Say No to Winter Blues

winter-bluesAutumn is here, and winter is just around the corner ,and that means only one thing to some of us, the dreaded Winter blues. In medical terms its called Seasonal Affective Disorder, SAD for short, well it does not have to be that way, I am going to help you feel great about yourself with the wonderful benefits of pure essential oils.

You all must have heard of Aromatherapy. An ancient art combined with the healing value of touch and the therapeutic powers of essential oils in which it promotes good health and a sense of well being, well the subject of Aromatherapy would take me forever to write, as there is so much information to tell about its worth, so I am going to concentrate on the feel good factor of uplifting essential oils that will help you feel emotionally better within yourself through the bleakest of winters. Trust me it works. That little brown bottle of pure essential oils will have you up and running on the darkest and coldest of mornings.

Essential oils are good for your mind and sole. Literally.

I realised the benefits of a few drops of essential oils combined with a carrier oil when I worked as a Therapist at a world famous Spa way back in 2007- by the wonderful feed back from clients.

What is a pure essential oil
These oils are very different from a cooking oil, they are concentrated essences, much lighter than water, they are usually mixed with other ingredients to trap their effectiveness. Because they are so concentrated essential oils are measured in drops.

What is a carrier oil
Carrier oils allow essential oils to permeate the skin, protecting it from irritation.
Grape seed, sweet almond, rose hip, wheat germ and evening primrose. All these oils do not have a strong smell, carrier oils can be added to your essential oil so you will be able to enjoy the pure scent of your favourite oil. It is imperative that you dilute one part essential oil, one part carrier oil (base) because essential oils are plant extracts and extremely powerful and can burn the skin if put on neat. there are only a few essential oil you can put straight onto small areas of the skin and that is pure lavender oil, this has a healing effect on burns and cuts.
Orange Blossom or Neroli essential oils can beat the winter blues – and add carrier oil if you have sensitive skin. After getting up in the morning, while you run your bath add 5/10 drops of orange essential oil to the water, close the door to keep in the vapour, have a soak for about 10 minutes, if you have sensitive skin dilute your essential oil with peach kennel, sweet almond, or apricot carrier oil.

This will also leave your skin wonderfully soft. You will feel uplifted for the day ahead, this oil will also help anxiety and depression. It is great to alleviate the symptoms of pre menstrual tension too.

The next tip works if you get in from work and you have got to go out and you don’t really feel like it. Mix one drop carrier oil, one drop of orange essential oil in a little bowl, get under the running shower and pour the oils onto your wet sponge with your usual shower gel and sponge your whole body over. (you can do this if time is short in the morning)

Drink a glass of orange juice as you go out the door in the morning and you will feel a whole new person.

Basil essential oil
Use the same as Orange essential oil. This oil is a great tonic, lifts fatigue, depression, sluggish skin, and getting the circulation going.

Eucalyptus essential oil
If you have a cold, Eucalyptus oil is a great way of relieving it. Add 1-2 drops into a sink of steaming water, (do not use any more) place a towel over your head , CLOSE YOUR EYES and breath deeply and slowly, this will help clear the sinuses, reduce fever, clear your head. Not recommended for children under seven years old.

Peppermint essential oil
Tired feet -  add 4-5 drops of peppermint oil into a large bowel of warm water and soak feet.
Headaches and colds - to a handkerchief add a 3- 4 drops of oil and inhale to help your cold or headache at work.

A note…
1. Do not take any essential oil internally, (lock them away safe if you have children).

2. When using carrier essential oils with children it is strongly advice to get guidance from a qualified Aromatherapy practitioner before using them as some can be potent to children.

3. Do not apply undiluted essential oils onto skin (they are not fragrances) they can burn and cause irritation to the skin).

4. Not recommended for children under seven.

5. If you’re pregnant ask for guidance first from a local Aromatherapy practitioner before using any pure essential oils.

6. Make sure you store all oils out of the reach of children and store them safely.

There are lots of uplifting essential oils on the market to help beat the winter blues try any of the citrus ones. You can also use your orange essential oil as a room spray to uplift the mood, or get rid of any doggy smells, cigarette smells etc. Just pop in 5 drops of orange or lemon oil into the water, shake your sprayer well, then freshen up the room with this lovely uplifting fresh smell.

What are you waiting for, go to your health store and stock up your bathroom with your little brown bottles and carrier oil, and you can be sure you will have a sunny winter, and get rid of the winter blues once and for all.

Image reproduced from

Winter Ready in Five Easy Steps

1. Switch up Your Skincare Regime

In order to combat the drying effects of cold weather and central heating, as the seasons change, so too should your skincare routine. This may include swapping a foaming wash for a cream-based cleanser, introducing regular conditioning face masks to your routine or switching from a water-based moisturiser to one which is oil-based and slightly thicker. And don’t be too quick to ditch that sun cream… winter skin needs SPF too, you know!

2. Mask It

It’s not only your skin that can dry out in the winter months; your hair may also start to feel parched as a result of the sudden change in temperature. Inject some moisture into it by committing to weekly masks (twice weekly if you can manage it) for touchable hair throughout the party season. Tip: for even softer tresses try wrapping cling film around (or pop a shower cap over) your mask-soaked hair, for maximum absorption.

3. Pucker Up

Unsightly chapped lips are not only a sure fire way to miss out on those mistletoe kisses; they can also be very sore and extremely annoying. Apply a thin layer of lip balm whenever you’re out in the elements to protect lips and keep them kissably soft all winter long. And if that doesn’t work simply buff any dead skin from your lips (very gently) with an old toothbrush dipped in some petroleum jelly.

4. Be Suitably Supple

The skin on your body suffers just as much during the winter months as the skin on your face, so it is a good idea to invest in a thick, creamy lotion or body butter for those days when you’re feeling a bit tight or scaly. Unless you regularly indulge in piping hot baths (which are a bit of a moisture zapper), you shouldn’t need to moisturize every day; every other day or even once or twice a week if you skin is on the oily side should be fine. For a special treat before a big party or if you are feeling particularly parched and in need of a quick fix simply apply a generous helping of body oil (or baby oil if you’re on a budget) from tip to toe – just make sure to rub it in well or you could end up wiping away oily smudges from your surfaces for days after!

5. Unleash Your Inner Vamp

Bronzer and shimmer is great for the summer time, but make up which is slightly vampy and matte works well during the winter because daylight is at its weakest, and so you can get away with playing with stronger colours and more dramatic styles which would seem too harsh for bright, summer days. A dark lip (think burgundy, rust and chocolate) is very chic in the autumn and a strong, red lip screams party season! Nail colours, too, should be bold and dark, as should brows, which, if done right will frame your face and make even barely made up faces look ‘done’.

Image reproduced from

What to Do when the Winter Bug Hits You?

Winter is getting close, it is getting colder and wetter and students from all over the world flock to the universities in Britain. All of this is great news for germs and bad news for us. Many of us get ill at this time of the year and we want to get rid of the bugs as quickly as possible. But what are the best things to do?

Not every bug is the same

Of course, there are many different diseases out there. From a simple cold to stomach bugs or the flu virus, being ill does not mean the same thing in every case. Also, many of us react very differently to different diseases, depending on age, the state of the immune system, the types of stress we have been exposed to or simply, what bacterial or viral strain infect us.

Bacteria and viruses are different things

Bugs can broadly divided into two completely different organisms. Bacteria are small single celled organisms that often infect the gastrointestinal tracts, the stomach and the respiratory system. They can also infect the blood, but that is rare. Viruses on the other hand, are not cellular in nature, but contain DNA or RNA enveloped in a protein capsule, that they inject into human cells to produce more viruses and kill the host cell. Viruses can infect many parts of the body and migrate quickly. Whereas we have chemicals (antibiotics) to treat bacterial infections, viral infections are more difficult to treat and not many antiviral drugs exist or are not very efficient. Influenza (flu) is a virus and the symptoms are usually dire and infected people often can literally not move out of bed for days or weeks. A cold or sore throat is usually caused by bacteria with phlegm building up in the respiratory tract. Stomach bugs are often bacteria but can also be viruses. That is often difficult to know without proper analyses by your doctor.

I have the flu – I have to stay at home!

The flu is something very serious and luckily not many of us get it. If you have a simple cold, you will be able to work and besides a stuffy nose and a headache, your health won’t be impaired too much. If your limbs hurt, you have problems with your digestion, headache and symptoms in your nose and throat, you will have something more serious. This could indeed be the flu and you should definitely see your doctor. However, I have seen many people exaggerate with the word flu and I really hope fewer people have it that claim to have it.

Stomach bugs – ouch!

Stomach bugs can hit us at any time of the year, but usually hit more people during winter due to compromised immune systems. Most people have strong reactions for 1-2 days and then the symptoms subside. Symptoms often include vomiting, diarrhoea and headaches. If symptoms persist too long, you might have a more serious infection and should definitely not wait until you see your doctor. Eating can be difficult when you have a stomach bug. Often people do not eat for a while and then introduce food again slowly after a day or two. That is a good strategy, but you should keep drinking plenty of water and electrolytes, to allow proper hydration and not deplete your body of salts. Of course, teas such as camomile or mint tea, can help soothe and calm down your stomach. Furthermore, really try and listen to your body. Your body will tell you what foods to reintroduce. often blunt food, such as bread, is a good way to start and your body will also often grave for yoghurt once the worst is over. Yoghurt is a great remedy to help restore healthy bacteria in your stomach.

Vitamins, vitamins, vitamins

Vitamins, in particular vitamin C, are very important for your immune system. You can ingest it in forms of fruit or food supplements. Also, zinc is crucial for your body to fight off diseases and can also be ingested effectively and efficiently using supplements.

Pain killers – what to take?

If you are in pain, you should really see your doctor. However, against light pains, remedies such as paracetamol are  a great way to get through the day. Be careful not to overdose! Against headaches, ibuprofen can also be used, but it is quite dangerous for the stomach and should only be used after you have eaten. Some people also like to use aspirin but it is not very efficient for pains caused by infectious diseases. In any case, professional advice by your doctor should be sought if you experience pain.

Stay at home and do not spread the germs

It is always a difficult decision what to do when we are ill. Do not try to be a hero and stay at home and rest. This will help you get over the illness quicker and not put your colleagues and other people on public transports at risk. However, a conscientious decision is always needed.

Please let us know if you found this advise useful or if you have other suggestions concerning this topic.

Image reproduced from and

Autumn/Winter 2013/14 Trends

The bright colours we have seen over the summer  have cooled down for winter and designers  have created new trademarks that are unleashing into the retail stores as we speak. The development of winter pastels have caught the attention of many to keep this winter sweet, while daring biker coats are available to look like a snug rebel this winter. There is something for everybody this winter, and these are just small examples of the autumn/winter trends.

Oh so Velvet! There is something about velvet that reminds us all of winter. Perhaps its the thickness of the fabric that warms us up when we wear it, or the luminosity it brings when it is exposed to the winter light, that reminds us of the festivities that happen during this season. Velvet is already a rich fabric so it’s best worn to a minimum-one item of clothing within your outfit is enough  to create that all winter outfit. To avoid the velvet piece from clashing with the rest of the outfit, try to choose similar colours or compliment with minimalistic colours such as black, navy blue or white. Topshop’s lookbook is a great example to show us how to wear velvet in style.

Clash of the Tartans Just like Velvet, tartan can be overwhelming when deciding how much is too much. With this trend it’s all about being able to complement the material- as tartan checkers range from soft to bold. The most common colour with tartan is red to act as a signal to Christmas. Don’t be afraid to mix checkers together as this creates a modern look- so long as they are the same colours or same texture. To create an effortless look, simple colours such as navy blue, wine red, black and white will do the trick.

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac’s 2011 collection proves to still be in trend with his use of soft tartan material

Faithful Fur 

Fur will always continue to be a winter accessory and is manipulated in forms to keep up with the trends including a fur handbag  or it can be simply be worn as a hat or coat. The best thing about fur is that it is now affordable and with the right eye for quality it can still give you the same warming effect without stretching your pockets. Nothing spells cosy like a fur hat or headband. It is the best accessory to have especially if your constantly on the go- and they have become more inexpensive as well as warmer! Price ranges from £7.00 and vary in the length of the fur. Fur coats can stretch your pockets a bit but they are worth it. It’s best to save up and buy after Christmas as the weather usually becomes more cold around that time.

Buy John Lewis Faux Fur Head Band Online £15.00