Tuesday, 22 June 2010

# 131 This Works Week

I've been making mental notes of all the good stuff all busy working week long, and really must get it down on this page before it all disappears into backlog oblivion. So, there's been a spate of new things [not necessarily new to the market, but new to my bathroom cabinet] of late, and I'm keen to share them with you, because it's been a really really good run, with ne'er a dodgy pot among the lot [I seem to be rhyming a lot today wouldn't you say?]...

Anywho, here's the stuff that's caught my attention:

Creme de la Mer Body Creme. Now, I feel a little bit bad bigging this one up. It's really really expensive, and, well, it already receives a hell of a lot of press coverage & between you and me, I get most excited by those secret finds that are ridiculously reasonable in price but just extraordinary in practice. But, I'm afraid, this one really is worth raving about. I've been using it on arms, thighs, calves and shoulders for 3 weeks [everywhere else is being subjected to lashings & lashings of Stretch Mark Oil - and at 36 weeks, not a mark to be seen, thank gawd - thanks Mama Mio and ESPA!]. What it has done to my skin really is rather remarkable. It's given it a silky stocking feel - it's not sticky or clammy & the product absorbs instantaneously, but over the days, it's just evened out the tone & texture of my skin, leaving it more, well, velvety than I've ever known it. Now, the main problem is, I love it so much that I cannot bear to finish it, because, c'mon peeps, what mother-to-be who's just spent over a grand on baby-ware can afford to blow over £100 on a new tube? I'd keel over with guilt before I forked out the cash, so, for the time being, I'll savour every last squeeze of this stuff & should my skin freak out once it's finished, well, it'll just have to get over it...

Clinique All About Eyes Serum. Perhaps it's the hefty workload or homely to-do-list, but I've been a wee bit skin-delinquent of late - not spending quite so much time on the ol' cleanse & massage as normal - and the Clarisonic's been sat in its cradle for 3 weeks untouched, which is stupid because it actually saves me time - I just can't seem to be bothered to take it from the bedroom to the bathroom when I'm ready to wash my face. LA-HA-ZY right?! Anyway, the eye creams I was trialling [one from Nia24 and one from Emma Hardie], were all ab fab - nothing bad to report really, but I just began to tire of the tap-tap and the pat-pat and the general unscrewing of lids etc etc. God, what IS wrong with me? So, after a Clinique Blogger's Evening a few weeks back I felt it only right to add a bit of the C-word to my beauty routine, and I popped this rollerball-style product into my fridge overnight with the intention of trying it in the morning. Well, what do you know -that was 3 weeks ago and I'm using it day and night, just the quickest and simplest of swipes from outer to inner eye, a simple pat with the ring finger, and I'm done. Eyes do not look any brighter, but I've not been as puffy as I am prone to [and I've gone without a lot of sleep lately!]. The fine lines brought on by dehydration have been kept in check too - and I'm realising that lightweight serums are better than nourishing creams when the main concern is not yet wrinkles. So, yah, I like this one a lot - I just keep forgetting to put it back in the fridge, which isn't actually the end of the world because the nifty metallic rollerbally thing stays very cool at all times - a nice soothing wake-up call when you've slept through the alarm as I have 3 times this week.

Rituals Yin Organic White Lotus & Yi Yi Ren Calming Bed & Body Mist. Wow, now isn't that a mouthful! This came in today's post and the bag it came in smelt so divine that I had to fish through the products, one by one, until I rooted out the culprit. I've been spraying it in my study all day [I know, it's meant for bed, but hey, anything that helps me take deep breaths while on deadline is going to be transplanted] - and I really really like the slightly old-fashioned, mum's house, innocuous soap-and-water, white-petalled-flower scent of it. It's making me smile, a lot, and for that I am thankful. I'm not sure I'd wear it upon my person, but as far as room scents go, this is so much cleaner and less obtrusive than the musky, sandalwoody, jasmine notes I'm so often drawn to. The problem with these ones though is that you can't really escape the 'scentyness' of them - whereas the Rituals one could pass for fresh laundry or babies post-bathtime, in the way that it is very natural and quiet. Yes, a new favourite.

Aldo Coppola Hair Care Range - for Hennaed hair - having been Copollad last week [and, I hate to admit, having a bit of a struggle with my new, much shorter, much messier, much choppier do], I am not having the same teething problems with the AC range of haircare which the lovely salon peeps sent home for me to try. The Henna shampoo - which protects all those lovely glinting highlights my hair is now imbued with - and Henna Highlighting Leave-In Conditioner, are absolutely fab. My hair is feather-soft, very very shiny, and scalp utterly untraumatised [there are no sulphates or other harsh surfactants in the range]. I shall certainly persevere with the hair, but with the haircare - well, I'm a wholehearted convert.

Next up on the testing block: Moroccan Oil Hair Treatment Oil and Hydrating Styling Creme - let's see if these latest cult beauty buys make this wayward mane of mine any easier to bring back to the beautiful creation which I left Coppola's salon with... sleek curls, bouncy bangs and a rush of unabashed root-lift... if ONLY I'd taken a picture!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

#130 Pharmacy Fresh

A few months back I popped into The Organic Pharmacy for a Health Assessment. I'd had one several years back while feeling less than my best and was impressed with the various things it pinpointed. Talking about how & why it works is guaranteed to get eyes a-rolling, because, well, you're strapped up to a bio-energetic device which scans the body, detecting & picking up on various vitamin and mineral deficiencies, food intolerances, toxicity, organ function, hormone balance, viruses, bacteria, fungus, parasites, digestive disorders and stress. The read-out is immensely detailed and often very amusing - not least of all because it also tends to pinpoint the foods you've eaten a lot of just prior to the scan, and if you've been eating said food morning and night [i.e. overdoing it], it'll flag up the possibility of developing a future allergy to said fare. For me it was, ahem, cucumbers - which thanks to bizarre pregnant cravings, I'd been eating whole, and several times a week, just because I really couldn't not - just wanted them SO badly! The homeopath and I had a good giggle at that one though - I mean, who ever heard of anyone being allergic to cucumbers?! I was also, it seemed, at risk of developing intolerances to:

Curry powder [no! no!]

Brewer’s yeast [huh? never had a beer in my life...]

Spinach [yes, too true. makes me sicky inside]

Pineapple [sob. but probably because I'd eaten an entire one in a single sitting the night before]

Lime [again, huh?]

Mushroom [just don't like them, so no great loss]

Casein [of course. always knew that]

Sesame [once again - because of the inordinately huge amount of hummus I consume each & every week, which contains tahini AKA sesame paste]

Carrot [almost as prevalent within my diet as cucumbers... yes, I know I'm odd]

Other things were clearer & less comical. I am absolutely undeniably bad with lactose. No shit Sherlock. Can't even sip cow's milk anymore without gagging. And despite popping those awful pregnancy horse-pills, I was still seriously deficient in several minerals. I was also in the middle of an appalling eczema flare-up which had gotten progressively worse over those 5 pregnant months. I listened, took notes, we chatted & the homeopath [a fab & insightful lady called Sofia], made lists of things I needed to start supplementing my diet with. I've never been a big believer in supplements, but let me say now, it's 4 months later, and am I grateful to her for loading me up that day. I now consider myself a bit of a pregnancy nutrition pro - and can list all the 'premium' supplements that caused nothing but nausea and constipation [both Pregnacare & Solgar really disagreed with me - I noticed the different in my 'sluggish' system within a day or two of swallowing them]. On the other hand, The Organic Pharmacy Pre & Post Natal Vitamins caused me no bother at all & made a marked difference to my mood & wellbeing. Since they ran out [on Monday], I've really felt it - and will be stocking up at the Great Marlborough St store tomorrow. Other impressive supplements were the Omega 3-6-7-9 oil which though not the most delicious thing in the world, is on par with the Udo's Choice Oil. Both have really really helped my eczema calm down - along with teeny amounts of the steroid cream Diprosone & regular rubs with Oilatum Ointment... at last, those red patches have all but disappeared! I was also prescribed Calcium & Magnesium Complex, to aid stress & get extra important minerals to the baby - and, I have to say, I felt pretty darn good about 1 week after I started to swallow them, at night, and just as Sofia said, they also helped aid more restful sleep [I might be one of the few heavily pregnant ladies left who has actually snoozed deeply all the way through her 35/almost 36 weeks - despite a baby who has really learned to produce a spectacular series of almighty KICKS and PUNCHES as soon as her mummy falls asleep. Yowzer].

So, all in all, a mightily productive 90 minutes - and all for £150 [oh, supplements cost extra. Sorry. Good health don't come cheap, right?]

To soften the blow, my dear friends, you might be interested to learn the following:

From 14th – 21st June, The Organic Pharmacy are offering their unique Health Assessment for £100 instead of £150. The offer will be until the end of August for any bookings made between the 14th and the 21st. Visit www.theorganicpharmacy.com for more information.

Would I recommend it? Heartily. Is it worth it? Well, I guess you'll have to see for yourself....