Friday, 29 April 2016

YOGA - All You Need to Know!

I suffer from a number of conditions such as Hypermobility Syndrome, Spondylitis and other forms of ‘itis’ that basically mean inflammation.  I also suffer with a lot of stress, which goes hand-in-hand being a single mum. I manage the pain with a cocktail of drugs and most importantly exercise, which I also find incredibly de-stressing. However, recently things have been getting on top of me and it’s been suggested by a number of people that I give Yoga a try.

Now I have to admit I don’t know much about Yoga, but what I do know is that it originates from India, is a discipline that involves techniques using exercising, breathing and meditation and means to ‘join together as one’. 

As an impatient person one that’s ‘always on the go’, I was convinced I would find a class a bit dull. Also truth be told I’m slightly intimated by the ‘head-standing brigade’, when I can’t even do a roly-poly.  Still as millions of people claim it’s changed their lives, I decided to book in a class with Renate Mullins, instructor and owner of Step Into Yoga to see the benefits for myself.

Gifts for Mother-to-Be

The other day I found some old diaries I had written pre kids, I’d kept track of both my pregnancies and whilst I want to sugar coat them I can’t. My diary is proof that I yelled at M&S staff for not stocking pink grapefruit and cried when I dropped my Nobbly Bobbly ice-lolly.  Alongside a need to constantly spit, all day sickness, sciatica and postnatal depression, it’s safe to say I never bloomed.   

So this week, after finding myself oddly broody (a short-lived feeling and more to do with just wanting to relax on my rocking chair), I decided to research the latest products and gifts safe to use in pregnancy.  Here’s my pick of the best, but remember if in doubt always check with your GP.

Image I Ormedic Peel, £65 The Skin Clinic, Brentwood Tel: 01277 214827

One of the most common ailments in pregnancy is to develop pigmentation.  It’s caused by a change in hormones, which results in overproduction of melanin, that in turn causes dark patches to appear on the skin.

Image I Skincare has developed the Ormedic Lift. This facial is similar to a chemical peel, but uses natural fruit exfoliators to remove dead skin cells.  The ingredients, papaya and pineapple may sound like a tropical smoothie but they help brighten a dull skin tone.  The peel also contains Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate, Stem Cell to repair, Vitamin C to brighten and Kojic Acid to lighten.  It’s suitable for all skin types especially sensitive and is safe to use in pregnancy. However, you must tell the Skin Clinic if you’re pregnant, as they will eliminate the ingredient Retinol, which can’t be used in pregnancy.  I had it done and loved the immediate results of a brighter, clearer skin.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Plantar Fasciitis / Tried and Tested products to help Runners Heel/Marathon/Choose Correct Shoes

There are some childhood memories that stick with us as adults for all the wrong reasons.  I don’t think my PE teacher realised the impact of her words, when at the age of 5 I was demanded in front of the whole class to ‘straighten my toes correctly’.  I can still feel that mortifying moment as my cheeks reddened and I said ‘but Miss this is how my feet look’.  Of course after telling my mother she frog-marched me (no pun I walk like a frog), straight to a Podiatrist who took one look at my bent toes and said something along the lines of “I’m afraid Molly has what we call Hammer toes.  Her only option is to have her feet broken and reset, her little toes amputated or to wear excellent supportive shoes for the rest of her life”. 

To be fair I was just so happy my mother wasn’t going to have my Shrek feet set upon, that I didn’t really think of how this would affect me later on in life.  Well let me tell you dear readers it has. Aside from the fact I have spent my life disguising my toes in closed sandals (I won’t go near flip flops), wouldn’t dream of the opposite sex even glimpsing at them, I have also suffered a great deal of inflammatory pain.

Now though is the time where I may get some empathy. As the weather warms up, we tend to walk more and of course there is the London Marathon. This is the time when toenails drop off and I hear many stories of Plantar Fasciitis an inflammatory foot condition that I too suffer from.

There is one thing we can all do to help ourselves with foot pain and it starts with choosing the correct walking shoes.  Dave Wain, Podiatrist at Carnation Footcare ( gives these tips when choosing shoes.

1) Look for a low, supportive heel that rounds (or bevels) in. A thick heel or one that flares out will cause your foot to slap down rather than roll. This slows down forward motion and increases the occurrence of sore shins.

2) A walker's foot hits heel first and then rolls gradually from heel-to-toe. So, you will need a flexible sole and more bend in the toe than a runner. You should be able to twist and bend the toe area.

3) Look for a shoe that is lightweight and breathable.

Spring Hair 2016

As the sun starts to make an appearance so does my desire for all things light, and so I decided this week I wanted to go blonder. I took a visit to Foureighty, a hair salon in Shenfield where I booked in with Chrissie, Senior Colour Technician. 

I had in mind my usual foil ‘Jennifer Aniston, caramels’, but after much discussion, Chrissie managed to persuade me to have a change. Upon studying my complexion, face shape and the way my hair fell she set upon weaving ‘biscuit tones’ throughout my strands.  

Now I’m an honest Beauty Ed and when I looked into the mirror I wasn’t too sure, it was different from my usual highlights and I craved the security of ‘blending in’.  My hair had been left darker on top and lighter throughout, so not a uniformed streak in sight. However, with ongoing compliments to ‘which salon as I want this done’, ‘you look 35’ (I’m nearly 44) and ‘it really makes you look tanned’, I am now loving it. I was definitely stuck in a rut before and now I belong to the trendy ‘Zara Brigade’.  It has a European feel (the sun kissed streaks) and has brought out my olive skin tone. Best of all the clever placement of colour means no root regrowth (saved pennies), minimal damage to the hair and the individual contouring of colour has slimmed down my chubby chop cheeks!

Baking & Cooking the latest way to contour with Celeb MUA Karleigh Marsh

As a very busy single mummy I very rarely get the chance to ‘glam up’, and when I do I’m usually in my uniform of black jeans, black t-shirt and black Adidas Superstars (I’m down and out with the kids you know).  As for my makeup it’s pretty much the same as it always has been. Nude lipstick, brown/beige eyeshadow, black liner and filled in brows.  I don’t bother with contouring or blusher as I suffer from a condition called ‘Asian Flush’, which means one glass of wine and the cheeks go bright red thus eliminating the need for rouge!

However, it’s the school holidays and I’m fed up with looking drab, I’m on my second lot of antibiotics, the kids are driving me bonkers and when I look in the mirror I just want to pull a woolly hat over my face.  Yet with the sun making it’s appearance, self-pity having no effect from the children, it’s time to take matters into my own hands and if ever there was a time for a new makeover, it’s now and I know just the person to go to for help. Karleigh Marsh, Celebrity Make-up Artist whose skills can be credited for my only decent profile pictures.