I’m among kindred spirits here so I feel safe to admit I pick products on the basis of what the packaging looks like. I know you’re not all quite this anal, but I know some of you are; admit it!
Here’s how it works in my bathroom: the shower is glass on two sides. Only good-looking, neutral-coloured products get to live on the glass shelves inside in direct sight of my eyes as I walk into the room. The rest (the more colourful things I buy on account of their actual effectiveness and quality despite them not being matchy-matchy), are on a corner of the shower floor out of view. I know, I’m TERRIBLE! I have issues.) I just hate garish packaging!
Of course, the ideal are toiletries which combine effectiveness, quality and good looks, but I can’t afford everything Aesop, can I?! So I’m loving this new, independent Aussie brand, Anise Botanical Skincare. I also love their no-nonsense, whopping great 1-litre pump-action glass bottles of multi-purpose (shower gel, bath bubbles or hand soap — you choose) wash and cream. And the smell! Even my husband remarked how nice it was, and he just doesn’t notice these things, especially not without prompting! They smell like star anise but without being too strong.
Now, onto the natural credentials, which are important too. My Pommy skin has always been sensitive and I have eczema, so I’m fussy what I put on it. these products are all 100% cruelty free and contain active botanicals. Most are packaged in pharmaceutical-grade amber glass, as many formulations contain a high concentration of active botanical extracts and pure essential oils, and this improves their stability. Glass is also easier and more efficient to recycle. They do not contain parabens, sulphates, nitrates, petro-chemicals, palm oil, bleaches or whiteners, fillers or thinners, synthetic perfumes, synthetics additives, artificial colours or flavours.
The brand was founded by passion over 15 years ago, drawing on Madonna Goot’s Scandinavian roots with its simple, clean lines and minimalist values. “At Anise Botanical Skincare we include only what is needed – and nothing that isn’t,” she says. “Produced in Australia from the finest, pure ingredients and botanical essences, it’s a simple philosophy that is mirrored in our functional glass bottles and matte white labels. Designed for a modern Australian lifestyle, I want my products to be as beautiful in your home as they are on your skin.”
I think she has succeeded. These products aren’t cheap; neither are they expensive, in my opinion, for what they contain (or more importantly, don’t!).
Disclosure: Anise gifted me their wash to try for myself with no guarantee of coverage.
PS. I know you’re all thinking wait until you have a baby bath and all manner of brightly coloured toys in there in a few months, Jen!