One of the best things about being a beauty blogger is that I sometimes get the opportunity to try out products from brands that I have had either no, or very limited, exposure to otherwise. And every once in a while, I hit the jackpot and REALLY fall in love with a new-to-me brand. Such is the case with Andalou Naturals, so today I'd like to share my thoughts about a few of their products, and tell you why they're currently at the top of my beauty obsession list.
Andalou Naturals' founders are both heavy-hitters in the natural skincare industry. Combined, they've worked for lots of natural skincare brands that I'm sure you've heard of before, including Avalon Organics, Alba Hawaiian, Alba Botanica and Sonoma Soap Company.
Andalou Naturals is not only based in California (Novato, which is in the San Francisco Bay Area) but their products are also MADE in California (yay for supporting my home state's economy!). But don't fret if you're not in California (or in the US for that matter) because their products are available at Whole Foods and also all over the globe. You can click here to see where they're sold in your area.
Speaking of their products, let's talk about their ingredients:
(from the Andalou website)
Andalou Naturals meet a minimum 70% Certified Organic ingredient content in all our formulations, utilizing exceptional organic, natural origin, fair trade and biologically active ingredients at effective levels to ensure beautiful results.
We Champion Certified Organic, Natural Origin, BioActive, and Fair-Trade Certified Ingredients, Pure Essential Oils, Vegetarian, Eco-Friendly, and Cruelty-Free Standards.
We Reject Sulfates, Petrochemicals, Phthalates, Synthetic Colors and Dyes, Artificial Fragrances, Triclosan, GMO, PEG, MEA, TEA, DEA, Synthetic Preservatives and Parabens.
So to sum it up, their products are made in the USA, cruelty-free, vegetarian and contain organic and fair-trade certified ingredients. Their products are also free of just about every controversial ingredient under the sun.
I'm totally obsessed with Andalou's packaging, but it's their name that really gets me. You can read about the origins of their company name here, but whenever I see "Andalou" my mind goes to "Andalusia" which then makes me sing the song Debaser from the legendary band, Pixies. And that makes me very happy!
So let's start with the Styling Cream:
Andalou Naturals Moisture Rich Styling Cream with Sweet Orange & Argan
(retail: $9.95, 6.8 oz)
This product has a nice, thick consistency yet it's easy to rub it between your hands and apply to wet hair. Looking at the pic below, this is what a pea-sized amount looks like, which is actually all I require for my long hair (my hair goes to the middle of my back). Since my hair is fine in texture and naturally wavy, I'm always looking for a good styling cream that can tame my frizzies yet also enhance my curls without weighing them down. That can be tricky business, and although there was a learning curve to this product, I finally found my sweet spot. At first I used too much and my hair looked a bit crunchy (keyword: LOOKED. It did not feel crunchy). But when I tried again with just a pea-sized amount, I felt like I reached "hair nirvana". My waves separated into beautiful, soft ringlets as my hair air-dried, and no frizz. This product also managed to keep my hair looking good all day and night, keeping the form of my curls in check.
And did I mention the SMELL? Holy moly (did I really just say "holy moly"?) this stuff smells divine. I get the sweet orange, but there are also so many other beautiful, botanical notes floating around in the background. It's difficult for me to explain it, but if you love natural, citrusy, creamy, floral, and green scents, you will probably adore the scent of this product.
Next up, the facial cleanser:
Andalou Naturals Meyer Lemon Creamy Cleanser for Combination Skin
(retail: $12.95, 6 oz)
If you've ever lived in Northern California, you've probably heard of the company Body Time. Well, Body Time used to make a creamy lemon facial cleanser many years ago that I loved, and ever since they stopped making it, I've been looking for a replacement. Well, I've found it and, in my opinion, it's even better than my memories of the Body Time product. You have no idea how happy this makes me!
This product has a milky, gel-like consistency with tiny exfoliating particles (see pic below). To be honest, the exfoliating particles aren't dense enough to do any real physical exfoliating on my face, but that doesn't matter to me because I absolutely LOVE the way this product cleanses my skin. It easily removes all of my face makeup and grime of the day (you might need to use a separate eye makeup remover beforehand for your eye makeup though) without leaving my face feeling dry or tight. The best part for me is that, after I pat my skin dry, my face just feels so soft. I mean, ridiculously soft. I've also noticed that, since I've been using this product, my skin looks clearer and a touch brighter as well.
And if that isn't enough, THE FRAGRANCE! It does smell a teeny bit similar to the Styling Cream, but BETTER, if that's possible. First you're hit with the sweet, tart Meyer Lemon note, but then, the honey kicks in. These two notes meld beautifully together, and the honey actually takes on more of a honeysuckle-type of fragrance which is just beautiful. Can't even put it into words.
The fact that lemon and honey are the predominant fragrance notes comes as no surprise, given that Manuka Honey is the 5th ingredient in this product and Meyer Lemon Extract is the 8th ingredient. I love it when you can smell the actual, natural ingredients in a product, rather than the ubiquitous "fragrance" that's often listed as the last ingredient on a product list.
Enough gushing for one day. Let me just wrap this up by saying that I haven't been this excited about a skincare/bodycare/haircare brand in quite some time. I'm pretty sure I've conveyed that excitement to you in this review, so if you're interested in trying some of these products for yourself, you can purchase them online here. If you order online, you get two free samples with every order and they currently have a web special where if you buy 1 body butter, you get 1 FREE (place two body butters in your cart, then enter code ExtraBB at checkout). You can also find Andalou Naturals at Whole Foods and other retailers across the globe. Click here for a store locator.
Have you seen or tried any products from Andalou Naturals? I'd love to hear from you!
A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on NouveauCheap.blogspot.com are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.