Archive for the ‘product review’ Category

PRODUCT REVIEW: Koils By Nature Herbal Soothing Unscented Gel

COMPANY:  KOILS BY NATURE

PRODUCT:  Koils By Nature Herbal Soothing Unscented Gel, 16 oz., $12.00.

I’ve been searching a long time for a “natural” gel like this and I’m absolutely loving it.  One of the reasons it’s the perfect summertime gel for me is because it has no glycerin.  I plan on incorporating this gel in my summertime styling for buns, puffs, wash and gos, etc. 

APPLICATION:  I used the Koils by Nature gel to make finger coils, a style I haven’t worn in a long, long time and I was very pleased with the results, especially due to the fact that some areas of my hair won’t coil.   After co-washing, I applied my homemade shea mix  (shea, coconut oil, AVG) throughout hair, then applied the Koils by Nature Soothing Unscented Gel on top of that.  I prefer to add the gel all at once instead of section by section.  I proceeded to finger coil, spritzing my hair with water from time to time to keep it damp.  It took about 1-1/2 hours.  The following pics show three day old finger coils. 

               

I have serious hair shrinkage, regardless of what product I use.  You’d think I cut my hair, but I didn’t.  

   

What I like about Koils by Nature Soothing Unscented Gel:

  1. Natural ingredients that my hair loves.  
  2. No glycerin. 
  3. Nonsticky. 
  4. Light to medium hold.  

Koils by Nature Soothing Unscented Gel is a keeper.  Although it says unscented, it does have a light, pleasant herbally smell which dissipates quickly.   Customer service is awesome and shipping is fast.  I received a sample of the Nourishing Hair & Body Butter in Heavenly Delight, which smells good enough to eat, as well as a nice handwritten note from the owner herself, Ms. Pamela Jenkins.  Definitely have to purchase more of her products, especially the butters and conditioners.

For the month of June, Koils by Nature is having a 20% off sale for Grads and Dads.  The perfect opportunity for you to try Koils by Nature products.  Don’t miss out!

Product Review: Beija Flor Naturals

I hate to do this to the product junkies so close to Christmas, but there is a new kinky curly hair product you gotta try.   Beija Flor Naturals’ Creme Brulee for Kinks, Curls, and Coils is truly one of the best curl products I’ve used this year.  

ABOUT BEIJA FLOR NATURALS

Beija Flor Naturals is a natural products company based out of California.   Their vegan/organic body care line includes products for the hair, face, and body.   Beija Flor Naturals can also be found in the  GreenPeople.org directory, which is a  cool directory of ecofriendly companies.   Their products are available for purchase at  Beija Flor Naturals.com, as well as on Etsy at Beija Flor Naturals.

PRODUCT   Creme Brulee for Kinks, Curls, and Coils, 8 oz., $12.95.   This is an everyday leave-in moisturizer.  In total, an infusion of 13 premium natural ingredients create a light cream texture that is perfect for all natural hair types.

APPLICATION:  After co-washing my hair with Taliah Waajid Herb Enhancing Conditioner, I squeezed out excess water.  I then applied the Licorice Root Scalp Elixir to scalp with fingers and massaged in.   Next, I parted my damp hair in four sections (parted down the middle and from side to side).  I applied a finger full of Creme Brulee for Kinks, Curls, and Coils to each section, from root to tip, concentrating on my ends.  I instantly felt the product smoothing my hair strands.  The Creme Brulee has a light whipped, creamy texture and a yummy, light cinnamon/nutmeg spice smell which dissipates after application. 

             

RESULTS:  The Creme Brulee for Kinks, Curls, and Coils  absorbed instantly in my hair, smoothing my coily strands from root to tip.   Even my fuzzy hairline behaved.  After applying product to each section, I put my hair in a ponytail to airdry.   No other product was necessary. 

What I like about this product:

  • A standalone product.  No other product necessary.
  • My hair was frizz free, soft, and defined.  
  • The Creme Brulee is nongreasy and doesn’t weigh down hair.   I had plenty of bounce and movement.

VERDICT:   The perfect curly hair product for me because I didn’t need any other products with it.  Will definitely order more.          

Other products I tried:

  Hemp Buttercream, 8 oz., $12.00, 98% natural.  A daily hair and body moisturizer that is concentrated, fast absorbing and lasts all day. 

RESULTS:  I have mild eczema and I purchased unscented Hemp Buttercream.  It’s a great hair moisturizer, but an even better body butter.  I used this product for bunning which works best when applied to wet hair.    I slather this on after a shower and my skin stays moisturized and flake-free all day.   

   Licorice Root Scalp Elixir, $13.00.   This product is made to combat dry, itchy, irritated scalp, reduce dandruff, stop hair loss and promote healthy hair growth.

RESULTS:  This oil feels good on your scalp and soothes the itchies.  The Licorice Root Scalp Elixir is also a great product for sealing ends.

  Organic Whipped Shea Butter, 4 oz., $10.00.  Our shea butter is whipped with nourishing oils such as coconut, and apricot oils for a creamy spreadable texture.

RESULTS:  This whipped shea butter is a great face, hair  AND body moisturizer.  I love the light texture of this butter and it keeps skin hydrated all day.

Please stop by and check out Beija Flor Naturals.  Natural and organic goodies such as facial products, soaps, oils, and scrubs are available.

Product Update: Darcy’s Botanicals Madagascar Vanilla Styling Creme

Hey everybody!  I haven’t been up to blogging lately due to some major health issues I’ve been putting off, which now have to be addressed.  I just wanted to give a little update on my hair.  If you haven’t purchased any of Darcy’s Botanicals products yet, please try them.  The Madagascar Vanilla Styling Creme’s performance is consistent, and has been the one go to product that has made the difference in the health of my hair.  My hair tangles less, has more shine, and is growing like crazy.  I’m definitely a minimalist when it comes to putting products in my hair and love the fact this product lasts a long, long time.     

As my hair grows longer, the more obvious the three hair textures on my head become.  The Madagascar Styling Creme gives each texture exactly what it needs; moisture, shine, or softness.  Take a look.

may2009-143

NAPE:  Where majority of tangles occur.  This is the only part of  my hair that has shine without product.

May2009 135

HEADBAND AREA: Halo of frizz in front, side to side, with mad shrinkage (and gray hairs creeping back in.  lol.).

may2009-149

CROWN: – This area grows the fastest with wavy, loose curls that never tangle.    

I actually don’t have any hair problems to report.   Nope.  Nada.  Nothing.  Since the weather is warmer, shea butter is no longer required, so shampooing weekly not necessary.  My hair is doing fantastic with just these basics.  

  1. Conditioner wash with Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut.
  2. Deep condition with Lustrasilk Aloe Vera Cholesterol (add Agave Nectar or honey), or Pantene Relaxed & Natural Breakage Defense Mask.
  3. Apply Madagascar Vanilla Styling Creme from root to tip, or use the Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut + oil as leave-in.

It’s time to restock and Mother’s Day couldn’t have come at a better time.  Anybody try any of Darcy’s Botanicals new products?   If so, let me know which ones and how you like them. The Organic Coconut and Aloe Moisture Pudding is calling my name.

Hopefully I’ll be back blogging on the regular soon.

Supporting Indie Artists and Business Owners

In 2002, when I started my natural journey, there weren’t too many products and accessories specifically for kinky-curly hair, but things have changed.  Along came Oyin, Asha’s, Qhemet Biologics, JessiCurl, and Anita Grant.   We’ve seen these companies grow from one or two hair care products to an entire hair care line.  We’ve supported them over the years and have grown to love them like family.   We’ve come a long way from the mineral and petroleum-laden products that still crowd the shelves of our local beauty supply stores.  We now have choices.  A lot of them.  Today, we have Donna Marie, Hairveda, Komaza Care, Kinky-Curly Curling Custard, Jane Carter Solution, Afroveda, etc., to name just a few.   

One of the purposes of this blog is to promote and feature handmade items and products from indie artists and businesses.  As you already know, I love Etsy and have featured many talented artists and indie owners from there on Mature Natural.  I’ve met so many wonderful people by doing this.  It’s my small way of showing support and letting them know I respect and love what they do.  It’s important to me that everybody knows who they are, where they are, and what they have to offer.  

Next week, I’ll have product reviews for Darcy’s Botanicals naturally curly hair care products.  The products from this indie biz are giving me some of the best hair days ever.

Product Review: Donna Marie Lock & Twist Pudding

donnamarielocktwist

PRODUCT:  Donna Marie Lock & Twist Pudding, 8 oz., $10.00.

APPLICATION:  I conditoner washed with Suave Tropical Coconut and squeezed out excess water.   I used the Lock & Twist Pudding as a styler to create a bun I could wear for 2-3 days.  I emulsified the Lock & Twist Pudding between my hands, then applied to my hair from edges to ends.  It easily laid down and smoothed my 4a, fine hair into a bun.  

RESULTS:  I don’t wear locks or twists (except fat twists at bedtime), so I used this product as a styler.  This had to be the fastest bun I’ve ever created.  The Lock & Twist Pudding smoothed my hair very nicely (even my edges) and it has a nice hold.  I didn’t have to use much product to get the job done either.

100_3164   100_3184   100_3168

VERDICT:  This had to be the quickest bun I’ve ever created, but I noticed the bun portion of my hair was more moisturized than the rest of my hair the next day.  Next time I’ll try using the Donna Marie Ultimate Slip Detangler or Cocoa Hemp Buttercream as a leave-in underneath.  Overall, this product works great as a styler for me.  Non-drying, non-flaking, and smoothes the hair very well.  My hair is really loving this product line.

Sample Review: Sycamore Boutique

SYCAMORE BOUTIQUE

I purchased samples of Sycamore Boutique’s Unscented Shea Emoillient Cream (Winter Blend) which is a bestseller for this Etsy store.  This special blend is created for those suffering with eczema and dry skin, and includes ingredients such as  shea, almond oil, evening primrose oil, and chamomile extract.  Since my skin and hair loves aloe vera and shea, I also purchased their Aloe-Shea Butter Cream.  

**NOTE:  The Sycamore Boutique has recently added African Black Soap directly from Ghana to their inventory.  The soap bar is huge (6 oz.) and is $5.50.  Also check out Sycamore Boutique’s online shop which includes specialty soaps, soy candles, perfume oils, and jewelry.  Angela, the owner, is very friendly and quick to reply to any questions you may have.  Make sure to visit both stores.

 

a.  sycamoresheacream        b. sycamorealoebutter

  • a.  Shea Butter Emoillient Cream, Trial Size 1/2 oz. $1.00, Reg. 2 oz. size $5.00.  The Winter Blend cream is unscented and is one of Sycamore Boutique’s bestsellers.  It is currently available in 4 oz., 8 oz., and 16 oz. sizes.  A generous quantity of  premium oils like Shea Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, and Evening Primrose Oil are added to this cream.    
  • b.  Aloe-Shea Butter, Trial Size 1/4 oz., $1.25 – This is a super thick cream/butter made with a combination of Aloe – Shea and Soy.   It is a great spot treatment for rough dry skin without having an oily feeling.  This can also be blended in your hand with your regular moisturizer to give it a boost.

I bought the Shea Emoillient Cream as a moisturizer for my skin, but especially my face.  So far it has given me the moisture I need and is very soothing.  I have super sensitive skin and have had no irritation, redness, or breakouts from this product.  An added plus is that this product is also unscented.  I really like it and I’m praying it continues to work for me.  My skin does seem smoother, but I’m not sure whether or not I can attribute it to the Shea Emoillient Cream just yet as I recently started using Vermont Oatmeal & Lavender Soap as a facial cleanser.   

I haven’t used the Aloe-Shea Butter yet, but will definitely come back and post a review for it.  It is also unscented, thick, and creamy.

ETA:  The “Winter Blend” cream is definitely smoothing and healing my skin.  The dry spots on my face are no longer flaky and the redness is gone.  This one is definitely a keeper and I will purchase regular size jar.

I finally tried the Aloe-Shea Butter sample as a hair moisturizer and it did a good job of providing sheen and softness.  The Aloe-Shea Butter was a little gritty, though, as I melted it between my hands.  I had tiny white balls in my hair after it dried which were easily removed by shaking my hair.  I will   inquire about this as I’m interested in purchasing regular size.

I’d like to add that I will ALWAYS give honest product and sample reviews.  Though it seems all my reviews are favorable, this may be in part due to the fact I tend to purchase products with ingredients I know my skin and hair likes.  If a product or sample doesn’t work, I’ll definitely inform you.

Sample Reviews: Brown Butter Soaps and Blossoming Tree

I’m currently seeking products for a dry scalp (product buildup) and dry patchy skin (eczema).  To save money, I’ve decided to purchase samples or trial sizes to try.  With this crappy economy, it’s a good way to save money, especially if the product doesn’t work as well as expected.  

CHRISTINE GANT, BROWN BUTTER SOAPS ARTISAN BATH & BODY

By visiting Brown Butter Soap’s Shop Home Page, you know the owner, Christine Gant, is very knowledgeable about the ingredients she uses in her products.   She uses 100% pure Thieves Young Living Therapeutic essential oils, fresh herbal infusions, many organic ingredients, and no preservatives in her bath and body products.  I decided to sample her  Herbal Deluxe Hair and Body Oil (see below).  This oil has been on my Etsy Favorite’s List for a little while now and I was looking forward to trying it. 

For those suffering with a dry, irritated scalp, this oil is simply amazing.  Since using it, my scalp feel so much better.  I’ve also included the Herbal Scalp & Body Butter, although I didn’t sample it.  The ingredients are fantastic as well.

a.  cgantdeluxeoil1        b.   cgantdeluxebutter

  • a.  Herbal Deluxe Hair and Body Oil, 1 oz. sample, $3.00.  Wintertime dry scalp is an issue for many and its ingredients make it an excellent product to achieve scalp health.  An added plus is that it is good for the skin as well.  Ingredients:  Infused olive oil, burdock, comfrey root, neem, chamomile, nettle, black walnut hull, calendula flowers, Thieves Young Living Essential Oil (a blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary), sweet almond oil,  Jojoba oil, and castor oil.   
  • b.  Herbal Deluxe Scalp & Body Butter, sample size, $3.00.  This double-duty body butter is the perfect product for wintertime skin issues (dry, chapped, cracked skin), as well as hair and scalp care.  Ingredients:  Infused olive oil consisting of the following Organic herbs: Burdock, Comfrey root, Neem, Chamomile, Nettle, Black Walnut Hull, Calendula Flowers, Thieves Young Living Essential Oil (a blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary), unrefined raw shea butter, organic unrefined cocoa butter, first cold press food grade olive oil, jojoba oil, organic sesame oil, organic avocado oil, organic food grade coconut oil, pure unrefined and filtered bees wax.

Brown Butter Soaps Artisan Bath & Body also has natural soaps, dead sea salts, and facial masques/scrubs which are all  full of skin loving herbs and essential oils.  Make sure to check her out on Etsy.

BLOSSOMING TREE

A special shout out to my fellow Michiganian, BLOSSOMING TREE, for her wonderful “Try It Size” samples.  Thanks Blossoming Tree!

The Botanical Facial Cream is a light, fragrance-free cream.  Perfect for my sensitive skin, but due to my current dry skin issues, I think I may need something  a little heavier.  Good stuff!

The Vanilla, Orange, and Clove Soap is to die for.  This soap smells delicious and definitely made my shower more enjoyable.   I loved how my skin felt and kept getting a whiff of its delicious fragrance while drifting off to sleep.   Good stuff!

The Herbal Foot Soak is a must have to revitalize those feet, especially after shopping all day in socks and heavy boots.  Good stuff! 

Blossoming Tree’s Etsy store is closed until January 2009, but you can still purchase her items on Art Fire.    Also check out her cool blog spot (one of my favorites) here.

I’ll be sampling more natural products for hair and skin.  Stay tuned.