December Newsletter

victoria health awards

Voila. It’s the last newsletter of the year, so hello and welcome to the VH Awards 2018. As ever, nobody has voted, which makes me happy for several different reasons, not least because I have no desire to bombard any of you with ‘vote for’ emails when you could be watching a box set, having a bath or be sleeping in bed.

The awards are based on facts, although I have allowed myself some creative license here and there. There are treats attached to some of the awards, but not all awards have products attached to them. Each of the awards given are representative of the journey throughout this year, which has been interesting for many different reasons. Life works in mysterious ways and I fully embrace that as we uphold the thing that matters most to us, namely helping to make a positive difference in all that we do.

So having declared to the VH Addicts that there wouldn’t be any more product launches this year, I eat my words once again. Here we are and here we go: Read More…

Thyme Out

The Furore Surrounding Thyme Out – by Catherine Robinson

 

  • There is always that moment on holiday where one of my children appears at my sun lounger bursting with cartoon tears with a cut, itchy bite, rash or worse, and I panic and think ‘crikey, did I pack Eurax, Calamine Lotion, E45, Sudocream, anti histamine on top of the eight million other medicines?’ Of course, it’s always the cream I left at home, so, off to the hotel doctor we go. The furore surrounding Thyme Out started with a few whispers, a couple of Instagram posts, and then, boom, it’s a race to buy it before it sells out. Thyme Out is an organic, all natural tincture infused with antiseptic Thyme and calming aloe vera that treats so many different skin ailments, you will have to bear with me while I list them: acne, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, cold sores, itchy inflamed skin, cuts, grazes, prickly heat and pet rashes. It smells a bit like pizza but don’t let that put you off because it has the healing powers of the God Apollo. In fact, on my next holiday, I might just pack this and my bikini and be done with it. The 200ml bottle comes with a travel friendly 7 ml refillable bottle to be spritzed in times of crisis but don’t forget about it when you are back at home. It’s amazing at clearing teenage spots and most recently calmed and cleared a horrid skin rash caught from a plant after I was dragged into a bush by my new puppy. Thyme Out

     

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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…

Shabir and Trinny on Summer Ailments

Trinny Woodall and Shabir

Whether you’ve suffered with prickly heat as the temperatures soared or you continuously struggle with tired, heavy legs, the solution to your summer concern could have been discussed in Shabir and Trinny Woodall’s latest Facebook Live on the most common summer ailments. Read More…

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…?

How To Soothe And Prevent Insect Bites

Insect Bites

We thought it was coming to an end, but the heatwave is set to last through until August. Water companies have put a proposed hosepipe ban in place for next month and the sales of fans has gone through the roof. While most of us have been enjoying the warmer climate, it has come with some downsides. This week, the NHS revealed that they have received twice the amount of 111 calls regarding insect bites compared to this time last year. Why? The warm, sticky weather is the perfect breeding ground for horse flies, midges, ants, you name it.

“Horseflies like hot weather in general, so they may become more active around breeding sites and farms in hot weather,” Dr Daniel Whitmore of the Natural History Museum’s insect division told the BBC. “Obviously, by wearing fewer clothes in hot weather we expose ourselves to bites more and become more attractive to the flies.”

Usually you feel a bite before you see it. Give an itchy patch 15 to 20 minutes and a hard, red lump tends to develop. Most bites tend to be nothing more than incredibly itchy, unsightly and irritating, but experts have warned that horsefly bites can become infected if not looked after properly.

If you want to prevent insect bites altogether, plan ahead and buy some vitamin B1 supplements. Studies have shown that this particular vitamin acts as a natural repellent by encouraging your skin to produce an odour that puts insects off. Don’t worry though, this smell isn’t detectable by humans. It’s also a non-toxic option to deet sprays. Shabir recommends taking one Vitamin B1 500mg, £21.99 by Solgar Vitamins, every day two weeks before your holiday and while you’re away.

For those who haven’t been as organised and are fed up of being bitten by the pesky insects, look to Mrs White’s Unstung Hero Mosquito Repellent, £20. It’s a non-toxic spray that offers instant protection from midges. To soothe and de-itch existing bites, invest in Thyme Out, £18. This insanely talented tonic helps to soothe insect bites and stings, as well as ease prickly heat and sunburn. It’s a summer essential and belongs in every bathroom cabinet. Plus, it also comes with a complimentary travel spray, so you can put it in your handbag or hand luggage.

Unsurprisingly, the heatwave has also seen a rise in cases of sunburn across the UK. To help ease your sunburn and other issues that arise in the hot weather, read Shabir’s guide to The Most Common Holiday Concerns Solved.