August Newsletter

august spelled with pink flowers

Hello and welcome to the August newsletter where we talk about wardrobes; skincare wardrobes and supplement wardrobes, with a light touch on fashion wardrobes (full blame on a certain fashion director). With the heat still on (as I’m writing this), we throw the focus on holiday products, although quite honestly we need most of these without even jumping on a plane to seek the sun. It has sought us.

We take a further look at Garden of Wisdom (GoW), the resurrection of a product, which is no longer in product heaven and if you don’t mind, I am also going to talk about my hair for a moment or two. Shabir makes an appearance (one of many) with a skincare regimen that is helping so many of you and there are a few treats sprinkled throughout, so please read carefully, we don’t want you to miss out. Let’s do it: Read More…

The Beauty Bible’s August Picks

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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…?

Big Head

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It started with my tubercular toe. But let’s not start at the very beginning; often a bad place to start. This week it started with the fat lady who fell on top of me; somewhere between sexual assault and attempted murder. It could have happened to anyone; but it happened to me. The fat lady landed on the cracked toenail that had already been run over by a PR who went all passive-aggressive with the wheels of my suitcase after offering to push it for me.

No sooner had foot queen at Margaret Dabbs glued my big toe back together than the fat lady danced on it.  I put out my hand to stop her having a second jig and sprained my wrist. Sane Shabir sent me Bromelain for soft tissue injury which solved that problem. Then I woke up with a spot. More like a planet than a spot. Next time you use a Spacemask, instead of going to Mars you could just pay a visit to the gigantic plook on my face. I could build homes on it and solve the international refugee crisis. Read More…

Time to Fix Sore Feet

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Q: I have a bunion on my right foot. How can I stop it getting worse and is it possible to reverse the problem?

A: More than 15 per cent of women in the UK suffer from bunions, due in part to our liking of pointy toes and high heels. Men may develop them, too, but far fewer do. Many sufferers have a family history of bunions.

A bunion (hallus valgus) is a deformity of the big toe joint. The main sign is the big toe pointing towards, or sometimes overlapping, the other toes on the foot. This may force the outer bone of the big toe to stick out and a bump to form. The big toe joint may be swollen and painful, especially when wearing shoes. Read More…

How Can I Treat My Dry, Cracked Feet?

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Q: I have very rough skin on my feet (and hands), with some cracks on my heels. They feel and look horrible and I need to do something before I can wear summer sandals.

A: The biggest problem that podiatrist Margaret Dabbs (margaretdabbs.co.uk) sees in older feet is dehydration. Cracks allow infections to get in and must be treated.

Book in with an experienced podiatrist. One of the many conditions they treat is dry and cracked heels. Find a local podiatrist on scpod.org.

Everyone should moisturise their feet every night. Because the skin on your feet is thicker, you need targeted products. Try Margaret Dabbs Intensive Hydrating Foot Lotion with emu oil, £25. In your case, pharmacist Shabir Daya recommends Cracked Skin Relief Crème by Derma E, £12.95, which is formulated with antiseptic herbs and vitamins, plus arnica and aloe vera. Apply liberally morning and night.

Buff feet once a week. More often will provoke more rough skin.

Don’t wear closed-in shoes without socks or tights. ‘The moisture from your feet drains into the shoes, drying out the skin,’ says Margaret. Instead, wear sandals.

Always cut toenails straight across. Don’t curve and dig down into the outer corners or this could cause ingrowing nails. Read More…

Common Foot Complaints

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You would be utterly surprised at the number of “everyday” skin conditions which can affect the skin and nails of the feet and with this in mind I have been working on the formulation of a new Hygiene Cream for feet to address many of these everyday conditions.

The hygiene cream launch coincides with the celebration by Margaret Dabbs Clinics of ‘World Foot Health Awareness Month’ in May and is a must-have in any bathroom cabinet. It is particularly good for feet that suffer with bouts of Athlete’s feet, or feet that have damaged and discoloured nails. If hygiene is an issue it is an excellent tool as a treatment measure as well as helping to prevent recurrence of the Athlete’s Foot. For sweat prone or sports feet or for people that swim often and can be affected by the chlorine in the water it can be a great help. I have found that it is great for teenagers, and helps to prevent the occurrence of bacterial infections of the skin.

I have found that females especially can be afflicted on the skin of just one foot – with the skin of the other foot being absolutely perfect. This can be the result of medication, injury or illness affecting the circulation, alcohol intake or just purely hereditary. Read More…