30 April 2013

The Cottage: Sheabutter Cottage Visit + Haul

I had such a wonderful day at the Sheabutter Cottage, based in Sonning, Reading you would never guess that on a little farm (like a real farm with cows!) sits a little natural hair and skin haven. Akua Wood has a great set up at the cottage I got to meet her helpers and see where everything happens! the cottage is fantastic I think I pee'd a little with excitement! I can not believe that Akua mixes, moulds and whips all the products I found.

The Sheabuter Cottage has a great array of raw and pre blended products, since I've vowed to start doing some DIY product making I picked up a few essential and plan to make some lovely butters for hair and body. I went a bit mad actually and brought A LOT of stuff...but everything looked sooooo good!

[ from left - right ] 
Moringa and neem soap, Monoi Soap, Agave  Deep Conditioner, Organic Rosehip Oil, Vanilla and Orange essential oil, Marula Hair Balm, Bamboo leave in conditioner and Tucuma hair butter (I will review all of these products eventually)

I also got unrefined Coco and Shea butter, Coffee Butter and Rhassuol clay, I also picked up a signed copy of The Science Of Black Hair (I've been meaning to buy this book for 2 years!)

Sheabutter Cottage source much of their raw ingredients like sheabutter, cocoabutter, unrefined coconut oil, African black soap and palm kernel oil directly from farmer co-operatives in Ghana and are of the finest quality.

If you get the chance I would suggest a visit, Sonning is beauty and Akua is very informative 

Sheabutter Cottage
Unit 3, Sonning Farm
Charvil Lane
Sonning Reading
United Kingdom
Call to book a visit on

Tel: +44 (0)208 144 4609
Mobile: +44 (0) 7795625240

29 April 2013

The D I Y: Maple Syrup & Brown Sugar Scrub

I made my first ever D I Y beauty treatment, a really simple skin scrub, great for lips, face and body using contents of your kitchen cupboard. 


3 TBS Maple Syrup
3 TBS Brown Sugar
1 TBS Olive Oil
I also added a sprinkle off sesame seeds (mostly for the pretty factor)
Just M I X and it's ready to use 
You can use a baby food jar to store this scrub just be sure to sterilise it


B R O W N  S U G A R

Gently abrasive, so lifts dead skin cells with being harsh on skin, A source of vitamin B which is a great anti oxidant

M A P L E  S Y R U P

Known to boost immune system, also a great anti ageing anti oxidant and aids in repairing skin

O L I V E   O I L

We all know the benefits of olive oil but the great softening effects is just one that makes it great for body scrubs and skin in general  

Baby food jars are great!

It's as good as any scrub I've tried and the measurements are subjective (just ensure you a left with a thick paste) it's sticky but that's half the fun plus its tastes good!

28 April 2013

The Blogversary: 5 Today + Giveaway Winner

Natural Belle is 5 years old today! Thank you all for your continued support! it's been an amazing 5 years and I've been given a lot of great opportunities. Thank you for sticking with me through all the changes and allowing Natural Belle to grow organically.

27 April 2013

The Hair Wash

Hair wash day! it's a lot easier now I have shorter hair and now that I have gotten into the groove of this new style. I've been wearing my hair in a turban for the last few days because I've been giving my hair a deeeeeeeeeeeeep condition, by mixing Deep Treatment Masque from Shea Moisture and Jamaican Black Castor Oil, I warmed it up in the microwave for a hot oil style treatment and it works very well. 
I left it for 24 hours and my hair was super soft and didn't dry out when I did a deep cleanse with Africa Black Soap, which really cleans you hair and I find it feels hard on hair unless I pre poo (pre shampoo)
I conditioned with the Shea Moisture Restorative Conditioner which I left in and seal/styled using Haitian Black Castor Oil and Eco Styler Gel which made a type of custard. The Haitian castor oil has the same benefits as the Jamaican castor oil but I found it lighter so perfect for mixing with my gel, (mixing oil with gel helps to rid the dreaded crunchy hair with loosing definition and hold) 

Lipstick: NYX Xtreme Lip Cream

26 April 2013

The Model: Faune Martin

PHOTO: Martin L. Jørgensen- MLJ MUA: Karen Brogaard
Stunning model from Copenhagen Faune Martin and her beautiful mane. Faune was a finalist for Schwarzkop 2012 Hair Idol Denmark you can follow Faune via Facebook here

Photographed by Oleksandr Pshenychnyy

 PHOTO: Sandra Åberg MUA: Tine Christensen

The Ultimate Beauty Oil: Week 1

I vowed never to be one of those bloggers that took pictures of food for no reason (like who wants to know about last nights curry!) However this is totally relevant as I've been experimenting with different ways  to take Viridian's Ultimate Beauty Oil (From £9.50)
I been taking the oil since Monday, first off I tried it as is! it's not horrible, it actually has a nice woody flavour but who want to eat wood everyday!
I been putting beauty oil in juices and in hummus, the juice over powers the oil so that is great if you don't like the taste. The hummus however really works well with the oil, I added a little chilli and it was really yummy! 

Hummus Recipe
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or add the Viridian Oil at this point
  •  black pepper
  • Chilli flakes

Smoothie Recipe
  •  1/4 cup of frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 cup plain yoghurt
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup ice

25 April 2013

The Haul 2: Cocktail Cosmetics

Search engines are by far one of the best inventions of the 21st century, just pop what you are looking (in this case natural make up remover) into Google and with a few clicks of a button you have spent £16 on a bunch of stuff you don't really need because of a cyber sale (at least I got the make up remover)

Another great on line boutique Cocktail Cosmetics stock a range on eco friendly, organic, non toxic and cruelty free beauty brands such as Sprout (all natural) PritiNYC (non toxic) and NYX (cruelty free)
I ordered Sprout make up remover, NYX Lip and Eye Pencils & Xtreme Lip Cream along with the PritiNYC nail polish in Lampshade Poppy.
Cocktail Cosmetics also gives away great samples with your order I got a refill pan in Teal by Neve Cosmetics and a finishing spray from Skindinavia which I think was pretty cool on an order of only £16!
So far I'm in love with the NYX lip cream though it's not completely non toxic it doesn't contain parabens (some items do however)  and appears to be silicone free (it does have synthetic bees wax, which probably isn't great), It's a colour called Absolute Red and that is a pretty accurate name it's rich and vibrant. My least favourite so far is the PritiNYC nail polish, I thought it was a lemony colour, but it's actually a 'kill bill' style vibrant yellow, which is ok it's just not the colour I was expecting....I really don't understand why websites don't take proper pictures of stock that is colour determined! I mean I took these pictures and they are an accurate representation on the true colour! (just annoys me) beside that the polish is a bit like painting my nails with water colour paints I needed to apply 4 coats before it looked like the colour it was suppose to be. I'm going to try them again as I'm all for second chances but so far meh!

I haven't had a chance to use the rest of the products yet but I'll keep you posted, Cocktail Cosmetics had great service and the cyber sale is great check it out here

The Haul: Sheabutter Cottage

I am currently in major product junkie mode right now, after running out of some of my most loved beauty and hair staples, I had to get my Sheabutter Cottage fix! I'm often talking about Sheabutter Cottage run by mother, business woman and big sister to #teamnaturalUK Akua Wood.

"The passion I have for using sheabutter originates from experiencing its moisturising and healing properties and I believe that it is quite simply a unique natural ingredient in skincare" Akua Wood

 Based in Berkshire Akua mixes the Sheabutter Cottage range by hand and is also the founding distributor of Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil.

Sheabutter Cottage ETHICAL POLICY:

Sheabutter Cottage is dedicated to using natural ingredients and producing the finest quality products for the benefit of all customers.  As part of this process, we operate a strict regime of ethical action and awareness based on:
The use of only natural products from traceable sources using sustainable farming methods.
NOT using chemical additives in our products thereby ensuring the customer uses wholly natural products to the benefit of their skin and well being.
NO testing on animals.
The use of products which have had no child labour in any part of the supply chain.
Truth in labelling.
A fair price paid for all ingredients and reflected in a reasonable scale price for our customers.
Financial support to farmers’ co-operatives supplying the bulk of our raw materials
We believe in empowering men & women
We believe in ethical trading
We believe in supporting communities
We believe in philanthropy before profit
We believe in helping to make poverty history

Sheabutter cottage truly is a one woman show I really don't now how she does it! 

I picked up one of my favourite hard working cleansers Authentic African Black Soap (£2.10) (I reviewed it here) which is a great cleanser for skin and hair. I also got it in liquid form (£4.00) which is great as the soap can get sticky after a while. I also got the new Rose Lip Balm (£3.52) and a 30ml bottle of Haitian Black Castor Oil. Lastly I re stocked on my JBCO (from £6.80) one of my favourite all round oils (I reviewed it here)

The Birthday Giveaway

Natural belle blog will be 5 years old 28th April! To help celebrate I'm giving away Perfect Beauty Gift Set from Amie Skincare 
Just post your birthday wishes below to be entered into a prize draw the winner will be announced on 28th April you also enter via Instagram 
(yes it’s international)
Good luck!!!

23 April 2013

The Review: Eco Lip Pencil from CutECOsmetics

Another day another great eco find, this time from Neve Cosmetics via www.cutecosmetics.co.uk they have a great range of natural, organic and cruelty free beauty products I picked up the Pastello lip pencil by Neve Cosmetics for £3.95. The pencils have a vegan formula free from Parabens and silicones.
 I have the colour Vino which is a burgundy colour with a hint of purple it matches up great with my sugar free lip gloss from Mavala in  Blackcurrent (review here). The colour is nice and pigmented, and lasts on the lips, it also made sheerer lip gloss look a little more defined. This stands up to my lip liners with more synthetic ingredients and is a reasonable price so I'll switching to these from now on! They also have a great selection of eye pencils (£4.95) I also picked up one of those and did a mini review on my Instagram you can check it out here

Teal eye pencil 

Ingredients: Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate,Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil, Copernicia Cerifera Cera, Olus Oil, Candelilla Cera, Mica, Sesamum Indicum Oil, Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sorbic Acid, C.I. 77891, C.I. 77491, C.I. 77492, C.I. 77742, C.I. 77499

22 April 2013

The Tutorial: The Obnoxious Turban

I get asked for head wrap tutorials most days, I have done a few on YouTube (June Ambrose and Solange inspired) The one that I get asked how to do the most is the oversized obnoxiously big turban (in the style of June Ambrose or Taali M)
It's actually the easiest look to create all you need is a very large piece of fabric, preferably a thick fabric (though you can get the look with a silk scarf you won't get crazy biggness!) I've used a batik fabric from Nigeria but you can get fabric like this here

  • Fold you fabric so it long rather than thick, the thickness should be enough to cover the nape of your neck to your widows peak (front of head).
  • Place the fabric on your head as if you where putting on a towel after a hair wash (1).
  • Secure the fabric by tying the fabric once at the front of your head(2).
  • You should now have two sections of fabric, take one section and make you quiff, by fanning out the fabric the way you desire.
  • Pull both sections back, you can twist the fabric at this point (3), tuck the tail end of the fabric under the fabric at the nap of your neck(4).

You can experiment with different twists and fold, but this is the basic, easy Obnoxious Turban Technique


use discount code: WIGWITCH