The Body Shop is in the BB cream game, too, but their contribution is among the least exciting. In fact, it basically goes against the multi-purpose traits BB creams are known for: The formula lacks sun protection, doesn't provide much coverage (you'll still need foundation or at least a good concealer), and is nearly void of beneficial ingredients. In short, this isn't a one-step product and is a poor replacement for a state-of-the-art moisturizer, especially one that contains sunscreen.
This dispenses a grayish-white from the tube, and then turns into a flesh-toned shade as you blend. The formula contains "pigment-filled capsules" that burst upon application said to provide an undetectable finish. The finish isn't undetectable in terms of how it feels, because this BB cream's finish is decidedly moist, making it best for normal to dry skin.
If by "undetectable" The Body Shop is referring to coverage, than that claim makes more sense. This goes on quite sheer, almost translucent, so it does a poor job evening your skin tone or hiding minor flaws. It slips over skin easily so blending is pleasant, but it's simply not among the best BB creams or tinted moisturizers available.
Still interested? The three shades are err toward being slightly peach, but this is less of an issue because coverage is so sheer. This contains fragrance in the form of rose-scented phenethyl alcohol.
Water, Isohexadecane, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glycerin, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Mica, Phenethyl Alcohol, Magnesium Sulfate, Sodium Chloride, Glyceryl Caprylate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Polyester-1, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Tocopherol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil. May Contain: Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides
The Body Shop At-A-Glance
This England-based company was one of the first to offer "natural" products in freestanding stores. Founder Anita Roddick opened her first shop in 1976, and the store's success spurred her husband to turn the business into a franchise opportunity, thus spawning the opening of several more stores across
A somewhat controversial business transaction occurred in 2006 when L'Oreal purchased The Body Shop. Fans of the brand and its stance on animal testing protested that this corporate marriage made for strange bedfellows given L'Oreal's dodgy history with animal testing. The acquisition had many consumer groups focused on ethical and organic business practices calling the sale a cop-out and accusing Roddick of selling out to "the enemy." Roddick commented that the sale had more to do with L'Oreal wanting to learn more about community trade, which could prove a financial windfall for the developing nations and tribes The Body Shop has conducted business with for years. (Sources: www.cosmeticsdesign.com/news/ng.asp?n=66584-l-oreal-the-body-shop-takeover-ethical; and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4894854.stm). Regardless of motivation or ethical issues, what's certain is that L'Oreal's financial and developmental clout will allow the continued expansion of The Body Shop, although in terms of product improvements, you'll find more signs of that with the makeup than the skin-care products because that is L'Oreal's strength.
An attractive point of difference for this line is their ongoing commitment to environmental and social causes as well as fair trade and animal rights advocacy. For those efforts, the company (fueled by Roddick's personal passion for such issues) deserves high marks. If only the products were as sensible as the company's Mission Statement! It's not that there aren't good products to be found in The Body Shop's familiar green-trimmed stores, but far too many of them are ordinary formulations whose natural ingredients make little impact aside from looking good on the label. And many products contain irritating natural ingredients or fragrance components that place them a notch below the competition. This is not a company that has kept up with the latest research in what skin needs to look and feel its best. Instead, most of their products take a one-note approach to skin care, forcing customers to choose whether they want the benefits of vitamin C or E, seaweed, aloe, or a host of others—several of which have so-so benefit for skin, or less so in the amounts included in The Body Shop's products. Still, the line has remained affordable and is readily available, and so as long as you pay attention to the products that are worth your time and money, The Body Shop has some effective products in store for you.
Postscript: The Body Shop's founder, Anita Roddick, passed away in September 2007 at the age of 64. Although through the years we have had my issues with several of her company's products, it must be said that her business acumen and worldwide humanitarian efforts deserve accolades. She was a unique, passionate businesswoman, and we have no doubt her input will be sorely missed.
For more information about The Body Shop, owned by L'Oreal, call (800) 263-9746 or visit www.thebodyshop.com.
The Body Shop Makeup
Makeup isn't the main attraction at The Body Shop, at least if you survey the store and notice the small display compared to shelf after shelf of body lotions, butters, scrubs, and shower gels. Yet if you're drawn to the makeup display you will find it is nicely organized, with product labels and prices in plain view, plenty of testers and mirrors, and even a bit of counter space for your purse. It's an inviting setup, and the sales staff is low key and willing to let you play, which is always a plus. As it turns out, L'Oreal's acquisition of The Body Shop has paid off handsomely for the makeup, which received a much-needed spiffing-up in October 2006. Several products were reformulated, new products (mostly improvements) debuted, and the packaging improved both functionally and visually. Due to the extra attention paid to the makeup you will find some outstanding options for foundation, powder, liquid eyeliner, makeup brushes, and creamy lipsticks. The prices are reasonable too, but they're no bargain if you don't shop this line carefully. Still, L'Oreal has infused some panache into a makeup collection whose core products were becoming ho-hum, and the changes are welcome!
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