December Newsletter

december-newsletter-2-2017

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…

Time – The Best Gift You Can Give Yourself

dob-dec-2-2017

Carrying on from last month’s article about “self-care”, I wanted to talk about ‘time’, because how we spend it has a big impact on our mental health and happiness. This is the time of year where the days begin to slip away from us faster than ever and we find ourselves hurtling towards the end of the year with a jam packed schedule that is exhausting to think about. There just never seems like enough time at the moment and it can be overwhelming as well as hard to find the festive joy amongst all the chaos. Even though it is the “holiday season”, this is also easily one of the most stressful times of year for a number of reasons, one of them being how we spend our time.

In light of that, this year I have decided to gift myself complete and free rein over how I spend my time during these next few weeks and I will not feel guilty about it. It is not an easy thing to do because it will mean saying no a lot, which can feel uncomfortable, but I don’t want to spend the last month of a pretty stressful year feeling run down under the weight of social obligations and expectations. I want to relax, reflect and decompress from it all and I can’t do that if I’m allowing my time to be filled up by pleasing and fulfilling the needs of other people. Read More…

How To Do Blingy Festive Wear In A Non-Bling Way

carolyn-asome-dec-2017

Not so long ago, blingy layers of festive sparkle worn in the run up to Christmas was what ‘other’ people did. Certainly not how anyone with even a sliver of good taste might dress. And certainly not the behaviour of a discerning style maven whose look might best be described as polished but not too polished, stylish and yet not ‘victim’. Well not so in 2017 when shimmering sequins of silver, gold, green, pink, and cobalt blue- yes ,even altogether in the same outfit- are very much where it’s at this winter. And while no one wants to leave the house in a deluge of sparkly tat, this Christmas is fast shaping up to be the one where it’s perfectly acceptable – expected even – to go all out, Quality Street wrapper style, into the night.

For someone who might be described as Mrs Matt (I have never been drawn, magpie like to anything that sparkles) , I’ve already managed to acquire a twinkly silver top from Vanessa Bruno and a pair of sequin ankle boots, although admittedly these are black. But how do you pull any of this off when you’re allergic to high shine? This might sound like the biggest oxymoron but the secret to sequins this season is wearing them in a matt way. Read More…

The Joy Of Cold

joy-of-cold-jo-fairley

There is a Danish saying I’ve always loved: ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes.’ And it’s so true. As long as we’re togged up with thick gloves, puffa coat, faux fur scarves (check out the hot pink/red colour-blocked option from Warehouse – Trinny Woodall loves it too!), and of course a HAT, anyone is pretty much weather-proof in even the most Arctic conditions.

And I know there’ll be those of you out there who think I’m off my rocker for saying this, but I am a huge fan of cold weather. (Not least because it decimates the slug population.) Just as we have different body clocks – I’m a lark, you may be an owl – I think we have different ‘weather clocks’, too. Come summer, I’m wilting like a week-old lettuce, wafting around ineffectually with a brain barely functioning. Come the cold weather, my brain’s crisp as it gets, my senses invigorated, and I feel utterly alive. You can stay under the duvet till April if you like. But I’ll be out there feeling the chill Northerly wind on my cheeks, and loving every glad-to-be-alive moment. Read More…

Rest And Digest

rest-and-digest-shelf-catherine-turner

So many of us experience digestive issues these days – and this can mean a whole host of uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, cramping, indigestion to full blown IBS and intolerances. Even more so at this time of year when festivities tend to centre around rich food and the drinks are flowing. Of course, we can always hold back, but a deeper understanding of the subtleties of how our digestive system works alongside some sensible advice can help see us through without being too bah humbug.

We talk about gut feelings, butterflies in our tummy in our day to day, so we instinctively know our digestive system goes beyond just a mechanical churning system – and indeed it is connected to our minds. It is our ‘second brain’, being made up of over 100 million neurons (cells), spread along its entire length which make up what’s called the enteric nervous system (ENS).  The ENS is constantly reacting to the state of play whether it’s hunger, bacterial infection or stress, sending messages to and from the brain via the vagus nerve, a kind of super fast information highway. Read More…

Pre-Party Quick Fixes

preparty-qf-beauty-bible

There isn’t much that makes us envious of a Downton Abbey lifestyle, but having the luxury of all that time to gossip, while getting ready for a dressed-up dinner, does get Team Beauty Bible a tad wistful. Today, we’re meant to squeeze prepping for a party, a dinner (or even just a school play) into a narrow ‘window’ – often as little as 15 minutes, and sometimes five if we’re lucky. But it’s doable – with the right products and the right know-how. And here are our top tips…

Wake up tired eyes with an ice cube. Suffering from under-eye baggage? Nothing works like a couple of ice cubes, wrapped in hankies or Clingfilm and smoothed over the pouchy areas under the eye, always in an outwards movement.

Brush your teeth.  It’s one of the quickest lifts:  takes a minute, makes you feel ten times fresher. Read More…