Health & Beauty

Welcome to the Health & Beauty section on City Connect

From the latest beauty, fragrance and skincare must haves to reviews of tried and tested wellbeing products, our writers will guide you through everything you need to know about the world of Health & Beauty.

City Connect brings you articles and reviews in this section crammed full of great ideas to stay healthy and look your best including the best male grooming products, luxury spa treatments, innovative skincare, health foods, weight loss advice and much more.

For a list of all Health & Beauty articles, please see below.

New Nutrition Video and Support the OHC Foundation with Your Christmas Shopping!

We hope all is going well for you in the run up to Christmas?  It is still a very busy time here at the Optimum Health Clinic, and for those of you still thinking about our Practitioner Training Courses for next year, please do get in contact ASAP – further information at www.FreedomFromME.co.uk/scholarship.

In this week’s article we have a brand new video with Tanya Page from our Nutrition Department, talking about some of the complex work that goes on behind the scenes in the department.  If you have ever wondered how the department works, what we do with all of those questionnaires, and how we prepare for your consultations, this video tells all – you can view it below

For more information on how consultations work, please click here

Also, for those of you still doing Christmas shopping online, you may be aware of Easyfundraising, which is a great way for a small percentage of what you spend to be donated to our registered charity The Optimum Health Clinic Foundation.  It costs you exactly the same, but it means in the process of just doing your online shopping you can support the pioneering work we are doing in our charity (more on that coming early next year).  We’d really appreciate you taking a few minutes to do this, it is very easy!  The link is atwww.easyfundraising.org.uk and all you have to do is quickly register and then make sure you select The Optimum Health Clinic Foundation ( charity number 1131664) as your chosen good cause.  Any questions, please do contact fundraising@OptimumHealthFoundation.com

We hope you have a great week leading up to Christmas, and we look forward to sharing our final newsletter of the year with you next week, which will include a rather amusing “Outake” of Tanya and Alex attempting to film this week’s video!

Image reproduced from http://www.nutritionist-world.com

Bath Scientists Secure £220k Funding Boost for Dementia Research

A major research project into the role of iron in dementia with Lewy bodies is getting underway in Bath, thanks to grants worth £220,500 from two charities dedicated to funding dementia research. Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s research charity BRACE have teamed up to fund a unique three-year project that could bring new understanding of the disease.

Led by Prof David Brown, the scientists at the University of Bath will study a protein called alpha-synuclein, which accumulates in the brain in dementia with Lewy bodies, as well as other diseases such as Parkinson’s.

Dementia with Lewy bodies is the third most common cause of dementia, affecting about 100,000 people in the UK. People with the disease experience distressing symptoms such as hallucinations, problems with movement similar to Parkinson’s disease and ‘cognitive fluctuations’ – variations in alertness, attention and thinking skills.

Until recently, the normal role of alpha-synuclein has been poorly understood, but Prof Brown and his team have discovered that the protein helps convert iron into a form that can be used by cells. Cells need a certain amount of iron to function properly, and the scientists believe that alpha-synuclein’s normal activity may help protect brain cells. They now want to find out what happens to this activity when the protein begins to accumulate.

One theory suggests that as the protein builds in the brain, it may stop working properly, leading to a lack of iron that can be used by cells. Alternatively, as the amount of alpha-synuclein increases, its activity may also increase, leading to a surplus of iron in the brain. By finding the answers to these important questions, the scientists hope to gain new insight into the chain of events that causes cell death in dementia with Lewy bodies.

Prof Brown said:
“We’re extremely pleased to have secured this funding, which will allow us to gain a much better understanding of some of the processes that occur as alpha-synuclein builds in the brain. Discovering this protein’s normal role was a crucial step forward, but this funding will enable us to investigate what goes wrong in this process. If we can understand what goes wrong in cells as diseases like dementia with Lewy bodies take hold, we stand a much better chance of finding ways to stop those diseases in their tracks.”

Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We’re delighted to be supporting this important project, which could bring us vital new information about a disease that has so far been under-researched. This study could greatly enhance our understanding of the causes of dementia with Lewy bodies, potentially giving us new clues for the development of treatments that could really benefit people.

“It’s especially pleasing to be able to work with such a well-regarded local charity to fund this project, and we hope this partnership could help us make real progress towards our common goal of defeating dementia. With more than 2,000 people affected by dementia in Bath and North East Somerset alone, there is an urgent need for research projects like this one.”

Mark Poarch, chief executive of BRACE, said:
“It’s wonderful to be able to partner Alzheimer’s Research UK and to fund this vital work at Bath University. Some of the most ground breaking research into dementia is being undertaken here in the South West. BRACE is proud to be helping some of the brightest minds in medical research beat this terrible disease.”

Image reproduced from http://www.pediatrics.med.ubc.ca

Ouch, My Teeth! Top Tips for Avoiding Dental Damage

The teeth you have in your mouth need to last you a lifetime, so taking good care of them is important. Most of us know that twinge of pain that comes with a toothache a bit too well though.

When you damage your teeth, the pain can be a serious problem. So can the dental bills that come along with that pain and the restorative treatment you’re going to need.

Keep reading to learn more about how you can protect your teeth and avoid that pain altogether. After all, nobody wants a sore mouth when they can avoid it in the first place.

Stop Chewing Candy

Candy is a serious problem for some people, especially those that like to take big bites out of it. Doing that can really harm your teeth, especially if you like to snack while you’re on the road and away from a toothbrush.

If you have to eat candy, look for foods that aren’t sticky and gummy. You don’t want those bits of acidic sugar sticking to your teeth for hours at a time. They’ll cause some serious damage to your enamel if you forget about them being there.

Brush! Brush!

Brushing your teeth is something you probably already do every single day. If you’re like most people, you do it more than once per day. At least your Brooklyn dentist hopes you brush more than once per day.

The problem is that you might not be brushing smart. The best time to brush is about 30 minutes after you eat – not five minutes after.

That’s because the enamel on your teeth can be worn down when you brush after eating – especially if you ate highly-acidic foods or drank acidic beverages like lemonade or orange juice.

Floss More

A lot of people say they floss their teeth regularly, but what they really mean is that they floss when they remember to do so. Flossing once a week just isn’t going to cut it if you want healthy teeth for the rest of your life.

Try to make sure you’re flossing at least once a day at the end of the day. Put your dental floss in an obvious spot in the bathroom so you don’t forget about it or set a reminder on your phone.

You might also want to consider keeping some dental floss in your office drawer at work. Flossing after every meal is even better than just once per day.

Life or Death?

This may sound like a strange question to ask since you are alive enough to read this but why did it capture your attention?

Did you know that many people are more dead than alive in their daily existence?

Having worked as a nurse for over 13 years, studying health and wellbeing for over 18 years and working with thousands of people who were ill, I realised two incredible facts. The first is that most people who end up in hospital, especially with progressive illness, have spent much of their life dying from within. They have low energy that has been blocked and/or drained for several years before ever ending up in hospital.

What would you do if you had more energy?

Certain things can happen as a result of having more energy. You may need to sleep less, giving you more time. You could find yourself more motivated so that you do all of those things that you have been putting off.

You may possibly start exercising more, getting yourself in better shape, improving your confidence, esteem, relationships and health. This could well lead to a longer, happier and healthier life. It is also likely that your glowing example will be rubbing off on those who you spend the most time with, improving their lives and bringing them all of the same benefits.

How is your energy now?

When I talk about energy, this can be directly attributed to your motivation and the relationship that you have with yourself. Symptoms of an energy blockage or leak are: negative feelings and emotions over an extended period, like guilt, sadness, fear, apathy, resentment, feeling stuck in a job or relationship that you feel has no hope of ever satisfying you, or inability to resolve past challenges or incidents.

Symptoms that your energy is good will be regular physical exercise, enjoyment of life, being able to look in the mirror and love the person that you see, smiling a lot, sleeping less than usual, waking up feeling happy and enthusiastic, contributing to a bigger cause and being able to energise others.

Where do you start?

The most important thing when working with energy is to acknowledge where you are. Rate your current energy, based on the above. How much of your day do you experience the symptoms that cause energy blockages or leaks compared to symptoms of good energy levels? Rate yourself between 1-10. 1 being very low energy, sleeping lots and not wanting to get out of bed and face the day and 10 being extreme motivation and/or happiness and great relationships with yourself and others.

And where do you want to be?

Now that you know where you are, decide where you want to be and how you will know when you are there. Pick the number between 1-10 that you would be happy with and find a marker that would give you an undeniable experience of being there. An example could be being able to fit into certain sized clothes, having a regular exercise routine, letting go of a job/relationship/issue that has been draining your energy for an extended period of time or being able to look in the mirror, smile and love the person looking back at you.

Learn to walk before you can run

I’m sure that most of you have come across the expression “You have to learn to walk before you can run.” It seems so obvious – because it is.

What if there was a way of walking that could give you extra energy, improve your memory, focus and life in the process? Add the fact that once you learn this system once you can use it for the rest of your life, every time you walk.

Interested?

Walk Innovation has been formulated from over 18 years of studying health, disease, energy and the human mind. I have found that time, money or motivation are most people’s reason(s) for not making adjustments that can cause lasting results in their lives. This can occur when your mind makes a decision without involving your body.

Align your body and mind and your energy will increase

Because we learn by association it is all too easy for the mind to make decisions while the body is inactive. If you have ever been to a therapist, workshop, seminar or course, learned some great information that could change your life and not taken action then this could be because your body was inactive when your mind absorbed the information.

The benefits of walking are immense

The simple act of walking alone yields numerous health benefits. It can lower blood pressure and regulate blood sugar naturally, release endorphins, your body’s natural, feel good hormones, strengthen the body, clear the mind, reduce blood pressure and increase longevity.

Walk Innovation gives you energy

Through a set of easy to learn, yet potent steps, Walk Innovation is the most sustainable way to raise your energy and keep the changes. This system will show you how to align the insights of your mind with action from your body. With just a few adjustments to what you think about whilst walking you can harness energy with every single step you take.

Walk Innovation fits into your life

You walk anyway. Once you have learned the Walk Innovation system once you can use it for the rest of your life. It can even be done as a visualisation process for those who can’t walk. Every single step that you ever take can be used to focus your mind and raise your energy with this system.

Walk Innovation is fun, friendly and free!

The simplicity of Walk Innovation is its power. It is a system that fits in with your day and can guide you, step-by-step to feeling better and living a more energised and fulfilling life. Side effects can be losing unwanted weight, better relationships, more confidence, feeling younger and improved health.

By going to our website and leaving your name and e-mail with us you can have access to our free, step-by-step guide, giving you very short, weekly steps of how to use Walk Innovation to get results in every area of your life and feel great.

But what was the second incredible fact?

Most people do not value their health until it has gone. As in many aspects in life, we take things and people for granted, until they are gone. I have seen much sadness as people spent their whole lives saving for a happy retirement, only to retire to a hospital or nursing home bed and spend the rest of their lives bitter and resentful being dependent on others.

Personally, I have witnessed enough pain and dying. Now I want to offer energy and hope to those who are ready for a new way of life.

If you would rather live fully then Walk Innovation and extra energy are my gifts to you.

Depression – What to Do?

1 in 4 British adults experience at least one diagnosable mental health challenge in any one year, according to mentalhealth.org. Furthermore, major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million adults in a given year in America, according to the NIMH.

What are the symptoms?

Depression will often manifest as a lack of motivation. When you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning or you start to hate your life, for whatever reason, then you have been feeling increasing symptoms for a while. You may feel hopelessness, anxiety or helplessness. Your may be less tolerant of others. It is possible that you have considered suicide. You will have less energy and could be experiencing changes in your sleep pattern, appetite or even your menstrual cycle.

Depression affects friends and family members.

All in all, depression affects a vast number of the population and this has ramifications on not just the person who is depressed, but on everyone who cares about them. It is likely that most of the population knows someone who is depressed, whether they have been diagnosed or not.

This page has been created to help those who have depression and those who know someone who is depressed. How can you help them? What do you say? What advice can you give to someone who asks for your help or advice?

What can you do?

Our wellbeing e-course will offer you simple, but very powerful, ways to move in a more positive direction. Getting active is also a great way to start moving to a more positive place. Our Walk Innovation System is a good place to start. By leaving your name and e-mail with us in the box on the right of this screen, you will access the numerous free resources available to you. If you are ready for a big shift then you may be ready for a Wellbeing Breakthrough Session.

What will happen if I don’t do anything about it?

You will suffer, your friends and family, who care about you, will suffer and you may soon feel suicidal. It could cost you your job, your relationships and your life. The true cost of long-term depression cannot truly be measured. The ripple effect caused by negative interactions has the potential to affect thousands of people, maybe more. Ultimately, those who go on to commit suicide do so because they did not get help when they started to feel depressed.

Image reproduced from http://cdn.mymarkettoolkit.com

Stress Management, Obesity and Hypertension and How They All Relate

Watch a video by Adam Shaw about: Stress Management, Obesity and Hypertension and How They All Relate.

In 19 years as a health and well-being professional there has been one common link in all illness. In this video I explain…

– the link between stress, hypertension and obesity
– how stress works and its effect on your body
– how you can manage your stress more effectively

Can Your Thoughts Can Heal Your Body?

Since opening my mind to interventions outside of nursing within the NHS, there have been a few barriers for me. I never really believed that the worlds of energy medicine and personal development were so easily accessible. In this week’s video I offer you an entry that I made last year in Zakynthos that encapsulates my thoughts on the subject.

Image reproduced from http://www.bunspace.com

Time – Your Most Valuable Asset

Money can come and go but your time is truly priceless.

How much quality time does your average day contain?

You may well ask “What do you mean, quality time?” And this is a perfectly reasonable question.

Quality time is different for everyone. For me, quality time is time spent feeling good. There are many external factors that can cause this naturally. Sharing, laughing, connecting with people or nature, helping others to empower themselves, whilst helping myself to feel better.

If less than half of your waking hours involve feeling good then the odds are that you are being given a very clear signal that something needs to change. This happens to me often. Fortunately, these days I am getting better at identifying the symptoms early and making the necessary changes.

Because my internal world has now become more important to me I am learning to trust my heart more. When you don’t feel good you miss out on life. When you don’t feel good you take things and people for granted. When you don’t feel good life hits harder.

Your body is a barometer of how well your body/mind connection is. If you have any non feel-good symptoms then your heart is just helping you to understand that you need a new programme. It was pointed out to me that our heart has an intelligence that is independent of the brain. This is why the head/heart connection is often different. That is when you will hear statements like “My head is telling me x but my heart is telling me y..”

Your head is a computer and can be programmed in alignment with your heart at any time. This takes time and patience. Most important of all it takes a will to want to learn about it and action towards it.

My intent is to trust my heart, feel-good, have fun and walk my talk with anyone wishing to do the same. This is Walk Innovation – where your time is your most significant investment. May you learn to value your time, trust your heart, feel good and walk your talk.

Image reproduced from http://3.bp.blogspot.com

Hungry for Change?

Detoxing is something that I do occasionally to give my system a flush and raise my energy levels. The outcomes are increased energy, motivation and drive. Not to mention extra time, where I would have been eating.

The experience also comes with challenges. Not eating is not natural to most human beings. Changing the habits of a lifetime are never going to be an easy task. I have seen my will power stretched and undergone numerous trials and tribulations in the past week.

I have also listened to numerous opinions on fasting. Most people that I spoke to believed that they would not be able to last that long. Others have told me that there are better ways to detox and some just didn’t see the point at all.

Many people were impressed by my will power and wished that they could do the same. It is my belief that there are many beliefs that are incredibly restricting. It is never a case of not being able to do something like this – it is only a case of having sufficient motivation.

If your life was at stake you would most certainly be able to go a week without food.

Being a Health Consultant with a liking for coffee, chocolate, cake and pizza I take the rough with the smooth. Over the months and years I have reduced my intake of these foods and increased my healthy foods intake, yet I still enjoy indulging occasionally.

During the past week I have discovered the wonders of drinking hot water with lemon, lime, maple syrup and cayenne pepper – a veritable taste sensation. My daily drinks gave me more pleasure than I can describe!

I believe that life is about balance. Focusing too strongly on what you have denied yourself is the fast track to failure. For example, how many smokers stop smoking, only to start again? They are so focused on not smoking that they inevitably do. Only by focusing on the benefits will change ever last.

I decided to distract myself from food by focusing on what I did want. I wanted to take action on things that I was passionate about. One was feeling great (and I did during the fast) and another was running an event that could change lives in a positive way – and maintain the results.

Where do I begin?

I decided to ask the person who had made the most change in my life in a short time, Sidra Zaidi, to work with me. She agreed – that was surprisingly easy – all I had to do was ask. Secondly, we need an idea. A few hours with Sidra saw the creation of The Journey To Empowerment.

Thirdly, we need a date – we quickly agreed that we could both do the 6th December and that it was better to do it sooner, rather than later. Next we needed a venue – it seemed like a daunting experience having had no dealings with this before. So, I put a plea on Facebook for help.

Within minutes two people had given me leads. One phone call later we had a room booked at a reasonable price. Finally, we needed to create some advertising material. That night a good friend spent two hours on Skype going through our advert with meticulous detail.

The result – within two days I had taken an idea and made it real. Furthermore, I had even called another friend and arranged to get it filmed for future marketing material. This was what is possible when I channelled my focus into the benefits of the fast and the extra energy that I had. In this time I felt no hunger – hydration is a great replacement.

Fortunately, during my fast there was a time limit on how long I had to do this for. As I have no intention of giving up anything I was happy to indulge in several puff pastry mince pies upon my completion. I did this experiencing taste like I never had before.

I feel better now than I have all year – and that’s after my cake indulgence. Focus, balance, belief and action are an incredible combination.

How could you feel better right now?

Image reproduced from www.naturalcoloncleansings.com

Emotional Intelligence at the Work Place

Poor emotional intelligence at work can lead to increased stress and sickness.

According to Mind, British businesses lose an estimated £26 billion each year in sickness, absence and lost productivity. With greater awareness and mental health support they said that businesses could save one-third on these costs – ‘a mammoth £8 billion a year.’ Increasing Emotional Intelligence at work will help to do this.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

There are many different interpretations of what exactly emotional intelligence is. I will only offer you my interpretation – “The ability to go swiftly to the place that feels the best in any situation.”

How does this happen in the work place?

With the added pressure of a recession, lay-offs and cut-backs in the current work climate, it is more essential than ever before to gain a higher degree of emotional intelligence. When bosses or colleagues undermine, criticise or threaten you and you do not respond in a way that feels good then this is not emotionally intelligent.

Often at work employees have a problem with someone else and tell everybody except the person that it concerns or those who could do something about it. This divisive practice can cause stress, frustration and can translate into illness, low productivity and a factitious work force. Nobody wins when this status quo remains.

Over time this can cause hypertension as the stress response is triggered in the employees experiencing this. The result is often sickness or absenteeism. Worse still for companies is that employees experiencing these symptoms can be like a cancer for a business, spreading slowly through the system, via the channel of complaints to other employees.

Honesty is the best policy.

If you have an issue with anyone at work it is your duty as an employee to address the source. Do this by stating calmly and assertively how you feel, what caused it and how things could improve in the future. This at least gives the person who is perceived to be at fault a chance to address it and ameliorate the situation. They may even surprise you and were probably not aware how their behaviour has affected you.

If they are not so accommodating then you have every right to take it to their boss, or directly to the CEO of the company. If your issue is with the CEO and they are unreasonable then a new job may well be the answer – before your health suffers the inevitable demise that occurs.

If you are the CEO or department head then it is your duty to encourage an environment of honesty and constant employee feedback. By giving your staff freedom to express them selves honestly, you will be establishing the foundation for more emotionally intelligent employees.

A key factor in communication.

Often when faced with a loud and overbearing employee or boss it is tempting to reply in a softer, more dulcet tone. Just remember that when we are like each other we like each other. Often by matching the tonality of the person that we are communicating with, we increase rapport. Since our tonality represents far more than our language in effective communication, it is a useful tool to match the tone of the person who we are with.

Get it off your chest.

If you have an issue with someone at work then tell them. If you don’t, you may get ill and that would not be emotionally intelligent.

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Your Heart Attacks When Your Head Doesn’t Get It!

Your heart has a separate intelligence to your head and it will attack you if you don’t get the message. In this step we look at how to tune into the message of your heart.

Tune into the message of your heart or it will attack you eventually!

You can never be truly happy on any sort of consistent basis until you understand how your head and heart work.

Both have different functions.

Your heart communicates to you through your emotions. How you FEEL is your heart’s communication to your head.

Only by getting your head and heart in alignment will you truly optimise your energy. Your ability to tune into your emotions and act accordingly will determine how much happiness you allow into your life.

Tune into your emotions and trust them

Image reproduced from http://www.doctorsecrets.com

False Eyelashes: Fake It To Make It

False eyelashes is like clothing for the eyes it can enhance and widen the eyes so much, but if worn incorrectly or too many pairs will be extremely bold and a little OTT.

Strip eyelashes are the ones that are, well, the strip kind and these are the most commonly used false eyelash product, and surprisingly come in so many different varieties from natural to disco-fever, and when I say that I mean I own a few pairs of gold falsies! Always feel free to experiment and have a gander at what’s around, if you really look around – chances are you will find what you’re looking for. Prices of these can range from £1.99 – £10.00+ and my advice is if you’re looking for a standard natural pair, try looking at drug-store (Superdrug or Boots) brands (collection 2000 etc.) as they usually do their own and it’s a lot cheaper! Also look out for deals, usually you can collect bargains on eccentric styled lashes because they are harder to sell!

Individual lashes are more a product that’s used for weddings and special occasions, probably due to the time and effort to apply, not to mention that super strong adhesive you need! They are used loads by beauticians, and is one thing we trained with whilst doing beauty therapy. These come in the bog-standard naturals and vary in shape – small, medium and large so you can apply all around the eye effectively. These do give a much more of a natural look and are a closer alternative to eye-lash extensions.

Eyelash extensions are a cosmetic procedure made to last for a longer period of time than that of the other types, they can last up to months! They are a time-consuming process that must be applied by a professional, it is your choice where to get these procedures done but please take into consideration that one case went to a non-professional in a shopping centre and they used super-glue which almost blinded the client and they had to have their lashes cut off! Not ideal just before a wedding. The eye-lash extensions are a fabulous go-to for holidays or just if you want a break from all that curling and mascara applying, this is something I would love to try one-day as I think it looks stunning!

With false eyelashes, strip and individual, you can curl and I would advise you to apply mascara to blend the natural lashes with the false for a more natural look, clear, brown or black mascara is your choice for whatever type you have on! The lash adhesive available is also quite mixed, I love ones where you can apply to the lash with a tiny brush (remember to keep products like this clean and what your applying to clean) my reason for this is that’s the main style I’ve used for years and I like the control, the one I currently use a lot is the latex-free lash glue by DUO, it dries clear and also makes my life a lot easier if anyone was to have a latex-allergy! To test if you have one do a patch test on the bend of the arm or behind the ear and wait up to 24hrs, a reaction will usually be instant.

There are also lash glues in tube form and that’s the most common I find, just remember to squeeze the tube very lightly as it comes out quite quick! Some lash glues are black so match the eye-liner and to make application ‘easier’, I have not actually ever used this type but I hear it is effective. Try to avoid the little applicators that come with the eyelashes because they are a bit pants, sometimes they’re okay but it is easier for you to purchase a separate adhesive.

For individual lashes you usually use a stronger glue, this is so the tiny delicate few lashes will stay on better, this glue isn’t good to use for strip lashes, as it’s a strong glue in larger amounts will make the eyes water, and you don’t want to ruin that make-up! Remember if you get any in your eyes – remove immediately!

Image reproduced from capitalhairandbeauty.co.uk, gigibeauty.com, eyelashextensionshq.com and pauls-hair-world.co.uk

Pr-eye-mer: Eye Primers

This week’s edition is brought to you by those bare canvases around the eyes, known as the eye-lid, with a wonderful range of different types of make-up to make this area dazzle like disco balls or colours giving luminous neon lights competition, eye primer is a product to keep these products on longer, making brighter and giving dimension.

Like primers for the face eye primers come in different consistencies, there’s liquid, gel and mousse varieties and it is used as a base – applied before eye-shadow/liner and optional to apply concealer first before the base or just go ahead with the primer application.

Liquid primers I find are best to suit all types of skin and ages but it is ideal for dry eye-lids, mature skin and sensitive thin skin, the texture of this is usually creamy and thicker than what the liquid name would make you assume, it’s creamy texture makes it very easy to apply and to make sure to rub it in and keep eyes closed for a few seconds for it to settle into the skin (sometimes it can crease – simply rub and blend any crease lines out) any eye primer that’s the equivalent to fluid and very watery I would say is a no-go, chances are the product’s off or it’s just not going to be ‘strong’ enough as a base. The same attributes can be applied to cream primers, the only thing is that they are thicker so it depends on how smooth and creamy it is to how it will suit you, cream to powder ones I find go cakey quickly so try to find ones with a blend-able and creamy texture.

Thicker primers like mousse ones I find are a little harder to apply, you need to blend more and prolonged rubbing of the eye-lids just isn’t great, they also are more likely to make the eye-shadow/concealer or foundation to cake as it doesn’t settle as well into the skin and creates more of a layered effect. Thick cream primers like Urban Decay Primer Potion (before they changed the formulae & packaging) was great at doing its job of a base and improving the look of eye-shadows etc, but it was very hard to blend on the eye-lids, it would dry very quick on the lid and it went chalky in areas that weren’t blended as well or little parts that were unnoticeable until it dried (also the product itself would dry-out fast) hence eye-shadow being stronger in different places and if you’re precise with make-up it will annoy you, also the chalky appearance makes it a little harder for darker skin tones to use.

Primers can also just be worn alone and just used to conceal veins or improve the colour of skin around the eyes, but they can come in colours like white and black to enhance colours, white would be used more for making bright colours stand out more and black to be used for smoky looks and really making blacks, greys and any dark colour very dark and deep, a lot of mineral make-up companies do make the coloured primers and my first black primer was from ‘The She Space’ many moons ago, the only issue I have with coloured primers is that it can get heavy and is quite likely to crease after a long period of time, e.g. going out dancing will probably make it crease more as being more active makes you sweat more and this will obviously affect the make-up.

There’s a massive range of primers out there and I am sure there’s a few I’ve not come across yet, go out, have fun and experiment all you want with them to find what’s right for you. As for myself I use eye primers, I don’t use it daily as I don’t wear make-up every day the times I really make sure to use it is if I am going out and long social occasions, I’ve done my experiments with primers and I am sure I have the one for me right now and that’s a creamy liquid one and it does the job of making the shadow last longer and being more vivid and bold, even if I’m using nude tones. Whether or not you think this type of make-up product is useful or not it is worth an experiment with once and remember the skin around the eye is a very delicate place, it is its thinnest around the eyes and try to keep application of eye-primers using the ring finger – ideally, as this applies the least pressure.

Product Image reproduced from beautynomics.com, buy-her.com, community.sephora.com and mahyacosmetics.blogspot.co.uk. All other images courtesy of the author.

Exercises to Deal with Back Pain

The Rossiter System Workouts explained:  fast, safely and effective therapy for back pain

This revolutionary stretching technique was developed by and named after the American, Richard Rossiter, a couple of decades ago and only came to England about 3-4 years ago. It is a fast, safe and effective method to help people with back pain!

Since 2003, I have been very passionate about helping people with complementary therapies: and I feel that this is by far the quickest way I learnt to help people to literally step out of pain.

How do Rossiter System workouts work? All you need is a Rossiter System coach who will put one clean socked foot on a part of your body, depending on where your pain is. You work as a team; you, the person in pain, are in charge. The warmth of the foot,  a bit of weight that  is put on your limb and the movement that you will be instructed to do under the foot, will stretch the connective tissue – a network of ligaments, tendons and fascia that holds everything together – in a way that it has probably never been stretched before. The Rossiter System workout gives the body  the space it has lost over time either through injury, overuse, bad posture or a mixture of those.

What happens in a session?

Let’s imagine that we are dealing with a client who suffers from back pain. The client gets to lie on a yoga mat on the floor, face up. The Rossiter System coach will put one foot on the side of the client’s leg. This may sound strange as we are addressing back pain but it works. If it’s an acute problem in the back, we will do the exercise on the leg of the same side, if it’s a chronic problem, we will do the exercise on the opposite side. The coach will put as much weight on the leg as the client can take at this point. The client needs to move the limb under the foot as well as the opposite leg according to the coach’s instructions. After 3 repetitions, the client may get up and walk around the room for a bit. After a few “laps” the client stands still and checks out the back, i.e. s/he does a few movements that were painful or restricted to do before this exercise. What happened? Is the movement easier? is there more range of movement? how is the pain? Then the client goes back on the yoga mat for the next challenge. We do 3 different exercises on the same leg and then the client decides which of these 3 exercises s/he felt benefited the most in terms of his/her back. That would be the one that we are going to do on the other leg to balance things out.

Let’s face it, people don’t necessarily like these exercises – as they will be somewhat uncomfortable to do – but people love the results! People don’t mind going through that bit of discomfort to finally be out of pain/discomfort in everyday life!

I often see people with rounded shoulders – due to too much work on the computer, too much driving etc – tennis or golfer’s elbow, knee pain, sciatica, frozen shoulders etc. They usually feel the benefits and changes from this workout almost instantly. The improvement is also quite visible for those with rounded shoulders. You can see the shoulders drop down and move back in just one session! We do one arm first, have a look in the mirror and then do the other. It’s usually noticeably improved.

This workout may well save you time, energy and money in the long run!

 This article was written by Elke Hausler, a practitioner at Salus Wellness Clinic in Cambridge

Beauty: The Math

Why it’s OK to splurge on the important stuff if you don’t mind scrimping on the essentials!

It is true to say that I do love me a beauty product. I’ve never quite got the shoe thing though, I know for instance that Posh Spice is quite happy giving herself bunions pouring her feet into stilettos which could frankly kill a man in her quest to be the most stylish woman on the planet, but I have a confession to make… I prefer flats. There I’ve said it! And for me browsing the likes of Boots, Superdrug and the various online purveyors of beauty products is what I can only imagine shoe-addicts feel like in Jimmy Choo. They are my Mecca and I could happily spend half my salary on products with scientific sounding ingredients in them that promise to make me ‘glow’, ‘sparkle’ and ‘baby soft’, and when I was starting out in my career and not earning very much money at all I probably did spend half my wage on them, and that isn’t sensible.

So, how do I manage my love of all things beauty related without going overdrawn every month? Simple, I do the math and it goes like this:

Add – the beauty products you can’t live without

I sometimes find myself using the term ‘false economy’ to justify my purchases to friends who have less disposable income than I do and would balk at the prospect of paying over £20 on a lip and cheek tint. This is because every other (usually cheaper) lip tint I’ve had the pleasure of using has been a letdown in comparison to my trusted Benetint. That’s not to say they were not decent tints, most were quite reasonable in fact, but for me Benetint is a legend amongst tints. It is the Godfather of all tints and I would rather be parted from my childhood teddy bear than I would my Benetint.

Add – your (non budget-busting) essentials 

For me it’s things like shower gel, sure there are brands and scents and even formulas I like more than others but I am happy to go with whatever is on offer to fund my tint addiction and ensure that I can buy the foundation which makes me look like I’ve had ten hours sleep every night.

Minus – lots of savings from being bargain savvy

Most stores regularly have great offers on like buy one get one free (BOGOF), 3 for 2 or ‘save 1/3’ etc. on tons of beauty products. This is a good opportunity to make some big savings on the things you needed to buy anyway. Even better, online stores often have an ‘offers’ page which lists the products that are currently on offer. Need antiperspirant and not fussy about which one you end up with? Go on the ‘offers’ page and see if there are any going cheap!

Plus, these days most online companies offer free delivery if you spend over a certain amount (check the website before you spend hours filling your basket to avoid disappointment though), so make yourself a list and do your toiletries shop monthly or bimonthly. If you are struggling to make the minimum order value needed to ensure you are eligible for free delivery (usually about £40) and you have a spare drawer, then think about stocking up on the items which you know you will use and that aren’t perishable – that way you won’t get stung on delivery charges.

Points are another great way of saving money and all the main loyalty schemes on the high street are free to join so there really isn’t anything to lose. I spend roughly £50 on toiletries and beauty products per month and I can sometimes amass £50 worth of points in a 6 month period (Tip: watch out for points events and make sure you use the coupons they send/give you for extra points and savings).

And so she lived happily ever after with perfectly tinted lips, no less

And so with beauty it really isn’t true that the more you spend the better quality product you get. Some of my favourite products cost less than a fiver (and even less if I buy them on offer), but sometimes you find a product which is a little bit more expensive but just works, and in those cases I’m happy spending more knowing I’m getting more. That’s the beauty of beauty though – it’s like a sweetie shop for grown-ups. So experiment, play with the testers and work out what you like…. Then wait for a points event and stock up!

Image reproduced from pmtips.net

At Home Beauty: Nails

This is an article I have been meaning to write for a very long time indeed. It’s all about how to care for your own hands and nails if you don’t want to be visiting a professional, or if you are visiting a pro that they are doing their job properly, as many just are not trained very well. Even the ones that have countless certificates hanging on the wall of their salon may infect be doing you and your nails more harm than good.

If you are a nail addict like me you will need to keep reading. It may shock you and it may give you some useful information. I use to be an educator for some of the top beauty brands in the country so this information is totally 100% correct. I love helping others look good and feel great about themselves with ease. You can be a high maintenance if you like or you can have a little fun by doing home treatments….The right way! Here is the start of my new at home beauty series.

sbs nails 01First off you need to understand what nails are made of. They are totally dead and made up from layers of dead cells called keratin apart from the half moon at the bottom. This is actuality part of the root and is vey delicate indeed so you don’t want to be applying those nasty stick on fake nails for longer than a few days. They can and will affect the growth of the nail and in some cases even create dents that then will need to grow out. If you are fortunate they won’t split open leaving the
nail bed to be exposed to infection and possible permanent loss of the actual nail itself….Scary huh?!

The nails have clever little seals at either end. One is under the free edge called the Hyponychium and its important not to try to dig out any dirt too harshly or use implements to do this either. Using a soft nail brush when washing hands is adequate as it could damage the natural seal.

The other is called the Proximal nail fold and many of you refer to this as the Cuticle…well this is wrong. The Cuticle is actually just a layer of residue cells all over the entire nail bed and can be easily cleaned away. The skin at the bottom called the Proximal nail fold and is there for a reason… To stop infection getting to the root of the nail…So if you own a pair of nippers don’t ever EVER cut away the little bit of skin as this will just make it grow back thicker to protect
itself. If your manicurist is doing this then I highly recommend finding one that does not do this.

sbs nails 02Now you know this you can understand nails a little more too. They need looking after, they need to be kept clean and they actually benefit from wearing nail polish as it protects them. They don’t have lungs and they don’t need to breath its just an old wives tale. The best thing for them is to have a regular manicure… at home or by a professional you choose.

This Quality Ladies Manicure/Pedicure Personal Care Set Red with Solingen Tools – 10 Years Warranty is really the best home kit I have ever come across priced at £32.99 it sounds expensive but compared to 10 years of manicures from a professional its a snip!!

sbs nails 03Here is an explanation about each item.

The Glass nail files are really the best as they are very gentle on the nails. Scissors are for many things but these should be used to shorten the nails or trim the sides.

The nail clippers are the best thing to use shortening fingernails as they clip the layers neatly.

The toe clippers are perfect for shortening tough toe nails. You can clip the sides of the toenails…yes you can but make sure you get all the nail as leaving some behind will cause an ingrown toenail. Now cutting straight across will do the same if you don’t get all the nail in the clipper so its best to cut in 3 sections making sure the side are neatly clipped and then the length.

Pluckers are great to get rid of splinters

Now for the Cuticle pusher, this is your new best friend and can be used after you have a bath when the cuticle tissue is loose or use a cream remover. Then gently slide up and down the bed of the nail and you will see lots of unwanted dead tissue come away. I recommend you do this once a month.

You will notice this kit doesn’t have nippers this is because I think they should only be used by a trained professional and if you have a loose bit of skin or a hang nail just use the small scissors as you are less likely to cause any damage.

sbs nails 04Now to explain what the cuticle is… in fact it covers the entire nail bed. It’s basically the residue from the sticky layer of the proximal nail fold that helps keep infection out and as the nail plate grows it just travels with it. It can be carefully cleaned away by yourself you just need a little know how… So I have done a little routine for you.

The Home Manicure Routine

Wash your hands

Exfoliate hands with All About Hands Avocado Exfoliating Hand & Elbow Scrub 200ml or your regular body scrub will do.

Dry off your hands and rub in a nice hand cream like Chanel Precision Body Excellence Nourishing & Rejuvenating Hand Cream – 75ml/2.5oz its totally the best and won’t leave your hands feeling sticky.

Remove and unwanted nail polish with Cutex Nail Polish Remover Acetone-Free 200ml Acetone free is better for the nails as it won’t dry them out.

Apply Nails Inc Striptease Cuticle Remover 15ml to the surface of 5 nails and massage in. Wait a few minutes for the product to work then gently slide the cuticle pusher up and down the length of the nail. Wipe away any loose cells (cuticle) with damp cotton wool and repeat on the other hand.

Clip the desired length

Gently file the free edge to the desired shape. Using the glass file you can file back and forth no need to file in one direction.

Finish filing by doing a few downward strokes to seal all those layers of dead nail cells together.

Oil the nails with Creative Nail Design Solar Oil Nail and Cuticle Conditioner 7.3 ml and massage in along with some more hand cream if desired. Concentrate on the root of the nail if you are wanting lovely long talons as this will encourage growth.

Cleanse the nail plate using Graham Hands Down Nail Wipes  (as these won’t leave any annoying fluff) and a little of the nail polish remover to just take away excess oil from the nail plate.

Apply a coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Grip Base Coat.

Then apply 2-3 coats of nail polish, I recommend CND VINYLUX TOP COAT & VINYLUX HOLLYWOOD with FREE BIO SCULPTURE NAIL FILE as this is by far the best polish available. Simply wonderful and it drys in 8 minutes, gets stronger as the days go on and lasts up to 10 days

Now you have done your nails and even though they are covered up all these dead cells are very vunerable indeed and absorb water when washing up, cleaning and just general wear and tear, then they dry out and can start to look dishevelled and in most people water damage will appear. Any of you have peeling nails well that’s water damage.  Repeated misuse of detergents and household products will cause them to become very weak and flaky too.

So what can be done I hear you cry, well obviously wear rubber gloves when possible but the 2 other things that you can do to have perfect pinkies is oil them with a really good nail oil morning and night and wearing your nail polish will protect them even more.

Regular manicures or hand massages to encourage new cells to create new nail growth if you wish for longer stunning nails.

This is a perfect recipe for stunning, beautiful and strong nails. For more articles on how to look fantastic visit http://www.slbstyle.com

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