November 12, 2014
by NG
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Naturally Gorgeous News!

girl_in_lavender_meadow-1477240Naturally Gorgeous will be undergoing an exciting transformation in the coming months, becoming an all-natural beauty and health store. Some brands you already know and some that will be new and exclusive. We’ll be developing a new identity and site ready for launch in the new year. More news coming soon.

July 30, 2012
by NG
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Smooth operator – Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Shave Gel

The daily ritual of shaving – or chore, as most men probably think of it –  is always more pleasurable when helped along by a product that delivers skin softening benefits and aids a good cut. My resident male tester has tried products too many to mention, but is almost rapturous about this one.

Dr Bronner’s Magic Organic Spearmint Peppermint Shaving Gel is one of five shaving gels from Dr Bronner’s US certified organic range, which claim to give incredibly smooth moisturising glide and superior hair lift and wetting.

Others tried have been variously ‘too greasy’ ‘too thin’ ‘drying’ ‘smell vile’… you get the picture. So, I’m delighted to report that said tester finds this to be incredibly long lasting – a little really does go a long way; deliciously scented, moisturising, and enables a beautifully close shave. Baby’s bum and all that. And being an organic farmer, he’s all the more pleased that he’s found a product that suits his ethical stance too.

Available from Love Lula for £7.29

June 1, 2012
by NG
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PG Organics. Time to embrace a truly original, totally natural perfume…

Perfume is a particular passion of mine – and one which has been difficult to indulge without succumbing to the myriad chemicals contained in most fragrances on the market. Spray a burst of your fave fragrance and you will most likely be breathing in a cloud of toxins including many hormone-disrupting chemicals, carcinogens and allergens, as well as synthetic fragrances.

So, it’s great news to find a number of new natural brands emerging which are not only safe but also bring back the joy of real scent.

Patricia Gallagher of PG Organics launched Embrace in 2011 to rave reviews and I have now joined the fan club. Made the traditional way, in small batches using only natural ingredients, it took Patricia over three years to perfect her first luxury perfume.

First off, Embrace is different from most other natural fragrances I’ve tried as it really counts as a full-on sexy and sultry scent; and one with real lasting power. Secondly, it is a scent that truly works with your skin and body chemistry to create a fragrance that’s unique to you.

Described as a ‘chypre with oriental influence underlined by subtle spices. Exotic amber and musk notes envelope and protect the delicate floral notes of neroli, mimosa, rose, ylang ylang and iris.’, Embrace is a scent for sultry summer nights, playful parties and passionate encounters. I probably wouldn’t spritz this on for a day at the office or a summer picnic but will treasure it for those moments when people get up close and tell you how delicious you smell.

Priced £58 for 30ml, you can buy Embrace here. It will also be available soon on The Natural Perfume Company’s website – more of which soon.

May 23, 2012
by NG
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Better skin, better hair, Better You…

In a world now nearly brimming over with lovely natural beauty products, it’s always worth remembering that ultimate beauty comes from within. Whilst it goes without saying that a healthy diet and lifestyle coupled with a good skincare regime will make the best of your assets, we should not forget the part that supplements can play, especially the super antioxidants. Antioxidants fight free radicals in the body, thereby helping repair and prevent damage to cells and can be hugely beneficial – especially for skin damaged by sun, stress or smoking.

I have been a big fan of Better You’s Femergy Original for some time, so was delighted to try their new antioxidant supplement, Femergy, Skin, Hair & Nails. Each natural ingredient has been carefully selected for its effective antioxidant properties. Organic acerola cherries, organic pine bark extract, natural vitamins E and A and selenium provide nature’s most potent antioxidants . All form an antioxidant dream team list of powerful, protecting and repairing ingredients.

Whilst it’s hard to judge results after just one month’s trial (supplements really need three months to start showing full benefits), I am happy to say that I noticed a definite improvement in ‘skin glowiness’ and hair texture. I can’t comment on nails as I have terribly weak nails so will need to continue taking these to see further benefit. But I can also add that I received several ‘you look well’ compliments towards the end of the trial and am hooked enough to make these part of my daily regime.

Femergy Skin Hair & Nails costs £11.95 for a month’s supply.

April 27, 2012
by NG
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Hip hip hooray for Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate™

I’ve long been a big fan of rosehip oil. I discovered it 14 years ago when I searched for something to soothe and heal the scar after the birth of my son by Caesarian section. Rosehip oil has long been revered for its regenerative effects on scar tissue, stretch marks and skin damaged by acne and is unique in being the only oil to contain natural retinoic acid, which helps the skin’s natural repair function.

Most rosehip oils now originate from roses which grow wild in the Andes in Chile and there are a number of brands selling cold pressed rosehip seed oil. The big difference with Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate™ is that it contains concentrated fruit hip oil, with double the regenerative sterols and five times the carotenoids of seed oil. This makes it far more powerful than simple cold pressed Rosehip seed oils and with regular use, it conditions the skin, improving skin firmness and elasticity.

I can honestly say this is the best rosehip oil I’ve ever used – soothing, effective, softening, quickly absorbed with no greasy after feel and – importantly for me, pleasant smelling. (Many rosehip oils have quite a strong smell which can, at times, verge on the unpleasant). It’s just lovely to massage on to face before bed – or use a tiny amount as a serum under moisturiser.  Pai describe this as ‘the ultimate skin multi-tasker’. I couldn’t agree more.

 

April 24, 2012
by NG
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Oskia: A little luxury glows a long way.

Oskia’s award-winning Get up and Glow represents quite an investment at £64.50, but it is that rare thing – a wonder product that truly makes you look and feel better.

Used alone or over moisturiser or makeup, it adds instant radiance to dull, tired skin. Absolutely fantastic for a bare-faced summery look in warm weather when heavy moisturisers are too much – and a real boost when applied over your face before an evening out. And a little really does go a long way; ultra lightweight and packed full of good things, including some serious wrinkle-reducing ingredients, this is one radiance booster I can’t live without.

April 18, 2012
by NG
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Best of British… and making scents of household cleaning.

Mary Portas has got more people thinking about buying British with her fab Kinky Knickers. (Still haven’t managed to get my hands on any, such is the demand). But when you have a mainstream TV channel as your shop window and a touching tale to tell, it’s easy to get the message across. Following my recent visit to the Natural & Organic Products Europe show at Olympia, I was heartened to see more British brands emerging in the bodycare and wellbeing arena. Several years ago, the choice of British brands was limited compared with those from elsewhere in Europe, Australasia and the US.

I managed a brief chat with the lovely people at Blend Collective, Pai Skincare, Essential Care, Thea skincare, Better You and Viridian amongst others and am looking forward to testing and reviewing a number of products. I was especially pleased to see a new range of makeup from Essential Care and will be checking out their eyeshadows soon. There is a great big void when it comes to British natural and organic makeup; it is also one of the toughest things to get right and many brands already offering ranges have still not cracked it, in my opinion.

While we’re on ‘buying British’…
Is your home Naturally Gorgeous? Having a healthy, chemical-free environment is as important to wellbeing as using natural personal care products, so I can’t go without mentioning the wonderful new British cleaning products brand Greenscents. Based in Dulverton, Somerset this family business is committed to sustainable and ethical solutions proving that household products are no longer the ‘poor relation’ in the organic world. These are seriously impressive, highly concentrated products with divine smells to keep your home and laundry clean, fresh and healthy. The scents are all natural and smell good enough to wear! My particular favourite is Minty… delicious.

So, go on, get those rubber gloves on and support another great British brand!

March 6, 2012
by NG
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Beautifully blended… Blend Collective Truly Natural Bodycare

I can never make up my mind whether it is the giving or the receiving of gifts that gives greatest pleasure. I was recently delighted to receive a ‘just right’ gift of hand & body lotion and lip balm from the new Blend Collective enlivening range. Blend Collective is ‘An exciting new truly natural bodycare range, using unique, pure essential oil blends’.

There are three ranges in the collection; enlivening, balancing and unwinding and if the scent of these two products is anything to go by, they live up to the promise. The enlivening range scent was created for Blend Collective by perfumer Alec Lawless and makes for a perfect start to the day. I’m a sucker for citrussy scents for daytime, and this blend of lemon, may chang, myrtle and lime is gorgeous. The body lotion has a light, easily absorbed texture – essential for morning rituals – and leaves skin beautifully hydrated and lightly scented. The deliciously-scented lip balm is an effective treat, too.

March 1, 2012
by NG
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Steeped in loveliness… Deep Steep body lotion & body mist

It’s always a joy to get a package through the mail when it contains lovely pampering goodies and this one was delivered quickly by fab online store Naturisimo. US-based Deep Steep describe their brand as ‘everyday affordable luxury’ and I would agree with that statement. The products are extremely reasonably priced.

I was a little apprehensive about the honeydew bit (too sweet!) but love minty scents, so thought I’d try this one. Deep Steep Honeydew & Spearmint Body Lotion, £7.95, is a ‘detoxifying, antioxidant infusion of organic herbal extracts blended with organic oils, butters and vitamins’. It has a lovely texture, fairly light but rich enough to keep you feeling moisturised all day and I can honestly say I’m impressed. The scent is also very subtle and wouldn’t interfere with other perfumes. The body mist, £8.95 is a refreshing spray that you can afford to mist all over your body; it contains no alcohol and has a base of aloe vera, so no drying effects. Again, the fragrance is subtle, very summery and light and leaves skin delicately scented without leaving an overpowering trail – and although the melony bit is a little sweet, the spearmint balances it perfectly. Perfect for holidays, spritzing after sports or keeping in the office to refresh, the best thing about this brand is the 100% natural formulations. And at this price, you can afford to try more than one of the delicious-sounding fragrances.

February 27, 2012
by NG
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Oy!.. Spot On for Teen Skin

Until recently, there were not many natural alternatives around to address the troublesome issue of teenage spots. Teen skin has been somewhat overlooked but more products are appearing – and whilst teenagers need to keep their skincare routine simple (just keep skin clean and lightly moisturised – no rich night creams!), there is a need for products that address breakouts. My teenage son has been using the Neals Yard Remedies Palmarosa range; more of which later…

Meanwhile, 14 year old Hermione has been using the Oy! Cover and Clear treatment/concealer from Green People and has reviewed it especially for Naturally Gorgeous…

I have been using the product ‘Oy! Cover & Clear’ concealer since I received it for Christmas as I have “teenage skin” – small but prolific spots around my forehead and nose. I find that the concealer is very easy to use – just use a tiny amount on your finger for one or two spots, or a pea sized amount for concealing the whole T-zone. The concealer covers up my bad skin well, and it is also small and easy to carry around – I take it to school every day :) It is completely organic*, not tested on animals and is suitable for use for boys & girls. Also, if mixed with a drop of ‘Oy! Cleanse & Moisturise’ it can be used as a full-face foundation for face and neck.
Overall, if I had to rate this product I would say around an 8/10.

* 89.24% certified organic ingredients (Ed.)

While we’re on the subject, another fantastic treatment for spots and acne is lemon myrtle oil, which I’ll also be covering in more detail soon.