My Festive Beauty Bundle

 

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You’ll just have to imagine that this post is on time… I’ve really enjoyed being mostly ‘offline’ during the holidays, but now I’m back and ready to blog!

I have been so unbelievably spoilt this year, which is weird because I’m sure as you get older Christmas is supposed to fizzle out. Of course, a good proportion of the gifts I unwrapped were to be added to my beauty cupboard, and here’s what I got treated to this year… Continue reading “My Festive Beauty Bundle”

My Festive Beauty Bundle

Ingredient Focus: Bentonite Clay

Image source: http://www.lahealthyliving.com/
Image source: http://www.lahealthyliving.com/

Just as clothes, hair styles and handbags do, skincare ingredients come in and out of fashion. One wonder ingredient I keep spying is Bentonite Clay, a cleansing ingredient that supposedly boasts many skincare and healing properties. I learnt about this through working with skincare maven Antonia Burrell, who uses it in her NEW Mask Supreme 7-in-1 (which is well worth checking out, by the by). Continue reading “Ingredient Focus: Bentonite Clay”

Ingredient Focus: Bentonite Clay

Festival SOS: Keeping Clean

IMG_3798 If you’re off to a festival this year, you’ll need to think about packing light (prioritise the beer people!), meaning there simply isn’t room for endless supplies of make up or your favourite 10 body lotions ‘just in case’. Practicality is key, but that still is NO REASON for baby wipe showers. Never. Never ever. In this post I’ll give you my advice on some amazing multi-taskers, and the best ways to keep clean in a fuss-free fashion…. Continue reading “Festival SOS: Keeping Clean”

Festival SOS: Keeping Clean

Naturalmente Organic and Natural Shampoo

This is a brand that I am super excited to introduce, so I’ll just cut right to the chase. Naturalmente is another brand new to the UK, and formulate Organic and Natural Shampoos and Conditioners using an aromatic blend of botanicals. The reason I’m so enthused about this brand is that they seem to tick all of the boxes for guilt-free haircare. Created back in 2004 by top Italian hairdressers Brigida and Domenico Tomaselli, Naturalmente was inspired by the natural healing powers of aromatherapy. Naturalmente refuse to use: Parabens, Formaldehyde, Diethanolamine, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLES) or synthetic perfumes and promise that their packaging is 100% biodegradable (and also toxin free if it’s burnt), leaving minimal impact on the planet, which is right up my street. I’ve been testing their Rosemary and Lavender Shampoo* and their Yogurt and Millet Conditioner*, here’s what I think!

Naturalmente

Rosemary & Lavender Shampoo

Natualmente ShampooNow, those of you that follow my blog will know that I’m a HUGE fan of the Liz Earle Botanical Shine Shampoo (review here), and it takes a lot to steer me in a different direction, though I did feel in the mood to try something a little different, and really fancied putting this to the test. Rosemary & Lavender are two of my favourite scents in the world; Rosemary simulates the brain, and gives us extra bursts of happiness and energy when we need it most, and Lavender is well known for it’s antibacterial and calming properties, so a match made in heaven really. This product has been formulated especially for those with oily scalps or problems with dandruff, and I have got to say that it does keep my scalp really balanced throughout the day. Having combination skin means that my hair tends to get oily very quickly, certainly overnight, but this shampoo helped me to feel fresher throughout the day which was fantastic. Despite this, I am still sat on the fence with this shampoo. I found that I had to use double the amount I would normally use as it almost refuses to foam up, meaning I didn’t feel like it was working very hard on my hair, which is fine as it’s a very natural shampoo, but I would be worried about the value for money if I purchased a full-size bottle. Saying that, even with all of the wonderful organic ingredients, Naturalmente is still a very affordable luxury, and this bottle retails at £9.00 for 250ml.

Yogurt & Millet Conditioner

Naturalmente ConditionerThis conditioner is especially designed for those that struggle with dry, damaged or dull hair, which unfortunately is a category I fall into. Having long hair is always tricky, it becomes hard to tame, and is more prone to tangles and environmental damage. I have got to say that this conditioner has been fantastic at helping to restore shine to my hair and has certainly made it feel really nourished and well looked after. The scent is very unusual – it smells sort of like biscuits, which does take some getting used to, but is by no means unpleasant. I haven’t seen millet used in hair care before, but millet is rich in protein which helps to restore your hair’s health, it also can help to promote hair growth, so would be fantastic for those that suffer with hair loss. The millet combined with the yogurt protein, lemon, eucalyptus and mint essential oils make this a highly nourishing product for both your scalp and hair – and definitely worth a try.

Just one final note.. the packaging is incredible. Not only is it 100% biodegradable, but it is this wonderful material that feels really great (I know that’s a weird thing to say, but it really does feel amazing) and is perfectly squeezy. There is nothing worse than having a shampoo container that you have to battle with each morning! Overall, I think these products make for a fantastic everyday haircare routine. Naturalmente also have a range of hair styling products, including this Smoothing Solution for a very reasonable £6.25, which has made its way firmly onto my wish list!

Top Tip:

Carry around some Rosemary Essential Oil when you travel for an instant, natural pick me up when you need it most!

Naturalmente Organic and Natural Shampoo

Battle of the Brands: Heat Defence

I’ve decided to start these battle of the brands posts, simply because I think they would be the most helpful kind of review. Realistically, when you’re shopping you’re weighing up options. This first post will focus on heat defence products for hair styling. Something that has always been a struggle for me to find. My hair is very particular about what it accepts – a lot products tend to leave it sticky, dry, tangly or just… unfavourable, so taking the risk of spraying something on my hair post-wash is not one to be taken lightly.

Heat DefenceIn this post I’ll be comparing the Tesemme Heat Defence Styling Spray and the Dove Mist Heat Defence. Sorry that these aren’t all-natural wonder-products, but this is always something I don’t think about ordering in advance, and just ends up being a panic purchase at the supermarket. (Cue your comments suggesting good heat defence sprays I can order here!)

DoveThe Dove Mist Heat Defence Spray (150ml – £3.58) boasts a micro moisture serum, and in case, like me, you were wondering what that actually is, here is a quote: ‘Dove advanced damage care and repair technology: Micro Moisture Serum creates a shield around the hair to help protect its internal structure against damaging effects of heat styling.’

I am always super sceptical of products that claim to ‘repair’ hair – simply because it cannot be done, but otherwise, this spray is easy to use, smells okay, is great on damp hair, lightweight and does the trick. So long as I use a heat defence, my hair stays in pretty great condition between my bi-annual haircuts (don’t judge me) but what I really don’t like about this product is that it doesn’t help to keep frizz at bay. I dread blow drying my hair, simply because I cannot tame the fly aways afterwards, which often results in me straightening my hair or just tying it up so I don’t have to deal with it, which isn’t ideal..

TresemmeThe Tresemme Heat Defence Styling Spray (£4.99 – 300ml) is overall very similar. It’s great to apply to damp hair, smells okay, keeps my hair protected and doesn’t leave me with any sticky residue which is fantastic.

Although this product by the millilitre is cheaper, it makes bigger claims than the Dove alternative… it says it’s a ‘professional quality product’, seals in shine, protects your hair from heat damage from blow drying and straightening as well as preventing frizz and fly aways. Where do I start? I would agree that this spray does offer great protection and helps to keep hair glossy and shiny, which is definitely an added bonus, but again, it doesn’t help to control frizz or fly aways!

The Comparison:

Overall, it’s kinda difficult to compare these products, simply because they are pretty much the same! They both offer great heat protection, are lightweight, seal in shine, smell okay, are widely available and are easy to use. Sadly neither help me to combat the frizz attack after blowdrying, so for this reason I’ll be moving on once I’ve used them all up. I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend either of them, but if your hair is relatively easy to control, I’d definitely go for one of these! They’re cheap and are a great staple for styling hair! If I had to choose a winner though, it would have to be the Tresemme Heat Defence spray – it’s cheaper, comes in a bigger bottle and will look much better on your shelf!

What are your favourite heat protectors? Feel free to leave any recommendations below!

Battle of the Brands: Heat Defence

Green Beauty Swap!

Green Beauty Swap

For those of you that haven’t seen, Christmas 2013 hosted a festive Green Beauty Swap, coordinated by Ria of NatuRiaBeauty and Tania who writes Bow Tied Beauty! Since I’m in my first year of blogging, I thought it would be really great to take part and get to know some fellow bbloggers and their likes & dislikes!

I got paired up with the lovely Ria! I’ve enjoyed getting to know her (and scanning her blog for preferences!) and loved picking gifts for her. It’s not often I tend to gift skincare, simply because it can be so tricky without giving the game away and asking about their skin type, but the Christmas Green Beauty Swap works as a not so secret Santa and you talk about all of these things beforehand!

I must admit that this was the first gift I opened this Christmas – I couldn’t wait! I was soo happy with the contents – there are so many things I will be able to enjoy! I was gifted:

  • Botanicals Chamomile Skin Tonic & Facial Cleanser
  • Cowshed Cow Herb Hand Cream
  • John Masters Organics Shampoo, Detangler, Body Wash & Body Milk
  • Balm Balm Rose Lip Balm
  • Collagen Mask Pack
  • Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil

I can’t wait to try everything out properly! I have given the Botanicals goodies a go, and have had my Cowshed hand cream hanging around today and have been really enjoying everything so far!

Updates to follow!

Green Beauty Swap!

Liz Earle Botanical Shine Conditioner

liz earle logoMy hair is suffering big style. Recent weather changes and lack of haircuts (don’t judge me) mean that my hair is looking a little worse for wear. Thankfully the Liz Earle team stepped in early enough to save me from another weeks misery, and sent me over the Botanical Shine Conditioner to partner up with my shampoo (See review here)Liz Earle Botanical Shine Conditioner

I’m quite particular about hair care. I like the products I use to be substantial and rich, which can be tricky when you’re trying to go natural. I usually find that most natural shampoos tangle my hair and the conditioners just… well, they don’t do anything! Lucky for me, the Botanical Shine Conditioner is rich, thick and luxurious and smells amazing, so it definitely ticks all my boxes whilst giving me a little more incentive to get up in the morning for my shower! That’s right, I wash my hair every day; and I know it’s a bad habit and isn’t very eco, but I feel like I’ve done enough in my life to compensate that!

As with all the Liz Earle products, the smell is absolutely amazing! The hair care range is probably one of my favourite smells ever, and it really sticks around throughout the day if you don’t load up your hair with products afterwards. My only concern is the perfume in the ingredient list… Perfumes can either be a million ingredients combined together to create the ‘perfect’ smell, or simply a few essential oils combined and added for a slightly sweeter scent. I’m hoping Liz Earle sit somewhere in the middle!

The active ingredients in this conditioner include: Apple Fruit Extract which leaves your hair super shiny as well as Yangu Oil and West African Shea Butter which conditions and restores moisture. Definitely a great cocktail of ingredients, with plenty of benefits to your hair!

Again, it does what it says on the tin, which is all I could ever ask of a product. It cares for my damaged hair and leaves it with a beautiful, natural shine. My hair can become brittle and dry very quickly, so it’s great to be able to use the Botanical Shine Shampoo & Conditioner every day to keep my hair nourished and soft! My tip would be to leave your conditioner in for a few minutes to set in if you don’t already, whilst you get on with other things – you’ll definitely notice the difference!

If you don’t have dry hair like me, there is also a conditioner for Fine & Oily Hair and one for Normal Hair too!

Are you a Liz Earle fan too? Let me know which of their products you’ve been using!

Full ingredients list

Aqua (water), Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice, Cetearyl alcohol, Behentrimonium chloride, Glyceryl stearate, Vitellaria paradoxa (shea butter), Calodendrum capense (yangu) seed oil, Pyrus malus (apple) fruit extract, Citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) fruit extract, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Crambe maritima (blue seakale) extract, Panthenol, Limonene, Parfum (fragrance), Butylene glycol, Isopropyl alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Cetrimonium chloride, Linalool, Benzoic acid, Phytantriol, Dehydroacetic acid, Benzyl salicylate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium hydroxide, Citric acid.

Liz Earle Botanical Shine Conditioner