Soil Association Beauty Awards 2013
On the 11th of February, I made a day trip to Bristol to judge the Soil Association Beauty Awards 2013. I was honoured to be asked along and not even the snowstorms covering Great Britain with the white stuff were going to stop me. I left a bitterly cold East Finchley and journeyed across town to Paddington, where I took the train to Bristol Temple Meads. Once out of London there was a thin layer of snow on the country fields as I passed, but nothing that was going to halt this train.
I arrived at Soil Association HQ where I met Laura Andrews the events manager as well as my fellow judge the lovely Debbie Bird from BabyWorld and her sweet daughter Charlotte who had come for the day to report back to her school all about the Soil Association. I had already been advised of all the products entered into the Beauty and Mother & Baby categories – there were 60 products between the two! AND we had to sample them all in a few hours, this was no mean feat.
Each product had two samples, one for each of us to look at and test, accompanied by a press release, brochure or leaflet with more information about the brands.
We sniffed, sampled, soaped, smoothed, spritzed all manner of products for between four and five hours! It was a natural beauty junkie’s heaven – my heaven! Debbie and I had very similar tastes when it came to the products, particular the fragrances, and interestingly when we compared our scorings for products they were often alike.
There were some of my favourite beauty brands there – Essential Care, Pai Skincare, Neal’s Yard, Botanicals, Nourish Skin, Pukka; some brands that I do not know all that well – Inlight Organics, Skin Blossom, Spiezia Organics, The Aromatherapy Company; Herbfarmacy, woohoo! Lube; and some that I had not heard of before – Saaf, Nana’s Organic Remedies, Lucy Annabella, Beginnings by Maclaren Beginning, Persian Rose. I was particularly excited by Lucy Annabella, how could I not have heard about such an exquisite range before?!
Having not borne any sprogs yet I didn’t know much about any of the mother & baby brands, except for Neal’s Yard and Organic Monkey (unless I’d just learnt about them in the Beauty Awards category!) – Natura Siberica, Pitta Patta, Beginning by Maclaren, The Aromatherapy Company, Herbfarmacy, AMK Skin Organics.
Now I can’t tell you the winners of the Soil Association Awards yet because we were judging the first round, creating the shortlist as it were. The shortlisted products are now going through a rigorous tried and tested and the winners will be announced at Natural & Organic Products Europe show in just under a month’s time. I’ll be sure to let you know the results!
A massive thank you to the Soil Association for inviting me to be on the judging panel and providing enough sustenance and cups of tea to keep Debbie and I going until the very end!