Monday, 21 December 2009

Help Save Our Bees!

Most people seem to be aware that there is a problem with our bee population but perhaps not aware of the disastrous effects it could have on us.

Last winter the UK lost a fifth of it's bee colonies which is an unusually high number. Colony collapse disorder, as it's become known, is when bees desert their colonies for no apparent reason, and it is not just the UK that has been affected - it is happening all over the world. The future of the honeybee is in grave danger, and considering that one third of what we eat is pollinated by them, so is ours.

The honeybee and man have a long history together dating back at least 10,000 years. Not only to they play a vital role in the growth of crops, their sweet honey has been used for centuries and not just for it's flavour. The Ancient Egyptians used it for embalming and the Romans used it as a currency, it has huge significance in many religions and has long been renowned for it's medicinal purposes. Propolis, a substance bees collect from plants to use in their hives is also becoming well known for it's beneficial effects on our health. Beeswax is a regular ingredient in many skincare products because of it's soothing and softening properies, and it's ability to help the skin retain moisture.

Lots of research is being done to understand the plight of the honeybee and hopefully find ways to help it. There are a few theories as to why they are disappearing, one of them is the use of pesticides, evidence of which has been found in nectar and beeswax. The Soil Association are campaigning to get neonicotinoid pesticides banned, click here to read more and sign their petition.

The Vanishing of the Bees is a new film to help raise awareness of this worrying situation. They also have a petition you can sign and more ideas on how to help.

What else can we do? Where possible choose organic food and skincare products that use organic beeswax. Non-organic beekeepers can use chemicals and antibiotics to treat their bees, some will even kill the colonies to remove the honey. Purity Organic Skincare use organic beeswax and right now they have a competition to win a gorgeous bee necklace to help with the campaign.

Bees are essential for the future of man, so we need to start doing our bit to protect them.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Brilliant new facial!

If you're feeling a little lacklustre from the wintery weather or suffering from too many late nights, why not give yourself an early Christmas treat and take some time out for ARK's new Skin Response Facial. ARK treat your skin according to age rather than type, they also take your lifestyle into account so they can really tailor the facial to you. I was lucky enough to experience the treatment and it is 75 mins of pure indulgence. It's a great way to pamper yourself, ease away any tension and give your skin a new lease of life to help keep you glowing through the festive season. To learn more about ARK and their fantastic facial click here to read a feature I wrote for Clique magazine.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Fantastic Lashes

With the festive season upon us, it's time to get glammed up and into the party spirit. False eyelashes are a great way to add instant glamour to any make-up. They can be as bold and dramatic as you like or if you prefer a more subtle look, just a few individual lashes on the outside corners of your eyes can make them shine.

Individual lashes are brilliant for adding depth and length while still keeping the look quite natural. Concentrate them on the outer half of your eyes for an instant lift or apply across the whole lash line for a fuller effect. Gently hold the lashes with your tweezers, dip them in the glue and then lay them on top of your own lashes. The key is to get the lashes as close to your lash line as possible without actually touching the skin.

Strip lashes can give you more of a dramatic look, when deciding which ones to use, think about what kind of effect you are trying to create. If you want more of a feline eye then choose lashes that have more length on the outside edges to wing them up and out. For more of a wide eyed doll look then go for lashes that have more length in the middle. Eylure and Shu Uemura have a great selection to choose from.

Here are some tips for easy application -
  • Before you start squeeze a small amount of glue onto the back of your hand.
  • Apply some eyeliner along the lashline - just in case you don't get the strip as close as you would like, you won't have any skin showing!
  • Check the length of the strip against your lashline and trim if needed.
  • Bend the the strip around a pencil to make it more pliable, then using tweezers, dip it into the glue making sure you have it all the way along the strip, especially at the ends, by now the glue should be tacky which makes it much easier to control.
  • Place lash as close to your lash line as possible, check the position and gently hold in place until glue dries.

If you find strip lashes a bit too much or that the ends always come unstuck, try cutting one lash in half so you get two mini ones, you'll find these much easier to manage, stick to the outer edges for a sexy flick up. If you want to go for all out glamour, try customising your own by doubling sets up for a look that will get you noticed!

If you love the idea of lashes but are worried about applying them yourself, get someone else to do it! Shu Uemura have opened eight pop up lash bars across the UK to help get you party ready, so no excuses!!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Winter Skin Savers

As the temperature starts to drop outside and the heating comes on inside, it can play havoc with our skin. Complexions start to lose their glow, lips are prone to chapping and hands can become dry and cracked. We don't have to suffer with winter skin though, a few changes in our skincare can make a difference and help keep us radiant throughout the colder months.

Try using a creamier cleanser to soothe and nourish your skin from the start of your routine, something like Ren's No 1 purity cleansing balm, which will remove the day's grime without stripping essential moisture.

If you're still using a lightweight moisturiser from the summer then try switching it to the richer version or boost the one you've got by adding a hydrating serum. Facial oils are fantastic as well, they can penetrate further into the skin taking nutrients with them. If you don't like the feel of an oil on your face, then mix a couple of drops in with your moisturiser to still get the benefit, Trilogy's rosehip oil is a great one to try.

A moisturising mask once or twice a week can really help too, Liz Earle's intensive nourishing treatment mask is a real treat for winter skin, don't forget to exfoliate first so that the mask can really get to work.

For those lips try Balm Balm, this great little balm is brilliant for keeping them lovely and soft and is also great for anywhere else that might need a little attention, try it on windswept cheeks.

Handcream is a must in the winter as your hands are exposed to the elements and constant washing, keep one in your bag and one by the kitchen sink, ready for whenever you need it. I love the super moisturising cream by Balance Me.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Organic Skincare that looks after your purse as well

Purity Organic Skincare launched less than 6 months ago and their products are already winning awards. The British company has a strong ethical ethos and the carefully sourced sustainable ingredients make it Ecocert certified, with 98% coming from natural origins and on average 82% from organic farming. Purity have deliberately kept the ingredient list minimal, sweet almond oil, aloe vera, coconut and cranberries are among the selected few that run throughout the range. They may be few in number but as a joint force they work hard to look after your skin.
The actual range itself comprises of just seven products, keeping it as fuss free and uncomplicated as the ingredients. The creams at first seem a little rich but warm them up between your hands and they sink nicely into the skin leaving no residue. The regenerating over night moisturiser does just what it says it does and the anti-ageing serum and mask works a treat too. An even bigger treat is the price which starts at £4.99 for the cleansers and goes up to £8.99 for the mask, although from 22nd November to 27th December the mask is on special offer at £5.99. The range is exclusive to Superdrug and you can buy online, check them out at