The Joy Of Routine

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Thanks, Julianne Moore. Why? For a little phrase she quoted in an interview with a Sunday supplement recently, which really helped put my daily life back on track. Actually, it sounds a lot less poncy to quote a Hollywood actress than a French author – but in truth, the quote belongs to Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary, etc.) It reads: ‘Be regular and ordinary in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.’

Now, what Gustave/Julianne mean isn’t actual violence as in thumping your colleagues, of course. It means creativity, inspiration, spark. And what this reminded me of is how hard it is to tap into that when your life’s in disarray and chaos. So I promptly printed this out, pinned it to my office wall – and even Instagrammed it. (@jofairley, if you’re interested. Got lots of likes, it did, too.) Read More…

Autumn Wardrobe Digest

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I know, I know, it’s not very 2017 to be buying head to toe anything and really, unless you’re a Russian oligarch’s moll, few of us spend tens of thousands updating a winter wardrobe. Still, that “back to school/ university/ job /life without school children clawing at your knees all day” feeling- the last one a particularly  delicious one – signals the moment to reassess the change in seasons and much more importantly, your wardrobe.

Since late July, the magazines have been full of thigh-high boot chat but I like to think that most of us prefer to buy autumn clobber when there is genuinely a chill in the air and when we’re not trying to dredge up the dregs of a summer sun tan. So here is a round-up of items that that will instantly update and add vim to what you already own. Heck, they’re pretty classic (and thankfully practical) items so they may already be lurking in your wardrobe if you’ve been canny enough to hold on to past goodies. In any case the following should see you right through to April. In Gill’s words, let’s do it. Read More…

Bad Behaviour

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I was minding my own business in Hyde Park, hoping I’ll never have a bench named after me, when a dog called Jekyll tried to rape me. His panting owner, whose red face made me reach for my SDSM, blamed me for his pooch’s bad behaviour. “Don’t encourage him,” Big Red shouted, like it’s my fault his pet is a rapist. There’s not much a blast of SDSM can’t cure but this victim blamer was inflamed with outrage so I didn’t waste my NIOD on him.

What kind of a weirdo calls his dog Jekyll? Names are important and that’s just not the right name for a sex offender. In China, people change their name when they want to change their luck. I was supposed to be called Vivien after the bi-polar beauty Vivien Leigh but my dad got drunk on his way to register my birth. He forgot the time. And the date. And the name. All he could remember after a night on the single malt was that I had been born in Grandfather Money’s bed; though Grandfather wasn’t in it at the time. The registrar preferred screwball comedienne Carole Lombard to mad, bad Vivien Leigh so my evil twin got to be Vivvy. Read More…

Bodycare

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The central heating’s on. (Wow, that happened early, didn’t it?) The Wolford opaques have been excavated from the winter clothes drawer. And if we’re not careful, ‘out of sight, out of mind’ could be the watchwords when it comes to bodycare over the next few months. When we’re clad in Heattech vests and thermal socks and generally cosied up against the elements – always remembering that gorgeous Danish phrase, ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes’ – bodycare can go on a back burner. (With that pan of warming soup, perhaps.)

But even though skin may not be on show, it’s as important to focus on bodycare in the cold months as it is when you’re in a swimsuit. Moisture in skin makes for healthy cellular communication: when those electrical charges can pass between cells, their ability to repair and renew is optimised. (As we’ve said before, moisturiser is in itself ‘anti-ageing’.) Winter conditions – and even the clothes we wear – are the enemies of well-moisturised skin, however; tight clothing actually ‘wicks’ moisture from the surface of the body (think of your clothes as giant blotting paper!), while central heating makes for desert-like conditions atomospherically, further evaporating water from the skin. Read More…

Gill Meets Colette Haydon

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What is your background?

I am a doctor in dermo-pharmacy.  I am passionate about the skin and formulating skincare. Over 20 years ago I set up a laboratory in London called Elixir de Beaute.  Together with my team, I formulated hundreds of products for many of the most coveted beauty brands.  I am pretty sure there is at least one in your bathroom.  I stand proud behind them all.

You have created products for brands such as HealGel, Jo Malone, Aromatherapy Associates and REN to name just a few; what has driven you to create your own brand?

Lixir is driven by my skincare and laboratory experience.  My skin beliefs have evolved with time; they are deep, disruptive and controversial.  Above all I want to improve your skin, not wrack your brain. I dedicated my work to the understanding of skin. Read More…

A Probiotic To Prevent Colds

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Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that are known to help digestion and a host of other concerns. Studies now indicate that specific species of probiotics may help elevate mood, enhance our immune system, protect the heart and are even known to protect our teeth and gums.

The specific make-up of these probiotic bacteria in the gut is determined by your genetics, eating and drinking habits and other lifestyle factors such as stress. These beneficial bacteria in the gut release lactic acid which inhibits pathogens from thriving in the gut and thus preventing infections.

Scientists have also discovered that complex interactions between these bacteria are responsible for the optimal function of the immune system. Our bodies secrete an antibody called immunoglobulin A, IgA, which is normally found around the membranes lining the nose and the upper respiratory tract. It is this antibody that acts as a first line of defence against bacteria and viruses. Unfortunately, as we age, levels of IgA decline making many of us susceptible to bacteria and viruses. Read More…