As if I couldn’t love Target anymore than I already did, they have surprised and delighted me again with the addition of their luxury line of bath and body products. Back in March they announced they would be wowing their customers (I don’t think they actually said “wowing.” I believe that was my addition) with shelves of beauty lines from Scotland, England, New Zealand, and Greece just to name a few. They wanted to introduce companies, many of whom are already popular in their native countries, to Americans and offer quality department store-worthy products at reasonable prices. Target, you are my hero! Armed with ingredients like olives, eucalyptus, dead sea salts, honey and milk the new products will engage even the most discerning beauty consumer. They have even upped the displays of the new lines, including testers so we don’t have to go opening every damn bottle on the shelf to find out if we like the smell of dead sea. While I found some of the lines made me hold back vomit, most of them were perfection in pump bottles.
Ma Provence, a line that celebrates all the French countryside has to offer, is wonderful. Housed in aluminium bottles (apparently just like the perfumers use in the region to preserve the scents and protect the ingredients from the elements), the Almond Blossom scent is delicate and alluring. The body lotion sunk right into my skin – no greasy mess there - and the scent lasted well beyond the checkout line. The line carries a series of face, body and shower products ranging from $6.99 - $9.99.
Kaori, a line from Israel, uses essential minerals and salts found in the dead sea. Hmm… spreading dead sea on my body? Hell yeah I will! Beautifully packaged in simple white containers, this line is delightful. While I wasn’t a fan of the Ylang-Ylang scent (probably because I’m not particularly into floral scents) I did love the Eucalyptus (very refreshing) and the Mandarin which made my skin smell like an orange grove – delish! The line also features Chamomile which is said to relieve stress. Because you can get the trial pack - which comes with a body lotion, body butter and body wash for only $9.99 - I felt relaxed and stress-free. With the money I’d saved, I could buy some Choxie candies from the Market section upstairs.
Gardeners Therapies, a line from Scotland said to pamper hard-working gardeners hands and bodies, is just as pampering to a girl who focuses on retail therapy. This line was started in 1922 and is still run by the Ross family. Located in central Scotland between Edinburgh and Stirling, the company has created light vegetable-scented items that soothe the skin and make you smell like you were just planting fresh tomatoes in your garden. My favorite from this line is the much-needed hand scrub. A large pump bottle will cost you $9.99 and will exfoliate your hands with tea tree oil and lemon. What hard-working pair of perfectly manicured hands doesn’t need a little pampering scrub, right?
With the good, I feel I also have to present what didn’t live up to their hype. The Sanctuary (a line based on the famous Covent Garden women’s spa in London) disappointed me. Manufactured by the popular Boot’s chemist chain in London, I thought this line would amaze me. The packaging of tranquil blues and oranges made me long to be walking the pebbled streets of Covent Garden, buying handmade goods from the vendors. But as soon as the scent hit my nose, I was transported to my great aunt’s apartment where she was soaking her callused feet. Although the line is reasonably priced (the travel pack I purchased is $9.99 and includes bath relaxer, body wash and body lotion) I don’t feel it’s worth the money when so many other wonderful lines are situated on the shelves beside it.
Now, saving the best for last, I need to cover one of the domestic lines - J.R. Watkins Apothecary. This company was founded in 1868 by a man named Joseph Ray Watkins in his kitchen in Plainview, Minnesota. Known to offer the first-ever money back guarantee, this man started an expansive line of medical products focusing on burns and minor aches and pains. He soon broadened to include pampering bath products. The line is now featured at Target and we are better relaxed and moisturized for it. The packaging is still meant to look like old-fashioned apothecary products like your great great grandmother would’ve bought. His hand creams are insanely fabulous. The Lemon Cream ($6.99) makes your hands smell like a fresh-baked lemon cake and softens them with shea butter and cocoa butters. It reminds me of the Tutti Dolci Lemon Meringue body butter, but without the steep pricetag. The lavender hand cream relaxes you and the Aloe and Green tea is invigorating. His line also features foot cream, body lotions and the delightful, non-greasy cuticle salve that comes in an adorable old-style tin ($3.99). Don’t forget to pick up some of his body oils ($8.99) for that oh-so-sexy massage and his menthol rub (Icy Blue $4.99) as a pain reliever for when your man rubs you down too vigorously. And if you weren’t already sold, check out the movie “Door to Door” which is the true story of Bill Porter, a salesman with Cerebral Palsy, that walked door to door for 50 years selling J.R. Watkins products. Your heart will be warmed, and your hands will be moisturized.