 entries from over 100 brands.

Speaking after the event, FreeFrom Skincare Awards Co-ordinator Alex Gazzola said:

“Botanicals are deserved winners of the Best FreeFrom Brand 2014. They produce beautiful handmade products, in which natural botanicals and plants are allowed to shine.

Our judges admired the purity of the formulations, their labelling, their whole ethos and philosophy, and their shortlisted products performed exceptionally well during month-long testing – both this year and last year, in fact.

I think we would struggle to find any product among the Botanicals range which was less than excellent.”

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Best FreeFrom Skincare Brand!

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freefrom-2014-logoWe’re absolutely delighted to announce that Botanicals has won the ‘Best FreeFrom Skincare Brand’ award for 2014. This prestigious award was presented to Wendy by Radio 2 broadcaster and best-selling author, Janey Lee Grace, at the ‘Love Natural, Love Organic Show’ in London yesterday.

Selected from a long and illustrious list of companies offering natural skin care products – including Green People, Weleda, Neals Yard Remedies, and even Waitrose – here’s what the judges said about Botanicals:

“Beautiful handmade products, in which natural botanicals and plants are allowed to shine, and which always perform exceptionally well in testing. A 10th anniversary redesign has modernised this vegan and organic brand. Bronze medallists in this category in 2013, they are deserved winners in 2014.

We entered three products into this year’s awards – and each won silver. The judges told Wendy that they only failed to reach the top spot by just one or two marks. But we can’t be disappointed by that. It was an amazing result – especially considering the size and scale of the competition.

Here are the three products we entered, with some the judges’ remarks; (click a heading to view the product on our store).
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Therapist profile: Rhian Thomas

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Gateway Workshops offer a wide range of courses and worshops for beauty therapists. Their tutors both use and recommend Botanicals, and appreciate the benefits of using products made from natural and organic ingredients. Rhian Thomas (below left) has her own central London salon and is an experienced Gateway tutor. We asked her why she likes Botanicals…

Rhian with some of her favourite Botanicals products.

Rhian with some of her favourite Botanicals products.

I’ve been using Botanicals products within my facials for over four years now. I love the fact that they are organic and have the Soil Association trade mark. The products feel lovely on my clients’ skin, and people are always saying how much they like the feel and smell of them. They are always easy to work with, and work with all skin types. The customer service is always excellent, with nice and quick delivery. I cannot praise Botanicals as a company enough.
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Making changes and creating offers

Out with the old and in with the new!
Out with the old and in with the new!

Out with the old and in with the new!

As regular Botanicals customers may know, we’ve decided to celebrate our 10th anniversary with a complete design makeover.

We’re also making lots of changes to our range by launching some exciting new products, reformulating others, and discontinuing some of our less popular items.

A good example is our lemongrass and ginger body scrub. Wendy has completely reformulated it, giving it a less greasy feel, making it more ‘rinsable’, and less slippery in the shower. The new formulation has just been shortlisted for this year’s ‘FreeFrom Awards’ (see previous post). Click here to view the new body polish on our website.
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Shortlist success at the FreeFrom Awards

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Our short-listed products.

Our three short-listed products.

free-from-2014-shortlisted-logoWe entered three products for this year’s ‘FreeFrom Skincare Awards’, and we’re delighted to announce that all three have been shortlisted.

This means they’ve been selected from many other natural skincare products as potential prize-winners. And will now be sent on to a team of 10 Beauty Bible testers for a month-long, in-depth evaluation.

Last year we entered three products and won two silver awards, and had another shortlisted. We also won a Best Brand award. So our record so far has been pretty good.

This year’s shortlisted products are our ‘Gentle cleansing melt‘ in the Face care (take off) category. Our ‘Revitalising body polish‘ in the Body care (take off) category. And our ‘Foot softening balm‘ in the Hand, nail & footcare category.

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New look to celebrate our 10th anniversary

Our new look.
Our new look.

Our new look to celebrate our 10th birthday.

Botanicals was born in 2004. During the last 10 years, our completely natural and organic skincare products have won both consumer praise and industry awards. To celebrate this important anniversary in style, we’ve decided to create a fresh and eye-catching new look.

Choosing the right design hasn’t been easy. We’ve looked at lots and lots of ideas, ranging from Victorian floral to modern minimalist. We’ve spoken to colour consultants and branding experts. We’ve even had a dedicated Pinterest board to get instant feedback.

We soon discovered that everybody has had different ideas of what they like – and don’t like. But we feel the design we’ve finally chosen is both elegant and simple. And more importantly, it reflects our ethos – focusing on the apothecary nature of the company, and the emotional, physical and holistic benefits of our products. And it allows the products to speak for themselves, rather than cloaking them in over-dressed packaging.
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Give your skin a spring clean

brighten your skin

Spring clean your beauty routine by treating yourself to one of Botanicals’ anti-ageing facial serums for instantly fresher-looking skin. And this weekend we’re offering a special, money-saving promotion.

brighten your skin

Brighter, fresher-looking skin

Infused with a powerfully potent blend of high-performing botanical oils and extracts to help fade and prevent the signs of ageing, they come in two varieties.

Customers with sensitive skin tell us they love the skin-soothing properties of our super-powerful Chamomile & mandarin anti-ageing facial serum. And those with dry and mature skin say our Rose & camellia serum leaves their skin feeling hydrated and fantastic.
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Botanical changes on the way

The nightmare of EU red tape.
The nightmare of EU red tape.

The nightmare of EU red tape.

It’s been four long months since we last posted on our blog. And that’s a ridiculous state of affairs in these internet-obsessed times. So it’s not surprising that many of our loyal therapists and customers were starting to wonder what’s been happening – or not happening – on the Botanicals front.

One reason is that we’ve been tied up in knots by EU red tape. It’s a long and frustrating saga, and we won’t bore you with details. But the EU – in their infinite wisdom – decided that anyone selling cosmetics and bodycare products had to comply with a long list of new regulations, involving lots of very complicated form-filling. And all done online at a website that kept crashing.
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Therapist profile: Liz Simha

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liz-simhaIn another of our popular series featuring complimentary therapists, ex-teacher, Liz Simha (right), explains what led her along this path, and why she uses Botanicals products in her range of treatments…

Tell us a little about yourself and your business

My name is Liz Simha and I am the owner of Staines Reflexology, where I provide a range of personalised, holistic treatments with an emphasis on improving client wellbeing.  I am a qualified Reflexologist and Holistic Massage therapist and I have a particular interest in women’s health, pregnancy and stress.

As the name of my business would suggest, I am based in Staines in Middlesex where I work mainly from home, as well as offering a mobile service in the local area. At the moment I work mainly evenings and weekends as I am at home with my two young children, but this is about to change as my son starts pre-school next month so I will have more time available to develop my therapy business. This is an exciting time for me.
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