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

Rene Furterer Lissea Leave-In Smoothing Fluid Review

It used to be that when my hair got frizzy midweek, I just had to put up with it. Through heat, humidity, exercise or whatever, it didn’t matter how much smoothing cream or defining spray I used, I was stuck with a pile of frizz until I had time to fully wash it again. Then one day during a particularly unruly week, I saw a coworker had a bottle of Rene Furterer’s Lissea Smoothing Fluid on her desk, so I asked to try it out.IMG_6991

I ran a couple of pumps through my hair, and I was AMAZED at how the frizz immediately turned back into sleek curls. It was insane. I’ve never had my hair behave so quickly and easily before, ever. Obviously, I immediately got myself a bottle, and it has become a complete lifesaver. Every time I get a patch of hair out of line, I smooth a bit of this through and it’s a beautiful curl again!

Lissea Smoothing Fluid contains physalis extract – aka winter cherry, aka Japanese lantern berry, aka the yummy orange berries with the paper leaves around them. This is what gives it the amazing anti-frizz effect. It’s also intended to protect hair from heat styling, so if you’re into that, this is the product for you.

Avocado and sweet almond oil also help to genuinely nourish the hair, which I think is essential for any self-respecting anti-frizz product to do. It’s all well and good to coat unruly hair, but frizz will never go away or improve in the slightest if you don’t look after it!

I adore this stuff, and it’s made my notoriously difficult hair SO much easier to care for. It’s available exclusively on Escentual.com AND there’s currently 25% off so get over there and buy some for £12.75!

Bringing the beauty – a Travel Post!

I’m super excited. Tomorrow I’ll be going to New York for the first time! And then up to Canada, to stay with a friend. I can’t wait, and I thought that before I go I’d share how I roll when it comes to travelling.

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These are my essentials for hand luggage. A good book. Palmer’s lipbalm. Weleda Skin Food (for my face). Weleda Rhinodoron spray for my nose (the dry air doesn’t like my sinuses). A mini Jurlique Rose Hand Cream (luxurious and nourishing, because I’ll be using a tonne of antibac hand wipes too). Pacifica Coconut Milk Wipes (for freshening up). Urbanears Headphones (the best, and prettiest). Gin Gin ginger sweets (for ear popping purposes). Benefit’s They’re Real! (because my eyelashes are more or less see through so I need mascara at all times). Buddha Nose Girl Balm (the smell is calming and refreshing at the same time).

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I’m so glad I invested in a few new mini bottles to decant all this in. Because it went from all that…

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To just these! So satisfying. I’m going to need to wash my hair while I’m away which is annoying, because I need to use so much shampoo and conditioner I have no choice but to bring whole bottles. But being able to shink the rest of the products down to just this has helped SO MUCH. Most of these bottles came from Muji, with the exception of the Travalo perfume bottle, and the oil bottle, which actually came from a Weleda Body Oil set.

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I’ve kept it super simple with make up. To be fair, my make up routine is very simple all the time anyway, as I rarely experiment. I just decanted a couple of broken eyeshadows into my tiniest travel pots to save a little space.

So that’s it! I’m really pleased with how much space I’ve saved with those Muji bottles. Happy travels, touch wood! And if you’re going away yourself this summer, I hope you have a great time 🙂

Review: Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Leave In Conditioner

Oh wow is it hot in here. And by here, I mean ALL OF LONDON. It’s ridiculous. I had two job interviews this week and had to go out and buy new clothes because I don’t own anything smart but breathable enough for this weather. Anyway, sweating almost as much as I did in the Amazon aside, this kind of heat does all kinds of dreadful things to my hair, things of the dry frizz variety. Enter: Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Leave In Conditioner.

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First things first, this stuff smells DIVINE. I used it just before going out one night (you’ll see the effect below) and one of my friends was drunkenly telling me over and over how good my hair smelled! It’s coconutty, but doesn’t get the stale smell that pure coconut oil gets if you put it on you hair. Consistency-wise, its a very watery lotion, so its perfect for my super thick hair, as cream takes an age to distribute.

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Hope you like my set up. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to break out the ludicrous hawaiian shirt I bought on Brick Lane. Have you ever seen such an angry toucan? Anyway, back to the thing I was supposed to be talking about…

I’ve used the Leave In as a product on wet hair, and to revitalise dry hair, and it’s been great for both. After washing, I needed to dry my hair better than I usually would, because obviously its quite a liquidy formula, but it’s such an amazing defrizzer that it didn’t matter. My hair feels so smooth when I put it on, really really silky and soft.

IMG_3417You have no idea how hard it is to take good selfies of my hair…

After following with my other styling products, the curls stayed soft for several days, which was amazing. But then naturally, they started to frizz up a bit after that. So I reapplied. Here’s a before and after of how that went (hint: really rather well)

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I LOVE this Leave In. It goes perfectly with the Coconut Oil Hair Milk to leave me with silky soft, shiny, perfectly defined curls. I don’t like to use things that make my hair crunchy, but equally I hate having fluffy hair, and this hits it right in the middle. I can’t use the milk when my hair is dry as I can’t brush it, so the leave in is the ideal alternative. And it’s super cheap – only £4.99 on feelunique.com! 

While I was setting up this ridiculous set of photos, I realised that I’ve accumulated quite the collection of Palmer’s products! Not even I realised I loved the brand this much, but I do!

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Before I go, I want to talk about that awesome little thing down in the bottom right. Cocoa Butter Lip Balm.

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Again with the angry toucan, I can’t get enough of it. This lip balm has obviously been around forever, but this was a shape I hadn’t seen before, its oblong rather than round. They do loads of different cocoa butter swivel sticks (a friend of mine used to use a gigantic one that I always thought was cool because you could use it on dry skin too) but I really like this version.

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This is the point where I gave up and just made the photo all about the angry toucan. But do you see what I mean? It’s a really nice shape to use, and its the wonderful Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Lip Balm you’ve doubtless bought before and loved. If you haven’t – try it out, it goes on silky, and really nourishes wonderfully. Get it from Superdrug for £1.89!

Natural Curly Hair Care Routine

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Soooo…here it is! Everything I use on my hair aside from my Tangle Teezer and towel (I’m not showing you my Tangle Teezer, it looks like a dog chewed it…nope, just my hair). You can probably see a theme here, which is that I try to use products that are as natural as possible. Something you might not know about conventional hair care products is that they often contain ingredients that are illegal to put into skincare. The idea being that you can’t absorb stuff from your hair into your bloodstream, so they’re ‘not as hazardous’. I’m hardly one to preach though because I don’t even know what the ingredients of the last product are, I just use is because its works so well! So anyway, lets get on with it… Continue reading