Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Blogger Event with The Body Shop Reading

The Body Shop holds fond childhood memories for me. I remember going there as a teenager and buying soaps, hand creams and my first perfume (Strawberry Eau de Toilette), which they still have on the shelves all these years later! I also recall going on a weekend away with my church youth group – we must have stayed somewhere in West Sussex, because one of our outings was a tour around The Body Shop Head Office/Factory – I was seriously in my element, and that trip as a ten year old cemented my love for The Body Shop. Since then I have kept a close eye on their latest launches; trialling all sorts of luxurious but affordable products, and turning to them whenever I’ve needed a Christmas or birthday gift for someone special. So when I was contacted by a lovely man called James, who asked me if I would be interested in coming along to a blogger event at The Body Shop Reading, I didn’t have to think twice!

On a warm Thursday evening, my sister-in-law, Emma, and I made our way over to The Oracle Shopping Centre and had a bit of a look round some of the shops (Disney Store and a huge Primark!) before meeting some other bloggers in The Body Shop. The team were really welcoming, and James came over to introduce himself and tell us a bit about what we could expect from the evening. We started by each being given a personalised name sticker – they are generally used to personalise Body Butters (which I think is a super cute idea for a gift) but we used them as giant name badges – massively helpful when you only know a lot of people by their blog names! 

We were given a bit of time to have a browse around the store and explore some of the new products on offer this summer. Everything is so well laid out – there aren’t too many items on the shelves, so it’s really easy to take in all the individual products. I also love the fact that the scents aren’t too overwhelming, so you’re able to really get a feel for each distinct smell, rather than being overpowered by all of them at the same time. There were a lot of familiar products to see as I made my way around the shop – their famous Body Butter, hand creams, shower gels and skincare. But there were also a few new things that I hadn’t had a chance to test out yet. The Body Yogurts were so good – they come in a range of gorgeous scents and absorb into your skin so quickly, which is a must in my eyes. 

Once we’d all received our stickers and had a look around, the team brought us back together for an informative talk about The Body Shop’s history, what they stand for and their recent campaigns. It was really interesting to be reminded about where The Body Shop started and to hear their stance on animal testing. They now have over 3000 stores in 66 countries, employing over 22,000 people, which is just amazing. Their brand is 100% vegetarian and more and more of their products are now being made vegan friendly, so it’s nice to see how much care and thought they put into providing sustainable and cruelty-free products. We were also shown some of the best-selling products and were able to test them out – this was where I found out how brilliant the Body Yogurts are! 

After the talk, their resident make-up artist treated one blogger to a summer festival makeover, whilst talking us through the products she used. I’m very much a natural make-up kind of girl, so it was nice to see how you can create a glowing summery look just by using a moisturiser, brick bronzer and blusher, lip liner, gloss and brow gel. I really love the idea of being able to pop into a Body Shop store and having a trained make-up artist to chat to, who can recommend the best products for your skin and show you how to apply them.

We were then set loose in the shop again to have another look around and enjoy some of the entertainment they had organised. Wagamama were there providing food and drinks, which seemed to go down very well! I wasn’t able to eat any of the main meals, but I did have my first try of Edamame Beans (I know, I’m ridiculously late to the party!), which were absolutely delicious. I also had a really yummy fruit smoothie, which they make from scratch in their restaurants every day. 

We then had a fun game of blindfolded hook-a-duck. I don’t think I’ve played the game since I was in Infant School and they would have it at our school fairs, so I’d forgotten how difficult it was without a blindfold, let alone with one! But after a lot of giggles both Emma and I managed to get a duck and were able to choose a prize – yay!

I was then able to have a longer look around the store and take in some of the newer products I hadn’t seen properly yet. The new Banana range was surprisingly nice, from someone that doesn’t like bananas! It kind of reminded me of that banana medicine you have as a child, which I always loved the smell of! As well as that and the Body Yogurts, they have also recently brought out some Face Mists in a variety of different fragrances. As it was a hot day, we all enjoyed spritzing our faces with these to cool down. 

They have recently completely revamped their men’s range as well and you can now buy a variety of products including various moisturisers and beard oils. I really like the way things are labelled around the shop, so you can tell which products are new. They also have some Icon items, which are The Body Shop’s biggest sellers, so it helps to know which products customers use time and time again. 

I always seem to forget that The Body Shop also have a really good make-up range – from foundations to lip products and everything in between. I was also excited to see their Skin Defence Multi-Protection Essence with SPF 50, which would be a brilliant base for your make-up, whilst protecting your skin on a daily basis. I’ve tried a few of their make-up pieces over the years and have always loved the quality and the reasonable price, plus the fact I know their cosmetics aren’t being tested on animals.

For me, the most important message of the evening was The Body Shop’s continual fight against animal testing. Together with Cruelty Free International, they are taking a stand against animal cruelty and are asking their customers to help them too by signing a petition. They’re aiming to reach 8 million signatures to present to the UN and there are only 17 days to go, so it’s time to get signing! You can find the petition here - they’re so close to their target, so please help them with that final push. 

I had a great evening learning a bit more about The Body Shop, their latest products and campaigns and catching up with some fellow bloggers. I’ve already started making a shopping list of things I want to treat myself to!

Are you a fan of The Body Shop? What are your favourite products? And will you be signing the petition to get animal testing for cosmetics banned?

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