Yes, I admit: I am a converted coconutter!
When a friend of mine exchanged her cooking oils with coconut oil a couple of years ago, I was intrigued by the white solid oil that smells like a mixture of coconuts and shortbread, and turns into liquid oil when warmed up. So, I started to inform myself about this superfood and learnt about the many great uses of CO. And yet, I did not give it a try myself, although I always had it at the back of my mind.
A few weeks ago, I did some serious research on the beauty and health benefits of CO, and ever since I could not stop thinking about it. Completely coconuts for coconut oil, I stormed H&B, purchased my first glass jar of CO, and immediately put it to the test the moment I got home.
Follow me on my expedition to exploring the possible ways of integrating CO to my beauty and health regimen.
Expedition 1: Hair and Scalp Treatment
Having read a lot about the wonders CO does for your skin and hair, I was looking forward to trying the ‘kitchen and beauty all-rounder’ on my scalp and hair first. As I am a proud owner of frizzy hair and struggling with an extremely dry scalp (due to psoriasis), I decided to do a hair and scalp treatment.
When using CO on your hair and scalp, you can either apply the oil on dry or damp hair. Apart from this, it is also up to you whether you want to melt the solid oil before applying it, or use the oil in its solid form. However, as CO liquifies at only 24°C, the solid oil will eventually melt while you are working it onto your hair with your hands). I decided to use the oil on dry hair and melted it before getting started with the treatment.
In order to treat both my scalp and long hair, I used 2 tbsp CO and let it melt in a hot water bath. It comes in handy that the oil melts quickly, as this means that there is not much time involved when preparing the treatment. Perfect!
Although CO is said to not stain your clothes with greasy spots, I throw a towel around my shoulders before working the oil onto my scalp and hair. (And still: Should you accidently stain your clothes with CO, do not worry. It will indeed not leave grease spots after it has been washed.)
Armed with my towel cape around my shoulders and the bowl of melted CO next to me, I first parted my hair inch by inch to ensure that I do not miss spots on my scalp. After that, I moved over to the tub and (head first) applied the oil to the lengths of my hair. When my entire head was covered with the oil, I put my hair into a bun. (Note: To secure the oily bun, I used my beloved plastic ‘telephone cord’ hair tie (Invisibobble), as I could easily clean it with a bit of soap after the treatment.) After leaving the CO in for about 4 hours, I finally washed my hair thoroughly and let it air dry.
Scalp-wise, the result was great, as the CO released its itchiness and feelings of tension. Unfortunately, the oil did not work too well with leaving my hair moisturised, even though I definitely noticed a difference in the hair structure, as it seemed less frizzy. However, my main goal was to treat my dry scalp, so I am really happy with the effect CO has on it.S
Since then, I have been treating my hair and scalp with CO every Sunday. Expedition 1 was a complete success!
The Mission: Get beach hair in the winter – in urban London.
The Product Claim: “texture and body with light to medium hold […] and perfect for achieving a lived in, beach look”, with the option to use it in either towel-dried or dry hair. 
Toni & Guy Casual Sea Salt Spray
Spray-on beach hair? Intrigued by the thought of having beachy waves in the winter without actually going to the beach, I had high hopes for Toni & Guy’s texturising sea salt spray. Even though my hair is naturally wavy, voluminous and has a tendency to look frizzy, I still hoped that the product would give me the structure and “controlled wave” my hair naturally lacks.
The spray comes in a pastel turquoise plastic bottle (available in 75 and 200 ml) and has a simple spray nozzle to release the product. Once sprayed into the hair, the product exhales a sweet and powdery scent, which – for my taste – develops into a quite heavy fragrance after a while. The spray as such is a clear liquid with a slightly sticky feel to it, and dries within minutes when sprayed into dry hair.
Ingredients-wise the texturiser offers a selection of more or less recommendable ingredients. As the sodium chloride (the “sea salt”) contained in the product helps to create structure, but dries the hair out at the same time, it’s nice to know that the combination of water and glycerin will support the hair to remain hydrated. Apart from that, the ingredients list contains a bunch of the usual suspects in terms of preservation: parabens and disodium EDTA. In general, probably not the best choice of ingredients.
And still, I was willing to give the texturiser a chance, decided to use it on my dry hair, and, as the nozzle did not release a lot of product, I sprayed, and sprayed, and sprayed… Every now and then I tousled and kneaded the liquid into my hair, before I kept on spraying in order to apply the, what seemed like, right amount of product. Although I have used the texturiser just once, I have the feeling that, considering the length and structure of my hair, I wouldn’t get more than 4 uses out of the 75 ml sized version.
The Result: After letting the spray dry in my hair for a few minutes, I must admit that the result wasn’t as I had expected. The sea salt spray didn’t do much texturising work at all, and instead just coated my hair leaving it looking messy (not the fashionable messy though!), and feeling dull and sticky (someone pass me a brush, please!?). On top of that, the smell wouldn’t fade away and started to become overpowering.
Before using Toni & Guy’s Sea Salt Spray
The result after using Toni & Guy’s Sea Salt Spray
All in all I have to accept that the Toni & Guy texturiser just doesn’t work for my type of hair, but could be great for those having naturally sleek hair that lacks body and structure.
2 out of 5
 Toni & Guy website.
What an exciting and relaxing start to the weekend! Having been invited by Jennifer Young to model for her Defiant Beauty facials at the LOC (London Oncology Clinic) two weeks ago, I excitedly hit the tube in the morning and was given a very warm welcome by Jennifer and her team when I arrived at Harley Street.
“Watching someone getting a facial is as relaxing as getting one yourself!” – JY
When I entered the consulting room, Audrey, who was also invited as a facial model, was visibly enjoying the products Jennifer massaged onto her sensitive skin by using her magical-seeming signature moves and pressure points technique on Audrey’s face and scalp. Meanwhile, the other two beauty experts Antonia and Rosie, and I were also enjoying this surely relaxing sight as Jennifer led us through the different steps of the facial.
And then it was my turn. As Jennifer taught the LOC beauty experts the benefits of her products and the procedure of her facials, I was given a treatment by Antonia who practiced the facial on me by using the Defiant Beauty skincare range.
To commence the facial, Antonia used the gentle Cleansing Balm to prep my skin for the steps that should follow. After this, she massaged the Serum onto my face and neckline while copying Jennifer’s expert signature moves and applying the perfect amount of pressure to points located all around the mouth, nose, and eyes, on the scalp, the ears, neck and shoulders. So relaxing! (Note to myself: Need to pamper myself more when applying skincare products!) Following the relaxing massage and slowly coming to an end, a couple of spritzes of the Defiant Beauty Spritz gently covered my face like dew on a spring morning and left a cooling and refreshing sensation on my skin – and was even a welcome refreshment for all others present.
All in all, the facial made me completely unwind and for a second I even forgot that busy and noisy London Town was calling through the open window. When I walked back to the tube station to head homewards, I felt and looked so well rested that for the next days I shone bright like a diamond.
Jennifer Young’s Defiant Beauty products definitely impressed me! Not only have they left my skin glowing and relaxed, they also made me realise that the right skincare is important for everyone. Besides, skincare is an important contribution to the healing process of cancer patients and to making them feel comfortable in their skin again. Thank you so much for the lovely facial treatment experience and giving me an insight into your important work, Jennifer!
See more on Defiant Beauty here
For more information about Defiant Beauty visit beautydespitecancer.co.uk.
I give HJ Manicure’s Pink Bikini shade a big thumbs-up and would definitely recommend it to all my friends! I simply adore the fact that all these non-toxic nail polishes are free of Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and Camphor (all preservatives that can be linked to cancer and skin irritations). Nevertheless, my favourite feature about this nail polish is the fact it doesn’t have an overbearingly strong scent. Therefore, on a couple of occasions I felt I was able to paint in nails in public places, without affecting anyone else.
The first thing I noticed about this polish was the bottle. I thought it was really sleek and modern-looking and when unscrewed I found the brushes to be long, thin and most importantly, not bristly – consequently, the polish glided over my nails with great ease. I liked how opaque the formula was and found the appearance on my nails pretty after just one application (however I preferred using two coats in order to create a more finished, polished look as well as making the colour stand out better!)
Pink Bikini was the perfect colour choice for me; as I’m quite a girly-girl but I’m looking forward to trying out other HJ Manicure shades in the future – especially the nude/neutral tones such as lace, peach blossom and coco for a more sophisticated and classic look.
I give Phyta Lotion and Oil a really good review of 4/5. When I began using the two products collectively, the first thing I noticed was the gorgeous flowery scent. Phyta claim the natural oils in these products consist of apricot kernel, lavender, lime and geranium, although personally I could only recognise the lavender scent.
Since I had a major operation around 5 years ago, (unfortunately leaving me with a rather large scar on my stomach) I have used a wide variety of scar serums in an attempt to reduce the tightness and profile of the scar/its tissues & I believe these products have accomplished doing this. Furthermore, I feel that with usage, it has reduced the ‘pinkness’ of my scar and made it a more even tone with the rest of my skin, in turn, this has reduced its visibility which has made me really happy!
I have only been using this product around a month now and on the bottle it recommends that you ‘apply twice daily for a minimum of 3 months’, therefore, I can’t wait to see the results after even longer usage…
I’ve loved using this facial mist over the past few weeks and it has now become part of my daily facial regimen. I thoroughly enjoy the refreshing feeling that it provides on my face and I actually think I now prefer it to Evian’s facial mist (which I always used to buy before.)
I tended to use this product first thing in the morning and whenever my skin looked dull and dry, in order to brighten up my complexion and feel ‘more-awake’. I also like the fact it’s odour-free because anything highly scented directly on the face can make you feel a bit nauseous after a while (especially with sweet scents.) The only reason why I didn’t award it 5/5 is mainly due to the retail price. I would rather spend less than £10 on this kind of a product. Most of Maya’s competitor brands range from £5-£10 instead with their similar products.