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Image credit: Mind Body Green

Morning my sassy brides!

So, you might’ve heard the gentle buzz of twittering ladies at work, or noticed that your girlfriend’s been smelling remarkably like a Hawaiian beach recently, or maybe you’ve wondered (like every girl in the world) just how Miranda Kerr keeps her hair so luscious, her skin so radiant and her booty so slim. Two words for you, darlings: Coconut Oil.

This stuff is so hot right now, everybody’s talking about it. I’m here to tell you that whether you’re a blossoming bride-to-be, a budding bridesmaid, or (hell, let’s be honest here) a gorgeous groom who likes a bit of a pamper, you need coconut oil in your life. If you’re watching the pennies right now, bear with me here, I’ve got your back. At up to £6 for a 300ml jar this stuff might not sound the most cost effective solution at first glance, but with its multitude of uses (I’m talking 1 product replacing at least 5 everyday essentials) and guaranteed results (no, really!) coconut oil will give you that boost from within, ensuring you not only look like a wholesome, energised beauty, but feel it too! Show me a bride that isn’t gagging for some o’ that!

I hope you gals are ready for this. This pure, white goodness is gonna change your life!

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Image credit: BLDG25

So, remember back in the 90s when somebody told you fats were bad for you? They said if it wasn’t ‘fat free’ you shouldn’t go near it, and you definitely shouldn’t eat it. Well, welcome to 2014, where avocados are accepted for their wonderful health-providing qualities and where coconut oil, whether you put it on yourself or eat it, is a top health kick for 2014. Now, before y’all race off to the shops to get a jar (kudos for being keen) there are a couple of super important things to note when buying coconut oil. Firstly, shop around: I’ve managed to get free postage and buy bigger tubs for cheaper online. Get your girlfriends involved and get buying in bulk! Secondly, whichever brand you buy, look for the following on the jar: it must be organic, cold-pressed and unrefined; ingredients should simply read ‘Organic Virgin Coconut Oil’. We don’t want no added nasties here, thank you very much! The shot below is of my jar of choice right now, purchased via Amazon. I kid you not, there are 5 jars in my house alone right now, not to mention the one I gave to my lovely pregnant sister-in-law the other day. What can I say; I’m an enthusiastic converter!

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Image credit: @Clarelegs Instagram Feed

Ok, so let’s get into the ‘how to’ of this Holy Grail product. First up, I want to chat to you about the benefits of coconut oil for your bod. The downright dirty of this? You need to be smothering (and I mean smothering) this stuff everywhere you can, as often as you can! This white oil is solid at room temperature, but take a teaspoonful into your palms and it’ll melt easily into the best body moisturizer out there. Not a fan of oils? Yeah, neither was I. However, the divine fragrance and high absorbency rate of coconut oil makes it a true treasure. A couple of little tips for body application: a teaspoon heated up with 2 tablespoons of milk and then whisked together makes a gorgeous bath soak. The milk stops the oil from simply floating on the surface of the water, whilst indulging in a couple of drops of lavender oil will leave you a super soft, super chilled bride to be! Another great idea to see you through what’s left of this colder weather is to moisturise your body with the oil pre-shower; dehydrated winter skin is banished forever, a great bit of prep for a spring bride. Oh, and incase that’s not enough, my fellow eco hippie types will be chuffed to know you can eliminate a few more chemicals from your shower routine by using this oil in place of a shaving cream; hello, silken pins!

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Image credit: Our Little Green Dot

Here at Festival Brides, we love a natural beauty, I mean like a true ‘I woke up like ‘dis’ beauty. It’s no secret that we boho brides crave that truly ‘au naturel’ facial look, but it can be somewhat elusive and it sure is hard to achieve with makeup. So we’re going out on a limb here by advocating a genuine glow that comes from taking great care of your face, which will hopefully allow you to employ a ‘less is more’ approach to your wedding makeup. First, and easiest of all, is the use of coconut oil as a lip balm: just a couple of dabs over night will see you with chap-free lips in whatever weather. Outdoor brides have no fear, we’ve got you covered.

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Image credit: The Beauty Department

Aside from the fact that coconut oil is a great facial moisturizer (I use it daily, without fail), it also makes a super gentle eye makeup remover. Now, when I say ‘super gentle’ I mean it’s one of the kindest things you could apply to that delicate skin around your eyes. However, if we’re talking mascara-removing-power: this oil is the toughest remover out there, effortlessly lifting heavily waterproof eye makeup with ease. That’s right, ladies; say ‘no’ to repeated eye rubbing, and ‘yes’ to fresh, sparkly eyes with reduced lines.

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Image credit: BLDG25

This last one is great for reducing the amount of ‘cover up’ you’ll need to get you picture perfect on your wedding day. The totally rad girls over at Free People’s BLDG25 have come up with this fabulous overnight treatment, using coconut and tea tree oil. The serum formed when these two oils are combined will help keep your pretty lil’ face blemish free and reduce any general redness, as well as that of scars. I told you, this stuff is worth its weight in gold.

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Image credit: BLDG25

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Image credit: BLDG25

Next up, we’re talking Oil Pulling. Still a topical application of coconut oil, this one’s a little quirkier, but the benefits are incredible. This is one of those moments when I’m gonna ask you to believe the hype, ‘cause I’m about to ask you to swish coconut oil in your mouth… for a whole 20 minutes… daily. Ok, pick your jaw up off the floor and hear me out. Oil pulling is an ancient Ayuverdic practice, whereby you swish a teaspoon of oil (coconut oil is of course my preferred choice) around your mouth for 20 minutes. The ‘sticky-ness’ of the oil allows it to draw and trap bacteria and toxins from places your toothbrush can’t reach as it travels around your mouth, turning it from a clear liquid oil, to a waterier, white liquid which you must then spit out. Sounds a little odd, hey? Believe me when I say this though: it’s surprisingly tolerable, in fact I’d even go so far as to say that I kinda like it now (2 months on). And I mean, hello? Did you see the list of benefits? If it promises whiter teeth and a detox, I’m game.

A couple of little tips as you embark upon your pulling journey: when you’re done, spit the oil out into the toilet or waste bin, we don’t want any clogged pipes! The best time to pull is first thing in the morning, before eating anything or brushed your teeth; it’s supposedly when there are the most toxins in your mouth. Post pulling, I like to give my teeth a good brush and drink a glass of water. I’ve seen my teeth brighten a few shades, feel more thoroughly clean throughout the day as well as experiencing reduced sensitivity and an overall improvement in the hydration of my skin. Good times.

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Image credit: Our Little Green Dot 

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Image credit: How to Hair Girl

Our last topical treatment with this oil is for your hair. Coconut oil offers a multitude of benefits to both your scalp and the shafts of your hair, making it a great all rounder. One of very few oils that can be absorbed by the shaft of hair itself, coconut oil makes a great conditioning treatment for that long bohemian mane of yours, penetrating the hair shaft and promoting luscious, healthy locks. Massaged into the scalp, coconut it encourages hair growth and has been known to relieve dry, itchy scalps. Oh, and did I mention it smells ace?! So simply melt a tablespoon in your hands and apply throughout the hair and to the scalp, leaving for anything between 5 and 20 minutes before gently combing through (use a wide tooth comb) and then thoroughly washing out.I’ve also read this amazing stuff can can be used to encourage fuller eyelashes by simply massaging it gently into the hair follicles at night; those false eyelashes you were debating just fluttered out the window, didn’t they? All hail the wholly natural, beautiful bride!

Ah, and whilst we’re all it, a tiny amount melted across your fingers and applied sparingly can work as a fabulous smoothing serum, banishing dryness and fly-aways in one swift manoeuvre.

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Image credit: Updates Yourself

Finally, I want to encourage you future brides to ingest coconut oil daily. It sounds like a bit of a scary prospect, especially if you’re trying to slim down for your wedding. However, coconut oil contains a type of fats called triglycerides which research has shown can lead to efficient energy burning as a result of the process the liver employs to break these fats down. Put that into the real world, and you’ll find a study that followed a babe who ingested 2 teaspoons of coconut oil daily for 12 weeks, not only did she not gain weight, but she lowered her stomach fat, which is a super difficult place to lose fat. Suddenly those tummy-baring two-piece gowns are sounding real plausible, right?!

Set that (major) benefit aside, ingesting coconut oil can be a real game changer across the board. A spoonful can give you a natural energy boost, and if taken 20 minutes before a meal, can really aid digestion. Not only that, eating coconut oil can help prevent and cure headaches and migraines; that’s right, no stress headaches for our holistic-loving brides! And last but not least, coconut oil will seriously boost your immune system, which (trust me, I was sick as a dog on our wedding day) is an absolute must for any busy bride-to be!

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Image credit: BLDG25

As ever, these are just my pick of the seemingly endless uses for coconut oil, so if you’re curious get out there and read more – we’d love to hear of your findings. I hope I’ve sold it to you, or at least made you curious, as I can’t think of any beauty product I would recommend more highly to you, my beautiful, blossoming brides. It’s totally boho, it’s got that hippie holistic edge and best of all it’s uncomplicated!

One tub; huge benefits. Get on this bandwagon!

Much love my favourites,

Clare xo

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