I need to talk about beauty products again. As you may remember from my recent post concerning luxury soap, I’ve been working on commercial projects that involved gourmet soap and premium shower gel, body lotion, body butter and related categories such as shampoo. This has caused a lot of these products to cross my path. As a result of this, I have a new favourite brand. I am genuinely so excited about this brand, as you can tell by the fact that I hardly ever promote brands and products on The Life You Want. The fact that it’s making TLYW news lets you know it is something special.
ShimmerLuxe is a new British business based in Darlington, in the north of England. The woman behind the business is Victoria McKone and she makes products by hand and retails them via Etsy.
I tried Victoria’s Whipped Soap in two flavours: Clementine Jelly and Chocolate Truffle. It thoroughly delighted me and then I discovered the Body Butter in flavours Cafe Caramel and Sugared Almond.
When I opened these jars of product, three things made me fall in love immediately. Firstly, the smell is divine. This stuff smells like real, fresh food. The clementine and chocolate smell fresh and delicious, good enough to eat right out of the jar. The caramel is rich and satisfying. The sugared almond is a heavy scent while still in the jar but lasts on the skin with a subtle, light, powdery, sugary fragrance.
The second thing that appealed to me was the look of the product. Both soap and butter look like ready-to-eat desserts. This is neither a heavy, solid block of soap nor a bottle of runny lotion. The products look like whipped cream or butter, ready to eat.
The third thing was the texture, wow. These are very dense, rich products. You push your finger into the virgin swirls of creamy soap and scoop out a little to use. They are both firm, the body butter a little firmer than the soap. An incredibly satisfying consistency; heavy, slightly resistant, the butter is almost slightly crumbly under pressure and when kept cool. I love to keep body butters in the fridge, especially in hot summer weather. Cooling them to a firm consistency also makes them last longer, because I don’t scoop so much out of the jar. ShimmerLuxe butter seems to respond better to being cooled in the fridge than any other brand that I’ve tried. In a moment of unusual lucidity, I installed a fridge in the bedroom. A small one, a bar fridge. For San Pellegrino and body butter. That’s all it stocks. I am so impressed with myself sometimes.
I road-tested the ShimmerLuxe products. I’ve been using them anyway but I’ve just taken a shower with Chocolate Truffle soap and Cafe Caramel body butter for the purposes of this review.
Whipped Soap. The chocolate smell is gorgeous. The key thing with this product is the silky smooth way it is going to slide on to your skin, so don’t use one of those nylon shower puffs. Use your hands or smear a dollop on to a sponge and don’t let it absorb into the sponge too much before applying. Feels like silk. Silk and chocolate in the shower, what could be more indulgent.
Body Butter. My skin cannot get enough of this stuff. It comes out of the jar so heavy and rich, more solid than liquid, but my skin drinks it up. After use, my skin is moist, soft and smells like caramel.
Victoria, please make face masks and hair masks!
I was so excited about ShimmerLuxe that I contacted Victoria to ask her some questions about the products and brand.
Victoria, what inspired you to start your own brand of body care products?
I’ve always loved being in the water – bath times especially. Having dry skin and bouts of eczema however, meant that bath times were full of depressing prescription products. A few years ago I narrowed my problem dry skin down to SLS, a particularly harsh foaming agent, so it goes without saying it’s not in any of my products! As I got older I decided I was going to go into the beauty industry and run my own little business; with a passion for natural nails in particular. I’ve always enjoyed making a mess really – whether its baking, going a bit mad with the glitter on a client’s nails, or tinkering about making lotions and potions.
I already have one job that I love that’s pretty flexible, so being able to create and sell something else that I’m passionate about is fabulous.
Which are your best selling items and what do customers like about them?
So far customer favourites seem to be the Whipped Body Butters. A little goes a long way, they are super nourishing for the skin & they smell delicious! The body butters are closely followed by Bath products. My personal favourite products are the Buttercream Bath Truffles, which are a mildly fizzy nourishing bath bomb. They are intended to be chopped in half so you get 2 uses from them but sometimes I’m a bit greedy and pop a whole one in the bath when I’m in a bit of a rush, I don’t feel I need to moisturise afterwards that way.
What do you wish people knew about ShimmerLuxe products? What would you like to tell them?
All our products are handmade by me to strict EU regulations and assessed by a cosmetic chemist, Products are tested, tweaked and tested again by myself and some very willing victims. And (Most importantly to me) all our products are SLS free!
Do you have any new products in the pipeline that we should look forward to?
Definitely more bath products, they are my favourite to use and my favourite to make, it’s really messy and you get the chance to be a bit more creative with shapes and colours. I’m also going to be bringing out a couple of body oils – I have a beautiful tuberose fragrance that would be just perfect in something like that.
You’re a woman who is running her own business and actively making the life she wants – what would you say to other women who are wondering if they can start small businesses or make other positive changes in their lives?
On building a business I think it’s so important to have done the right research, in the products themselves, the legal requirements, etc. You don’t have to start big but I feel it’s so important for everything to be cohesive. I think you can build a better brand if everything matches to an extent; it’s all in the details!. Life is hectic and can carry you away sometimes, so I think its vital to take time to slow down and reconnect with yourself. Having a bath is a chance to peel off your old skin and start afresh. Very important for body and mind.
ShimmerLuxe is at Etsy.com. Bar fridge not included.