Thursday, 28 February 2013

Live Radio Interview with Ask Molly

Check out this recent radio interview on Spring Makeup and Mothers Day Gifts. Includes HD Brows, Estee Lauder, Susan Posnick, Elemis and much more.

Mothers Day Gifts

I don’t celebrate Pancake Day (invented by men surely) nor Goldfish Day (ok I made that up), but if there is one commercialised date I do celebrate its Mother’s Day as quite simply my mum is my rock. She pulls me up when I’m down, listens to me when I talk rubbish (regularly), gives the honest truth when I wear something awful (sometimes too honest) but most importantly she loves me unconditionally – or so I hope (I’ve not been in prison yet…)! It’s only since being a mum myself that I believe in Karma and I can see my mum grin as another grey hair appears on me. When my 4 year old grabbed my favourite expensive hair conditioner and decided to empty it over the floor, his school uniform and his mouth(he thought it was toothpaste), I was reminded of emptying her Chanel No 5 into a bowl with roses from her garden to make my own perfume – destined to be a Beauty Ed! My mum is my best friend, confidante and stern matron rolled into one and I love her to bits!  This year I decided she deserved the best and to spoil her, so with that I went on a search to see what I could find to make her feel special.

The New Pharmacy in Brentwood High Street is always my first choice (I know I’ve featured them before). They sell a huge array of perfect gifts and purchases can be wrapped individually or made into stunning cellophane gifts. I chose a mixture of Clarins which included a shower-gel, body lotion, fragrance spray as well as several travel sizes of products (and if available they will even throw in some free samples).  The uplifting fragrance will revitalise and uplift any worn out mum as well as making her smell amazing and the mini travel sizes of moisturisers, facial wash and night creams are perfect treats for holiday or gym bag.  They also stock makeup, jewellery and perfumes which can all be incorporated into your wrapped present!  

Every mum loves a bit of pampering – Ace Beauty in Shenfield offer some heavenly spa packages such as the Absolute Spa Ritual which includes an ice cool thermal massage to relieve stress followed by the ultimate anti-ageing facial. They also stock my favourite skin brand Elemis which smells divine – one gift any mum will love is the Duchess of the Spa Exotic Body care set. This includes a Tranquil Body Wash, Frangipani Monoi Shower Cream, Tranquil Touch Body Polish and my favourite product the Frangipani Monoi Body Oil which can be used on the hair, body and nails – all the products are full size and last months. To make your mum feel really special, run her a bath, give her a magazine, glass of wine and these products and she’ll be dreamily transported to a Moroccan hamman. Ace Beauty has put together a special Mother’s Day package for £50 which includes 3 visits. Visit a) is a taster 30 minute Elemis Facial, visit b) an Exotic Frangipani Body Wrap or Exotic Coconut and Milk Ritual Wrap and visit c) a 30 minute deep tissue back, neck and shoulder massage - for this amazing offer simply quote askmollybeauty when booking.

If you want to buy online then I’ve done the internet research for you and 100% recommend Ora Naturals Body scrub (RRP £36.90) which contains a blend of reviving Grapefruit, Red Mandarin and Lemongrass – this pampering treat is rich in Argan oil and leaves skin silky smooth – when I used it I left the bathroom door open and my whole house was blissfully scented with the uplifting essential oils.

Finally for a unique and fun gift delivers all over Essex their master creations, putting huge smiles on recipients’ faces - choose from a variety of flower bouquets, hearts to characters!

Stockists – New Pharmacy tel: 01277 216897 Ace Beauty Shenfield tel: 01277 201200 Ora products available at  

For features contact me at or Twitter @askmollybeauty


Thursday, 21 February 2013

Spring Makeup

Spring is my favourite season and whilst I’d like to say it has everything to do with the sun making an appearance, if truth be told it’s because I suffer slightly from OCD and the ecstasy of packing away my bulky, porch-clogging coats, not having to clean muddy paw prints off the wooden floor every two minutes and filling my toilets with linen scented diffusers just brings out the Mrs Bouquet in me. Everything looks brighter, cleaner and fresher and that well just thrills me! Of course added is the excitement of cosmetic companies launching their latest makeup ranges - out go the glitters and heavy colours of Christmas (they ruined my carpet and pillows) and in with sorbet, bright rainbow and shimmering metallic shades.

This year displays are over-spilling with a prism of colours from deep blues, sea greens, punchy pinks, juicy tangerines to the softest of toffee shades.  Lips should either pop with an upbeat red/orange/candy pink or be left subtle with just a hint of caramel and slick of balm - textures are cashmere smooth with not a gloopy gloss in sight. Eyes are smudged with shimmering neutrals or given an ethereal feel with a multitude of shades from bold blue to grass green whilst eyebrows should be kept thick, natural but groomed - heavy foundation is out of vogue and skin should breathe with the lightest of tints to look healthy, natural and glowing.

Emphasis is highly placed on your skin looking its best - to achieve this try Medik8 Vitamin C Serum (RRP £79) a super-antioxidant which feeds the skin with potent amounts of Vitamins C and E. This unique product contains C-Tetra a derivative of Vitamin C and is 4 times more potent than L-ascorbic acid (regular Vitamin C) and used regularly protects against dark spots, eliminates sun damage, brightens and gives luminosity whilst remaining gentle on the skin.  Also on the market is Natox (RRP£89.99) an alternative to Botox, this clinically proven moisturiser reduces frown lines and wrinkles within 3 weeks by restricting muscle movement  through delivering tiny electromagnetically charged particles that relax nerve endings, amazingly this cream is 100% organic, increases hydration and skin cell regeneration.

Department stores are filling their displays with the latest Chubby Sticks from Clinique (RRP £16.00), these innovative eye crayons glide on and blend to perfection - I’m loving Big Blue a light steely blue and Massive Midnight dark navy which gives a new update on smokey eyes avoiding the harshness of black.  Estee Lauder also jumps straight onto the catwalk trend with their adorable Paint Pots a gel colour which can be used as liner or shadow, try Extreme Emerald a shimmering turquoise or Bold Cobalt a deep luscious blue or introduce colour with their Sumptuous Extreme Mascara in Extreme Emerald, this may look scarily bright in the tube but once applied to lashes is surprisingly wearable and gives just a subtle hint of green - wear on its own or with the Paint Pots for a wow factor.  For the creamiest of nude pouts to rival Kim Kardashian, Susan Posnick lipstick (RRP 18.50) in Dubai is an effortless suit all colour for day or evening and doesn’t make teeth look yellow unlike some shades.

Nails are taking centre stage with the Barry M nail varnish collection (RRP£2.99) delectable, girly pinks to satisfy your inner Carrie Bradshaw or punchy, primary pop art colours on trend for spring/summer 13 – try out the sunshine yellow and cobalt blue, mix and match, be creative there’s no uniformed look. Eyes take on a slight sheen with their shimmering Dazzle Dusts (RRP£4.59) in Silver (19) or Light Pink (2) - wear on their own or layer shades for a tantalising effect.

Products featured available from leading department stores and larger chemist stores.

 Medik8 available at Venus Inspired, Chigwell 0208 5001605. Natox available Susan Posnick available J1 Health 01371 832123

Pictured celebrity makeup artist Karleigh Marsh for bookings call 07858 399904 or follow on Twitter @makeupartistKM

If you have a business in Essex you would like featured email me at or follow me on Twitter @askmollybeauty.



Light Lipo - The Invisible Spanx

Cellulite, orange peel, sponginess call it what you will I have it, I don’t like it and I have spent along with many other fellow sufferers wasting pounds and hours trying to find a miracle cure for it. I managed to get away until my late 30’s with just the odd dent but when my kids think its bubble wrap something needs to be done.

Of course there are several things you can do to help eliminate it such as using creams containing caffeine, dry body brushing, change of diet and exercise but as I’ve mentioned before I’m a busy mum of two and just don’t have the time to spend on myself. What I need is a quick fix and that’s when Lara Surtees Beauty Therapy at LA Fitness, Brentwood came to my rescue with the latest in body sculpting treatments – Lipo-Light.

Whilst diet and exercise can help with weight loss there is nothing that can spot reduce and this is where Lipo-Light comes in on its own. It doesn’t involve tubes of fat being drained from the body, but is a non-invasive treatment that holds 16 pads of lights which treat 2 areas at the same time – this is the very latest of technology as most machines only contain 8 pads. It’s clinically proven to stimulate the body’s natural response to burning fat by using laser and whilst this can sound alarming, rest assured it does not cause any unnatural reaction in the body.  Imagine a layer of tissue beneath the skin, the purpose of this tissue is to break down food, retain heat and burn fat however, it can also store fat and this in turn becomes thick, retains water and toxins which give that orange peel effect.  Why does this happen? Well it’s usually a result of bad circulation, water retention, lack of exercise and a diet high in sugar and starches. Lipo-Light works by applying the pads to the fatty areas to open the cells and literally melt fat into the blood stream, this is then channelled through the lymphatic system, the body then produces enzymes to turn the fat into free-fatty acids which are used as energy – hence a cardio session must be taken within 12 hours so your body can burn the fat from exactly where you wish - if cardio is not performed the fat will be reabsorbed back into the skin.

So with all this information to hand I took myself and my muffin top off to Lara in the hope she could sculpt my wobbly bits. During the consultation we agreed that whilst I have the odd dimple my main concerns were my love handles including my back fat. After being measured the pads were placed over these areas and also my inner thighs and left for half an hour. The pads were pleasantly warm like being enveloped in a hot water bottle, in fact I could have quite easily fallen asleep but Lara’s friendly nature made me want to chat and I learnt more about her passion for reflexology, massage and how she acquired the salon 10 years ago.  When I stood up it was obvious to see my stomach was taut, like I was wearing invisible Spanx and this was confirmed when the tape measure showed a loss of 5cm. The final part of the treatment was a half hour cardio session with Nathan Barnes who took into account my arthritic joints and gave me a personalised circuit of suitable exercises to raise my heart rate at a fat burning level.

Lara is currently offering a trial treatment for £37 and it’s a money back guarantee – no inch loss – no pay.  Whilst great for a one off occasion, for best long term results a course of 8 treatments are recommended over a 4 week period inclusive of a personal training session and nutritional advice. Askmollybeauty readers can get an amazing discounted price of £475 instead of £700! Simply call Lara on 07970 444575 (answerphone).         

If you have a business in Essex you would like featured please contact me via e-mail or via twitter @askmollybeauty.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Easy Diet Tips learnt from the best

10 years ago I weighed 15 stone –  not through over eating but through hormone tablets due to a gynecological condition. Fast forward 10 years and I lost 4 stone, but not through diet clubs (believe me I tried them all from Atkins, Weightwatchers, Slimming World to hard core detoxes), but by picking up several tips from the best of personal trainers, trial and error and by reading. Here are my top tips to lose weight without really trying. Of course exercise helps but in fact whilst exercise is widely recognised to help in keeping trim, its in fact nutrition that counts for nearly 80% when it comes to losing weight. However, if you are going to exercise nothing beats walking, jogging or running – its free, a natural movement and something God intended us to do!

  1. Sugar is the enemy, however to give it up completely is hard work. I suggest having 1 cheat day a week (usually Saturday), where you can eat chocolate etc –try to eat dark chocolate rather than cadburys… 
  2. Holland & Barrett make Sunflower and Sesame biscuits sweetened with apple juice –  for a sweet treat eat these without the refined sugar. Alternatively the lowest fat biscuit is Rich Tea.
  3. Get a raw cauliflower and blitz it in a processor until resembles finely grained rice then simply steam and use instead of rice!
  4. Chuck every vegetable you can think of into a slow cooker with some pulses, veg stock and tinned tomatoes –  or simmer on a stove, add spices and eat this with the cauliflower rice, for a fat and virtually calorie free meal.
  5. Boil cauliflower with swede and sweet potato then mash with a little mustard powder and milk for a yummy alternative to mash.
  6. Use lettuce leaves as wraps, simply get a large leaf  add your filling and wrap for a delicious light bite.
  7. An old weight watchers trick is to mash a meringue with strawberries (meringue is low in fat, but still has sugar so have this as a treat).
  8. Peanut butter on apple slices sounds weird but is yum and satisfying.
  9. Prawns in fact any seafood is a great snack to keep in the fridge.
  10. Drink a glass of water every time you feel hungry, then wait to see if you still feel hungry, more often than not thirst is mistaken for hunger.
  11. Always swap fried rice or pilau rice for boiled when ordering a takeaway – this simple step cuts the fat!
  12. Having a kebab, that's fine, just make sure its a shish kebab with extra salad and lemon juice, healthy and yummy.
  13. I always eat my veggies first on a plate then eat protein, carbs last, fill up on the good stuff first.
  14. Having a pizza –  go thin crust with veggies on top – ask for reduced fat cheese.
  15. Having an Indian, go for tikka or something dry, really want your tikka masalla –  then don't deny, just don't have every week.
  16. Chinese, go for stir fried chicken, avoid the sweet and sour, batter dishes –  the batter will end up like fat on your thighs.
  17. Soups are great for filling up on, cut the cream in them but be adventurous such as courgette, cauliflower and turmeric –  just add stock!
  18. Fruit is still sugar but better than sweets, stick some grapes in the freezer for a sweet treat.
  19. Go shopping after you've eaten, shopping on an empty stomach means you're more likely fill your trolley up with calorie-laden food.
  20. Diet foods often contain more sugar than non-diet –  it maybe labeled low fat, but its the sugar count you need look out for!
  21. Nuts maybe fattening, but stick to a small portion (I like brazil nuts for their selenium) to help hunger pangs.
  22. Remember portion size, slice of cheese should be matchbox size, portion of carbs fit into your hand and protein the same. Vegetables are unlimited apart from root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes!
  23. Don't diet to lose weight, do it to be healthy from the inside!

So there are some of my tips. I'm an average 12 and try stick to this about 70% of the time –  I'm not a doctor of health practitioner but as mentioned above have been lucky as a Beauty Editor to have access to some of the best advisers!

Make up like an Essex Girl.....

I'm an Essex girl bred in the heart of TOWIE land, Brentwood. I'm also as you would expect a Beauty Editor to be obsessed with all things make up and skincare. Now whilst mine and indeed the majority of Brentwood girls makeup is slightly more discreet and natural, there are many of you, especially out-of-towners who visit here at weekends totally rocking the full on made up look –  as seen on the likes of Cara/Chloe/Lucy et all -basically TOWIE has its own make up rules.  So if you love your OTT glam and visiting my home county here are my top beauty tips to rock that look and you may even be spotted at The Sugar Hut!

  • Essex girls wouldn't be Essex girls without their tan –  they put orange on the map and now again with the exception of a few cast the darker the better. This is of course necessary to carry off the tiny spangly dresses and bright make up. I love Xen Tan as its a foul proof method which doesn't streak and gives an olive glow –  not orange. It also comes in varying skin shades so you can go as dark as you wish! My other favourite and an old one is Lancome Flash Bronzer but in the mousse format –  this gives a more deep golden glow.
  • Eyes should look overpowering, heavy and basically black. To achieve this look you need at least 2 pairs of false lashes (Eyelure are good) and black glue! Firstly start with colour –  MAC pigments or Sleek makeup palettes are great as the shades are rich, vibrant, shimmery and glamorous. Make sure you prep your eyes first so the colour stays 'true' with a primer try MAC Prep and Prime. Sweep a gold all over the eye as a base (you can build up colour after and the gold shimmers through other colours), taking a charcoal, blend into the crease of the lids winging outwards and upwards, then highlight with a silver just under the brow bone. Go over the lid with your chosen colour, pink, blue, brown then blend. Taking a thick black pencil such as Benefit Bad Gal line your upper lids thickly (this is not a time to be shy), again slanting slightly up into a cats eye. If you prefer you can use a liquid eyeliner, then with a dark kohl smudge under lower lids. Now is the time to apply your fake lashes, I prefer to actually apply the glue to as close to my lash line but still on my lashes, then press down with a cotton bud. If wearing two pairs repeat process. Finally to blend, apply with a slanted eyeliner brush some black shadow for extra depth and to hide any glue mistakes! Brows must be thick, heavy in colour and defined (remember this is not a natural look). I love HD for their shape, if you're coming to Essex check out Michele_offeringHDBrows.
  • Next apply your foundation, I always do this after eyes so powder can easily be wiped away. A matte foundation will give a heavier coverage and stop any shine from dancing and whilst I like a dewy look, this would just mimic sweat (not nice).  Blush should be pink and placed on apples of cheeks, with a highlighter running slightly above cheekbones, down the centre of the nose (to elongate) and finally on decolletege. After blusher, contour with a bronzing powder under the chin, below cheekbones and sides of the forehead to slim the face.
  • Lips should be made to be as large as possible. To achieve this use a highlighter  outside of the lip line, then slightly above lip line use a natural lip liner such as MAC Spice. Next fill in with a matte pink –  matte is best for staying power, next apply gloss as gloopy as you can find into centre of lips and blend outwards (I like any gloss from L'Oreal) and finally with a dab of silver highlighter place a tiny amount in the centre of lips –  trout pout in the making!
  • Nails should be bright or a French Manicure and preferably gel or acrylic.
  • Finally hair must be as big as possible –  start by using a thickening shampoo –  I love Living Proof from Space NK but this is expensive so try Lee Stafford's range. Blow dry hair upside down, brush through and then sectioning off in inches use as many large velcro rollers as you can possibly fit around your head. Spray with Elnett then leave for an hour (all this can be done before make up) finally remove rollers shake head upside down, back comb with a specialist backcombing brush (available Boots or Superdrug) and spritz once more! Move over Lauren!

So there you have it your full on guide to look Chavtastic  and whilst not a look that many would usually go for especially during the day, its fun and if you're young why not go for it you never know you maybe caught on camera!!!

Follow me on Twitter @askmollybeauty or weekly in the Go supplement, Essex Chronicle & Gazettes!

Sunday, 10 February 2013

The wonders of Argan Oil

Argan Oil, Moroccan Oil –  you can't have failed to notice the latest beauty buzz words as these wonder oils have filled up store counters the last year or so. Open a magazine and you'll see a model with gloriously glossy hair attributing it to the latest nut oil. Yet do you know that most of these products are not 100% pure oils? At best many of them contain maybe 80% with the rest of ingredients made up of preservatives etc.

This was until last week when I was sent by the founders Neil and Eylem a bottle of their 100% pure organic Argan Oil – Nadifi Argan Oil. Sourced directly from a small family business in Morocco this pure oil has so many benefits that I wanted to share with you. I always keep some in my handbag due to its many uses and also keep some in my car. All it takes is a couple of minutes a day to see a huge difference….

1) Used on hair as a pre-conditioner, simply apply a small amount, massage in and leave for half an hour follow with a shampoo –  or leave on overnight for a deep conditioner –  both methods will tame the frizziest of hair, leave it super hydrated and glossy. I used a few drops as serum every day in place of my usual serum and my hair looks thicker, healthier and shinier –  this in itself is a miracle as its over processed, dyed regularly and has heated appliances used for shoots regularly. Also if you suffer from cradle cap, dandruff or simply and itchy scalp –  again this wonder oil eliminates an discomfort.

2) Dehydrated, dry, mature, eczema, sensitive or poor skin tone can be improved dramatically within a couple of months by massaging in a few drops morning and night. Within a couple of weeks skin feels supple and best of all it can be used all over the body or face –  it can even help with stretch marks and scarring.

3) If like me you regularly have Gel nails, wash up without gloves which results in dry cuticles and weak nails, then a small amount of Nadifi Argan Oil rubbed in makes them stronger and corrects any brittle or hangnails. Hands are one of the biggest signs of ageing with many people neglecting them, this Oil makes them appear youthful, its also a quick mini manicure as nails are left looking glossy and buffed.

4) Men this is an amazing product for pre-shave and after shave. Apply to clean skin and using a clean blade simply shave the required area, after rinsing massage a couple of drops into the shaved area for baby soft skin.

This fantastic multi-purpose product is available by contacting Neil Rogers at or check out their facebook page at


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The best mens Salon in the UK!


I was recently chatting about my beauty column with some friends when they told me their husbands also enjoyed the features, whilst surprised I’ve come to realise men are more into their skincare than they might care to admit and I’m not talking about the odd shave balm - wives do talk you know! So I thought it about time to set the record straight that whilst some may not know their exfoliators from their retinols (note guys it’s not eyewash), most do like a moisturiser and a massage - so it was only fitting that I investigated the male treatment industry further.

I knew where to go straight away as their reputation outstands them not because they’re an award winning salon which won the Best Male Grooming Salon 2011 in the UK beating Selfridges and Harrods, but because I’d heard and read up on Matthew Norris the owner who has twice won Essex Young Entrepreneur of the year – in fact he is responsible for introducing the first male salon in Essex - Menace Male Grooming and this niche that he founded has been incredibly successful.  You know you’re looking at the Burj of all salon beyond 5 stars, when you can use their website and book your own appointments online thus eliminating any embarrassing calls whilst nosey co-workers listen in! Their retail products range from top end Mayfair products to Dermalogica’s no-nonsense approach that give amazing results. Treatments include packages such as Sultan’s Special - a deluxe Cut Throat Shave and Indian Head Massage, stress relieving Hot Stone Massages, Botox, Callus Foot Peel (ideal for sporty men) and even ear and nostril hair removal and whilst this is the crème de la crème of all male grooming, the staff of 6 are extremely friendly, down to earth and most importantly confidential.

Now my only problem with writing this article was I needed a tester as whilst I would have loved all the treatments on offer (bar the Back and Chest Wax), I obviously needed a man. So I thought it only fair to send Matt (the kids father), for a day of pampering as knew with all the long hours he works in the City he could do with a massage, facial oh and did I mention waxing!

Menace Male Grooming is situated in the heart of Shenfield High Street (ideal for commuters) but discreetly hidden away - one would miss it would it not be for the flag above the entrance and barbers sign.  Lining the stairs are features and awards detailing the history and success of the salon. As you enter you’re greeted with a barber area which has the most important feature – Sky TV! And then leading away via stairs are two therapy rooms, one for sports massage and one for treatments both understated in neutral tones which give an air of calm and tranquillity.

Matt’s treatment began with the waxing and Abbey Chitolie his therapist was extremely sympathetic (albeit I wasn’t), as this was Matt’s first taste of hair removal however, the warm tea tree wax and her swift and precise movements meant it was over extremely quickly and Matt was then left to enjoy a deep tissue massage, facial, a truly pampering foot treatment - using a skin softening mask and whilst this penetrated into his feet he was sent into oblivion with an amazing scalp massage. When he surfaced all tension had been removed, his skin looked incredible, smooth and fresh like  he’d spent a week skiing and all the stress of trading life had just floated away and I knew that he would be booking in again - especially when he mentioned it was worth missing the most important game of Charlton’s season!

For a fantastic Valentines gift send your man for some pampering - if booked by 14th February you get a 10% of all packages. Call 01277 202448 and quote askmollybeauty or book online at

If you have a business in Essex you would like featured please contact me on or follow me on Twitter @askmollybeauty.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Valentines Tips

Whey hey girls its coming up to that time of the year and the only time where there’s no excuse, every effort has to be made to put you and your man into some smoochy woochy and lovey dovey action. So light some candles and begin to prepare with my top tips - trust me by the time you have finished you’ll get the diamonds you desire, Sky Sports will be off and he will be putty in your hands!

1.       Start your mission by wallowing in a warm bubble bath of lightly scented oil. Don’t use essential oils simply buy carrier oil and then add a few drops of your favourite perfume – the oil will double as a moisturiser.

2.       Only place perfume lightly where you want to be kissed, don’t spray all over unless you want to choke him!

3.       Wax or shave and exfoliate your body - it should be irresistibly smooth.

4.       There is nothing sexier than freshly washed hair but don’t ruin it by weighing it down with heavy products he should be able to run his fingers through it! Or loosely pile it up on your head, a bare neck can be extremely inviting.

5.       Toes and fingers must be painted red or natural – no other colour will do.

6.       Keep make up sultry but light. A smokey eye with a soft natural lip - I love to mix a red lipstick with Vaseline and dab just lightly to give a veil of colour to entice some lip action.

7.       Skin should be kept sheer so avoid heavy foundation and use a tinted one, then to mimic a sexy flush apply a wash of crème pink blusher.

8.       A gold highlighter will lightly enhance the décolleté with an alluring glow.

9.       Keep jewellery to a minimum and delicate - Beyoncé style is an unwelcoming distraction from someone trying to nuzzle your neck!

10.   Finally and it had to be mentioned show your fun side with a vajazzle.



DETOX with Clean 9 Forever Living


‘Honey if you do this it will be a miracle’ said my mum when I told her about this feature – you see mum knows my fondness for sweets, diet coke and cappuccinos. However, after a turbulent year which evidently took toll on my body due to stress, alcohol and a poor diet, I ended up in hospital with kidney infections and I was basically running on empty. I knew I had to take charge and make changes to my lifestyle - I exercise daily so wasn’t concerned about weight loss however, my body needed a kick start and tons of TLC and the only way forward was with a detox.

Leanne Perilly is a representative for Forever Living products based upon the Aloe Vera plant and she suggested their 9 day detox Clean 9. I was intrigued as I knew from research that Aloe Vera is excellent not only for topical use such as soothing eczema but taken internally is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and can alleviate symptoms of an irritable bowel. Included in the detox was Garcinia Plus a natural plant extract which aids in normalising the metabolism, lowering cholesterol, promoting healthy skin, nails and hair as well as being an appetite suppressant; Bee Pollen which contains vitamins C, D, E, K and beta carotene and all the essential fatty acids to boost energy and stamina and finally a protein shake in either vanilla or chocolate (I chose vanilla), add this to milk and it’s a complete nutritional meal replacement containing 100% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and minerals. So it’s within this box that I hoped would break my bad habits but of course there’s one vital supplement it doesn’t give – willpower!

Days 1-2. During this time I was not allowed any food - I was measured (tape measure included) and weighed. I took the capsules followed by the gel and then wretched – the gel tasted of bitter lemons with an aftertaste of mud. I completed the 20 minutes of exercise recommended and managed to persevere for the rest of the day by keeping busy. By 6pm I was nearly in tears and wondering why I had signed up to do such as hard core detox – but then I had my protein shake and not only was this yummy but it took away the pangs of hunger! On day 2 I woke up feeling sick, constipated and with a horrific headache but stuck to the routine of supplements however, by 4pm I caved in and ate my ‘emergency’ protein bar, I also rang Leanne to admit defeat but with her encouragement I managed to carry on!

Day 3-9. I woke up at 5.30 and wow what a difference - I had a burst of energy and all my symptoms had disappeared - I was on a natural high. I was also very happy as for the rest of the detox I was now allowed 2 protein shakes as well as 600 kcal. Amazingly I didn’t feel hungry and all my cravings for sugar had disappeared. I did a high intensity gym work out and felt great, my skin glowed and for the first time I could see that all the tears shed at the beginning had been worth it - I did slip up on day 6 with a Chinese but certainly paid the price the next day feeling sluggish and bloated!

Judgement day loomed and whilst I was thrilled to lose 51/2 inches strangely all from my stomach and hips, I’d already achieved the results I had wanted of a cleaner body and clearer mind. Thank you Leanne I feel amazing and any negative doubts I had have only been replaced with positive ones.  One final note anyone intending on trying this or any detox must consult their doctor first.

If you are interested in trying this detox or any of the Forever Living products, please contact Leanne Perilly on 07814 478286 a 10% discount is being offered on this detox until end Feb 2013.

Follow me on Twitter @askmollybeauty or email me for any feature enquiries.