Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Essential Care

Essential Care is a European leader in certified organic skincare offering one of largest body care ranges certified to UK Soil Association organic standards. Essential Care’s philosophy is simple: All ingredients must have therapeutic value, as well as making the product a joy to use. Still with these achievements, the personal touch remains at the heart of what they do. Here we catch up with Margaret Weeds, Essential Care founder.
Margaret, you must be very proud of what you have achieved with Essential Care. What would be the highlight, if you had to pick one, from the last (almost) 10 years?

I might have to name two here. One happened near the beginning of Essential Care - producing our Gentle Herb Shampoo, the first Soil Association certified shampoo back in 2004 as it has gone on to be so popular. Secondly our make-up (especially the just launched mascara) which was also the first ever mascara certified to Soil Association standards and was incredibly difficult from a formulation perspective. I'm very proud of how it works.

Clearly Essential Care cares about the environment and trading ethically. Is there a cause you personally feel particularly strongly about; one you would fight for?

It is hard to single out one... We try to push the boundaries on a lot of fronts to show what can be done. And ethical trading in skincare touches on so many areas - fair trade, organic agriculture, consumer education, not testing on animals, manufacture of clean, safe cosmetics, responsible packaging. If we can champion toxin-free lifestyles to preserve the balance of nature for ourselves now and for future generations, then I'll be happy.

Who do you admire and why?

I admire anyone who has triumphed through adversity or stuck to their beliefs against popular opinion and then gone on to make the world a better place for others. People like Nelson Mandela and the environmentalist Rachel Carson.

You are based in Suffolk, a lovely part of the country. What is your favourite spot in the UK?

There are spots in Devon and Somerset I'm particularly fond of, but it's true there are some beautiful places near us too. The Breckland forests are wonderful for a peaceful stroll, as is the North Norfolk coast which has lovely beaches and forms a huge Nature Reserve, home to a great diversity of wildlife.

What are your everyday beauty essentials?

All Essential Care products, of course: Creamy Coconut Cleanser, Rose Petal Tonic (also as an all-over fragrant rehydrating spritz) and Essential Care Rose Moisturiser - I adore Rose for its heavenly fragrance as well as its skincaring and emotional benefits. From our makeup range I can't be without our eye and lip pencils, mascara and lipstick (for lips and cheek tint).

If you would treat yourself to one thing this month it would be....

A really deep aromatherapy massage.

Shop here: Essential Care

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Trend Watch: Romantic Goth

Perfect for autumn/winter makeup and a key look on the catwalk, the Romantic Goth trend is open to interpretation. Think barely-there eye makeup with only a faint touch of mascara paired with totally vamped up berry lips; matte effects work well for this look giving a sultry stained finish. Alternatively, go for dark eye liner smudged for a worn look, teamed with a nude lip colour. Play up eyes or lips; this look is about either / or, not both, keeping it romantic and soft but gothic and edgy all at once. The trick is balance to make this look work.

Take inspiration for your nails from this trend and go for a super dark polish, like 1.Zoya Nail Polish (£10.50) in shade ‘Rihana’. A metallic plum purple mixed with both cool and warm tones will flatter most skin tones.

If you choose to play up the eyes, frame them with 2.Terre d’Oc Eye Kohl (£13.95) in shade ‘705 Noir Bengale’. Apply directly to the lash line or using a liner brush, or apply to the lid and smudge for smokey eyes. The creamy, highly pigmented formula should make this look effortless to achieve.

A note on the complexion: for a soft and pretty edge, consider adding a touch of soft pink colour to the face. 3.Ilia Multi Stick (£29.95) in ‘Tenderly’ is ideal, soft and demure carrying light pink as a base. This could also be used to add a wash of soft colour over the eyelid if you choose to play up your lips- this product is an excellent multi-tasker.

To finish off the dark smudged eye, an eye shadow like 4.Dr Hauschka Eyeshadow Solo (£12.95) in ’04 Taupe’ is a good option if eye liner alone isn’t enough for you. The shade is easily blendable and should work with most skin tones.

If you go all-out on the lips, then of course the lipstick is the absolute essential piece of makeup. 5.Vapour Siren Lipstick (£18) in ‘Bold’ is a classic cool deep red, delivering a rich berry tone to carry out this look to perfection. 

Whatever way you wear this trend, wear it with confidence.
Shop here: Naturisimo

Friday, 9 November 2012

Keep Hands Soft

I love a good hand cream, especially when the winter months are taking their toll. I find hand creams quite addictive; if I have one there to use, I tend to apply frequently throughout the day. So, a generous sized bottle, with a formulation that works, helps a hand cream last.

Trilogy Rose Hand Cream (£13.20) is a fab little product that is a permanent feature on my desk at work, in my handbag, on my dressing table... I like to keep a few dotted around so I am never caught without! I am a fan of Trilogy Skincare as a brand (the Trilogy Botanical Body Wash is a firm favourite of mine) and this hand cream is just perfect for me.

I am not a big lover of rose scents, but I do love this one. The formulation is extremely nourishing and always leaves my hands feeling conditioned. It never leaves my hands greasy and absorbs fast. I also see a noticeable improvement in my cuticles and nails after a couple of weeks use too, thanks to the excellent blend of ingredients.

If you want to try something to soften even the roughest hands, I would give this Trilogy product a try. 

Buy the product here: Trilogy Skincare

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Nude is still hot...just not as we know it

Although looking distinctly undone may not be as On Trend this season, there is a new twist on this oh-so-popular makeup look, based firmly on the ‘barely there’ philosophy. Keeping an uber natural palette is still the key to pulling off the best nude look, but makeup should now be seen. Take foundation- the full coverage kind is now desirable again, leaving your face looking perfectly polished. How about lips? Make a statement- not with bold, loud colours but with smooth, matte finishes in muted tones. Nude is still hot... just not as we know it.

Vapour Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation (£41) balances all skin types and provides a buildable, medium to full coverage. This revolutionary formula lets your skin breathe but with a finish described as ‘flawless’ and ‘worth every penny’ by our reviewers (read them for yourself if you don’t believe us!) the difference between using this product and going bare faced is more than a little noticeable, yet still ultimately gives you a natural look. Perfect!

Go for a lipstick in a sophisticated nude shade to accentuate the lips in an understated yet obviously groomed way. Ilia Lipstick (£19.95) in shade ‘Funnel of Love’ would be my choice. In a yummy soft nude with peach undertones and inspired by the look of the iconic Brigitte Bardot, this one is a winner and ideal for this look. 

The main effect of a smoky eye is the definition it gives your peepers, but you can still accentuate the eye area with a neutral palette.  Dr Hauschka Eyeshadow Palette 01 (£31.95) gives you everything you need to create a defined chic look. For daytime or night, the four shades of brown glide and blend seamlessly; creating a beautiful finish has never been easier.

Shop for makeup here:Naturisimo