Getting Oiled

6th July 2012

Oil is the answer for summer and beyond, says Mary Linehan


Blend Collective is a beautiful new natural bodycare brand bringing together the talents of some of the most talented British perfumers and aromatherapists under one very smart looking label. Three distinctive ranges make up the collection – Enlivening by Alex Lawless, an artisan perfumer for 20 years; Unwinding, the work of essential oil specialist Emma Nash; and Balancing the work of stellar aromatherapist Glenda Bailey. Each comprises a mix-and-match of soaps, washes, shower gels, body lotions, creams and balms – even a candle or two – all formulated with delicate 100% pure essential oils and powerful actives chosen for their therapeutic benefits and amazing aromas. Here’s a little preview…

Enlivening: zesty naturals that include Sicilian lemon, may chang and lime – try the Body Wash (£14.95) and Hand & Body Lotion (£19) for the most amazing shower experience that leaves skin clean and hydrated, with a veil of zesty lemon scent that lifts your mood for hours.

Balancing: roses… jasmine… geranium… beautifully crafted and given an unusual twist with the addition of earthy vetiver. Softening Hand Cream (£12.50) also has inca nut, meadowfoam and black cherry to soothe and nourish.

In the evening, Unwinding Bath & Shower Oil (£24) with neroli, sandalwood and lavender almost instantly takes away the cares of the day while sea kelp and corn silk moisturise and soften.

A collective work of art…

Blend Collective has just launched in Fenwick, or visit

Summer Notes

Huile Prodigieuse® by NUXE (pronounced Nooks). This multi-purpose dry oil for face, body and hair enjoys cult status and not just in France where it was first launched in 1991. Made with 30% precious oils that include macadamia, hazelnut, borage, sweet almond, camellia and St. John’s wort, it nourishes, repairs and softens the skin and hair leaving a soft satiny sheen without any greasy residue. With just about everything you need for optimum skin health including anti-oxidant vitamin E, essential fatty acids and minerals, it helps the skin retain moisture and promotes suppleness, as well as supporting firmness at a cellular level.

Beautifully fragranced with summer notes that include orange blossom, plum, rose, lily of the valley and amber, it’s reminiscent of the uplifting warmth of a Provencal summer’s day. Oh, the very thought of it!

There’s also a Golden Shimmer variant that’s just perfect for tanned limbs.

Huile Prodigieuse® by NUXE costs £25 from

A hero for a host of skin troubles

I remember Bio Oil as an oddly packaged little bottle of oil that sat on the bath-and-body shelves in various chemists. I resorted to it every holiday; brilliant at sorting out my sun-dried skin, it gave tanned legs (remember them?) a great shimmer. In fact, Bio Oil was arguably one of the very first cosmeceuticals.

Created by a South African and first launched in 1987, its basic formulation – vitamins and plant extracts in oils – contains what we now know as some of the most important ingredients in anti-aging and skin repair: vitamins A and E, and the botanicals calendula, lavender, rosemary and chamomile. And, it did what it said on the box.

The key oil of its name is PurCellin Oil™ a lightweight mineral oil that’s non-greasy and a great carrier for the active ingredients – and has the clinical trials to back it up, as well as a celebrity following that includes Kara Tointon, Helena Christensen and Tess Daly.

It improves the appearance of both old and new scars; it helps prevent stretch marks and improve the appearance of existing ones; it improves uneven skin tone, tones and firms aging skin and treats dehydrated skin, too, by replenishing the natural oils stripped away by the elements or by hot and cold temperatures. It can also be used to target usual trouble spots such as elbows, cuticles and heels.
Bio Oil can be used on face and body and for best results, it’s recommended that you should apply twice daily for a minimum of three months.

Available from pharmacies and supermarkets; prices start at £8.95

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