Of lazy Sundays and shea butter obsessions


I had great plans for today. I was going to roll out of bed in my own sweet time — no screeching alarm clock to interrupt my detailed, lofty dreams –watch The Andrew Marr show then go jogging at Hyde Park in the name of keeping my New Years’ resolution. Then the rest of the day would pretty much take care of itself the way other Sundays before it have done.

Daniel Day-Lewis arriving in Paris on Friday. Photo courtesy of the Daily Mail.

Daniel Day-Lewis arriving in Paris on Friday. Photo courtesy of the Daily Mail.

Well, I did watch The Andrew Marr Show. I loved this one even more than the others because they interviewed a rather giggly Daniel Day-Lewis about his epic role in Lincoln. I found out he is notoriously media shy outside of his movie shooting and promoting periods, he likes to go off and recharge his batteries away from the mindless chatter of the crowd. In his words:

To people from the outside, I seem to disappear. Of course in my experience I don’t disappear, I’m just doing other things. What I’m doing is re-engaging with life. And it’s that period of time that allows me to do the work.

This really struck a cord with me, though I can’t help thinking he wasn’t very happy to be the object of the paparazzi’s attentions when he arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris on Friday. But I digress.

The jogging in Hyde Park plan sort of did not materialize. I decided to have a spa day instead. It all started with an itchy scalp that was obviously screaming wash me! Having just acquired Essence of Morocco’s Moroccan Rhassoul Clay Paste with Shea Butter, I decided that would be my washing agent for the day. I first discovered rhassoul clay during my trip to Marrakech last year, where I saw it used by Moroccan women both in spas and in the old villages at the foot of the Atlas mountains to naturally yet gently cleanse their hair and body. I came back to London with a tub of dry clay that I use roughly once a month after mixing it with water and/or aloe vera juice. It’s usually a messy affair, but this time — since Essence of Morocco’s paste version is already premixed with shea butter and essential oils — it wasn’t.

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I developed a love affair with shea butter in the fall, just as the weather was turning cold because it’s an amazing emollient for these cold winter months. The rhassoul clay cleansed my hair gently and superbly, before I reached out for yet another shea-enhanced product: Liz Earle’s Botanical Shine Conditioner.

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This conditioner literally has play dates with my hair, it’s that well-suited for my hair. I’ve been using it as my regular use conditioner since last summer and just keep going back for more. I let it sit for 5 minutes before rinsing it out. Result? Clean, soft hair that is not stripped of all of its natural oils.

The rest of my spa day comprised slathering rich, creamy oils on my winter-harassed skin. For this I reached out for something I discovered over the holidays in Copenhagen. Concentrated Avocado and Shea Butter Body Balm:

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I LOVE it. It’s very thick so very little goes a long way if you are using it in its concentrated form. I personally mix it with Toulou Organic’s Hydrating Shea Butter and Myrrh Body Cream so I smeared the concotion all over and called it a Sunday. It’s official. I’m currently in the throes of a shea butter love affair.

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