Beauty Bible

July Kits

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We love a kit at Beauty Bible – for two very good reasons. One is the obvious travel factor: while we aren’t quite at the stage of sawing toothbrushes in half to make our luggage lighter (apparently backpackers do this regularly!), we do like to lighten the load with travel sizes of some of our favourite products. In many cases, packing ‘kit-sized’ items means we can get away with hand luggage, at least for short-haul.

But secondly, we always love to sample new products (yes, despite the fact that we get sent about three truckloads of stuff to try over the course of a typical year). And a kit is a low-risk way of doing that, letting us/you decide whether to spring for a bigger/ginormous version. You get to sample the smell, the texture – and in some cases, you’ll experience the instant benefits. Read More…

The Magic Bath

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We recently gave a friend who was having a tough time a bottle of the utterly amazing Aromatherapy Associates Inner Strength Bath & Shower Oil – only to be met with a slightly confused glance as the person declared: ‘Gosh, well, I can’t remember the last time I had a bath…’ Resisting the urge to wrest this sensational aromatherapeutic treat from their hands, we took a deep breath, smiled and said: ‘Well, maybe this is time to rediscover the pleasures of bathing…’

Yes, showering does the job – and it’s certainly possible to apply that brilliant product before jumping under a raging torrent, and enjoy the spirit-soothing powers of its oils of clary sage, frankincense and cardamom. But truly, soaking in scented waters and feeling every atom of stress melt away is one of the things that keeps us sane. Or whatever passes for sane, in this crazy, speeded-up, how-did-it-get-to-be-June-already? world. Read More…

Small Changes In Difficult Times

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Nobody reaches adulthood without discovering that life is a rollercoaster. Sometimes we’re up – elated, overjoyed, beaming ear to ear. But unavoidably, we all face challenging times, facing sadness, grief, frustration, depression or simply fear. (Certainly, pick up any newspaper right now and the world can definitely feel quite scary.)

We’ve long believed that small changes can make big differences to how we feel – and that’s definitely true when facing life’s challenges. So when you’re on the low of that rollercoaster, here’s what we know works – on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. Read More…

Striking Oils: The New Argan (And Other Oils…)

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We love oils. Can virtually hear our skins slurping them up, from top to toe. Oils provide serious skin nourishment – which healthy skin needs, alongside moisture. (For which we turn to our old friend hyaluronic acid, among other ingredients.) They tend to be wonderfully skin-compatible, too – so no wonder the Beauty Bible team has a veritable arsenal of them on our bedside tables and bathroom shelves.

But the Indiana Joneses of the beauty world have been out there with their machetes and their GPS devices, tracking down ‘new’ oils. Of course, they’re not really new – but they’re new as beauty ingredients… Remember all that fuss about argan oil, a few years back? (And now argan’s a mainstay of the beauty industry.) And then coconut…?

We still love, love, love those oils. But here are some lesser-known discoveries on the oil front, which you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for.

Marula oil. Marula is packed with antioxidants (60% more than argan!), vitamins and omegas and is regarded as a ‘cure-all’ by the Ovambo women in Namibia, where it hails from. It’s a great multi-tasker – soothing and smoothing every skintype, even greasy. One of these days we might persuade oily-skinned women to use oils – we’re still hoping, but they would do well to start here – because marula oil is actually good for blemishes and scarring (as well as stretch marks). Personally, we really like this oil for ‘locking in’ moisture, applying a couple of drops or so over night cream (in particular). It leaves it silky, but traps the dewiness inside, too. Also good, we’re finding, for smoothing through hair – add just a drop or two to the palms, then rub these and your fingers together and skim through hair, for instant ‘texture’ but also gleam and nourishment. (And no, it won’t leave your hair looking greasy. Promise.) Check out The Ordinary 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil.

Moringa oil. Moringa is extracted from the seeds of Moringa oleifera, also known as the Drumstick tree. Nutrient-dense, it’s chosen for its anti-ageing properties, packed with free radicals. Interestingly, as well as helping to boost glow and fight skin fatigue by combating the effects of pollution, moringa (like marula) is also great for fighting acne and blackheads. It makes a wonderful scalp massage oil, ideal for dry scalp, delivering minerals and vitamins to hair follicles. We also take moringa as a supplement, by the way, blending it into delicious smoothies and juices. Find it in de Mamiel Botaniques Restorative Cleansing Balm, and (for those drinks) Aduna Moringa Green Superleaf Powder.

Cacay oil. File under ‘one to watch’: this South American oil is also very lightweight and swiftly-absorbed (this seems to be the trend in oils) – one for people who don’t like any feeling of greasiness that an oil can give. Cacay nuts are the size of a small orange, and contain kernels from which an oil is extracted that delivers three times more retinol than rosehip (so we’re told), 50% more vitamin E and twice the vitamin F (Essential Fatty Acids) of argan oil. Great for skin irritations and for soothing and healing minor burns, its fans attest.

Maracuja oil. Shabir was one of the first people we know to write about this (read his in-depth article here), but maracuja is now quite a ‘buzz’ in beauty circles. Derived from the seeds of the passion fruit plants, this non-fragrant oil is a rich source of antioxidants and helps reduce inflammation; in medical tests, it was found to stimulate production of the cells that create collagen. We suggest using a drop or two as a serum, or mixed it with your regular moisturiser or serum. It’s also great for nails, hair and scalp: another one-bottle-wonder for the bedside table (albeit not in the sexiest packaging you’re ever going to get your hands on…) Pure Maracuja Oil.

Rosehip oil. Not so new – but it’s gaining so many fans and making its way into so many different products, now, that rosehip is worth reminding ourselves about. This oil is actually one of nature’s wonder-healers: great for redness, wrinkles, pigmentation and for balancing complexions. (It’s another of those oils that is good for oily/problem skins – and is also effective at alleviating post-acne pigmentation.) Many people we know have reported improvements in scar tissue (and indeed stretchmarks) via regular application of rosehip oil. We’ve heard good first-hand reports, too, from sufferers of rosacea – one of beauty’s toughest challenges. The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil

Striking oils, every one…

The Neck’s Best Thing

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Fact: as with hands, your neck can give your age away faster than a glance at your passport. Even smooth-skinned British beauties tend to ignore what happens below the chin-line – in fact, for many women, a cursory swipe with a flannel constitutes neck care. The result? Sagginess. Wrinkles. Tell-tale crêpiness. In short, a neck that looks older than the rest of you.

Yet on the Continent, it’s a different story. There, the neck is an erogenous zone, on which TLC is regularly lavished. The result? Necks that stay firmer, smoother and more swan-like for longer. As Paris-based facialist Jickie Leray explains, ‘French women regard their neck and décolletage as an extension of their faces. So everything they do for their face – cleansing, protecting, ritually moisturising – is extended right down to the bust-line.’ And if your new beauty resolution is to take more care of your neck, that’s a pretty good blueprint. (Starting with tonight…) Read More…

Beauty Bible Loves: The (Early) Spring Edit

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VH has long been a go-to site for us – and for countless readers – for beauty ‘happenings’. It’s all Gill’s fault: she’s constantly out there sleuthing new and improved products to revolutionise our beauty regimes, and which do what they say on the tin/jar/whatever.

We frequently share our ‘finds’ with Beauty Bible readers – maybe you’re among them? – but thought it was time for a seasonal round-up of some of the new VH faves to which we’ve had the pleasure of introducing our fans and followers. (Every one of which is then entitled to use the rather lovely logo that we had designed a few years back, and which we’re always gratified to spot on beauty packaging!) Temple Spa Trufflesque. Remember that scene in Goldfinger where Shirley Eaton was entirely painted in gold? Read More…