Thursday, 1 December 2011

Hairomatherapy + Audra James aromatherapy legend drops by

So as part of my Natural November undertakings, natural haircare was a huge challenge. I ditched the SLS but also the silicones and synthetic fragrances. Ach- not much left to play with!

Not an easy task. 

My hair regime simply consisted of Alch'emy Shampoo & Conditioner,  coconut oil once a week as a treatment and Audra James's Bespoke Hair Elixir.

I wanted to keep up the argan oil treatments but was frustrated at hair oils containing silicone OR the more natural ones containing buzz word "Argan OIl" being extortionate.

I then stumbled upon Audra James's argan oil and thought that would be a great affordable option, however she consulted with me and we came to the conclusion that a bespoke hair elixir would be better suited to my issues; coloured, dry hair, prone to frizzies and lankness from product overload.

Audra's solution was to blend organic argan oil with some lighter organic jojoba oil and evening primrose oil so that it was nourishing and also repairing for my hair that is dry and damaged, but not too heavy

She also included essential oils calendula , lavender, rose geranium, bergamot and chamomile which  would help stimulate hair growth and prolong my blonde foils.

Audra James Bespoke Hair Elixr
It comes in a small 30ml bottle and what is great is that the bottle has a dropper cap fitted so you have to give it a good shake to get a sprinkling of drops out so you never have too much product on your hands and risk greaseball overload.

A few drops through wet hair is mostly how I use it before styling. My hair has never become greasy from it, so it truly is light, Audra totally filled the brief!

Bearing in mind I have dryish coloured hair, prone to frizzies with a weird kink that needs to be styled and preened into shape and I used NO other styling products in November without having to wear a motorcycle helmet 24/7 I think this preformed very well.

Yes I missed silicones for maintaining my style and yes day two said kinks were clipped, pinned or tied back but I think to survive with just a few drops of this oil was quite an achievement!

You can also rub the excess on your nails or elbows or any dry patches you may have and you can also use a few drops in the bath, a larger volume as a hair treatment or on your pulse points as fragrance. Love a multi-tasker!

And you totally would want to use it as a fragrance - the geranium rose and bergamot (added based on my consultation survey and my fragrance preferences) in my oil smell exotic and sensuous, I love it!

If you are looking for a realistically priced argan oil based product that contains no silicones, you can't go past this.  At $28 my blend was is so reasonably priced, the 30ml will last forever and what  is more it is hand-blended with love and evident passion to suit your exact hair requirements!!

Following the success of the hair elixir I then bought the skin cleansing oil & cloth which I reviewed over here.  I adore using this twice a week as a deep cleanse, if I thought the Hair Elixir smelled , good this BLEW my mind! Sweet, cirtusy , orangey rose. Like a Turkish Delight!

Everytime I make an order I joke with Audra how I will get round to her blending a Bespoke Perfume for me one of these days- one of her specialities, that recently featured in OK magazine!! I love the idea of having my very own individual scent. I would have killed to have had this for my wedding last year.

I also make Audra promise to contact me next time she is down in Sydney for one of her signature facial treatments which she runs from a studio in Brisbane - she describes them over on her blog and they sound like my idea of facial heaven! Brissie girls you are so lucky! I look forward to reporting back on my own treatment one day soon.

So with all the chatting myself an Audra do when I place my orders with her, we got chatting about Natural November and I thought you guys may be interested to hear what a 20+ years experienced Aromatherapy & Natural skincare advocate and guru has to say for herself on the matter.


Hot of the press - Audra's recent feature in  December Harper's Bazaar

What was the turning point for you personally to make the change to start using natural skincare & aromatherapy?
I was working as a corporate trainer and was asked to develop a course on stress management. I picked up a book by the late Micheline Arcier, who was one of the pioneers of Aromatherapy - having no idea what it was all about. It just grabbed me - I was completely hooked and knew I wanted to work with essential oils. I then did a Diploma of Clinical Aromatherapy in Australia and also did some further training back in the UK (where I'm from). This was in 1991 and I'm still completley obsessed!

What was the biggest change you noticed when you made the switch?
That I felt calmer! It was a stressful time in my life and I noticed that incorporating essential oils into my life in small ways every day made me feel much more positive.

What product is your best seller and why do you think that is?
The Skin Cleansers. Cleansing really is the most imporant part of skincare. Using the wrong cleanser can cause many problems to skin. For example, a cleanser that is drying, causes the skin to overproduce sebum, which in turn results in congestion and blocked pores.

Oil based cleansers have become incredibly popular for a reason - they clean skin beautifully without drying skin out. We have 3 cleansers - a creamy oil based one, which can be used daily (Skin Cleaning System) , Skin Cleansing Balm which is wonderful for dry skin and Skin Cleansing Oil which can be used to give a beautiful deep cleanse 2-3 times a week or to remove heavy makeup. 

Each cleanser comes with our skin cleansing cloth to remove the product. This is really important as compressing the skin helps to lift dirt and impurities from pores. If skin isn't cleansed properly, other products that are used wont be effective.

What is your personal favourite Audra James product and why?

I'm a huge lover of Body and Facial Oils so I would have to say both of those. Many people think that a facial oil is going to be greasy and cause skin congestion, but in fact the opposite is true. The right plant oils absorb easily into the skin and deliver essential nutrients quickly. 

They are completely natural and can be formulated without synthetic preservatives so are perfect for all skin types - even oily skin. I've seen the 'right' facial oil do miraculous things for problem skin.

What has been the most significant result you’ve heard back from a customer after using your products?
I do get a lot of very positive feedback which is wonderful - especially when people say that your products have really changed their skin or their life in some way. Probably the most significant result was in the early days - I was managing the Aromatherapy Clinic at a Natural Therapy College and a student had quite congested skin. She had tried numerous treatments and products and I just said I would formulate a Bespoke Facial Oil for her skin as part of a lesson I was teaching. 

It was quite a simple formula, but when she walked in the next week for a class - everyone was astonished - her skin was clear and glowing. I think I realised at that point that I was lucky enough to have a gift for creating blends that really worked, by formulating what I felt the client needed rather than what a text book might tell me to do. In this case, hormonal imbalances were causing her skin problems, so I addressed that first.

What is your favourite oil and favourite essential oil and why?
That is such a difficult question for any aromatherapist to answer! It does vary depending on the season and how I'm feeling. As far as essential oils go - I definitely love the mood boosting effects that citrus oils give, so lime, grapefruit, lemon, green mandarin are all favourites but I'm all about balance so I like to add a drop of Vetivert to a citrus blend which is grounding. At the moment my favourite essential oil blend is Grapefruit, Lime and Vetivert for the body.

My favourite blend for the face at the moment is a blend of Camellia Oil (amazing skin plumping effects), Rosehip, Argan and Evening Primrose - I blend that with Frankincense and Rose which is a great anti-ageing formula.

I adore your blog and love the advice you share there and on twitter, I want to start going more natural in my skincare and product choices, and using aromatherapy what advice can you give me to make the change?
Thank you - I usually tweet throughout the day when I'm blending. Firstly, start to incorporate essential oils into your everyday life. Find one or two that you love and that make you feel good. Sprinkle a drop onto a tissue + inhale when you need to throughout the day. 

You can also add a few drops to the shower base in the morning (Eucalyptus + Lime are wonderful for this). When it comes to skincare - simple formulas really do work exceptionally well. I've found that sometimes adding too many essential oils + plant oils to a product can confuse the skin. It is important that there is enough of the active ingredient in each product to work so in order to do that, there has to be enough of each ingredient - and this does vary. 

I think using a facial oil is a great way to start as you can add a drop to an existing moisturiser or use as an overnight treatment. A drop added to a liquid foundation also gives a beautiful glow to skin so it's a great way to ease yourself in. Most people do find once they make the switch that their skin starts to look better and they love the added relaxation benefits that essential oils bring.

What other sort of products have you got in the Audra James pipeline to release?
I'm very much guided by my clients and what their needs are. I'm working on a 3 in 1 treatment mask at the moment which gives an instant boost to tired skin. 

I am also developing a 'Beauty Tea' as I believe it's so important to nourish skin inside and out.

Our Bespoke range is very popular and one that sets us apart - and so the Bespoke Perfumery will expand. I started this service because so many clients were unable to use synthetic perfumes but it has now grown because people are often looking for something unique that expresses their individuality rather than just something that is mass produced. I definitely think the Bespoke approach is one that is at the cornerstone of everything we do.

Audra's kind & generous Me My Best & I exclusive offer:
Order the Skin Cleansing Oil + Cloth in the month of December & Audra will generously  include a 50ml pure Rose Water Facial Mist, just mention when ordering that Me, my best & I sent you! 

I want one!!

Audra's online store can be found here

If you wish to read more about the Skin Cleansing Oil & it's benefits Audra has posted about it on her blog

And if you want your timeline filled with inspirational nutritious food tweets, oil blend recommendations and general feel-goodness follow Audra on Twitter @audra_james

Thanks Audra fo all you support with each of my purchases, it is truly a pleasure to chat with you and your tweets fill me with happy!.

You've also prompted me to make sure I do a couple of deep breaths with all my aromatherapy based products and take a moment for me while getting the most from the aromas.

The Beauty Tea sounds right up me street. I'm obsessed with herbal teas, I'll happily be a guinea pig + the mask sounds right up my alley, 3 in 1 all the way!!!

Thanks Audra -I look forward to meeting you for a magical Audra facial one day soon. xxx

Do you use aromatherapy as part of your skincare or at home?

Have you tried any of Audra's products?

What is your favourite essential oil - I'm torn between rose, bergamot and neroli!

* This is not a sponsored post- All products were purchased by Me, my best & I.  I just wanted to share the natural love! 


  1. Oooooooh the beauty tea sounds amazing. I've long wanted to try Audra's bespoke mixtures, I just love the idea of something being 'just for you' xx

  2. @ Annette doesnt it- love my tea!! Me too- I would love my own perfume that nobody else has!!

  3. I adore Audra and her products, making my way through a special custom blend she made me for my post baby body :D

  4. don't think we have access to her here...desperately trying to think of a way to DIY this for myself!

  5. @jadegrrl sounds gorgoeus- how good is it thats its been made especially for you

    @TheProc well.....Audra does actually ship overseas, she was posting to UK, Canada & Asia when I was chatting to her last week!!


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