So these would be great for an Independence Day feature, but why wait till July? Tried + Tested + Loved over the last couple of months, here’s what’s great about these eight American beauty stars (many of them with South African, Moroccan and Indian roots).

All too good not to share now, so here we go, in no particular order…



Why: Happy Birthday Kahina! 10 years on, giving back is still very close to the core of Katharine L’Heureux’s deliciously luxe Argan-centric green products (New York-Morocco brand Kahina won both the Best Natural/Organic Brand USA and Best Argan Brand categories in the 2017 Beauty Shortlist Awards last March).

Try: “The perfect night cream before bed” –  Kahina Face Cream. Red wine grape extracts in the form of enhanced bio-available, fermented antioxidant resveratrol combine with Moroccan super-oil Argan summing up – rather beautifully! – Katharine’s childhood on a Napa Valley vineyard and her love of argan and the Berber women who work so hard cracking all the argan nuts by hand then grinding the kernels to extract the oil, who are such a big part of the Kahina story.

Literally packed with the kind of flower and herb extracts growing in the garden of a Moroccan country riad, the addition of aloe, geranium, lavender, sandalwood, rosemary and rose is the icing on this deliciously rich night cream cake. Kahina’s travel sizes are a fab way to dip into the brand but get a set when you can – they usually sell out fast.





Why: “I started Luxe Botanics because I believe there is great power at the intersection between science and nature” explains founder and biotechnologist Jené Roestorf. And her three favourite, most potent, transformative botanicals – wild-harvested marula oil from Kenya, Kigella from Malawi  and Camu Camu from the Amazon in Brazil –  are the heart of this power-of-nature inspired range.

Jené, who grew up in South Africa, pays all three communities a fairtrade wage, contributes to these women’s business training, supports education for their kids and Luxe Botanics gives back via their partnership with Buy1 Give1. For how Buy1 Give1 works, see: B1G1 – Business for Good www.b1g1.com.

Try: Like Kahina, Luxe Botanics is in a league of its own so it’s tough to single out a single product but Luxe Botanics’ Hydrating Marula Pre-Cleanser would be a must-try (so good you’ll want more).  Or if your skin needs a wake-up call pre-spring, Jené’s Vitamin C-loaded Camu Brightening Serum will even out skin tone and inject new energy into dull, tired, “so OVER winter” skin. A powerful mix of “longevity berry” Camu Camu extract, Vitamin C, green, black, white and rooibos tea, moisture-guarding Hyaluronic Acid, and essential oils including sage, rosewood and chamomile.






Why: Frances, the brand’s founder, chose the name “Kindred” to reflect our inter-connectedness, which translates nicely into neighbourhood apothecary look and feel of her 100% organic range. As she points out, “just as Shinrin-Yoku (the Japanese art of forest bathing for wellness) allows your body to “reset” and operate at optimal levels, using Kindred Skincare with its bounty of nature’s ingredients is akin to a “walk in the wood”, immersing your skin in nature and allowing it to reset naturally, be nourished and rejuvenated, as well as lifting your spirits and soothing your mind. Kindred is my happy place and I hope it becomes yours too.”

Try: Well we’ve found a few happy places within Kindred’s range. She’s the queen of oil cleansing, but Frances’ new Organic Lip Plumps are what we’re plumping for this time.

Ingredients: coffee butter, aloe vera, evening primrose and calendula soothe and soften, with a touch of peppermint in them, too.




Why: “LOVE”!! 18 uses, one single liquid pure castile, hemp and coconut oil and glycerine soap.  Shower, kitchen, loo, pets, laundry and more – there’s nowhere this soap can’t go. Super-concentrated, it lasts for ages. Our favourite three would be the peppermint (a brilliant wake-up shower gel in summer particularly although it might be a tad too tingly “down there”), rose and lavender. Fab in a very warm “enclosed” shower if you’ve got a cold, avoid getting it into your eyes though, and really breathe in the mint to help clear your head or try the Eucalyptus instead. There are 8 Dr Bronner Liquid Soaps to choose from, including Unscented.

Try: The one that takes your fancy. (You couldn’t make the Dr Bronner story up – it’s extraordinary – and whether you love or “pass” on the branding, there are few multi-taskers on the market as useful as this one).







Why: When Emily Joyce Bolf finally got to visit Namibia in 2011 (a life long dream of hers) on the last day of her trip she noticed her guide applying an extract from the “sausage” tree on his face. He told her his sun damage spots had all significantly shrunk or faded entirely. (OK?!)

Fast-forward and Kigelia Africana became the botanical launch pad for the KELIA range.

Try: A great intro to this brand would be The Repair Serum, to firm, brighten, renew and calm all skin types. Boosting botanicals include: Licorice Root and Daisy Flower to calm and even out skin tone, Rhodiola Root to firm and diminish the look of wrinkles, Goji Berry to plump and revitalise, Bamboo Stem to enhance skin’s suppleness, Geranium to soothe both the skin and mind and Vitamin C to brighten and balance skin tone.





Why: The perfect jet-away squeezable hair balm, On The Fly “Fly Girl Beauty’s Fab on the Fly Instant Hair Beautifier” (or FGBFOTFIHB – still long!) eliminates flyaways (loving the irony here), adds instant shine, fixes split ends, reduces frizz, enhances beach waves and smoothes early morning “woke-up-with-a-weird-hairstyle” hair. One for the beach bag, hand luggage, any luggage. With a lovely, light price tag.

Try: before you fly for perfect airport hair.




Why:  Results. LA cosmetology-trained J. Nicole’s  OVERDOSE™ Serum was designed to ditch the need for multiple separate products – various acids, retinols, vitamins and moisturisers, and combine all in one single serum designed for those of us aged approx. 20-40.  It’s a tall order but feedback has been good for this Bio-Hybrid Technology-based one-product-does-all launch created to tackle ageing, breakouts and brown spots.

Try: If you like a light, dewy serum that delivers pretty fast results.





Why: Because of the excellent feedback for this leave-on-overnight hair oil that just came in from our testers.

(And the ingredients!  One big feast of omegas, essential oils and Ayurvedic extracts)

Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Oil*, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Flower, Pterocarpus santalinus (Sandalwood) Wood extract, Phyllanthus Emblica (Indian Gooseberry) Extract*, Bacopa Monnieri (Waterhyssop/Brahmi) Extract*, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Eclipta Alba (False Daisy/Bhringraj) Extract, Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Oil. *Organic

Try: Using it twice a month (or decant into a mini bottle and take this with you on your next beach holiday to revitalise, smoothe and re-shine wind-tangled, sea salty, sun-dried scrunchy hair.) From sea monster to mermaid, overnight.



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