VH Newsletter

March Newsletter


Hello and welcome to the March newsletter, where we continue the Hayo’u and Ilapothecary journeys with the release of some powerful new products. We also launch a new haircare brand, Trinny and Shabir have another moment (well perhaps more than a moment, an entire hour) and somewhere in the middle of all of this is a treat, which I have a feeling might be over before its begun.

Additionally, we take a look at some health concerns; we welcome a new monthly contributor to our editorial team and I’ll introduce you to her further down this newsletter.

Before we go any further, I would just like to say that the tone of this newsletter will go right to the core of what really matters, our health and wellbeing. I have always believed that we are served far better if we delve into the root cause of certain health concerns, which can, in turn, manifest themselves into powerful solutions. And do I dare write about cellulite. Yes I do. Let’s go: Read More…

February Newsletter

chinese new year lanterns

Hello and welcome to the February newsletter, which is a week later than it should be, but never mind that, here we are and actually it’s all my fault because I wrote on the January newsletter that the newsletter would be released today – my head was residing on another planet clearly!

If you read the January newsletter you will have observed that I really didn’t want to write about products because there was so much more I wanted to write about. But I did and I kept the focus on self-care, because it matters, and the response was quite unbelievable, for which I thank you. I will be continuing the theme, in a rather profound way, on this newsletter with the launch of four (yes four!) new brands.

So I am doing two launches first, we will then head into a few things I need to say, back into the launches and then we’ll do a few other things, including some of the editorial features, headed by an article by Jackie Annesley, which totally rocked me on an emotional level. And behold somehow or other, we have Lisa Armstrong too. Let’s do the first two brands and I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve right the way through this newsletter:

The Hayo’u Method

I want to turn the clock back five years. At that time I was introduced to somebody who wanted to launch a brand. I sat and listened. She talked. She explained. She touched me emotionally and then she touched me physically. Within two minutes of her physical touch I started to cry, which perhaps wasn’t the coolest thing to do as we were sitting in the middle of a restaurant. I ran outside and sobbed my heart out on the pavement of Conduit Street in London (of all places!). She had touched my soul. That moment is etched in my consciousness for all time.

Her name is Katie Brindle. Inspired by Chinese medicine, Katie founded the Hayo’u Method to enable people to master their health and now five years on, we are ready to tell the story.

Katie’s work is based on a little known, but central aspect of Chinese medicine called Yang Sheng, which means ‘nurture life’. It takes self-care to the next level because it advocates dealing with small health problems at root level to help limit the chance of illness getting a foothold in the body. A great Chinese proverb sums up Yang Sheng – ‘a drop of prevention is worth a bucket load of cure’.

It is this way of ‘being’ that is so essential to each of us. In basic terms the Hayo’u Method addresses the root cause of most modern day illnesses – inflammation.

And so I invite you to join us on the journey as we unfold the simple truths of Yang Sheng and how simple one minute rituals work to help reduce stress and inflammation. These simple techniques will help relax the body, enabling the free-flow of circulation and assist detoxification by supporting the lymphatic system, which is so imperative to our wellbeing.

Founded upon education, it would be absolutely impossible for me to introduce you to the wisdom of Yang Sheng on one newsletter and I’m not even going to attempt it. Instead the story will unfold month by month as we publish Katie’s words and together we will walk the Yang Sheng path.

And then there are the tools. When I saw some of these five years ago, my eyes nearly popped out of my head and it’s a miracle I didn’t faint with excitement because I knew. And perhaps that is all I need to say here before I introduce you to the wonders of Gua sha.

Gua sha

Gua sha is an East Asian therapeutic healing technique that has been widely practiced in China for thousands of years. It has been shown in studies to help increase micro-circulation by approximately 400%, help clear inflammation and help increase immunity.

Gua sha involves using a round-edged tool, traditionally made of materials such as jade for the face and metal for the body, to press-stroke the skin until redness appears. ‘Gua’ means to rub, whilst ‘sha’ describes the redness that results.

The Hayo’u Beauty Restorer is a jade facial tool that provides an instant, visible solution for your complexion and trust me you will begin to see results after just one minute of use and I promise I’m not hallucinating. Several of my friends have all tried the Beauty Restorer and they appear to be residing in heaven, not Harley Street, thank you.

I could of course write out the three iconic Chinese techniques for using this tool, but it is far easier to watch Katie demonstrate the Beauty Restorer, which you will find on the product page, linked below. We recommend using the Beauty Restorer with her wonderful Beauty Oil, specifically formulated to be used with the Beauty Restorer. This deeply nourishing formula contains camellia and palmarosa oils to help safeguard the delicate skin around your face and neck, while helping to clear the damaging effects of stress.

The Beauty Restorer is made from Xiuyan jade. This type of jade has been used in Chinese facial massage for thousands of years and is revered for its restorative, cooling properties. Like most things, all Gua sha tools are not created equally and I think that is all I want to say on the subject, other than inferior jade will not have the same effect. Also, and I don’t care who kills me on this, never, ever use a metal Gua sha tool on your face. It will damage your skin.

Finally and by way of a more in-depth introduction, Victoria meets Katie Brindle, which I hope helps you to get a further understanding of the work Katie and I are so, so passionate about.
VH Editorial: Victoria Meets Katie BrindleHayo’u Beauty Restorer £35; Hayo’u Beauty Oil £33 for 30 ml


I am sure that most of you will have heard of Ila Spa; using the ancient Sanskrit word for Mother Earth, Ila describes itself as ‘a beyond organic skin and heart care brand’. Founder Denise Leicester’s vision was to create a range of highly potent and sacred products using the most ancient and purest sources of energy – plants, flowers and herbs. Ila treatments are offered in some rather spectacular spas all over the world. But I am not here to talk about Ila, I am here to talk about Denise’s newest venture (and adventure), Ilapothecary.

Ilapothecary launches as an accessible everyday diffusion line, which taps into the new mood for beauty products, which do more than simply looking after your skin. The range has been designed to help access the energetic and emotional needs of any new beginning.

These are products with a purpose and they are infused with powerful remedial ingredients, including British grown herbs with a long history of healing, medicinal flowers, powerful gem stones, aromatherapy oils, vitamins, live stem cells and homeopathic ingredients such as Arnica and Calendula. It is Denise’s belief that no other brand has ever blended these various healing ingredients to such a profound effect, so let’s take a look at five of these new products:

Feminine Happy Oil: A mood-balancing blend of fragrant essential oils for all over body nourishment. The synergistic combination of Sandalwood is blended with Rose, Jasmine and herbs integrated with Maca. Maca is an adaptogenic herb that helps support the endocrine system by imparting energy, while helping us to adapt and cope with stress. Rose oil is known to have a deep psychological effect as it helps soothe the emotions which are so often rocked by fatigue, mood swings, anxiety and depression. Breathe it. Absorb it. Feel it. And rest.
Feminine Happy Oil £40 for 100 ml

Beat The Blues Room Spray: This is one of Denise’s favourite products and mine too. I am writing this newsletter while breathing this heady fragrance and I love it. It hits my senses in a rather profound way. It contains some of the most powerful essential oils for uplifting emotions and helping to combat depression. The oils used include Clary Sage, Rose Geranium, Tuberose and Petitgrain. A truly elevating blend, it really is rather fabulous.
Beat The Blues Room Spray £28 for 50 ml

SOS Body Balm:  Put to the test, the SOS Body Balm received many plaudits and I’m not really surprised. A powerful sweet-smelling herbal balm, it helps soothe and calm dry skin and is hydrating and deeply moisturizing. This too works on your senses as well as dealing with dry, flaky skin. The essential oils used include Blue Camomile and Rose sweetened with Vanilla and whether you have dry skin or not, this can be used when you are feeling particularly weary. Arnica is included for its healing properties.
SOS Body Balm £36 for 100 grams

Magnesium And Amethyst Deep Relax Bath Soak: I’m not sure that many newsletters haven’t included some reference to magnificent magnesium because it is such an essential mineral and we are mostly magnesium deficient. So here comes a rather sublime blend loaded with ingredients including Juniper Berry, Benzoin, Petitgrain, Amethyst and Amber. We know that magnesium helps relax muscles, helps ease nervous tension and helps promote sleep. This truly is a winning formulation and although I am not swayed by packaging (as I’ve written so many times), this will look rather gorgeous in your bathroom.
Magnesium And Amethyst Deep Relax Bath Soak £35 for 400 grams

SOS Pearl Drops: A new modern-day take on a rescue remedy. Combining homeopathy, flower essences, herbs and gems, this formulation can be used to great effect in moments of fear, anxiety and restlessness. Blended to be used as both a preparation and a solution, it trouble-shoots, strengthens and stabilizes. Particularly recommended in moments of vulnerability, place three to five drops under the tongue as and when needed.
SOS Pearl Drops £15 for 15 ml

In a world where I only managed to ‘meet’ two or three people a year in the ‘Gill meets’ section of our site, suddenly Victoria meets two people in one month. I hope you enjoy reading her interview with Denise Leicester, which gives you a more insight into the brand and Denise’s journey. With loving thanks to Anastasia Achilleos. An angel walking on earth.
VH Editorial: Victoria meets Denise Leicester

The Weekend Read

Out of somewhere and nowhere, The Weekend Read will have been delivered to your inbox early on the past three Saturday mornings. Nobody knew, but actually this is something we have wanted to do for a very long time and I think it is really important. We cover a multitude of things on each newsletter, but with the newsletter being released only once a month (thank heavens) I wanted to be more current. Perhaps an example of this would be our immediate response to the BBC documentary ‘The Truth About ….. Looking Good’.

The one and only thing I am going to say about the documentary is that Retinol was cited as being the ‘gold standard’ for anti-ageing. Yes that is true, but Retinols are not suitable for everybody and they need to be used carefully. I literally sat with my head in my hands watching our order screens when the programme finished as I saw thousands of retinol products being ordered.

Used incorrectly, Retinols can damage your skin and it bothered me. I have written several times that I don’t use acid products on my face, but that’s a personal thing and I am not sounding the death knell for acids, I just think that responsibility needs to be taken and so I asked Victoria (she’ll get her own para in a minute) to write about Retinols and Retinoids and we posted that article the following morning and then released it on The Weekend Read.

So after the longest time, we are now more current thanks to the brilliance of Victoria who put The Weekend Read together; this will be a weekly event (or happening) and within 15 minutes of Victoria’s arrival, I actually don’t know how I/we ever lived without her. I adore her, but really, really adore her and I don’t say these things lightly. I now live in fear that she will run back to The Telegraph, most especially after I took her into a seven-hour meeting with me. I mean who does seven-hour meetings. Seriously!
VH Editorial: Retinol: What Is It And What Are The Skincare Benefits

Shabir and Trinny’s Facebook Live

Or perhaps it should be Trinny and Shabir’s Facebook Live. Whatever. And behold, in the middle of a freak snow-storm early on a Sunday morning (everything imaginable happened on that Sunday), Trinny had invited Shabir to appear on her Facebook live series and there we were. Actually there was Shabir, I was hiding in Trinny’s bath.

All I am going to say about this is that I honestly don’t know how Shabir did it because I couldn’t have done that on any subject. So incredibly daunting. There are no words to describe my respect for Shabir’s extraordinary knowledge and we are both so touched by the response.

Poor Shabir. As I write this he is still drowning in emails and just because it is going to happen, I will tell you that Trinny and Shabir are going to do the menopause next – well not do it (as if!) but talking about it. We think it will be live on Sunday 18 February around 9.45 am, but that may change. My God. I would run to the hills if I was asked to do it. No chance of that happening, I absolutely promise you that.
VH Editorial: Five Takeaway Tips From Shabir and Trinny’s Facebook Live

Tutti London

And there it was. A most glorious parcel landed on my desk and I was intrigued. As I was opening it, I was hit (once again) with a fragrance that nearly sent me reeling in its fabulousness. It was a candle, actually several of them, together with a most beautiful note. The note was from a VH Addict and she explained that she had been following us forever and now, together with a friend, she had created a new brand of candles – Tutti London.

Those who know me, know that I go weak at the knees when a candle comes into my life, but they also know that I am so, so fussy and I am sick and tired of expensive candles that just don’t deliver on promise. Heaven forbid I should name names, but it is tremendously common to fragrance the top couple of inches of a candle and allow the rest to just burn through. So if you ever wondered why a candle ‘stopped’ working, this is the reason.

I absolutely promise you that I didn’t write the above paragraph to promote a new brand, but it needed to be said and I’m not frightened to say it. Nobody can kill you for telling the truth, well perhaps they can, but I’m still breathing.

So Tutti London. I don’t think I am going to go into raptures on each of the candles even though I could. They really are extraordinary and the first candle I tested was Italian Lemon. I was so bereft when it was finished, I stuck in a big order for the entire range knowing that a new addiction had begun and Shabir would be doing yet another major eye roll. He seriously despairs of me, that much I know.

There are the three different collections; The Pink Collection, The White Collection and The Black Collection with three different candles in each collection. Victoria tested Wild Mint & Rosemary from The White Collection and we have now tested several of them. Victoria describes them as ‘next level’ and I couldn’t agree more. Viva Tutti London.
Tutti London £48 per candle


And here comes another new brand. Another capsule collection skincare brand and it is the brainchild of Glenda Taylor who created Balm Balm. Three years after selling Balm Balm, she is back with ‘serums for all seasons’. There are five of them and they are blended from natural active plant oils to address individual skin types. They may be used both during the day and the night as a daily moisturiser or as a boost to your regular moisturiser.

As Glenda states: ‘Listen to your skin. Give it what it craves. Don’t be afraid to switch serums from time to time. Like a plant that hasn’t been watered for a long time, your skin will soak up serum to begin with, but will need less over time until you will see that it is happy and glowing with just a few drops of serum each morning and night’.

The five serums are Serum for Combination Skin; Serum for Dry Skin; Serum for Oily Skin; Serum for Mature Skin and Serum for Sensitive Skin. Angelico: A celebration of style, invention and substance.
Angelico Serums For All Seasons £35 per Serum

Jo Fairley meets Brandon Truaxe

Many of you may have read this article as it was recently published in The Mail on Sunday YOU magazine. When I read it my heart almost stopped beating and tears rolled down my face. And it had absolutely nothing to do with the thousands of orders we were receiving for The Ordinary products. That has almost been a given since the brand launched, as have the wait lists, which still exist. What mattered here was that the truth was told. And it was.
Jo Fairley meets Brandon Truaxe

Let’s Talk About Joe

I implore you read this article. It touched me on a level that so many of you will relate to, whether you are a mother or not. Here Jackie Annesley writes about Joe. Joe is her son. Joe has Type 1 Diabetes. So let’s talk about Joe. Its been a while.
VH Editorial: Let’s Talk About Joe by Jackie Annesley

Transforming Body Cream by Ameliorate

There is always a high level of excitement when Ameliorate launch a new product and the launch of their Transforming Body Cream is no exception. I love Ameliorate as many of you know and the brand is such a huge success story. Well it would be really because this is the health/beauty crossover, which I personally believe to be so very important.

So the cream. It comes in a tub and I love tubs. There is something really comforting about dipping your fingers into a tub, most especially when it is filled with a product that provides instant comfort while progressively refining and improving skin texture and condition.

Clinically proven to significantly increase moisture levels in the skin for up to 12 hours, it is of course loaded with optimum levels of ingredients to help exfoliate and renew surface skin cells. Ameliorate, as so many of you now, was created to help eliminate Keratosis Pilaris (chicken skin), except so many of us using don’t have KP, we just adore the products.

The cream doesn’t replace the original Transforming Body Lotion, which incidentally is now available in a non-fragranced option. Forgive me, I think I failed to tell you that somewhere along the way. Meanwhile, I’m having a huge love fest with the cream, which is more bad news for Shabir.
VH Editorial: Treatment of Keratosis PilarisTransforming Body Cream £27.50 for 225 ml; Fragrance Free Transforming Body Lotion £22.50 for 200 ml

Crowes Cremine

It was in the moment I was dipping into the Transforming Body Cream that I had a bit of déjà vu moment. It reminded me of Crowes Cremine. Not in texture, just the memory of that blue tub.

Many years ago we listed Crowes Cremine. It was and is the original theatrical make-up remover which is over 75 years old, so I’m told. It was a really popular product and then something happened. I’m not exactly sure what, but I think the formulation may have been tweaked and it was simply horrid. It was like a giant bit of slop in a tub and not even keeping it in the fridge made any difference. I delisted it.

Wondering whether the issue had been fixed, I ordered some. I used it. It still felt the same as the very original (before the slop) and it still goes quite liquid upon application, which is how it always was. I left it in my bathroom, which is rather warm, for five days before I was satisfied that it wasn’t going to melt into oblivion. It didn’t. It’s back.
Crowes Cremine £8.99 for 200 ml

The Marvelous Mrs Maisel

Look I’m very sorry, but as soon as I watched (binge-watched actually) The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, I knew that I would have to write about it and her on a newsletter. The winner of two Golden Globes, Season One is on Amazon Prime and suddenly there were a few of us who were having hugely deep discussions about Mrs M. It kind of dominated our thought processes for an entire week and actually it still does. Aka …. what would Mrs M do?

A quote from Rachel Brosnahan who plays Mrs M to Vanity Fair: ‘This is a story about a bold and brilliant and complicated woman and I am endlessly proud to be a part of it. But there are so many women’s stories out there that still need and deserve to be told. So as we enter this new year, please, let’s continue to hold each other accountable and invest in and make and champion these stories’.

Personally I think there is a touch of Midge Maisel in each of us girls, she is our heroine and she lives on the wild side (and the Upper West Side, NYC). And the clothes. My God, the clothes. 1950’s chic fabulousness.

And then on a wet and cold Saturday morning, Lisa Armstrong, Head of Fashion at The Telegraph wrote about Midge Maisel and I was dancing around throwing my arms up in the air screaming YES as Lisa invested in and championed Midge. The brilliance of it all.
The Marvelous Mrs Maisel by Lisa Armstrong


Back to it, and what better to do than to announce a one-off limited edition offer on LixirSkin. I don’t need to write about LixirSkin or Colette. The feedback has been phenomenal and I’ve written about on every newsletter since we launched the brand last October.

So here it is. LixirSkin Set One. It includes three products, Vitamin C Paste (50 ml); Universal Emulsion (50 ml) and Electrogel Cleanser (100 ml). The set costs £75 and the retail price of all three products is £86. I think this could be another moment when I run to the hills and hide. I know exactly what is going to happen, so can I just say that this is a Limited Edition and these sets are not growing on trees. Once they are gone, they are gone. And actually I might be gone too.
LixirSkin Set One £75

Icon Night Smartsome™ A³X50³ by Sarah Chapman

Icon Night is the newest launch from Sarah Chapman and is being hailed as her biggest launch since the start of the brand ten years ago.

This from Sarah: ‘This luxurious silky formula delivers scientific actives in a modern encapsulation drone delivery system to target the skin where it is needed most. Vitamin A, potent peptides and de-ageing technologies deliver fast skin smoothing and glow inducing benefits, addressing all signs of premature ageing and dull, fatigued complexions for the ultimate youth boost’.

I am not going to write about the scientific facts, but you can read them all on the product page. An exciting moment for all Sarah Chapman devotees.
Icon Night Smartsome by Sarah Chapman £98 for 30 ml

Fulphyl by Phylia de M

I know there have been quite a few Phylia de M famines for the longest time and we are doing our very best to keep up with all orders as this brand is so revered and loved, so please bear with us as yet another supply and demand issue is afflicted upon us.

Throughout, my love of the brand continues and every now and again a travel size of Fulphyl is released as a Limited Edition and that moment has arrived again. Fulphyl is expensive and I am very aware that it is out of reach for so many of you, but it is an amazing product and whenever I take a course of Fulphyl I really feel the difference. I feel cleaner and more alive (given that various wait lists have virtually killed me over the past couple of years). So here it is together with Shabir’s landmark article on Fulvic Acid.
VH Editorial: Fulvic Acid – The Elixir of LifeFulphyl Travel Size £30 for 60 ml

News and Updates

There are just a couple of things I want to say here. The first is that we have always tried our hardest to process and send all orders out within 48 hours of placement, if we are in stock of the products ordered. It has always been so important to me that you receive your products quickly, but there are times when it is just not possible.

On the Sunday Shabir appeared on Trinny’s Facebook live, the interview with Brandon (as above) was also published in YOU magazine and it’s truly a miracle that our website didn’t collapse. At this given time we are working on a 5-7 day delay in processing, but we are doing the very best we can. Our team are working overtime to try and minimize the wait, so please be patient with us. This too shall pass. I’m so very sorry.

Benenox – Overnight Recharge: I wrote on the last newsletter that Benenox jumped right out at me when it landed on Shabir’s desk and it would appear that it has jumped right out at you too. In the shortest possible time the feedback has been completely incredible.

As I wrote, it isn’t a traditional supplement that helps you fall asleep, it helps to support sleep by ensuring that a constant supply of glycogen is delivered to the brain overnight. In effect it helps you stay asleep longer and to wake up feeling refreshed rather than tired.

When it comes to supplementation there is no instant magic wand solution, but it is being reported that many of you are still waking in the middle of the night, but going back to sleep within a minute or two, rather than tossing and turning for an hour or more. For that, we are grateful for the research and development of this product.
Benenox – Overnight Recharge £12.49 for 135 ml


At this time of year, many of us will experience bouts of colds, infections, catarrh and similar concerns. We often blame bugs as the cause of our illness rather than addressing varying weaknesses in our immune system.

The immune system is unlike any other system within our bodies with a complex interaction between several glands, proteins, tissues, chemical compounds, hormones and gut bacteria. These interactions are all involved to help achieve optimal immunity and in its simplistic form, the immune system comprises specialized white blood cells, which learn what belongs to the body and what does not.

The role of the immune system is to help protect the body against many pathogenic bacteria and viruses on an ongoing basis. Any organism that attacks our system will cause infection and disease and it is the optimal working of the immune system that helps destroy these organisms in order to prevent any further damage and infection. This process is referred to as the immune response. In a far-reaching article, Shabir looks at factors that affect the immune system and how to improve your immunity.
VH Editorial: A Daily Supplement That Supercharges Your ImmunityDaily Immunity £25.50 for 60 Capsules

VH Editorial

I would love nothing more than to write a paragraph about each of our editorial features, but I will be writing forever and you probably wouldn’t need Benenox to put you to sleep. I suppose it could be my claim to fame, but I’ll live without the fame thank you very much, so let me tell you who has written what:

The Beauty Bible girls hold a nail clinic and reveal how to stop bad nail habits; Jo Fairley, who seems to be our intrepid discoverer of all interesting things reveals the apps that can make you happier; Arly writes about her all-time favourite skincare buys and I think we can all guess at least three products that will be on that list.
Nail Clinic: How To stop Bad Nail Habits by Beauty Bible; Apps That Can Make You Happier by Jo Fairley; Arly’s Favourite Skincare Buys by Detail Oriented Beauty

The fabulous Carolyn Asome channels her inner-fashion gene with Spring Refresh and yes of course, she was included on the Mrs M chain of emails (the rest are pretty obvious really); Catherine Turner shares the basics of meditation and Carole Morin is off in her own world writing about ‘Daddy’.
Spring Refresh by Carolyn Asome; The Basics of Meditation by Catherine Turner; Daddy by Carole Morin

Finally, every time I look Victoria has written another article; I absolutely can’t send out a missive every time she publishes something, so just know that you may need to look at the front of our site on an almost daily basis to try and keep up (if you want to keep up!). Some of her articles will appear in The Weekend Read, others won’t, but they will be posted on Instagram. I’m seriously losing the social media battle with the entire team. Nothing to add.

The End Bit

Right, let’s end this newsletter with a few more new products:

Two new nutritional beverages from Viridian. Lovely Viridian. The first is Organic Wild Chaga & Raw Cacao. Wild Chaga is a nutrient dense mushroom and is known as ‘King of Mushrooms’. It is thought to have exceptional health benefits, including increased energy and wound healing, which are said to derive from a mass of nutrients including amino acids, beta glucans and betulinic acid. The inclusion of Raw Cacao is based upon several studies that have shown that cacao possesses varying health benefits.
Organic Wild Chaga & Raw Cacao £29.05 for 30 grams

The second beverage is Organic Pink Bark & Berry. Pink Bark is a rich source of plant flavonoids which have been shown to help rejuvenate and protect the skin with its significant antioxidant activity. Bilberry and Lingonberry are also included in this formulation, both of which have been traditionally used in medicine for their anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycaemic and retina-protective properties.
Organic Pine Bark & Berry £32 for 30 grams

This Works have released three new ‘evening’ products. I haven’t tested them, but Victoria has and she thinks they are rather fabulous. They are Evening Detox Cleansing Water; Evening Detox Spray-On Exfoliant and Evening Detox Clay Mask. And suddenly everybody is talking about overnight products. There is an article in there somewhere, but not for now!
Evening Detox Cleansing Water £22 for 200 ml; Evening Detox Spray-On Exfoliant £28 for 60 ml; Evening Detox Clay Mask £32 for 50 ml

And so we have come to the end of another newsletter; my love and thanks to each of you for your ongoing support and loyalty and my love and thanks to the many people who have contributed to this newsletter.

I could never ever write this without several people holding my hand, they are mostly unnamed but they remain, as they always have, an integral part of who and what we are.

Finally in a world that is ever-changing, can we just please take a deep breath and be together.

Thank you.

My love to you.

Gill x

January Newsletter


Hello and welcome to 2018 and the January newsletter; I was ever so tempted to make this the first-ever non-product related newsletter because there are so many things that I want to write about other than products. So this is what we are going to do; I am mostly going to write about health issues (actually Shabir is doing nearly all of that) and in between I will have a few soapbox moments, do some feedback, introduce you to new members of our team (exciting!) and somewhere amongst all of this there are a couple of treats and of course the feature articles, which are pretty profound this month.

As the new year begins, the buzz phase is self-care; it is everywhere you look. The New York Times (and as reported in Grazia) has declared that ‘self-care is the new going out’. We are notoriously bad in the UK at doing self-care and I am no exception. We feel guilty about nurturing ourselves and our needs, but in this brave new self-care world I actually ran away (far away) just before Christmas and for the first time ever I didn’t plug my laptop in and I turned my phone off. Life continued. Read More…

December Newsletter


Hello and welcome to the December newsletter. Historically this last newsletter of the year has always been rather different to the rest. Often referred to as the ‘bonkers newsletter’, each year we do something different and this year I have decided that we are going to do the first-ever-full-on VH Awards. Nobody has voted and in fact nobody knows anything about them except me and Shabir, who did another eyeroll to heaven when I told him that I had self-appointed myself to be judge and jury on proceedings.

Even before I start writing I know that it may well get out of control, but its been a bit of an ‘out of control’ year, so we may as well continue right to the end. As ever with the December newsletter, there are treats right the way through and you will need to read very carefully because I wouldn’t want you to miss out as we only have a limited amount, so you will need to be fast for some of them.

That said, what would a newsletter be if we didn’t launch some new products. I am going to begin with two new launches and then I’m going to change into an incredible Dolce & Gabbana creation (in my dreams), plonk a tiara on my head and present the awards. Let’s go: Read More…

November Newsletter


Welcome to the November newsletter where we introduce you to Biocol Labs (head-over-heels excited) and new product releases from Ameliorate and BioBelle (of ‘I Woke Up Like This’ fame). We do the feedback on LixirSkin, which I will tell you right now is completely sensational and I also report on the Beauty Bible Awards, where one brand absolutely swept the board with 14 awards (FOURTEEN!). There is a Podium moment too, but first Biocol and I honestly can’t remember the last time I led a newsletter with health, but I am now, so let’s do it:

Biocol Labs

Even with the launch of many award-winning skincare and beauty products, we are still predominantly health-driven; it is at the very core of what and who we are and of course in turn it translates into skincare products, but I’ll touch on that later. In the very early days of VH I had a dream. I couldn’t understand why the packaging of health products was so dire and I was the one who was going to change all of that. I felt passionately about it, but I grew up rapidly. Of course it is totally irrelevant what the packaging is all about; if the efficacy and therapeutic dosages are questionable then what on earth is the point of being cute. And then (15 years after the event) Biocol landed on my desk and my heart nearly stopped beating.

Biocol Labs was founded in 1977 in Lisbon and they call themselves the ‘post-chemical pharmacy’ with a mission of making chemicals redundant through nature and science. They introduce you to the post-chemical society and invite you to feel free to stay forever. Biocol is an independent, family owned operation doing its own research, development and production to help make the world free of chemicals and silliness; their words, not mine, but let me say one thing, these products are very far from silly and Shabir, who has ceremoniously thrown out every single ‘designer’ supplement that has landed on his desk, thinks the formulations are pretty exceptional.
Biocol Labs

Not wishing to be called lazy, there are times when brands write far better descriptions about their products than I could ever do; for sure, I can twist and turn the words a bit, but what’s the point. So here are just five of the products; they are each from the ‘Something’ range; alongside ‘Something’ we are launching the ‘I Feel’ range, which is all about weight loss and I’ll follow through after ‘Something’:

Something For The Knackered: Our lives can be pretty hectic nowadays. The last thing we want is burn out. Something For The Knackered contains magnesium, which helps with the reduction of tiredness and fatigue, as well as ginseng, which contributes to vitality. In case of extreme tiredness, we recommend two packs and a good rest during the weekend. Say no to knackered. Take one ampoule in the morning for five days.
Something For The Knackered £17.90

Something For Happiness: It’s important that even during periods of great stress and tension we stay positive, energetic and productive, but that’s not always easy. This is where Something For Happiness comes to the rescue. This formula contains saffron, griffonia and vitamin B6, which contributes to the normal function of the nervous system and supports emotional balance, helping to restore your body and mind to their natural states of wellbeing. A joke would be good here, but look – you’re smiling already! Take two capsules, one in the morning, one in the evening, for six days.
Something For Happiness £21.90

Something For Bloated Tums: Most digestive remedies are made of synthetic ingredients, which our bodies were not made to absorb. Thus attacking a problem with another problem. Your bloated tummies don’t need that. Here is the post-chemical digestion helper. Something to settle tums is a plant-based fix of probiotics, ginger and chloride, that contributes to a normal digestion. It also contains fennel and green anise, which contributes to the normal function of the intestinal tract. Wrapped in a beautiful pocketsize box. Phew. Take two capsules when feeling bloated or when digestion problems occur.
Something For Bloated Tums £16.90

Something For A Mini Rehab: Drinking nights are fun. The mornings after aren’t. Something For A Mini Rehab contains milk thistle, artichoke and choline, which helps contribute to the maintenance of a normal liver function, helps breaking down harmful alcohol-induced toxins and also helps restore lost vitamins and minerals. For hangover prevention take two capsules before drinking and two capsules the morning after. For liver mini rehab take one capsule in the evening for ten days.
Something For A Mini Rehab £17.90

Something For A Detox Week: Something For A Detox Week contains a purifying blend of ingredients such as chicory, artichoke and choline, which contributes to the maintenance of a normal liver function and supports the detoxification and elimination of additives, food excesses and pollution effects. It is recommended that you take a pack per month together with a plant-based, wholefood diet. That’s right, show your liver some love. Take one ampoule per day for seven days. Take in the morning. Drink pure, diluted in water or juice or stir into porridge.
Something For A Detox Week £18.90

I Feel

Before I write about these products, I just want to say that I rarely write about dieting and weight loss because I really don’t like the weight loss market. I remember saying that on a newsletter several years ago and I got annihilated by a brand who were just about to launch a new ‘weight loss’ product with a massive marketing campaign, which, incidentally, I refused to list. Another time I wrote that I had never stepped foot inside a gym (well I haven’t – more annihilation came my way) because the thought horrified me. It still does. I do walk, I really do. To my car.

The problem I have with weight loss products is that it is such an emotive subject and I am never going to tell you that you will drop weight and lose inches when there are so many other factors associated with losing weight such as metabolism and eating habits. This is of course a very personal view and given that it is an issue for so many, I am happy to write about these products, again using their words, because they take a refreshing approach and that’s all I’m going to say on the subject:

I Feel: Control: I eat when I’m happy. I eat when I’m sad. I eat when I’m irritated, annoyed or stressed. Slimming is not easy because emotions have a bigger appetite than our mouths and stomachs. This bottle contains a mixture of plants with Vitamin B1 that contributes to a normal psychological function and helps me regulate emotions and control the will of eating all the time. Take 7.5 ml during breakfast and 7.5 ml before dinner. For 16 days.
I Feel Control £19.90 for 250 ml bottle with dosing cup

I Feel: Reduce: The world wants to convince me that slimming is easy, but it’s not. I know it’s not. I feel it in my skin and in my flesh. I eat healthy. I work-out and I resist all the temptations around me. No, it’s not easy, but I won’t quit. I finally know that I’m on the right way. This bottle contains a concentrate of plants with choline that contributes to normal lipid metabolism and helps me burn fat and reduce volume. Take 10 ml before breakfast and 5 ml before dinner. For 16 days.
I Feel Reduce £21.90 for 250 ml bottle with dosing cup

I Feel: Maintain: I’ve left a serious relationship with my body. We started to want different things. We broke up and the two of us went different directions until I understood that the problem wasn’t with my body, but with my emotions. Now I feel in control and with the ideal weight. This bottle contains a concentration of plants and manganese that contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress and helps me maintain my ideal body volume. Take 7.5 ml at breakfast and 7.5 ml before dinner. For 16 days.
I Feel Maintain £19.90 for 250 ml bottle with dosing cup


Most of you know that I am fiercely loyal when it comes to skincare products. It is no secret that I use iS Clinical and NIOD, with a few products from The Ordinary thrown in for good measure. And now of course LixirSkin. I have the deepest respect for Colette and of course the products she has formulated. It is one thing creating products for other brands, which she has done for over 20 years, but it is quite another thing when it is your brand, your name, and reputation, on the products. But there are some things in life that you just have to do; it’s almost like a calling and this was Colette’s calling. The update:

I think that there are some brands and some products that just sing to you. It is difficult to define, but there is that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ that pervades its very existence. Very few brands, in my humble opinion, have it. LixirSkin does.

Almost immediately after launching LixirSkin on the October newsletter, the feedback started to come in. Literally within 48 hours, which is quite something. Most people are saying the same thing; they love the simplicity of the concept and the products. Wow, the products. You almost don’t want to say what the hero product is because everybody has a different hero, but with the big love spread between Vitamin C Paste, the Electrogel Cleanser and Universal Emulsion, I will just say that the Vitamin C Paste has now sold out four times, and let me tell you, we had, and continue to have, high stock levels.

I blame myself for the Vitamin C Paste famine. I sent out an Addicts Bulletin virtually two weeks ago and said that I was writing it with the Paste (PASTE – such an evocative word) on my skin because my skin loves it, but really loves it. And then there were none.

Given that the ‘universal good skin trio’ (as above) equally share ‘hero’ status, I just want to talk for a moment about the three Night-Switch products. This is where the brilliance of the entire concept comes in as the three Night Switch products are for specific skin concerns and formulated with pure active molecules for targeted results.

They are for night, when your skin switches to repair mode and are formulated to be mixed with Universal Emulsion, which is also a serum base. Colette recommends only using one Night Switch product at a time, then giving your skin a rest before switching to another. Switching stimulates the skin to get better results. Yes, it is incredibly simplistic, but Colette believes that truly there are only two skin concerns, ageing skin and problem skin.

The Night Switch moment over,  I have a few more things to say; the first is that Arly (wonderful Arly) of Detail Oriented Beauty, put these products to the test. Scrupulous to the end, you can read her report on the link below. Secondly, if you go to our In the Press section, you can read some early press reviews, which made all of us very happy – very happy indeed.

Finally, we are going through some stock issues right now, so please bear with us. We are doing everything we can to ensure that stock is replenished on an ongoing basis and we will get your products to you just as soon as we can. Colette has been completely overwhelmed by the demand and, like me, she is so very emotional about the response and all your comments, which of course I have shared with her. Genius brand. Genius woman. Ooh la la, Colette, ooh la la …… an iconic brand is born.
LixirSkin; LixirSkin by Detail Oriented Beauty; Gill meets Colette Haydon

Ameliorate – Intensive Hand Treatment

I flipped this new product from Ameliorate onto this newsletter because I knew it wasn’t going to arrive in time to be included on the October newsletter. That said, many products don’t seem to arrive in time, but there are only so many products you can put on a pre-order basis on one newsletter. As such, and without even writing a word, many of you have already ordered and received this new product launch from Ameliorate, so here is the lowdown for the rest of us.

Clinically proven, dermatologist approved and independently tested, Intensive Hand Treatment exfoliates rough, dry skin, stimulating the renewal of healthy skin cells while softening and deeply moisturising the skin on the palm, as well as the back of the hand. It is loaded with actives and AHAs and the same powerful Alpha Hydroxy Therapy used in the bestselling Transforming Body Lotion, namely Lactic Acid, which is included not only for its exfoliating properties, but for its ability to lower the skin’s pH and help improve the skin’s ability to protect itself.

Proven to moisturize for up to 12 hours, it is recommended that Intensive Hand Treatment should be massaged into the hands and cuticles and left on overnight, after which it can be used twice daily. As this is a hand treatment, it may leave a little residue on the skin, but that’s absolutely fine with me (and I hope you too) as it will continue working to condition hands. Ameliorate are rocking it. Yet again.
Intensive Hand Treatment £15 for 75 ml

The Beauty Bible Awards

And there they were; resplendent in all their glory, Sarah Stacey and Jo Fairley, aka the Beauty Bible (BB) girls were hosting the Annual Beauty Bible Awards. And there we were, sipping pink champagne (if you were bad like me) or a non-alcoholic pink cocktail (if you were good like Shabir). I had made a mental note to myself that it would not be too cute if I had three glasses of champagne, because I needed to report back and write about the event (held at the ever-so-glam Grace Belgravia), so I had two glasses of champagne, one to celebrate Sarah and Jo, and the other to celebrate one of our listed brands sweeping the board and winning 14 awards.

But first, the awards. There is something about winning a BB Award; it is tremendously prestigious and it sets itself apart from other awards because each of the products are tested on real women, when I say real women, I mean people like us who tell it as it is. There is only one thing that matters and that is the truth. Rigorously monitored, the scores and the comments are collated over an entire year of testing and finally the winners are announced.

So, the brand that won 14 awards. Temple Spa. It is a staggering achievement and with the deepest respect, I congratulate Liz and Mark Warom for their innovation, dedication, love, warmth and support over many, many years. Temple Spa is not an ‘everywhere’ brand; it is niche, discreet and incredibly special. For those who use their products, you will completely understand this, for those who have yet to discover the brand or the products, you will find them by clicking on the link below.
Temple Spa

It will come as no surprise that the Beauty Bible feature article for this month is all about the awards; here the girls look at six of this year’s winning products, two of which, Body Truffle and Exalt, are from Temple Spa. At this point I am not going to write about the other 12 winning products from the range, but amongst them are Peace Be Still, In the Beginning, Quench Rejuvenation Mask, Sugar Buff, Go Easy Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover, The Contourist and Sole Balm.

Finally, it is not only the scores achieved that matters, it’s the comments that go alongside them, so when you read the BB article, do take time to read the comments too. Tears of joy would flow, but my eyes just cannot mist up at this point because I need to say an enormous thank you to Jo and Sarah who work tirelessly throughout the year on this project. And to Amy Eason too, lovely Amy who holds it all together, mostly in the dungeon of Jo’s home, which is a sight to behold (as is Jo’s perfume room).

Beauty Bible trips to Hastings on the horizon perhaps. Maybe not, but the second-best thing, for the moment, is for you to take a look at the new Beauty Bible site where you can read about the rest of the awards, amongst all things bright and beautiful.
VH Editorial: Every One A Beauty Bible Award-Winner; BeautyBible.com


It crosses my mind that if we were to enter ‘I Woke Up Like This’ for a Beauty Bible award, it could be dancing around with a ‘Beauty Bible Award Winner’ stuck on it. There is always next year, so for now, and without a pink award, this is the mask that continues to fly out of the door. I think there is an ‘I Woke Up Like This’ epidemic. Seriously.

There may be more epidemics on the way, because this month we are adding more products to the BioBelle collection. They are, in no particular order, Stay Gorgeous, Beauty Scoop and Beauty Secret. My money (well, not my actual money per se) is on Beauty Secret. Suppose I’ll be wrong, but it is loaded with Pomegranate and HA and actually they are all rather fabulous, so check them out.
BiobelleI Woke Up Like This £4; Stay Gorgeous £4; Beauty Scoop £4; Beauty Secret £4

The Podium

I wrote at the beginning of this newsletter that we are predominantly health-driven, which in turn translates into beauty products, often in an incredibly profound way.

After launching LixirSkin, I received an email from an Addict praising the products; it was quite an in-depth and highly personal email. The bottom line was that the LixirSkin products had a catalytic effect on helping to shift a long-term depression and anxiety. I don’t suppose many people will think that beauty products can be life-changing, but get it right and they absolutely can be; I have watched this happen so many times over the years, across brands, but specifically with those brands that carry their own inimitable energy.

So when does a beauty product actually become a health product; when you launch on a health platform, that is when. Going back more years than I actually care to remember (perhaps more than 12 years ago), we launched iS Clinical on a health platform. There was no choice actually, they were not retail products then, but I begged my LA boyfriends to let me bring them into the UK based on the fact that Shabir was a pharmacist (I Am A Pharmacist – the title of the book Shabir will never write!). The rest is history.

NIOD was launched on a health platform too; it was an emphatic decision. There was no way NIOD was launching as a ‘beauty brand’ or on a beauty platform. Brandon and I were very clear on that; DECIEM has beauty brands, NIOD is not one of them. There is a depth to NIOD that defies words and explanation. And we’ll leave it at that.

And now LixirSkin. Once again, launched on a health platform. Colette is a doctor in dermo-pharmacy; the health and integrity of skin is a health issue, not a beauty issue. And there is a huge difference.

I don’t think we can ever under-estimate the power of outstanding products; falling in love is a heady experience and so many have fallen in love with LixirSkin. But it’s more than falling in love, the health/beauty crossover is an emotional one. When it has the ability to change lives, as it has, it falls into another genre.

These final words are not mine, they belong to the LixirSkin loving VH Addict: ‘I sometimes think we women (and men who groom) are patronized and accused of being trivial for wanting to look and feel pretty. The feeling is so much more important I think than the actuality. I have a spring in my step now, the weight is starting to come off and I’m not apologetically trying to shrink myself. How in God’s name can that be trivial’.

Let’s Talk Gifts

Being perverse, I wanted to be the one that didn’t write about gifts at this time of year; I won’t write a thesis on the meaning of gifts because I’m not sure that anybody would want to read it, so putting my views and thoughts on one side, the following is a small curated offering:

Me Time

Enjoy a moment’s peace with this special edition Renewing Rose Bath & Shower Oil. It will help boost your spirits and you simply add this blend to your bath or shower ritual. I like ritualistic things. This is one of them.
Me Time: Special Edition Renewing Rose Bath & Shower Oil (14 ml) by Aromatherapy Associates £18

Sleep Together

We are talking sleeping together with products here and the said products are Deep Sleep Pillow Spray and Deep Sleep Breathe In. Deep Sleep Breathe In is a rollerball for your pulse points which has been blended with Lavender, Camomile and Vetivert essential oils to help support evening wind-down time. Deep Sleep Pillow Spray is proven to help improve sleep quality, blended with the same essential oils.
Sleep Together by This Works £27 (includes Deep Sleep Pillow Spray 75 ml and Deep Sleep Breathe 8 ml)

Herbal Bath Oil Collection

I love Kneipp products and I always have several boxes of these stashed in my bathroom; the collection contains six 20 ml bath oils, each being sufficient for one or two baths. They are Enjoy Life, Back Comfort, Complete Bliss, Cold Season, Sweet Dreams and Balance. Confession. On more than one occasion I have poured all six into one bath. Shabir will get a temperature when he reads this. I’ll just sing.
Herbal Bath Oil Collection by Kneipp £9.95 for Six Bath Oils

Lanolips Bauble Gift

A sheer fruity tint of Rhubarb, which deepens your natural lip colour, all wrapped up and gift packed in a bauble tube. The molecular structure of lanolin closely resembles and mimics your own skin oil plus pure pigment. SPF30.
Lanolips Bauble Gift £7.99

Christmas Wish Scented Candle

This limited edition Christmas Wish Scented Candle is a comforting blend of 13 pure essential oils including mandarin, cinnamon and tonka bean to help you relax and unwind, whilst surrounding your home with the soothing, traditional scent of Christmas. Three wicks.
Christmas Wish Scented Candle by NEOM £45

The Seasonal Edit by Sarah Chapman

Containing Ultimate Cleanse, Morning Facial and Overnight Facial, the Seasonal Edit arrives in a signature cosmetic bag. Cleanse, rejuvenate and nourish, saving £36 on the retail price of these products.
The Seasonal Edit by Sarah Chapman £55

My Diary of Beauty Secrets

The collection. Six sheet masks. Stay Gorgeous to nourish and hydrate; I Woke Up Like This to enhance that natural glow; Beauty Scoop, which helps minimize fine lines; Beauty Secret, firms and moisturizes; Happy Hour, age prevention and After Party, soothes and brightens. Go.
My Diary of Beauty Secrets by BioBelle £24

VH Editorial

We have done the Beauty Bible Awards and now we have two variations on a theme. Thought provoking and approaching from different angles, Carolyn Asome and Catherine Turner both write about happiness. I almost don’t want to tell you the title of Carole Morin’s article, still hanging onto her contributing role by the sheerest of threads she contemplates Tiny Acts of Evil and then back to a semblance of normality, Jo Fairley muses on losing her phone.  Finally, Arly examines ‘The Serious Side of Self-Care'; brutally honest, she talks about her own depression and the feeling of hopelessness.  I implore you to read it, you may or may not agree with some of Arly’s statements, but it remains unedited and I applaud her bravery and courage. No small thing.
Be Happy – How To Be The Best Version of Yourself by Carolyn Asome; Finding Happiness by Catherine Turner; Tiny Acts of Evil by Carole Morin; Something’s Got To Give – And It Better Not Be Me by Jo Fairley; The Serious Side of Self-Care by Detail Oriented Beauty

The End Bit

We started with health, we are ending with health. Two new launches (five new products) and one for the road:

DLux+ Vitamin D+K2 – Vital Support For Healthy Bones

Vitamin D+K2 Oral Spray is an optimum strength spray delivering 3000iu of Vitamin D alongside 75 ug of Vitamin K2. Vitamin D and Vitamin K2 work synergistically with each other to help ensure that calcium is directed out of the arteries and into the bones where it helps improve bone density. Without enough K2 calcification within the arteries can occur, increasing the risk of heart disease.

This new daily oral spray sources a bioavailable and stable form of K2 MK-7, which can be easily utilized by the body. The form of K2 has been derived from flowers, guaranteeing purity of the active form of K2. Take three sprays daily, shaking well before every use. Spray against the inner cheek as research has found this to be the most absorbent area. Caution: Please do not use if you are using blood thinning medication. Natural peppermint flavour.
DLux+ Vitamin D+K2 Daily Oral Spray £9.95 for 12 ml (lasts 30 days on the recommended dose)


Shabir likes Alive Once Daily Multivitamin Ultra Potency. He likes it a lot and whenever anyone asks him what multi-vit to take, this is the one he nearly always recommends. And now there are four more Alive products; Alive Children’s Soft Jell Multi-Vitamin; Alive Immune Support Soft Jell Multi-Vitamin; Alive Calcium Soft Jell and Alive Women’s Energy Soft Jell Multi-Vitamin.
VH Editorial: Are All Multivitamins The Same; The Alive Range

Hyaluronic Acid High Strength

This is the one for the road; well not the road exactly, but this is the most crucial of all anti-ageing supplements in our opinion. I haven’t written about it for ages, basically because most of us are taking it, but if you are not, please do consider using this supplement. As I have written many times before, I am not up for a south-sliding face or creaking joints. And the knife just isn’t an option for me, unless I am hypothetically using it to spear people who mis-behave. No names. Seriously, no names!
VH Editorial: Hyaluronic Acid: The Anti-Ageing NutrientHyaluronic Acid High Strength £35 for 30 Vegecaps

And so we come to the end of another newsletter where once again, together with Shabir, I thank you for your amazing support, loyalty and feedback.

We all stand together; each brand, each product, each of us and each of you. I am indebted to the brands and the products that continue to make such a difference. Also I am surrounded by the most amazing support team; without whom none of us would be able to function.

Finally, the moment really does belong to Colette, Sarah and Jo. Colette, I don’t think you can begin to know the profound importance of your work. Sarah and Jo. One either side of me, they have been my rocks almost since the very beginning. I often refer to iconic brands and iconic products, I did it earlier in the newsletter. If we are talking people, Sarah and Jo are icons of the health and beauty industry. We adore. We applaud. We respect. Thank you.

With love

Gill x

October Newsletter

Autumn leaf on pavement

Welcome to the October newsletter where we launch four new brands, yes four, they all rolled in at the same time. So we say hello to LIXIRSKIN from Colette Haydon, ESHO from DECIEM, Slixir and Curlie Ellie. We also take a look at the latest new product to be released from the excellent Florassist range, I give you all the latest news and feedback and I’m jumping onto The Podium for a moment or two. Let’s do it: Read More…