Sunday, 20 October 2013

Radio Chat Movember Male Grooming

click on the link below to hear top tips on shaving, mens grooming, skincare and Movember a great charity aimed at bringing more awareness to Prostate Cancer throughout November.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

bareMinerals Eyecolor

Okay so this wasn't supposed to have a review on its own as I'm going incorporate in my Christmas Glamour Feature in few weeks for the paper, but I got so excited when saw the gorgeous colours that had to just share!

Shimmering gunmetal and smokey shades I tested Imagination and Dakota, both gorgeous lightweight minteral eyeshadows £14. So impressed not only with the colours but with the added Vitamins A&E to treat the eye area and also contain various anti-oxidants. Can be used in a variety of way by lightly dampening a brush to make a paste with the colour then applying from lash to crease only, this can be enhanced by using another colour on top to create a foil effect.

Also fell in love with Prime Time Primer Eyeshadows £16 indeed this one is a gunmetal shade and Chroma Voilet both of which are waterproof. They didn't budge off my hands and had a super shimmer to them perfect for the smokey eye look. I've also got tucked away in the photo the Foundation Primer £19 but haven't time to write lots on it - basically a brightening and illuminating primer to give the skin radiance. More will be featured on these in other articles and on the radio but just wanted share the photos!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Chemotherapy - the Side Effects one lady's story...

I had no idea how to start this feature and every time I wrote a few words I hit the delete key and started again, because the fact there is no writer who can possibly put into words just how devastating this disease can be and how many lives have been affected by it - Cancer, even typing the name conjures up emotional feelings that I've often tried to bury.

A few weeks ago I had a phone call from my dearest and oldest school friend Jo who told me that she had just been given the news she has Cancer. I didn't really know how to respond as simply this disease robbed me of my darling Aunt whom I referred to as my 'second mum' and yet the same disease took hold of my father and several close friends but who'd all fought the battle and won. However, all of them had a similar tough journey with Chemotherapy and so I knew Jo was in for a rough ride, but what could I say as unless you have it or had it no-one can even imagine a glimpse of how it affects someone and every individuals reaction is so different - all I could do was offer her hugs and a Starbucks placed outside her front door in the mornings.

However, it just so happened last week whilst I was sitting with Jo and as she was showing me how her hair was falling out, when one of my PR's emailed and asked if I would be interested in interviewing Glenn Lyons, Clinic Director for Philip Kingsley Trichological Centre in Mayfair, an expert on hair loss and the psychological significance of hair loss. As I couldn't begin to imagine what questions to ask, I tentatively asked Jo whether she would like to be part of the feature and not only did she give me some questions to ask Glenn but also gave me an insight by way of letter for me to share with the readers on her fight with Cancer.

Jo wanted to know what she could expect to happen to her hair and scalp over the next few months of chemotherapy so Glenn advised "this largely depends of what the oncologist has explained regarding potential hair loss as there are three categories of cancer chemotherapy drugs relating to hair. A) those which will cause significant hair loss in 100% of cases, b) those may or may not cause hair loss and is related to individual response, dosage and duration and c) those which will NOT cause any hair loss.

She also was concerned about protecting her scalp from environmental elements and whether there was a specific head covering which she should use. Glenn informed me "all head coverage will cause some degree of perspiration due to the sweat glands in scalp tissue even in winter, because sweat can cause irritation, the hair and scalp should be shampooed accordingly even daily, hats and scarves are a popular option for both men and women and come in different shapes, styles and colours." He also warned against wearing hats in bed due to "more intense irritation related to increase body temperature" and suggested silk scarves as an alternative.

Many people who are undertaking chemotherapy may want to choose a wig but with a vast choice on the market, Glenn suggested taking a friend "for an honest answer as to appearance/style/colour", as far as materials he prefers real hair with a light base mesh but these can be more expensive. Glenn recommended Mandeville in Fulham Tel: 020 8741 5959 as the owner John Cliffton has over 30 years of experience in wigs.

The most important thing that he wanted me to reiterate to readers is that hair loss is temporary and will grow back, usually at a rate of about 1-1.5cm per month and it may grow back in a different shape or texture than previously. If your hair is long he suggested having it cut in stages as shorter hair will be less noticeable when shedding. Jo also mentioned she may need a course of radiotherapy, if this is the case Glenn told me this can cause localised hair loss "however in most cases the hair loss will be permanent when administered to the head, hair loss often occurs at both the entry and exit sites. "

We ended our telephone conversation on a light hearted note with some situations which have happened during his years of Trichology. One he remembers clearly was Audrey Hepburn being in his clinic but under her married name of Dotti - his female assistant went up to her and said "excuse me but you look so much like Audrey Hepburn who very modestly replied, I am Audrey Hepburn!" Another patient was Sarah Miles famous for drinking her own urine and "insisted that I conducted my examination of her hair whilst she sat cross legged on the floor - we later became good friends".

Trichology is the science of the Hair & Scalp in health & disease but when practiced to a high standard also encompasses other medical disciplines.

For the photo shoot Vivienne Make-up Artist applied Jo's makeup and I asked her advice on some tips for women who are unsure of how to adapt their make-up during chemotherapy. She suggested using a good brow pencil and using light feathery strokes to apply fine strokes to recreate a brow and to give false lashes a go but stick with natural, finer ones. Also a lacklustre pallor can make skin look dull so use a tinted moisturiser and sweep a natural pink flush across the apples of the cheeks to brighten up the face.

For more information on FROGLondon contact Noel on 01277 200888 - all costs towards any haircut due to Chemotherapy treatment will be waived and donated to Cancer Research UK. Cancer Research UK National Office Tel: 020 7242 0200. Philip Kinglsey Trichological Centre 020 7629 4004. For bookings with Vivienne Make-up contact 07796 172021.

If you have any queries please email me or follow me on Twitter @askkmollybeauty.

Letter to the readers from Jo

The consultant sat at his desk, head down pondering over some notes. My notes - a large black chair beckoned me with my husband and I knew from that moment he was going to tell me it was cancer.

Hodgkins Lymphoma. I didn't know much about it at all, but it was now two familiar words in my vocabulary having Googled my symptoms time and time again over the past few months. Chemotherapy is a very successful treatment however the side effects could not have been described to me using any words.

I had never thought about losing my hair. It's so long and thick and my hairdresser was always thinning it out! I love my hair, albeit quite grey now but regularly disguised in the mahogany shades of 'Nice n Easy!' I thought that just maybe it would only thin, just a bit, the hope was there that I would not mirror millions of woman's experiences of total hair loss. I would be the one that it didn't affect and therefore was holding out for having it cut into more of a manageable bob at some point. Denial, I know that now! Two weeks to the day since my chemotherapy began, my hair started to fall out. Only a few strands at first but as I sat in my black chemo chair watching the red liquid filled syringe pump into my arm a few more fell onto the table next to me and the nurse quietly tidied them into the remnants of a crayfish and rocket sandwich and placed in the bin. A few days later my hairbrush was full every time I brushed and plaits became a new trend hanging around my ears in a desperate act to keep it all together. I managed two more restless nights waking in the darkness reaching to my head half expecting to find the weave detached and nestled next to me sharing the pillow and my bedroom bin steadily filled with hairbrush cast.

My 14 year old daughter loved to French or fishtail plait my hair, we would sit watching TV in the evening while she became quite practiced in the art. These were the times that we randomly chatted, laughed, discussed important matters, built relationship and it was very important to me for her to be part of the impending cut. This was going to impact us both and time was not in our hands to work through this one at our own pace. She needed to take some control over the process too, but how was this going to be possible?

However I needn't have worried. Noel, my good friend and hairdresser arranged it for me to come to his salon after it closed. As he was recovering from an injury he asked one of his stylists, Lisa, to do the cut for me. It had all happened so quickly, but I was extremely glad to avoid the day to day madness of a hair salon for this uninvited appointment, with many eyes surveying the situation in the public arena of what would become someone's latest hot gossip.

I felt apprehensive getting out of the car with my hair loosely bundled into an untidy mess of a bun. I'd gone so quickly from not wanting to lose my hair to just wanting it gone - it no longer looked attractive; it was an annoyance to me, uncomfortable and not the friend I had come to share my head with. Something had shifted in me that I needed to take control and not let the cancer control me. Besides I was weary of picking it off the floor all around the house and apologising to people as the strands came out. Lisa made me feel so dignified but I can't deny I had to close my eyes as I placed my head backwards in the basin. I could feel the tears wanting to fall and a lump in my throat, which on that occasion was not the cancer.

As Lisa washed my hair I dreaded thinking how much went down the plug and I saw how much came out as she gently combed through my hair. Then my daughter took the stage. Lisa showed her how to partition my hair, hold and cut it and my daughter tentatively made the first cut. She did an amazing job and we applauded at how straight she cut the bob! That time WE will never forget. It allowed my daughter and I to take control, set a healing in process and empower us both to stare cancer in the face and say 'you will not define me, you will not beat me, you may rob me of my hair but you will not rob me of my identity!' Lisa stepped back and let my daughter cut, gently instructing her until she had finished in her own time. My daughter will tell you how therapeutic it felt, she loved doing it and being part of turning the tides on redefining a scene that could so easily have bred hopelessness and despair.

As Lisa took over I felt utter relief - an enormous smile appeared on my face as she presented me a very chic Anne Hathaway on her iPhone wearing a very short but sophisticated hairline! 'Yep, make me into Anne!' I laughed. 'It's not going to be like this for long anyway!' There was nothing rushed about this, I didn't see my hair falling on the floor, I watched as a new frame was created around my face. After a week of feeling sick, immeasurably tired, achy, stomach cramps, swallowing countless pills, constipation drinks and sticking injections in my belly to help my failing immunity, I was suddenly consumed with energy, feeling like myself again ready to take on the world and extremely confident in my exciting new look!

We left FROGLondon, Noel's shop, an hour later from when we first stepped in, transformed in body soul and mind. As for me I have every intention of entering this hair free season confidently, empowered and drenched in fun bright coloured wigs and 'Buffwear' headwear which I rather like! Yes there will be days as I have already experienced that are vile, this disease is vile and the treatment is vile, BUT I'm not just a survivor, I'm an overcomer! Strap yourself in; this is going to be some ride!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Podcast - Fake Tan

Fit 4 Free Final Week

Well the journey was over before we knew it, but this week was the final of the #Fit4Free campaign and hopefully along the way you've picked up some tips in helping you to make a few small changes to improve your well-being. It was seemingly apparent from the emails I received that busy mums got the raw end of the deal as they struggled to find time to exercise and were quite often sleep deprived. If you're one of them here are a few ideas: -

· Rather than socialise in a coffee bar with other mums grab your cappuccino to go and powerwalk for an hour with your buggies;

· Catherine McVeigh of Brentwood suggested "using a baby rucksack when walking briskly as the weight is distributed across the back and also better for posture;"

· Stick some headphones on and find some hills to jog up and walk down with baby and buggy in tow - baby will be fast asleep before you know it;

· Make use of any babysitting group you belong to and suggest you take it in turns to "baby watch" whilst one of you exercises. If you're short on time try interval training - all it takes is 20 minutes!

One reader mentioned he worked long hours in the City but also spent many hours travelling for work so was often stuck for exercise ideas - Dave Davis, D2Fit trainer suggested the following:-

"If you're staying in a hotel try to choose one with a gym and pack your training gear, alternatively hit the pavement and get in some sight-seeing in at the same time. For a hotel room work out use a timer (your laptop should have one) to do some interval training. After a warm up try jumping jacks, run on the spot, squat, lunge and hotel stairs - it's a perfect cardio work-out. Press ups, sit ups, one arm row and shoulder presses can be performed using your briefcase as a weight, the bed acts as a bench and a chair as a step. Packing a resistance band takes up hardly any room, as does a skipping rope and exercise DVD. If you're lacking motivation then grab a colleague, mark a time in your diary and brainstorm a meeting whilst training together!"

If you're stuck with aeroplane food then Natasha Bartell, Nutrionist advised "bring some healthy snacks whilst travelling, this will help you avoid temptation of eating something that isn't good for you. If you're flying get your secretary to call the airline ahead of time as most airlines will do their best to accommodate your needs. Most importantly stay hydrated especially on long-haul flights and try to avoid alcohol."

I mentioned to Natasha I'd been suffering from sleep deprivation and was surprised to find the main culprit was the TV. She explained "ensure all electrical devices such as TVs, phones, IPads are switched off at the wall and limit TV or use of the computer to at least 1 hour before bed. The blue light from these devices mimics daylight and tricks your brain into thinking that it is daytime. The blue light also suppresses the hormone melatonin that helps us fall asleep so have a relaxing bath, milky drink and read before bed as these will help you switch off."

Volunteers Debra and Claire were much happier with their nutrition this week, so Natasha suggested trying a new vegetable weekly to incorporate as many different vitamins and minerals you might not usually add to your diet. We learnt about the importance of SMASH: Salmon, Mackerel, Anchovies, Sardines and Herring. These contain Omega 3 fatty acids which are part of every cell in our body are also imperative for the brain as they make sure the neurotransmitters (messengers) between the brain and the rest of the body, work properly. Research has shown that Omega 3s are essential for increasing intelligence, reducing aggression and improving mood.

The Fit4Free volunteers had an eye-opening month and as Debbie says "I can't say my life is transformed but I know I have started my journey to making some critical lifestyle changes for the future. Food wise I've learnt it isn't about just calories but finding a balance and avoiding refined sugars and also artificial sweeteners. It's obvious but making your own food means you know what's in it and so can choose wisely, and I've also learnt I need others to motivate me with exercise as I'm a social exerciser so I'm now enjoying more time with my daughter on her bike rides.

Claire has certainly noticed the difference as she pointed out "it has been very easy to introduce breakfast and protein snacks into my day and thus I've eliminated the need for an afternoon sugar hit - these changes along with some regular exercise has seen my energy levels soar. I'm no longer suffering from breathlessness to the degree on the first couple of weeks and any muscle pain I felt has diminished.

For myself, well I've learnt I need to try to slow down as whilst some levels of stress are good, constant stress is not good for mind or waistline. Time management is all about preparation so I am making Natasha's recipes on a weekly basis to keep in the fridge. I have enjoyed the training although my spondylitis limits me to what I can do however, the session with Sandra Waller, Alexander Technique practitioner was most useful and I'm trying to break some bad postural habits.

Natasha's rates are £40 initial consultation and £25 for follow ups - for AskMolly readers she is offering a 4 session package over a 3 month period for £130 if booked by the end of October 2013, contact Dave Davis charges £30 per 1hr session but AskMolly readers can get 10 sessions for £250 - visit contact Dave on 07812 056522. Postural problems can be corrected with Sandra Waller of East Anglia Alexander Technique - for more details and offers contact via

If you have a Hair&Beauty/Health&Fitness query or business you would like featured in the AskMolly page email askmollybeauty@gmail.comor follow me on Twitter @askmollybeauty.