Hello October. Hello ongoing chaos, wait lists (unfortunately plural), celebrations and more new product launches. I welcome you to the October newsletter where I am hoping that my brain cells hold out long enough to tell you about all and everything. A lot to tell.
In a nutshell, on this newsletter, we launch a new co-branded skincare range, two new eye masks from two different brands (nightmare scenario) and a new product from Color Wow, which I think will immediately become a ‘must-have’. There is a Garden of Wisdom treat, which is only going to last for 48 hours (if we get that far) and Ful.Vic.Health celebrates its first birthday; it goes without saying that there is a gift attached to this.
But our world (and life) has been dominated by 100% Pure Prickly Pear Seed Oil, so that’s where I’m going to begin; quite honestly you couldn’t make this up and it’s all Nigella’s fault! One customer wrote to me asking if he could make a film about it, I’m serious! Let’s do it:
100% Pure Prickly Pear Seed Oil And Other Things
Sunday 25 August. 12.01 am. The Sunday Times publishes an article by Nigella Lawson where she talks about four products she loves. 12.01 am. Simultaneously, the first order is placed for Prickly Pear Seed Oil. 3 am. While most of the world sleeps (with the exception of a rather large number of ST Style readers), I’m having my own private meltdown. 7 am. I email Nigella. 9 am. I realise my life, as I knew it, may as well be over.
Standing in for India Knight, who was on holiday, Nigella had been asked to write a guest column. For those who can’t remember that far back, Nigella launched the make-up column for The Saturday Times Magazine half a lifetime ago (in her words) and she has remained versed and passionate about all things beauty since that time, and before actually.
And so her column. I have linked it below for those who haven’t read it, but in essence Nigella has single-handedly created a Prickly Pear famine of gigantic global proportions. There are wait lists and wait lists, and this has left all other wait lists, for and from all time, standing. Such is its enormity, I have, to date, written three different emails updating everybody on the situation. At this point I would just like to thank those of you who have written such amazing words of love, support and understanding. Perspective is all.
Onto the products then. Prickly Pear dominated the article, but once again, as I so often write, not all products are created equally and that is certainly the case with Prickly Pear. Each batch of the oil is freshly pressed, which means you are receiving the oil at its optimum level. It would have been the easiest thing to manufacture a lesser quality oil and have all our orders fulfilled by now, but it’s not in our remit to do that and I would prefer to sleep at night. We continue to process orders in date and time order, which is all we can really do right now.
100% Prickly Pear Seed Oil by GoW for VH £20 for 30 ml (Wait List)
Nigella didn’t only write about Prickly Pear, she also wrote about In The Beginning, a deep cleansing balm from Temple Spa, which I promise you she has used and adored for several years. I think you will understand why if you try it, but, and as you will read, she also uses Electrogel Cleanser by LixirSkin when she is travelling. Hail the mighty cleansers!
In The Beginning Deep Cleansing Balm by Temple Spa £30 for 75 grams; Electrogel Cleanser by LixirSkin £25 for 100 ml
Love was also declared for Balm Balm’s organic muslin cloths, which Nigella believes are the best you can get and I agree. They are completely fabulous and I’ve yet to find anything that comes close to the pleasure they give, let alone their efficacy. It’s always the small things in life that thrill us the most. And these do.
Organic Muslin Face Cloths by Balm Balm £8.50 For A Pack Of Three
Finally, my love and thanks obviously go to Nigella for writing such a beautiful ‘love letter’ to us; it is something I will never forget. But despite the trauma of trying to manage the wait list, we must never forget to laugh and this made me laugh so much. Upon her return from holiday, India wrote the following:
Profuse thanks to beauty column OG Nigella for occupying this space so impeccably. I’ll tell you what, though — it’s quite nerve-racking to go on holiday and idly buy your trusty copy of The Sunday Times to find your stand-in is basically the Queen of the World. There’s the urge to send an email saying: “Could you not maybe have got somebody a tiny bit crap?”. Love her.
Creams, Oils, Unguents – Our Guest Columnist Has Tried Them All, But This Is The One Product She Recommends To Friends The Most: VH Editorial: Beauty Benefits Of Prickly Pear Seed Oil
I now have a dilemma. Actually this could be my worst nightmare, other than waiting lists of course. The issue: when two brands that we have supported forever each come out with similar products at the same time and I have to write about them on the same newsletter. The two brands are Temple Spa and Sarah Chapman. They are both eye masks, Eye Will Survive by Temple Spa and the Platinum Stem Cell Eye Mask by Sarah Chapman. Here they are and each to their own:
Eye Will Survive
A rescue mission for the eyes, say Temple Spa as they release their 20-minute eye serum masks. Each coconut-derived bio-cellulose gel wraparound sheet mask gently hugs the fragile eye area delivering a complex liposome serum, which Temple Spa call I-Firm (I like that, I firm anything is good with me) into the lower levels of the epidermis.
Suitable for all skin types, you get six masks in each pack and they can be used as a six-day intensive treatment course, which I did whilst testing; alternatively you can use them two or three times a week or as an occasional 20-minute rescue treatment.
Eye Will Survive is part of the Temple Spa Skin Therapy range and you can use them in conjunction with Easy On The Eye, a soothing eye make-up remover which can also be used as a soothing eye treatment. Windows of The Soul, wraps up this eye trio; this eye gel-balm will help cool and reduce puffiness.
Eye Will Survive £35 for 6 x 6 ml masks; Easy On the Eye £16 for 150 ml; Windows of the Soul £30 by 15 ml
Platinum Stem Cell Eye Mask
Sitting not only beneath your eyes, but across your eyelid too. On Instagram we asked if these were the mother of all eye masks, and actually they could be the mother, father, son and daughter of all eye masks. The Platinum Stem Cell Eye Masks are an extension of Sarah’s Platinum Stem Cell range, designed to deliver the benefits of cutting-edge actives and botanical stem cells to the eye area.
Offering both instant and long-term lifting, brightening and hydration, these eye masks can be used to prep the skin before an event, as a solution for tired eyes or as a targeted weekly boost. Any will do.
Platinum Stem Cell Eye Masks £78 for Four Masks; Single Platinum Stem Cell Eye Mask £24
The Light Salon – Nuori
What I love more than anything is to launch niche brands and then work together with the founders to help nurture and grow. Of course this is all dependent upon having a special relationship and Laura and Hannah, co-founders of The Light Salon, have allowed us (that’s you and me) to walk alongside them. But it’s not only a special relationship, it’s about special products too and their list of special products is growing.
Just by way of a brief synopsis, we launched Boost, the LED Treatment Mask earlier this year to huge acclaim; I hope Shabir gets a momentary lack of vision as I tell you that most of my closest friends have one and we are so besotted, we talk about its fabulousness all the time. Aside from its ability to do wondrous things to the skin, a 20-minute session always helps to calm me down. Needed!
Boost At-Home LED Treatment Mask £395
Then came Boost Cleanse and Recovery Spray, which is brilliant for compromised skin conditions, with or without the mask. Last month we launched the Hydrogel Masks, one for the face and one for the décolletage; heaven had arrived alongside those two masks, and now another chapter as The Light Salon co-brand five skincare products with Nuori, a Danish brand that applauds the power of freshness.
Boost Cleanse & Recovery Spray £18 for 100 ml; Hydrogel Décolletage Mask £42 for Three Masks; Hydrogel Face Mask £42 for Three Masks
The Light Salon have partnered in-salon with Nuori since their launch in 2015, using five of their key products in their Signature Light Treatment. Obviously in the name of research, I have had in-salon treatments and have had these divine products on my skin. They are products that make you sit up and take notice, and that rarely happens with me, so I started to jump up and down with joy when the first samples appeared on my desk. So my report below, there are five products and three heroes, in my humble opinion.
Protect+ Cleansing Milk: A bio-activated blend, this luxurious cleansing milk gently removes impurities and leaves skin feeling soft, soothed and re-balanced. Loaded with all good things, including Aloe Vera, Chamomile Flower and Avocado Oil, I have always thought that cleansers are a very personal thing. I tend to stay away from foaming cleansers by choice, but I am a bit of a cleanser freak and I have a wardrobe of different cleansers.
I’ve just added this to the wardrobe because I think it’s rather fabulous and I’ve had a thing about milk cleansers since my teenage Anne French Deep Cleansing Milk days. If I close my eyes, I can still smell it, but this smells gorgeous too and has a higher viscosity, which I actually prefer.
Protect+ Cleansing Milk £35 for 150 ml
Supreme Moisture Mask: A dream of a product and I call it a dream because this can be used as an overnight mask and if I’m pushed, this is one of the very best overnight masks I have ever used, and I’ve used a lot. When I first got it, the Light Salon girls told me to test it under the LED mask, which of course I did. It actually astounded me, so now I keep talking about it to those who want to listen because I’m besotted.
It is a highly concentrated blend and it has been formulated as the ultimate treatment for dehydrated and distressed skin, although it can of course be used by any skin type. Grape and Damask rose waters combine with natural hyaluronic acid and botanical squalane and betaine help strengthen the skin’s barrier function.
I use it in varying ways, under the LED mask as above, but you don’t need to have the LED mask to benefit. You can either leave it on for 10-15 minutes for an instant hydration boost, or for intensified results, use overnight, which is what I do. It is recommended that you use this two or three times a week, but who cares if you go to bed with it on every night. I am. In awe.
Supreme Moisture Mask £65 for 50 ml
Perfecting Facial Oil: It seems rather pointless to write about a facial oil on the same newsletter when half the world is either using or waiting for Prickly Pear Oil, but I’m doing it anyway. I’m doing it because this truly is a beautiful oil and is the signature blend of natural precious oils providing nourishment for all skin types. Formulated to match the skin’s natural lipid balance, its ingredients include organic rosehip oil, evening primrose oil, grape seed and apricot kernel oils, together with vitamin E. It does contain essential oils too and it is recommended that you gently massage two to five drops to the face and neck after cleansing. Gorgeous fragrance, gorgeous oil
In any other circumstance, I believe this would be a bestselling product. I almost feel inclined to hang a note saying ‘Somebody Love Me Please’ over the box. Somebody will, I’m sure.
Perfecting Facial Oil £58 for 20 ml
Two more products to complete the line-up. Protect+ Facial Cream, which is a nourishing and barrier enforcing bio-activated blend delivering potent doses of lipids and antioxidants. If you are using the LED Mask, this product should be applied after use and after cleansing.
Protect+ Facial Cream £62 for 30 ml
And finally, Mineral Defence Sunscreen. I will put my hands up and tell you that I haven’t tested this product, basically because I don’t use sunscreen in London. What I will tell you is that it is blended with a new generation of transparent, non-nano zinc oxide, which is non-sticky. French maritime pine extract (Pycnogenal) helps inhibit oxidative stress and the formulation is further strengthened by vitamin E and carrot seed oil.
Mineral Defence Sunscreen £45 for 50 ml
Right, let’s do a few things health before going back to more new launches and treats:
Another HRT scare. Another product famine. HRT scares seem to be cyclical, but obviously we never know when they will happen and so this one hit in and our stocks of Sage Complex got totally wiped.
Our stance on menopausal support has never changed. We believe in integrated medicine and it is a very personal choice whether to go down the HRT route, the Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy route or to choose the natural path with Sage Complex. Many of you do choose the natural route, so I would just like to apologise if you were on the wait list. Thankfully Sage Complex is now back in stock. Banish mood swings, banish night sweats and increase energy levels is what I think. Like right now.
VH Editorial: Hormone Mimicking Supplements Should Be Used By All Women Over 35; Sage Complex £25 for 90 Capsules
Triple Flu Defense (2019-2020)
It is that time of the year again. The emails and phone calls have been flooding in and as we do each year, I can now tell you that Dr Nenninger’s Triple Flu Defense has just been released, which is made specifically for the current flu season.
To best match the changing influenza strains, it is reformulated each year using CDC, WHO and patient data. This unique approach offers maximum effectiveness in helping to fight respiratory and stomach flu.
Formulated to help reduce the duration and severity of flu symptoms such as fatigue, body aches, headaches, sore throat, cough, fever, chills and nausea, there are no side effects and it can be used alongside prescribed medication. It is also gluten and dairy free.
At the first sign of the flu, take three times per day for symptom relief and once per week for maintenance. The adult dose is 20 drops and you can either place drops on the tongue or mix with a small amount of water. And into the bathroom cabinet it goes together with Organic Elderberry Throat Spray. Elderberry helps prevent viral replication and Manuka honey does the soothing bit. Start spritzing at the first sign of a sore throat.
Triple Flu Defense (2019-2020) £26 for 30 ml; Organic Elderberry Throat Spray by Viridian £15.95 for 50 ml
Supplements To Take In Your 20s
As I wrote on the last newsletter, Trinny and Shabir were together again where their focus was supplements through the ages. In case you missed it, I have linked the video below this, together with a short synopsis of that video.
Because he got swamped with emails, Shabir decided he wanted to extrapolate further and he will be writing a series of articles, the first one covers supplements to take in your 20s. He will carry on through the decades, so if you are still dancing around in your jeans in your 80’s, he’ll cover that too. Never too old to rock and roll is what I say.
VH Editorial: Supplements To Take In Your 20s; Supplements For Every Age With Trinny and Shabir
Color Wow Mini Paddle Brush
At the end of last year we launched The Dream Smooth Paddle Brush from Color Wow. It was on the December newsletter actually and I gave it an award (so deserved) and wrote the following:
And the winner is: A hairbrush. Not any old hairbrush. The Dream Smooth Paddle Brush from Color Wow. Look, do you mind if I call it The Dream Brush for ease because actually that is exactly what it is, a dream of a brush.
It went on to become a bestseller and I’m not at all surprised, so imagine my excitement when I discovered that it was going to have a baby. That baby is the Color Wow Mini Paddle Brush; it is 7 cm long (if you need to know) and it’s the handbag/travel version. What can I say, except it is of course brilliant and shines brightly in all its glory. Hairbrush of the year? Yep.
Color Wow Mini Paddle Brush £16; The Dream Smooth Paddle Brush £36
Desert Island Competition
Many of you will have read about the Desert Island competition on last month’s newsletter where I asked you to choose your top eight VH products. We got absolutely flooded with entrants, for which I thank you. Because of data protection, I am not announcing the winners, but just to confirm that each of the nine winners have been notified and received their products.
The fascination of reading about the products you love and the reasons why were so enlightening, but over and above all else, practically every entrant had both Neurophroline and Fulvic on them. At this point I could fill a book with your comments on both of these, the praise was phenomenal and, as ever, touched me deeply. But I’m not going to do that, instead we are going to celebrate together. Read on.
Happy First Birthday Ful.Vic.Health. I suppose it’s a bit naughty to celebrate our own brand, but actually I have just given myself permission to do so. And why not. The products are ground-breaking and of all the products in the range, Fulvic Acid Elixir is the bestseller, closely followed by Fulvic Acid Mist and Fulvic Acid Shampoo. Some time soon, that may change, but my lips are sealed for the moment.
So many of you have told us that these products have changed your lives in many differing ways and as I’ve written before, if I could only take one supplement for the rest of my life it would be Fulvic Acid Elixir. And of course the shampoo would be Fulvic Acid Shampoo. Having used Fulvic on my hair for approximately eight years, nothing else can touch it for hair and scalp health in my, always humble, opinion.
Anyway, I’m not writing reams other than to say that with the purchase of any of the Ful.Vic.Health products, we will include a miniature Fulvic Acid Elixir (120 ml) as a gift. This is the handbag/travel size and it will be available whilst stock lasts. Only one Fulvic Acid Elixir per customer. Together with Shabir (who has a trick or two up his sleeve), I thank you for your ongoing support of this brand. ***Sorry this promotion has ended***
Ful.Vic.Health; VH Editorial: Fulvic Acid – The Elixir of Life
For The Love Of Neurophroline
As I wrote above, the love for Neurophroline is very real. It has been called a revolutionary serum (it is) and a skincare miracle (it is). And just as the clinicals say on this ingredient, it takes down cortisol (the stress hormone) levels, aka inflammation, which is the root cause of ageing skin. One customer happily wrote that ten years of stress on her face had been undone. Yes. It’s that good.
Because sharing is paramount, let’s celebrate the advent of Neurophroline and we are going to do this by putting Neurophroline and Anti-Aging Multi-Peptide Serum together. Always remembering they are not single ingredient serums, they both include HA and a plethora of other ingredients. We like it that way and I hope you will like it that way too. Skincare heaven perhaps.
The Treat: Together the two serums, Neurophroline and Anti-Aging Multi-Peptide Serum, would normally cost £38, but until tomorrow night at midnight GMT (2 October 2019), they will be £30 for both. If you haven’t yet experienced the magic, go to it and smile! ***Sorry this promotion has ended***
The GoW Skin Treat £30 (Neurophroline and Anti-Aging Multi-Peptide Serum, both 30 ml)
The Now Averted Famine
As I’m writing this, I think that one of the things that really matters is to uphold the integrity of the products we formulate and recommend. It remains of vital importance that we strive for best-in-class across all genres. So we did. And then another famine, Super Bakuchiol Serum.
At this stage I am in very real danger of sounding like a broken record, but when we launched Super Bakuchiol Serum on the September newsletter (read here if you missed it), I wrote once again that not all serums were created equally and Super Bakuchiol Serum falls into that genre. And it fell into that genre because we used the clinically trialled Sytenol A Bakuchiol in our formulation. The studies and findings are specific to Sytenol A Bakuchiol and cannot be transferred or imputed to Bakuchiol products generally. And that is the difference. And that’s what really matters. And to coin a phrase: ‘It’s The Real Thing’.
Once again, I have to apologise if you were on the wait list; we thought we had it covered, but we didn’t. Super Bakuchiol Serum is now back in stock (for how long I do not know!), but I will say this: I’ll take a wait list against sending out an inferior product any day of the week, or weekend. That’s all.
VH Editorial: Bakuchiol, A Natural Alternative to Retinol; Super Bakuchiol Serum by GoW for VH £15 for 30 ml
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a common concern as we begin to age. The term ‘silent killer’ describes high blood pressure well because unless you know what the symptoms of high blood pressure are, you would not necessarily know that you actually have high blood pressure.
Medically high blood pressure is known as hypertension and it is a serious concern, which leads to thousands of deaths every year from heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. Yet most of us do not get our blood pressure monitored frequently until the disease sets in, or worse, when a complication arises.
In his article on high blood pressure, Shabir takes a look at understanding blood pressure readings, the symptoms of high blood pressure, the causes and a natural solution.
VH Editorial: High Blood Pressure; Cardio Peak with Standardized Hawthorn and Arjuna by Life Extension £32 for 120 Capsules
This month’s feature articles, which I hope you enjoy reading:
Do You Need A Super Serum?
Applying a serum has become a regular protocol in most people’s beauty routines and while stats show that many of us are eschewing multi-step routines, serums are sticking. ‘A need for simplicity has pushed UK women towards minimalist skincare products with more intense ingredients, such as serums’, explains Alex Fisher, Global Skincare Analyst at Mintel. ‘Serums are also a well-liked format, perceived as brightening and nourishing and often include ingredients like vitamins and antioxidants that are said to illuminate skin’. Becci Vallis does the lowdown.
Do You Need A Super Serum by Becci Vallis
Morning Anxiety: Five Tricks To Help You Feel Less Frantic First Thing
If you’re not a morning person, you’re not alone. What most of us would give for a few more hours sleep during the working week. However, while most feel lethargic and a bit sluggish when their alarm goes off, there are others who wake up to quite the opposite scenario – a racing heartbeat, serious sweating and a whirring brain that refuses to slow down. Up to three years ago, I fell into the latter category with my daily pangs of morning anxiety leaving me drained before I’d even gotten out of bed. Ayesha Muttucumaru reveals her five tricks to help you feel less frantic.
Morning Anxiety: Five Tricks To Help You Feel Less Frantic First Thing by Ayesha Muttucumaru
What I Wish I Learned At School
Does success at school translate into success at life? I write as little people are (finally!) back to school and everyone else back to the full throttle of metro-boulot-dodo. I’m also trying to work out how many times in the past thirty years I have used a simultaneous equation? Yes, my point exactly. Instead, I’m wondering how useful would it have been to learn – and in no particular order – how to negotiate a pay-rise; how not to get gazumped; the truth about childbirth or the best way to navigate the work place which, let’s face it, is where most of us will be spending a very, very long time. Carolyn Asome takes a view.
What I Wished I Learned At School by Carolyn Asome
I’m always fascinated to talk to fellow entrepreneurs, writes Jo Fairley. I first stumbled across Lebon in Paris, in the new Printemps beauty store and realised is was one of those ‘duh-why-didn’t-someone-think-of-it-before’ products. Ever since then, I’ve been wanting to talk to the creators of the first toothpaste brand that looks as good as it smells, smells as good as it tastes and happens to be organic, with it. So going behind the brand, this makes a great read, but then Lebon is a truly exceptional brand. Discover their journey.
Smile, Please by Jo Fairley
The End Bit
‘Return to your roots and reconnect with the great outdoors to discover the restorative and emotionally healing benefits of Forest Therapy’, write Aromatherapy Associates. ‘Forest Therapy is a practice that involves spending time in nature amongst the trees. It is known to improve overall wellbeing, relieving worries, leaving you feeling refreshed and restored’.
Loaded with ingredients such as Pink Pepper, Eucalyptus, Cypress, Ho Wood and Juniper Berry, the fragrance really ‘sends you’, which is a very good thing; we like ‘other realm’ products and this is one of them. The Forest Ritual asks that you massage one capful of bath oil onto your torso. Cup hands, bring them to your face and inhale deeply three times. And step into a warm bath or shower. Amen.
Forest Therapy Bath and Shower Oil by Aromatherapy Associates £49 for 55 ml
So many people have written to me about this, so I’m going to share. It’s all about Pore Cleaning Powder. There is a lot of competition in the GoW for VH product stakes, but Pore Cleaning remains one of the bestselling products, which doesn’t surprise me because it does an amazing job at cleaning pores; basic stuff, but wow, basically brilliant. It’s one of those ‘can’t live without’ products, you know what I mean. You didn’t know you needed it until you got it.
Anyway, my reason for writing this is because I know most of you use this as part of specific routine, such as let’s purge the pores on a Sunday kind of thing, but, but, but! If you are going somewhere special (or not that special, doesn’t really matter), do use this, rinse off and you will discover that it leaves a slight film on your face. If you apply make-up immediately (or five minutes later), you will discover that it acts as the most magnificent primer ever, ever. I mean the excitement of it all. Go to it.
Pore Cleaning Powder by GoW for VH £12 for 50 grams
Another new product from Lanolips. This time it’s their Rose Gold Hand Cream Intense. Containing rose oil, cocoa seed butter, vitamin E and antioxidants. After rubbing in, you will notice that is leaves a silky veil on the skin for continual moisture.
Films and veils. Veils and films. And then there is the immediate tightening after you have used Neurophroline on your skin (like a face lift feeling perhaps – who would know, I haven’t had one!). Ah apologies, I just crashed into a new product launch. As I was saying, Rose Hand Cream Intense.
Rose Gold Hand Cream Intense – Limited Edition by Lanolips £8.99 for 50 ml
Shabir is having a moment with our ‘Living’ category; he gets over-excited about stuff like this and has now moved himself onto researching household products. He walks around my desk waving things like washing-up liquid and Safe To Flush Toilet Tissues. And I walk around his desk waving my list of products I want (and need) him to formulate. Anyway, do check it out, it will make him happy!
And so we have reached the end of another newsletter after a rather frantic month. However frantic, I would like to thank you for your ongoing loyalty, support and understanding.
It is no easy thing managing several wait lists, most especially when one of them went so out of control. There is light at the end of the Prickly Pear tunnel, but it’s an awfully long tunnel. Please bear with, we will get it to you and just to reiterate, we have not taken any monies from your account and will not do so until the day the order is processed and sent.
Finally, together with Shabir, Victoria and the entire VH team, I wish you a happy and healthy October and, as ever, all good things to each of you. Oh yes, and hello to all of our new customers; we are a little bit crazy, but we like it that way. Thank you for being a part of us.