Upcoming Event: Essential Oils for Beautiful Skin and Hair- Saturday 22nd July @ Tuttons Covent Garden

susan tomlinson

Susan Tomlinson, coach and founder and CEO of Real Coaching  Solutions will be hosting the perfect event that has come just in time for the summer months. Essential oils can play a significant role in skin and hair care.  They have so many uses in so many different ways, that lead to many benefits we don’t realise we have in our very home. Oils aid natural healing, can deal with a range of skin, nail and hair conditions, as well as being able to nourish, soften and heal the hair and skin.

We apply so many different products to our skin, that in the natural community people say “whatever you use on your hair, you should be able to use on your skin” which we at Beauty By Zara believe is true. And by applying specific oils that work for you into a daily routine to support yours and your families skin and  hair, Susan has created The Essential Oils for Beautiful Skin and Hair event to show you how you can apply that method.

On Wednesday 22 July 2015 starting at 3.00 pm if you head on down to Tuttons in Covent Garden you will be able to discover the best oils that can sooth and smooth skin and hair. Tickets for this event can be purchased on Eventbrite, and it’s an outing for everyone in the family to come on down to, so be sure to bring your friends and their families as well.


Upcoming Event: Make Up Masterclass- Saturday 18th July @ Docklands Holiday Inn

11412443_10206952660035665_7588441418307608855_nThe people at Rayjeweled Beauty are bringing you a luxury hands on beauty master class which will be taking place on Saturday the 18th of July. Beauty Bash are proud and welcome you to come along to a day’s tutorial on all things beauty. With yourself as your make up model for the day, you will learn how to apply makeup like a celebrity stylist by the time they have finished with you. You will be able to learn tips and tricks by a exiting makeup artist. And for those that are a DIY’er then this event would be perfect for you as well.

Throughout the day you will learn how to prep your face, hygiene, eye makeup and eyelash application, colour matching contouring and many more great skills that you can take with you. Starting at 12pm right the way through to 6pm, the day is going to have you smiling from ear to ear with the amount of information and knowledge that you will be receiving.

And this will all be taking place at the Holiday Inn in Docklands. Tickets are priced at £100.00 which includes individual one on one question time and  food and refreshments throughout the day. If you have a makeup kit that you use daily or for special occasions etc, please bring it along with you to have your skin looking great. So all you literally have to do now is show up and be apart of what is going to be an exciting day.

What’s New?

A shop update has been long overdue. So, without further ado, I am going to give you some of the new brands and products we have been grabbing and putting on the shelves in the last few weeks.



An exclusive natural hair care line offering premium products for kinky, coily and textured hair.

Their mission is to:

“Provide high quality products for women with naturally coily and coarsely textured hair. MILK + HONEY has embarked on a journey to create cleansers, moisturizers and styling products that contain ingredients especially for this exclusive hair texture.”


These are the products we have available in store or shop now:

1. Tangle Free Pudding

2. Honey Butter

3. Hydrating Hair Custard

and…we are still awaiting the arrival of the Curl Delight Mist, expected to arrive before the end of the month.


At last, a few more great additions to the existing hair care system for natural hair.

The Tropic Isle Living Hair care system consists of 5 all natural and organic products with one unifying ingredient; and that’s Tropic Isle Living’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil.

1. All Natural Shampoo with Shea Butter

2. Aloe Vera

3. Serum with Argan Oil

4. Hair Therapy with Black Seed & Black Walnut Oil

5. Coconut Hair Food with Shea Butter

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Blackhead Elimination

Blackheads – arrgghhhhh!!!


Wind back the years to your early youth and one of the first signs of being a teenager is the appearance of blackheads. And from that very moment when that dot of black dares to spoil that perfect childhood skin, the removal of them becomes an obsession. Against the backdrop of your perfect complexion, the colour of black seems to take on a brightness that you’ve never witnessed before in your life, and that means that that bad boy blackhead has to go.

So just what is the best way to go when faced with the dilemma of those nightmare blackheads and even better, is there a way of preventing them from randomly popping up in the first place?

The Blackhead Removal Tool


Since time began, various gadgets have been invented that promise instant removal of even the most stubborn of blackheads.

Most now seem to be double ended with different sized holes for different sized problems! They work by forcing the blackhead to pop out of the skin pore so you can then remove it. Simply press the tool around the blackhead in order to force the little blighter out!

The tools themselves do look quite clinical and can be quite sharp on the skin. And as they tend to leave a tell-tale red rimmed circle around the area where you have been working, it is probably best not to have a removal session just before heading out for the night.

But on balance, and as they come at a relatively low price point, they can be worth owning and having to hand in case of an outbreak emergency.

Try steaming the face over a bowl of hot water first as this opens up the pores and so makes the blackheads easier to remove. Always remember to close the pores again after by splashing the skin generously with cold water.

 Pore strips

pore6 biore-pore-strips

The more sensible version of the piece of sticky tape placed over the nose, the pore strip works by literally sticking to the blackheads so when you remove the strip, it takes the offending items with it.

The advantage of spending your hard earned cash on the pore strip is that they come laden with skin goodies such as tea tree oil and witch hazel which give the skin a thorough cleanse at the same time as removing the blackhead. As a result, this is a product that is also working to prevent further blackheads as well as acne appearing.

There is perhaps something a bit odd about ripping dirt away from your skin, and you have to accept that you will look supremely stupid during the process, but it is also very satisfying and dare we say it – enjoyable!

 Salicylic acid

So impressive an ingredient that it is used to treat skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis, salicylic acid is a powerful exfoliator. This makes it an excellent blackhead fighter, as it clears out the pores and sloughs away dead skin cells, encouraging new improved skin to make an appearance and prevent acne and blackhead outbreaks in the future. As such, as well as being available over the counter to buy on its own, it may well make a guest appearance in other skin care products too.

Miracle Hand Cream

If you have followed my product craze for a winter hand cream then you will know that I have THE worst form of dry hands EVER!

Having read so many great reviews on this, I too found it also something that can only be described as a miracle hand cream: Burt’s Bees Almond & Milk Hand Cream 

Pure help for hard-working hands. Burt’s Bees super rich, all-natural hand cream is made with sweet almond oil and vitamin E to moisturise dry skin and beeswax to help seal and shield your hands from the elements. With such a sweet scent, you’ll always be reminded to feed your skin with the nourishing care.


Ingredients: prunus amygdalus dulcis (sweet almond) oil, aqua (water, eau), cera alba (beeswax, cire d’abeille), aloe barbadensis leaf juice, kaolin, parfum (fragrance), citrus grandis (grapefruit) fruit extract, non-fat dry milk, chondrus crispus (carrageenan) extract, glycerin, glycine soja (soybean) oil, tocopherol, stearic acid, glucose, sodium borate, sodium chloride, sodium benzoate, glucose oxidase, lactoperoxidase, linalool.


By November, I am usually trying every hand cream on every aisle of every shop.  I have written a review previously on Hemp Hand Protector by The Body Shop, and for a while (and all of last year) it worked a treat. But this year, my dry hand has evolved to something next to bloody gruesome. Keyword ‘bloody’. See for yourself:


Everyone told me it is because of my frequent use of chemical cleaners and hence a tragic symptom of my OCD. But no way! I hadn’t cleaned a damn thing in a week and my hands were still at the verge of amputation.

So in came… Good Old Burt. The Burt’s Hand Cream was the best purchase I had made in a long time. It is very rarely, I find something wicked and works like magic….I mean, literally, it was MAGIC. I applied it the same night I got it and by morning…no bloody hands! See:


This was with just ONE use! I couldn’t believe it. I swear. I never felt so in love with a product as much as I did that morning. So, with great satisfaction after just one application,  I carried it around with my everywhere like it was my new BFF.

It’s January now, nearly 2 months since I started using…pot half empty, and the results are nothing short of marvellous:


I also found that…if I started to develop dry areas during the day I would massage a small amount of hand scrub first and then smack on the hand cream.

Any good scrub will probably do, but I use SheaMoisture Argan Oil & Raw Shea Hand & Body Scrub. This smells divine and compliments the rest of the Raw Shea products I use at bath time.


Burt also does a scrub that I have used prior to my new SheaMoisture scrub and will probably work just as well – if you like same brands for hands kind of thing that is.


Flavour of the Month: Mango

It is time I started trying the stuff on the shelves again…So…I’ve gone ‘Mango” this month (Just for the hell of it) and here are a few mango-containing beauty products  I tried…

Well, for my hair, Alba Botanica Mango Shampoo and Conditioner. They have been around since 1979, and these natural, 100% vegetarian personal care products are packed with potent natural, botanical ingredients that are formulated to nourish both your skin and hair whilst meeting your individual needs.

And a big reason I tried this brand in particular is because Alba Botanica’s mission is to Do Beautiful without causing any harm to the animals and Earth we all love. My kind of company!

Alba Botanica Mango Shampoo is a gentle botanical cleanser that lifts away heavy grime and dulling deposits naturally.  Packed with mango, papaya and a variety of tropical extracts that nourishes your hair leaving your luscious locks with a beautiful bounce and boosted volume.


I say: this is a lightweight shampoo so is ideal for daily use, it’s not too drying (scalp) , but I am not convinced of the ‘body-building effect’ it claims.

Alba Botanica Mango Conditioner is full of exotic extracts and weightless tropical oils that can nourish even the most  over-processed hair.  A perfect balance of softness, volume and weightlessness with a scent that is delicious without being too overpowering.


I say: This is a gentle conditioner (when you can squeeze it out of the damn bottle), yes it does smell great, but I don’t think it is a moisturising as I would like for my wavy hair. It’s not great at detanglingeither. But does leave hair smelling yummy!!

Overall, I think it is average, and good for the price for something to use on a daily basis. So if you would like to try and give your hair some”Big Island Beauty” or just a much needed vacation from flattening sulphates and heavy minerals then you can find both are available in a 12oz bottle for just £6.29 at Beauty by Zara.

Beauty by Zara was inspired by a mission to find reliable beauty solutions at affordable prices and sell them with supreme confidence and infectious enthusiasm. We first opened our London store in 2008, and its success encouraged us to take our knowledge, experience and personal know-how to a much bigger audience. You can connect with us now on Twitter

Dry Skin Rescue


My face has started to tell me that the winter season has arrived. Its been a week or so into the really cold weather her in the UK and I am slapping on all the dry skin products I have left over from the year before.

So as I stock up on my three trusted faves, I thought of sharing the moment of absolute adoration of my products with you.


Hands: The Body Shop’s Hemp Hand Protector 

‘Hand’ seems to be in need of constant moisturisation (regardless of weather/season) and every year I have always trusted The Body Shop’s Hemp Hand Protector to rescue them.  ‘Hand’ is nearly always in the sink whether it be washing up for the umpteenth time or sanitising it from the umpteenth nappy change. The cold weather is also unfavourable towards ‘hand’ so gloves are very essential (nuisance also in conjunction with operating a touch screen phone, finding oyster card at the bottom of handbag, handling coins etc.)

body_shop_hand_protectorI first bought this 5 or 6 years ago when a colleague recommended it to me after mistaking ‘hand’ for ‘cracked heel’ and have loved it forever since.

There’s generally positive reviews everywhere on the web so you do not have to take my word for it alone.

Some people say it’s a little on the expensive side, but I reckon it does such a smashing job that £10 for 100ml  is well worth the purchase.

Feet: Scholl’s Dry Skin Daily Moisturiser 

I always struggle to keep ‘feet’ in good condition, partly because they are very rarely visible (‘feet’ is usually in socks, slippers), and partly because ‘hand’ problem supersedes any other body problem.

At this time of the year Scholl Dry Skin Daily Moisturiser is what I use. Love the smell, feel and consistency of this. Like oils, a little goes a long way. It gets to work instantly and leaves my food soft and supple throughout the day. At £4.99 it’s dirt cheap and is sure to last you the whole season.


Face: Egyptian Magic Cream 

I’m madly in love with my all-purpose Egyptian Magic Cream. As well as being my face moisturiser, it’s also a great primer for foundation, brilliant on nappy rashes and even keeps stray hairs at bay! It really is ALL-PURPOSE. I like to use it before I go out and every night before bed. I have a detailed product review here.


We are currently dishing out samples with every order at Beauty by Zara, so if you have had one lately…tell us what you think!


Jumper Junkie

As the last days of summer slowly fades away, are you and your wardrobe still clinging onto the hope that you can slip on your favourite shorts one more time?  But as the temperature outside falls faster than the leaves on the trees your mind starts thinking about the warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you put on your first jumper of the season.

For me this is one of my favourite parts of the weather turning cold, along with Halloween, Guy Fawkes and Christmas.  And also a perfect excuse to grab my girlfriends and hit the High Street shops to find out what the big stores have to offer in this year’s knitwear collection.  Which lucky jumper (or jumpers) will be making its way into my wardrobe and possibly yours?

So, I love my vintage and have rounded up couple of lightweights that are perfect for when the weather just can’t make up its mind.  One minute the sun is shining and next we get hit by wind and rain – how is a girl supposed to dress when we don’t know what weather to dress for? Too cold for a t-shirt but just too hot for a chunky jumper.

A definite must have is the Must-Have Melange Sweater from Forever 21, a sexy semi-sheer sweater featuring melange, metallic-threaded and honeycomb patterned panels.   I love the sound of that one already.  With a rolled round neckline, ribbed hem and cuffs and long sleeves, this longline open knit sweater is perfect to dress up a pair of jeans or match with a slender black skirt, and your all-important heels.


Staring at Stars Persian Border Jumper is another lightweight I have my eye on.  A great knitted jumper with a wide crew neck, slightly dipped hem and half-length sleeves, perfect to show off your new collection of bangles.  Designed with a variety of different texture knits and patterns, this gorgeous little number can be found at Urban Outfitters and would be a great additional to anyone’s wardrobe.  Great with a pair of everyday jeans to run a few errands.


Next we have an oversized cosy sweater with delightful dropped shoulders that has just been added to my wish list. The BDG Fair Isle Pop Crop Sweater is also another gem from Urban Outfitters and made from a very tempting wool-blend fabric.  The colours are a mixture of mustard and navy blue with hints of white, orange and blue, and the perfect combination with your favourite short shorts for a catch up with the girls.Image

Not to feel left out of our weekend shopping trip is Topshop’s Knitted Two Tone Jumper.  This burgundy and black contrast stitch slouchy style jumper is exactly what you want to pull on when the snow starts to fall outside.  Why not treat yourself to a gorgeous leather wrap mini skirt to dress this outfit up or a pair of extra skinny jeans to show off those slender legs of yours.  But don’t forget those skyscraper heels to finish off your new glam look.


Beauty by Zara was inspired by a mission to find reliable beauty solutions at affordable prices and sell them with supreme confidence and infectious enthusiasm. We first opened our London store in 2008, and its success encouraged us to take our knowledge, experience and personal know-how to a much bigger audience. You can connect with us now on Twitter



10% off Entwine Naturalle Couture – Bring Sexy Back!

Does your hair seem lacking and in need of a pamper? Want a style worthy of Hollywood but end up with a complete mess?  Maybe it’s time to throw out your old faithfuls and try something completely new.


Entwine Couture is the first and only haute-couture salon professional hair care and styling products that not only oozes star quality but brings you the best in natural ingredients.  Beautifully packaged, and with names that sound so irresistible, this premier range of products leave your hair not only looking and feeling healthy but help create dramatic and sexy styles that won’t look out of place on the Red Carpet.  Their motto is

‘to provide women of colour choosing to wear their hair in its natural form a voice of inspiration, encouragement and confidence to take control and rule the world naturally.’

So for all you ladies out there who fall into the kinky, curly, wavy, coarse, or multi-textural category and have always wanted to just ‘go natural’ Entwine Couture could be the perfect answer.  Available in the UK exclusively at Beauty by Zara and with a 10% discount being offered on ALL Entwine Couture products until Christmas why not give your hair the star treatment it deserves.

Included in this one of a kind range is the Exotique leave-in hair rinse, a love potion that breathes life back into your hair, It Takes Two a two part duo that consists of a cleansing and growth lathering hair bathe that works with you hair’s natural oils to help maintain the pH balance and a hydrating and growth crème hair rinse that provides hydration to the max and a softness that lasts.  For those of you that like to experiment with your hair, On the Edge Holding & Molding Mudd not only nourishes your luscious locks but is ideal for keeping your stunning couture style in place, in control and perfectly defined.

A products that is fast becoming the one of the most popular is The Manipulator’ Crème Jelle Styler, a multi-functional styling crème-gel that is the perfect tool for creating a hairstyle that is a little bit special.  Also proving highly popular is The Exotique Butter Crème Hydrator, a smooth and perfectly blended whipped crème hydrator that has been artfully crafted with exotic natural butters and supple oils from around the world.  Use prior to blow-drying to help protect and moisturise as well as before styling to keep your hair hydrated and eliminate further dryness.

Can’t you just hear your hair crying out to be smothered in these tantalising crèmes or dressed to impress with a crowd stopping up-do?

Maybe you’d like to give someone else the star treatment and with less than 90 days to Christmas Entwine Couture have the perfect gift set – Beyond Expected Audition Collezioni that includes six fabulous Entwine Couture products.  All you need for fabulous hydration, growth protection, as well as divine curl elongation and definition and with a 10% discount, a wonderful present to be unwrapping.

Get 10% off ALL Entwine Couture products. Just Enter: fusionofcultures13 at checkout! 

Beauty by Zara was inspired by a mission to find reliable beauty solutions at affordable prices and sell them with supreme confidence and infectious enthusiasm. We first opened our London store in 2008, and its success encouraged us to take our knowledge, experience and personal know-how to a much bigger audience. You can connect with us now on Twitter

Not Just a Pretty Face

Recycling and some…..

Most of our empty hair and beauty bottles and containers are recycled to help the environment and reduce waste.  Now it’s time to help the world in another way.

Fairtrade, Animal Friendly, Organic, Ethical trading.  Do these words cross your mind when you’re browsing the hair and beauty aisles?  And do you really know what they actually mean?

Time for a lesson……

You will be surprised to find there is now a wide range of hair and beauty products that are organic, Fairtrade or both.  For a product to be deemed organic it needs to be produced in a natural environment without the aid of man-made synthetics.

Ethical trading focuses more on the people who make the products they sell and their working conditions.  Not every country has employee rights or a minimum wage or even certain working conditions that employers need to provide for their workers.  Fairtrade-fortnightI’m sure we’ve all had a good moan about our jobs at some point but it could be a lot worse.  More and more retailers are signing up to The Ethical Trading Initiative to help achieve a better working environment for workers across the world.

LeapingBunny540Have you ever wondered what the leaping bunny logo means? And why it is only on certain products?  The leaping bunny means it is animal-friendly, which in turns means it is not tested on animals.

Do you know which retailers are part of an ethical agreement?  Maybe it’s time you did.  And if you do decide it’s time to swap your old faithfuls for a better alternative, I am guessing you’ll want to know which brands can help.



Bodyshop-beautywithheart1The Body Shop has been gracing High Shops since the 70s and is one of the largest retailers of hair and beauty products that promotes a cruelty free image.

In the UK Sheabutter Cottage is a company that takes great pride in sourcing quality ingredients directly from farmers and producers or through community projects.  Their products include handmade Cioccolatina natural toiletries, exotic butters and supplies, as well as Tropic Isle Living range of Jamaican black castor oils.




Marks & Spencer is also a pioneer of Fairtrade and you will find many beauty products that carry this logo. Marks-and-Spencer-results-007



Terressentials is an American company that sells a wide range of certified organic products for skin, hair and babies.  They also offer other goods made with certified organic hers and certified organic essential oils.

Dr Bronner’s are the makers of the best selling certified organic and fair trade soaps and personal care products.  Their Magic Soaps are synonymous with Old-World quality and time honoured simplicity.


How many shopping days to Christmas………

So you want to do your bit but don’t know where to start?  Let’s start with our Christmas lists, not just yours but everyone else’s.

The Body Shop has a fantastic Seaweed Range; Day Cream, Night Treatment, Clay Mask, Toner, Facial Wash, Facial Exfoliator, Pore Perfector, Moisture Lotion.  All containing Bladderwrack seaweed that grows wild in clean waters off the south-west coast of Ireland.  Sounds so clean and refreshing, and imagine how you skin would feel.

Dr Bronner’s Orange Ginger Organic Lip Balm would be an ideal addition to anyone’s stocking.  The organic avocado oil and beeswax provide excellent lip protection against the winter weather with organic jojoba and hemps oil helping to moisturise – keeping your lips looking beautiful too.

Terressentials Organic Fragrance-Free Gentle Bath Gel is ultra-mild and perfect for sensitive or dry skin.  Made from skin-softening organic olive oils, organic jojoba oils and organic botanical extracts this low-foam castile cleansing gel is truly unique.

Sheabutter Cottage Chocolate Face Mask is a fragrance-free mask designed to detoxify, gently exfoliate and soften.  Made with organic fair trade cocoa, organic vanilla, rhassoul and a splash of peppermint.  TLC for your face and perfect for chocoholics.


At Zara, we embrace the diversity of all our customers. We have products to suit every skin and hair type. We value our customer opinions and their beliefs when it comes to the products they want to buy; and we anticipate on meeting their expectations. For this reason, we offer both organic products and their chemical counterparts.

With a growing number of our clients opting for healthier, greener ways of living we are committed to purchasing only brands that operate within our Organic Products Ethical Policy:

Suppliers must:

1.      be against animal testing of any ingredients

2.      ensure ingredients maintain genetic diversity including the protection of plants and wildlife habitats.

3.      ensure ingredients are the freshest possible and be ideally locally sourced.

4.      help all those involved in organic production to have a life that meets basic needs in a safe working environment, providing an adequate return and satisfaction from their work

5.      distribution methods should minimise the impact on the environment and be carbon-neutral



Beauty by Zara was inspired by a mission to find reliable beauty solutions at affordable prices and sell them with supreme confidence and infectious enthusiasm. We first opened our London store in 2008, and its success encouraged us to take our knowledge, experience and personal know-how to a much bigger audience. You can connect with us now on Twitter