Don’t get it twisted, ladies – we already went through the Definition of Natural before.

When I refer to a “truly natural bella,” I’m talking about a woman who has taken natural beauty to the nth degree. Afrobellas and rastabellas who proudly sport their own locks, bellas of all colors who are card-carrying PETA members and won’t support companies that test on animals, and women who were on the “organic” bandwagon before there even was a bandwagon.

Meat-eating, Proctor and Gamble buying family members can often make terrible mistakes in shopping for their more socially conscious siblings. Here are some nifty gifties for the all-natural bellas in your circle.

I’ve had hit-or-miss results with organic beauty products. Expensive Aveda makes my hair feel sticky and look lifeless, Burt’s Bees does nothing for my mass of curls, and Tom’s of Maine deodorants left me with smelly, sweaty pits. But I was recently sent some awesome organics that would make remarkable gifts.

HPO stands for High Performance Organics, and the name is no misnomer. Debra Small is the company’s founder, and she worked for 15 years as a salon owner, hair stylist, and trainer for Paul Mitchell. Her products are designed to gently clean and nurture the hair and skin of women all shades (and textures) of beautiful. So you know I love that concept already!

I’ve been using their Hair and Body Shampoo and Spa Hair Treatment for over a week now, and my hair adores it. The products are made from yummy stuff like avocado, honey, wheat protein, and essential oils.

The scent is mild, and the shampoo (which I’ve been using only as hair shampoo) is supremely gentle on my hair. That’s a good deal for $11. The Spa Hair Treatment ($22) is a thick, creamy concoction that leaves my curls highly moisturized and well defined.HPO Body Lotion smells faintly citrusy and absorbs into my skin with a quickness I’ve never noticed before in body lotions. It’s almost disconcerting, because I’m used to feeling like I’m wearing lotion after I’ve applied it. This stuff sinks right into my skin, leaving only the faint scent and a light feeling of emollience behind.

Every bella should have a bottle of Happy Scalp in their arsenal. It’s a zingy blend of peppermint and spearmint oil that comes in a bottle with a medicine dropper top. Use the dropper to apply it directly to your scalp, massage it in a bit, then shampoo vigorously to help reduce dry scalp flaking. Butter Drops is an appropriately named, super-moisturizing, wonderfully scented hair and skin oil.

I’ve been using it to quench my curls right out of the shower, and the blend of citrus and lavender is heavenly. HPO recommends using it as a hot oil treatment, and I certainly intend to!

The Raw Sugar Scrub is similarly scented, and made my skin feel deliciously soft. Butter Drops, Happy Scalp, and the sugar scrub all cost $11. HPO also makes Twisty Locks, a blend of orange and lavender cream that’s healthy for twists and other natural hair styles.

If the all-natural bella in your life has dreadlocks or sisterlocks, then you may have heard them complain how hard it is to find a cute, stretchy hairtie that effectively restrains their gorgeous hair. Brunsli’s Hair Ties to the rescue!

For those of you who don’t know her, Brunsli is a beautiful, sweet, smart, and friendly fellow blogger who makes absolutely gorgeous hair jewelry that is affordable and elegant. Using materials like amber horn, abalone shell, mother-of-pearl, and wood, Brunsli creates unique hair ornaments that can be worn with locks, or with curly or relaxed hair to make a unique ponytail. Her prices range from $10 to $34, and are available through Ebay auction or Buy-It-Now. For some reason, my favorite hairties are The Bella, and The Bella Silver. I wonder why! E mail for further information.

For wonderful, all-natural decadent body pampering products, look no further than Sepia Skin Care. Their delightfully scented moisturizers come in souffle, lotion, and super thick shea butters. With yummylicious scents like Honey Vanilla, Tangerine Grape, and Strawberry Lemon, your all-natural bella will be delighted with the moisturizing gift. Prices range from $25 to $32.

** edited December 20 – I forgot to mention that Sepia is currently offering 15% off any purchase! Enter the code 311352 at checkout. Visit the Sepia MySpace page to find out more.
Last but not least, a box of Bigelow Eggnogg’n Tea would make an eggcelent stocking stuffer!

This is the most delicious brew I’ve tasted in a while, and it’s on sale at Wild Oats for less than $5. If you love eggnog as much as I do, but don’t want to consume a horrendous number of calories, I highly recommend this combination of black and green tea. Deeelicious!

Happy shopping, bellas!

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Traci says:
December 19, 2006, 3:42 pm
This post is on my street, Afrobella. I'm always on the look out for new hair products to try on my thick mane and I love Brunsli's Hair Ties. Eggnog tea? This just might be a perfect alternative for me since I have absolutely no self control when it comes to tasty treats. Love your site!
queen t says:
December 19, 2006, 7:32 pm
wah goin' on trini. nice to find you here in cyberspace.
Brunsli says:
December 19, 2006, 9:09 pm
Awww, thanks Afrobella!
themakeupgirl says:
December 20, 2006, 3:22 pm
Ooooh I need some of that eggnoggin tea! Sounds yummy. Merry Christmas Ms. Bella!! xoxo, Lianne
Natural Sista says:
December 20, 2006, 4:34 pm
Merry Christmas Bella!
NIki says:
December 20, 2006, 6:08 pm
I am mos def a tea person, so I will be checking for that egg nog tea. I will also be checking out that Happy Scalp potion because my scalp really flakes in the fall and winter months. Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Elizabeth says:
December 20, 2006, 8:28 pm
Hi! Thanks for sharing Egg'noggin' with your readers. It IS yummy, and fun for parties. :) And, as you said, if you love egg nog, as much as some of us do, it makes a great alternative . . . Happy Holidays!
Watch_and_Learn says:
December 23, 2006, 1:34 am
Just got my products from HPO!! They really hooked me up with extra goodies! I'll keep you guys posted on my results- so far I'm loving the aroma alone[it has me salivating at the mouth]!!
Asha says:
January 5, 2007, 8:41 am
I'm kind of late with this comment, but have you tried Silk nog? It's a soy alternative to eggnog.
Berry says:
January 18, 2007, 10:54 am
Egg nog tea just doesn't sound appealing to me. Egg nog is rich and creamy. I would imagine that the spices are what make this tea "eggnoggy".


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