Before you enter the ring, it’s time to choose your fighter. In one corner we have the classic, tried and true shower gel - traditional in the way it works, but still with a few tricks up its sleeves. In the other corner? A new contender to the ring - shower oils. An original innovation, shower oils have risen up the ranks to be a prominent new name on the showering scene. So, which one are you going to put your money on and crown the winner of your shower care routine? Let’s check out their credentials before you make your decision. Round 1 *ding ding* Small and mighty, petite and powerful, please welcome to the ring, shower oils. The basic premise is the same as their bottled counterparts - they clean your skin and provide vibrant fragrance and beautiful benefits. The main difference in a shower oil is that they come naked. Packaging free and stripped of all their plastic they are solid thanks to a base of Fair Trade organic cocoa butter and sunflower wax. These two ingredients will work in tandem to lock in moisture and provide the feeling of putting a lotion on after the shower, but without the effort of that extra step. A real time saver. This contender is a little gentler on delicate skin thanks to cocamidopropyl betaine, a softer foaming agent. It’s super easy going and a great option if you’re looking for something that has a lighter lather. This little fighter isn’t about getting that squeaky clean feeling, but instead about making sure you feel more moisturised afterwards thanks to leaving a bounty of butters and essential oils on the skin. To use a shower oil, all you have to do is work it straight onto wet skin with warm water. You’ll get the feeling of a luxurious cream that you can work all over the skin to leave you sumptuously soft. When you’re done, leave them to dry out before storing them in a tin or on your bathroom shelf. You can use shower oils on their own or after a traditional shower gel if you want a deeper cleanse. You can choose any champ you like, so let’s discover some of the shower oils on offer. With its zingy litsea cubeba fragrance, Minamisoma makes for an invigorating shower, while an extra dose of rapeseed oil packs in even more moisture. The turmeric powder within Minamisoma is an effective antioxidant and will leave your skin glowing with health. Alternatively, Coco Loco pairs the tropical scent of Brazillian orange oil with the creamy luxury of coconut cream for a shower that will make you long for sun soaked beaches and a cocktail in your hand. Round 2 *ding ding* No stranger to shower time and a reigning champ of cubicles across the world. Keeping it fresh and always keeping it interesting. It’s time to welcome to the ring, shower gels. Often seen as the most conventional option for washing, shower gels are super versatile and easy to use. The basic premise is that they use a surfactant (the thing that makes it foam) to remove dirt and oil from the skin easily and leave you feeling clean and bright. Traditionally bottled, this shower hero sometimes ditches the packaging for a naked version, but either way they’re super easy to use and store. Shower gels also harness the power of additional ingredients and essential oils to benefit the skin and mood in different ways. Looking for a vibrant, juicy pick me up? Go for Plum Rain, packed with fresh plum juice to give a boost of cleansing power and add an uplifting fragrance. Carrageenan, a rich seaweed extract, is also added to the mix to leave your skin extra soft post shower. Looking for a soothing night-time wash? Sleepy might be the one to go for! Oat milk calms even the most delicate skin and leaves it feeling soft, while the fan-favourite fragrance of lavender and tonka unwinds the mind. Writer Dave Parry
As a seasoned beauty editor it’s my job to test and trial things on a daily basis. From peach hair to skin peeling solutions, I’m not afraid to give things a go. But getting me in a bath is no mean feat which is why when Lush asked me to put some of their new bath bombs to the test, I had to think carefully before I gave them the thumbs up. But boy, am I glad I did. Last year it was reported that sales of bath products were up – partly because they’re being billed as a massive stress reliever (much needed in today’s highly strung society) but partly because of hashtags like #bathart trending on social media. Pictures of fizzy psychedelic scenes that look like art gallery installations, bath time has most definitely had an upgrade from a quick dip in the tub and a customary end-of-day clean. Which begged the question – why was I still putting them on the back burner? Of course, baths have always been ritualistic – insomniacs are often prescribed lavender soaks to lull them into a relaxed state before bed. But I find them - or should that be, ‘found’ them - quite the opposite. In fact I’d go so far as saying they instilled fear in me. The waiting time while the bath fills up; the issue that I’m always cold so need water that’s scorching hot, only to find myself sweating profusely after five minutes with a burning desire to jump into a cool shower, and the real humdinger - that I could be using that valuable time to be ticking things off my to-do list. I’ve tried to ease the pain using various tactics…reading magazines, catching up on my Instagram feed/emails/bank account, making a phone call…but the anxiety about dropping said publication/phone in the water or being on the phone so long that the water turns tepid and I have to evacuate the tub immediately is far from pleasurable. Yep, I’m a signed, sealed, delivered case of not being able to switch off. And while my sister calls her husband on the way home from a long day at work to get her bath filled so she can have a pre-dinner soak, it would never cross my mind. Ever. But something strange has happened. Spending a month trialling an array of new bath bombs, my mindset has shifted and so have my bathing habits. Before I began my tub trials, I quizzed my friend’s seven-year-old daughter and bath bomb obsessive, Evie on why she placed such high value on these mesmerising multicoloured balls. “They make the bath go all colourful and the glitter ones you can scoop your finger in and it goes all sparkly and they fizz and whizz and smell amazing.” I was game. I decided that I’d break my BB virginity after an evening yoga session to top up that virtuous feeling. Opting for Fairy Jasmine, swayed by the divine floral scent, I gave myself a 20-minute time limit, which felt achievable. What I noticed first was that my fingertips and toes didn’t take on that shrivelled raisin-like texture like they normally do mid soak - result. Feeling bold I also skipped the body moisturiser - one self-care step I’m meticulous about. I went to bed feeling uncomfortable about changing my routine, but also rather chuffed that I’d found myself a beauty hack. Still hydrated come morning, I’m onto a winner. As I worked my way through the bath bombs, I did encounter a predicament that I imagine the #bathart brigade fall victim to as well. Baths are traditionally a phone-free zone to allow for that relaxation and switching off to take place, but when those lumps of brightly coloured baking soda start jetting about the bath, twisting and turning under the water flow, the first thing I wanted to do was reach for my phone to document the process. Take Groovy kind of love– transforming my bath into a Neopolitan ice cream, as the bomb broke down into crumbly little meteorites I found myself scrunching it in my hand waiting for spurts of the rainbow to fizz out. I was regressing. Within beauty it’s usually make-up that takes the giant’s share of playing and experimenting but here I was feeling like a princess in glitter-filled waters. And while I’ve never been able to get on board with mindfulness apps, 20 minutes focusing on nothing else but the shapes and colours that these fun nuggets creates must be doing something for my mental wellbeing? It’s worth mentioning that during this time great things started happening to my skin too. After indulging in the Bath bomb and admiring the golden glow and shimmer it imparted onto my skin, I jumped out of the tub and applied some fake tan. Not like me at all as I’m pretty lazy in that department. Plus, for a tan to develop evenly it’s important not to moisturise the skin beforehand and I always forget (see above about my obsessive hydration habits), but the bath bomb had left my limbs soft, smooth and hydrated enough for the colour to develop evenly without any patchiness. It also faded fantastically. All of the above led to a bathing ritual revolution and I found I was factoring baths into my routine. After a Sunday gardening session (rare in itself), after a day of back-to-back meetings in London (pre-dinner) and the big shocker - one morning when I was working from home I opted for a bath over a shower. Something I never thought I’d do. The novelty didn’t wear off either and those hypnotic moments as the bath bombs broke down kept me hooked. Switching off guilt-free and saving precious time and effort on body moisturising, the clear benefits this experiment has had on my brain and body means it’s one tried and tested I won’t be giving up anytime soon. Writer Becci Vallis
With more and more help on hand, embracing your natural colour, hair type and knowing how to care for processed hair is slowly becoming easier. However, bombarded by information on caring for short, straight, curly, dark or light locks and a jungle of products which are ‘anti-this, pro-that’ makes it very difficult to know which ‘box’ we tick and what products we should use. Keeping hair happy can become a system of trial and error: a frustrating dance from product to product which can be difficult to master, a circus of lotions and potions laughing unforgivingly at our bad hair days. Knowing what product to use and how to use them is half the battle, “If you just smash a load of avocado onto the hair, it won’t do much. It’s about putting the right menu of ingredients together so that they can be applied effectively”, explains product trainer and Mystic Meg of the hair world, Aleksandra Herbich. Getting to know your hair will enable you to choose a bespoke list of ingredients so that you can get the best results from your hair. Queue ‘the hair reading’. Forget smoke and mirrors, or rabbits appearing out of top hats, the only theatre needed here are dramatic results and head-turning, screen siren hair, both of which can be achieved without a magic wand, illusions or misdirection. A simple set of questions and a scope of smart hair products are the only secret to show stopping hair. Without subjecting you to a tiresome biology lesson, your hair is quite amazing, (no not just your new hair cut) but the architecture of it. Hair is unique to us in the same way our fingerprints are, hence why prescribing someone a product simply based on the colour of their hair would be futile. Think of your hair type as a personality; two friends may share similar traits but that doesn’t mean they have identical personalities. Your hair is similarly complex and unique to you. In brief, your hair is made up of a bulb, shaft, cuticle, cortex and in some cases a medulla. All this sounds very technical, so let’s break it down. The bulb is the set of cells which produce the hair, whilst the hair shaft is the part of the hair seen above the scalp. The shaft contains three layers:
- The cuticle: the outer layer of the hair made up of overlapping keratin scales. This waterproofs the hair and provides elasticity to prevent breakage.
- The cortex: an inner layer made up of keratin fibres that run parallel to one another, giving strength to the hair.
- The medulla: a keratin structure containing air pockets. The medulla is sometimes not present in naturally fairer hair as it is often finer.
- A spare ten minutes
- A mirror
- Paper and pencil
With more and more help on hand, embracing your natural colour, hair type and knowing how to care for processed hair is slowly becoming easier. However, bombarded by information on caring for short, straight, curly, dark or light locks and a jungle of products which are ‘anti-this, pro-that’ makes it very difficult to know which ‘box’ we tick and what products we should use. Keeping hair happy can become a system of trial and error: a frustrating dance from product to product which can be difficult to master, a circus of lotions and potions laughing unforgivingly at our bad hair days. Knowing what product to use and how to use them is half the battle, “If you just smash a load of avocado onto the hair, it won’t do much. It’s about putting the right menu of ingredients together so that they can be applied effectively”, explains product trainer and Mystic Meg of the hair world, Aleksandra Herbich. Getting to know your hair will enable you to choose a bespoke list of ingredients so that you can get the best results from your hair. Queue ‘the hair reading’. Forget smoke and mirrors, or rabbits appearing out of top hats, the only theatre needed here are dramatic results and head-turning, screen siren hair, both of which can be achieved without a magic wand, illusions or misdirection. A simple set of questions and a scope of smart hair products are the only secret to show stopping hair. Without subjecting you to a tiresome biology lesson, your hair is quite amazing, (no not just your new hair cut) but the architecture of it. Hair is unique to us in the same way our fingerprints are, hence why prescribing someone a product simply based on the colour of their hair would be futile. Think of your hair type as a personality; two friends may share similar traits but that doesn’t mean they have identical personalities. Your hair is similarly complex and unique to you. In brief, your hair is made up of a bulb, shaft, cuticle, cortex and in some cases a medulla. All this sounds very technical, so let’s break it down. The bulb is the set of cells which produce the hair, whilst the hair shaft is the part of the hair seen above the scalp. The shaft contains three layers: The cuticle: the outer layer of the hair made up of overlapping keratin scales. This waterproofs the hair and provides elasticity to prevent breakage. The cortex: an inner layer made up of keratin fibres that run parallel to one another, giving strength to the hair. The medulla: a keratin structure containing air pockets. The medulla is sometimes not present in naturally fairer hair as it is often finer. Both the hair cuticle and cortex determine what kind of hair you naturally have. The cuticles on straight hair tend to lie flat and hug the cortex tightly meaning straight hair tends to retain moisture for longer and looks shinier as it reflects more light, unlike the cuticles on curly hair which are raised. Because of this, curly hair often does not shine as much and can sometimes tangle more easily. The cuticle rises and flattens in response to many factors, such as hot or cold water, chemical processing and heat styling. This is often why it is recommended to rinse your hair with cold water after washing as it helps to close the cuticles and lock in the moisture from shampoos and conditioners. The cortex of the hair also helps to determine your hair colour, curl and thickness. Writer Amy Shepherd
COME ON, LET'S SWEAT This is the body's way of cooling you down, so make sure you allow the skin to breathe by wearing loose, light clothing. Make sure you keep topped up with fluids. HAVE A WET T-SHIRT COMPETITION Even better than wearing loose clothing is to wear damp, loose clothing. Dunking a top in cool water and wringing it out before wearing it helps keep your skin in constant contact with cool water, keeping your temperature down. But best of all: HAVE A BATH (A COOL ONE) A tepid bath is one of the best ways to keep cool in the summer. Bring your body temperature down with a soak in cool, but not cold, water; freezing cold water may be tempting, but your body will react to the dramatic change in temperature by trying to preserve heat. For extra cooling, add a bomb such as Avobath with refreshing citrus oils, or take a dip in the Big Blue and drift of among arame seaweed and sea salt. If you prefer a shower, take a Shower Jelly in with you straight from the fridge or freezer. Take it out of its pot and rub it all over to cleanse and rejuvenate. Just don't turn that temperature dial down to cold. If you can’t have a bath or shower, try at least to plunge your hands or feet into cool water as it will help slow the blood flow to the surface of the skin. It's an effective way of feeling cool quickly. LET US SPRAY If you can’t get near water (or even if you can), mist yourself with a refreshing spritz of a refrigerated toner water on the face or back of the neck. Breath of Fresh Air contains sea water, soothing rose absolute, and cooling aloe vera; perfect for faces that have seen a little too much sun. MASK ON/MASK OFF While you’re in the fridge, take out a Fresh Face Mask: try BB Seaweed, which is made with fresh seaweed and cooling aloe vera.
For as old as time, or perhaps just since the modern shower was invented, we have all bought into the myth that baths are for unwinding, and showers are for refreshing. We bathe in the evening, we shower in the morning. Baths help us fall asleep, showers help us wake up. But a new day is dawning in the world of showering. No longer will showers just be used for a quick ‘freshen up’, no longer will just a splash of shower gel suffice, and no longer will a shower’s potential as a realm for pampering be ignored, because the rich and plentiful range of products that can be used within the confines of a steamy shower room have advanced in the most elaborate of ways. Shower gel has long been seen as a staple part of showering. Along with shampoo, conditioner and face wash, it forms a cornerstone of our regular cleaning routine. But in a world where we constantly demand more, basic shower gel no longer cuts the mustard. Sure it does the job; we go from dirty to decent in a few swift swipes of a lathered up loofah, but delve into the concept of spa showering and you’ll soon blush at how primitive our notion of ‘showering’ once was. The concept: restore your body and mind Think luxury, think decadence, think an aromatherapeutic awakening that not only cleanses your body, but transforms your mood, and that, in a nutshell, is spa showering. By combining a variety of sensorially stimulating products, you’ll not only layer yourself in a bespoke bouquet of perfumes for a richer, longer-lasting scent portfolio that stays with you long after you’ve stepped out of the shower, but you’ll charge the bathroom with an intoxicating steamy blend of mood-altering aromas that actively awaken different parts of the mind. An exclusive Lush Moods introduction are shower bombs. Just like their bath-foaming counterparts, these softening sodium bicarbonate bombs awaken in a fizzy explosion of scent and sound; each dose designed to stimulate a specific reaction, allowing you to personalise your shower experience with a variety of essential oils and beautiful ingredients that benefit the skin and mind. An evolution from bath bombs, these pocket-sized fizzers use added seaweed and starches to create a cleansing mousse that can be swept over the body to leave you feeling silky-soft to the touch. Not Sleepy is a seriously sharp lemon myrtle, neroli and Brazilian orange blend guaranteed to put a zing in your step, whereas cloud-shaped Sleepy introduces suggestions of slumber with its steamy infusion of lavender. The neon orange pyramid that is Karma exults a zesty celebration of energising citrus top notes that rejuvenate and ground the mind without inviting sleep, plus added turmeric lends itself for purification and warmth. Styled as a blue spinning top, Koyaanisqatsi, meaning ‘life out of balance’ in Hopi Indian, presents an alluring melody of French lavender, ylang ylang and violet leaf to calm and usher in a sense of stillness. The process: lather up, layer up To ascend your spa-like shower experience to the next level, try incorporating a succession of products, rather than just one. Think of it this way; a basic facial routine includes: washing, exfoliating, cleansing, toning and moisturising. Even your go-to hair washing ritual will usually consists of two parts: shampoo, and conditioning, with the odd nourishing hair mask thrown in for good measure once in awhile. Yet when it comes to our bodies, the largest organ our body has, we simply smear a thin layer of liquid over ourselves in the belief that its scent will stand up to the rigours of the day or night ahead. So it’s time we forgot basic, and started thinking bourgeois. There are no hard and fast rules with spa showering. Just layer up a palette of your favourite shower products, ones that serve to not only cleanse the body but include indulgent ingredients and aromas that steer your mind towards a desired mindset and destination, be that uplifting and empowering for the day ahead, sultry and stimulating for a night out on the town, or relaxing and calming for a quiet night in. Shampooed and softened, your next move will likely be to condition your hair, but what about pampering your skin as well? Grab a restorative fresh face mask, such as Brazened Honey, which is kept cool in the fridge, perfect for soothing skin after a long hot day or night. The powerhouse combination of fresh fennel, ginger, parsley and coriander detoxes and stimulates, turmeric tightens and boosts circulation, whereas the antiseptic properties of sage, rosemary and a unique juniper berry infusion purify without leaving your skin dry. Fresh lime cleanses, ground almond shells exfoliate, free range egg and almond oil moisturize, but the true superhero here is honey, which as a humectant actively attracts hydration into the skin. To achieve a truly dewy result resist removing the mask for at least 10 to 15 minutes, during which time you can continue with your pampering. Find your perfect mask here. Next up meet the wonderfully wobbly world of shower jellies. Just as squeezing a stress ball or twirling a fidget spinner can restore calmness to the mind, these luscious gelatinous mounds are equally therapeutic as they’re swept over skin. What’s more, the range of jelly scents complement our line-up of shower gels and creams, working to harmonise aromas, rather than clash or compete against them. An option such as Twilight shower jelly works particularly well with Sleepy Shower Gel. Intoxicating stores of lavender, rose and camomile continue the momentum of restore and reset, while warming tonka absolute will wrap you in a comforting blanket. Exfoliating your skin encourages a healthy glow, and doesn’t have to be a raw and ravaging experience, as users of our body scrubs and body butters will testify. For a fabulous two-in-one of scrub and moisture, Buffy will slay dead skin. Ground rice, almonds and aduki beans get to work polishing away dead cells, while the blend of lavender oil, cocoa butter and shea butter replenish moisture. Every act of pampering, be it skin or hair, ends with a good measure of moisturising, and with a body conditioner this can be achieved within the confines of the shower. Take a tub of Ro’s Argan, slather it on all over your skin and let it sink in for a minute or two, giving you time and opportunity to wipe away the face mask. While the conditioner’s luxurious rose absolute, rich brazil nut and argan oils get to work on enriching, balancing and restoring your skin for a velvety finish, you’ll be greeted with a beautifully sensual Damask rose fragrance. After you’ve rinsed off and patted yourself dry, the results should be instantly noticeable. Your skin will be softer, brighter and glossier as though you’ve treated yourself to the most wonderful spa day. But what’s more impressive perhaps is the transformation to your mind and mood, something that can’t be obtained with a quick five-minute ‘freshen up’. Plus by combining and layering beautiful aromas and ingredients you’ll have achieved a deeper, richer, longer-lasting result, that will stay with you all day or night, pampering body and mind over and over and over again.
These scent trails can sometimes be monstrous, overwhelming fellow pavement-pounders and declaring their presence like megaphone announcements over supermarket aisles. Other times, they’re almost non-existent, close-to-the-skin, and intimate in their introductions. In the middle ground lies a sweet spot of scents that introduce themselves gently, then linger on in the memory. This is where perfuming your hair comes in. Hair is a fabulous diffuser of fragrance and one of the best spots to spray to make an impression because it slows the transition through a perfume’s various notes, making it last longer and leaving an olfactory breadcrumb trail in the wearer’s wake. Worth noting though, is that many perfumes contain alcohol which can dry out and cause damage to the ends of hair. To lessen the effects of this you might want to try one of three approaches: spray your perfume into the air before walking into its cloud and letting it settle gently, apply perfume to a hair brush first, then comb through the hair; or simply avoid the alcohol content completely. Happy Happy Joy Joy conditioning hair perfume scents hair with a delightfully sensual summer breeze that mingles uplifting neroli and grapefruit oils with floral rose and orange blossom waters. And it does so without a drop of alcohol. Instead, soothing almond milk, hydrating glycerin and jojoba oil are added to keep hair in great condition (without weighing it down). If you like to pick your own then perhaps a strawberry scented American Cream conditioner would fit your basket? Soak your hair in a hydrating, strawberries and cream scented cleansing conditioner, brimming with vitamin C it also contains fresh organic oranges for maximum shine. You hair will thank you and so will passers by who catch a whiff of those sweet smelling tresses. Lavender La Vida Locca has it that many of the essential oils and resins beloved for their unique, often mood-enhancing, fragrances also have advantageous effects on the hair. Cinnamon oil promotes healthy hair growth in New, juniperberry balances the scalp in Jumping Juniper, and a deep breath of lemon oil rising from Montalbano promotes the shine of hair by encouraging the cuticles to lie flat and therefore reflect more light. Earthy oakmoss and sandalwood evoke the scent of a forest after fresh rain in Dirty styling cream. Part of the Gorilla perfume range, refreshing pine oil and clarifying balm herb clear the mind, whilst protective japan wax and linseed hydrate and create hold so that you can create all manner of styles. Run this through your locks for fresh hair with serious scent. This means that the next time you’re sharing glorious scent by recreating a classic shampoo advert scene - slow-motion, 180° swish - you can do so safe in the knowledge that you’re working wonders for your hair’s condition too.
Understanding dyed hair Understanding how chemical dyes affect your locks is the first step to finding the best products to keep it in great condition. Your hair is formed of three layers: the outer cuticle, a middle layer called the cortex, and the inner medulla. These layers protect your hair and determine strength and colour. Natural blondes may naturally lack a medulla layer, meaning their hair may be finer than that of brunettes. When it comes to synthetic dye, it is the cortex that we are particularly interested in. This layer contains a natural pigment called melanin, which determines your hair’s natural colour. In order to alter this shade, synthetic dyes must open the cuticle a little to penetrate the cortex and change the pigment. As your hair’s natural oil, sebum, then struggles to travel down the coarser cuticle, this process can leave your hair feeling more dry and brittle than usual. Even our hair deserves a treat every now and then Booking in some time for hair TLC is a good place to start taking care of coloured locks. After all, your hair works hard and so do you, so why not settle down midweek with a nice hot brew, your favourite book or TV series and a DIY hair treatment? Inspired by Belgian hot chocolate sticks, these fun hot oil hair treatments are the ultimate indulgence. Daniel Campbell, cosmetic scientist and product inventor, states: "Hair is exposed to the elements, so needs to be tended and cared for and of course it’s a really lovely thing to do." Knowing what to plump for is a case of knowing what’s on the menu, but when colour-changing, chameleon hair needs a little va va voom or is simply feeling a little tired, Damaged hot oil treatment is a small saviour. Containing three hair-nourishing oils capable of enhancing shine and improving the hair’s elasticity without weighing it down, Damaged is a wonderfully reparatory treatment. Olive oil is especially clever as it increases the tensile strength of the hair, giving each strand a little more stretch when you brush. Meanwhile, hydrating avocado and vitamin packed almond oil work to make hair happy and healthy again through, a pinch of fine sea salt gives your hair a little lift and a comforting vanilla scent helps to brighten moods. If you aren’t a fan of DIY, specialist treatments for coloured hair include H’Suan Wen Hua and Jasmine and Henna Fluff-Ease: products you can get stuck into without boiling the kettle. The former is made with organic, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh banana and avocado to strengthen damaged hair and deliver moisture to dehydrated ends. Bay leaf infusion and cinnamon leaf boost your roots and revive the overall condition of your hair. When your hair is singing ‘I’m all dried out’, wine and dine it with Jasmine And Henna Fluff-Ease: a vibrant party of some of nature’s richest ingredients. Red henna infusion protects colour and delivers glossy shine to thirsty tresses, brazil nut oil brings moisture, wheatgerm is rich in restorative vitamin E which maintains healthy hair and a mixture of olive, hemp and soya oils strengthen your mane. This lavish treatment will put you back in control of your hair, protecting and conditioning it without adding any colour. Simply apply these two treatments to dry hair and leave for twenty minutes for best results. Treat yourself to a hair pampering once a week for plenty of hair care brownie points - you deserve a pamper after all. How to care for coloured hair Cleanse your hair with care In order to counteract brittleness, try using a hydrating shampoo on your coloured hair and picking ingredients that will care for your scalp too - an essential step in maintaining healthy hair from root to tip. As Daniel Campbell notes: ‘If you begin to learn which ingredients give certain effects then you can start to choose a full hair menu to give you the effects you want’. The exotic cocktail of sea salt, fresh mint and papaya in Rehab shampoo cleanses the hair and boosts circulation to the scalp, for when you want your hair to feel strong, look shiny and maintain body. As jojoba and extra virgin olive oils improve the hair’s tensile strength - meaning it’s easier to brush - take the time to really work the lather into the scalp to give your skin all the benefits of stimulating fresh mint and restorative rosemary. And there’s nothing funny about Fairly Traded Honey. Beeswax deeply hydrates and restores hair for the shiniest locks in the land, whilst bergamot oil brings out colour for a queen bee finish. The high content of honey acts as a natural preservative for this product and gently cleanses the scalp without stripping the skin of moisture - perfect for soothing any skin or hair-related tantrums. Or, if you are looking for an especially sleek and frizz-free finish, you’ll find salvation in Cynthia Sylvia Stout. A combination of vegan stout, balsamic vinegar and fresh, organic lemon juice encourage hair cuticles to lie flat and reflect the light to give your hair a shine worth celebrating. Packed with an array of nutrient-rich, hair loving essential oils, fruits and butters, solid shampoos are a packaging-free alternative to their traditional liquid counterparts. Product inventor and Lush co-founder Helen Ambrosen explains: "Solids have always been an interesting artistic challenge. Shampoo bars grew out of trying to make a pressed soap but instead we realised that we’d created a beautiful solid shampoo that didn’t require packaging, was equal to about 80 washes, and also didn’t need a synthetic preservative." For a deep clean, drench hair in a shampoo bar that smells like fresh lemonade on a hot summer’s day. Montalbano is brimming with balancing rosemary to care for the scalp, fresh lemon juice for blindingly shiny hair and green olives to strengthen the hair cuticles. You will be left with superhero strong hair that is ready for anything. Your hair mission? Incredible condition Once your hair has been gently cleansed, give it back moisture and shine with your chosen colour-friendly conditioner. Conditioners work by coating the hair strands in an anti-static charge, pushing the cuticles of the hair down and locking in moisture. The cuticles on chemically dyed hair can sometimes become disjointed, making it difficult for sebum (the oil produced by your scalp) to reach the ends of the hair. Conditioners counteract this by delivering moisture to the ends of the hair where it is needed most, making sure your colourful locks remain soft and sleek at all times. Daniel Campbell explains: "You don’t necessarily need to use conditioner around the scalp, because the scalp already produces sebum, our body’s natural oil. Therefore it is recommended we use conditioner through the ends of the hair because it takes longer to get from the root all the way down to tip." You may choose to deliver some serious thirst aid to your hair, or opt for a lighter formula to maintain body. Consider how your hair feels and the style you want to achieve. You may also choose to mix it up but deep condition regularly to impart softness and shine to treated locks. For light touch days, neroli-rich Happy Happy Joy Joy moisturises porous hair to leave it stronger, healthier and smelling divine. With grapefruit and orange blossom for lustrous shine, rose to help soothe troubled scalps and almond milk, this lightweight, beautifying tonic will leave your hair soft and silky. As an added boost, neroli increases serotonin production in the brain, helping to lift spirits with its cheerful, floral scent. For hair that needs a little more loving, honey water and lavender are here to help. American Cream is intensely hydrating and balancing, keeping roots and scalp content: a thick conditioner for those guys and gals who want reels of satiny, flowing hair. On top of this it has an enticing strawberries and cream scent, rich with vitamin C for healthy hair and with a squeeze of orange juice to add gloss. Your hair will look top dollar. Alternatively, Retread strikes a happy balance between body and hydration. With a light agar agar base to help revive weary hair, this midweight conditioner also contains avocado and neroli oil to help hydrate split ends and prevent further damage. Light enough that it won’t saturate the hair, but rich enough to give a much-needed hit of hydration, this lovely conditioner will help hair return to balance. For those on the go, space is valuable suitcase real estate. But globetrotting hair can still get a decent dose of hydration with Jungle: a particularly rich and fittingly tropical conditioning bar. Fair Trade, organic cocoa butter melts onto the hair and delivers nutrients from fresh figs to each lock, while fresh bananas strengthen and condition coloured hair. Added sweet smelling kumquat and passion fruit deliver extra shine to revive vibrance. Made without synthetic preservatives, this solid bar is also packaging free - simply store in a reusable tin and your hair will be a hot tropic in no time. Or perhaps you would rather butter up your hair with a leave-in conditioner full of seriously hydrating oils and butters? R&B is rich in creamy Fair Trade cocoa butter, olive oil for increased elasticity and organic avocado and cupuacu butter, helping to deliver moisture right to the ends of the hair. R&B can also be massaged into the scalp as it incorporates bay oil to stimulate hair growth and fresh oat milk to soothe and calm. A little goes a long way with this product but each strand will be thanking you afterwards. A heads up on henna As discussed, there are plenty of effective ways to care for synthetically dyed hair, but, if you are searching for an alternative, plant-derived dye, henna delivers permanent, natural colour. Originating from the Middle East, this natural dye works as a varnish which protects rather than penetrates the hair cortex, in contrast to a chemical dye. As Mark Constantine trichologist and co-founder explains in his book Herbal Hair Colouring: "Henna adds red shining colour to the body colour of the hair. If the body colour is black, then after an hour or so henna gives a shine and red tones. If brown, the hair becomes auburn and if blonde or white, an orange-red." Mixed into a rich cocoa butter base and blended with stunning ingredients like indigo herb and fresh organic juice to create different shades from foxy Rouge to raven Noir, you can build colour by hennaing your hair as many times as you like and only improving its condition. If you are dye-hard about colour, there’s a whole host of products to help defend your locks against damage. Why not take your pick? Writer Milly Ahlquist Writer Amy Shepherd
Breathe in, breathe out. Give sensitised skin some TLC, and wake up calm and ready to face the day. Step 1: Cleanse Treat yourself to a sublimely relaxing cleanse before bed with Sleepy Face Naked Cleansing Balm, packed full of calming lavender oils too, it calms the skin down and helps to quieten the mind. Soothed skin is just a gentle glide away; simply apply straight to your skin, massage in and wipe away with a damp reusable cotton round or face cloth. I love it so much! My skin is usually super dry and sensitive but since using this, it feels so moisturised and silky! I just wet my face, sweep it over my skin and then rub it with my fingers. jess.benton_70 | Sleepy Face review Step 2: Second Cleanse Next, gentle exfoliation with Angels on Bare Skin Fresh Cleanser. Take a pinch and add water, working it into a soft paste to let the ground almonds gently stimulate circulation, while lavender oil balances and calms. Kaolin clay will make sure your skin is deeply cleansed. ‘my skin is glowing. I use it in the shower and the consistency, when mixed with the right amount of water, feels so beautiful and comforting.I have sensitive skin which can be dry in the winter but since using this, my skin is soft, even and radiant’ Youcantsitwithus | Angels on Bare Skin Step 3: Mask Because we’re a little bit extra, we recommend a mask two to three times a week and BB Seaweed (See Mask of Magnaminty), with it’s calming aloe vera gel and soothing toothed wrack seaweed is just the thing to help soothe and calm. The best fresh face mask I have used so far. I have sensitive combination skin. It brightens my skin, reduces my pores and doesn't break me out. It feels nice and smooth when you first put it on and feels very soothing. clairegrainget_6749934 | BB Seaweed Face Mask Step 4: Tone Eau Roma Water face toner contains calming rose water and balancing lavender water, perfect before bed. Use it for a quick, refreshing spritz or to remove any traces of your face mask or cleanser. Really nice toner, light weight, hydrating, calming and balancing my skin Tifany Rg | Eau Roma Water review Step 5: Deeply Condition For skin as soft as fleece, revel in Argan Solid Facial Oil. Brimming with rose absolute and rose oil sourced from Senir, Turkey, rich shea butter from the Ojoba Women’s Collective in Ghana and precious argan oil expertly harvested by community co-operatives in Morocco. Each application softens, hydrates and feels deliciously indulgent to apply. ‘Love this product...Makes my skin feel so plump and alleviates any dry patches. Plus packaging free!!’ Stellagardner96 | Argan review Step 6: Moisturise Soothing Fresh Dove Orchid Extract in our cult moisturiser, Celestial, makes for a perfect night face cream. Coupled with almond oil and vanilla water, it’s the stuff of dreams. And remember, a little goes a long way. "Absolutely loving this as a night cream. It's not too heavy nor too light. Just right! I noticed a huge difference after one night's usage. Highly recommended! ...this mild scent from Celestial is divine for people who are highly sensitive to scents." leekershin | Celestial moisturiser review P.S. Don’t want the fun to end? Sleepy Body Lotion rounds off the routine perfectly. Sweet tonka and soothing lavender are perfect before bed.
We’ve gone through the age of the metrosexual (think David Beckham circa 1999 – preened, waxed, bleached), and the retrosexual (think Russell Crowe circa…all the time – rough, rugged, hairy). What age do we live in now? I believe we lie somewhere in the middle. The increase in men taking care of themselves has rocketed over the last couple of years. It’s become a staple for gents from all walks of life to have a healthy collection of cosmetics to keep them looking fresh, and long may this habit continue. Here are my go-to products for keeping you looking groomed and great. Face Cleansing your face is the perfect way to start the day. Take a scoop of Ocean Salt and massage all over a wet face. The coarse sea salt will exfoliate the skin and lift any ingrowing hairs. The avocado butter and coconut oil will soften and the vodka (yes, vodka) and lime will brighten and tone the skin. Ship-shape in no time. Mask If Batman can wear one, why can’t you? Treating your face to a weekly mask will maintain healthy skin, battle any skin villains and keep you looking as slick as Bruce Wayne himself. Mask of Magnaminty is the ideal way to round up a skincare routine. Fresh peppermint will cool the skin and stimulate blood flow, kaolin deeply cleanses, drawing out any impurities and antibacterial honey is the ultimate superhero, a cleansing and conditioning ingredient that also acts as a natural preservative. Moisturise Now that you’ve treated your skin, you want to protect it, right? That’s the job of a facial moisturiser. Cosmetic Lad soothes and hydrates with aloe vera and fresh wheatgrass, while Celestial gently moisturises with cocoa butter and almond oil. Vanishing Cream is a low-fat moisturiser packed full of healing witch hazel and lightly nourishing shea butter. With a bevvy of moisturisers to choose from, your skin will let you know which one is best for you. Listen to it. Shave Whether you need to or choose to, wet-shaving is quite the experience to put your skin through. The job of our shaving creams and soaps is to provide a protective layer between the blade and the skin as well as softening the hair itself. The Aquafaba and cocoa butter in D’Fluff assist the blade and cushion the skin, while fresh strawberries strengthen the skin for post-shave comfort. A sharp razor is an incredibly important tool (change your blades frequently); sluice often in warm water to unclog the razor and to help the blade glide gently across the skin. Beardcare Do you eschew the blade? Growing your own facial forest? As the award-winning Beard of the North, my ultimate product is the R&B hair moisturiser. I proudly massage it in to my beard daily. The extra virgin olive oil keeps hair strong, preventing breakage and split ends, rich cocoa butter moisturises the hair and bay oil encourages healthy hair growth and conditions the skin underneath. Perfect. Haircare Fancy a pint? Cynthia Sylvia Stout shampoo is packed full of protein-rich vegan Irish stout to keep hair strong and healthy. Massaging the shampoo thoroughly through wet hair and stimulating the scalp will encourage blood flow and a deep cleanse. But let’s not stop there: don’t forget to condition. You’ve had a pint, now how’s about a milkshake? Fresh strawberries, honey and vanilla combine in our American Cream conditioner to moisturise the hair without weighing it down. Conditioning after shampooing is the prime opportunity for your hair to absorb all of the hydrating, strengthening ingredients it has to offer. Rinse out and towel dry. Use it every time you shampoo. Our haircare combinations are endless, and your skin, hair and scalp will let you know exactly what they need. Writer Michael O'Brien