I've been wanting to try PHB Ethical Beauty for a while. They are cruelty-free, vegan, handmade in the UK and give 20% of their profits to charity.
You can't go wrong really although the price is a sticking point for me. So is the postage. I hate shopping at websites where you have to spend £30 or £40 for free delivery. Anyway, I decided to buy Christmas presents from PHB and get samples for myself and a free gift into the bargain.
For my other half, I bought the Gentlemen's Natural Soap and Gentleman's Body Wash with Black Pepper, Spearmint and Lime. The soap is palm oil free and made with shea butter, ginger and lime. He raved about this. He's one of those odd bods that prefers to wash with soap rather than shower gel. I had a go of it myself and I love the fragrance and the feel of it. Would definitely repurchase this for him and would try one of the other scents for myself. As for the body wash, my significant other said it was good, but he preferred the soap. The wash smells very minty and refreshing. As I like to say, man-ish.
Safflower and Calendula Mother and Baby Soap for a friend of mine who is expecting as I won't buy Johnson and Johnson. A stocking filler for my son's childminder was the
Orange and Lime Sugar Scrub. This comes in a little cardboard box that isn't sealed so I had a sniff of it and it was just lovely. I would definitely buy it for myself. Then I bought the Brighten and Volumise Hair and Body Mini Set for my mum.
With my order I got 2 free samples, plus one I bought myself, plus a free gift of 3 products. The Anti-Aging Gel Serum with Organic Rose and Sea Buckthorn was a little sachet that did a few applications. I used it instead of my normal serum for a few nights. It felt nice going on and was quickly absorbed. I also liked the scent even though it was quite strong. The second sachet was the Balancing Face Wash with Rosemary and Mint. I read this wrong when I ordered it. I don't have the need of a balancing wash as my skin is very dry rather than oily. However, it feels very greasy when I get up in the morning and I do have blemishes so I tried this. The wash had that strong herbal smell like the rest of the products. My skin was squeaky clean after it and I mean literally squeaky. It didn't feel dry, just nice and soft. It's a disappointing sample size, barely enough for 2-3 uses, so it remains to be seen whether long term use of this would make my skin dry. But yes, first impressions, I liked it.
Botanical BB Cream in Porcelain. I am as pasty as pasty can be and that rarely changes in summer. Many brands don't do foundation/concealer/powder light enough for me so it is always a challenge to find something. A lot of time in the mornings I don't have time to apply foundation before work and often choose to use either just a primer or a BB cream I can swipe on hurriedly. The last BB cream I had was Garnier which I have now stopped using since I went cruelty-free. It was rather thick, a bit too dark for me and needed a sponge to apply. I didn't know what to expect with this but was completely amazed. It is the perfect colour, light and easy to apply with the fingertips. It gives full coverage around the red areas on my nose and chin and it doesn't cake at all. I was absolutely sold on this from the first time I applied it and I asked my other half to buy me a full size for Christmas.
It is £18.95 at PHB's website but I found it for £12.95 at Love Lula so he bought it from there. Unfortunately it is no longer on sale there, although the site is definitely worth checking out in general as they have some great brands there.
Finally, I got 3 free products from PHB as part of a Christmas promotion. The Restoring Hand Cream with Rosemary and Chamomile contains shea butter and tamanu oil (this is a new one on me) and no palm oil. I have yet to try this. I already have two hand creams on the go and being a natural product, I don't want to open this until I'm sure I can devote full attention to using it up before it goes off. The Anti-Aging Moisturiser with Monoi Oil and Gardenia is a 15ml size which is actually generous enough for plenty of uses. It has a strong perfumy smell which I didn't mind and feels luxurious going on. I wouldn't rebuy as I have my own skincare ritual of eye cream, serum, and day and night cream from No.7 which I've used for years and seems to be keeping the wrinkles at bay. I'm convinced if I stop using it now, I will wake up looking like the picture Dorian Gray kept in his attic 😃However, I am open to trying facial oils, cleansers, toners and exfoliators from other brands and actively change them up.
The final free gift was a black eyeliner which is also on my list to try and I will review this when I have started using it. All in all, an extremely satisfying haul from PHB Ethical Beauty, a company I admire enormously and they have definitely made a life-long customer out of me. Just wish I could afford to shop there on a regular basis!