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I love Sanctuary products; I usually pick them up when they're on offer at Boots, although a local discount beauty store sometimes has Sanctuary products for £2 and under.
The first Sanctuary product I bought was their Shimmer Balm, I picked it up for £1.49 (although it retailed at £4.49) a few years ago. It comes in a small 50 ml pale gold tub with a clear lid.
The product itself is a thick, dark gold/bronze coloured cream. Now when I say thick, I really mean it; you don't need much at all so even though it is a small pot, it lasts for ages.
The directions advise to, 'Massage into skin'. As it is such a thick cream, and in a dark colour, I've found that the best way to apply is to put a small amount in your palm, then rub both palms together before applying; this thins it out a little and stops it looking too 'obvious' - less is more, Ladies!
The end result should be a lovely, subtle glowing shimmer. It is not a tacky, glittery shimmer, it's more like the colour you see on those airbrushed pictures of models advertising sun cream or swimwear - a healthy glow.
As I don't tend to have much of a tan, I find that it is a bit much for everyday wear, it is ideal for evenings out though and really helps you feel, and look, great.
It also stays on all night, once it is dry (about 5 minutes) it will stay on your skin as long as you want it to and won't come off on clothes. It can be washed off with water and soap/gel/cream - I just tend to jump in the bath to wash off as it's a lot quicker and easier.
Since my first purchase, I have always had a pot of Shimmer Balm to hand; my current pot was bought around 5 months ago, and I still have a third left so it really is long lasting, and a complete bargain when you consider how long a pot will last.
So, my final thoughts on Sanctuary Shimmer Balm? I love it, and would highly recommend it; it lasts forever, is simple to apply, and really makes your skin glow... 5 stars!
I am generally a big fan of products made by The Sanctuary, a wonderful day spa in Covent Garden in London (ladies only). Their products are usually good quality, and are available from the spa and Boots The Chemist. This Christmas Boots ran a BOGOF offer, so it was no surprise that I received a number of Sanctuary gifts.
Among them was a bottle of Foaming Bath Soak, which I think was only recently introduced to the Sanctuary range. It comes in a bottle of 250ml for £4.50 (although as I mentioned, I was given it). You can also buy it as part of many different gift packs of Sanctuary products. The bottle is clear, squeezy plastic, with the characteristic fish logo of the Sanctuary on the front (a downwards pointing fish in an orange-washed circle). To dispense the bath soak, you press down on one side of the orange bottle top, which pops up a spout on the other side. The content is pale orangey-yellow and has a creamy, silky texture, which I found easy to squeeze out of a full bottle; however, with subsequent use I have found that its a bit thick, and needs shaking down / multiple squeezing (or alternatively, for impatient people like me, unscrew the top and stick the bottle under the tap).
The blurb on the front of the bottle states, relax and indulge your body with Wheat Protein, Aloe Vera and Patchouli Oil to unwind, moisturise and condition your skin. I would say that you could smell that it contains wheat protein, although to be honest, it smells pretty much like most of the Sanctuary products do, a fairly distinctive fresh, yet subtle, smell. There is a slight note of fruit, which I assume is the Patchouli oil. Unlike most Sanctuary products though, I found that I had to use quite a lot to get the amount of foam I wanted and the feel of the product in the water. For those familiar with these products, its definitely a less luxurious feel than, say, Mande Susu (which, at £7.95 for 475ml is also cheaper). If you use quite a lot, then the foam produced is adequate, although it doesnt last for an entire soak. The bottle contains enough for around 5 decent baths.
Afterwards, I found my skin didnt feel dry (so better than using soap, for example), but it also didnt exactly feel moisturised either. To be fair though, the back of the bottle does state, For best results, follow with The Sanctuary Body Lotion. My husband did comment that I smelt nice though, and the smell lingered for hours.
Overall, I must admit to being slightly disappointed with this product. It does give a pleasant bathing experience, with a lovely smell, but it almost feels like they have spoilt it by making it foam but maybe thats just my personal preference. It doesnt feel as luxurious as a typical Sanctuary product and seems a little expensive as a result. Also, to make it foam, it contains sodium laureth sulphate, which will concern some consumers since this has been investigated as a potential carcinogen. I also notice on the list of ingredients that it contains the colours Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 and several stabilisers and preservatives which seems a little odd for a product promoting itself on its natural ingredients. I dont dislike it, but I probably wont be rushing out to buy it either.
Have I ever mentioned how badly I treat my hands? Well I do. If they could run off to a centre for battered hands, they would, but they're not strong enough to do it. I'm a chewer. And when I run out of nails to chew, I start on the skin around them. I know, that's revolting, and believe me, I don't really do it consciously, but the result is nasty nasty peely finger ends (vile, but stick with me people) I also suffer from really bad dry skin. Sometimes my hands look like they are covered in chalk dust or something because the skin is so dry and flaky. Mmm, who wants to hold my hands? No one? Humph. Well this week, bored of endless Vaseline/Atrixo application, I noticed a litle box in Boots in The Sanctuary range. An 'Intensive Hand Treatment Mask' which, I'm sure you will agree, sounded just the job. I picked it up in my scummy paws and parted with £8.95 at the checkout. When it came to bed time I examined my new purchase. I had a 100ml tube of cream and a stretchy pair of white cotton gloves. If I had a bed partner it might have made for kinky fun... But I don't so I read the instructions instead. The cream is very thick, made up of a nourishing combination of cocoa butter, aloe vera and vitamin E. It also contains 'White Tea' which is supposed to help prevent deterioration and dehydration. It has the trademark sanctuary smell, rich and almondy. As per the instructions I slathered a thick layer over my hands, and wriggled them into the gloves. The cream doesn't absorb immediately, but by having it in contact with your skin overnight it has time to do it's stuff slowly. In the morning you are supposed to remove the gloves, rinse your hands and admire your sparkly new young skin. When I woke up I was confused at first to find a pair of gloves in my bed, and quite alot of lotion in my hair. I had obviously taken them off in my sleep. But my hands did feel softer, an
d more to the point they looked better. however, as the day wore on, the miracle cure wore off. I still needed to apply moisturisers several times to stop my hands feeling tight and dry. I think overall this is still a good product, maybe my hands are an extreme test for it. I used it again yesterday, and managed to keep the gloves on all night, but already my hands feel minging (mind you I have been cleaning all morning, so they have been bleached and goodness knows what else). In future I will use the mask before I go out, an hour or so should be enough of a boost to have them looking (and feeling) vaguely presentable, but it's not a long term solution. More of a quick pre-date fix. 'Intensive Hand Treatment Mask' by The Sanctuary: £8.95 for 100ml ps. the gloves do look a bit weird, housematey gave me a very funny look this morning. pps. the gloves need washing after every use, just a quick rinse with soap and water should do the trick, though they don't mind the washing machine either.
I have a job which means that I am on my feet for most of my shift and as a cosequence I am always on the lookout for great foot products. Because I like and use other Sanctuary Products I thought I would give their leg and foot range a go, despite the cost. Price £4.99 for 100ml - very expensive! I think it could do with being stronger in the tea-tree oil department or maybe a touch of menthol might help becase the effect does not last long enough. I can't help feeling that it is the 'wetness' of the product that is cooling rather than it's ingredients and again this is because the refreshing element does not last! I will use every drop of this product but only because of the price! I have found though that if I pour a couple of capfuls into my foot-spa before I use it my feet get more of a treat!