Monthly Archives: February 2016

Retinol Debunked

Vitamin A






Let us start at the beginning! Retinol is derived from Vitamin A and can be found in serums, creams, lotions and potions bought over the counter, whereas retinoid from the same extract is prescription only because it is stronger.

Retinol offers anti-aging benefits because it stimulates the production of new skin cells in addition it helps fade dark spots, hyperpigmentation, hormonal changes, and scars. Prescription retinoids renew the skin, treat acne, reduces appearance of fine lines, and discolouration. They are a stronger dosage and can cause redness and flaking.

Despite retinol’s many benefits, it is important to remember that no single ingredient can take care of all of the skin’s complex needs. You still need SPF, daily exfoliation, moisturisers and face oils. Keeping skin healthy and young requires a combination of ingredients that work together to nourish your skin. Retinol is photosensitive and should only be worn at night it works best when added to your evening routine.

It is key to use small amounts every other day, until your skin works up tolerance.  Clean with a gentle face scrub a few times a week to clear the top layer of old skin. Always finish with a moisturizer. Some great products for night time at Boots.

Don’t forget SPF every morning to finish your beauty routine.

Always consult a professional before undertaking a new regimen.




Meditation For Dummies

how to meditate






Try as you might it is not as easy as it looks, hence it is time to introduce meditation for dummies!

Most feedback is that the experience is almost impossible because you want to quiet everything you will find your mind wandering everywhere and becoming louder and faster the more you want to shut off!  With practice it does get better and here are some handy tips for you to try to make your trip go pleasantly.

quiet spot

Choose your idyllic place, if it is not available physically to you at that time then go somewhere comfortable and imagine being somewhere like an idyll; extremely happy, peaceful, or picturesque.

relax music

Select the relaxing music as a background it is preferable to be lyric free that way you can unwind without getting caught up in the words.

family group

Include the family this is a great time to be together and experience some harmony.

timed minutes

Start off with a short meditation maybe two minutes, the more you enjoy it the longer you can do it for as you become familiar with the practise.

Daily routine

Engage with this exercise as part of your daily routine, maybe not everyone is able to take part every day, but doing it as often as possible will become enjoyable and just part of the day.

body pulse

Concentrate on your beat, your rhythmic pulse, the flow of your force through your body, feel how calm it is and natural.

relax mediate breath

Now focus on your breath, a slow deep inhale and exhale whenever your mind feels like it is wandering or trying to move on bring it slowly back to the fine art of breathing.

End the session with gratitude for your life and all that is in it.  For any help or advice consult a professional, or use an app


Avoid Wheat And Soy







Definitely continue to avoid wheat and soy! Add in all the other downsides (inflammatory properties, gluten issues, and endocrine disruption (from soy) and there are really no good reasons to eat either of them.


Wheat and grain-based foods are all around in bagels, pasta, bread, and breakfast cereals. For many, the thought of eliminating these staples from our diets seems wholly unreasonable, if not ludicrous. But a growing number of people are switching to wheat-free diets — and for very good reason.

Wheat is being increasingly blamed for the onset of other health conditions, like obesity, heart disease, and a host of digestive problems — including the dramatic rise in celiac-like disorders. Wheat raises blood sugar levels, causes immunoreactive problems, inhibits the absorption of important minerals, and aggravates our intestines. Today’s wheat is a far cry from what it was 50 years ago.


Of course, the main reasons why you should avoid soy are the same reasons why you should stay away from other grains and legumes. Lectins will mess with your leptin sensitivity (hunger and energy expenditure signals), making your brain think it’s hungry even when your body has more than enough calories. Leptin resistance could lead to insulin resistance, which could lead to a host of problems also known as the metabolic syndrome. Levels of phytates in soy are also very high. Phytates bind to minerals like zinc, calcium, iron and magnesium and make them unavailable to you.

Asians traditionally eat small amounts of soy and most of it is in a fermented form like nato, miso or tempeh. When you properly ferment beans and grains, they should lose a lot of their lectin and phytate content. Soy also has protease inhibitors, also called trypsin inhibitors. These toxins block the action of enzymes that have the responsibility of digesting certain proteins, but it can also lead to a host of other problems.

Remember always consult a professional before embarking on a regimen




Exercise Mistakes Weight Gain

weight gain






If you aren’t burning more calories than you’re consuming, you’re not going to see a difference on the scale. You may be hungrier than you were before you started exercising resulting in consuming more.

Try eating 5 or 6 small meals, make sure you’re snacking on healthy foods, like fruits and veggies, which do not trigger hunger pangs.

Choose a non-food reward, such as a massage or new workout kit to celebrate your progress.

Knowing how many calories you need will help you figure out how much you need to create a deficit of 3500 calories, which is equal to one pound.

Varying your exercise routine is crucial, mix it up a bit, and remember to push yourself harder each time, that said, make sure you are not attempting to run before you can walk, just a slight increase in effort it all it requires.  Our bodies are machines and they get used to a regimen so even the slightest change is enough.

Beware of sports snacks and drinks they tend to be loaded up with calories and other unwanted ingredients.  Water has been hydrating us since the dawn of time and it is sufficient.

Stock up your larders and kitchens with healthy food choices, and do not eat more just because you are exercising! That is the biggest downfall.  You are trying to achieve less calories, so load up on fruit and veg and keep everything else to a minimum.

Chuck out any processed foods, and those that include preservatives and unhealthy chemicals.  Cook everything from fresh, you can still purchase convenience foods without sauces or unwanted additives. Buy it prepared and then make it yourself at home.

Always consult a professional before embarking on a regimen.


Morning Ritual Drink

hot water drink






Many of us have morning routines that are wonderful health practices — a morning meditation, a few yoga poses, a brisk walk or a delicious power smoothie. Daily routines are vital to health and happiness. We like a hot water and lemon with Himalayan salt due to the ease of making it and the goodness it bestows. Imbibers will know it can increase your immune function, fight inflammation, improve digestion, and balance your body.


Lemons can help dissolve the uric acid in your joints, and also have been found to help build and repair tendons, ligaments, and bone. This anti-inflammatory property may be especially beneficial for people with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

salt and lemon juice

A daily glass of lemon water with Himalayan salt may provide a better overall mineral balance, which promotes proper food and water absorption in your body.

The alkalizing effects of lemon and natural salt are highly useful for managing your body’s delicate pH balance.

Squeezing one lemon into your morning is a natural alternative to that vitamin C supplement.

The all-natural Himalayan salt mixed with lemon juice and water helps to extract toxins from your cells.  Natural salts have been used for centuries for skin care. Interestingly, most spa treatments for cellulitis contain some form of salt and/or citrus blend. A few daily gulps of lemon and salt water in the morning may firm up a few of those unsightly areas. Lemon and salt in this simple morning drink help kill the bad breath bacteria that build up while you’re sleeping. The vitamin C content and hormone-balancing properties of this morning beverage can help lift your mood.



Giving It Lip








There are so many rules when it comes to making up your lips, but for the truly #onFleek brigade it is common knowledge that giving it lip requires a pencil!

lip pencil

Lip pencils in the right shade and texture will create the illusion of a fuller lip by manipulating the shape, anyone who wants to make their lips appear bigger. The advantage of a pencil is that it will prevent lipstick from bleeding, whilst prolonging the wear of the colour.

lip pencils

Not all lip pencils are created equal…choose one that has a slight creamy texture so it will glide on the lines of your lips easily. Pencil is ideal for outlining to mimic the fuller look while crayon covers a greater area for shading inside the lines and preserving the colour.

coloured lip pencils

Start off your basic collection with a nude liner that matches your natural lip, a red liner that goes with your favourite red lipstick, and a deep plum for the nights you want to amp up your look. Make sure they are always sharpened for precision and for a safety buy add an invisible liner this will act as an invisible barrier to stop any bleeding or running and is a good starting point if you are nervous about applying liners and such.

Lipstick pencil

To create a fuller pout use the pencil to line lips just a tad over the actual lip line tweak the shape where needed infill with a lip crayon or lipstick on a lip brush and blend.  For a natural or clean look match the lip liner and colour.  For a more dramatic effect try different shade liner and colours.




Valentine Taking The Leap

Paper heart Valentine








February 14th the most romantic day in the year, and 2016 sees a double whammy bringing with it a Leap Year.  So all bets are off as anyone can do anything, is your valentine taking the leap…

According to an old Irish legend, St Brigid struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men every four years to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to February 29th balances the calendar.

In many European countries, especially in the upper classes of society, tradition dictates that any man who refuses a woman’s proposal on February 29th has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves. The intention is that the woman can wear the gloves to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring. During the middle ages there were laws governing this tradition.

Before you get completely overwhelmed there is much help on hand! phew!! and you can rely on event planners to get your date night perfect all the way through to the much feared proposal.  There are countless ingenious ways to bring your dreams to fruition and all of it on budget as promised by the romantic concierges of many.



Sea Buckthorn Oil Beauty Needs

Sea buckthorn oil and berries






We do our best to stay on fleek but when it happens to incorporate beauty benefits. Super foods are in and the latest addition is sea buckthorn the botanical name refers to a Greek word meaning “the tree that makes the horses shine”. Here comes the science!!


Fatty acids are the end word in nutritional beauty boosters, and sea buckthorn oil is rich in essential omegas (3, 6, and 9), and the rarer omega-7 thus creating healthy skin, hair, and nails imparting nutrition and healing the body from the inside out. They also encourage good gastrointestinal health, which plays a key role in maintaining a clear complexion.

digestive system

As it does above (on the skin) so it does below, sea buckthorn oil has a soothing, healing effect on the digestive system when taken internally, serving to improve the quality of the stomach lining and reducing symptoms associated with acid reflux and other gastrointestinal issues so it helps the body to restore its balance.

fight infection

The oil fights inflammation in both its topical and ingested preparations. Applying the oil to inflamed, compromised skin can reduce the likelihood of infection, and the supplement can boost your immunity to prevent inflammation.

anti age

Containing a powerful concoction of antioxidants, fatty acids, vitamins A, C, E, to name a few, sea buckthorn is an anti-aging powerhouse. By neutralizing free radicals, rebuilding compromised skin cells, soothing inflammation, and plumping and protecting the skin itself, the nourishing oil helps to fight wrinkles, sagging, and loss of elasticity, both with topical use and when taken as a supplement.

Always consult a professional when undergoing a new regimen.



Tidy Cult

Raking leaves tidy






Not all cults are bad! The tidy cult is a revolution that has been gaining popularity and following. A tidy space is a tidy mind and all that goes with it.  We have all heard the phrase ‘put your house in order’ and nothing says organised like it! Don’t stop at your home, continue the theme to your belongings, handbags, accessories, car, garage, workplace etc.


Tidying up is not the same thing as cleaning.  But the visual effects of a tidy space works wonders, that is you can find things easily, retrieve items without fighting for them and most importantly you can quickly do whatever job you are needing to execute without getting waylaid. Cleaning is a natural progression after you have done the tidying a process that should be undertaken whenever you have finished using something.

organised tools

Everything in its place and there is a place for everything, otherwise get rid! be ruthless, if you don’t use it, then you don’t need it. This mantra goes for every item you own.  Never worry that you may need it one day, because this particular unused item will not be fit for purpose at that time.

tidy clothes cupboard

Merchandise all your clothing, that means to organise them by colour.  It is so much easier to wear your pieces if you can see them and know where they are! When it comes to folding items for travel or to put into drawers/shelves we like the savile row robot! Use the same hangers and accessories (hanger inserts for trousers/shirts etc) throughout your cupboards and change them for a different colour/variety in other rooms e.g. wooden large for men, wooden small for kids, lightweight steel for women (they tend to have more clothes so it is less weight overall for the hanging rods).

garden shed

Leave nowhere unchecked be it inside or out…

tidy office

And let’s face it, paperless offices are so now.

tidy pencils

At work, rest

tidy veg

or play!

tidy cables

There is an art to owning a well organised, tidy, clean space and it is easy to do.  Once you start you cannot stop!!




Home Makeover

home makeover





Home makeover is all about new beginnings and enhancing and upgrading the look.  Be it retro, vintage, future forward just be inspired.  When we have the right environment it makes us feel good!

feature wall

Because we like to change it up often and with the new trends (usually every few years) it is good to take the hues and tones that are staples and then dress it up with a feature wall which can be fabric, wallpaper, paint, a mixture of all; or whatever takes your fancy. These indulgences are easy and less expensive to update as the mood takes us too! Colourful pops rich with plentiful textures and fabrics lends an air of sophistication that will encourage you to want to loaf about in style!!

Modern bathroom glass

Thinking about and planning the do over is best kickstarted with mood boards, using pinterest is helpful, or browsing shop windows as they are fashion forward and of the moment lending themselves to immediate translation in the DIY field. Try out something a bit different, for example; glass splashbacks, traditionally seen in a kitchen, utilised in full panels all around the bathroom, maybe two colours that create perspective and lend a feeling of space.

decanter light

Pretty spaces that are airy and bright with delicate touches here and there are complemented beautifully with industrial lighting the two work together in complete harmony.

Before you start if there is anything worth selling contact Furniture Etc

Revamp your home in style and love! #BreakTheRules