Martha Hill’s story is equally tragic, inspirational and – well – a little bit bonkers.
A true Slick Mummy, she was widowed when disaster met with her pilot husband’s plane just weeks before the birth of her youngest daughter in 1947 but rallied her strength to raise her children and tend a productive farm. At her kitchen table she began to use plants and herbs to make beauty products – and the range began.
Martha also had a successful fashion career – and her youngest daughter went on to debut the mini skirt at Ascot – and today the Martha Hill range caters for all skin types and is praised by women of all ages for helping them achieve an ‘English Rose’ complexion.
We tested a selection of products from the Martha Hill range, which are all available from Beauty Naturals.
Our SM tester says: I loved the look of the packaging for this range, really old fashioned/classic looking, like my grandmother would have used.
– Rosewater Skin Tonic: I grew up soothing my teenage skin with rosewater and witch hazel, which I bought from the chemist and then decanted into a vintage glass bottle. It seemed so decadent, but was also much kinder to my skin than harsh spot treatments. To this day using anything rosewater based always makes my skin feel clean and fresh, and this product is divine. It smells lovely and your skin just glows with health after just a couple of days use…
– Gardeners’ Cream: I was keen to try this one as the Winter has ravaged my hands – well, Winter and being without a dishwasher for a few months, scraping the ice off the car windscreen every morning and forgetting my gloves on a daily basis – and even my beloved Eight Hour Cream wasn’t making any difference. This comes in a huge tube and can be used on all rough extremities – as it were – is packed with nourishing almond and wheatgerm oil and isn’t greasy at all. I kept the tube in the car and before the week was out my husband was using it too (especially on his bald spot).
– Mimosa Night Cream: this one is part of a set including cleanser and day cream, I tried the night cream and even reading the ingredients sounds luxe. The product is packed with Mimosa Absolute (Mimosa is the flower of happiness, apparently), ylang ylang, beeswax, honey, juniper berry … I must say the smell of it is quite strong and distinctive – not unpleasant – but definitely perfumed. When you use the cream at night it really does tighten up the skin – after a couple of nights I was using it on my neck and decolletage also.
– Perfect Finish Face Powder in Rose Beige: For serious vintage glamour, nothing beats loose powder. This one comes in a small enough tub with a decent lid so as to prevent accidental handbag explosions and is easy to get a smooth, even finish with just a make up sponge – so all in all pretty portable. It comes in three shades and this one gives sallow skin a little bit of a pink flush. It is packed with kaolin to soak up skin shine and create a matte finish. Martha’s range also includes cream foundation if you need more coverage.
Editor’s Tip: Martha was a huge advocate of raw food, saying “The earth provides wonderful foods which aren’t used enough. At this time of year you can make marvellous salads with raw vegetables, grated celery and watercress – but not the stuff grown in boxes, the big river cress.” … Channel Martha’s love for the green stuff with Jamie Oliver’s cress salad with mackerel pate …