This holiday season, UK-based chemist chain Boots has released a stunning range of Harry Potter products. From lipsticks to bath fizzers, hand creams to makeup brushes, cosmetic purses to nail polish, the product line includes something for everyone and covers all four Hogwarts houses. The folks at Boots were kind enough to send my son and me a selection of products that we’ve been putting to the test.
Cosmetic Purses – £10/$12.50
The item I was most excited to see in the Boots Harry Potter range was the Cosmetic Purse which, despite its name, is closer to what I would consider a wash bag than a purse. As with the bath fizzers, these purses come in designs for all four Hogwarts houses which I was incredibly pleased about—I had suspected they would only be produced for Gryffindor and Slytherin.
Each purse measures 21cm across and 16cm tall so you can easily fit lots of stuff inside. I could easily fit everything I need for a weekend away inside it with room to spare, yet the purses look small from the outside. Clearly, Hermione has performed one of her expansion charms on them!
The purses also surprised me with how good quality they were. They are made from a shiny material in the main house color with a heavyweight fabric patch on the front alongside a silhouette of the house animal. Ravenclaws should take note, however, that the purses use the film version of Ravenclaw’s colors and symbol, not the book version.
Both my son and I have added these purses to our Christmas lists in our respective houses and I know this will be the item from the range that I use the most.
Cauldron Bath Fizzer – £6/$7.50
The Cauldron Bath Fizzer was the first product from the Boots Harry Potter range that we tested, and easily the one my nine-year-old son and I had the most fun with. The fizzer is shaped like a cauldron with Harry Potter printed into one side and a golden top but it is mostly black and it turns your water so black you cannot see anything more than about two inches below the surface. My son even donned a pair of swimming goggle to look around under the surface and emerged to breathlessly inform me that it was “pitch black down there!” I took his word for it. Watching the fizzer turn clear water into a substance so dark you suspect a Lethifold may have taken up residence in your tub is quite the experience and I’m glad I had the presence of mind to film it, make sure to take a look!
Personally, I wasn’t enamored with the smell of the Cauldron Bath Fizzer. The packaging claims it is “fragranced with notes of lemon, melon, and sandalwood” but I couldn’t detect anything citrusy, mostly a strange, somewhat chemically scent. However, my son liked it even after half an hour of sitting in the bath surrounded by it, so this is probably just my personal preference. One thing to note is that while the water didn’t stain my tub, anywhere it had dripped there were obvious “dirty water” marks that needed wiping up, so avoid using this just after cleaning your bathroom unless you want to repeat the chore.
We loved the Cauldron Bath Fizzer and my son has several of the other Harry Potter bath fizzer range, including the Golden Snitch and Gryffindor fizzers, on his Christmas list. Boots has produced a fizzer for each of the four houses so you’ll be able to pick one up even if you belong to one of the more merchandise-lacking houses.
Harry Potter Eye Mask – £6/$7.50
As a regular eye mask wearer thanks to mild insomnia, I was excited to try this out but found myself unimpressed. I use eye masks to block out excess light in my bedroom, but I found that the curved shape of the mask allowed a lot of light to pour in from below making it effectively useless for me. The polyester material felt cheap and I found it noisy; every movement I made seemed to create a crackling noise which didn’t help me relax and fall asleep. I compared the noise to the eye mask I currently use (a freebie from a transatlantic flight) and the noise levels are notably different.
On the plus side, the eye mask feels lovely. It is made from soft material and the Velcro on the strap is remarkably strong, so it is unlikely to come undone as you lie on it. My son found it highly amusing to steal it and lie in bed pretending to be a sleeping Harry Potter, but I had no urge to steal this eye mask back to use it myself.
Swish and Flick Cosmetic Brushes – £20/$25
Let me be the first to admit that I am no expert on makeup. As someone who almost never wears makeup, the idea of spending more than a pound or so on a brush seems ludicrous to me, yet I was curious to examine the Swish and Flick Cosmetic Brushes set to see if they seemed worth their £20 price tag.
Each of the set of five brushes has a handle designed to look like a wand and each has a different style of brush head giving them a wide range of uses. The brushes were much heavier than I expected. I had assumed that these would be cheap, light plastic handles, but instead the handles are made from metal which gives them a pleasant weight and makes them feel of high quality; the synthetic brush heads feel gorgeous too.
I particularly liked that instead of simply designing the brush handles to look like generic wands, the designers have used actual wand designs from the film series. However, I will admit that it’s been a few weeks since I first laid eyes on these and I’m still occasionally giggling to myself over the Lord Voldemort Shadow Cosmetic Brush—I’m sure it’s the legacy he dreamed of leaving behind!
For me, the biggest flaw with this brush set is the packaging which uses an enormous amount of plastic. While, admittedly, the box looks great, these brushes could easily have been presented using less than half the packaging here and I can’t help but be disappointed with the level of waste on display.
Eye Shadow Palettes – £12.50/$15.50
The final product I looked at was the Gryffindor Eye Shadow Palette. As I mentioned above, I’m not a makeup user but having tried these out on the back of my hand, they glided on smoothly, although I did find myself surprised at how weak some of the colors seemed with what felt like a lack of pigmentation.
The eyeshadows are presented in a gorgeous palette with a magnetic fastening that holds closed even with significant bashing about, and the lid of the palette is inlaid with a shield-shaped mirror and text of the house traits—in this case, Determination, Courage, and Bravery.
For me, however, there’s one big flaw with these eyeshadow palettes. As with several other products in this range, there’s one for each of the four houses and in the case of the eyeshadow palettes the colors match the house too, so the Gryffindor palette is filled with red hues, Ravenclaw’s with blues, and so on. But not everyone will suit their house shades when it comes to makeup. Even those of us who rarely wear it know whether we suit cooler or warmer shades which will leave many in a quandary.
I am a Ravenclaw but I suit and only ever use warmer colors like those in the Gryffindor palette, so if I bought my own house’s palette I would almost never use the colors inside. Many Harry Potter fans (myself included) are very precious about our houses, so buying something of the “wrong” house is inconceivable. Perhaps, in this instance, it would have been better to produce a single larger palette containing four sections, one for each house?
The Rest of the Boots Harry Potter Cosmetics Range
The rest of the Boots Harry Potter cosmetics range includes a selection of lip balms in animal-shaped tubs such as Crookshanks, Hedwig, and Scabbers (not entirely sure I want to dip my fingers inside Peter Pettigrew then rub the contents on my lips but nevermind…), a set of four Hogwarts House Hand Creams with fragrances designed for the four houses, a set of Color Changing Lipsticks that rub on in your house shade but change to “create your own personal and unique shade of nude/pink” (wish I could have tested those), and a set of three Unicorn Nail Polishes in silver, purple, and green/silver.
I found myself impressed by most of the Boots Harry Potter cosmetics range and have added several items from it to my Christmas list. If you have a Potterhead on your holiday shopping list this year, be sure to check this range out as there’s sure to be something for them here.
GeekMom received these items for review purposes.