I hope all my Trinbagonians are doing ok/recovering from Storm Bret. Thank God no one suffered any injuries.
This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for quite awhile now as I’ve met some amazing local brands over the past few months. These brands hand make all their products and are quite passionate about nurturing the hair, skin and body while some taking an innovative twist on culture incorporation into their goods. I have tried products from each of these brands and will individually review them with a very brief description of the other products they create.
Let’s Get Started.
Wholesome You is an all Natural brand for hair and skin care that I have been following for some years now on Instagram. The owner Giselle caught my eyes with her extensive knowledge and use of herbs, oils and even VEGETABLES in her products……that’s freaking dope and her products are reasonably priced.
The products I have tried from her brand are:
Hair: Mango Honey Hair Cream, Amla & Horsetail Twist & Seal Butter, Ochroe Detangling Cream, Yucca Root Co-Wash, Banana + Hibiscus Deep Conditioner, Hibiscus Leave in Spritz.
These products restored manageability back to my natural hair. I was using a lot of commercial products from beauty supply stores that couldn’t moisturize or soften my hair for long periods of time, often leaving my hair dry and crunch-like in hot sunny weather.
I wanted to take back control and made investments into this brand for the first time and ended up making several more purchases. That Ochroe Detangling Cream is AMAZING, you get so much slip without being overly greasy or leave a lot of product build up in your hair. It really impressed me that Giselle used actual Ochroes, that’s so innovative! Same goes for the Yucca Root Co-Wash, Yucca is known as Cassava in Trinidad and it’s also amazing that Giselle was able to incorporate an ingredient like this into a conditioner gentle enough to cleanse the hair while adding tons of moisture.
The Hibiscus Leave in Spritz was another favorite of mine as I could just give my hair a few spritz in the morning and go without having to add any moisturizer to protect my hair from the sun. My only critique with the spritz however, the spray nozzle got clogged by the little bits of herbs/leaves in the spritz itself i did however change the bottle and had no further problems.
While not my favorites as opposed to those mention above, these are my opinions on these products:
Mango Honey Hair Cream– Great moisturizer as opposed to commercial brands for dry hair. Not too heavy and has a pleasant smell.
Amla & Horsetail Twist & Seal Butter– A little goes an extremely long way! Not to be confused as a moisturizer as this can be greasy, this product seals in the moisture after applying a water based moisturizer. Great for styling, can melt easily in hot conditions.
Banana + Hibiscus Deep Conditioner– Lovely scent, Worked best for me after a hot oil treatment.
Skin: Rosehip Facial Oil Cleanser, Cucumber + Geranium Facial Toner, Oat + Walnut Exfoliating Cleanser, Oat Clay Facial Mask, Oat + Chamomile Facial Moisturizer, Tulsi + Mint Facial Scrub.
In regards to skin, I have thoroughly enjoyed using each and every one of these products. The oil cleanser is nutrient rich and light enough to be used as a regular facial oil. The toner is highly refreshing and I admit it made me very spritz happy, thank you Giselle for generously gifting me a replacement toner after I quickly emptied my first bottle, I will be repurchasing another soon.
The Oat and walnut exfoliating cleanser was kindly gifted to me and quite an interesting formulated product. It was not whipped like I thought it would be nor liquidy in texture. It was like a fizzy cream that expanded into quite a lather with a small amount. A little goes a long way and the ground walnut shells made a gentle but effective natural exfoliation. A little goes a long way with the moisturizer as it contains shea butter but I love how it seeps into the skin and doesn’t leave a greasy feeling or transfer, its beautifully formulated. The tulsi and mint scrub, although quite refreshing, in my opinion was a bit too gritty for the face because of the size of the sugar particles but on a once or twice a month basis its great.
Body: Bergamot + Pink Grapefruit Body Wash, Egyptian Vanilla Body Lotion.
Such a refreshing body wash to awaken your spirits in the morning, great for my dry skin and lathers fairly. As for the body lotion……I used every last drop possible….I was tempted to taste it on several occasions……..literally felt my skin cells being moisturized……and I couldn’t stop smelling myself. Long story short I will be getting another bottle (Get yourself one too!).
This is a fairly new local brand.The owner Cindy is a darling that wanted to create natural products that were actually effective against skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis as well as stretch marks and of course natural hair. She has created body creams, scrubs, oils and even her own soaps that she herself uses and tested on herself for effectiveness. I have high respect for that, passion can take you places when you’re determined.
Hair: Saffron Deep Conditioner, Wild Growth Hair Oil.
I was really impressed with the saffron deep conditioner. It feels like whipped shea butter and is very yellow as the color of saffron and stains just as easily. However when you apply this to your hair and slip on your shower cap for 30 minutes to an hour then rinse….your hair is BUTTERY SOFT! This conditioner left my hair so manageable I did not have to reach for the Ochroe Detangler Cream I mentioned earlier when I used it. Excellent in my opinion and a new staple in my hair regimen, but I must say that the smell of this conditioner will vary on the user, it is on the herbal side.
I use the hair oil mainly for hot oil treatments. It is minty on the scalp which is refreshing and I like that its not too overpowering, I think we’ve all more less had our moments where we walked around smelling like a peppermint patty. In terms of growth I did notice some difference in my hairline that usually gets pulled out whenever I wear braids, with long term use it is an effective growth oil.
I found out about this brand through a fellow Trinbagonian blogger, Tshnelle Bethel aka A Day In The Life Of NellyB. This brand specializes on natural hair products for all kinky-curly hair types.
The product I purchased and tried from this brand is the Irish Moss Leave In Conditioner. First let me say this…….this product smells absolutely delicious! It’s like a yummy smelling Sea Moss punch (smoothie) mixed or cross hybrid with a body lotion. I love that she included this caution on the packaging:
“Although made with wholesome ingredients and smells yum, this product is for external use only!”
Lol, thanks for the warning Miss J!
This leave in conditioner has also become a staple in my hair regimen. It’s not gunky or greasy. The texture is light and creamy for good product distribution and is also a great moisturizer. Definitely give this product a try, I believe this is something all hair types will enjoy. This product also retails in Pennywise Cosmetics Ltd which is very convenient.
I also found this brand through Tshnelle on Instagram. This brand also caters to natural hair providing moisturizers, conditioner, gels even temporary hair dye which is pretty cool.
This brand also conveniently retails at Pennywise Cosmetics Ltd. I walked in one day browsing through the hair section in hopes to find a few products to try. At the time I was only able to purchase the Flaxseed Creme Gel Work It!. Like its name describes, its a cream based hair gel. It has a thick consistency and a little goes a long way. It’s great for finger curls.
The owner had contacted me and generously offered me the opportunity try another product of hers that she thought would work amazing for my hair type called Beeswax Pomade. Again like the name says, its a pomade meant to seal moisture into the hair for styling purposes. This product is amazing with the Hibiscus Leave In Spray or water alone. I spritz my hair then scoop a bit of the pomade onto my fingers and rub to soften the product then smooth through my hair and twist. This gives me excellent twist outs without using a variety of products in my hair. If your hair category is type 4 like mine definitely give this a try!
I’ve been using this brand since I was a teenager. The C.E.O Nolana E Lynch has always been passionate about creation and provision of naturally made hair, skin and body products. It’s amazing to see how far her brand has come over the years. Her products include carrier oils, facial oils, body oils, facial and body scrubs, facial, hair and body butters, creams, conditioners, soaps, facial and body washes and so much more!
The products I will be reviewing are the Black Charcoal Facial Cleanser and the Vitamin C Facial Serum.
The cleanser is on the clarifying side, it will remove any oilyness or greasy feeling from your face leaving you with a clean refreshed canvas. I would say this is best to be used at night after a long day because the skin may not need much clarifying in the morning unless you have oily skin. The Vitamin C Serum is great! It absorbs easily, a little goes a long way and it has a pleasant aroma.
I was scrolling through either Instagram or Facebook when I found this brand. This brand creates a variety of skin an body products including scrubs, soaps, lotions/butters, bath salts and many more.
The products I’ve tried from this brand are the Botanical Cleansing Oil and the Exotic Facial Elixir. Botanical was a good choice in name for this product. It has a vast variety of not only oils but dried flowers like hibiscus infusing in the oil itself. The packaging is a dispensing which was great for easy application. I tend to use this product more when I want to give my skin a facial steam. I do this by applying the oil to my face and massage it in then press a hot towel or rag over my face for a few times as an acne treatment.
The exotic facial elixir is also a generous mix of a variety of different oils. I love that its light enough to be used as a moisturizer during the day. since it doesn’t take ridiculously long to absorb into the skin. Its has a light scent and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a good oil mix for their skin.
Nell’s Naturals is also a brand dedicated to naturally made products from nature itself. She makes natural deodorant, creams/lotions, moisturizers, scrubs and much more. Like most (who am I kidding, all lol) companies, I found this brand on Instagram.
I was given the opportunity to try two of her products: the Coffee Scrub Bar and Cellulite Rub. The coffee scrub bar really surprised me. When I saw that it was an actual bar and not a loose scrub it intrigued me as to how it would perform in use. This bar is actually formulated similar to a glycerin soap, it maintains its shape and for through use on the body and the more its in use the smaller it will get. It did have some crumbling off here and there but the product itself is remained in its bar shape. I used this after cleansing my skin with soap, so while my skin was wet i gently scrubbed this on my thigh area. I like that it didn’t leave a unclean feeling on my skin after I rinsed it off.
Then I applied the Cellulite Rub which is also coffee based. It is cream in formula and I would just rub/massage some of the product into my thighs. I saw good results with these two products in a week’s time.
I fell in love with this brand’s incorporation of culture into their soaps and contacted them asap to get my hands on a few. Like, have you ever tried a soap with the same ingredients of Callaloo? That’s so freaking epic to me. I was not able to get my hands on this soap in particular due to it being out of stock but I did try four others.
Commercial soaps tend to do my skin a lot of injustice and the majority of them aren’t cruelty free so it was nice to try unique natural and handmade ones.
Sorrel – Cleanses well, light rose/herbal scent on the body, fair lather, not too drying but is more of a clarifying soap.
Tomato Paw Paw- Cleanses well, herbal scent, lathered well and was fairly moisturizing .
Soursop and Fig- Cleanses well, herbal scent, lathered fairly, fairly moisturizing
Soursop and Celery- The most moisturizing out of all four soaps, lathered the most, I enjoyed this scent it was lightly sweet.
These soaps were more expensive than an average soap would be at $40TT/$45TT per bar which I didn’t have a problem with. These soaps had high levels of natural and home grown ingredients so I was definitely appreciative of that factor prior to a conversation I had with the owner. Overall, I would definitely purchase again and try out her other variety of soaps. There’s so many!
Last but not least, I first discovered this brand through their yummy looking varieties of chocolate products. I went scrolling through their Instagram and saw that they also made soaps and one variety in particular stood out to me. The Moringa Soap.
I bought this soap and made sure to use up all of my previous in use soap in order to fully generate an opinion on this bad boy. The benefits of the Moringa plant had been taking a storm on Facebook and I legit searched through hashtags looking to see if anyone had incorporated it into a soap.
The soap itself is a beige bar with a nice light scent. It was highly moisturizing and lathered very well. I can’t say that I noticed anything different in my skin besides the fact that it was non drying and smelled pleasant.
Would I purchase it again?
Absolutely, I prefer to hand made soaps to factory made any day and it’s affordable at $25TT per soap.
I hope you all enjoyed this blog post and check out these brands! There are so many more that I’d like to try out in the future and do a review on as well.
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Until next time,