Cambridge, UK

Best in Beauty: My Summer Picks with Molton Brown and Superdrug

Summer is the season of long evenings spent outdoors, sipping cocktails in the sunshine, and sampling some fantastic new beauty products. Ok, that last one may not be universally true but it's certainly the case for me. Recently I've been lucky enough to receive invites to some really exciting beauty events, showcasing sumptuous scented skincare and a glittery extravaganza! Today's post is a little round-up aimed at giving you an insider's view of each. And yes, I wore pretty much the same outfit to both of these events. I'm SUCH a pro fashion influencer. *cough*. But anyway, without further do, keep scrolling to learn about the new additions to my ever-expanding beauty drawer.

Abbey, a brunette wearing a white and orange striped top, reads the label on a bottle of Molton Brown skincare

Molton Brown

This month, I had the pleasure of attending the first ever Molton Brown blogger event in Cambridge. A group of lovely local bloggers were invited to the store at 5 Rose Crescent for an evening of cocktails, nibbles, and glorious Molton Brown hand and arm massages. Molton Brown as a brand was founded in 1971 and they're still going strong today. They're best known for their body washes but they have so much more on offer - everything from home fragrance to luxurious hair care. Molton Brown describes its products as "blending exotic ingredients with a touch of London eccentricity for bold fragrances and bright colours that stand out on the shelf." I was excited to put these claims to the test! 

I was able to personally select the washes and lotions used for my hand and arm massage to give Molton Brown's products a thorough test. After taking one whiff of the Ylang-Ylang Comforting Body Polisher, I knew that this would be the perfect way to start off. This scent is Molton Brown's alternative to lavender. In order to stand out from the crowd, they don't offer lavender products for relaxation, opting to use ylang-ylang instead. This might seem a bit of a risk given how popular lavender is as an aroma, but after trying the ylang-ylang product for myself, I can certify that it gives any lavender product a run for its money. The combination of ylang-ylana, vanilla, and cedarwood oil made for a delicious lasting scent. It kept me smelling noticeably sweet for the rest of the day without being sickly. One of the other key ingredients in the body polisher was sugar - it gave my skin a gentle but effective scrub without the need for damaging microbeads.

Abbey, wearing a denim skirt and striped top, holds a Molton Brown goodie bag in front of the store's sign
Molton Brown's ylang-ylang body polisher packaging, sitting on the rim of the sink in their store

Once my hands had been thoroughly exfoliated, I opted for a massage with the Delicious Rhubarb and Rose Body Lotion. I was equally impressed with the nourishing qualities of this product: it sunk into the skin perfectly without leaving me feeling tacky, an experience that you can get with other body lotions. The scent was summery but not overpowering, with hints of lemongrass and spearmint. I'm not the biggest fan of strong smells (LUSH products are often too much for me, for example) but the Molton Brown body lotion hit the balance perfectly. If you're tempted to hit up Molton Brown in Cambridge for a hand and arm massage of your very own, you can enjoy one FREE OF CHARGE if you mention my blog name: Abbey Louisa Rose. Go on, treat yourself!

Before rounding off my account of my Molton Brown experience, a word has to be said about the fantastic ethical measures that Molton Brown has put in place as a brand. Molton Brown products are 100% cruelty free and Leaping Bunny certified. They're very transparent about their products which is fantastic to see. Molton Brown are doing great things for the environment too. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of a new range of products that haven't made it onto shelves yet which, once released, will be refillable in store - a fantastic way to reduce waste. 

Sonny, Steph and the whole team at the Cambridge store were so knowledgeable about every product they offered and their genuine love and enthusiasm for the brand was clear. They put so much effort into the event and it really showed. A huge thanks also goes out to the local Cambridge businesses who partnered with Molton Brown on this event: I enjoyed cocktails from La Raza, took some snaps in front of a beautiful floral display by Farm Flowers, and had the chance to chat with the lovely team from Cambridge Sweaty Betty. Roll on the next MB event!

Abbey receiving a hand and arm massage at the Molton Brown store

Packaging for the Molton Brown orange and bergamot range

Superdrug Pamper Party

As well as beautifying myself at Molton Brown, I also had the pleasure of attending an exciting event at the Superdrug Beauty Studio at Fosse Park, Leicester. I've been a Leicester resident for a couple of years now but this was actually my first ever visit to Fosse Park! Embarrassing, I know! However, after the Superdrug event, I'm sure I'll be back very soon as I had a fantastic time. The Beauty Studio team invited us along to sample their new Pamper Parties, which come in three different packages, starting at £15 per person. Each package includes a polish manicure, hair braid/glitter, and a sheet mask. If you want to upgrade to include either face glitter or a polish pedicure, you can do this for an  extra £5 and £10 per person respectively. Our Pamper Party was certainly glitter filled!

A nail technician holds a client's hand, painting the nails a bright purple
Abbey, her hair in braids, has gold and silver glitter applied to the right hand side of her face

I started off by getting my hair styled into two gorgeous French braids. I am absolutely hopeless at doing my own hair so it was a real pleasure to get styled up by a professional! The look was kept in place by some glittery hair spray. My face also received the glitter treatment with iridescent silver and gold being applied. I was initially worried that this would be a bit uncomfortable to wear but once it had been carefully stuck on, I barely noticed it! Moving next to nails, it was a tough job to select a colour for my manicure from the Beauty Studio's huge range but eventually I opted for a beautiful deep purple polish by Orly. Orly are a cruelty free brand and I was really impressed with the coverage of their products. The colour was very pigmented from the first coat and lasted without chipping for almost an entire week. Jayde, the Beauty Studio's nail tech, did a great job of transforming my stumpy little nails!

After getting thoroughly pampered, it was time to try out the Beauty Studio's floral photo booth. I had the pleasure of attending this event with the lovely Kirstie from Curated by Kirstie so it was only right for us to have our photo taken together! We also had the chance to sample loads of summery mocktails and nibbles from the Beauty Studio's snack trolley at the event, and they even provided vegan-friendly cakes and gummy sweets, which was a really kind and thoughtful touch. I definitely enjoyed the Pamper Party and wouldn't hesitate to go along again. There are no age restrictions for the parties, so they would be a lot of fun whether you're organising a birthday party for kids, or if you're tempted to book one to kick off a hen night or other special occasion with the girls. You can book a Pamper Party by contacting the Fosse Park team directly on 01162 893 945.

Abbey and Kirstie stand in front of a floral photo booth

Have you tried any new beauty products or services this summer season? Tell me about your favourites (old or new!) in the comments below.

*I was invited to attend the Molton Brown and Superdrug events free of charge but I was not obliged to write a blog post about them.