About Gill Sinclair

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Posts by Gill Sinclair

September Newsletter

september-newsletter-2017

Welcome to the September newsletter where we are going to rock and roll our way through some new brand and product launches. We have new products from NIOD, Dermasuri, Color Wow and iS Clinical. We have seven (yes seven!) new products from The Ordinary (head examination needed) and a new brand which I’ve kind of flipped over. Additionally, we take a look at Cannabis (of the legal kind), the lymphatic system and stomach issues; there is a low-key celebration too. Let’s do it:

RE:Pigment (RP) by NIOD

Please believe me when I tell you that RE:Pigment was one of the very first products we were going to release after the core NIOD launch of CAIS and MMHC. Except we didn’t and the reason we didn’t is because we knew about some core active brightening and supporting technologies, which were not yet available and so we waited. Patience is a virtue and so I became virtuous because NIOD has a ‘conquer all’ DNA, which remains so very important to me and Brandon over and above all else.

RE:Pigment is a highly-saturated, ultra-lightweight, emollient solution incorporating modern advances in biotechnology and peptide technology to fight signs of one of the most complex-to-treat dermal concerns: hyperpigmentation. This formula visibly counteracts both uneven pigmentation, such as spots, as well as overall pigmentation issues through several pathways. This multi-pathway approach optimizes the synergy between the technologies in contrast to networked technologies that approach visible pigmentation through the same mechanisms.

I am not going to write about the science here; all the information is listed on the product page and that is the place to read all about Diglucosyl Gallic Acid, Acetyl Glycyl Beta Alanine and White Shiitake Ferment, amongst others, if you feel the need. Brandon is so excited about the technologies used in this formulation; he spent an entire hour on the phone talking about them, without taking a breath. I was on my bed eating grapes with my eyes shut; in those moments I send up a prayer that we don’t Facetime each other.

The above statement doesn’t mean that I’m not excited about RE:Pigment; I am actually beyond excited as this is probably the most powerful of all NIOD products. The thing about hyperpigmentation is that there are so few options actually available. If you have severe hyperpigmentation then laser treatment will probably come top of your list, but it is expensive and it doesn’t always work; there are thousands of products on the market making such extraordinary claims that you can only laugh at them. One look at their ingredient listing and it’s a major eye-roll from Shabir, in a long line of them.

Anyway, as you will have guessed I have been testing RP rigorously and I am in worship mode; worshipping Prudvi (NIOD’s lead chemist) is one of my most favourite things. In the testing phase I asked him what the main priorities were in the formulation and he said that there was really only one priority and that was to target as many pathways involved in pigmentation as possible in one single formula. That priority then translated into several priorities. In the end, the formula had very little room left for anything; it’s now made up of over 90% active technologies, which requires the use of the actives themselves to solubilize one another.

With complete transparency, I will tell you that I don’t have hyperpigmentation; I have one or two visible dark spots, but nothing drastic and I have been ‘treating’ them, most especially the annoying one on my hand, which has almost faded into oblivion. But there is something else about RP. It brightens your skin to such an incredible degree that I now can’t live without it. NIOD lab: please note!

I think it is important to tell you that you will not see immediate results; for sure some of you may see a brightening effect after a few days, but it actually took around 14 days for me to see a difference on my skin. I think that will probably be true for those of you who use NIOD, but I’m just debating the subject here so you know what to expect, unless of course you look in the mirror and see the ‘unexpected expected’ within a day or so. Start singing if that happens!

We are releasing RP in two sizes, RP 15 ml and RP 30 ml; if you want to use RP just to dab onto dark spots, then the 15 ml size is all you will need as a little goes a long way. However, if you want to use RP as part of your skincare regimen, then you will probably need the 30 ml as results improve with continued use; as a preventative measure, this is an essential as I am not doing age spots. Repeat. Not doing them.

If you are going to use RP as part of your NIOD regimen, then this should be used twice a day, after CAIS but before MMHC2. Please avoid unprotected UV exposure when using this formula (hello Survival!). And that’s a wrap on hyperpigmentation and the extraordinariness of RE:Pigment.
RE:Pigment £27 for 15 ml; RE:Pigment £50 for 30 ml; Survival from £20

Rice Milk Brightening Face Exfoliator

Many of you will remember when we launched the fabulous Dermasuri Deep Exfoliating Mitt. It was the once-a-fortnight secret to soft skin and so many of us fell in love with it. I always knew that there would be more products coming from Dermasuri, I also knew that they would be considered very carefully and researched beyond the point of research. I have been waiting almost 18 months for this product and when the sample arrived on my desk, I threw it in my bag and immediately left the office. I think that’s a sign. Very few products receive the *must-try-immediately-and-I-need-to-go-home-right-now-status*.

So let me tell you about the product. The Rice Milk Brightening Face Exfoliator is made with Rice Milk, Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E. This gommage style gel gently creates rolls when massaged on skin, then lifts away dead cells. Although there are of course other gommage style exfoliating gels on the market, the key differentiator is the use of Rice Milk which has been used for centuries in Japan, not just the Geisha culture, but workers in the rice fields too. They used the milky water from the first wash of rice for soft, clear skin and to polish their skin. POLISH … hello, my skin has been polished rather magnificently. Perfect.

All you do is apply a few pumps on damp skin and gently massage in a circular motion until rolls form. And form they do. And fall into the sink they do. And excited about that – yes I am. I know it is incredibly sad, but dead skin rolls make me so extraordinarily happy, I can’t tell you. I stare at them and smile, and then I rinse my skin. But wait – I tested it on my hands too. There are not enough words to describe the moment, but try it for yourself and see. Rolling off the years would be an appropriate statement. Feet next.

It is recommended that you use this product one to three times a week at most. Me, I don’t take much notice of instructions, so I used it two nights in a row. The disappointment of no dead skin cells rolling off my face on the second night was rather profound. It had done its job and I had to wait impatiently for the next moment. It arrived, I promise, it arrived!

My love and thanks to Susumu Tsuchihashi, President of Dermasuri, for creating amazing products and for his incredible love and support. No small thing.
Rice Milk Brightening Face Exfoliator £29.95 for 25 grams; Dermasuri Deep Exfoliating Mitt £19.95

Dream Coat by Color Wow

Please read this carefully: I wrote about Dream Coat on the Addicts Bulletin just under two weeks ago. We didn’t get to the end of the day and we had sold out; I think you all know me well enough to know that when we sell out of a product I don’t do a dance of happiness; instead I dance it out, which goes something like blast out the music and dance out the stress of a ‘pre-order only’ status product. Trust me it works. It has almost become a daily occurrence.

We received a second consignment a few days later, but it was only a fraction of what we needed. So what to do. I wanted to write about Dream Coat on this newsletter, but I also knew that it had sold out in America and we were looking towards the end of September before it would become available again. And then I had a moment. I stashed a whole load under my desk for the purposes of this newsletter and asked Shabir to take it out of the ‘What’s New’ section of our site.

So below, is what I wrote on the Addicts Bulletin, I doubt we will get to the end of the day before I put it on pre-order again, but at least you will be on a wait list (without us debiting any monies from your account) for the end of September because at this point I don’t know what the stock levels will be looking like and I can’t make any hard and fast promises. Here it is:

I don’t normally flip over hair-styling products, but I’m flipping because although this has been created for frizzy hair (I don’t have frizzy hair), it actually made my hair look amazing and I don’t say that lightly. This has already been released in America and it is going crazy over there, thus its current unavailable status. The best I can do right now is replicate the words of Dr Joe Cincotta PhD and Chief Chemist of Color Wow.

‘The key to fighting frizz is all about controlling moisture levels and locking the cuticle down as tight and smooth as possible. Unlike typical serum or oil-based humidity-fighting formulas that lay down a heavy coat on hair’s surface, (which deflate volume and leave the hair greasy), Dream Coat uses a ground-breaking, heat activated polymer technology that is lighter than a feather. Dream Coat scatters teeny droplets randomly on hair’s surface. When heated with your blow-dryer these droplets connect and crosslink forming an invisible, hydrophobic matrix that does two things. It compresses each strand into a sleek, silky, supple shape and sheathes every strand in a light, imperceptible ‘raincoat’ that repels moisture’.

Color Wow is of course the brainchild of Gail Federici and John Frieda, who know a thing or two about frizzy hair. I don’t really know anything about frizzy hair, but what I do know is that I now have ‘Cleopatra’ hair and I’ll take that, thank you. In a way I kind of wish I had frizzy hair so that I could experience the powerful magic of this product, which they are calling the ‘Supernatural Spray’. The Dream has arrived for some. The Dream is real. The Dream is coming to the rest of the world soon!
Dream Coat by Color Wow £22 for 200 ml

The Ordinary

Happy Birthday O. With the release of the September newsletter, The Ordinary is one. Together with Brandon, I am deliberately keeping this very low-key. I have continually written over the past year about the challenges we continue to face with The Ordinary; it has been a really difficult year.  Struggling to keep up with the overwhelming demand has been at the forefront of our endeavours; when we launched Colours, everything collapsed, including both our websites. We should have been euphoric, but we weren’t. We are accountable, yet there was no real accountability to offer because of the sheer volume of demand. And that hurt both of us. Badly.

And yet, amongst all of this, The Ordinary has made a profound difference to the beauty industry and to so many of you. At this point it really is not about how many products we can sell or the products we continually release. O. is more than a commodity. It is a way. It is a being. It makes a fundamental point about honesty and integrity. Many have an opinion about The Ordinary. Some good, some bad. It goes with the territory. The Ordinary is a force. So Happy First Birthday O. The world is a better place with you in it. It is our democratic right to choose. Millions have chosen. Thank you.

The Retinol/Retinoid Story

And out of somewhere and nowhere, there is a new story to be told. One of the key promises of The Ordinary is to be evolving and, as part of this commitment, we take feedback very seriously. The Ordinary’s retinoid offerings have been top sellers from the very start and have received outstanding reviews, but we also had feedback that a) the difference between Advanced Retinoid and Retinol was confusing; b) Retinol 1% was too strong as a starting point for those who preferred direct retinol; c) the products were not lightweight enough to be used as part of several steps in a regimen; d) most preferred Retinol 1% to be silicone-free. And so we have listened to all of this feedback and done even more.

Let’s start with the dramatic bit; Advanced Retinoid 2% is being re-named to align with new product introductions and Retinol 1% will soon be discontinued.

The line-up is below, but with a caveat; the two new Granactive Retinoid products are available now, but the three new Retinol products won’t be available for several days (please don’t let it be weeks!) so I’m putting them on a pre-order status, but please be aware we will not be taking any monies from your account until we process your order.

Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane (Moderate Strength. No Irritation) & Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane (High Strength. No to Low Irritation)

These water-free, silicone-free, alcohol-free solutions contain a 2% and a 5% concentration of the same advanced retinoid active complex used in the original Advanced Retinoid 2% called Granactive Retinoid that has been shown to offer better results against multiple signs of ageing than retinol without any of the irritation and drawbacks common with retinol. Granactive Retinoid, an active technology from Grant Industries, is a solubilized system of Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, a highly-advanced form of retinoid which is, in fact, a non-prescription ester of all trans direct retinoic acid that offers a multi-fold better effect against signs of ageing than retinol, retinyl palmitate and nearly all other forms of non-prescription retinoid.

These products use next-generation retinoid active technologies which have been shown to achieve better reduction in ageing than retinol, without irritation. These technologies cannot be compared to retinol itself in terms of concentration because they include a different retinoid molecule, in a similar way that retinol cannot be compared with retinoic acid in terms of concentration.

The existing Advanced Retinoid 2% will be renamed to Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion to align with the new naming direction. The formula continues to offer an emulsion of 2% of this retinoid complex. While the new formulas in Squalane offer a very-light-weight solution for better compatibility with several steps in a regimen, the existing formula continues to be a creamy hydrating emulsion for those who prefer this format. The box and label change for the existing Advanced Retinoid will be in rotation for a few weeks as new packaging finds its way through distribution.

We recommend applying a small amount to your face in the PM as part of your skincare regimen, after water serums, but before heavier treatments. Please do not use with other retinoid treatments and avoid unprotected solar exposure.
Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane £7.80 for 30 ml; Granactive Retinoid 5% in Squalane £11.90 for 30 ml; Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion £8.00 for 30ml.

Retinol 0.2% in Squalane (Low Strength. Moderate Irritation); Retinol 0.5% in Squalane (Moderate Strength. High Irritation) & Retinol 1% in Squalane (High Strength. Very High Irritation)

These water-free, silicone-free, alcohol-free solutions contain three different strengths of pure direct Retinol, an ingredient that can reduce the appearances of fine lines, of photo damage and of general skin ageing. While Retinol has been studied extensively, it is irritating to the skin and new technologies exist that mimic the visible effects of Retinol without causing skin irritation. For this reason we generally recommend using the Granactive Retinoids, as above.

If you have not used high-strength retinol formulas in the past, we strongly recommend that you start your retinol regimen with Retinol 0.2% in Squalane and adjust to higher strengths as your skin builds tolerance. You will achieve the same end results without the unpleasant redness and peeling along the way. Please also note that water can affect the stability of retinol. Additionally, plant oils sound peaceful in products but in retinol formulations can trigger lipid oxidation and can impair retinol integrity. These formulations do not contain water, silicones, plant oils or alcohol. As above, please do not use with other retinoid treatment and avoid unprotected solar exposure.
Retinol 0.2% in Squalane £4.20 for 30 ml; Retinol 0.5% in Squalane £4.90 for 30 ml; Retinol 1% in Squalane £5.80 for 30 ml (Pre-Order Only Status)

And just when you thought this section was over, it isn’t:

Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%

Yes! This formula combines very high concentrations of two of the most powerful and important antioxidants in skincare: Resveratrol, and Ferulic Acid. Resveratrol is a natural phenol found in several plants and O.’s pure source is 100% derived from Japanese Knotweed. Ferulic Acid is a high-potency phytochemical antioxidant found naturally in walls of plant cells.

Skincare formulations generally incorporate Resveratrol at 1% or less and Ferulic Acid at 0.5% or less. This formula contains each at 3%, an exceptionally concentration. The formula does not contain any water, silicones, oils or alcohol. Water can impair the stability of any antioxidant. Stability is all. Impaired stability equals impaired product.

Application should be either alone or after water-based serums and before oils or heavier creams. Alternatively, you may wish to mix with other treatments to enhance their antioxidant capacity significantly. Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% can be mixed with Vitamin C 23% or Vitamin C Suspension 30% at each application to form an outstanding antioxidant network of Vitamin C. This product will be available within the next few days, all things being equal.
Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% £5.50 for 30 ml (Pre-Order Only Status); Vitamin C 23% + HA Spheres 2% £4.90 for 30 ml; Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone £5.80 for 30 ml

EUK 134 0.1%

And if we are talking about antioxidants, the mother and father of all of them is EUK 134. EUK 134 is a mimetic of superoxide dismutase and catalse, forming an exceptionally rare self-regenerating molecule that scavenges superoxide free radicals, eliminates hydrogen peroxide and converts reactive oxygen species into water and oxygen.

While it has been around for many years, very few products on the market use this truly superb antioxidant which can regenerate itself to offer round-the-clock antioxidant protection. The only issue with EUK 134 is that it must not be used immediately with strong acids such as suspensions of Ascorbic Acid. Strong acids will completely destroy EUK 134 which is based on manganese, which is also why it is not included as part of the Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% formula. If you wish to take advantage of both formulas, the most effective regimen would be to use Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3% in the PM (mixed with Ascorbic Acid suspensions if desired) and EUK 134 in the AM. EUK 134 can also be mixed with most products such as Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA for a strong antioxidant boost.

Don’t let the low price of this formula misguide you. EUK 134 is by far one of the strongest antioxidants available in the world. It is truly a ground-breaking technology. While EUK 134 itself is very costly, the suggested concentration in a formula is below 0.05% and most formulas do not use this maximum suggestion. This formula uses EUK 134 at an extremely high 0.1% concentration and we do not believe any product on the market today uses a higher concentration than this amount. The formula does not contain any water, silicones, oils or alcohol. Water can impair the stability of any antioxidant.
EUK 134 0.1% £6.90 for 30ml 

What Is Cannabinoid or CBD Hemp Oil?

Straight in. In simplistic terms this is a legal form of Cannabis. I have had this sitting on my desk for quite a while. One minute I was going to list it and write about it and then I wasn’t and now I am, or rather Shabir is going to give you the lowdown on CBD, which it has been said will be one of the biggest growth sectors of the health industry.

Hemp, also known as Cannabis or Marijuana, contains numerous compounds including a group called cannabinoids that possess numerous therapeutic benefits. Most people confuse Cannabis and Hemp. Cannabis is a category for the many species of Cannabis which include Hemp and Cannabis. The analogy is rather like lemon and orange plants – they are both related, they belong to the citrus family and yet are completely different plants.

The characteristic difference between Hemp and Cannabis is the content of THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, which has mind-altering properties (Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds). Hemp contains almost negligible amounts of THC which much higher amounts of cannabinoids, whereas Cannabis plants contain higher amounts of THC and lower levels of cannabinoids.

Cannabis contains over 85 cannabinoids of which the most studied and therapeutic ones are Cannabidiol (CBD) and THC. There are other cannabinoids which also have positive benefits including canaigre (CBG) and cannabinol (CBN).

All mammals, including humans, have a signalling network called the endocannabinoid system. This system has two sets of receptors, CB1 and CB2 receptors. The cannabinoids like THC and CBD lock onto these receptors to provide their therapeutic benefits. Although THC and CBD act on different pathways, there is an overlap of benefits offered by both of these cannabinoids.

THC, the mind-altering cannabinoid, displays therapeutic benefits which include reducing muscle control problems, increasing appetite and helping to control nausea and inflammation. THC is not without side effects and is a controlled substance and therefore illegal to use. CBD is not a controlled substance and is therefore legal to use as food supplementation.

Cannabis, in particular CBD, is changing the way we view this herb. Selective breeding techniques have resulted in plants that have high levels of CBD and almost zero levels of THC. In the patent titled ‘Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuro-protectants’, the US Federal Government makes impressive claims about CBD stating:

‘Cannabinoids are potent antioxidants … they easily penetrate tissues giving them the ability to enter the central nervous system and brain; non-psychoactive cannabinoids such as CBD are particularly advantageous as they are non-toxic … and exhibit unique antioxidant properties without the undesirable effects of THC; the antioxidant strength of CBD is significantly greater than that of either Vitamin C or Vitamin E’.

According to the 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, CBD possesses the following properties: ‘antiemetic (reduces nausea and vomiting); anticonvulsant (suppresses seizure activity); antipsychotic; combats many anti-inflammatory disorders; antioxidant (may be of value in neurodegenerative diseases) and anxiolytic (combats anxiety and depression)’.  It is also thought that CBD may help improve focus, attention and concentration.

There is so much more to say on this subject, but I will be writing forever, so I’m going to refer you to Shabir’s article (below) and I will end on a quote from Dr Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent at CNN: ‘Every 19 minutes someone dies from prescription drug overdose. It doesn’t happen with Cannabis’. I quoted him because I like him rather a lot and I’m ever so happy he declined to accept the role of Surgeon General in the Obama administration back in the day because he may have disappeared from view. At one point he was voted as ‘the sexiest man alive’. I’m stopping right here, right now!
VH Editorial: What Is Cannabinoid or CBD Hemp Oil?CBD Hemp Oil 5% Capsules £48.50 for 30 Capsules; CBD Rich Hemp Oil 10% £67.50 for 10 ml; CBD Hemp Oil 5% £35 for 10 ml; CBD Hemp Oil 2.5% £19.50 for 10 ml

I Woke Up Like This

I received an email. It was from a customer. This is what it said:

‘I was wondering if you had ever tried a brand called BioBelle. If not I urge you to stock it ….. a friend of mine returned from the US and gave me a BioBelle ‘I Woke Up Like This’ sheet mask to try. Honestly, I have never ever seen results like it. I was glowing! I was almost poreless! I was young again! I’m not kidding these were results on my 70-year-old skin that due to medication is prone to horrible lump-like blemishes that leave red marks and they were practically invisible’.

The inevitable followed, but before anything I need to say that I have stayed away from sheet masks despite the fact that I have had several hundred samples of them stashed in the office; the collection spans over an approximate four-year period, but not one cell in my body wanted to write or recommend any of them, until now.

The BioBelle masks are huge in America (second time I’ve said that on this newsletter) and BioBelle say that the use of Tencel, a biodegradable fibre made from the pulp of wood is a new technology which helps make their products absolutely cutting edge. Whatever technology, whatever serums, these masks are beyond fabulous and more than 100 patents have been awarded internationally for the development of Tencel.

Before I even tell you the names of each mask, I know that ‘I Woke Up Like This’ is going to be the bestseller of all of them; if you can fall in love with a name, I just have. Just looking at them in my bathroom makes me happy. Using them makes me even happier. The descriptions for each are on the product pages and I am not talking about the event at the end of the year now, but I’m kind of thinking My Diary of Beauty Secret Kit may well go on a few wish lists. Go … discover fabulousness!
BioBelle; Primer £4; Glam Hydrogel £5; I Woke Up Like This £4; After Party £4; Happy Hour £4; My Diary of Beauty Secrets Kit (Six Masks) £24

The Treat: Cysticlean

It is thought that up to two million women suffer from cystitis and urinary tract infections each year and that 20% of women have another infection within two months.

We have long recommended Cysticlean capsules which provide 240 mg of Proanthocyanidins (PAC) derived from North American cranberry extract, which work to help prevent and treat cystitis and urinary tract infections by dislodging bacteria that adhere to the bladder wall. High levels of PAC are clinically proven to benefit in the prevention of UTI’s and cystitis and Cysticlean contains the highest level of actives currently available in the UK.

It is of course one of our bestselling supplements, so here is a treat for those who either use it, or would like to trial this remarkable supplement. Up until midnight on Monday 25 September the price of Cysticlean will be £14.99 for 30 Capsules, which is a saving of £10 from the listed price of £24.99. If I may, I would just like to thank Cysticlean for the ongoing love and support in all that we do together.
VH Editorial: Is Drinking Cranberry Juice A Myth?Cysticlean £14.99 for 30 Capsules (Available at this price until midnight 25.9.17)

The Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system is the largest circulatory system within the body and it is also a system which has not been fully investigated. Most people are simply unaware of it, why it exists or what role it plays in the body.

The lymphatic system is a network of vessels, glands, spleen, thymus gland and tonsils which carry a clear fluid called lymph. Lymph’s composition is similar to blood except that it does not contain haemoglobin or any blood proteins. The lymphatic system consists of organs, ducts and lymph nodes which act as filters for the removal of toxins. The lymphatic system is a detoxification system; a nutrient delivery system and is the home of the immune system.

Shabir takes an in-depth look at the lymphatic system in his article below, where you will read, amongst other things, that the lymphatic system drains an average of three pounds of plaque and toxins from the brain each year. Removing this plaque and toxins may aid cognitive function as well as a possible psychologic response.
VH Editorial: The Lymphatic SystemCleavers by Viridian Nutrition £15.55 for 90 Capsules

Does Your Stomach Growl?

The third and final article from Shabir on this newsletter – does your stomach growl?

It is perfectly natural for the stomach to growl every now and then. Some people however find that their stomach growls loudly and frequently which can be embarrassing, frustrating and difficult to control. The medical term for stomach growling is borborygmic.

Many people associate stomach noises and growling with hunger. Growling does not necessarily occur when you are hungry, but it is usually louder when you have an empty or partially empty stomach. The noise occurs from the muscles lining the stomach and the intestines when food begins to be broken down. If the stomach is partially full, the noises are more muffled and conversely if the stomach is relatively empty, then the noises are much louder.

In his article, Shabir takes a look at some of the reasons behind stomach growling and the steps which may be taken to help prevent this condition. Conclusively he recommends taking Enhanced Super Digestive Enzymes, which have a myriad of benefits, including bloating.
VH Editorial: Does Your Stomach Growl?; Enhanced Super Digestive Enzymes £23.25 for 60 Capsules

VH Editorials

It seems apt to follow through on Shabir’s articles with the monthly featured articles from the VH Editorial Team and I’m trying to keep a straight face as I’m writing this, but it’s not really working because every-time I think of what Carole Morin has written, I fall about laughing. In my wildest dreams I didn’t ever think that George Osborne would make an appearance on our website and I think that is all I can say here; you’ll understand when you read it!
Desert Island Lips by Carole Morin

Arly. Wonderful Arly. For those who don’t know, exactly one year ago when we launched The Ordinary on the September newsletter, Arly stayed up all night to write about it. I didn’t know she was doing it; I didn’t ask her to do it, but she just did it. It seems rather apt that this month’s article is called ‘The Ordinary – How To Create A Skincare Routine’.

A few things to say here; the article includes products other than O. and this will be the third and final article on O. from Arly for the foreseeable future. With three articles to refer to, it will help you create your own personalised skincare regimen.

May I also say that with all the best will in the world, Arly is constantly bombarded with requests for personal regimens and I need to protect her because the situation is getting out of control; I am so, so sorry but she will be unable to offer guidance on personal/complete regimens any longer, although with the three articles there shouldn’t be a need. I hope you understand. Thank you.
The Ordinary – How To Create A Skincare Regimen by Detail Oriented Beauty

Take Four Girls. Jo Fairley, Sarah Stacey, Carolyn Asome and Catherine Turner. This month Jo writes about ‘The Joy Of Sea-Bathing’; well I suppose she would, she lives in Hastings. I have already told her that I am not joining in. Sorry. Love you Jo, but no.
The Joy Of Sea-Bathing by Jo Fairley

Carolyn Asome goes deep and tells us why we need to stop worrying; there is something wonderfully calming about Carolyn and I hope her words really help some of you.
Why We Need To Stop Worrying by Carolyn Asome

Catherine Turner, our intrepid traveller, has just returned from India and her article, Turmeric, Ghee and Sesame Oil is a reflection of her travels and her own belief system.
Turmeric, Ghee and Sesame Oil by Catherine Turner

Finally, the Beauty Bible girls, Sarah Stacey and Jo Fairley, do Post Summer Hair SOS, focussing on hair at the end of summer. Summer?
Post Summer Hair SOS by Beauty Bible

Right, back to it:

Warming Honey Cleanser – iS Clinical

This is a resurrection. The story. Going back several years this product was used in professional treatments only. I really didn’t think that was fair bearing in mind it is an amazing cleanser, with a difference. After much lobbying my LA boyfriends conceded (YES!) and it became a retail product. And then one day it disappeared. So I threw a strop (because I can!) and now it’s back. Glory hallelujah.

For those who have used it, you will understand my words above, for those of you who haven’t, Warming Honey Cleanser functions as a treatment cleanser, although I call it an ‘experience cleanser’. It is a blended cocktail of Honey, Myristic Acid, Olive Oil, Papaya Enzymes and Japanese Green Tea. You only need to use a really small amount and you massage it directly onto skin to activate, at which point it gently warms upon application.

I am really not going to write about its cleansing abilities, because they are what you would expect from iS Clinical. I use Warming Honey Cleanser in many different ways, but my favourite is to use it as a double-cleanse treatment two or three times a week, massaging it into my skin for about three minutes. I was doing this ten years ago, I am so happy to be doing it again.
Warming Honey Cleanser by iS Clinical £34 for 120 grams

Mrs White’s Unstung Hero

The story continues. Your feedback has been incredible; I could write reams, but I’m not going to. Instead I am just going to replicate an email sent to me:

‘I am just back from a very hot Italy. I have to let you know what a difference using Mrs White’s Unstung Hero made to my holiday. Having a reaction to mosquito bites, my legs in particular have been bitten so badly in the past that the scars last for months afterwards. Not this time! I sprayed every three to four hours. The spray coats the skin beautifully with no stickiness or residue. There is a pleasant light aroma to the spray.

I did get a few bites, rather than the normal 30 or more, but even those few bites were so light that they didn’t cause any issues. I am back home with tanned, bite-free legs – wonderful. And an added extra – staying on a farm one has to expect flies in the summer. Mrs White’s Unstung Hero kept the flies away from me too! Mrs White really is one Unsung Hero’.
Mrs White’s Unstung Hero Mosquito Repellent £20 for 250 ml

Pommade Divine

Hello Pommade Divine Travel Size. For those who don’t know, Pommade Divine’s original formula was first made by the Royal Family’s chemist, Butler’s & Co. in 1800. Since then, this multi-purpose healing remedy made with natural ingredients that have antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, has been used extensively.

This deeply moisturising protectant for dry, itchy skin, dry cuticles, chapped lips and hands is now available in a 30 ml tube, which is perfect for travelling and for handbags.
Pommade Divine £14 for 30 ml; Pommade Divine £19.80 for 50 ml

The End Bit

There are moments, several of them, when I go ahead of myself and then regret it. It happens with the best of intentions of course, basically because I want you to know things when I know them. I can’t always do this for obvious reasons and slightly diversifying I have been sitting on a mammoth secret for nearly five years; but the Mini Pop-Folds by The Wet Brush were not a secret and I honestly thought they would arrive sooner than they actually did, which is why I wrote about them on the last newsletter. So they arrived. We made them available to buy. I didn’t say a word and within 24 hours they had virtually sold out. Rose Gold #1.
Mini Pop Folds by The Wet Brush £7.99

More O. news. Two of the products, Salicylic Acid 2% Solution and Natural Moisturising Factors + HA (NMF) are now available in larger sizes as below. I say they are now available, but the way things go, who knows whether they will still be available by the time you read this. Actually they had better be otherwise Brandon is toast. Unbuttered.
Salicylic Acid 2% Solution £4.20 for 30 ml; Natural Moisturising Factors + HA £6.80 for 100 ml

The Organic Matcha Green Tea Gift Set contains AAA grade Organic Matcha (30 grams), a bamboo whisk and a Matcha serving spoon. The box was sitting on my desk when I walked into the office one morning. I liked the box. I thought I’d tell you that.
The Organic Matcha Green Tea Gift Set £37

That’s it. Done. We have come to the end of another newsletter and together with Shabir and the entire VH team, I would like to thank you for your amazing loyalty and support. As I always say, we couldn’t do any of this without you, so thank you, thank you, thank you.

I hope you have a wonderful September.

With love

Gill x

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: Read More…

June Newsletter

Spaceship

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

Bloating

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

CAIS 5%

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

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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…