UPDATE: 27 August 2012.  To all of you who entered our GODDESS BODY OIL giveaway on Twitter, thank you – and what an amazing response.  It ended at midnight on 26 August and we’ll announce the winner as soon as Ancienne Ambiance let us know this week, on both our Facebook Page and Twitter @BeautyShortlist

Not (that) long ago, Moroccanoil* burst on to the scene with a blaze of full page ads in women’s mags with its cool trademark turquoise branding.  Until then, Argan Oil beauty products were more on the French national radar than ours.

I don’t use Moroccanoil (ingredients below) but I’ve been using Ancienne Ambiance’s Goddess Body Oil this summer. 100% organic, this Argan oil is delicate and super-nourishing (works well applied to slightly damp skin after a shower). The clincher is its barely-there touch of vanilla, so it smells good if you’re not wearing fragrance, yet it’s subtle enough not to clash with your Elie Saab.

Quick comparison: Moroccanoil costs £30.45/100ml (Argan Oil is the 5th ingredient and the first four are very hard to spell.)  Ancienne Ambiance Goddess Body Oil costs £30/100ml and it’s 100% organic.

Famous for their loved-by-Vogue candles Ancienne Ambiance have just launched some very pretty candle glasses with a gold Greek design border around the top of the glass in time for Christmas (I can’t quite believe that in just four months’ time we’ll be doing the 12 Days of Christmas countdown again.)

But back to the Goddess Body Oil. Any beauty editors or bloggers who haven’t tried this yet, you’re in for a treat.


PS: Grab yourself a bargain. Ancienne Ambiance’s Lavendula Bath Salts made from Sea Salt, Epsom Salts and Lavender Oil, and Rosa Bath Salts with organic Rose Oil are normally £14/200ml – now only £10.

Argan Oil for Skin, Hair, Nails (yes, and you can eat it!)

The production of Argan Oil provides work for Moroccan women (extra points for that.) It’s incredibly fiddly and time-consuming to process which makes it all the more precious.  A fantastic beauty multi-tasker, it contains twice as much Vitamin E as olive oil (you can also eat it but cosmetic grade Argan and edible Argan Oil are quite different), it is naturally anti-oxidant so it combats pesky, aging free radicals, and it helps heal stretch marks. It also has anti-dehydrating squalene and some say squalene helps protect against cancer.

Argan is a superfood for hair and nails. Rub a tiny amount into nails and cuticles or mix a drop into your hand cream to sort out dry hands or add a drop to your moisturiser if you have a tendency towards dry skin.  Plagued by eczema? Just like Borage (Starflower) and Evening Primrose, Argan can be suprisingly effective so you might want to ditch the NHS appointment and those cortizone creams and try the natural route first. This is a good guide to Argan Oil here

*Moroccanoil Hair Oil Ingredients (and why I don’t use it) Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Argania Spinoza Kernel Oil (Argan Oil), Linseed Extract (Linum Usitatissimum), Fragrance (Supplement), D&C Yellow 11, D&C Red 17, Coumarin, Benzyl Benzoate, Alpha Isomethyl Ionone

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