Hello and welcome to the April newsletter where we do the exclusive UK launch of a new brand, Vice Reversa, which also heralds a new era of an emerging category in all things bright and beautiful. That would be bright and beautiful skin. Additionally I tell you about the latest product from LixirSkin and my obsession with a new must-have (in my humble opinion) from Sarah Chapman.
And then we do health. Liposomals, Nootropics (again) and a stunning new supplement which helps turn off the pain signal. Aculief has more than a moment in the spotlight and this month we have some really powerful feature articles, so much so that I am going to leap onto The Podium with Victoria to write about abuse (because I can and because I will), but more of that later. Let’s do it:
With a tag-line of ‘helping undo what life does’, I invite you to meet Vice Reversa, the new generation of micro-needling patches, which are smart, which are simple and which epitomise the very latest in modern skincare for age old skin issues. And this is just the beginning.
The story: One email to me. One response from me and within the space of three minutes I knew what I had to do. I knew that I was looking at groundbreaking products from a groundbreaking company. Their ethos was in line with my own. Their mission statement and their innovative stance on skincare confirmed that. And I hadn’t even tested the products. Sometimes you know.
Launched across Australia at the end of last year, it is now our turn to experience these micro-needling skin fix patches, aka wrinkle wranglers, aka zit zappers. Each patch contains thousands of microscopic ingredients made from crystallised active ingredients formed into micro-fine needles that dissolve into your skin and penetrate the epidermis, where the ingredients really have effect, nourishing and replenishing cells.
This pioneering science utilizes a unique and groundbreaking (count the number of times I write the word ‘groundbreaking’!) delivery system to target and transport these ultra-fine molecules. With a global patent across these micro-pyramid patches, Vice Reversa patches go where we need them to go and they go in deep.
This much I know, because I have been testing them every which way over several weeks and in line with Vice Reversa, we believe in personalized, adaptive routines and effective solutions because skin changes and skincare should adapt. Collectively we believe that everyone deserves good skin.
We launch with two transdermal patches, Plumping Patches and Pimple Patches:
Vice Reversa Plumping Patches: Because you’re not prepared to co-exist with fine lines and wrinkles. If life is giving you wrinkles and your frown lines are giving you frown lines, use these dissolvable micro-needle plumping patches. Loaded with Hyaluronic Acid, Collagen, Adenosine, Madecassoside and three types of peptides, each patch contains 2500 needles and can be used along your forehead, under your eyes and around your mouth.
This medical grade hydrocolloid patch creates a perfect seal to ensure the cocktail of plumping ingredients are absorbed during use. A close friend swears they are responsible for easing the ‘crepiness’ on her neck. I’ll take that.
The patches work best when they are applied overnight, but they don’t have to be used overnight. As long as the patch is in place for 2+ hours it will be effective. At this point I need to say that these patches are not an alternative to injectables such as Botox. In Victoria’s interview with Annie Shortall, the woman behind the brand. Annie states that she wanted to bring something new to the market that intrigued women (and men too), spoke to their intelligence and allowed them to have a bit of fun making life (and skin) brighter and better.
We recommend using these patches twice a week. The magic starts to work when you push the patch onto your skin. The initial sensation is a bit weird (weird makes me happy), but not at all uncomfortable. Actually I love giving them a few pushes (never rub them) every now and again because I’m feeling and visualizing the needles melting, which excites me rather a lot.
The thought of pushing these needles onto every part of my body thrills me, but I haven’t done that yet, surprisingly. And before any of you ask, I’m there before you; I’ve already asked if a full face of needles would be possible and the answer is no. Damn the expense I thought, but for reasons I am not really understanding, it is technically impossible. Shame. Another vision crushed.
Rather than write reams more, which I could easily do, at this point I will refer you to Victoria’s interview with Annie. Annie talks about her background, the inspiration behind Vice Reversa and the burning question, should we get rid of our derma-rollers?
VH Editorial: Meet The Woman Behind Vice Reversa by Victoria Hall; Vice Reversa Micro-Needling Plumping Patches £34.95 for Eight Patches
Vice Reversa Pimple Patches: Because the Gods gave you good looks and a sparking personality but balanced it out with the occasional pimple outbreak. Micro-needling Pimple Patches aka Blemish Blasters, aka Zit Zappers.
Excitement. The almost-immediate eradication of sore, red blemishes. Put to the test, the efficacy of these patches is pretty astounding. This will be music to the ears to anybody who suffers from regular breakouts or the occasional spot here and there. Spots suck, Vice Reversa patches do not (their words, but we agree), instead they painlessly penetrate the outer layer of skin delivering ingredients to source. The spot.
Using the same technology and transdermal delivery system, these clever pimple patches promise to treat and soothe sore, inflamed breakouts. While Totarol and Salicylic Acid help to unclog pores, slough away dead skin cells and rebalance sebum production, Hyaluronic Acid hydrates your skin.
Madecassoside and EGCG (Green Tea Extract – a powerful antioxidant thought to be over 60% more potent to Vitamin C) help to soothe the area and ease sensitivity.
Each Pimple Patch has 380 needles made from the crystallised serum, which are attached to the hydrocolloid material to keep the area clean and sealed. Just imagine, 380 needles melting into your spot and I think I’ll leave it there before getting way too graphic.
Victoria tested these when a stress spot appeared on her face (and the stress had nothing whatsoever to do with me). It takes an awful lot to impress Victoria, but she was impressed and I’ve seen some pretty impressive testimonials from Australia too, including a YouTube video of a disappearing spot which went viral. The video obviously, not the spot. Who needs viral spots. God help us!
To use, please cleanse your face and dry thoroughly. Open the blister pack and remove one patch. Holding the patch carefully by the edges, carefully remove the protective film, making sure not to touch the micro-needles in the centre. Apply the patch immediately and gently press down to adhere it to the skin. For best results, please keep the patch on for 8+ hours, so overnight would be good.
Before moving on, I would like to say a personal thank you to Annie Shortall for the love, belief, support and all her prolific emails, which were more than a match to mine. As I have previously said, this is just the beginning of the Vice Reversa journey. And somewhere in the future there may well be a world-first, which I would love to tell you about, but I can’t because it is still in research and development in Korea.
Thoughts of raiding the lab enter my head, but quickly disappear when I think of the consequences. God help them if they don’t give me the exclusive. That’s all. Hello Arthur Mitroulas. Ahem.
Vice Reversa Pimple Patches £ 19.95 for Eight Patches
Good Skin Day Shaker by LixirSkin
The latest impeccable skincare product created by Dr Colette Haydon in her inimitable skincare range, LixirSkin. I need to tell you that I have been using Good Skin Day Shaker for several months after I stole it from Colette’s handbag. Well, I didn’t exactly steal it, Colette took it out of her bag to show me and it just didn’t go back in her bag, but it came home with me instead.
And how happy am I that it did. Creatively Colette views Good Skin Day Shaker as a tool, working for the skin and asking no work in return from the skin. She blended it for anybody whose skin is showing signs of tiredness and for more mature skin that needs an everyday pick-me-up (my brain now has an everyday pick-me-up thanks to Nootropics).
The product is a contradictory conundrum. How to simultaneously fill-in and de-puff. The solution is a bi-phasic formula that once shaken does it all. The top phase is a juice of Hyaluronans combined with algae-derived minerals that help keep cells tightly together in one action and in the second boosts micro-circulation to help with drainage and de-puffing issues.
The bottom phase consist of perfluorocarbons gas carriers, which help retain oxygen to boost cell respiration and radiance, while helping to increase epidermal volume.
That’s the science bit over. The most important thing you need to know is how this feels on the skin, and it feels rather fabulous, but then I would expect nothing less from Colette who is a formulator extraordinaire as many of you know from using the basic LixirSkin products. Her Vitamin C Paste remains the iconic hero-product of the brand and has been since launch. I’m wondering whether Good Skin Day Shaker will topple the paste; it could, it really could, it is that good.
Good Skin Day Shaker should be used after moisturizer. After shaking well, gently press two pumps into the skin. If you prefer, it can also be applied on top of make-up if you feel your complexion needs a lift during the day and the bottle is small enough to carry round in your handbag. I know you are not going to do this, but I have one in my bathroom and one in my handbag. I just like having the ‘ooh-la-la’ energy of Colette around me. And I love having this on my skin. I think you will too. It stands alone and it can stand alone. Merci, Colette, merci.
Good Skin Day Shaker by LixirSkin £36 for 15 ml
In 2014, Aculief was awarded ‘Best New Product’ at Expo West in California, one of the largest health exhibitions in the world. Shabir has used it ever since and it sits on his desk. I have always maintained that you can’t keep a good product down and you can’t. Read on:
Aculief is a wearable acupressure device to help ease tension, headaches and pain. It uses acupressure to relieve blockage in your energy flow (in Chinese medicine this as known as ‘Qi’) and helps enhance natural circulation throughout the body. And it works. And then something happened and we didn’t know what had happened, where it happened or how it happened, but suddenly we had an avalanche of orders for the Aculief and at the time of writing, this has gone on for nearly three weeks with no signs of abating.
And then we discovered what had happened. Somebody in America had put the following post on Facebook and tagged us. She isn’t a blogger, she isn’t a journalist, she just believed and her belief went viral:
‘This chip clip saved my life tonight. I had a migraine start almost twelve hours ago and about an hour ago it was at an unbearable limit. I had exhausted all of my drugs and tricks I usually use to ease my migraines to no avail. I googled fast relief for migraines and it pulled up something called Aculief. I glanced at the counter and saw this chip clip and decided it would do the same thing. Within one minute I had some relief and within twenty my pain was reduced by half. I decided to order the real thing and just wanted to share this with everyone, as I know many of you suffer from migraines also’.
The moral of this story is that it’s not always about new products and there are some things in life that can rarely be bettered. This is one of them.
A close friend is training to be a Samaritan; it is rigorous training and you need to jump through several thousand hoops before you are allowed on the phone lines, quite rightly so because it is harrowing. By far, the majority of calls are about abuse on so many different levels, including the ever-increasing rise of bullying on social media. The currency of an abuser is often humiliation, which in and of itself is beyond the realms of acceptability.
I wrote at the top of this newsletter that there were some very powerful articles this month, which I will get to later, but almost without exception they refer to the intolerable and unacceptable aspects of social media.
I don’t have personal social accounts; the thought appalls me. I don’t care, repeat, I don’t care how many followers we do or don’t have. Social media does not define me, social media does not define VH. But it defines those who are abused, vilified and bullied. For so many of these people the silence is deafening as the incessant onslaught is allowed to continue, which, in turn, questions the moral compass of society. How many more suicides?
With over 300 million people across the world battling with some form of depression, the latest term to make the headlines has been ‘smiling depression’. Victoria investigates the meaning of smiling depression and the ways you can identify it, one of which is ‘the social media effect’, which is backed up by numerous studies. Last year, the NHS opened its first addiction clinic dedicated entirely to digital addiction. No more words.
Smiling Depression by Victoria Hall; Samaritans 116 123 (UK)
PEA Discomfort Relief
I always know when Shabir is having a moment with a new supplement. He walks round the office holding it and thrusts it in front of my face several times a day, extolling its virtues. PEA Discomfort Relief is the latest supplement to receive this treatment.
So what is PEA? Otherwise known as Palmitoylethanolamide (we’ll stick to PEA if you don’t mind), PEA is a fatty acid compound naturally found in the body that helps target the underlying cause of pain. It works at the pain site to turn off the pain signal, but more importantly by working at the site of the original injury, it helps break the inflammatory pain cycle.
In clinical studies of PEA, noticeable reductions in pain were seen after 14-30 days of supplementation and in some cases in as little as seven days. Having established the validity of PEA, further studies were carried out and in a single-blind clinical study, researchers were able to assess the safety and efficacy of PEA in 20 sufferers of migraines who experienced severe pain as well as visual aura.
Each was given 1200 mg of PEA daily for 90 days and at 60 days patients experienced a vast improvement in reducing pain symptoms, which continued until the 90 day follow-up, where the group demonstrated a reduction in the number of migraine attacks per month without any adverse effects.
In separate studies, PEA demonstrated impressive results on patients with sciatica nerve pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder).
PEA Discomfort Relief is a unique chewable supplement (berry-flavoured) that will help relieve occasional minor pain and discomfort. At times of pain, chew one or two tablets a day. Most importantly, they are non-addictive and non-habit forming.
PEA Discomfort Relief £26 for 60 Chewable Tablets (600 mg each)
The Pro Hydro-Mist Steamer by Sarah Chapman
I think steaming skin is a bit of a ‘marmite’ subject. You either love it or hate it, and I’m in the first camp and always have been. I can see no point whatsoever in having a regular facial without steam. This is a very personal perspective, but I would rather not have a facial if it doesn’t include steam and extraction.
I have often run into a salon and asked them just to steam my face because I don’t have time for a fuller treatment. And now, thank you Sarah Chapman, I don’t need to run anywhere except my bathroom because I am the proud new owner of The Pro Hydro-Mist Steamer, which I see as an investment, not that I need to justify it to anybody (hello Shabir – please smile!).
I don’t think I need to explain steam to any of you, but for the sake of being neat this new advanced facial steamer emits nano-sized particles that deeply penetrate the skin to effectively cleanse, de-clog pores and hydrate the complexion. Powered by cutting-edge ionic and ultrasonic technology, the ultra-fine mist is charged with negative ions, ensuring the particles are more effective at penetrating the skin than regular steam.
Gone are the teenage angst days where I would sit with a towel over my head staring at boiling water in a big bowl (we all did that didn’t we!). How sophisticated life has become and it is suggested that you should incorporate steaming into your skincare regimen two to three times a week, for 5-10 minutes per session. And after all of that, the effectiveness of your skincare will increase. Time to pop on a patch perhaps. I think so.
The Pro Hydro-Mist Steamer by Sarah Chapman £119
The Tweakments Guide
If we are talking of facial treatments, which we were, there is nobody who knows more about non-surgical cosmetic procedures than Alice Hart-Davis, who has been reporting on the fast-moving world of aesthetics for over 20 years.
Her new book, The Tweakments Guide, is for any of us who have looked in the mirror and wondered what a tweakment might do to freshen up our looks. Alice is the expert who has tried them all and let me tell you, she is a braver girl than me, make that braver than most of us. In the words of the Beauty Bible girls:
‘We’re gripped, riveted and totally in awe of the colossal amount of work that has gone into creating this guide – key to add that it’s transparently honest. Also, given the deplorable lack of regulation in this arena, Alice has included an essential chapter on choosing the best practitioner and keeping safe’.
Alice is epic. Her research is epic. Her book is epic. And the thing that really matters is that Alice cares. She really cares about the work she does. I implore you to buy this book if you are thinking of having a tweakment because it could just make all the difference.
The Tweakments Guide: A Fresher Face by Alice Hart-Davis
The Trinny and Shabir Show
Shabir and I have just got back from LA, but before we crossed the Atlantic, Shabir was in Trinny’s bathroom once again. They were talking about sleep and liposomal technology before they touched on acid reflux. They did it live on IGTV, but if you missed it, you can watch it on the link below.
Trinny wore yellow and at some point she started sniffing Shabir (don’t even ask!); I was hiding in the bath reading the live comments, so I was a bit oblivious as to what they were doing. But never mind that, the feedback on liposomals was incredible and we went out of stock, of course we did, but with the exception of D3 (which may or may not be on pre-order as you read this) we are fully re-stocked.
I know exactly why we went out of stock because we saw Aurora Nutrascience at the exhibition in California, so obviously they weren’t sending out orders. Two more things, please take the time to read Shabir’s article on Liposomal technology, which kind of goes hand in hand with the video. And did we bring back any new products from LA? Yes we did, and I’ll start writing about them on the next newsletter.
Trinny and Shabir on IGTV; VH Editorial: What Are Liposomal Vitamins?
Healthy Digestion After Gallbladder Removal
Gallbladder problems are extremely common and each year thousands of people have to undertake Gallbladder removal due to pain and discomfort. Most expect this discomfort to end post-surgery, however in a vast majority of cases it is common to have just as much discomfort after the Gallbladder is removed.
After Gallbladder removal, many often complain of digestive discomfort, including frequent bowel movements, gas, bloating and liver problems. The risks of developing a fatty liver are also greatly increased.
Shabir takes a look at the function of the Gallbladder and the route to healthy digestion after Gallbladder removal.
VH Editorial: Healthy Digestion After Gallbladder Removal; Milk Thistle Complex £11.99 for 60 Tablets; Digestizyme by Lamberts £15.25 for 100 Capsules
DownDog by RoadScents
As many of you know, I adore Roadscents and I have them hanging all over the place, despite the fact that they were actually launched as luxury fragrances for cars, I decided that I didn’t want to restrict them to my car and I created a Roadscents tree, where they merrily hang out together and scent my bathroom.
Created by Tina Gaudoin, the former magazine editor, editorial contributor to VH and my friend (that last bit matters), I am happy to announce that Tina has developed a new product for dog lovers just in time for National Pet Month, which runs from 1 April.
With a warm masculine scent of Thyme, Patchouli and Cedarwood, Downdog, a deep, woody chypre was created in collaboration with French fragrance and flavours house, Grasse based, Robertet.
This latest scent joins GodSmell (my favourite), RoseRage and WakeUpCall. Inspired by her own experience, Tina set out to create Downdog to neutralize the pong of wet dogs everywhere (her words), including that of her Hungarian Vizslas.
RoadScents; DownDog £11
After the launch of four new Nootropics on the March newsletter, it seemed like we all wanted to hold hands and have a ‘Lucy In the Sky’ moment. If you are lost, then please click here to read what I wrote about them. Edge and Spark led the way, so in other words it was all about energy and memory.
We are such advocates of these innovative advanced brain health supplements and we now release ‘Shine’, which helps maintain a positive mood. It contains a bespoke Shine Bright Botanical Complex, which is an advanced blend of four natural botanical ingredients. These are Turmeric Extract, Rhodiola Rosea Extract, Ashwagandha Root Extract and Saffron Extract, each of which have demonstrated a positive impact on emotional balance and mood.
Shine £32.50 for 60 Capsules; Edge £25 for 60 Capsules; Spark £25 for 60 Capsules
How To Find The Correct Liquid Exfoliator For Your Skin
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past two years, you will have noticed a sharp increase in the amount of acid-based skincare products hitting the shelves. While scrubs might have been the tried and tested method of sloughing away dead skin a few years back, now it is all about the liquid exfoliator. So much so, Pinterest has seen a 58% increase in searches for liquid exfoliators.
Victoria takes a look at individual acids for individual skin concerns, adding in two products at the end for those who cannot live without a scrub. I fall into that category. I can’t help it, but I love Essence Noir Polish and Tri-Active Exfoliant.
How To Find The Correct Liquid Exfoliator For Your Skin by Victoria Hall; Essence Noir Polish by Nannette de Gaspe £80 for 125 ml; Tri-Active Exfoliant by iS Clinical £68 for 50 ml
‘In our selfie, self-obsessed society, there aren’t nearly enough manners to go round. And why we under-estimate the importance of good manners to navigate day to day life is beyond baffling’ writes Carolyn Asome. In Praise of Elegance takes a powerfully persuasive look at a return to elegance. ‘Elegance is such a loaded word, she writes, one could probably do with a crack PR team to imbue it with any sort of relevance in 2019. And yet, and yet, through the prism of nine squares, where so much of the tone on Instagram is dominated by a nauseating strand of self-love, there’s a growing curiosity to explore something different. Well at least I hope there is’. I hope so too.
In Praise of Elegance by Carolyn Asome
Losing things and finding ourselves in a desolate landscape – who hasn’t been there asks Jackie Annesley. It’s where crumbs of kindness are devoured. Cool To Be Kind examines what kindness really means and how love is our greatest success.
Cool To Be Kind by Jackie Annesley
‘There’s much talk of FOMO, nowadays. Fear of Missing Out. I blame Instagram’, says Jo Fairley, ‘so the other day, my heart did a little dance when I heard about FOMO’s (much saner) close relation, JOMO. It’s short for ‘Joy of Missing Out’ and I realise, I’ve pretty much been embracing this my whole life. Only now its got a name. (Or rather an acronym)’. With you JoJo x
Why JOMO Is The New FOMO by Jo Fairley
‘Whether you tuck an amethyst crystal in your bra every day or have an energy healer on speed dial, it’s clear that the popularity of spiritual wellbeing is on the rise. It’s unsurprising’ says Giselle La Pompe-Moore, ‘as wellness is now a staggering $4.2 trillion dollar global industry. One that’s infiltrated our local café menus, bookshelves and how we spend our Sunday nights. But why have we become so fixated by the pursuit of wellness’. Giselle does the lowdown.
The Stress Reducing Modern Wellness Trends To Know About by Giselle La Pompe-Moore
There is only one beauty action more important than any other this month, according to the Beauty Bible girls, exfoliate, exfoliate. In direct contrast to Victoria’s liquid exfoliators, Jo and Sarah extol the virtues of a scrub. Fact, I know the girls aren’t keen on liquid acids, so here is their take on the products they love to scrub with. I’m kind of with them, but you already know that. This is what happens when you beauty-grow-up-together. And we have. Daleks girls, really!!
Scrubs by Beauty Bible
The End Bits
And of course after launching the new Aloe Vera products, as predicted the Eye Contour went out of stock within a few hours. I knew it would, but thankfully it is now back in stock. Get it whilst you can, is what I think. It’s French and I’m not doing politics here, but at the time of writing, who knows what. Actually who knows anything, except that the products are all rather fabulous and the feedback has been amazing. Let’s leave it there.
Laboratoire du Haut-Segala; Aloe Vera Eye Contour £17.90
A new product from CurlyEllie and a new addition to its award-winning collection for curly hair. Lasting Hold Styling Serum, which helps hold style for longer and forms a film on hair to coat and smooth curls while protecting against UV, wind and dry atmospheres. It will leave hair shiny and bouncy without feeling greasy or weighed down.
Styling Serum by CurlieEllie £9.95 for 125 ml
For the third year running we have been nominated as the Best Beauty Retailer and Etailer in The Sunday Times Style Beauty Awards 2019. The Style Beauty Awards are the largest consumer-voted beauty awards in the UK, with one-million consumer votes cast in 2018.
My thanks as ever go to Sarah Jossel, Beauty Director of Style, but as I wrote last year, I am pragmatic and I’ve got my feet firmly on the ground. I and we feel deeply privileged to have been nominated, which is more than enough for me.
We are not mass market, we do not have outside investment and we do not have a marketing budget to run a campaign. Additionally I am not a ‘vote for me’ person; in fact it would embarrass me hugely, so all I will say is that the voting opens on the 1 April and this is as much about the brands and each of you as it is about us.
Finally, and as ever, together with Shabir, Victoria and the entire VH team, I thank you for your ongoing loyalty and support and wish you a happy and healthy April.