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:
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.
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
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.
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.
Biobelle; I Woke Up Like This £4; Stay Gorgeous £4; Beauty Scoop £4; Beauty Secret £4
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:
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
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
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 Nutrient; Hyaluronic 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.