Model getting a Bliss Spa moisturizing paraffin facial


I’m a huge fan of at-home anything, but beauty DIY is what turns me on, especially when it doesn’t take more than a minute or two to mix up. This mega concoction is great to use at night if your skin feels dry but has also broken out (sigh). The good news is that you don’t have to search far and wide to stock up on ingredients, but you do have to have these two hero-products from Environ nestled within your bathroom shelves.

Apply a thin layer of coconut oil (any brand will do) to clean, dry skin, and then smear a thick layer of B-Active Sebumasque mixed with a generous pump of  Colostrum Gel vigorously on top. Then jump into bed, fall asleep and in the morning wash with warm (not hot) water so the clay dissolves and you’re done! Skin officially de-congested, softened up, and hopefully less red, too.


source: Irving Penn, Face Mask Vogue, February 1999/pleasurephoto.wordpress






All shades of pink look amazing on the face for winter when cheeks turn reddish and skin is paler than usual. I love dusty roses, metallic mauves and cherry hues; lovely pigments to ink on a relatively blank face save for my trusted Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Espresso. Doll-like pink blusher such as Nars Blush in Desire is an adult take on the cuteness of a saccharine color, YSL Rouge Pur Couture in Le Fuchsia is the perfect orchid-inspired shade, while M.A.C. Mineralize Eyeshadow in Nature, is a darker mauve with a metallic finish that can be lightly blended with loose powder to diffuse a high-octane eye emerging.


source: The Icing on the Cake by Patrick Demarchelier for W May 2013




I learnt the hard way from a panic attack years ago that I, like most of us, tend to do upper-airway shallow breathing – from the tops of our lungs as opposed to from the base, the kind of breathing that feels like you’re not really breathing at all. Just think of when you’re stooping, slouching or slumped on a sofa; there’s an uncomfortable restriction on the ribs and diaphragm. “Nine out of ten people don’t breathe property”, says Amanda Denton, a Vinyassa yoga teacher practicing meditation as an uninterrupted flow of breath, awareness, and concentration. “We take breathing for granted. An average person takes something like 29,000 breaths a day – that’s a lot of air moving in and out of our bodies to keep us alive. It puts it into perspective why the quality of our breathing is so important, just like the quality of food and water we put into our bodies.”

Calmness, peace and a lower heart rate? First, check if you’re breathing properly. Lie down and put your hands on your stomach. As you breathe in your stomach should move up and down like a baby. Then decide what you want to achieve. Alertness? Relaxation? Sleep? The premise is that simply thinking and having the intention to breathe better and deeper means it will happen naturally.

Two breathing exercises I’ve been trying lately:

To wake-up and energize 

Think of this as a cup of coffee. Sit crossed-legged, paying attention to pull in your abdomen. Take short, sharp and fast breaths expelling air through both nostrils. Repeat for a minute.

To calm

Inhale through both nostrils fully then bock off left nostril with your thumb and exhale through right nostril. Inhale through the right nostril then block off and exhale through the left. Repeat 20 times so you get into a good rhythm.

A few other thinks I love to remind me to breathe in deeply:

Aromatherapy Associates Support Breathe Bath Oil,  Breathe Aroma Dough, a yummy mix of eucalyptus, lavender, tea tree and benzoin for wheezes and sneezes and de Mamiel Altitude Oil. And exhale..



I’m experimenting with silver-streaked hair which definitely possesses a surreally romantic quality and silver products. The Ancient Egyptians believed it gave super-human powers to those who wore it. While that may have been a bit of a stretch, it does hold promise for the multi-tasking prize: maintaining healthy skin and rebalancing energy. Julisis Silver Elixir Night, a cult product in Germany has a certain je ne sais quoi: rare ingredients and a founder who studied Paracelsus, a Renaissance physician, botanist, alchemist and astrologer as a basis for his intriguing concoctions. Silver products are sold in abundance in Africa too; there’s an almost vampire-esque attitude to colloidal silver (electro-magnetically charged minute silver particles suspended in de-ionised water) which has long been recognised as one of the most potent anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory ingredients. The most interesting brand is Phuza Health which makes Electro Colloidal Silver nasal sprays, great for colds or on planes to protect against cabin germs. The company also manufactures a silver-based gel for insect bites, burns and razor nicks. Gaia Organics have a pigment regulating day lotion with silver, copper, zinc and manganese, a veritable mineral fest for the skin.


image: betweenpeaceandhappiness



Detox like the Swedes who swear by algae baths to tone skin, relax muscles and stimulate circulation. The beauty of this mineral is that there’s no need to rinse it off, as the longer it’s in contact with skin, the longer it can work its magic. Algae’s innate ability to help repair cell damage and increase elasticity in the skin kick-started the trend for powerful micro extracts. Elethea is the first skincare brand to use microalgae from the Rift Valley in Kenya to create five products. Swedish brand Estelle & Thild has a Super Bioactive Magic Duo that combines microalgae with astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant in the war against ageing. Algenist’s Algae Brightening Mask uses patented alguronic acid, a substance that protects and regenerates microalgae cells for immediate anti-ageing effects. Sauna optional.




S is for super lashes and sapote oil, pressed from the seeds of the mamey sapote, a fruit tree native to South America. Traditionally a herbal remedy for a wide array of conditions and parasitic skin diseases, the oil from the seeds is now being used in mascaras to thicken and lengthen eyelashes with reportedly no irritation. The perfect mascara is something of a Holy Grail in the beauty world. Not too heavy, but then not too light, with absolutely no clumps – we want lengthened, defined and evenly coated lashes in one magic wand. Behold Mascaras de Pestañas Rosita, Mexico’s bestselling mascara – think of Maybelline Great Lash mascara in terms of its cult status. Retailing for roughly $2, it also boasts an applicator that somehow fits every eye shape – no mean feat. Apple Cosmetics Mamey Extract Super Lash Mascara is another brand that follows this lash-boosting trend and is easier to find. Personally I’d rather it was a difficult task and fly to Mexico.


Beauty is heading over to the dark side with charcoal, but for me it will always be the fuel for barbecues and cuties barbecuing around them. Raising the proverbial bar, the description-defying department store Tokyu Hands in Tokyo, dedicates an entire beauty corner to chunks of charcoal soap that come infused with one of the most prized types of wood in the world, hinoki or Japanese cypress. Charcoal in soap sounds a bit weird doesn’t it? Actually, according to our ancestors who used it as a remedy for drawing poisons from the skin, it’s the ‘perfect’ remedy. Charcoal is essentially a specially processed form of carbon, hence said drawing-out-impuritiy power, making it an essential bathroom staple for niggly skin complaints like acne. Try the iconic Morihata Binchotan Soap which has made its way from Japan to US shores. Beth Hopkins Shamanuti range has an Activated Charcoal Cleanser that decongests skin and heals pimples in record time. Origins Skin Diver Active Charcoal Body Wash Black lathers up, which is unusual for a soap with a mud-like texture. Black magic indeed.


image: skjonnhetblogspot



Take volcanic rock and ash, add some alkaline ground water, and allow to blend over millions of years. The result? Zeolite, the natural mineral compound that’s making waves in South Africa. We all know how toxic a world we live in, we just don’t want to be continuously reminded. I’d rather sit back and put my faith in a daily teaspoon of micronized zeolite (in a Juice Press smoothie of course) and pray everything’s going to be okay. I think it should be, as this mineral has the perfect molecular structure for capturing and removing heavy metals from the body according to scientists, along with maintaining the body’s delicate alkaline PH, crucial for good immunity. It’s also the perfect excuse to experiment with a much-needed seasonal skin-care essential—the refining face mask. Just mix two tablespoons of the powder with water to make a potent pore-clarifying paste and apply evenly over face, neck and chest.

image: aquarianbath