Welcome to Natalie Loves, my regular round-up of favourite finds, best buys and tried-and-tested must-haves. My top hair and beauty essentials for December include a genius skin-boosting facial mist, a deliciously calming scented candle and a luxurious, hair-smoothing conditioner. Enjoy!
I love a face oil (read my Face Oil post), and have just discovered Kyushi’s The Power of Ten Face Oil. I love the fact that this oil is literally bursting with goodness, and is packed with 10 potent plant-based oils, all with skin-enhancing benefits. There’s Argan Oil to increase hydration levels, regenerating Sea Buckthorn, antioxidant-packed Blueberry Oil, Watermelon to rebalance and restore elasticity, plus Rosemary Leaf to calm any inflammation. The consistency of the oil is luxurious and you can literally feel it doing good as you squeeze the dropper, and apply it to your skin. There’s no doubt that with regular use I saw a major improvement in reducing redness, increasing moisture levels and restoring elasticity – a powerful oil in a small package!
Aveda were one of the first brands that made me sit up and take notice of what I was using on my hair and skin, and also to raise my awareness of the effects that ingredients were having on our Planet. When they first launched in the UK 25 years ago, I was lucky enough to train with them in-house, and their mission statement really had an impact on me.
Fast forward to today, and the company are still one of the leaders in holistic skin and haircare. Their latest Cherry Almond range continues the ethos of founder, Horst Rechelbacher, and contains the purest plant-based and organic ingredients. This deliciously-scented conditioner is exceptionally moisturising. Formulated with Cherry Blossom Extract, Almond Oil and certified organic Shea Butter, it deeply conditions and restores softness, elasticity and shine. Scented with 38 flower and plant essences including tonka bean, certified organic orange and ylang ylang essential oils, this is not only a delight for dry brittle hair, the wonderful aroma is a real treat for the senses! Perfect for dry, dehydrated hair and frizz-prone hair.
I recently discovered Cocochi Candles and fell in love with them instantly. Made using the highest quality natural, sustainable ingredient, including soy wax, cruelty-free fragrance, essential oils and clean-burning cotton wicks, they are also vegan-approved and paraben-free. Soy is used in preference of petroleum-based paraffin as it’s a safe and natural alternative. The wax is made from soybeans which are natural, renewable and biodegradable. Soy candles burn more ‘cleanly’ than those made from paraffin wax, creating very little soot by comparison to paraffin wax. They are also longer-lasting and slower-burning than other wax candles. The Davana Scented Candle is a delicious blend of Honeysuckle and fruit fragrance which you can smell as soon as you remove the lid – and even before you light it. It’s a real winner!
I don’t normally use facial mists, but I’m such a huge fan of make-up artist and facialist, Frances Prescott’s first skincare product, Tri-Balm, that I jumped at the chance to try Tri-Spritz, her latest ‘baby’. Like Tri-Balm, Tri-Spritz is a multitasking 3-in-1 product. Designed to protect skin from pollution and to boost cellular repair, it also helps to set make-up. Infused with moisturising ingredients like coconut water, rosewater and orange flower water, as well as protective ingredients such as chuffa milk and algae, which create an effective environmental barrier. This spritz really does keep my skin hydrated throughout the day – and helps make-up stay ‘fresh’. I find it really calms my skin – perfect, I have to admit, if you have a hot flush! It’s the perfect time to order your Tri-Spritz, Tri-Balm and new Tri-Body Treatment as Frances Prescott are offering 25% off the purchase of 2 or more products and optional complimentary gift wrapping!
Prai are one of my favourite beauty finds of 2019. This natural skincare brand (they are Leaping Bunny certified too) have been a huge success in M&S stores (PRAI is their leading skincare brand.) with their luxurious, natural skincare that’s also really affordable. Big tick from me! Recommended by the Good Housekeeping Institute, Prai’s Ageless Throat and Décolletage Crème gets my vote for effective neck and décolletage smoothing! Mulberry, saxifrage and Grape seed extracts work together to reduce discoloration and age spots, Shea Butter hydrates, and Vitamins A, E and F help to protect and rejuvenate. Definitely worth the investment.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a little pop of glamour! A firm favourite with models, make-up artists and manicurists, I’m a massive fan of French nail brand, Kure Bazaar have a range of over 70 super-chic shades in a variety of textures – matt, glitter or shimmer – just take your pick. Their 90 % natural, 10-free formulas are made from wheat, cotton, wood pulp, potatoes and corn and the formulas are also free from benzophenone -1 and -3. My favourite shade is Coquette, a gorgeous tangerine coral, perfect for getting the party started!
I don’t know about you, but my nails and cuticles are definitely more prone to splitting and breaking in the winter months. But I’m pleased to report that with regular applications of Dr Hauschka’s strengthening Neem Nail & Cuticle Oil, they’re already in better condition! This vegan-friendly oil contains Neem Leaf extract which is antifungal, and healing, together with plant extracts that encourage nail growth, the oil helps to strengthen and condition nails and cuticles. It also helps prevent flaking and promote flexibility. Great for giving nails some much-needed TLC.
Welcome to Natalie Loves, a regular round-up of my favourite finds and best buys. Here are this month’s top health, beauty and wellbeing essentials, including the water filter that changed my life (and my bottled water consumption!), and my favourite multitasking facial balm that cleanses, exfoliates and moisturises in one. Enjoy!
Through experience, I’ve learned that to get the full benefit of yoga, a comfortable, non-slip mat is must. OHMat Yoga Mats are super-comfy and anti-slip, as well as being beautifully designed by Dutch founder and yoga practitioner, Debbie. Ethically produced and vegan-friendly, I haven’t found a better mat to practice an activity that aligns mind, body and spirit.
This Water Filter is a game changer for anyone who loves the taste of bottled water but is trying to reduce their plastic consumption. The Berkey Water Filter is so effective that it filters out chalk, chlorine and bacteria while retaining all the goodness in water such as beneficial minerals like magnesium. The filter only needs to be changed every 11 years which makes it an affordable alternative to bottled water where the equivalent of 3 litres a day over 11 years would cost over £10,000!The water tastes also tastes smooth and delicious – I promise you won’t stop drinking it!
Forget Botox and fillers. I swear by my daily DIY Gua Sha facial. One of the most effective – and natural ways – to improve your skin, Gua Sha is an ancient Chinese therapy that is just as effective as facial rollers and micro-needling. Massaging your skin with this indispensable Jade skincare tool (also available in Rose Quartz) not only delivers anti-aging benefits, it also helps boost circulation, improve lymphatic drainage and relieve stress. A must-have for any beauty queen.
Weleda’s much-loved Skin Food has been a well-kept secret amongst beauty editors and facialists for years! Now the range been extended and Weleda have introduced Skin Food Body Butter. Luxurious, comforting and hydrating, this Body Butter will keep your skin moisturised all year round. A little goes a long way, so it’s an affordable top-to-toe treat.
This 3-in-1 product is genius – quite literally. A true multitasker, Tri-Balm not only removes make-up easily, it gently exfoliates and moisturises at the same time. Brilliantly portable, this ‘balm-in-a-stick’ is spill-proof and ideal for air travel, but still looks stylish on the bathroom shelf. An added bonus: the packaging is recyclable, and all the ingredients are sustainably sourced and cruelty-free. What’s not to love?
The Vitamix Blender is expensive, but boy, is it worth it! The machine makes the smoothest of smoothies in the blink of an eye. Not only that, you can make soups in 5 minutes flat, and ice cream in one minute! I use my Vitamix every single day without fail, so it’s definitely an investment that has paid off.