Katie Vibes
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Review: Alchemy Oils Grapefruit Hair Remedy

Wow, I can't remember the last time I actually did a dedicated product review! And, to be honest, I'm really late to the train with this one. Alchemy Oils is a well-loved brand within the green beauty community and only now have I been able to try one of their lovely products. I was kindly sent the Grapefruit Hair Remedy* to try and I really have been enjoying using it. Firstly, the packaging is absolutely stunning - I just adore the old-style apothecary look and the bottle looks so beautiful on display (what's inside isn't half bad either). 

I've always had a problem with hair mask oils - especially those marketing as 'repairing' - being too heavy for my hair. My hair is very thick, but it is weighed down very easy and so I have, for many years, just skipped the hair oil step in my haircare routine. And as you might of guessed from me writing this post, I have finally found one that doesn't do this - woohoo! It is not exactly the cheapest at £24 for 100ml, but if you don't use it very often, the bottle will last you a very long time. I also had concerns about the stopper lid being a bit of a gimmick (will I end up with oil everywhere?), but I can happily report that I haven't had any leaks or mishaps as of yet.

I have been using the Grapefruit Hair Remedy* as a leave-on hair mask, applying the oil liberally and leaving for at least ten minutes before washing out. In the past, I've had trouble with this method and other oils (straight coconut oil for example), often leave a gross residue that is still visible after a thorough wash. Luckily, I don't experience this with this product and I'm safe knowing that any applied product will be easily washed out, even when I'm in a rush.

This blend does contain coconut oil, but it is joined by a wonderful concoction of avocado, almond, and castor. It definitely has a thick consistency but as mentioned, I don't think this to cause too much trouble, even for my hair that is prone to oiliness. The blend is finished off with a touch of grapefruit essential oil which, while smelling gorgeous, works to reduce dandruff and calm an angry scalp. This is something that I most definitely have experience with and so I really enjoying the soothing effect that this oil has when I use it. 

I've also heard great things about some of the other blends in Alchemy's range, namely the Amla Hair Remedy that is scented with lemon to encourage a gentle cleansing effect. They also offer a Peppermint Beard Remedy - perfect for beauty bloggers with beardy boyfriends (like me!)

~ www.alchemyoils.co.uk ~

Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Fractionated Coconut Oil), Persea Gratissima (Virgin, Organic Avocado Oil), Ricinus Communis Seed Oil (Organic Castor Oil), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil (Organic Sweet Almond Oil), Citrus Paradisi Peel Oil (Organic White Grapefruit Essential Oil)

 

Super(food) Ingredients: Green People's Quinoa Range

Superfoods as ingredients in beauty products are nothing new, and the newest ingredient to spring up in our beauty cabinets is quinoa. Known as 'the one that is hard to pronounce', quinoa isn't actually a grain as you might assume; in fact it's in the same family as beets, chard, and spinach... WTF? Quinoa is super anti-inflammatory and omega-rich, making it a great choice for formulators. When used in beauty products, quinoa helps to bind moisture and create a protective barrier. Therefore, making it the perfect superfood ingredient for Green People's new Quinoa & Calendula Shower Gel* and Quinoa & Prebiotics Deodorant*, following on from the success of their quinoa haircare range.

I haven't tried any of their haircare, but after trying the new shower gel, I may need to. I've really been enjoying their new quinoa & calendula offering. The only other natural liquid shower gel I have tried comes from Bodhi & Birch so understandably, I have high standards. Unfortunately, the former comes with a hefty price tag and so it's nice to try something that is (a little) cheaper. Although I prefer to use solid soaps for washing my bod, they can be a little messy, and when you're in a rush, a liquid option is just preferable. The first thing that I noticed about the quinoa shower gel is the scent. It just smells so fresh and light; great for spring and the impending summer. This is just what I'm needing at the moment as I've starting working out regularly and so a shower gel that makes me feel really clean and fresh is essential. Of course, it doesn't foam as much as a conventional shower gel but that's a good thing - good evidence for it's lovely green ingredients. The formula feels super moisturising and luxurious, which is to be expected (and hoped) from a shower gel costing about £15. I told you that it was only a little cheaper! I've also found it to be suitable for my eczema so no itchy feet is a plus.

Green People also sent me the new quinoa deodorant. Unfortunately, I haven't given this one as much testing as I am just so damn hooked on my Schmidt's. When I have used it I have found it to be effective and long-lasting but I am not the biggest fan of the super wet formula. I don't like to have to flail my arms about to dry my armpits before getting dressed, and I have noticed that it almost melts off during exercise... not a good look. 

So, I may be sticking with my old faithful deodorant, but Green People's Quinoa & Calendula shower gel is a welcome addition to my shower routine. It's a great product from a well-respected and experienced green beauty brand, and so a good one to try if you're only just making the switch to green beauty.

References:
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-quinoa
http://www.ingredientstodiefor.com/item/Quinoa_Keenwa_Protein_Hydrolyzed/985

Review: Schmidt's Natural Deodorant Stick

Great news! The famous Schmidt's Natural Deodorant is now available in a handy stick form. I had originally heard the news over on their Instagram and so, when I found out they were being stocked at A Beautiful World, I was ecstatic.

Schmidt's is most definitely the best natural deodorant I have ever tried but I always had one niggling issue with it. The packaging. Frankly, I just wasn't a fan of the whole rub-in-to-your-armpits situation. Therefore, the new stick form is right up my alley. I was quick to purchase the Bergamot & Lime scent which is my favourite out of the lot. It really lingers throughout the day and the new stick formula successfully held up against a stressful day of exams. I also really love the Lavender & Sage for something a little gentler - I'll be purchasing that one next. I would also say that all of Schmidt's scents are universal so they're great for people who don't like the normal floral-type scents or for sneaking some green beauty into your boyf's routine...

The good thing about Schmidt's is that you can try samples of each scent in a little pot (also sold at A Beautiful World), and these are perfect for travelling or for sneaky top-ups throughout the day. The sample pots are small enough to slip into your handbag but big enough to give you a good couple weeks use. 

Schmidt's does contain bicarbonate of soda but I've heard reports that their formula doesn't tend to irritate people with a sensitivity. However, please try a sample to make sure you're not wasting your money! Sensitive to essential oils? Even better news - they also do a fragrance free version.

So, if your switch to natural deods has been hindered by a distaste for unhygienic little pots, definitely give Schmidt's new stick formula a try.

Available in the UK from A Beautiful World or Ecco-Verde

Ingredients for Bergamot & Lime stick: maranata arundinacea (arrowroot powder), cocos nucifera (coconut oil), euphorbia cerifera (candelilla wax), butryspermum parkii (shea butter), sodium bicarbonate, triglyceride (fractionated coconut oil), citrus bergamia (bergamot essential oil), citrus aurantifolia (lime essential oil), tocopherol (vitamin E), camellia sinensis (green tea extract).

Vegan Beauty Beginners Christmas Gift Guide

Oh my gosh, I'm finally doing some kind of gift guide! It's not the biggest selection in the world, but here we have a little group of present ideas for the budding vegan beauty enthusiast in the family...

Little Ondine Twins
I recently did a first impressions post for a polish from this very interesting natural brand. I loved it - and now I've got my eye on their clever little sets that come with two coordinating shades. These are perfect for Christmas; you get two wonderful (and super clean) nail polishes that are worth a lot more money than you're paying. They're polishes are water-based - AMAZING. I love this classic nude and deep red duo.

Botanicals Gentle Skincare Christmas Collection
It's certainly true that I don't shut up about Botanicals but that's with good reason. You really can't find a much better brand that is natural, organic, good value, and 100% vegan. Their Christmas collections are perfect - and this gentle variation comes with the brilliant Mandarin & Chamomile Cleanser*; something that I've recently tried and loved. These collections are a great way to introduce someone to natural skincare.

Konjac Sponge Co. Charcoal Sponge
Konjac sponges are a green beauty staple and I am constantly recommending them to family and friends. They're brilliant for improving the efficacy of your foaming and/or cream cleansers, adding a little gentle exfoliation in to your everyday routine. They come in different variations for different skin types so there's definitely something for everyone. Those who are not green-inclined may find these magical sponges a little strange, but I guarantee they'll get hooked. You can now even get konjac sponges for the body as well!

MuLondon White Chocolate Elbow, Knee & Heel Cream
I've mentioned this multiple times on the blog and yet again, I cannot leave this little gem out of my suggestions. MuLondon creates some seriously high-quality and luxurious products and this multi-purpose balm is perfect for a beauty-concious friend or relative. It's wonderful for treating dryness and minor skin conditions like eczema. I've done a full review of this and also - if you want to learn more about the brand in general - you can check out my interview with founder of the brand, Boris.

Harpers Bizarre Candles
These candles are a new discovery for me but they've quickly taken over my life... since finding the brand, I've bought LOADS. I originally made an order for myself but then only a week later, I made a second order for Christmas presents. They're the perfect size and price for secret santa presents, while still being that little bit different and interesting. They come in a huge variety of scents (including special seasonal ones), so you're sure to find something you like as well... Check out my full review here. My favourite from the seasonal range is Dirty Crow - a beautiful mulled wine scent.

Have any other suggestions for us? Leave them below!