22 November 2014

The Green People: Green People Sugar Scrub and Body Butter


I've been interested in natural beauty products for quite some time, since deciding to wear my hair naturally 6 years ago and discovering natural and organic hair products my love for things natural has filtered into every aspect of my beauty regimen. One of the brands that have always been on my radar but I have not had the chance to try (until now) is Green People established in 1997 by Charlotte Vohtz who like many other green entrepreneurs saw what was missing in the market and set about making it happen. Charlotte has a huge impact on the standards set for organic health and beauty products and Green People are a leader in the field with an array of beauty products for the whole family.


And I can see why, I've tried the Green People Sugar Scrub and Body butter and they are both amazing and a must for nourishing your skin in the winter months. I'm in love with the sugar scrub, made from pure cane sugar the tiny grains are shaped so it's gentle on the skin. As someone who often uses salt scrubs I can tell the difference my skin is just as soft after using the sugar scrub but without the tender skin feeling. Green People Sugar Scrub contains Shea Butter, Pomegranate Calendula Oil which soothes the skin. after using the scrub there is little need for a moisturiser as my skin was left super soft.


SUCROSE (RAW CANE SUGAR)*, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA) BUTTER*^, COCOS NUCIFERA (COCONUT) OIL*^, SORBITAN OLIVATE (EMULSIFIER FROM OLIVE OIL), SIMMONDSIA CHINENSIS (JOJOBA) SEED OIL*, AQUA (SPRING WATER), ROSA MOSCHATA (ROSEHIP) SEED OIL*, PUNICA GRANATUM (POMEGRANATE) SEED OIL*, LECITHIN* (PLANT-BASED EMULSIFIER), CALENDULA OFFICINALIS (MARIGOLD) OIL*, HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED OIL*, VACCINIUM MACROCARPON (CRANBERRY) SEED OIL*, PERSEA GRATISSIMA (AVOCADO) OIL*, OLEA EUROPAEA (OLIVE) LEAF EXTRACT, AROMA [LAVANDULA HYBRIDA (LAVANDIN) HERB OIL*, ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS (ROSEMARY) LEAF OIL*^, CYMBOPOGON CITRATUS (LEMONGRASS) LEAF OIL*^, COMMIPHORA MYRRHA (MYRRH) OIL^], LIMONENE*, LINALOOL*, CITRAL*, GERANIOL* (FROM ESSENTIAL OILS). *95.1% ORGANIC ^FAIRLY TRADED


The Green People butter is a real balm for the skin, creating a protective barrier which lets the skin restore itself to it's natural balance. It's a very thick butter so no need to use to much. I'm in love with the sugar scrub and butter combo my skin feels fantastic even after a long day in tights!


ELAEIS GUINEENSIS (PALM) OIL*^, HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED OIL*, COCOS NUCIFERA (COCONUT) OIL*^, CANNABIS SATIVA (HEMP) SEED OIL*, CERA ALBA (BEES WAX)*, SIMMONDSIA CHINENSIS (JOJOBA) SEED OIL*, PUNICA GRANATUM (POMEGRANATE) SEED OIL*, ROSA MOSCHATA (ROSEHIP) SEED OIL*, VACCINIUM MACROCARPON (CRANBERRY) SEED OIL*, AROMA [LAVANDULA HYBRIDA (LAVANDIN) HERB OIL*, ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS (ROSEMARY) LEAF OIL*^, CYMBOPOGON CITRATUS (LEMONGRASS) LEAF OIL*^], TOCOPHEROL (NATURAL VITAMIN E), LIMONENE*, LINALOOL*, CITRAL*, GERANIOL* (FROM ESSENTIAL OILS). *99.9% ORGANIC ^FAIRLY TRADED

I can't wait to try more products from Green People, The price is reasonable for a natural and organic brand. Green people always have great offers via their website so check them out www.greenpeople.co.uk


15 November 2014

The Challenge: Natural Belle X Nazuri Curls Winter Protective Style Challenge


Hi Dolls, I'm a starting hair growth challenge from November to February with a difference! I'll be wearing my Nazuri Curls custom wig to grow out my hair with little to no manipulation. I'm doing this for several reasons.

1. I'm currently suffering from hair loss around my crown my hair is falling out, I've been prescribed a low maintenance hair regimen which includes a medicated shampoo and that's it! so no twist outs, braids NOTHING! until I find out what is the underlining issue. (see previous post)

2. To show that wigs are the ideal way to protect your hair for longer periods of time and still care for your hair and scalp with very little manipulation.

I want you all to join me in the challenge, regardless of if your're dealing with hair loss, Shedding or just want to grow your hair out and protect it from the harsh climate. I'll be offering one lucky participant a goodie bag of my favourite beauty goodies (contents TBA)


The Challenge


  • The aim of the challenge is to wear a wig for a period of 3 months as a low manipulation protective style that gives you access to your hair as a way to promote growth. 
  • You can use any wig brand or style, full wigs, u-part wigs or half wigs work for the purpose of the challenge as long as you don't have to manipulate your hair to much.
  • The challenge will run from 22 Nov 2014 to 22 Feb 2015 and anyone can participate (natural, relaxed, transitioning but having to use heat to blend your wig should be avoided)
  • You can participate in the challenge via Instagram or via email (naturalbelle1983@gmail.com) 


Participants must submit:

  • 1 x picture of your hair in its natural state 
  • 1 x picture of you in your wig (wig can be any style or brand)
  • Please Submit Pictures by 22nd November or as soon as you can. 
  • By submitting these images via email or Instagram you are signing up to the #naturalbellePSC please use this hashtag on your post or in the subject line of your email.
  • Participants will need to submit these same 2 pictures monthly (22 Dec, 22 Jan and 22 Feb) using the #naturalbellepsc hashtag


NAZURI CURLS are sponsoring the #naturalbellePSC challenge and during the period  22 nov -22 feb will:

  • Provide wig hints and tips posts and videos including maintenance and blending
  • Offer participants a 20% discount if you get your pictures in by 22 December 20014 on any Custom Wig purchase but participants do not need to wear a NAZURI CURLS wig to take part
  • Will re-post participants progress 


Nazuri Curls U-Part CustomWig

Natural Hair 

Lets Get Growing!

The Struggle IS REAL: My Hair Loss


I'm currently suffering from some quite severe hair loss, I noticed a very small thin patch of hair while I was pregnant with Freya, I didn't think to much of it because of pregnancy hormones. After having Freya my hair began to shed drastically all over making the hair loss at my crown more noticeable. I went to the doctors then and was told that shedding is normal and to wait until Freya is a year old if it continues then you may have a problem. My hair started to grow back and thicken up though the middle remained on the thinner side. 
Fast forward a year Freya is now over two years old and I have noticed a considerable amount of thinning around my crown. I returned to the doctors yesterday and saw a new GP as I wasn't happy with the male doctor I saw previously. She great very understanding and let me explain myself and didn't make me feel silly about my concerns.

The GlowwBox: GlowwBox Natural & Organic Edition Unboxing + Giveaway


GlowwBox has released a natural and organic edition of their monthly subscription box. The box is dedicated to bringing beauty samples to women of colour. GlowwBox is £10 (+p&p) and promises that the contents of your box will always be more than the price you paid and always contains at least 2 full sized products. 


The November 2014 box is filled with Natural and Organic goodies

BellePierre Mineral Eye Shadow*
Pramae Harmony Creme Balm
Weleda Oat Replenishing Shampoo and Conditioner
Lavera Trend Natural Lip Gloss*
Shado Tropical Juice and Scalp Stimulator

*full size products worth over £20


At first glance this is a great edition of GlowwBox, it includes a few products I've not tried yet. I', really looking forward to trying the make up products as I'm always looking for non toxic additions to my make up bag. 

You can subscribe to GlowwBox here and check out the GlowwBox blog here 

like the look of what is this unique box? enter to win your own GlowwBox below


6 November 2014

The Treatment: Mahogany Naturals Rhassoul Cocoa & Honey Deep Hair Treatment


Another Amazing Treatment from Mahogany Naturals! you may remember my utter love for the Hair Detox Treatment from the same brand and now I have a new love Rhassoul Cocoa & Honey Deep Hair Treatment is giving me life! It's literally smells good enough to eat and my hair feels like heaven. Mahogany Naturals is a spa brand, so it's not cheap, yes! I was gifted this product however I'd definitely part with £35 because I know how good the products are, however I really wish the brand did sample sizes. I can understand people being unwilling to part with £35 without knowing if the product will work for them hopefully this can be remedied in the future. 

Now back to the awesome treatment, This is something I'd use once a month as it is very rich and you feel the effects long after use. I applied it on damp hair as it is quite runny you get good coverage, I don't have crazy long hair but I'll get 4 treatments out of this product (I'm heavy handed with products so you could stretch this further) I've been leaving the treatment for 90 minutes as directed using a hot towel, I also finger detangle my hair with the Deep Treatment in. I rinse out and continue with the steps from the Max Hydration Method. I've been doing twist outs lately and have noticed my hair is super soft and shiny for 3 days and when I re wash with my regular treatment my hair is still soft (much softer than when I used it prior)

Mahogany Naturals Rhassoul Cocoa & Honey Deep Hair Treatment makes my hair feel like it's just been done in a salon (a nice one!) it feels amazing and I've been getting compliments on my hairs softness and unfortunately lots of people wanting to touch it to 'check' it's as soft as it looks (yes it is....) I really wish more salons used products like Mahogany Naturals instead of Kerastase or the like. As it is far superior IMO to other 'spa' brands. check out more from Mahogany Naturals Here

(Aqua)Purified water,Rhassoul,Raw honey, (Theobroma Cacao) Organic cocoa powder, Theobroma cacao Unrefined cocoa butter, ,( Aloe Barbadensis) Organic aloe vera, (Olea Europaea)Extra virgin olive oil, (ulmus rubra)Slippery elm,Guar, emulsifier,essential oils


4 November 2014

The Custom Wig: Nazuri Curls U-Part Custom Wig Prt 1


I've been sitting on this news for a little while, but just yesterday my Nazuri Curls Custom U-Part Wig arrived in the post. My initial thought on the wig is that it is AMAZING!



The custom Wig is made from two bundles of the Nazuri Curls Quality Premium Virgin hair, in the afro texture which blends with natural type 4 hair, I chose to have it made into a custom u-part wig, however you can use the bundles for weaves or clip in extensions which are available from Nazuri Curls. Bundles range from £65 - £124. Lengths start at 8" and go up to 24". You can have your bundles made into a Full Wig, U-part Wig, Half Wig or Full Lace Closures. The U-part wig is an additional price 


My U-Part wig is made with two bundles of Afro wefted hair, in 8" (£60) and 10" (£65) the wig is really dense two bundles is more than enough to create a full looking unit. My part is set to the side and allows for great blending of my natural hair. The wig has 5 combs and an elasticated back for a snug fit. When you order the wig you are sent a chart to measure your head size, this helped a lot and takes away the fear that the wig will not fit when it arrives (con of internet shopping) You can order the wig and the bundles from at Nazuri Curls. The custom wigs are made by Andree Marie the cost of getting your bundles made into a wig is £75 the total wig cost is £200.
I don't know much about wig or wig making but the price seems very reasonable to me considering the quality. 



The colour is a 1b (I think) , it shows up slightly brown in the sunlight, as does my natural hair, the wefts can be dyed if needed.  The texture is great and can be manipulated to look more afro textured (the more textured the better!)


The wig fits securely and and is a great match for my for 4c hair, the picture below show the first fitting of the wig, I have not brushed or defined the curls of the wig as yet but already it is an awesome texture match. I have my hair line and parting out of the wig and it is secure without needing added pins. 





At first glance and wear I'm in love with Nazuri Curls the texture is on point and I love the shape they created, showing that you can do a shorter style without compromising on fierceness. 

I will be doing follow up posts to let you know how it holds up over time, but the U-part Wig will be my protective style for the winter, please stay tuned for more announcements from Natural Belle + Nazuri Curls


31 October 2014

The Giveaway: Win 1 of 3 Air Motion Brushes (closed)



Hi Dolls, Fancy a chance to win one of three AirMotion Pro brushes? AirMotion Pro has joined forces with Natural Belle and is over you the chance to win a AirMotion Pro Brush in pink or white, just use the widget below. I suggest you enter as this is quite possibly the best brush on earth! check out my review of the AirMotion Pro brush here & good luck!


22 October 2014

The Shampoo: Serwaa Clay Shampoo



Clay cleansing has definitely been one of the most important discoveries of my natural hair journey. Clay cleansing is an amazing way to clean your natural hair without stripping it of it's natural oils (ya'll know how much our hair loves it's natural oils!) as part of the Max Hydration Method I've been using clay rinses which I've been mixing myself, which just adds time to an already lengthy regimen. So I've been looking into ready mixed clay cleansers and I've found the perfect one by Cioccolatina from the Sheabutter Cottage.  Serwaa Clay Shampoo mixes Bentonite Clay with Shea and Cocoa Butter for a 100% natural product that cleans hair like a dream.

I've been using Serwaa Clay Shampoo since I purchased it at a local event, the shampoo leaves hair very clean but not dry. The best thing about this shampoo is that I am able to work the product into my hair and DETANGLE! yes you heard me right this shampoo has SLIP! whilst the product is on your hair you can finger detangle with ease like a co wash product. Don't get it twisted though, Serwaa Clay Shampoo is definitely not a co wash product when it is rinsed out, your hair is almost squeaky clean. If you love clean strands but  are anti shampoo this may be for you.



Prices start at £4.80 which is excellent value for an all natural, ethical and vegan product and you don't have to use very much at all. Serwaa Clay Shampoo will definitely be going in my re buy pile.



aqua, butyrospermum parkii {shea butter}, theobroma cacao {cocoa butter}, potassium cocoate {saponified coconut oil}, ricinus communis {castor oil}, hectorite {rhassoul}, argania spinosa {organic argan oil}, bentonite, althaea officinialis {marshmallow}, hibiscus sabdariffa {hibiscus}, arctium lappa {burdock}, panthenol, eclipta alba {bhringaraj}, hedychium spicatum {kapoor kachli}, veg. glycerin



2 October 2014

The Update: Max Hydration Method & Me


Where do I start with the all consuming Max Hydration Method! My life revolves around Freya and Max Hydration, Clay treatments come before, Laundry and Sex (Sorry Mr NaturalBelle I have a treatment that needs to come off in 10 minutes!) I want to give up, but I know the secret that binds us to Max Hydration.......my hair feels unreal! 
I'm not shitting you my hair feels like cashmere, my curls are popping  (IMO). And this is coming from someone who isn't even fully invested in all the stages (catch up on what I'm doing here). I've noticed that my hair coils much more than usual, the clumping of the coils is coming together slowly but that really wasn't my main aim, I'm finding that I'm manipulating my hair a lot less (less finger coiling needed) The part of MHM that's had me struggling most is the Gel stage, it wasn't working for me until I made some Flaxseed Gel which has completely taken my hair to the next level. If you want to see how MHM works for defining curls don't follow my journey as I don't care for curls. I want hydrated hair with less breakage and shedding and I want to maintain the hair that I have. MHM is working for me right now.

After doing the 7 day challenge which consists of doing the MHM steps everyday for 7 days, I now do the following steps every 2-4 days 

  • Rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Deep conditioner with any deep conditioner my faves are from Big Hair Beauty, Mahogany Naturals & BeUnique 
  • Finger de-tangle only
  • Bentonite Clay rinse with ACV, Water & Olive Oil
  • Use a Leave in conditioner I love the Whipped Butter from Big Hair
  • Finish with DIY Flaxseed Gel
  • LEAVE MY HAIR ALONE UNTIL THE NEXT WASH!




The Brush: Air Motion Pro More Than Just A Tangle Teezer With A Handle?



Of course my child is perfect in every way! she farts flowers and is a baby genius. However even I have to admit that bath time is a struggle, combing out Freya's hair is a bit of a mission to say the least. Due to my hands off approach to styling opting to have her roam free when she is not at nursery. This does leave us with a birds nest at the ends of the week. Like most people I dug out the Tangle Teezer and struggled to grip hold of it whilst dealing with a wriggly 2 year old. I found that as good as the Tangle Teezer is at de-tangling I still had to section the hair and take time or Freya's very curly hair would sometimes tangle in the brush I have also found that Tangle Teezers can cause breakage on very curly hair. Then I got my hands on the Air Motion brush which I initially believed was a Tangle Teezer with a handle, which rectifies one of the grips I have with Tangle Teezers. However I have been using the Air Motion on Freya's hair for a few weeks and have noticed how much easier it is to brush her hair. If you want details on how the Air Motion brush works you will have to visit the website, because it's like some kind of science that Nasa could of thought up! 



The 'brittle configuration' takes the stress from daily brushing leading to less breakage. For the purpose of the review I brushed Freya's hair with the Air Motion Brush when it was dry and it really does smooth the hair, and I didn't hear a peep out of her. No Tears. NONE. The spokes of the Air Motion Brush are longer and more flexible than the Tangle Teezer. So I'm finding the brush allows for more fluidity. The bristles are also smoother too, I've found on closer inspection of my Tangle Teezer there are a few seams on the bristles which snag and break the hair.



In My opinion the Air Motion brush is better than the Tangle Teezer on Freya's Type 3 hair. I don't use combs or brushes in my hair so I'm not in the position to tell you if it works on kinkier textured hair. at £11.95 it's a great bit of kit to have in the battle of bath time! Buy Here



The Mini Fashionista: How To Have An Insta-Cool Baby & Not Go Broke



If you follow Natural Belle on Instagram then you know that I love to dress Freya up in cute clothes, she is quite the fashionista and have taken over my Instagram with her diva demands and on point shoe game! You can't log into Instagram these days with out seeing some kid looking cuter than you and I'm not ashamed to say that I'm pretty much addicted to baby fashion.
That being said I'm not about to go broke for kids clothes that they can only wear for 6-9 months tops, and if you ever see me purchase a designer handbag for Freya you have permission to punch me in the face!
I'm not Beyonce and Freya is not Blue Ivy, we are average people with an average income so we have to be frugal to be fly. Here are my top tips for having a stylish baby on a budget.


Keep It Simple

Contrary to popular belief Freya does not have a whole bunch of clothes, she has more than she should (due to my shopping addiction) however she doesn't have a crazy amount. If you follow our daily posts you will notice that she wears a lot of the same items just styled differently. We also keep things age appropriate! no crop tops or hair pieces (yes I've seen babies with hair pieces on Instagram) children should look like children not grown people (or strippers).

Top Tips

Keep clothing in the same colour palette, Freya has a lot of black, grey, blue and denim, meaning we can always mix and match outfits everything goes together. 
  


Sales

where possible I refuse to pay full price, especially for baby clothes, my favourite shops to hunt out a sale bargain are Gap, Zara, River Island and Next. I refuse to pay more than £8 for a single item, I love Zara kids clothes however they are on all kinds of crack if they think I'm going to pay £16.99 for a minimalist style vest. So I'm always hunting the sale rail for little gems.

Top Tip

Buy clothes for the next season in the sales, so when the a/w clothes go on sale stock up on coats and boots for the following a/w in larger sizes. When Freya was 3 months old I brought her a coat for age 1-2 and she still wears it now and it was £5!

Don't forget that sales run for a while in the UK, check out the sale near the end of it's run for amazing mark downs, great things can be found in the 'dreg sales'

Think outside the box, the reason something ends up in the sale is because no one wanted it full price. there are some truly ugly clothes in the sales but with a little imagination (and styling) all clothes can look cute when paired with on trend pieces and small person swag!



DIY

Have you seen all those wonderful headbands on Etsy? or the leather Moccasins worn by all those cute babies? well they cost a fortune, and while I don't knock anyone's hustle, with little to no skill you could probably make them yourself at a fraction of the price.

Top Tips

Head to the fabric store and ask for remnants or off cuts, they will usually give you them for free and you can use them to make some awesome DIY hair clips.

Patterns are available to buy online, and with just a small amount of sewing skill you can make dresses and tops for your child, it's also fun! (and addictive)


Gender -Shemder

Shop the boys department, I find that boys clothes are cheaper, and as a mother who is not a huge fan of pink, boys clothes are my saviour from a life of bows and sparkle.


Top Tips

I love the minimalist look for kids, think Scandinavian Minimall, neutral colour palette and no fussy details. however that stuff is expensive. I recreate the look by shopping in the boys department as they tend to have less details on the clothes.

Boys tee's are my favourite thing to purchase I buy them big so Freya can wear them as dresses.


Let Them Be Little

As much as I love dressing up Freya she couldn't care less about what she wears, she is a baby, for now she enjoys dressing up and taking pictures with mummy, it won't last forever so I'm making the most of it. When it comes to Freya's clothes we are all about function and we are not precious about them she gets muddy and covered in food daily (don't let the Instagram feed fool you, I take her pictures early in the morning by mid day she looks like lil kim!) Let your kids be kids.



11 September 2014

The Giveaway: Antonia Burrell Luminous Light Polishing Powder


My Love for Antonia Burrell Skincare is no secret, and I want to share the joys buy giving two of my followers the chance to win my favourite product from Antonia's linE. The Luminous Light Polishing. Powder Luminous Light Polish Powder contains Zinc PCA which helps to calm inflammation, reduce shine and mattify the skin and is clinically proven for its anti microbial and anti ageing properties, combined with Avena Sativa which is a rich anti oxidant, which helps to reduce redness and restore pH.  LLPP contains Tea tree Leaf that purifies and acts as an anti bacterial ingredient. Betaine is is also found in LLPP clinically proven to firm the skin, by stimulating collagen fibroblasts, reduce redness and inflammation. 

Enter via Facebook or using Your email address with the form below, this giveaway is international and ends 22nd September 2014. Good Luck!

The Protective Style: Freya's Bantu Knots


I have posted about Freya's hair regimen a few times now, and those who keep up to date know that I'm a fan of fuss free styling when it comes to children's hair. I get a lot of questions about hair styles for toddlers and my reply has always been to let their hair be. However recently I have had to start putting Freya's hair in protective styles, due to an outbreak of Head Lice at her nursery. I really didn't want to spend hours braiding Freya's hair (not that she would let me!) or putting ornate baubles and hair ties in her hair. But I've managed to find some simple styles that I can actually do!



I only style Freya's hair twice a week for nursery, in Bantu Knots, tops knots or four chunky braids. I would never EVER  consider putting Freya's hair in extension braids or any kind of extensions reserved for adults, no matter how kinky or coily your child's hair is these styles are not an option (please don't do it!).


A protective style is a any style that protects the ends of your hair, so if you don't have time to twist or braid your childs hair a bun will do. If like me you have a lice problem, spray the hair with a fine layer of hair spray this prevents the lice from gripping onto the hair and laying eggs! (eeeeek!) 



My go to style for Freya's hair is Bantu Knots, they are very easy to achieve, section hair into 6-8 sections, I use a little bit of aloe vera gel to smooth the hair, then I twist the hair from the root working my way down. This creates a knot effect as the twisted hair coils around itself I secure it with a snag free black hair elastic.



I'm currently Guest Blgging at Mogul Mommies, I have detailed post up on how I treat head lice naturally along with Freya's revised hair regimen check it out here


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