February Newsletter

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Hello and welcome to the February newsletter where l lead with two new product launches from ilapothecary and I will follow through with a big Fulvic Acid treat. Additionally, there are a few other launches, a few more treats and we take a look at some very common health concerns. Let’s do it:

Beat The Blues

There are many reasons why there couldn’t be a more appropriate time to launch two new stunning products from ilapothecary. The first reason is because we celebrate the first birthday of ilapothecary. Launching on last year’s February newsletter, this beautiful brand has gone from strength to strength. My love and thanks to Denise Leicester (Founder) for allowing me to launch and walk beside her.

Infused with powerful natural ingredients, with a long history of healing, the bestselling product across the range is Beat the Blues Room Spray. It hits the senses in a very profound way using powerful oils to help uplift emotions and to help combat depression. Despite being a room spray, so many of us use it as a fragrance too, which will help so much during one of the darkest months of the year (if you are in the UK), February. Just to add here, I will write about SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) further down this newsletter.
Beat The Blues Room Spray £28 for 50 ml

But back to Beat the Blues. In its first year it has become one of those iconic products that you didn’t know you needed until you had experienced its healing properties. Whilst of course it could exist as a stand-alone, we wanted more for Beat the Blues. We wanted it to evolve, we wanted to create a Beat the Blues journey to further enhance the heady experience. And so:

Beat The Blues Shower & Bath Oil

This is a transformative bathing experience, and I don’t say that lightly. It is an alchemical and mood balancing blend of essential oils formulated to soothe and uplift the senses. And it does. Loaded with Clary Sage and Petitgrain, these oils are known to help boost self-esteem and confidence, while helping to banish negative energies and releasing anger in order to help heal emotional wounds. It forms part of the Beat The Blues Ritual (love all things ritualistic), which I’ll explain below.
Beat The Blues Shower & Bath Oil £29 for 150 ml

Beat The Blues Pulse Point

Denise calls this ‘ridiculously divinely magical’ and of course it is. Denise knows how to create the magically divine and Beat The Blues Pulse Point has been formulated with Tuberose for upliftment, Geranium to help stimulate happiness, Clary Sage and Petitgrain. It does so many things, but primarily it helps stimulate happiness, which is a very good thing for all of us.

Beat The Blues Pulse Point can form part of the Beat the Blues Ritual, but if you are using it as a stand-alone, roll as needed over the pulse points on your wrists and neck. Yes, the neck.
Beat The Blues Pulse Point £27 for 10 ml (lasts ages)

The Beat The Blues Ritual

Before I write about the ritual, I’ve come up with a new way of being for those of you who are like me and are extraordinarily heavy handed with products. I mean the thing is that I’ve been known to pour the entire contents of an oil, salts and any number of other things into my bath because I want to test and feel the benefits.

Most recently I received a bath product to test; it was an oil and it was a small sample. I decided not to pour the entire contents into my bath, so instead I took the oil and massaged it into my body before I stepped into the bath. There is a part of my brain that decided that this was a more concentrated and therapeutic way of allowing the benefits to sink into my body and was far better than diluting the product in gallons of water. With that thought, I am suggesting that you use Beat The Blues oil this way; aside from the increased therapeutic benefits, it’s more cost effective, which matters.

The Bath Ritual: Anoint your body with Beat The Blues Shower & Bath Oil and step into a temperature adjusted bath. As an additional extra you may wish to add four or five drops of SOS Pearl Drops into the water. Soak for approximately 20 minutes (read a book in the bath if you get bored after two or three minutes or listen to music – that’s me!). Step out of the bath and use Beat the Blues Pulse Point, as directed above, and then spray your aura with Beat The Blues Spray.

The Shower Ritual: As above, anoint your body with Beat The Blues Shower & Bath Oil and step into the shower; alternatively, you can make an infusion of the bath and shower oil by adding a few drops to water and pour it over your entire body at the end of your shower.  Additionally, you may wish to take SOS Pearl Drops after your shower. Wrapped.
The Beat the Blues Ritual £84 (Beat The Blues Room Spray; Beat The Blues Shower & Bath Oil; Beat The Blues Pulse Point); SOS Pearl Drops £15 for 15 ml

Fulvic Acid: Complete

As so many of you know, I started writing about Fulvic Acid approximately eight years ago; I am still incredibly saddened about the loss of Phylia (I take these things personally) and to date I still don’t know what happened.  As I have written before, with thousands of people regularly using Fulvic Acid shampoo, conditioner and mist, we had to create our own brand in order to fill the huge gap that Phylia left.  And the response has been amazing, for which I truly thank you.

We’ve tweaked a few things, the first batch of conditioner was way too viscous (my final sample wasn’t that viscous) and there have been other tweaks, but that’s the beauty of having your own brand, we listen to what we are being told and we are able to change things.  There are times when I wish brands would listen to us, but mostly they don’t – the life and times of the beauty industry!

The Fulvic Acid Mist remains the bestselling product in the range, but then why wouldn’t it; we upped the ante on the formulation and, over time, it is giving incredible results for hair issues, such as hair loss, thinning hair and do spray it on your nails (and your face).  My ever-so-critical friend, Lisa Armstrong (The Telegraph) recently wrote about her ‘rubbishy hair’ (her words, not mine) and stated that she uses several squirts of the mist to boost her hair health ‘to make it thicker or look thicker, which is as good in my book’.  Several thousand other books too, thank you Lisa (who would throw a product back at me if it didn’t perform).

And Fulvic Acid Elixir.  If you didn’t get a chance to read what I wrote about this on the January newsletter, then please click here.  Of course I want everybody to take the Elixir because I think it matters that we do.  And after I wrote what I wrote, which included feedback about the Elixir increasing libido, the emails started to arrive; I won’t be sharing them!  I am so tempted to change the name of this to The Libido Elixir, but I’d better not – Shabir would pass out on the sidelines.

So, Fulvic Acid: Complete.  One of each of the products: Fulvic Acid Shampoo, Fulvic Acid Conditioner; Fulvic Acid Mist; Fulvic Acid Elixir.  All four products put together in celebration of their very existence.  The cost of all four products is £105 but until midnight on Tuesday 12 February 2019 the cost will be £80.  I’m putting it on a limited time period because product famines upset me, actually it’s not that limited! Anyway the thing is that you save £25, so get it whilst you can with love from me and Shabir.
Fulvic Acid: Complete £80 (Fulvic Acid Shampoo; Fulvic Acid Conditioner; Fulvic Acid Mist; Fulvic Acid Elixir)

Power Balm

This product was meant to be on the January newsletter, but I took it off because the newsletter was getting way too long, even by my standards.  Never mind that, it is here now and every so often an all-in-one balm comes along which has infinite uses.  Power Balm is that balm.  It can be used as a cleansing balm, a moisturiser, an intensive mask, a hand and foot cream, a beard, brow and hair balm and any number of other things that I haven’t thought of.

Calling itself an ancient healing remedy from the jungles of West Africa, it blends Red Palm, natural plant oils, shea butter and vegan wax.  This soothing balm melts into skin helping to repair and protect while providing long-lasting moisturisation. Making skin glow, it is loaded with amazing ingredients with the help of three super seeds, two miracle trees and one aromatherapy blend.  And it smells divine.
Power Balm £19.50

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal Affective Disorder, also referred to as SAD, is a condition that affects over half a million people in the UK and impacts upon the mental welling of people during the winter months, often peaking in February.

Sufferers of SAD often experience low mood, varied degrees of depression, loss of energy, sleep problems, irritability, increased appetite, strong craving for carbohydrates and sweet foods, as well as headaches and muscle pain. The defining characteristics of SAD are that the symptoms return annually and disappear during the three other seasons of the year.

SAD can affect any age and gender, although it is more common in females (typical!) and whilst the causal factor is not fully understood, it is clear that it is related to the amount of sunlight received. The body’s circadian rhythms are regulated by the amount of daylight and the lack of daylight during the winter months, which appears to have an effect on the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus plays a key role in numerous complex functions within our bodies, including hormone cycles, sleep and wake-up cycle times, as well as our emotional state.

All hormonal glands communicate with each other using hormones as chemical messengers. An imbalance in any hormone can therefore have a wide impact on the body. In the case of SAD, the hypothalamus, the adrenals and the brain are all interlinked through a complex series of chemical reactions, with the result of increased melatonin during the day leading to the feelings of lethargy, a lack of motivation and a reduction in the production of serotonin, which is the mood elevating chemical in the brain.

If you have a milder form of SAD, you may benefit greatly from the use of Magnolia Rhodiola Complex, which is our bestselling supplement for stress and anxiety issues. It contains a potent extract of magnolia, which works to physically relax muscles; magnolia extracts have been shown to help reduce levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

It is the increase in levels of cortisol in the body that prevents the uptake of the nerve-calming neuro-nutrient serotonin by the brain, so the benefits of taking this supplement are pretty fabulous.
VH Editorial: Seasonal Affective DisorderMagnolia Rhodiola Complex £28 for 60 Capsules

Honesty

I am stepping outside of products for the moment. On the January newsletter I made a promise that we would keep things real throughout this year, actually forever, whatever that means.

The theme of this newsletter is partly about self-care, self-love and self-healing and my mind went back to an article the late great Sally Brampton wrote about honesty a couple of years ago. Many of you may have read it then, but with mental health awareness issues so prominent in our minds, I replicate it here. Please do take the time to read it, most especially if you suffer from depression, or if you are close to those who are experiencing mental health issues.
Honesty by Sally Brampton

Being Loved

Coincidentally, or otherwise, Carolyn Asome has written an amazing article about the transformative effect of listening to music, which you can read on the link below.

If you read the VH awards on the December newsletter, you will have seen that I gave an award to the 432 Love Tracks, created by Denise Leicester for Soul Medicine.

I have written several times that my favourite track is Being Loved and I certainly know that it has impacted so many of you during times of extreme difficulty. It always makes me cry whenever I listen to it and I’ve been listening to it rather a lot recently.

Together with Denise and my beautiful friend, Anastasia Achilleos, I believe it is the birthright of those of us who have been hurt, traumatised or abused to listen to this one track. I have no more words to add other than to say that when you truly believe in something you have to share your truth. Being Loved is that sharing and from now, and for the entire month of February, you can download this track free of any charge. Please listen.
Being Loved (Password VHFEBLOVED); The Utter Joy and Transformative Effect of Listening to Music by Carolyn Asome

Ultimate Collagen+

We do love ‘next generation’ products, so please allow me to introduce you to Ultimate Collagen+, which contains just three ingredients. They are a marine collagen peptide, hyaluronan complex and astaxanthin. As an ingredient, Shabir loves astaxanthin and over the years has written reams about it.

Formulated to help replenish collagen and hyaluronic acid in the body, it also helps protect against UV damage. According to Ingenious Beauty, the manufacturers, its scientific advanced enteric approach has been proven to achieve a reduction of fine lines by up to 26% within 10-20 days and they recommend taking it before you go to bed on a relatively empty stomach for the best results. So does that mean that after about 20 sleeps we can look in the mirror and smile? Hope so.
Ultimate Collagen+ £42.99 for 90 Capsules

The Trinny and Shabir Show

A couple of weeks ago Shabir was in the bathroom once again with Trinny.  Some of you may already have seen it, but if you didn’t, they were talking about Body Cleansing and you can watch the video by clicking on the link below.  And suddenly they are building up a whole library of videos, mostly covering health concerns, but occasionally doing skincare too.

A VH Addict (no names) sent me an email saying she was hypnotised by Shabir’s voice.  I haven’t told him (I mean he doesn’t need to know everything!), but I responded by saying that he should really create a sleep app.  Go to sleep with Shabir.  Ahem, I digress, but for the fashionistas of the world, my jeans are J Brand and my shoes are from Jimmy Choo.  Excuse me, but my daughter is Head of PR (UK and Europe to be precise) at Choo.  Life is good.
Shabir And Trinny on Body Cleansing

Squalane Oil

When I’m writing the newsletter, my best moments are when somebody else has written about a subject and I can put my feet up and have a brain-rest for a few minutes. So thank you to Sali Hughes for writing, in depth, about Squalane in a recent article in The Guardian.

Describing it as a cheap, unfussy oil for all skin types, Squalane Oil has been Sali’s go-to for decades and she is delighted that it’s finally enjoying a big moment. And it is. We sold out within 24 hours of the article being published, but thankfully it is now back in stock. For ease I am linking the article below, which I hope you enjoy reading. For the record, I did a ritualistic happy dance when I read it.
A Cheap, Unfussy Oil For All Skin Types by Sali Hughes; 100% Pure Squalane Oil by GoW for VH £9 for 30 ml

Are Sugar Substitutes Healthier Than Sugar?

This from Shabir: With many health warnings about the amount of sugar we consume these days, it is not a surprise that many people are looking to use a sugar substitute. When the body metabolises sugar, the by-products of this process are very damaging to all the structural proteins within our bodies as well as having an impact on virtually every single system and gland within our bodies.

The increase in sugar substitutes, I believe, is because artificial sweeteners, whilst used extensively in beverages, are not really a relevant form of sweetener for deserts, cakes and other baked goods.

Natural forms of sugar including honey, raw cane sugar, maple syrup, fruit and coconut nectar, all have an impact on blood sugar levels. As soon as you ingest any form of sugar, insulin levels in the bloodstream increase in order to convert this sugar into energy or if it’s not utilised for energy then sugar is converted into fat for storage. This process applies to all forms of sugar and therefore it is always prudent to use sugar in moderation.

In his article, Shabir takes an in-depth look at artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes concluding with Palmyra Sugar, which he rather likes:

Palmyra sugar also known as Palmyra Jaggery is the crystallised nectar obtained from the flowers of the Palmyra palm which grows in Sri Lanka and India. Palmyra Tree Blossom Sugar is nutrient dense and is a great source of B vitamins. One teaspoon of Palmyra Blossom Sugar provides 130% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin B-12; 200% of Vitamin B-6 and over 600% of Vitamin B-1.

Palmyra Tree Blossom Sugar in comparison to sugar has a Glycemic Index of 40, sugar has an index of 100. The Glycemic Index is a rating for foods containing carbohydrates to show how quickly each food affects your sugar levels after ingestion. Refined sugar and processed foods have a higher Glycemic Index than wholemeal grains and pulses whose carbohydrates are broken down slowly.

SugaVida’s Organic Palmyra Tree Blossom Sugar has a deep, warm caramel flavour. You can use it as a direct substitute for recipes that call for sugar and often you can use half the amount suggested. It is organic, ethically sourced and a sustainable business for communities who farm this.

I don’t believe that there is any place in our diets for man-made chemical sweeteners such as aspartame and acesulfame K. For those who require sugar within their diet and through food, then Palmyra Blossom Sugar is, in my opinion, the best of the bunch of sugar substitutes.
VH Editorial: Are Sugar Substitutes Healthier Than Sugar?Organic Palmyra Tree Blossom Sugar £8.99 for 250 grams

Eye Reboot Serum

We like this under-eye serum. Containing a high 6% concentration of ultra-pure caffeine, clinically proven to help reduce the dreadful puff, it also includes Hyaluronic Acid, Rosehip Oil, Niacinamide, Retinol, Green Tea and Calendula extract. It absorbs quickly and should be massaged onto the eye contour twice a day. It delivers.
Eye Reboot Serum by QRx Labs £12 for 30 ml

Hydrolific Serum

And another new product from QRx Labs. Hydrolific Serum is a highly concentrated Hyaluronic Acid serum which has been boosted with Pro-Vitamin B5. Helping to plump up the skin, the B5 element provides soothing and healing qualities for the skin.
Hydrolific Serum by QRxLabs £10 for 60 ml

The Beauty Bible Awards 2019

For the past 21 years, the mission of Beauty Bible has been to cut through the hype and help women take a short-cut to products that really do what they say on the tin/jar/tube.

I am thrilled that we list so many of the winning products, too numerous to mention here, but the Beauty Bible girls give some of the lowdown in their article below. I say that these awards go from strength to strength and so many congratulations to all the winners, not forgetting of course the ‘real women’ who tested these products over a period of four months. It is a mammoth task and as one award ceremony ends, the build-up to the 2020 awards begin.
The Beauty Bible Awards 2019

Comfort Cream D-Stress by Sarah Chapman

And did Sarah Chapman win a Beauty Bible award – yes, she did for Overnight Facial, which I’ll link below. But for now I need to tell you about a new product launch from Sarah, which is always a bit of an occasion. Sarah’s words before anything:

‘Sensitivity is complex and can be triggered by a number of different and changeable factors. From hormones and your genetic skin make-up to lifestyle and the environment.

Following careful research into the primary triggers of sensitivity and how to support the skin to minimise flare-ups, I created my Advanced Comfort Cream D-Stress to instantly relieve, support and protect, while boosting the skin’s natural-defence barrier in the long term’.

This nourishing recovery cream includes key ingredients, which are all listed on our product page. I am not going into the scientific significance of each of these here, but they are powered to perform and will help heal weakened skin, amongst several other attributes.

Before I end this section, I also need to tell you that after an absence of a year, Icon Night Cream is back. This is the night cream which features a revolutionary targeted drone delivery system and so many SC fans adored.
Comfort Cream D-Stress £59 for 50 ml; Icon Night Cream £98 for 30 ml; Overnight Facial £49 for 15 ml

Treating An Over-Active Bladder

Losing control of your bladder can be a very embarrassing concern with widespread ramifications. People who have bladder control problems have trouble stopping the flow of urine, which is classified as urinary incontinence or an over-active bladder. For others it may just be a case of a constant urge to urinate, which is often termed as sensitive bladder.

According to recent statistics, less than half of women and a quarter of men who suffer from an over-active bladder ever seek medical help. Two large studies indicate that one in six adults report some signs of an over-active bladder, with one in three having episodes of urge incontinence.

An over-active bladder affects one in six adults over the age of 40 and is defined as having an urgent need to empty the bladder during the day and night, along with incontinence. Those afflicted with an over-active bladder have to go to the bathroom frequently, leak urine into their clothes and report feeling depressed, stressed and sleep-deprived.

As early as 1578, a European herbal encyclopaedia mentions the use of pumpkin seeds to help treat urinary problems. In Germany, pumpkin seed extract is officially approved for the treatment of irritable bladder. We have known for years that pumpkin seed extracts are good for urinary problems, however most supplements use pumpkin seed oil, where in recent studies the water-soluble fraction of pumpkin seeds has demonstrated impressive results.

You can read the entire article by clicking on the link below, but for those seeking a natural remedy to help address urinary incontinence, an over-active bladder or the symptoms of prostate enlargement, we recommend Water-Soluble Pumpkin Seed Extract capsules, which is free from wheat, gluten, soya and other allergens.
VH Editorial: Treating An Over-Active BladderWater-Soluble Pumpkin Seed Extract Capsules £17 for 60 Capsules

African Super-Teas by Aduna

We have been extolling the virtues of Aduna’s Moringa Powder for the longest time and now they have released a range of Super-Teas. These teas have been specially crafted using the highest quality active botanical ingredients, including generous doses of African Superfoods, giving each tea a unique feel-good benefit.

Made with whole pieces of fruit, herbs, leaves, flowers and spices, these are available in five different flavours: Vitality (Lemon, Ginger & Baobab), Relax (Cinnamon-Spiced Cacao), Cleanse (Mint, Nettle & Moringa), Detox (Green Tea & Turmeric) and Radiance (Rosehip, Aloe Vera & Hibiscus).

A Treat: Priced at £4.99 for 15 tea pyramids, you can of course buy these individually, but if you purchase Moringa Green Superleaf Powder, we will automatically include one packet of the Cleanse tea with your order, while stock lasts. This will not show up on your invoice, but will be included automatically.
VH Editorial: Is Moringa Powder The New Superfood?Moringa Green Superleaf Powder £13.99 for 275 grams; African Super-Teas £4.99

A Few Things

On the January newsletter I wrote about the Vitality Revealed Masks, the dry masks from Nannette de Gaspe which are hideously expensive.  I didn’t think anybody would buy them (more for me), but so many of you did; Catherine Robinson of CN Traveller certainly did and you can read what she has to say about it below.

For those that indulged, a trick.  Once the mask is in place, you are meant to massage it for a couple of minutes to release the actives onto your skin.  I get bored doing that, so I take my Beauty Restorer and use it over the top of the masks.  Two birds, one stone.  Amazing skin.
Vitality Revealed Face Mask by Catherine Robinson; Vitality Revealed from £80; Beauty Restorer £35

Another new product from Viridian. Aronia & Cacao Frappe is a modern twist on Native American and Mayan traditions to create a pleasant tasting phytonutrient-dense beverage. Having powerful antioxidant properties, it is gastro-protective and it may help enhance circulation. The inclusion of Quinic acid, which is five times stronger than cranberries, can also help to improve urinary health.
Aronia & Cacao Frappe £30 for 30 grams

Several birthday celebrations: Happy 4th birthday to Sheald Recovery Balm. After all this time, nothing touches it for open-wound healing and the reduction of scars. Happy 1st birthday to Hayo’u, launched one year ago this month and it is one year since Trinny invited Shabir into her bathroom where they discussed Common Health Concerns. The next Trinny & Shabir show will be about sleep, a huge topic, which will take place towards the end of February I think. No known date yet!
Sheald Recovery Balm by iS Clinical £43 for 60 ml; Hayo’u; Common Health Concerns with Trinny & Shabir

VH Editorial

I have written about several of this month’s articles throughout the newsletter, but additionally Jackie Annesley writes about cats, two of them; Perdita Nouril informs us how to take the perfect bath (written before the advent of Beat the Blues!) and Jo Fairley discusses how to follow a social media diet.
The Kitten, The Vet And The Pet That Made Our Family Happy by Jackie Annesley; How To Take The Perfect Bath by Perdia Nouril; How To Follow A Social Media Diet by Jo Fairley (who has had her phone turned off for nearly two weeks!)

And through my tears:

Brandon Truaxe – A Tribute

There are no words to describe the sadness I feel at the recent passing of Brandon.  As many of you know, this past year has been so very difficult, not only for Brandon, but for the people closest to him.

Much was written, much was speculated, which in and of itself carried its own destructive energy. I am not writing these words staring through rose-tinted spectacles, because like so many who carry the vibration of a genius, he was flawed, but then to be flawed is to be human.

Over the past year Brandon went to a place where I couldn’t find him and I couldn’t reach him, no matter how I tried.  I was used to his erratic behaviour, he was difficult, he was obsessive, and you really didn’t want to be around when he was screaming (often), but his brilliance was breathtaking.

And then it all went wrong.  It is still too painful to talk about, but after three years of being as close as two people could ever be, he cut all ties on a personal and business level and I was left reeling.  More recently he told me that it was one of the worst decisions he had ever made and that we had shared more than most do in a lifetime.  That much is true.

The work we did together is well documented and I remain privileged to have launched NIOD and The Ordinary with him and for him, but my love for Brandon was not because of the obvious commercial success of those brands.  It came before that.  It came in the form of Avestan, Brandon’s long-held, now to be unfulfilled, dream, which touched me so deeply, a bond was made before we even met.

I always thought that I would see him again and we would do the things we wanted to do, but I was wrong.

I pray that his soul rests in everlasting peace.

Brandon Carrano Truaxe, I will never forget you.
https://avestan.com/about

With love

Gill x

The Beauty Bible’s August Picks

green clay

Now and again, as connoisseurs of all things gorgeousness-related, we like to share on VH a round-up of some of our recent faves which you can find right here, right now on the website. So: here’s what Beauty Bible’s been loving, lately…

Margaret Dabbs Fabulous Legs

We’d never really thought of giving our legs a ‘makeover’ before – but boy, does this collection do just that. Five products in all (obviously you needn’t use ALL of them, though we did). Before? Legs dull, flaky, generally meh-looking. Afterwards? Not only bareable but actually BARED, thanks to soaring weekend temperatures.

The regime starts with a scrub – Toning Leg Scrub. First, a little caveat: before you’ve used this, you need to stir it. And the pot’s full. And if you take the lid off in bed in your nightie (as Jo did), to sniff it, then you will also probably have to change said nightie. So: do this in the bathroom, and stir with the spatula. Scoop the scrub from the bottom of the pot onto legs, and massage well for three to five minutes. Legs will be unbelievably soft and smooth once you’ve showered this off. To be honest, this is a leg-makeover-in-a-pot, in itself.

Then, a leg mask. A LEG MASK? Yup. Choice of two. The Yellow Leg Masque is skin-brightening and radiance-boosting. You probably don’t need it all over right now, so we recommend slathering the mix – enriched with argan and sweet almond oil – from knees to ankles. If heavy legs are a problem, then go for the decongesting Black Leg Masque – we love the camphor-y, seriously aromatic scent of this, and it’s great for that tired-leg feeling.

We suggest following with either/or the following. We love the smoothing effect of Firming Leg Serum, which quenches skin with moisture, boosting circulation while it’s at it (a blend of ginger extract, argan and Abyssinia oil feature, among other ingredients).

Last step is Refining Glow Leg Spray, which brings a sense of lightness to legs (again, that ginger/oil blend, together with cypress, lavender, mint and lemon). It’d be a great leg reviver to use on-the-go. (Will it work through tights? We’re rather hoping we don’t have to find out.)

Transformative. Truly.

Thyme Out

This product has been a complete blockbuster since it landed at VH. Think of it as the skin equivalent of Ocean’s 8, or a Jojo Moyes novel, or a track from Beyoncé. Off-the-scale popular.

And its success is a reminder of just how many of us have niggly skin issues: rashes, eczema, prickly heat, psoriasis – not to mention acne and breakouts, as well as cuts and grazes. We’ve personally already used it on a really annoying persistent mystery itch, on insect bites (the British mosquito season has started early after the combo of sunshine/storms), nettle rash…

Thyme Out is organically-sourced, and water – not alcohol-based (so you can put it on skin you’ve scratched till it’s raw without any stinging). It smells so strongly of thyme (in a good way) that we’re almost tempted to sprinkle it on tomatoes before tucking them under a grill. (We won’t, of course – but we’ll make sure that there’s a bottle of this handy for coming in from the garden, as well as on the bedside table.)

Cleverly, the generously-sized bottle comes with a small spritzer that you can tuck in your handbag or washbag. (Be aware: this is a spray, not a rollerball; Jo took off the lid to roll it onto skin and deposited the thyme-fragranced contents all over her clean sheets. Which she didn’t really mind – and it doesn’t stain permanently – but isn’t what you really want.)

For annoying skin woes, we think it’ll swiftly become your No.1.

Temple Spa Trufflelixir

Fact: a tide of beauty products flows into Beauty Bible HQ. The process is: some of it goes into our ‘holding bay’ (affectionately known as ‘The Beauty Dungeon’), for us to look at later.

Some of it is just tagged ‘Get ten of these and listen to what a Beauty Bible tester panel has to say about its effectiveness’ – because we don’t have enough square footage of skin to put everything through its paces.

And just some of it – often when we’ve previously been impressed by a brand’s previous offering, or there’s something truly innovative about a product – gets fast-tracked for testing on our own faces. Straight away.

So, obviously, we were going to start immediately on Trufflelixir, with the astonishing results that previous Temple Spa Skin Truffle creams have notched up in our Beauty Bible Awards.

After a couple of months of use, we can report: this is really impressive stuff. It’s a breeze to use – one pump, a few drops, and it glides smoothly all over skin, making it look instantly radiant. (We do love a bit of instant benefit, while waiting for long-term results.) Importantly, although it contains retinol, we had no reaction whatsoever – none of the flaking and redness sometimes experienced with retinol/vitamin A products, in the past, which have left us wary.

There are all the luxe ingredients in there we’ve come to expect from the Skin Truffle range – diamond powder, gold, silk peptides, a champagne extract and summer truffles! All of which deliver the luxurious texture that makes this really lovely to use.

Long-term, we look in the mirror and see: brighter skin, a more even skintone and fine lines that have become that bit finer. It’s a must for any Skin Truffle fan, to layer beneath that cream – but if you’re looking to add a fab serum offering visible benefits into your regime pretty much from the get-go, we suggest you truffle this out.

Because while truffles may famously like the dark, this ain’t going anywhere near that dungeon.

Ilapothecary

Some of you may be familiar with Ila? – luxuriously-priced natural treats for face and body, in a range created by natural wellbeing expert and visionary Denise Leicester. It’s amazing stuff – treats for face and body (and at treat-like prices). But now, it’s got a ‘little sister’ – actually, not so little, with ten or so products that pour Denise’s aromatherapeutic expertise into some seriously mind-shifting products.

They truly smell incredible. But more than that, they’re unbelievably effective – like a giant, aromatic ‘nudge’ into a different mindset. Slightly more affordable, the range offers several real innovations – and here’s the low-down on our faves so far.

Beat The Blues Room Spray: We think this is probably what heaven smells like. Setting out to bust negative energies, it does exactly that – which is why you’ll find us spritzing it around the office in the morning, and why we keep it firmly within reach by the computer, for a quick and joyous burst of clary sage, petitgrain, rose geranium and tuberose. According to Denise, it’s good for helping you listen to your intuition.

Speak Your Truth Aroma Roller: We adore this. It’s a big, fat rollerball of aromatherapeutic magic, incuding rose and sandalwood, polished and sweetened with nurturing vanilla. It’s not an actual truth serum, but as Denise says, ‘it helps connect our physical body with our meditative being’. Jo rolls it onto her pulse points before doing to her daily calm.com meditation; it is grounding, soothing, helps with focus – and honestly, could be worn as a fragrance in its own right.

Frankly, we are never NOT in the mood for this range.

This Works Evening Detox Mask

Remember Princess Fiona, from Shrek? Well, she’s who you will look like, in this mask.

Do not, however, let the fact that it is really, REALLY green put you off for a minute – because this is a fabulous, fabulous, FAH-BU-LOUS skin treat.

First off, though, we have to say that we think This Works got the positioning of this mask all wrong. We find it way too face-waking for evening use, enlivening both the skin and the senses, with a camphor-and-citrus-and-frankincense, pick-me-up scent.

So for heaven’s sake forget the name, and use it in the mornings. Twice a week, ideally – but we saw fantastic results after just one use, and are now using it regularly. It’s applied via a dispenser brush (you twist it 180º to unlock it), which you use to paint the green mask onto skin. (Incredibly satisfying and soothing feeling, BTW.)

The colour is from malachite – which works to detoxify and protect against pollution. Alongside that, there’s natural kaolin clay – but this doesn’t set super-hard (we’re not fans of many clay masks), or feel uncomfy. There are skin-brightening fruit acids (NB we experience absolutely no reaction to these) – and the whole thing has a great exfoliating action. From first use, skin appears brighter – and we feel really refreshed and ready for the day.

It’s gone straight to the top of our fave mask charts and can’t recommend too highly. Meanwhile, do have fun scaring the living daylights out of the postman, won’t you?

BetterYou Magnesium Sleep

The BetterYou range is all over this website like a rash. (That’s probably a slightly unfortunate turn of phrase, but they do crop up all over the place in the form of magnesium salts, butters etc.)

The whole range is wonderfully sleep-beckoning and muscle-relaxing – a go-to for us in the quest for better sleep for some years, now. But we’re really loving this new addition to the range: a nourishing body lotion rich in magnesium oil (proven to relax tired muscles, slow sensory activity and quieten the mind) – but the pleasure of which is now enhanced by a lovely soothing scent.

It features chamomile and lavender – we’re finding it relaxing from the very first sniff. The idea is to massage four pumps of Magnesium Sleep Mineral Lotion into skin 30 minutes before bedtime, ideally focusing on areas like shoulders, neck and legs. (We like to smooth at least one pump into feet, which are highly absorbent – and could always use some extra moisture!) It’s also safe for use in pregnancy, NB. Can you hear us snoring gently, from there…?

An Ayurvedic Guide To Spring

herbs closeup

Lighter mornings and evenings; the popping up of crocuses and daffodils; the budding of trees –  all the newness and lush growth surrounding us in nature signifies it’s the perfect time to give ourselves a kick-start. However, coming out of winter into spring can feel quite harsh, there’s a sense that we should be bounding with energy, yet we’re not quite in full swing. This is very natural – all holistic health systems recognise the need to support the body during seasonal transition.

In Ayurveda (the Indian ‘science of life’), it’s recognised that our inner systems are affected by our outer environment and the cold, damp air of early spring increases our susceptibility to catarrh, mucus, sniffles and colds as well as allergic rhinitis, hay fever and asthma when trees and flowers begin to release their pollen. This is seen as kapha imbalance – kapha being one of the system’s three doshas; sets of qualities relating to constitution which need to be in balance for good health. Kapha tendencies also include lethargy, water retention and weight gain which makes sense of the sluggishness we often feel after months of hibernating from the cold and dark. We might feel melancholic too, and coming into the brightness of spring light can literally and metaphorically leave us blinking. The good news is the Ayurvedic approach is to adjust our eating, exercise and body care routines subtly so we gently shake off the vestiges of winter and emerge into the longer days slowly and gradually. Read More…

March Newsletter

aries

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…