Wednesday 24 February 2016

Morning after the night before

In my ripe old age of 30 I have to say that I am not a big drinker. Alcohol is pretty much a special occasion or an event type thing. I don't have a bar at home like they do on Dynasty with whisky, brandy and whatever else. Even a bottle of wine is rare thing in this house (like a once a year thing). There is one occasion however when alcohol seems to flow freely, and it's a catch up session with my girlfriend. We are talking a bottle of red between the two of us, followed by some limoncello shots. While for some people this may not be a lot, it is way more than my occasional glass of prosecco. I think you can guess where this is going, after the last catch up I had to deal with a nasty hangover. So here is a little step by step of how I deal with the aftermath of a "wild" night out.

Since I would be coming home pretty late... OK fine, just after 11pm ( it's pretty late for me nowadays, my party days are very much in the past). The point is my makeup gets removed with micellar water, or some makeup removal wipes (kept just for such occasions). This means that my skin needs some serious TLC come morning, but I'm jumping ahead of myself.

Step 1 is hydration.

It's pretty obvious that alcohol is a diuretic, so keeping hydrated is number one priority. Upon waking up I will drain the glass of water on my bedside table. However drinking plain water to rehydrate is not what it's about, as it is necessary to replace the electrolytes that were lost. While drinking sports drinks is supposed to be a good option, I wouldn't touch that stuff with a barge pole. Instead I boil the kettle, cut a few slices of fresh ginger, pop them in the cup, poor the boiled water over them and drink the infusion once it's cool enough. Ginger settles the stomach, and while at this point I'm not exactly at the stage where I feel well, I feel like I can stomach some food. I will slice up one or two tomatoes (depending on their size) and sprinkle some herbamare salt on them. The salt will replace the electrolytes, tomatoes are 94% water and are a good source of beta-carotene (which our bodies convert into vit A) and vitamin C, and as it is technically a fruit it will help with those low blood sugar levels.

After this my stomach feels like it's ready for something a little more filling.

It is important to stay hydrated through out the day, coconut water is a natural source of electrolytes, but it needs to be the raw stuff. It is not something that I always have in my fridge so if I don't, I will keep having plain water followed by something like cucumber with a sprinkling of pink Himalayan salt to replenish those electrolytes (having too much plain water quickly without the electrolytes could be potentially dangerous).

Step 2 is nourishment.

The body needs to replace everything that it lost in terms of minerals and vitamins on the daily bases,  possibly a little more when drinking has been involved. So breakfast really needs to be not only nutritious but also easy on the stomach. I always go for porridge made with coconut milk, sliced banana for it's potassium, some goji berries for the amino acids and mineral content, chia seeds for the protein and soluble fiber, bee pollen for the easily utilised protein, and a teaspoon of almond butter for the fat. Oats are also a source of minerals and soluble fiber. The portion I would make is a little smaller than my usual breakfasts as the intention is to take it a little easier on the stomach, but I also wouldn't want to be left hungry, hence why I include so many toppings.

I will also have a small glass of fresh juice, "system reboot" is my particular favourite on mornings like this. I purposefully make it a small glass as I want to replenish nutrients, but I don't want to have too much liquid too quickly.

Step 3 is taking care of  skin.

People often forget that skin is an organ, it works pretty hard, and while detoxing the body is not it's primary function, it does pick up the slack. It is a good idea to give it a helping hand. I will run a bath, not a super hot one just warm enough that I'm OK to spend about 10-15 minutes in it. I add 1/2 to 2/3 of a cup of plain Pink Himalayan salt to the water, relax and let the salty water give my skin a deep cleanse. The salt is the same I would use in the kitchen, purchased in a health food store. I don't want to mess with essential oils at this point, or use any fancy bath salts. 

After the bath I use a magnesium oil spray. Magnesium  helps with sore muscles amongst other things, and in this form it is absorbed through the skin (Epsom salt baths are another way of doing this).

Finally it is time to right the wrongs of improper face cleansing of the night before. This is one of the rare occasions when I will use a balm cleanser in the morning, removing it with a warm flannel, and follow it up with a deep cleansing mask. The mask is my own recipe:

1 teaspoon green clay (if you have very sensitive skin swap it for white clay)
1/4 teaspoon matcha
1/4 teaspoon spirulina

Mix it all together for an even mixture, before adding approximately 2 teaspoons of carrot juice (you are aiming for a thick yogurt consistency (I would normally juice half a carrot or one small one and drink whatever liquid is left over). This is enough mixture for face and neck. Leave it on for about 10 minutes and rinse off.  Any mask that I missed gets gently wiped off with a damp flannel. The green clay might leave your skin slightly flushed, this should go away within half an hour.

At this point I do not dry my face, but let it stay as is and apply a rich oil to damp skin. Holistic Green Beauty pink lotus cellular repair oil* is particularly excellent. It is a seriously nourishing cocktail that leaves my skin glowing. This oil is chock full of antioxidants and gives a good slip, allowing me time for a little massage (one of the best things you can do as part of your beauty routine).

Step 4 is movement.

While doing hard core excercise when hungover could be anti productive and potentially dangerous if it leads to further dehydration, some stretching feels incredibly good. Naturally I turn to yoga. I pretty much do everything in this video minus the head stand (I don't do those in my regular practice, so it would not be something I attempt after a "night on the town").

I will take things easy for the rest of the day, probably whilst muttering something like "I'm never drinking again", and I won't for a long time, but most likely not forever...

This post is not medical advice, just a description of my personal plan of action. Alcohol poisoning is no joke, drink responsibly if you choose to drink and use your common sence. If something is seriously wrong go to a hospital!

*PR sample kindly provided, my opinions are based on personal experience with the product and are honest. I would say scouts honour, but I've never been a scout so that wouldn't be truthful now would it?!

Wednesday 10 February 2016

New and upcoming launches #2

There is so much going on the world of green beauty lately, so many things to discover. My head is spinning a little from all the new brands popping up. Yet it seems the already established names are not sitting on their laurels either, and some exciting releases went straight to my wish list.

RMS master mixer. It seems like everyone and their grandmother is wanting a piece of this action, yet if I'm completely honest I was a little bit dubious about the master mixer. Sure it looked pretty, but how is it any different from a bunch of highleghters I already have... And then I saw this video, not only did it make me consider changing my hair colour to blue, but it made me want the master mixer so badly, that I booked myself in for a preview of the product at Content. While this baby is already available in the U.S. it will be another week or so before UK beauties can get their hands on it. The pre-order option will be available soon on the being content website.

Gressa eye tints. I am huge fan of Gressa, and their lip boosts are pure perfection, a true epitome of no fuss glamour. I can not overestimate my excitement for these new additions to the line up. Judging by the pictures the colours have a pearlescent slightly metallic finish, and the three colours are a gorgeous plum purple, copper bronze, and pale gold. These will be available at the end of February, and hopefully not too long after they will come to Amazingy who stock the rest of the Gressa range in Europe.

Mun No.7 Ayour Body toning serum. This serum has been long in anticipation, and finally became available in U.S. a few weeks ago. Boasting a combination of olive, cucumber and barbary fig oils it promises to be a serious treat for the skin. I love Mun facial serum, it is such a great product, based on that I have pretty high hopes for this serum as well. I am keeping my eye on Reina organics to see when it becomes available in Europe.

With Valentine's fast approaching there are lots of offers and limited edition sets floating about. Itha has a particularly generous 50% off on the entire range, it is for a limited time but no exact date has been given. The lip glows are a particular favourite of mine, and they now come in handy tubes as well as pots, it is a great time to try them.

A.S apothecary has released a beautiful cleansing set which includes not only the mineral powder, their newest product, but a beautiful porcelain bowl and spoon. The set looks absolutely wonderful.

Content have put together a Love collection which includes some raw chocolate, a massage oil and a Lotus Wei infinite love anointing oil (this happens to be my absolute favourite scent).

Don't forget that my discount code for Angel eyes (reviewed here) RAINBOW25 expires on 15th of February.

Wednesday 3 February 2016

Clean Beauty co Workshop

 The world of beauty products is a fascinating and intriguing place, some times it seem there is nothing that a jar of some magical cream doesn't promise to fix. Despite being drawn to new products with luxurious packaging like a moth to a flame, I must admit, I do get tired of being bombarded with miracle solutions to problems I did not realise I had. Reading label after label, trying to figure out if the products ingredients are up to my personal standards can be part of the fun, or it can be a massive headache. Not surprisingly these are the times when the idea of DIY beauty is looking very appealing.

I do go through phases: being like a mad scientist, whipping up face masks, body scrubs and hair serums, to doing no DIY at all for months on end. I am not good at making complicated stuff, so most of what I do are single use recipes with an occasional oil blend here and there. Oh, but the idea of being able to whip up something glorious, well now that is something that is always at the back of my mind.

Clean Beauty Co, represented by the dynamic duo Elsie and Dominika, are on a bit of a mission to make natural beauty accessible and DIY cool. They created a range of simple, clean products, focusing on quality ingredients, and a website full of recipes for treatments you could make with things found in your kitchen. Their enthusiasm is catchy and infectious, they make it sound like anyone can create effective products in the comfort of their own home. That was certainly the feeling that I got at their special workshop launch.

This was an event for friends, family and a handful of bloggers, in a way a trial run before the first official Workshop that will take place on 6th of February. So what is this all about? Why, beauty products of course! In the down stairs section of Maple & Fitz a table was laid out with bottles full of golden oil, empty glass jars and fragrant essential oils. We all knew we were in for a treat. I must admit my own DIY setup never looks like this. After a short presentation by the girls, explaining what we will be doing, things took a sinister turn. Let me paint you a picture: a fairly large group of women wearing hair nets, aprons and rubber gloves, gathered around in the basement of a venue that is not open to the public on Saturdays... There were a few mentions of "Breaking Bad" thrown around, but jokes aside, when making products you really want them to be safe to use so it is important to have a clean environment and sterile packaging. It was reassuring to know that Elsie and Dominika take such things seriously. 

We were divided into groups of 4 and, coincidentally, making 4 products in bigger batches before separating them into appropriate packaging. To distinguish between bottles, everyone came up with names for their products and printed out labels with an old school label maker. Let me tell you, it seemed a little dubious at first, but once you get going that label maker is seriously addictive. I am very tempted to get one.

The products that we made were: fuss free body moisturiser (which we got to customise with our choice of essential oils individually), scrub life coffee scrub, nutter hair serum and rose glow toner. Everything was surprisingly easy to make, and a lot of fun doing it in a group. Products have a decent shelf life: 3 months for the toner and 6 months for everything else. 

After the potion mixing part was done we all went up to indulge in some delicious treats from Maple & Fitz. The food was out of this world, I will be making a point of going back there. We left with our hand made products and an extra goodie bag of treats. I had such an amazing time and definitely feel inspired to experiment. When I looked through the bags I realised that ladies from Clean Beauty co included the recipe cards for the products that we made with exact measurements for a single bottle/jar so I can recreate these again and again.

The workshop tickets are £50 and it includes 3 products that you make on the day, food from Maple & Fitz, and a goodie bag. Elsie and Dominika are very knowledgeable and have lots of tips and tricks when it comes to making products. You can also purchase some of the carrier oils that you use on the day, if you want to recreate the recipes at home, or do some experimenting. It is a really fun event for anyone interested in natural beauty, it will give you a glimpse behind what processes take place to create things that you use on daily bases. Who knows, it might unleash a DIY beauty queen (or king) within.