About Gill Sinclair

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Posts by Gill Sinclair

July Newsletter

beach postcard message in bottle

Welcome to the July newsletter where I tell you about a new product from NIOD (well four actually), which you all knew were coming, and now I make the announcement, with a twist, mostly because I just don’t want another ‘pre-order only’ scenario. Given prevailing circumstances (the wait lists!) across the DECIEM brands over the past few months, never has a product been so aptly named. Survival.

Also on this newsletter, India Knight sends me reeling (again), we have new products from Aurelia Probiotic Skincare and Sarah Chapman, Shabir takes a look at leaky gut syndrome and we report on a stunning new supplement for those of us who lack energy; I’m on it, trust me I’m on it! We will also take a look at all the latest news and feedback together with a product that flew out of the door after I wrote about it on the Addicts Bulletin and it’s happy birthday to two NIOD products, one of which has had a bit of an upgrade. Let’s do it:

Survival by NIOD

So Survival. Survival 0. Survival 10. Survival 20. Survival 30.

With the exception of Survival 0, these are the products I have been referring to as ‘NIOD Sun’ over the past few months. Yes, three of them are SPF’s, but they are so much more than that. It would have been tremendously easy just to bang out some boring old SPF products to add to the ever-increasing overload of products already available, but we were never going to do that on NIOD; it would go against the DNA of the brand, which we take very seriously.  The following:

Survival is a range of four networked protection systems that help support healthy skin defences against environmental and lifestyle-related assaults.  Despite their lightweight texture, these formulations offer a broad selection of advanced technologies to target the effects of oxygen radicals including the superoxide radical, nitrogen radicals, carbonyl radicals, glycation and advanced glycation end-products (AGE), pollution, smog, stress, infrared and blue light.

The logistics:  Survival 0 is £20, Survival 10 is £23, Survival 20 is £24 and Survival 30 is £25.  They are each 30 ml and they are physical, not chemical formulations. You cannot order them, but soon you will be able to. When the time comes, and it will probably be within the next two weeks, you will know because I will tell you. And when that happens, I think I might want to run away, or perhaps I should just stand on my desk and start singing ‘I Will Survive’ because there have been moments recently when I didn’t think I would.

Mrs White’s Unstung Hero Mosquito Repellent

I have often written about Unstung Hero. From the moment we listed it on our site it has been a bestselling product for so many different reasons, the name being one of them, but of course it takes more than a name for a product to be heroic. And heroic it is; it is DEET free with a rather revolutionary formulation, which combines a fragrant, fresh Eau de Cologne and an ingredient that renders you ‘invisible’ to mosquitoes, ticks, wasps and bees. Except it was far from invisible when India Knight declared love in The Sunday Times and not for the first (or second or seventh) time I sat looking at our screens with my eyes rolling.

I knew within the first early hours of that Sunday that we wouldn’t have enough stock, I also knew that there would be a delay in re-stocking because the manufacturing process required the ingredients to macerate for several days before it was ‘cooked’. On top of everything it was Bank Holiday weekend and there was absolutely nothing I could do. Long cut short, we processed and sent the stock we had, I sent out yet another one of my ‘now famous’ delay emails we subsequently received a massive delivery, we processed and sent those out, but there was still a wait list; now more news.

If you have been on the wait list, I am so sorry, but the information I have as I’m writing this is that another huge delivery is expected towards the end of this week so it will be au revoir to the wait list and I’m not going to write any more about the product because you can read what India wrote here. All love to India and Roullier White for supporting us magnificently.
Mrs White’s Unstung Hero Mosquito Repellent £20 for 250 ml

Organic Ear Oil

Look, I know this is not the sexiest of subjects or products, but I did get a bit excited when this landed on my desk because I know how many of you suffer from ear problems; an added bonus is that Shabir thinks this is a rather amazing formulation to help calm and soothe your ears.

I wrote about this product on the Addicts Bulletin and out the door they flew; who knew that it would be that popular, but there are a lot of ear issues around. This is the lowdown: Organic Ear Oil has been formulated with garlic oil, olive oil, mullein extract, echinacea extract, lavender oil and tea tree oil to help calm the sensitive ear canal. There is not a lot more for me to say other than it is a really great product to use if you are prone to wax build-up and the directions are to use 1-3 drops twice a day or as needed, but please do not use if the eardrum is perforated or has tubes. One for the medicine cabinet and for a full overview of ear infections and earache, please do read Shabir’s article on the subject.
VH Editorial: Ear Infections and EaracheOrganic Ear Oil by Wally’s Naturals £12.95 for 30 ml

Guayusa Leaves

When I announced the demise of one of our bestselling products, Femergy, a couple of months ago, I promised at that time that we would do some heavy duty research to find a replacement supplement. With the research and testing done, I would like to introduce you to Guayusa, which is a powerful naturally derived ingredient for focused energy, indigenous to the upper Amazon basin of Columbia, Ecuador and Peru. It is believed that Guayusa has been used as a medicinal plant for several thousand years. Traditionally Amazonian hunters called Guayusa the ‘night watchman’ because it helped sharpen their awareness, giving energy when heading into the jungle at night to hunt.

Guayusa (Ilex guayusa) is a small tree, whose leaves are rich in naturally-occurring caffeine (less caffeine than in a cup of coffee), flavonoids, polyphenols, saponins and L-theanine. L-theanine is an amino acid that is widely regarded for its relaxative effects on the brain and imparts a feeling of tranquility.

Recently, Guayusa has become a bit of a superstar ingredient, mostly for its inclusion in teas, natural energy drinks and shots, but now it is available as a supplement, although you can also empty the contents of the capsules into hot water and make a tea. I’m a bit over-the-moon in love with it. There is something within me that is completely fascinated with ancient wisdom and I can spend hours researching this aspect.

For sure, Guayusa walks its talk and its energy-giving compounds are outstanding, but it has been said that traditionally Guayusa was known to help raise intuition and induce lucid dreaming. On another level, I think this is pretty awesome, so I invite you to join me on the transformative Guayusa journey.
Guayusa Leaves by World Organic £20 for 90 Capsules


This is the product that I released it on the June newsletter, saying that it may well go out of stock. Except miracle of all miracles, the wonderful Harriet (founder of Spacemasks) put a massive ‘hurry up’ onto the manufacturing process and saved the day, and night. So let me give you some feedback.

I think this has become a must-have-but-didn’t-know-I-needed product; writing in The Telegraph, Lisa Armstrong stated that she put one on and went to bed on the night of the General Election to help alleviate some of the stress that may or may not have been happening at that time, it worked; an insomniac told me she fell asleep well before the 15 minute heat time was up, although it does actually stay warm for ages.

And then there is a friend of mine who has suffered dreadful migraines for many years; she and we have tried everything, but nothing much seems to touch them, which is pretty rare. She can sense when a migraine is about to happen, we call it a ‘blip’, so I told her that when she felt the next blip, to grab a mask and go to bed. To date, two blips have happened, and the migraines have been averted.

Early days, but if this is a solution for migraine sufferers, then glory hallelujah. Could this be the saviour of all stress-related moments, I would like to think so. Can I just also say, in relation to nothing in particular, that when Harriet delivered our stock, she had made cookies for everyone because she knew, and had seen the bedlam that is our office. She did it to make us smile and things like that say so much without any words needed around it, so I wanted to share that with you and of course she is a fully-fledged member of the VH family, but she became this pre-cookies. Harriet, thank you.
Spacemasks £15 for Five Masks


It is a year since we launched Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist (SDSM) and Photography Fluid Tan Opacity 8%. Because nothing ever stands still, SDSM has had a birthday upgrade, so please say hello to the second generation of SDSM.

SDSM, as so many of you know, is a dermal treatment mist that acts as a fundamental daily force against oxidative stress, water loss and the look of inflammation, all of which contribute to loss of visible skin quality over time. This second generation of SDSM introduces two additional features to the formula, a more potent form of Superoxide Dismutase (potency is all!) derived from yeast, originally isolated from grape skin, and a purified pH-balanced extract of malachite rock, or copper carbonate hydroxide mineral, which offers additional direct scavenging of the superoxide radical.

The new yeast source of Superoxide Dismutase has a higher colour stability than before which, complemented by the naturally turquoise colour of malachite, renders the colour of SDSM2 brighter, yet more saturated. The purified North American Four O’Clock Flower and Marine Exopolysaccharides remain unchanged in the formula, the price remains the same and I will continue spraying it all over my body, as well as my face. If the product has been upgraded, by virtue my face and body will be upgraded too, which can only be a very good thing for you and for me.
SDSM2 £34 for 240 ml

So a very happy first birthday to Photography Fluid Tan Opacity 8% (PF 8%); I love this product, always have, always will. It is a serum-textured surface treatment and it complements the original PF 12% by balancing light absorption effects, in contrast to light reflection focus of PF 12%, with selective reflectiveness of darker interference pigments.

I have spoken to Brandon about this, because I think the word ‘tan’ in the product name gives a false perception of what this product actually does and I told him that I thought the name of the product was stupid and dumb. It is every bit as magnificent as PF 12%, but in a different way. On its own it adds a natural radiance to any skin tone; it can be used alongside PF 12% to create a natural and blended contouring effect, with PF 12% used above the cheekbones and PF 8% used below.

It can also be used alongside colour formulations, which means that you can also drop it into your foundation (Colours!) to create an entirely different look, which is what I do with both PF 12% and PF 8% when the need takes me, which is quite often. The name change will probably occur by the time I write the next newsletter. He did of course try (‘try’ being the operative word) to scream and shout at me reminding me yet again that NIOD doesn’t actually belong to me. The thing is that in my head I think it does. Mind games, Brandon, mind games!
Photography Fluid (Tan) Opacity 8% £21 for 30 ml; Photography Fluid Opacity 12% £20 for 30 ml

Just a word about MMHC2 before I finish this section; when second generation products are released I think the general perception is that a product has just been tweaked slightly; for the most part this is often true, I’ve seen it happen over and over again, until it actually becomes pretty irrelevant and I begin to lose the will to live from boredom more than anything else.

Feedback rules and the feedback we have received on MMHC2 is pretty staggering. This is of course because the new formulation includes 1.0% direct hyaluronic acid, which appears as ‘hyaluronic acid’ in the ingredient listing. As I’ve written before, this inclusion is exceptionally rare for a broad range of formulation and commercial reasons. Direct hyaluronic acid offers pro-repair support far beyond basic water hydration and sodium hyaluronate offers, the latter of which is used in the vast majority of HA skincare products.

The difference is very real, is very important and it not only results in improvements to the elastic appearance and the generally healthy look of your skin. Direct HA completely and utterly supersedes sodium hyaluronate, which is the sodium salt of HA. For me there is no longer a choice; having used direct HA there is no going back to salt. Ever. Amen.
MMHC2 £38 for 30 ml

Leaky Gut Syndrome

Leaky gut syndrome is a poorly understood gastrointestinal concern largely unknown by those afflicted, who are often unaware of this condition. Leaky gut syndrome is an intestinal problem in which the lining of the gut becomes permeable resulting in numerous issues.

The lining of the gut is one cell thick and this lining performs the important task of absorbing nutrients from the food you eat. This lining also plays an important role of preventing toxins, bacteria, digested food and other foreign bodies from entering the bloodstream. The gut lining basically acts as a front line of defence to help protect the body. In leaky gut syndrome, this barrier is breached leading to bacteria and toxins being able to enter the bloodstream causing a host of problems.

The intestinal lining is constantly exposed to enzymes, toxins, bacteria and other irritants including chemicals from the foods we eat. The intestine becomes permeable with time due to the irritation and inflammation, until eventually gaps appear in the intestinal wall. This enables chemicals and toxins to enter the bloodstream, resulting in the liver having to work harder to help neutralize and remove them from the body and at the same time the body’s defence mechanisms are overworked and become weakened, as does the hormonal system. Common symptoms of leaky gut syndrome including bloating, gas, joint pain, tiredness, skin rashes, abdominal cramps and food sensitivities.

There are many supplements available which claim to tackle this issue, but as ever, all supplements are not created equally and Shabir advocates the use of GI Complex by Biocare, which is a very gentle powder supplement containing some of the most effective natural remedies to help tackle a leaky gut. In a far-reaching article, Shabir takes a look at leaky gut syndrome and fully explains the ingredients of GI Complex.
VH Editorial: What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?GI Complex £28.96 for 165 grams

Sage Complex Treat

Every now and again I do this treat. I do it because Sage Complex is a bestselling product; it helps diminish peri-menopausal and menopausal symptoms such as night sweats, mood swings, hot flushes and vaginal dryness. It also happens to be best-in-class in our opinion and Shabir has written many articles on the subject, the most comprehensive of which is linked below.

So, here comes the treat: Sage Complex is £25, but up until midnight on Monday 10 July, or whilst stocks last, we are offering a duo-pack of Sage Complex for £40, which means you save £10.  Go!
VH Editorial: Hormone Mimicking Supplements Should Be Used By Nearly All Women Over 35Sage Complex Duo Pack £40 (Sage Complex £25 for 90 Capsules)

Organic Roll-On Aromatherapy Blends

So what we have here are five new roll-on essential oils from the same manufacturer as the Ear Oil. They are American, I have had to get over the name of the manufacturer (my face was a picture), but then look at Miracle Lotion, which I’ve always said would win a prize for the worst beauty packaging in the world, even if it is an amazing and bestselling product. Beauty editors tend to hide it in a cupboard, lest anybody should actually see it.

Anyway I digress. There are five aromatherapy blends in the range, I have had to dole them out for testing purposes because I can’t test them (yes, the wretched essential oil allergy) and they have all come back with a great big tick of approval. So into your handbags they can go and you can choose between Calming, Balance, Energy, Focus and Muscle Warming.
Organic Aromatherapy Blends £10 each; Miracle Lotion £16 for 237 ml

Ultra Recovery Booster by Sarah Chapman

Another new product from Sarah Chapman and the Ultra Recovery Booster has been formulated to help soothe, protect and hydrate sensitive or compromised skin.

This targeted serum has been created to provide support where you need it the most. Intensely soothing and calming, it is ideal for treating irritated and sensitive skin, as well as helping to strengthen the skin’s natural ability to protect against aggressors such as extreme weather, stress or fatigue.

This omega-rich emulsion combines essential fatty acids, calming anti-inflammatories, peptides and a probiotic formula to help provide immediate relief to boost the skin barrier. Easily blended into any daily skincare regimen, this booster can be used directly on clean skin, mixed with other serums or combined into masks or cleansers giving a customized approach to skincare.
Ultra Recovery Booster by Sarah Chapman £59 for 30 ml


On last month’s newsletter I wrote about some new products from Ameliorate together with some name changes; the response was amazing because Ameliorate is a much-loved brand and it has helped so many of you in so many different ways, including of course helping to combat Keratosis Pilaris, often referred to as chicken skin.

So hurray one more time for Ameliorate because they have just launched new travel sizes, so for those of you who have pledged allegiance to these wonderful products, you can now buy the mini’s, just in time for the great summer get-away, or alternatively, if you haven’t tried these products, perhaps now is the time to do so because they are not only designed for bumpy skin, but for very dry, dehydrated or rough skin plus ingrown hairs.

Three of their bestselling products are now available in miniature; Transforming Body Lotion, Smoothing Body Exfoliant and Nourishing Body Wash. I predict these are going to literally fly out of the door and all over the world, so I’m stashing some of them under my desk in case of any must-have-right-now emergencies. You know how it is!
Transforming Body Lotion £9 for 50 ml; Smoothing Body Exfoliant £9 for 50 ml; Nourishing Body Wash £5 for 60 ml

Arly – Detail Oriented Beauty

I want to take a moment or two to talk about Arly because it would be remiss of me not to thank Arly for her magnificent article, The Ordinary – The Definitive Review, which we released with last month’s newsletter. Written from an informative perspective, this article was never intended to be product pushing, but product understanding and there is a massive difference. The feedback has been virtually unprecedented and has helped so many people.

I think that anybody who has read the article, either in its entirety or in sections, will know exactly what it took to write it. As I said on the newsletter, not everybody can write, but Arly can and I am taking Arly’s second article out of the editorial section, which you will read later in the newsletter, because there are a few things I want to say.

It has always been so important that all of us hold hands; we have been on so many different journeys together, some product led, others not. Whatever supplementation we take and whatever skincare products we use, it has to include a sharing element. It is that sharing element that remains at the very core of what and who we are, no matter what.

Opening your heart and soul takes great courage; when it is done with integrity with a sole purpose to help others, it becomes something else entirely and on another dimension it is almost cathartic. There is a freedom attached to it, because it allows you to be exactly who you are, not a parody of the constraints that often surround writing on varying platforms, including social media.

It is in that space that Arly has written her second article; it is about her own personal journey; the sickness, the health issues, the research, the discoveries, all of which led her to do what she is doing today. I have long thought that Arly writes from a soul level and it is almost like the ties that have bound her have now been cut, giving her a sense of freedom to do whatever she needs to do and however it needs to be done.

I suppose it could be likened to a re-birth, a transformation, a re-invention of values perhaps in an industry that is so often harsh, violently critical and bullying (see last month’s Podium moment) to the point of virtual destruction. It takes great strength to stand up to all of that. Wayne Goss did it in a profound video and now Arly does it in her profound article. Together with Arly, I hope that in some way it will help many of you. Live and let live.
VH Editorial: My Journey; The Ordinary – The Definitive Review both by Detail Oriented Beauty

The Most Common Holiday Problems Solved

I actually can’t remember when Shabir wrote this article, I think it was about two years ago, but it is as relevant now as it was then. None of the products have changed; in fact nothing has really changed because it is pretty definitive.

The subjects covered include traveller’s tummy, prickly heat, insect bites, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), jet lag, travel sickness and plantar fasciitis. I have nothing to add, it’s all in the article. Shabir rescues me yet again!
VH Editorial: The Most Common Holiday Problems Solved

Summer Travel Kits by Aromatherapy Associates

Two new kits from Aromatherapy Associates, Travel Essentials and Radiance Essentials, both are collections of selected miniature skincare and body care products, housed in a travel size bag. Here they are and they are limited editions:

Travel Essentials: The products included are Hydrating Renewing Rose Cleanser, Anti-Ageing Intensive Skin Treatment Oil, Revive Morning Bath & Shower Oil, Support Lavender & Peppermint Bath & Shower Oil, Renewing Rose Body Cream and Renewing Rose Body Wash. If you love Aromatherapy Associates products, you will adore this kit and if you have never tried any of their products, then this is a wonderful opportunity to experience the power of the blends. The Travel Essentials Kit is £33, and has a value of £51.
Travel Essentials by Aromatherapy Associates £33

Radiance Essentials: The products included are Hydrating Renewing Rose Cleanser, Anti-Ageing Intensive Skin Treatment Oil, Support Equilibrium Bath & Shower Gel, Renewing Rose Body Cream and Renewing Rose Body Wash. The Radiance Essentials Kit is also £33, and has a value of £49.
Radiance Essentials by Aromatherapy Associates £33

Lyme Disease – The Tick Remover Card

This is not a new product, but I am writing about it again because it is really important to be aware of the implications of Lyme Disease, which can be so prevalent in the summer months.

The Tick Remover Card is a credit card sized tick removal device designed to fit into a wallet or a purse. It features a magnifying lens and two different sized removal tools for different sized ticks. Ticks can spread a number of diseases, including the bacterial infection Lyme Disease, which taken to the limit, can be fatal to both humans and dogs. For more information on Lyme Disease, please read the article below.
VH Editorial: Lyme Disease and the Tick Remover CardTick Remover Card £4.49

Aurelia Probiotic Skincare

Back to new products we go and this time we have two new botanical bodycare products from Aurelia, Restorative Cream Body Cleanser and Firm & Replenish Body Serum:

Restorative Cream Body Cleanser: This is the first body cleanser from Aurelia and it is a sulphate-free creamy wash that gently cleanses the body while respecting the skin’s natural balance, leaving you with clean, hydrated skin that won’t feel tight or irritated. Its ingredients include Baobab, Kigelia Africana and Hibiscus, vitamin E and Aloe Vera combined with natural coconut and a layered blend of essential oils. The essential oils used are Geranium, Clementine oil, Mandarin and Rosemary.
Restorative Cream Body Cleanser by Aurelia Probiotic Skincare £32 for 250 ml

Firm & Replenish Body Serum: This is an intensive lifting treatment for the body and Aurelia say this nourishing and super lightweight hydrating serum absorbs instantly to help transform and replenish skin. Loaded with antioxidants and omegas, a combination of essential oil blends have been included to deliver therapeutic relaxing benefits.
Firm & Replenish Body Serum by Aurelia Probiotic Skincare £48 for 250 ml


Eczema is a common skin concern that can affect virtually anybody and the term ‘eczema’ is loosely used to describe a skin condition in which the outer skin layer is inflamed. The common symptoms of eczema include redness of skin, itching, inflammation, dryness, cracking, swelling, skin blisters and oozing of skin. Because eczema can be a repetitive concern, many will experience some skin discolouration, but scarring is rarely a problem.

Eczema is often mistaken for psoriasis, but there are several differences, the main one being that eczema invariably affects the flexible part of any of the joints. There are different types of eczema which are generally classified by the location of the breakout or the physical appearance. A common type of eczema is atopic eczema, also referred to as infantile, flexural (elbows, wrists and knees are flexural joints) or atopic dermatitis. Atopic eczema is an allergy disease with a hereditary trait and is common in sufferers of hay fever and/or asthma.

Contact dermatitis is another type of eczema; there are two divisions within this type of eczema called irritant and allergic. Contact allergic dermatitis results from a deferred reaction to an allergen, whereas contact irritant dermatitis, which is more common, occurs as a result of contact with irritants such as chemicals in hair care and body products.

Other types of eczema include seborrheic dermatitis, xerotic eczema, discoid eczema, venous eczema and numerous other types. There is no cure for eczema. Eczema treatments aim to reduce breakouts, calm inflammation and help relieve itching and discomfort. We recommend Kerecis Xma as we believe it is one of the most comprehensive formulations available.
VH Editorial: How To Treat EczemaKerecis Xma with mOmega3 £19.99 for 50 ml


Eczema done, let’s do psoriasis. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease which manifests itself on skin. Normally our skin cells divide at a constant rate, but in the case of psoriasis the cells begin to multiply at a much faster pace leading to a build-up of skin cells which causes the characteristic horny outer layers. This increased cell proliferation also leads to inflammation which is characteristic of symptoms. These rashes may appear as red bumps that itch, flat red blotches on the skin or silvery white patches on the skin.

The cause or causes of psoriasis is still not fully understood. There are two theories which may be valid; one theory is that psoriasis is caused by a fault in the outer cell layers with the cells being in a state of hyperactivity. The second theory is that psoriasis is due to a fault in the immune system which causes inflammation of the skin cells and an increased production of skin cells. The second theory is the most widely accepted because the use of drugs, which suppresses the immune system, often results in a marked improvement in the symptoms of psoriasis.

Psoriasis is not contagious and there is a definite gene marker because it tends to run in families. Like eczema, there is no cure for psoriasis, but you can help alleviate the symptoms, preventing outbreaks. We recommend Kercis Psoria for helping psoriasis.
VH Editorial: A Natural Psoriasis CreamKerecis Psoria £19.99 for 50 ml


It seems like a few lifetimes ago when we launched Color Wow for John Frieda and Gail Federici; it was the first in a long-line of similar root cover-up products and a new colour has just been introduced, Dark Blonde. Thought you may want to know.
Color Wow Root Cover-Up Dark Blonde £28.50

The ever-so-fabulous Annee de Mamiel has just released her Summer Facial Oil. It contains a combination of base oils such as Evening Primrose and Rosehip Seed; Echium is included to calm inflammation, redness or sensitivity. Essential oils such as Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, Rose Centifolia and Neroli are blended to deliver a warming summer flower scent.
Summer Facial Oil by de Mamiel £70 for 20 ml

The very beautiful Watercolour collection from The Wet Brush seems to have become a bit of thing, so it sits under the ‘things’ heading for that reason. I now have many Wet Brushes, I can’t help myself (Shabir please close your eyes), they make me happy. I don’t suppose it will be a surprise that Pink Swish led the way, although the other two were not that far behind. They have summer written all over them.
The Wet Brush Watercolour Detangler £12.99 (Pink Swish, Purple Swish and Orange Swish)

Let’s talk about The Ordinary. Glycolic 7% should be back in stock after a long, long absence within the next few days; I am keeping it on pre-order only during the fulfilment process, but it will only be a matter of days before it will be fully available; Vitamin C 23% will follow shortly, together with Marula Oil. You see the thing is that it has been raining in Namibia for several months, which delayed the harvesting of Marula. Sure, we could have used an inferior Marula, but that’s really not our style, so instead of blaming me and Brandon, we need to blame the rain really; we are both really sorry, but all attempts of doing a please-don’t-rain-dance failed significantly. Sigh!
The Ordinary

A few words on Colours by The Ordinary; this entire scenario wins an award for being the single-most stressful happening in the entire history of VH. I have never, ever gone through anything like this before; the demand is off the Richter scale and I’ve virtually fallen off the scale too together with the entire VH team.

There are no words to describe what I want to do to Brandon right now; killing him would seem the preferred option. I mean why on earth did he have to create the most stunning foundation I have ever used and why on earth did we plot Colours over a somewhat fateful weekend. We were laughing then, but we are not laughing now and I am so, so sorry for the delay, but it is out of my control, so please don’t beat us up, we are doing the very best we can under extraordinarily difficult circumstances.
Colours by The Ordinary

Second birthday celebration: Regenerate Enamel Science Advanced Toothpaste, the toothpaste I have used ever since we launched it. Regenerate is an advanced enamel erosion treatment toothpaste, which helps regenerate enamel by restoring its mineral content with regular use. 80% of common tooth problems are caused by enamel erosion and acid attacks. This keeps enamel erosion in check.
Regenerate Enamel Science Advanced Toothpaste £10 for 75 ml

The second second birthday celebration: Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate. Still loving; still using; still fabulous as a comprehensive treatment for short, medium and longer-term enhancement of lip colour, volume, texture, softness and contour. It targets the production of collagen, hyaluronic acid and lipids, while multiple age prevention and age correction technologies work synergistically.
Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate by NIOD £38 for 15 ml

VH Editorial

I am going to begin this section with a celebration. We have a new member of the VH family. His name is Udo, he was born on Friday 16th June and we say welcome to the world Udo and many congratulations to the gorgeously fabulous Carolyn Asome.

I absolutely promise I am not making this up, but Carolyn filed copy when she was in the middle of being induced, can you believe! I had told her that I really didn’t expect to receive an article this month, but she insisted on writing it and so I invite you to read ‘How To Do Jet Set’, which is all about her obsession for summer clothes.
How To Do Jet Set by Carolyn Asome

In the middle of the recent heat-wave, Jo Fairley decided she was going to write about staying cool at night; Catherine Turner talks about the SPF dilemma, Carole Morin discusses her bad hair miracle, in her own indomitable style and the Beauty Bible girls are loving beauty kits, read all about them!
How To Stay Cool At Night by Jo Fairley; The SPF Dilemma by Catherine Turner; My Bad Hair Miracle by Carole Morin; July Kits by Beauty Bible

I think that’s a wrap. For the sake of transparency, I wrote this newsletter under the influence of three Guayusa capsules and a Pimms cocktail, both of which I highly recommend. I particularly like the fact that Pimms now comes ready mixed in a can for when I am having a lazy moment. Add ice, cucumber, strawberries and mint. Voila!

For further transparency, I am wearing The Oud Affair by Vilhelm Parfumerie, which I have literally fallen in love with. If I was ever to sell a perfume, this would be the one; it is beyond sensational and almost without exception, everybody asks what it is. Stunningly magnificent. It takes your breath away.

Right, all that remains is to thank each and every one of you for your continued loyalty and support, throughout some really difficult and testing moments.

Together with Shabir and the entire VH team, I hope you have a wonderful July and if you are travelling, please be safe.

With love

Gill x

June Newsletter


Welcome to the June newsletter where we launch two new brands and several new products; we do updates on NIOD and The Ordinary, of course we do, and we take a look at sinus congestion, together with a product Shabir recommends to help clear blackheads. There is a treat from Margaret Dabbs and for the second month running another VH Addict has jumped on board and entered the inner sanctum, although quite honestly she has been ‘inner sanctum’ for several years. Additionally I jump onto The Podium because there are things that need to be said, and I’m going to say them. Let’s do it: Read More…

May Newsletter

Red Tullips

Welcome to the May newsletter where we celebrate NIOD’s second birthday with the launch of a product that crept under the radar and decided to take the spotlight, which may well surprise many of you, but you know how it is, you can’t keep a great product down. So we’ll do NIOD first, The Ordinary second and then we’ll head into some new product launches, one of which has already gone wild before I have written one word about it. We mourn the loss of yet another product (and this one may well make you gasp), there are a few treats throughout the newsletter and we have a new columnist who has somehow managed to enter the inner sanctum, but first NIOD:

So Happy Birthday NIOD. Two years old, multi-award winning and we celebrate all that NIOD is and all that it will be because we are about to embark on another NIOD journey, which will see the launch of three (or more – who knows!) products over the next few months. It has been exceptionally difficult deciding the order of launch, but we are going to begin with a new version of Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex, MMHC2, for several reasons, not least because there is a groundbreaking first, direct ‘hyaluronic acid’; here it comes:

Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Acid 2 (MMHC2)

More than anything, the introduction of the next generation of MMHC demonstrates NIOD’s genetic commitment to being at the very edge of ever-evolving science. It is tremendously easy to be complacent in the skincare world; a bestselling product is created, it receives massive media attention for its brilliance, those who use it absolutely swear by it (that would be me too), but nothing in the world of NIOD stays static and therein the excitement. We now take a look at this exceptional new formulation:

I am calling MMHC2 ‘the mother of all (hyaluronic) serums’ because it is and trust me, nothing comes close. The updated edition, MMHC2, introduces two new forms of hyaluronic compounds, including a first-ever use of direct hyaluronic acid not in sodium salt form, for a combined total of 15 forms of hyaluronic compounds, hyaluronic precursors and a hyaluronic support technology in a peptide-charged delivery system.

Brandon talks: ‘Perhaps the most notable addition to the formula is an extremely rare direct form of hyaluronic acid. Almost universally in the world of beauty, the term “hyaluronic acid” is used loosely to refer to “sodium hyaluronate” which is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid. When brands refer to “hyaluronic acid” in their information and marketing materials, in almost every case the reference is to forms of “sodium hyaluronate” which appears in the ingredient listing of the products.

While several sodium salt forms of hyaluronic acid are included in MMHC2, the formula now also includes 1.0% direct hyaluronic acid which appears as “hyaluronic acid” in the ingredient listing. This inclusion is exceptionally rare for a broad range of formulation and commercial reasons. Direct hyaluronic acid offers pro-repair support far beyond basic water hydration that sodium hyaluronate offers, resulting in improvements to the elastic appearance and the general healthy look of skin.

The formula also introduces a marine form of hyaluronic complex (exopolysaccharides) derived through fermentation of marine genus Pseudoaltermonas sp., sustainably sourced from Brittany. This complex supports water content of tissues in exposure to temperature variations, a factor that was not directly addressed in the original version of MMHC.

Finally, the formula introduces a hyaluronic support system of adaptogenic water-starved clary sage flavonoids, phenylethanoid glycosides from narrow leaf plantain and several dermal amino acids. This complex system acts as a non-clogging water-protective barrier to optimize the function of hyaluronic compounds and help support dermal water retention’.

Let’s do the logistics. MMHC2 will be available within the next ten days (we hope!) and of course I am constantly subjected to phone calls and emails from Brandon who seriously doesn’t know when to stop talking about how his skin will always be better than mine because he has been using MMHC2 longer, but that goes with the territory.

Full product information on MMHC2, together with all the ‘science’ is on the product information page for those who want it in-depth and because we like to be neat, we launched NIOD two years ago with CAIS (Copper Amino Isolate Serum) and MMHC; the second generation of CAIS launched last year, MMHC just grew up too. Together they are formidable. Skin-changing and for some (rather a lot of you) life-changing. CAIS comes first, MMHC2 follows. And now we are Two.
MMHC2 £38 for 30 ml; CAIS £38 for 15 ml; CAIS £60 for 30 ml; CAIS 5% £130 for 15 ml

I’m not quite finished with NIOD in this section (more later in the newsletter). So please allow me to introduce you to another new NIOD product. It is a stainless steel spatula available for optional use with higher-viscosity NIOD products offered in jar formats. It is called Spoon. You can only buy him when you buy a NIOD product. One day he may end up in a design museum. He has attitude.
Spoon by NIOD £1.80

The Ordinary

Thankfully, there are no new launches from The Ordinary this month; I say thankfully because as much as I absolutely adore launching new products, my head is virtually spinning out of control with everything that is going on, namely Colours, but more on that in a minute.

Having just launched MMHC2 as above, I think it is worth clarifying the difference between NIOD and The Ordinary; I have of course done this several times, but in each moment there are people discovering these brands and I just want to take a moment to talk about this, most especially because the bestselling product from The Ordinary is Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5.

The ingredients used to create all of The Ordinary products are relatively inexpensive for you and for us, whereas the new technologies that are used to create the NIOD products are still more expensive for you and for us. Each brand plays an important role as we believe there has to be a choice in all things. So if we are doing pioneering, cutting-edge products, nothing can touch NIOD for result-driven efficacious skincare. NIOD was created to be extraordinary.

The Ordinary has truly changed everything in the beauty industry and is acting as a catalyst for truth and integrity. In this scenario everybody wins as consumer transparency across brands will eventually become the norm, surely it has to. None of us know how long this will take, but we stand firm in our belief and in recognition of this, The Ordinary has just scooped another award, this time winning ‘Best Beauty Brand – Mass’ in the CEW Beauty Awards 2017, which is an amazing testimony to the brilliance of both the concept of the brand and Brandon (as I choke at the mention of his name!).

Let’s do Colours. It’s no good writing that I’ve never seen anything like this before, because I have already said that. I’m not even going to tell you how many people are waiting because you will think I am making it up, except I wouldn’t be making it up because I don’t do things like that.

So instead, I will just say that if ever there was a make-up revolution, this is it and we are in the process of trying to keep up with the demand, which is really difficult, but we are doing the best we can. Many of you will have received the foundations, even more of you are still waiting. A few things to say; we are working through in date order, without exception; if you are on the wait list please know that we have not taken any monies from your account and we will not do so until the day your order is processed and sent; in other words you have not yet paid for your product.

At this current time I am keeping the status on our website as pre-order only, which is, in other words, a wait list. We will get through it, although I am unable to give you specific dates at this time. And while we sort all of this out, we won’t be launching any more new products from The Ordinary, unless something unexpected happens, which I suppose is rather fortuitous as it is NIOD’s turn to bask in the sunshine; and therein a cryptic clue.
The Ordinary; The Ordinary Colours

The MakeUp Applicator and The Original Mini MakeUp Eraser

Two new products from those wonderful people who gave us the Original MakeUp Eraser and I’m going to do the MakeUp Applicator (MUA) first because this is the product that has gone crazy wild without me writing anything about it and everybody in the office is talking about it and using it, well not the boys actually, but you get the gist.

It’s a simple little thing; it is designed to eliminate waste and it perfectly applies and blends your favourite foundation (ha!), blush, concealers and highlighters. It is made from a silicone like material and to use just drop cream or liquid onto the MUA and apply in a circular motion or go side to side or up and down, your choice, and then pat your face for the perfect blend. Now why didn’t we have this when we launched The Ordinary Colours – well we didn’t, but it’s here now and it is ever so cute. So all I’m going to say is ‘voila’ and I think you are going to love it.
The MakeUp Applicator £9.95

Many of you will remember when we launched the The Original MakeUp Eraser, the magical pink cloth that removed 100% of makeup with water only. It remains one of our bestselling beauty products because it is just amazing and now a new set has been launched, The Original MINI MakeUp Eraser, which contains four mini pink cloths, each reusable, as per the original, for 1000 washes. A multitude of reasons why these may well become an essential; think travel, think handbags, think correcting smudged makeup easily and then think small, compact and niche. As above, you get four of them, so share or otherwise!
The Original Mini MakeUp Eraser (Four Mini Cloths) £24.95; The Original MakeUp Eraser £16.99

Organic Curcumin Latte

Curcumin/turmeric is the number one search term across all food and health searches; it is of little surprise because although we have all known about its benefits for the longest time, suddenly there are new turmeric products popping up all over the place. As ever, we sift our way through all the new products and then write about the best, so please allow me to introduce you to Organic Curcumin Latte, with a little background first.

Curcumin is the major curcuminoid component found in turmeric which is a member of the ginger family. Turmeric has a long history of traditional use, stemming from Ayurvedic medicine, as a treatment for inflammatory conditions, and it is often cited as being beneficial for numerous health concerns including cognitive function, depression and rheumatoid arthritis to name a few.

Curcumin Latte, traditionally known as ‘Golden Milk’ or ‘Haldi Ka Doodh’ is a combination of turmeric powder alongside a mixture of aromatic spices mixed into warm, plant based milk. Originating from South East Asia, this drink has a rich history within Ayurvedic medicine for vitality and acts as a healthy, caffeine free alternative to coffee.

And it’s so easy, all you do is stir half a teaspoon of the powder into the warmed milk of your choice. I have had bad thoughts about stirring it into my regular latte so I get a double-shot, but I suppose that is a bit naughty and when Viridian read this bit, they will despair and throw their hands up in shock and horror. Oh well, I’ll take it as it comes, but it is a brilliant product!
Organic Curcumin Latte by Viridian £16 for 30 grams

Death of a Product – Femergy

Let’s do this now and yes I know it’s pretty shocking news, but Femergy is about to join many other brilliant products in product heaven. When I broke the news to the Beauty Bible girls, Sarah went into a catatonic state of disbelief and Jo went into a flat-spin panic because they have both taken Femergy since it launched.

And what a launch it was. Sarah, in her role as Health Editor of YOU magazine, wrote about it; it dramatically helped to increase energy and legions of women started to take it. We were the Femergy girls, we held hands and we were propelled into another way of being, fuelled by Femergy.

I don’t really know what to say other than we still have some stock, so if you are Femergy-addicted, this will be your last chance to stash it away and the search is on for an alternative. When we find it, I will of course let you know, but we are extraordinarily fussy and it will need to jump through several hoops before I write one word and I guess it will also have to pass the Sarah and Jo test, which should be rather interesting! Anyway, I’m sorry, but as one Better You product dies, another one is born, which is next up.
Femergy £10.25 for 60 Vegicaps

Magnesium Gel

As many of you know, we are huge magnesium fans and we have been writing and advocating the use of magnesium for many years. The magnesium journey continues with the release of Magnesium Gel.

Magnesium Gel has been specifically formulated for helping to relax muscle tension, joint stiffness and cramping. Using a transdermal delivery system, which means it is absorbed through the skin, it is the most effective form of magnesium delivery as it is absorbed into the highly porous epidermis and through to the blood vessels and muscles underneath. Completely bypassing the digestive system, where many nutrients are not absorbed, it targets the areas where magnesium is needed the most.

It is often said that we are mostly magnesium deficient and a lack of magnesium is often linked with other health issues such as migraines, anxiety, fatigue and sleep issues. We love this product and we have loved Magnesium Oil Original Flakes and Magnesium Oil Original Soak forever. There is nothing like a magnesium bath just before you go to bed, it is akin to being semi-knocked out and I sulk if I haven’t got a stash of flakes in my bathroom (waving to the Better You boys!). My final words here, try massaging the Magnesium Gel into the soles of your feet if you do have sleep issues, either after a magnesium bath, or as a stand-alone before you go to bed. And dream!
Magnesium Gel £11.95 for 150 ml; Magnesium Oil Original Flakes £9.95 for 1 kg; Magnesium Oil Original Soak £19.95 for 100 ml

Botanical Cream Deodorant

Now that things are slightly calmer on the Botanical Cream Deodorant front, I have a treat to share with you. Just to do a quick recap, India Knight wrote about the deodorant in The Sunday Times and there was a massive Botanical Cream Deodorant famine; the wait list kept getting longer and longer, I was banging my desk like an out-of-control person and I very nearly wrote to everybody telling them it wouldn’t ever be available, but I didn’t because Shabir managed to calm me down, I’m still not sure how because the wait was about three months for some of you and it really upset me.

In the history of wait lists, this one was particularly shocking, but the other side of that is the success of the product and it always makes me extraordinarily happy when a product is acknowledged for its greatness because we live in a world where millions of products just don’t live up to their promise.

So the treat, which is short, sweet and to the point; if you buy two Botanical Cream Deodorants, we will automatically send you a miniature travel size Botanical Cream Deodorant as a gift. Perfect for travelling, this is a limited edition offer and once they are gone they are gone. Please also note, this will not show up on your invoice, we will automatically drop the gift in when you order two of the deodorants. With love from us and Aurelia Probiotic Skincare.
Botanical Cream Deodorant by Aurelia Probiotic Skincare £18 for 50 grams

The Jet Set Collection by Sarah Chapman

Before I write anything, I just need to tell you that The Jet Set Collection is a limited edition offer, so if you use Sarah’s products and you want this, please don’t think about it for too long because I can’t guarantee how long this offer will last and we are not going to be able to replenish our stock levels.

Right, that said, this travel companion is a complete regimen of products to cleanse, hydrate, protect and treat; in other words it offers everything you need for your holiday to refresh, nurture, protect and restore your skin to help give you that glow-on-the-go.

The Collection features Ultimate Cleanse (15 ml), a Professional Cleaning Mitt, Skin Insurance (10 ml), 3D Moisture Mask x 2 Sachets and Overnight Facial (5 ml). It has a retail value of £83, but the price for this Collection is £49, so fingers on the keyboard!
The Jet Set Collection by Sarah Chapman £49 (Retail Value £83)

Eliminating Vaginal Odour

There are many health concerns that are really common and amongst those there are some health concerns that, for some, are quite embarrassing to talk about and in many instances the embarrassment prevents seeking professional help. We would of course always urge you to seek professional advice, but acknowledging these issues and writing about them may be a first step to helping resolve the issue.

The vagina is an odourless organ of the body, but if your vagina is releasing an odour or an unhealthy smell, there has to be an explanation. Vaginal odour can be extremely unpleasant and embarrassing on many levels and one of the main causes may be Bacterial Vaginosis.

Bacterial Vaginosis is an infection caused by the overgrowth of a bacteria species, Gardnerella vaginalis, in the vagina. Women who suffer from bacterial vaginosis may also experience an increase in the amount of discharge which may be white, greyish or yellow in colour and often has an unpleasant fishy smell. Itching and/or burning may also be associated with Bacterial Vaginosis.

Other causes may include poor hygiene and sweating; a forgotten tampon is an extremely common problem and of course this can lead to a noticeable odour. Weight gain, wearing tight clothing can also be issues and douching is another common cause since it can result in the removal of healthy vaginal bacteria, especially if the products are loaded with chemicals.

Vaginal odour changes during menstruation and between ovulation and is more oderous during a period than in-between cycles. A lack of oestrogen during menopause may also cause the vaginal tissue to thin and become less acidic allowing bacteria to thrive and in this instance it may result in water discharge.

Depending upon the severity of the symptoms, vaginal odour can be effectively controlled by the use of Feminesse Gel, which has been shown to help eradicate unpleasant vaginal odour. Feminesse Gel maintains healthy pH balance, which in turn helps combat the development of odour producing compounds. Using a unique bio-adhesion technique, each application of Feminesse Gel works to relieve vaginal odour for three days at a time and in some cases it may be longer. It is perfectly safe to use during a period.
VH Editorial: Eliminating Vaginal OdourFeminesse Gel + Applicator £8.99 for 20 grams

Computer Glasses

I am not following format on this newsletter; I normally write about our editorial features towards the end of each newsletter, but I am breaking my own rule because rules are made to be broken (conforming is boring) and I need to write around a few of the articles.

So first up is Jo Fairley on computer glasses; she sent me an email asking if I had heard of computer glasses. I hadn’t. Aha, she said, I’m going to write about them because she had only just discovered them and she thought the world needed to know that they existed as none of her friends had heard about them either.

The article duly arrived, I read it, I re-read it and I got in my car and drove to Vision Express because I was not going to miss out and that is all I am going to say on the subject, bar one thing. I was so impressed with Vision Express, they were thoroughly professional and I have had my eyes tested in many different places. When a service is completely outstanding, it needs to be written about and I know Jo concurs. So well done Vision Express and a personal thank you from me to Shilpa at the Brent Cross branch, you are a complete star. Enjoy the read.
I Can See (My Computer) Clearly Now by Jo Fairley

Conscious Water

Here comes another treat, so please read carefully. I wrote about and introduced you to Conscious Water on the March newsletter, so if you missed what I wrote, then you can read it here, which actually saves me writing a whole lot more about them. Just know that I adore everything about these products.

Because we love to share, the very lovely people at Conscious Water have put together a free treat, which once again is limited, so please don’t beat me up if they run out really quickly, which they may well do.

We are calling it Happiness in a Glass and it is an ever-so-cute Wellness Pack containing three of their flower essence water enhancers, Happiness, Rejuvenation and Love. The beauty of the gift is that you don’t have to do anything; we will automatically drop a Wellness Pack into each order which has a value of £40 or over and is applicable across all brands and products on our site, whilst stocks last. A big thank you from me to Ilan Azouri, Founder of Conscious Water – you have such style! ** Sorry, this promotion has now ended **
Conscious Water

Perfect Legs for Everyone

Two products: Perfect Legs Skin Miracle and Perfect Legs Sculpt And Shine by This Works, put together they become Perfect Legs For Everyone and this is what they each do:

Perfect Legs Skin Miracle is a serum that helps even out the tone of your skin; streak-free in its application, it helps reduce the appearance of imperfections such as scarring and pigmentation. Ingredients include vitamins C & E and caramel, adding a tint of warm colour.

Perfect Legs Sculpt And Shine instantly helps tighten the contours of your legs with a shine. The formulation includes algae extract and reflective minerals, apply this to highlight the good spots. Both products can be used on other body parts – why not!
Perfect Legs For Everyone by This Works £20 (RRP £32) includes Perfect Legs Skin Miracle 50 ml and Perfect Legs Sculpt and Shine 30 ml


I have written about this health concern before, but we receive so many emails and phone calls about bloating, we are going to re-visit this common issue, which may be attributable to over-eating or eating foods that do not agree with you. However, constant bloating may be associated with hormonal insufficiency, irritable bowel syndrome, food intolerances and high stress levels. Whatever the cause, at the centre of all of this is our digestive system.

Our bodies obtain nutrients from foods that are broken down efficiently by digestive enzymes, which are released as soon as we ingest food. The effects of improper digestion are widespread and including feeling lethargic, uncomfortable, a bulging stomach, bloating, rumbling or gas and wind.

It is often said that ‘you are what you eat’ and whilst this remains true to a certain extent, what is equally important is the state of your digestive system because even if you eat healthily, if your digestive system is not functioning at its optimal level, then the body will not receive all the nutrients that it depends upon. Every single cell within the human body depends upon the supply of vital nutrients and an optimal digestive system depends upon the production of digestive enzymes.

Enzymes are necessary for all functions carried out within our bodies and currently more than 3000 enzymes have been identified, although experts believe that there are literally thousands of enzymes that have yet to be identified.

Enzymes basically act as catalysts working to help quicken any process that they are involved in. Every organ, tissue and cell has their own specific enzymes designed to carry out appropriate processes. Without enzymes we would not be able to digest food, breathe, move or think.

Digestive enzymes are produced naturally by the body, but their production can diminish for several reasons including ageing; studies have shown that enzyme production can decline from the age of 20. Other reasons include stress, poor eating habits, imbalanced diets, inadequate vitamin and mineral levels and also not eating sufficient raw foods which contain naturally occurring enzymes.

With thousands of digestive enzyme products available, it is important to take one that contains a mixture of enzymes to help break down all food groups and it should contain the enzyme activity, rather than just the weight of each ingredient. Shabir always recommends Enhanced Super Digestive Enzymes because it does the above and it also helps many digestive complaints as well as helping to prevent bloating. Additionally it can help enhance energy production, fight inflammation in the body and help fight infections.
VH Editorial: Do You Experience Bloating, Gas or Indigestion?Enhanced Super Digestive Enzymes £23.25 for 60 Capsules

The Podium

I am jumping onto The Podium for this announcement; we have a new columnist. She is a VH Addict. I wrote about her anonymously on the last newsletter. She is NIOD addicted and has discovered more ways to use the products than I have, which is saying something. I am actually in a bit of a blur as to how this has actually happened, all I know is that there was a huge email chain between us and somehow at the end of it she had entered the inner sanctum.

She is an author; The Sunday Times have called her ‘Lolita with a Brain’ and her lifetime ambition was to appear on The Podium, which has now happened, so I guess she needs to create a new ambition. She has several alter-egos, she calls her husband ‘Dangerous’ and she is living in semi-fear that I may well sack her if she doesn’t behave.

Completely unconventional in her writing, she lives in London’s Soho, and please don’t Google her if you have a sensitive nature, you may not be able to cope. Instead of writing one article, she has written two, I think she wanted five gold stars for effort. The first article is all about her love of NIOD, which really didn’t surprise me even though I didn’t tell her what to write, I believe in freedom of speech and declarations of love are good with me.

Her second article is called the ‘2.0N Club’ and I fell over laughing when I read it. I suppose I am partly to blame for this one. When writing about Colours by The Ordinary on the Addicts Bulletin, I mentioned that a really high percentage of people had ordered 2.0N, which means the wait could go on forever and a day; she begged me for a ‘gold-dust sample’ and then wrote about it. I hope you enjoy her. I have had thousands of emails and several years of her. She is Carole Morin.
Confessions of a VH Addict; The 2.0N Club


Her name is Arly. She is a VH Addict. She is also addicted to NIOD. She is a blogger (Detail Oriented Beauty), but I honestly didn’t know that until some point last year. She also happens to be a prolific emailer and I was halfway through writing this newsletter when I received an email from her telling me she had posted the following on CAIS 5%. I didn’t know she was doing it and I smiled rather a lot when I read it. No more words from me needed, I’ll wrap after you have read this:

‘I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this stuff. I have used and been obsessed with CAIS 1% ever since it launched almost two years ago now, but this is my everything. I remember reading Brandon (DECIEM founder) say that the average consumer doesn’t need to use CAIS 5% because in a year of using the 1% your skin would be in the same place and at the time it made total sense and I completely overlooked it.

Even though I had a bottle in my stash thanks to Gill, I wasn’t in a rush to use it, but all that changed when the legend that is India Knight declared this as one of her ‘Five Beauty Must-Haves’. I immediately pulled it out, mixed it up and slapped it on my face and oh my – this is CAIS 1% on steroids.

Obviously this should work ‘better’ than the 1% because it is five times stronger, but because of what (naughty) Brandon said, I didn’t think it would be that much of a difference, but it absolutely is.

I pretty much credit this for everything now – even skin tone, reduction in breakouts, healing my congestion/inflammation, improving texture etc etc. Everything that CAIS 1% does, this does it more. I am going to have a full blog post on this because I honestly think it has been massively underrated and it completely changed how my skin responds to retinol.

Obviously I stopped using anything like that while I was doing this method, but I didn’t care because this does it all. I applied it to dry skin after removing Flavanone Mud and then just waited five minutes before moving on. This is a superstar of a product and since my blog post won’t be up for a couple more weeks, I will say that if you’re a ‘picker’ (semi-reformed over here) then you need this. It heals my skin like nothing else and for that alone it is completely worth it’.
CAIS 5% £130 for 15 ml

My love and thanks to Arly for this; some of you may remember that on the day we launched The Ordinary, Arly stayed up throughout the night and posted her thoughts on The Ordinary. She was the first and I choked with emotion when I read it. I honestly didn’t know she was doing it, but it became, and remains, one of the most-read articles on our site and has helped so many people. If you missed it, the link is below. Arly, thank you.
The Ordinary

Wayne Goss

Let’s talk about Wayne. If you read the last newsletter you will know that I have interviewed Wayne and he is the subject of this month’s ‘Gill Meets’, which I’ve linked below; I hope you enjoy it.

But there is more. A couple of weeks ago Forbes announced their Top Ten Beauty Influencers and Wayne was in their top ten. Being of the emotional kind, I had tears running down my face because the recognition was so, so deserved. Making a real difference to people’s lives is the ultimate reward; for sure he is an extraordinarily talented make-up artist, but he is so much more.

He is unaffected by his ‘fame’, he is down to earth, he is normal, he is fabulous, he is loving, he is caring and I truly love him. We rarely miss talking each day and it is almost never about ‘work’. It’s about the things that matter to us; the things that make us laugh, the pain that hurt can bring and the importance of being true to ourselves.

In a work sense, I love and respect that not everything Wayne does is about products, not everything is sponsored and there are times when he just stands in front of the camera and talks to all of us. There is something very special in that, but then Wayne is special. Very, very special and I am extraordinarily privileged to have him as a friend.
Gill Meets Wayne Goss

VH Editorial

By this time you will have realised that I have written about some of this month’s editorial features, but there are still three to mention. The Beauty Bible girls write about small changes in difficult times – a poignant article because nobody reaches adulthood without discovering that life is a rollercoaster. The very lovely (and very pregnant) Carolyn Asome investigates ‘The Great Wedding Guest Conundrum’ and Catherine Turner writes about the scalp.
Small Changes in Difficult Times; The Great Wedding Guest Conundrum; Healthy Scalp, Healthy Hair

The End Bit

Just three things here:

The Hay Fever Season is in full swing, so if you are suffering, then please check out Shabir’s article below, which I hope helps.
Hay Fever Relief For The Family

My apologies if you had to wait for Superior Joints; there was an ingredient issue, which was totally out of our control, but thankfully it is now back in stock. I have always thought that the efficacy of a product can truly be put to the test when you stop taking it; I have always written that about Hyaluronic Acid (HA), but the same can be said about Superior Joints and I am so, so sorry for the delay because for so many this is an essential supplement for joint aches and pain.
Superior Joints £30 for 60 Capsules

And finally, Hyaluronic Acid High Strength (HA). Please do not panic when you see that we have changed brands and that HA now comes in different packaging. The product is identical to the one that went before, it’s just that the previous manufacturers didn’t behave themselves and I’m sorry but we just can’t live with continual stock issues on our bestselling supplement. The least said the better in this instance. Ahem.
Hyaluronic Acid High Strength (HA) by Food Science of Vermont £35 for 30 Vegecaps

The Wrap

Once again we come to the end of another newsletter; during the course of the next few weeks I will keep you updated on wait lists and any other information which may not be able to wait until the next newsletter.

Finally, together with Shabir and the entire VH team, I would like to thank you for your ongoing loyalty and support and I hope that you have a wonderfully happy and healthy May.

With love

Gill x

Gill Meets Wayne Goss

wayne goss

What is your background?

I grew up in Burnham-on-Sea in Somerset. I studied exercise and nutrition at university, but after finishing my degree I was so sick of talking about food and movement that I made the decision not to pursue this as a career. At that time I was unsure what I really wanted to do so I took a job working for an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA). I stayed for eight years and then I moved to the BBC where I worked across music and makeup. During this time I was on a mission to learn makeup skills and essentially I was self-taught. I endeavoured to work with as many people as I could, but the BBC taught me that media makeup was not for me. I think there is a huge misconception that you suddenly just start working as a makeup artist, but with bills to pay, I still needed to work.

What or who inspired you to become a makeup artist?

Acne. I started to breakout on my cheeks really badly when I was 20. It was an awful time and tremendously stressful, my skin was bright red and around 80% of my cheeks were covered in blemishes. They were the form of blemishes that didn’t come to a head so I became obsessed with finding a ‘cure’ and/or covering up the breakouts. I wanted my skin to look good and that was the trigger for becoming interested in makeup. I learnt most of my techniques from Kevyn Aucoin’s makeup books together with a really old book by Way Bandy. I still have that book and it is still as amazing as the first time I read it. Per se, I wasn’t taught by a makeup artist, but YouTube was a great source of inspiration.

You are a YouTube phenomenon; what was the subject of your first ever video?

The very first video I filmed was on contouring, which really wasn’t mainstream eight years ago. Instagram had yet to be founded and I noticed that YouTube had many talented people talking about makeup, but nobody was really showing ‘how to’ apply makeup or explaining in full detail how to achieve a certain look. I made the decision that I wanted to do that, to explain something and then break it down in manageable chunks so that people could achieve a specific look for themselves. In a way it is of course educational, but it was a very slow process in the beginning. I started with a few followers and the truth is that the growth was so slow, I didn’t really envisage or even dream about the following I have now.

People always ask me ‘how do you get followers’ and I always respond in the same way – one at a time. There is no short-cut. No quick fix.

To date, which video has received the biggest response?

Probably the Kim Kardashian concealer video and the Kim Kardashian contouring video. When they were released the response was huge and to this day they continue to do extraordinarily well.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced so far?

Honestly – money. In the beginning I had no money whatsoever, so I bought things from stores that were selling out-of-date makeup at knockdown prices. I would buy anything I could afford or could get my hands on. I really wanted to go to makeup school, but I truly couldn’t afford it. It took about five years to save up enough money to finally attend. I honestly thought I needed ‘training’ in order to progress, but actually I was mistaken. By the time I attended the course I had been self-taught for nearly nine years, so upon reflection it wasn’t the best money spent. My current view is that I think going to a makeup school is a great place to learn techniques, but it is not a pre-requisite.

If you could choose one make-up product and one skincare product that has changed your life, what would these be and why?

Makeup: Blusher. It is just so pretty and it instantly makes your skin look beautiful.

Skin: Sunscreen. As somebody who has had several moles removed, I would always say protect your skin.

How do you see makeup evolving over the next five years?

I think makeup will continue to evolve with more extreme makeup looks, heavy foundation and heavy filters on social media channels. I don’t see that going away – ever. What I would like to see is more honesty in what is really possible with makeup and makeup effects.

As a makeup artist, what are your three essential products?

Foundation. Blusher. Powder. Simple, but I’m a simple boy!

You are an avid reader; which three books have made the biggest impact on you and why?

Flowers In The Attic: Honestly this book really moved me. It was the saddest, but most beautiful read and it still lingers to this day.

Dirty Weekend: It was mainly the title that got me, but how wrong I was. Again, it is beautifully written, funny, engaging and enraging at the same time. I think we all have a little ‘Bella’ in us.

Stop The Insanity: This is the first book I read on nutrition and at the time I fell in love with it. While I don’t necessarily believe the information now, it was funny, entertaining and motivational. It was written by a single mother who literally worked out how to find out how much fat was in the foods we were eating and how we were being lied to.

What makes you happy?

Honestly, I’m still not sure. I am still looking; I am still searching, but music is soothing. I love music. My favourite type of music is the slow atmospheric stuff and my three favourite artists are:

Lana Del Rey: There is something about her sound that really appeals to me together with the darkness of the lyrics.

Sarah McLachlan: Her voice is just perfection.

Heather Nova: Again, the voice of an angel with deep reflective lyrics.

April Newsletter


Welcome to the April newsletter where we launch Colours by The Ordinary; this is the newsletter that I never thought I would write. I have always said that we would never do colour on VH, we are health, we are beauty, we are not colour. The market is saturated; in each and every moment new lipsticks, eye colours, mascaras and foundations are launched, mostly with huge marketing budgets behind them. But then we launched The Ordinary and everything changed.

I will do an update on The Ordinary later in the newsletter, but for now I am going to talk about Colours and then we will head into several health issues, the pretty inevitable death of another product, we do news and feedback and we have a treat from Margaret Dabbs. Let’s do it:

Colours – The Ordinary

Before anything, I just want to say that the concept of The Ordinary remains one of the most important ‘missions’ we have ever done. It is far more than just ‘selling’ skincare products, it is a way of being able to deliver extremely potent formulations with honesty, transparency and integrity at a price point that reflects the true cost of commodities. Read More…

March Newsletter


Welcome to the March newsletter where we launch three new products from The Ordinary (please let there be enough for everybody!), there is a new launch from Sarah Chapman, we introduce you to Conscious Water and we take a look at several common health concerns. We also cover off the ongoing news about Vitamin D and there is a treat from Phylia, so together with all the usual news and updates, here is another fully loaded newsletter and somewhere amongst all of this I have a miniature rant and additionally I jump onto The Podium for a moment or two; let’s do it:

The Ordinary: The Acids

We continue The Ordinary journey with the release of three new products, two of which will be arriving at the end of this week, all things being equal, and the third will follow a while after – start getting excited! They are Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution and Salicylic Acid 2% Solution (this is the third product referred to above). There is no preamble from me, I am going straight into the descriptions of each of the products, with a little help from Brandon; all I ask is that you read about and use these products very carefully because the formulations are incredibly powerful: Read More…