Homemade face masks with Latin Honey

Honey has been a beauty product pretty much since humans first learned how to harvest it. It’s anti-bacterial properties are well known, and is the reason that raw honey never actually goes off. This means it helps to reduce blemishes by eliminating bacteria, and it also helps to soothe irritation in some people because it purifies the skin without stripping it of natural oils. It also has some anti-inflammatory properties, and as if that wasn’t enough, honey is also moisturising, which makes it great for both the skin and hair.

I’ve never actually tried using honey in skincare so when Latin Honey invited me to try out their honey with a beauty perspective I was intrigued. Their honey is raw, organic, single origin South American honey and let me tell you before we begin that it is the best tasting honey I have ever tried. Raw honey is far more nutritious than pasturised honey as it contains enzymes that are apparently good for digestion, as well as some antioxidants.

But what does it do for the skin?

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My partner and I have very different skin types so we both had a go. Firstly I tried the Riviera Gum Honey* as a hair mask. I mixed it with shea butter and coconut oil, and applied it all over the front section of my hair. This part is very brittle, so it dries out and frizzes up much quicker than the rest of my hair. After I applied this mask and left it on for half an hour, it definitely felt different. The honey created a barrier to hydrate and to keep the oils in, and I’m absolutely certain that this mask repaired damage to my hair. It was very sticky and took a while to wash out, but my hair has been softer ever since.

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Then we tried the Volcano Sunflower Honey* as plain face masks – and this was amazing for me. After leaving it on for 10 minutes and rinsing with warm water my skin was so soft and smooth, with no sign of irritation or redness. In fact, some of the redness I already had was reduced, thanks to those anti-inflammatory properties! Some blemishes I had very quickly reduced afterwards too. I was really impressed that my sensitive skin looked so calm after using honey on it. I will definitely continue to use the honey this way, as I can’t quite believe how soft my skin was! It’s also worth nothing that because they’re raw, these honeys can be used to exfoliate thanks to the slight crystalisation that naturally happens in storage. I felt the granules when I was washing it off and it was very gentle, but definitely contributed to the smooth feeling.

For my partner, who has very oily, blemish prone and congested skin, we tried something a little more intense, and squeezed half a lemon into the honey before he applied it. The effect was amazing. His skin was much more radiant, mattified and super soft without being oily at all when he washed it off.

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We were so impressed by the honey’s effectiveness on its own. But of course we had to experiment, and we also discovered the best beard scrub of all time: mix a tablespoon or two of honey into roughly blended oats, and massage into the beard. This not only purifies the skin underneath facial hair by eliminating bacteria lurking there, it also softens the skin and hair, AND gets rid of dead skin buildup, allowing the hair to grow healthily. I think this could also be used as a really luxurious body scrub too, but I have so many scrubs to use up I haven’t gotten around to trying that yet!

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I am amazed by the quality of Latin Honey, they taste incredible, and the effect on my skin and hair is really impressive. By using a raw, organic honey as a face or hair mask, whether combined with ingredients or not, you’re also benefitting from using simple, pure skincare that you know is safe enough to eat – and when those kinds of products are actually effective, it’s definitely a good idea to give it a whirl! Latin Honey have a selection of four honeys which all look amazing, but here are the two that I’ve tried:

Volcano Sunflower Honey from Mexico: Tastes fruity and floral – this is amazing on toast. This is the honey I’ve used for face masks, which have left both my and my partner’s skin smooth, radiant and purified.

Rivera Gum Honey from Uruguay: Tastes buttery and toffee-like. I love eating this on porridge. It’s also apparently good for dandruff so this is the one I used this on my hair, and was very impressed with how soft my hair ended up.

Have you used honey in your beauty routine before?

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Massive September Empties Post

So at the end of August, I decided enough was enough and it was time for a spending ban. I didn’t buy a single product for myself – no cosmetics of any kind, whether I needed them or not. And I finished off a massive TWENTY products! My drawers are so much lighter, and I’ve decided to carry it on throughout October too. But of course, I had to share my thoughts on all these used up products, didn’t I! Read on to find out which I loved and which I didn’t.

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I decided it might make it a bit easier if I broke the photo up throughout the blog post – so here’s 1-4:

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1.Boots Extracts Cocoa Butter Scrub – Do not, and I cannot stress this enough, DO NOT buy this. The stickiness is unreal. Both my boyfriend and I have been completely unable to rinse off the sticky residue this scrub leaves behind. I couldn’t even tell you if it leaves my skin smooth, because it’s just STICKY. Plus, Boots were very patronising when I moaned on twitter – they told me ‘The instructions say to rinse it off’. Seriously. That was their response. If by rinse you mean ‘attempt to get it the hell of your skin by washing with every shower gel and shampoo in your bathroom before eventually giving up and cringing as your sticky legs stick to your towel’ then yes, Boots. I will rinse it off. This one isn’t empty – I just cannot stand to use it again.

2. Lush Elbow Grease – I am OBSESSED with this solid body oil. The fragrance is a tropical and flowery, with orange blossom and ylang ylang. It nourishes the skin wonderfully, it lasts for ages and the packaging is so sustainable! It’s literally just a bit of greaseproof paper. Also, the only time it melted was the hottest day of the year, and I’m sure if I’d just put it in a dark corner, it would have been fine. I’ve already bought a new one because I couldn’t stand to be without it!

3. Caudalie Divine Body Scrub – This is a gorgeous scrub, really luxurious and nourishing. My skin feels incredible after using this, so soft and smooth, and yet the scrub itself actually feels really gentle on the skin. This is the perfect way to pamper yourself with a little bit of luxury, and the smell is HEAVEN.

4. Jurlique Balancing Foaming Cleanser – love this stuff, always have and always will. Its gentle formula deeply cleanses without stripping the skin at all, and I have no doubt that had a huge part to play in me achieving the best skin of my life.

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5. REN Rosa Centifolia No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm – A good, effective cleanser with a lovely scent, but one I simply cannot recommend to anyone. If this gets anywhere near your eyes, the stinging is unbearable – honestly it hurts more than shampoo, shower gel, anything. It’s such a shame because otherwise it’s a really nice product, but nothing should sting that much, and it’s not like I’m even properly getting it in my eyes, this is just an everyday occurrence when you use it.

6. Klorane Eye Makeup Remover – This is another product that I loved when I first bought it, but I felt like it became less effective the longer I had it. Maybe it evaporated a bit, because it started to smell very chemically too – almost acrid, like nail polish remover. I didn’t have a reaction or anything, but I certainly didn’t enjoy using it as much as I had, and I’ve found other products I prefer.

7. Korres Bergamot Pear Shower Gel – Still my all time favourite shower gel, this is the best scent on the planet and leaves your skin clean and super smooth. I love it, and will repurchase foreeeeever.

8. Weleda Almond Cleansing Lotion – I like using this to remove my makeup – it’s very gentle and reasonably effective. But if you use it to remove eye makeup it leaves a horrible oily film over your eyes. I used to love it, but I’ve definitely discovered better makeup removers recently (that, like this one, are also 100% natural).

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9. Lush Big Shampoo – This is Lush’s salt shampoo, (you can’t see because I decanted it ages ago into a smaller pot) and is supposed to volumise the hair without stripping it of oils. I used it once on my scalp, and while I think the concept is solid, the salt is just too rough. My scalp felt raw and I was really concerned about the effect the jagged crystals would have on my hair. I used it on my feet and the backs of my arms instead – but even on them it felt a little too rough.

10. The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter – This is such a shit product, honestly. It leaves a layer of grease on your skin after rinsing, doesn’t remove makeup properly in the first place, and cannot remove eye makeup at all. It smells lovely, but it doesn’t even have a natural formula. I really don’t think there’s any excuse for cleansing balms or oils not to have natural formulas as the natural oils are the bits that do all the hard work, and this product 100% proves that theory. Someone on instagram suggested to me that I use the rest on my legs when I shave, and it did a very nice job as a shaving balm. But I would obviously only recommend that if you’re trying desperately to use up this tin of rubbish you spent £10 on – otherwise stick to shower gel and remember how to prevent ingrown hairs!

11. Serge Lutens Fleurs d’oranger – My one and only, beloved perfume. I can’t imagine ever wearing another scent. It fits me perfectly. I’ve been using it for a year now, and it makes me happy every single morning.

12. Jurlique Jasmine Shower Gel – This is one luxurious shower gel. Both price wise and quality wise. The jasmine fragrance is heady and intense, while the later is super thick and rich. It lasts for ages too, and I think it makes a great treat for yourself or someone else (unless paying £17 for 300ml of shower gel is just par for the course in your life in which case go forth and enjoy!).

13. Eve Lom Cleanser – This was described by Vogue as ‘probably the best cleanser in the world’ and to be honest, yep. It is amazing, however it is also prohibitively expensive, and sometimes the oils in it smell like fish. I think Trilogy’s Cleansing Balm is a much better option for these two reasons, though I do accept that this is a particularly gorgeous balm.

14. & Other Stories Fig Fiction Body Scrub – These sugar scrubs are so nice, and really cheap! They smell amazing, and are lovely to use. They’re only £5 and come in a wide variety of fragrances, making them a pretty solid choice.

15. L’Occitane Peony Shower Gel – This shower gel put me in a good mood whenever I used it. The foam was lovely and my skin felt soft, and the scent is uplifting, sweet and clean. I adore the smell of peony, and I’ll definitely keep an eye out for this next time I need a new shower gel.

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16. Kerastase Oleo-Curl Cream – I liked the smell of this, and it did a reasonably good job of re-defining my curls between washes. But it wasn’t very nourishing, and it has a shimmer in it for some bizarre reason. Probably ok for people with less porous curls, but not something I enjoyed using, or saw any benefit from.

17. Pit-Rok Salt Deodorant – This is just about the best natural deodorant that exists. It keeps smell at bay, ALL DAY EVERY DAY. Can you believe that? It’s just salt. It works so well. You must try it. I use it every morning.

18. Weleda Sage Deodorant 100ml – I keep the 30ml in my bag at all times incase of any underarm smell throughout the day. It’s really good at eliminating body odour, but does absolutely nothing to prevent it. I’ll keep buying the 30ml, but I don’t need the bigger version as I only use it on the go.

19. REN Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk – I used this last winter, and kept a tiny bit back in case my skin ever reacted to any new cleansers. I loved it – my skin got very dry last winter and this helped to keep it smooth and soft, but still really clean! I would use it twice, the first time I’d apply and then wipe my makeup off with cotton pads, and the second time I’d wash it off to refresh my skin. I decided to finish it off this month, and it was just as wonderful as I remember.

20. Nuxe Prodigieux Scented Shower Oil – Honestly don’t know what the point of this shower gel is supposed to be. It has a gold shimmer in it – which doesn’t leave any effect on the skin but which they feel the need to mention on the packaging, and the scent is really artificial and boring. My skin did feel reasonably soft after using it, but if you want nourishment from your shower product, use Eucerin’s shower oil instead.

Phew! That was a long one. Congrats if you made it to the end. What did you think? Did I slate any of your faves, or warned you off something you were just about to buy??

A beginner’s guide to body oils

Several years ago, a colleague of mine was talking to me about how much she loved a body oil made by the company we were working for. I replied that I didn’t really understand oils – didn’t they just make you sticky? She insisted that I take home a bottle (perks of the job if you work in beauty) and told me I would end up addicted to the silky soft feeling of freshly oiled skin sinking into bed.

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A good body oil won’t make your skin sticky, just silky soft and smooth. Nothing soothes skin after shaving like an oil, and nothing feels more luxurious. I’ve been obsessed with oils now for ages, and I know that there is SO much choice. Unlike with skincare, you don’t really have a body skin ‘type’ so I thought I’d make it easier for you to pick your new favourite bodycare by talking about the different types of oil out there (and sharing some faves of course!)

Before we begin, there are a few things all body oils should have in common. Their base should be natural oils such as jojoba, almond, rosehip, coconut, sacha inchi, sunflower, avocado and apricot kernal. They shouldn’t be based on mineral oil, as this really defeats one of the main purposes of body oils – that the skin is able to absorb it fully, and really benefit. Their fragrance should also be totally natural – given that they’re absorbed so completely, do you really want some weird-ass ‘blue’ or ‘amber’ notes being sucked into your skin? The oils and extracts used to fragrance an oil should usually have some skincare benefit too, or at least smell like heaven in a bottle. Anyway, lets get started!

The All Over Body Oil: These are oils that can be used on your hair and face as well as body. Most oils can be used like this but some are specifically designed for this purpose – they tend to use rosehip, jojoba and almond oils which are lighter and particularly beneficial for the skin of the face, and easily absorbed by the hair. Their perfumes tend to be gentler as well. Divine Oil from Caudalie is a wonderful example of this – although it’s intensely nourishing and has a heady, sensual scent, it’s really gentle and sinks straight in. This also makes it perfect for the summer!

The Coconut Oil Body Oil: Everyone should own a coconut oil based body oil if you ask me. The heaviest oil you can put on your body, we all know about it’s miraculous qualities. You can use it on your body for intense nourishment, and the hair as a daily or pre-shampoo treatment. Good coconut oil products will be solid at room temperature (anything that isn’t is either very diluted or very chemically – avoid). Hei Poa make the best ones, using monoi which is an absolutely heavenly scent. They aren’t easy to get in the UK but Amazon carries them.

The Detox Oil: These are often marketed as anti-cellulite or slimming oils (especially in January.) I’m fine with this claim in many ways – first of all, many actually do help, and second, how are you supposed to know what they do if they don’t write it on the box? But at the same time, there are brands that will say things like that to play on women’s insecurities. I trust a brand like Weleda to be doing it for the right reasons, and their Birch Cellulite Oil is magic for not only getting to the dimples that exercise can’t, but also giving your skin more radiance, by stimulating drainage and circulation. Look for oils containing stimulating ingredients like rosemary, birch, lemon and cypress. If you that one’s not for you, an alternative can be found at forskolin online.

The Stretch Mark/Scar Fading Oil: These are usually marketed towards pregnant women, but there’s no reason that anyone with stretch marks or scars can’t use them. To be honest, most oils will help as they feed the skin and help it to renew. For pregnancy, ones with arnica are great as they help with the stretching, and for scars, anything with rosehip and jojoba is best as these are most similar to the skin’s own sebum which means they get absorbed really effectively. You can even use rosehip on acne scars, it’s that effective! Look for healing ingredients in oils like these, such as arnica, rose, vitamin E, calendula, lavender, and if you’re really serious about this, retinoids – but NOT when you’re pregnant, ok?! Save retinoids for when the only contact you’re having with a baby is cuddles.

The Budget Friendly: Once you’re addicted to oils, your regular body lotions and butters will be about as appealing as a sticky an old tub of aqueous cream. So you might need something a bit cheaper for your everyday post-shower routine. There are lots of options, but this is where you get into the territory of rubbish, artificial flavours and mineral oils. Play it safe and get Lush’s Elbow Grease, not only is it the best smell on the PLANET, but it’s super nourishing, lasts for EVER, and comes in cheap for what you get at £5.95.

The Sports Oil: If you do lots of exercise, are planning a big hike or are just about to start a new spin class, it’s a very good idea to get an oil specifically for soothing and relaxing aching muscles. I love Weleda Arnica Massage Balm which has a massive amount of arnica in it, but look out for oils with peppermint, thyme, rosemary and ginger too.

The Massage Oil: Any oil can be used for massage, but sometimes it’s nice to get one especially for a nice rub down with your partner (and you can make sure they like the scent too!) – For this, I always recommend Lush’s massage bars. They have a massive range, and because they’re solid they’re perfect for a long, slow massage as they don’t sink in as quick.

The Eczema Oil: Now I’m not a medical professional and never claim to be, and eczema IS a disease, so check this with your doctor or derm if you feel you need to. The key when looking for an oil for eczema prone or hypersensitive skin is to look out for simplicity. You do not want essential oils anywhere near you. Look for calendula, chamomile, evening primrose, rosehip, sesame, safflower, almond or jojoba. They should be 100% natural, and ALWAYS patch test first!

The Luxury Oil: Everyone needs a treat every once in a while, and a really nice way to treat yourself, or someone else, is with a really luxurious, beautiful body oil. Applying oil is an act of self care, especially if done slowly, after a bath and before bed. REN’s Moroccan Rose Otto Body Oil is rich, beautifully fragranced with rose oil, and amazing for the skin. At £34 it’s not super expensive either! When buying a luxury oil, look for a story behind the oil or the extracts it contains. You’re looking for something precious to pamper yourself with!

Eloquence Beauty Nourishing Treatment Oil

Eloquence is a new skincare brand with a really interesting key ingredient: Sacha-inchi oil. I was  intrigued by this unknown plant extract, so when I was given the chance to try some products from Eloquence’s range, I jumped! The sacha-inchi plant is native to Peru, and after I googled it I realised that here was another plant I’d often seen when I was volunteering in the Amazon Rainforest. The oil from the seeds is extremely high in omega fatty acids, protein and antioxidants, which makes it a perfect choice for a nourishing product like Eloquence’s Nourishing Treatment Oil*

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The oil has a gorgeous citrusy scent which really sets it apart from most of the nourishing oils I’ve tried. It’s a thick, dense oil but they’ve somehow managed to make it absorb wonderfully without leaving greasiness or residue, so it’s basically the best of both worlds in terms of body oils. I love to use it on my legs after I shave, and I’ve also been massaging it into my nails at night because they’ve been flaky due to major stress I’ve been under recently. The oil was actually a lifesaver for this – it sinks into my nails instantly and leaves them shiny and healthy looking.

What I really love this oil for though, is my hair. Oh my word is this an amazing hair oil. The combination of coconut, sweet almond, olive, argan, sunflower and grape seed oils together with the magic sacha-inchi oil sinks into dry hair to leave it super soft and shiny. I’ve been using it on the curls around my hairline as they have a very brittle, dry texture and it is looking so much better! I also apply a little to the ends each night which is a lovely, indulgent experience as my hair smells divine when I sink into bed. Plus, bye bye split ends!

This is an utterly gorgeous multi-use, luxury oil that I cannot recommend highly enough. It is seriously one of the best oils I’ve ever used, and with the citrusy scent and easy absorption, it’s perfect for the warmer months! Get it from the Eloquence website for £29.99 – link

 

 

Lush Avocado Co-Wash: Review and How to Use!

Say hello to Lush’s edam-lookalike, heavenly scented, super nourishing Avocado Co-Wash.* (Pssst, are you from the USA? Click here instead)

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If you don’t know, a co-wash is a ‘conditioning wash’ meaning that it’ll take the gunk out of your hair without taking out any of the precious oils. Developed for afro hair, co-washing is also suitable for anyone who suffers from a dry scalp, dry, damaged or curly hair. I use a lot of afro products anyway, including ones from Lush, so I was REALLY excited when they brought this out.

With fresh avocado, cocoa butter, olive oil and cupuacu butter, this is a seriously nourishing product. But apple cider vinegar and SLS ensure that hair is left super clean and shiny too. Yes, I said SLS – but before you close the tab in disgust, let me explain something. SLS can be irritating, but that’s only because brands who don’t care about your skin shove it into products without any regard to how much they put in, or how balanced it is with the rest of the ingredients. A bit of SLS in a well-formulated product isn’t going to do anything to you unless your skin is hypersensitive (in which case I doubt you’re reading this blog post anyway).

It’s quite a simple product really, the conditioning oils and butters outweigh the cleansers, and it’s all tied together with a heavenly lime scent. I started using it after a Lush employee insisted that I try it (and after smelling it I was 100% sold) after I went in to buy a pot of R&B Hair Moisturiser, and after using them both together for months, my hair and scalp have never been in such good condition. My hair is soft and shiny, my scalp is clean. I am absolutely over the moon that I’ve found two products that make my hair look, feel and smell so good!

I first used Avocado Co-Wash back in the summer, and have used it almost every time I’ve washed my hair since. I know what you’re thinking, I’m such a lazy blogger, but no! I didn’t want to write about it until I’d figured out the best way to use it. You see, Avocado Co-Wash is a bit of a weird and wonderful product. A solid, pliable, almost waxy bar, the question of actually how to get it in your hair is a tough one. The instructions on Lush’s website just don’t work for me. They say to wet the bar, rub it up a bit to lather, and then rub it onto the scalp/hair. Perhaps this would work for people with short hair, and it’s probably great for afro hair as per their instructional video. But for me, this results in pulling, tangles, and not a whole lot of product. In the shop, the sales assistant told me to rub a bit across completely dry hands and then wet it before massaging into my scalp, but have you ever tried to achieve completely dry hands in a steamy bathroom? Impossible. So anyway, here’s my Avocado Co-Wash How To!

  • Get a clean cup or receptacle (preferably plastic, I’m only using glass here because I wanted to be pretty for you) large enough to swirl 1-2 inches of water around in it.

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  • Gouge off a bit of Avocado Co-Wash. I usually use about 3cm of product I’d say. It’s not an exact science, as you can always do another cleanse after (notice how the Co-Wash goes a bit browner after it’s been out? Just like an Avocado! So cool).

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  • Put a bit of hot water in the cup – not a lot, just enough to mostly cover the Wash.
  • Swirl (or stir, if you want to use a spoon, or shake if you use an empty cosmetic bottle like I do!) the liquid around in the glass like you’re doing a science experiment.
  • Once it’s started to dissolve, add a bit more hot water. At this point, the Wash should have softened enough that you can squidge it and get it to dissolve even further.
  • Finally, add a teeny bit more water, until you have a good enough amount to wash your hair with.

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So there you have it! My favourite shampoo, and my favourite way to use it. I cannot recommend it enough, I just can’t get over how clean and soft it leaves my hair! Get it here or pop into your local Lush.

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Lush R&B Hair Moisturiser

The first time I used Lush’s R&B Hair Moisturiser was a couple of weeks before I went to the Amazon Rainforest for two months. I wanted to bring bio-degradable everything but had found it nearly impossible to get green shampoo and conditioner that would suit my dry, frizzy, curly, thick hair. So I decided that if I just had a really good moisturiser, my hair would be ok with whatever I was going to use to wash the sweat, flies and grime out.

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Naturally, I headed to Lush, where I found this gorgeously fragranced, super rich hair moisturiser. I was head over heals in love with it, but I realised as soon as I stepped off the plane in Peru that I was going to end up as insect bait with this stunning scent in my hair, so I had to make do with leaving conditioner on my ends the entire time!

Fast forward two years and I found myself in Lush again, poring over the amazing new products in the Oxford Street store. I picked up the tester tub of R&B and as I smelled that incredible scent the memories of Peru came flooding back. I put a little on one of my curls, and seeing the way it instantly left my hair smooth, shiny and soft, I took a tub to the counter immediately.

R&B Hair Moisturiser is a powerhouse of hair nourishment, with avocado butter, olive oil, cupuacu butter, coconut oil and candelilla wax to protect, intensely moisturise and smooth frizzy, thick, dry, curly hair. Jasmine and orange absolutes give it a heady yet fresh, tropical scent that transports me back to the Amazon every time. The great thing about R&B is that it’s designed to help care for the scalp too, with soothing oat milk, easily absorbed jojoba oil and purifying bay oil to calm and nourish the overworked roots of the curly-haired. However, not only it it genuinely amazing for the health of your hair, it is the ultimate, perfect styling product for me.

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I use R&B Hair Moisturiser once a week when I wash my hair, and always apply it to damp/wet hair, after spraying it all over with some Palmer’s Coconut Moisturising Spray. It says on the R&B instructions that for the naturally curly you should apply to dry hair, but I find it’s perfect for ‘setting’ my curls after they’re washed. It takes me FOREVER, but I painstakingly separate every curl from root to tip, and smooth a fingertip of R&B through it. I follow this with a quick slick of Twisted Sista Serum. Now, I’ve had a similar haircare routine (spray, cream, serum and the best curling iron) for a long time, and the Palmer’s and Twisted Sista products have been a staple forever, but I can honestly say my hair is the healthiest it has ever been since using R&B Hair Moisturiser. It smells utterly divine, and it’s very telling that I’ve been compelled to take selfies like the above so much recently…my hair did NOT look like that before I started using R&B Hair Moisturiser…

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As if you needed any more proof that this product is absolutely amazing, look at the size I’ve started buying it in. Literally a bucket, and quite possibly one of the best investments I’ve made in my hair for a very long time. Although to be fair, at £34.95 for 450g, R&B Hair Moisturiser actually pretty incredible value. Try one of their smaller sizes to start with – £11.95 for 100g or £22.75 for 225g. Though if you have dry, thick, curly, frizzy or damaged hair I have no doubt you’ll end up buying the huge tub! Thanks for the perfect product, Lush.

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Lush Elbow Grease

I’ve been posting about Lush a lot recently (see here, here and here). This adoration is well deserved, because their new products are seriously amazing, and I think this melty, fragrant and intensely nourishing Elbow Grease moisturising bar might be one of my favourites.

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A fragrant, rich moisturising bar that can be used anywhere you need to nourish some dryness, Elbow Grease contains a gorgeous mixture of butters and oils held together seemingly by magic. The nourishing coconut oil, cupuacu and murumuru butters keep it in a bar shape, but only just. It’s so finely balanced that almost as soon as it comes into contact with your fingers it melts into a rich, thick oil. There’s candelilla wax in there too, which protects the skin like beeswax does. I keep my bar in its original paper to make sure it doesn’t melt on me. I’m sure it won’t, as it does hold its shape really well when your skin isn’t in direct contact with it, but still.

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I’ve never seen a product do this before (not even coconut oil on it’s own melts this quickly) and I absolutely love it. Melty gorgeousness aside, one of the best things about Elbow Grease is the smell. Holy crap, this stuff smells like heaven. It’s an intoxicating blend of neroli, orange blossom, rosewood, sandalwood and ylang ylang that wakes you up and makes you smile as soon as you smell it. Apart from the gorgeous fragrance, there were a few other reasons I bought it. First, I thought it would be good for the rough skin that I sometimes get on my hands and feet (to put on at night since there’s no way I’d be able to use my hands after slathering it on!). Then I thought it would be perfect for softening, perfuming and conditioning my underarm hair. But finally, and most importantly, I had an inkling that Elbow Grease would be amazing for my thick, dry, coarse, frizzy and curly hair.

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And that’s what this post is really about, because seriously, I was RIGHT. The first time I tried Elbow Grease on my hair, I had it up in a frizzy, annoying ponytail. I was in a rush so I just pinched a bit out and rubbed in between my fingers before smoothing it through my hair… and the frizz was gone. I had smooth, shiny curls all day. I’ve used it several times since, particularly when my hair gets that annoying bouncy frizz thing going on. Every time I use it end up with defined, shiny and nourished curls. Here’s the proof:

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Same handful of hair, but before the second pic I quickly ran some Elbow Grease over each curl. Now, it goes without saying that if your hair is thinner, oilier or generally more well behaved than mine, Elbow Grease will not have such a subtle and desirable effect on your hair. However, my boyfriend, who’s hair is completely normal and acceptable, has started using it about once a fortnight on his hair before he goes to bed, to soften and nourish it like an intense mask, and it looks gorgeous. He’s sitting with it on right now and actually it doesn’t look oily at all!

I am SO impressed with this stuff, and am secretly hoping I end up with my annual ‘winter dry hands’ so I have an excuse to use this on more parts of my body. I’m gonna get them anyway, may as well have a reason to look forward to it! Get Elbow Grease on Lush for £5.95 – link