FACE | September 2016

After a summer of grief and heartache, (my adorable mum passed away and my heart got broken) coupled with too much sun and not enough taking care of myself, I needed a boost from within to get my myself back on track.

I started, as always, with bringing my eating back into line - getting fresh, healthy and mostly veggie ingredients and preparing meals and snacks from scratch (with the lack of oompf this summer I had allowed my eating habits to slump as much as my melancholic mood). Food is so vital in determining mood and emotions, plus it has a massive effect on the outer shell of our bodies – and that includes hair, skin and nails among others. Next up, I got back into yoga with my amazing yoga teacher Kim Constable who teaches me daily about the importance of an holistic attitude to our bodies and care from within. My final adjustment was to start taking the Lumity supplement which is recommended by model and mum Yasmin Le Bon.

These supplements come in a chic box with supplies for 30 days. There is one capsule bottle for daytime and another filled with tablets for night time. Mine came from Lisburn Road’s Rejouir skin clinic and Pamela, who runs the clinic, gave me an almost prescriptive consultation before I kicked off with the programme for the month of September. She explained that our bodies have different needs at different times of the day in terms of what minerals and vitamins it can (and should) absorb; plus, the body is more efficient at digesting and processing certain things at certain times too. And that all made perfect sense, so, armed with that info, I left the clinic and went home taking the first set of supplements before bedtime and a new trio of tablets the next morning – and so that continued for 30 days.

As I slept that night (and every night that month) I also treated my skin to a night time application of a new favourite product - the VivDerma perfecting facial oil. (£65 - available nationwide).    This ultra-fine facial oil is a veritable elixir which nourishes, moisturises and hydrates instantly by penetrating into each layer of the skin to maintain moisture for a brighter and more radiant complexion. It combines rich Moroccan Argan Oil with Rosehip Oil to help improve pH balance, skin tone, luminosity and texture. I’m totally hooked.

On my body I smothered myself in the Elemis Frangipani Monoi body oil for a scent of the exotic and a rich hydration and sheen on my skin. The massage itself also smoothed away some of my grief and it helped bring back many memories of another lovely mum - not mine, but my French exchange student Sophie’s mum, as she swore by Tahitian monoi oil for her hair and body way back as far as 1989 when I was a young teen and I remember thinking this amazing new smell was one of the most exotic and lovely scents I had ever experienced. The Elemis oil is perfect for the bath also – and where better to lie dreaming of happy times than in a good old fashioned tub?

On my hair I used a collection of affordable products by CIEN at LIDL and found the conditioner (£1.49) and repair mask (£1.79) to be amazingly restorative. I’m still using these products now and love their travel pack sizes for holidays too.

To bring sexy back for daytime (because it was still warm enough to go bare legged), I added some colour to my legs, arms and shoulders (the style was still all about the peep shoulder in September) with Skinny Tan’s new Tan & Tone oil which also comes in a travel sized container at just 100ml, so I was able to bring the bottle to London for FASHION WEEK and not have to decant for my hand luggage! Thankfully, I don’t have cellulite worth speaking of, so I can’t comment on the product’s claim to tackle the dreaded orange peel, but it certainly brought some lustre back to my skin anyway and I loved how it was pretty much fool proof and impossible to streak with its lightly oily texture which allows for a super even texture.

And finally, in terms of make up, I used the Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint SPF15 (a totally AMAZING product which looks summery but which is designed to be worn all year round for totally dewy skin). It is the perfect bridge between Liz Earle’s iconic botanical skincare and their innovative colour range. It has a rich and creamy formula, yet it is so lightweight that it blends effortlessly into the skin. This award-winning complexion perfector, available in three shades, is enriched with a carefully selected blend of avocado and British borage oils. At £24.50, this is a little tube of youth and happiness for every skin type. I topped this off with the Liz Earle Bronzing powder compact, which, again is perfect for travelling (who else has opened a loose powder bronzer after travelling and spilt it EVERYWHERE?).

A lovely alternative to the Liz Earle compact bronzer is the amazing Make Up Forever bronzer (now available at Paddy McGurgan’s Make Up Pro store - eeek!) for its depth of colour and pigmentation. I learnt a whole new level in strobing with the products from PUR cosmetics (available at M&S); and their Moonlit strobing palette in particular was a special summer find. Highly recommended!

By the end of the month I was almost back to me again. I had luscious hair again and skin that glowed instead of looking matt and arid. I still felt the awful hole in my life from a recent bereavement (and the loss continues to hurt) but the immediate and physical after-effects of grief were slowly passing and I am thankful to Lumity and Kim for helping me to kick start that part of my healing from within.

Sometimes, critics bemoan beauty and all its pampering and preening, but even the ancients found a certain spiritual healing and self awareness when indulging in a little bit of self love, albeit that they wont have called it ‘me time’ like we do these days.