Former jet-setting stewardess Katy Hull on why you should love your skin


Former Virgin Atlantic stewardess Katy pictured ten years ago when her skin problems started.

In her first blog for Elixir – Treat the Skin You’re In – Katy Hall reveals why she has a passion for helping people solve their skin concerns.

Hello and welcome. I’m Katy Hull and anti-aging is my passion! I get so much satisfaction and joy from helping people with their skin concerns, studying skin health, nutrition, skincare ingredients, supplements and basically anything that contributes to us feeling and looking like the best version of ourselves!
However, it wasn’t always this way. Rewind several years and I was far from a skin angel. I was a long haul Air Stewardess for Virgin Atlantic, travelling the globe. I had a great deal of fun and experiences I will treasure forever, but the lifestyle I led took its toll on my skin. In truth, it probably wasn’t just the lifestyle because had I been more educated beyond ‘cleansing and moisturising’ then my skin may not have ended up in the awful state it did.
A love of sunbathing – with not enough regard to a high SPF cream, and a love of partying, combined with night flights, a lack of sleep, dehydration from flying and an erratic diet did not make for skin that glowed like a goddess. My skin was prematurely ageing and it seemed to happen overnight! If you saw pictures of me from that time it probably wouldn’t even be apparent.

The worst damage was lurking deep down in the skin, not visible to the naked eye and unbeknown to me at the time. It’s pretty amazing what makeup can do…. although it can’t hide lines and wrinkles. My uneven and dull skin tone was well covered and makeup with a glow gave me a false radiance. Barefaced, I was starting to lack confidence in myself and was beginning to realise the error of my ways.
It was a UV skin scan that revealed the extent of the damage. It wasn’t pretty and a very hard pill to swallow. Sent away from the clinic with around £400 of products and some big promises – that didn’t deliver. My journey of discovery with regards to skin health began. After jumping from skincare brand to brand (never satisfied with results). I eventually found my skincare holy grail that I’m fiercely loyal to – it changed my life and transformed my skin!


I got educated on skin health – I gained a level 4 qualification in Advanced Skin Science. I studied skincare ingredients and all of the things that make up a part of the jigsaw that is skin health – It’s more complex than simply using an amazing serum! My education is a continuous journey that I’m dedicated to, so that I can help more people with their skin. Eventually I set up my online business If you’d like to read my more detailed story of why I set up my business, you can read about it here.

My philosophy is very simple – ‘Treat the skin you’re in’.It’s about being kind to yourself. Listening to your body and your skin, and respecting it. Our skin is a living organ that deserves to be treated with care and respect, and if you treat it that way you’ll have your goddess glow!
With regards to the skincare products I love and believe in. They’re clean (no chemical nasties) and packed with very effective active ingredients that really pack a punch in rejuvenating the skin. Combined with some simple beauty rules that I apply to my own life – they help to support the products in working to their optimum. I believe skin can be improved, transformed and be healthy and more youthful looking. Who doesn’t want that?

My aim with this blog going forward is to share whatever knowledge, experiences and tips that I think will be beneficial to you in some way. It might be a supplement that I’m feeling the benefit of. It might be a skincare ingredient I absolutely love! Or a smoothie recipe that is total skin food…. I will only ever share information about products that I use myself and absolutely love and believe in! That way you know you’re getting a genuine experience and opinion.

So on that note I’ll say goodbye and I’ll be back soon with some anti-aging tips!

£10 off selected House of Fraser beauty products

Beauty Confidential Offer
Starts Monday 8th December and ends Tuesday 23 September.

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Why Tunisia is Tops for Thalassotherapy

0204_Sidi_Bou_Said_Blue_Door [200x200].jpgCarthageStatue2 [200x200].jpgBy Avril O’Connor

Tunisia has more thalassotherapy centres than anywhere else in the world, aside from France, combining both traditional Arabic and French influenced treatments using heated seawater.


Fashionable and fun – thalassotherapy is a medical treatment that uses hot seawater combined with mud or seaweed, massage and physiotherapy, it is particularly recommended for sufferers of reheumatism, arthritis and stress but provides a great source of relaxation for anybody seeking a bit of rejuvenation.


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This is reflected in the fact that in addition to bubbling baths, underwater massage, acqua aerobics and seaweed wraps, Tunisia’s thalassotherapy centres also offer more traditional pampering and beauty treatments.

So whether you opt for a jasmine aromatherapy bath or a post-exfoliation cucumber body wrap, the petal-scattered marble floors and mist-filled arches of these Moorish Aladdin’s caves will let you dream the hours away.

Many of Tunisia’s centres also cater for smokers intent on kicking the habit, post natal mothers in need of some molly-coddling of their own and anyone looking to loose a few pounds or embark on a short get-fit programme. Many of the centres are equipped with guilt-free low calorie restaurants and state of the art fitness centres.

The Hasdrubal Thalassa at Yasmin Hammamet, is an exceptional hotel, offering spacious five star luxury. It has a huge white sand beach on the edge of the Mediterranean. The hotel is exclusively comprised of suites, the majority with a sea view.


Hammam [200x200].jpgThe hotels hammam pictured above

As one of the Leading Hotels of the World you only get the best food and service here. The rooms are huge and decadent with marble bathrooms and the state of the art thalassotherapy centre makes it an ideal place for relaxation.

It is also the resort which visiting dignitaries choose for their holidays –  it has a private villa with its own pool, double garage and helipad.

The spa has a huge wet area with 8 hydromassage cabins, 4 “affusion” showers cabins, 4 jet showers cabins, 6 alghotherapy cabins, 4 underwater showers cabins, 1 phlebology course, 1 sea-water indoor swimming pool, 1 sea-water open air swimming pool and 1 cavitosonic room. The dry area has 16 massage cabins, an aromatherapy room, and marine ball. There is also a herbal tea room, beauty and hair-dressing salons and a fitness centre. There are also has two traditional hammams – one for men and the other for women.

The spa menus is enormous. As well as thalassotherapy, there are Ayurvedic massages and others with fragrant oils. The whole spa experience here is magical.

Don’t miss!

Sidi Bou Saïd

Sidi Bou Saïd is a picturesque blue and white 13th century village situated near Tunis and adorned with red bougainvilla, on the chic Upper Carthage Coast (20 minutes from the capital) overlooking the Gulf of Tunis.


0216_Dar_Said_Door [200x200].jpgThe hotel, Dar Saïd is a beautiful “Dar” residence (house in Arabic and equivalent to Morocco’s Riads) which dates back to 1868. Built in 1948 it became a 24-room boutique hotel. Every room is different and filled with antiques. Previous guests include Prince Albert of Monaco.

We recommend you sit by the pool with a glass of the local rose and watch the sun go down – its just beautiful!

Piscine___jour [200x200].jpgCafé Chabaane, Sidi Bou Saïd

Famous for its panoramic views of the sea and its mint tea – it is a popular hangout with Tunisians

Avenue Bourguiba in the Nouvelle Ville, Tunis

Take a leisurely stroll along the café-lined boulevards of the Ville Nouvelle and people watch. This wide avenue has modern shops, patisseries, banks and an opera house.

Medina of Tunis

This quarter is a UNESCO world heritage site is a warren of streets selling all kinds of goodies. Haggle for handicrafts including olive wood bowls, silver jewellery, spices, carpets, ceramics and kaftans.

If you have time to explore the Medina (visit to the Ezzitouna or “olive” Mosque- 698 AD, see panoramic views of Tunis and visit traditional Tunisian residences including boutique hotel “Dar El Medina” voted by Sunday Times Travel as one of best hip havens in the world & featured 67 out of 100 best hotels).

Dar Bel Hadj restaurant, Medina of Tunis

This restaurant is converted from traditional Tunisian residence dating back to 1707. It is frequented by wealthy Tunisians and tourists alike. The food is fantastic – sample real Tunisian cuisine and Tunisian wine.

Bardo Museum

This museum is arguably home to the most impressive collection of Roman mosaics in the world. Beautiful and get inspiration for home DIY.



Carthage Statue [200x200].jpgRestaurant Au Bon Vieux de Temps, Sidi Bou Saïd

A small restaurant with lots of character and great sea views. (1 minute walk from Dar Saïd). Sample fresh fish, couscous and French/international cuisine; Bœuf Sur le Toit, la Soukra – a jazz bar 10 minutes from Sidi Bou Saïd, often live jazz music; Carthage: The Antonine Baths & Byrsa Hill: The ancient sites of Carthage founded in 814 BC by the Phoenicians are staggering in their scale. There are also Punic and Roman ruins.

La Falaise (cliff) restaurant in La Marsa on Carthage Coast

This restaurant is famous for fresh fish & sea food.

The Sadika Keskes
A blown glass art studio, La Marsa on Carthage Coast; Sadika Keskes is the only Tunisian woman in this profession. She has a beautiful studio where she makes & sells glass artwork & objects, handmade jewellery and linen

Shopping at Berges du Lac shopping centre

Tunisia’s modern shopping centre situated 10 minutes from the centre of the city, where you can find top brands such as Sisley, Benetton, Hugo Boss at a 30% discount.

The marina of Yasmine Hammamet

The Pomodoro restaurant in marina of Yasmine Hammamet, The Medina of Hammamet, The restaurant Les Trois Moutons in Hammamet

Fact Box

The international code for Tunisia is: 0021
Tunisair has return flights from Heathrow to Tunis from $280 (€188, £150pp)
Tunisian National Tourist Office London 020 7224 5598


Dar Saïd
Tel: 00216 71 729 666 Fax: 00216 71 729 599. Twin/doubles from $186 (€125, £100) per night based 2 sharing including tax, breakfast is not

Hasdrubal Thalassa & Spa Tel : 00216 72 244 850 Fax : 00216 72 244 895 Double junior suites (low season) from $214 (€144, £115) per night including

Vinotherapy in the green heart of Italy


by Avril O’Connor

At Elixir we promote the anti-ageing properties of red wine – it is bursting with antioxidants, including resveratrol.  But we thought the only way to sample its  anti-ageing effects was to drink it! So you might perhaps understand my situation when I got to try vinotherapy for the first time.

Following one of the best massages ever I was relaxing in the vinotherapy bath tub, containing what I assumed to be grape extracts when my spa therapist uncorked a perfectly good bottle of red wine and poured its contents into my bath.

Seeing the look of pure horror on my face she relented and saved a glass, saying it wasn’t good to drink too much in the spa. So with glass in hand I not only tasted but relaxed and bathed in the revitalizing, antioxidant vapours of one of the finest wines of Torgiano – a pretty hilltop village in the heart of the famous DOC and DOCG wine region of Umbria.

23 vino terapia [320x200]

The Bellavue Winetherapy Spa is indeed a gem. It is peaceful and beautiful, with indoor and outdoor pools, Turkish baths, a gym and outdoor relaxation areas surrounded by olive groves and views of the surrounding Umbrian Hills.

The spa is in one of the region’s most exclusive five-star hotels, the Relais Hotel Le Tre Vasalle. The hotel was once a 17th century house, whose name refers to the ancient ceramic wine jugs, and is in a narrow street in what was once a fortified village in the Middle Ages, near Perugia (5 miles) and Assisi (10 miles).

Surrounded by antique furniture and paintings, each of the 60 bedrooms is uniquely furnished, giving it has the feel of a grand country home – perfect for a romantic getaway. The restaurant, Le Melograine, reworks traditional Umbrian specialities such as pasta with black truffles, as well as diet menus served with delicious local wines.

Le Tre Vaselle, outdoor pool [320x200]

Le Tre Vassale brings together wine, art and hospitality. This is because the hotel is the passion of one family – the Lungarottis, first and second generation winemakers who have made Torgiano their own.

The family has filled the town. As well as the hotel, there is a wine museum and olive oil, museum and the nearby Cantine Lunggarotti which produces the finest red wines grown on surrounding slopes (Sangiovese, Anaiolo, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon), including Rubesco. The whites (Trebiano, Grechetto, Chardonnay, Pinot) are grown on cooler hillsides. And there is also an excellent sparkling Lungarotti Brut made with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Giogrgio Lungarotti and his wife and Maria Grazia, an art historian run the winery business with daughters Chiara and Teresa and produce around three million bottles of wine annually.

A visit to the Wine Museum and the Cantine are a must. Housed in the 17th century Palazzo Graziani-Baglioni, it has one of the most comprehensive collections of viniculture artifacts anywhere in the world – from its earliest beginnings in the Mediteranean to the Middle Ages and beyond – covering five thousand years of winemaking history. The theme of the wine god Bacchus runs through the collections which are housed in 20 rooms, featuring working tools,  fine prints, drawings, antiquarian books and graphics by Picasso and a glass by Jean Cocteau (pictured below).

Wine Museum, Fondazione Lungarotti, Cocteau glass [320x200]

The hotel offers a range of activities including truffle hunting, cookery classes, as well as scooter hire.

I have always wanted to go truffle hunting. And it was not a disappointment.No need to get up at the crack of dawn.After a lazy breakfast we are driven to a nearby forest to meet our guide Matteo and his English setter Asia (pictured below).

AliceandTruffles [320x200]

The black traffles, known locally as “black gold” can fetch up to 150 Euros a kilo and the rarer white 3,000 Euros so the cost of buying your truffle dog – 4,000 euros in the case of Asia can pay dividends.

Asia was a star. She  sniffed around for a few minutes, driven by a reward of a cheese slice each time she found a truffle. Sniffing the ground and as if by magic she would start digging with her paws, finding truffle after truffle. Standing on her back legs she put her front paws on Mateo’s hips to claim her reward.

As we walked in the woods we passed groups riding horses – this is also riding country – people smile and wave at us.  And back at the minibus we were greeted by table laden with a feast of antipasti and red wine – and it was only 10.30am! A bit early even for me but sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do! After all it would be rude not to!


Hotel Le Tre Vaselle, via Garibaldi, 48. Torgiana – Perugia. T:+ 39 075 9880447
Double rooms from £194 ($297, €220), also look out for special packages and promotions on the website.
Cantine Giogio Lungarotti T: + 39 075 988661
For information on wine tastings contact
Wine and Olive and Oil MuseumsT: +39 075 9880200 museovno@lungarotti
Getting to Torgiano
Alitalia to Rome
Ryanair to Perugia

Get 35% discount on luxury beauty and health products for Xmas!

The leading health and beauty website, is offering Elixir readers 35% off everything on its site – when you spend £20 and above.  This offer lasts until midnight on 10 December.

websitediscount.jpg is a leading online shop with some great quality products such as the organic beauty ranges MyChelle and Kosmea. The discount is being offered to celebrate the new look website. You should be able to find something for all the family at a great bargain price.
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UK’s Ragdale Hall excels with 5* pampering & service

Ragdale Hall health hydro and thermal spa
by Emma Ashley
It is not surprising that Ragdale Hall has won an array of awards.  Their ethos for delivering outstanding service cannot be surpassed.  From first arrival, a team of professionals meet your every need from valet parking to individual tours of the facilities.


You are provided with a full schedule of your treatments and meals.  All you need to do is change out of your clothes into the robe provided, decide how you are going to begin to unwind and just relax.
Although Ragdale Hall was opened as a health farm in 1973, it is the multi-million pound renovation, which was opened in 2007, that has put it on the map.  From the exterior, it is Victorian architecture.  The interior is contemporary luxury.
 It has been re-named as a Health Hydro and Thermal Spa with good reason.  There are five pools with the option to exercise or simply relax with massage jets, foot spas and waterfalls to relieve your aches and ease your mind.
You can swim inside or outside, or try the Candle Pool (with a strictly no talking policy) and float away in quiet contemplation.  11 heat facilities, from the volcanic salt bath to the scented heat room, provide you with a variety of sensory experiences, surrounding you in warmth and calm.  The experience shower lets you stand in a cold mist of rain or stand in a warm thunder storm.
There is an endless supply of fluffy towels.  Shelves have been placed outside each of the heat rooms for you to place your glasses.  It is simple touches like these that make all the difference.   There are water fountains to quench your thirst throughout the facility.  There are water features and fountains.  And if at any time you need to rest your senses, there are plenty of nooks with big comfy chairs for you to escape to, to read a book, chat or just take in the Leicestershire landscape.
There is a fantastic selection of treatments, all performed by an experienced set of professionals.  Together, the team work like clockwork, ushering guests in and out of treatment rooms from the fabulous treatment reception area.  The range of treatments includes hair & fitness; the male zone; mums to be; hands & feet; body massage; face & eyes; all in one; holistic & health; and scrubs, tanning, floats, detox & wraps.  The hardest question you need to ask yourself is which treatment to take.
If you require a more energetic experience, there is a fully equipped gym and an excellent selection of classes to get your blood circulating such as Zumba or the Sunset Stretch, or perhaps tennis or croquet.
There is also the plenty of opportunity for your to shop if you so desire, with a the Boutique, Beauty Shop Gift Shop and Hair Studio.
The only issue that you may have is how to fit everything in.  From the time that you receive your revitalising breakfast in bed until your relaxing cup of tea after dinner, it could be easy to fall into the trap of having multiple treatments and trying to use every facility available to you, and end up not spending enough time just relaxing.
As you look about Ragdale, you will see every member of staff is polite and helpful and has a smile on their face.  They look like they enjoy their work.  If you then look at all the guests, everyone looks relaxed and happy.  That says it all really.  What more could you want.
•Two night midweek breaks from £288 per person including all meals, inclusive treatments and use of facilities.
•Two night weekend breaks from £355.
•Day packages from £69 – £165.
Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa
Ragdale Village, Nr Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire  LE14 3B
Tel:  01664 434831
Reservations Direct Line: 01664 433000

Bobbi Brown reveals her anti-ageing makeup secrets


Bobbi Brown
“Over-forty beauty is based on taking care of yourself and feeling good. Don’t focus on how you used to look but focus on yourself as you are now, advises Bobbi.


The new look for autumn above – Pretty Powerful for the Uber woman!
“Leading a healthy lifestyle makes me feel better- and that’s a great confidence booster!

 “Make sure your skin is well hydrated. Regular exfoliation will help skin shed dry layers, but there is nothing better than adding serious moisture to the skin. It literally plumps up the skin to fill lines out a bit. Use Bobbi Brown Extra Moisturising Balm to rehydrate and firm dry skim
Concealer is an older woman’s best friend
 “The area around the eye will start getting noticeably drier, so using an eye cream is essential before applying Concealer.
“Concealer is the one product that I feel most dramatically improves a woman’s appearance.  Concealer is the best way to lighten dark circles to look rested- even when you are not – and it magically brightens up the face.
Banish the red
“You will definitely start to see more red tones in your skin than you did in your 20’s or 30’s, so a good foundation becomes worth its weight in gold. The trick is to find a yellow toned foundation that evens out your skin, disguises redness and still looks completely natural.
Plump up the lips with subtle shades
“Lips can be plumped up by wearing a medium to light colour. Too-dark shades will make them look even smaller. Give your lips extra definition, and the most natural look, by lining your lips after you apply your lipstick. To avoid emphasizing fine lines around the mouth, use an emollient (but not greasy) moisturizer on that area.
Shimmer – sometimes!
“Shimmer can look great on women of all ages. As we age and our skin becomes more dehydrated there’s nothing like the right shade and placement of just enough shimmer to add youthful dewiness and radiance. If you wear too much however or use it in too many places, it can look garish and even make you appear older than you are.
“Avoid wearing shimmer in areas where you are broken out or shiny, since it also emphasizes these problems. It’s also a good idea to stay away from products with glitter in them as they can settle into fine lines and wrinkles and call more attention to them. But don’t let these potential pitfalls scare you off.”
Inspired by Bobbi’s seventh book, Pretty Powerful, she introduces the Uber Basics Collection – shades for every woman.  This collection will give every woman – no matter what her skin ton – the essentials she needs to go from Pretty to Pretty Powerful, day to night.  Highlighting the simplicity of Bobbi’s Uber Basic Look, the collection comprises Eye Shadows, Sparkle Eye Shadows, Blushes, Rich Lip Colours and High Shimmer Lip Glosses.
Eye Shadow
Bobbi Shadows matt.png

This is a sophisticated collection of subtle to dramatic shades, very silky, matt and glides on easily.  Costs £16.50 and in shades of Bone, Cement, Taupe and Black Chocolate (Limited Edition).

Sparkle Eye Shadow
Bobbi shadows glitter.jpg
Sparkle Eye Shadow is a featherweight formula that instantly lights up eyes with a unique combination of shimmering perls and glitter in a translucent base. Creamy soft powder shadow glides on smoothly and clings to the lids for crease-free, long lasting wear. Costs £20. 
Rich Lip Colour
Bobbi Lipsticks.png
Rich Colour Lipstick is a lightweight and incredibly emollient lip colour formula.  The colourless and translucent base, coupled with a special gel system allows for intense colour release and true colour projection.  The soft, smooth texture melts onto lips for a truly comfortable wear that lasts for hours.  Its in four great colours Uber Pink, Uber Beige, Uber Suede and Uber Nude Beige. Costs £18. 
 High Shimmer Lip Gloss
Bobbi Glosses.png
This formula features a special mix of pearls in a clear base for the ultinate in shimmer, shine, and colour. Plus it’s good for lips, thanks to moisturising emollients and vitamins C and E, which condition and offer antioxidant protection. High shimmer lip gloss is perfect for a night out on the town, special occasions, or simply when you are in the mood for something fabulous. Comes in Uber Suede (Limited Edition), Patel, Bare Sparkle and Naked Plum. Costs £17. 
Bobbi blushers.png
Nothing makes a woman look prettier than a pop of blush. It’s an instant lift and the quickest way to add a healthy glow to the face. Each colour is designed to “tint” the cheeks, giving skin a radiant but natural glow. The silky formula glides on smoothly and evenly imparting a matte finish that offers long-lasting wear. Comes in Pretty Pink, Pink Rose, Nude Pink and PlumCosts £18.

A trio of anti-ageing beauty goodies to be won

Elixir if offering you the chance to win one of a  collection of anti-ageing beauty treats including an Elemis silver beauty bag containing £150 great products; Elemis Skin Nourishing Milk Bath  and  a set of VO5 VibraShine professional ceramic hair straighteners each worth £50.
All you have to do is participate in our points scoring competition – the participants with the most scores in !st, 2nd and 3rd place will each win one of our prizes
lst Prize – an Elemis Silver Beauty Bag woth £150 
moisture melt.jpegIn the Elemis goody bag is – Eoxtic Frangipani Monoi Moisture Melt (35ml); Meltig Cleaning Gel x 2 (125ml) and a Skin Nourishing Hand & Body Lotion (300ml)

2nd Prize – Elemis Skin Nourishing Milk Bath worth £50

Elemis Skin Nourishing Milk Bath 500ml is a limited edition beautiful Italian glass decanter reminiscent of the original 20 packaging years ago. This Luxury Milk Bath has a unique formula that captures the essence of Cleopatra`s ancient bathing ritual. Its milk protein base is rich in nourishing vitamins, amino acids and minerals. 

3rd Prize – a set of VO5 VibroShine Professional Ceramic Straighteners worth £50
Create salon-quality straight hair with the ST-231-3GB VibraShine Hair Straightener from VO5. This blue straightener can reach a maximum temperature of 230°C, giving you enough heat to easily straighten your hair. Transform frizzy dry locks into silky smooth hair with this straightener, thanks to its floating ceramic tourmaline plates that lock in moisture. The 10 different temperature settings, shown on a clear LCD display, are handy to handle. 

What do you have to do?  It’s really easy all you have to do is sign up and then spread your contest link online

How to win…

Once you have signed up you will get a chance to automatically join on Facebook & Twitter.  Just authorise the competition app and begin spreading the world online with your very own contest link.

You will earn points when you put your contest link anywhere online and get people to click and visit our contest

You will automatically get bonus points for a wide variety of postings..For example when you post videos on You Tube with your contest link in the video description or you mention the contest on Twitter.  You can earn points in a variety of different ways – PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU MUST NOT SPAM THE SOCIAL MEDIA SITES AND THERE IS A DAILY LIMIT RESTRICTION ON THE NUMBER OF POSTINGS. ANYONE WHO SPAMS WILL UNFORTUNATELY HAVE TO BE REMOVED FROM THE CONTEST. Here is the complete list:

  • 100 points for entering the competition
  • 100 points for signup you refer (so share your link as much as you can)
  •  250 points max for using the connect with Facebook Contest Burner App below
  • 10 points each time you connect with Twitter using the Contest Burner Twitter app below (150 max per day)
  • 10 points for “liking” our Facebook page 
  • 1 point for commenting on our Facebook comments box
  • 100 points for posting a YouTube video response
  • 50 points for adding your link to any YouTube description (must be the first thing in the description)
  • 10 points for every time you Tweet about us with your link
You can sign up below  by clicking on thel link and your very own competition link will be sent to your email.

You will also be able to see the positions of the competition participants on the Leaders Board also below.

Sleep is important, for both beauty and health

Beauty sleep We have all heard the cliché ‘beauty sleep’ but it does seem that the easiest way to look attractive and healthy is to get a good night’s sleep.

However, it is clear that lack of sleep affects more than our attractiveness. It also affects our ability to make coherent decisions, operate machinery and complete everyday tasks.

Evidence for sleep’s aesthetic bonus (taken from a recent research project in Sweden) has been published in the Christmas issue on The study, led by John Axelsson from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, investigated the relationship between sleep and perceptions of attractiveness and health.

Twenty-three people between the ages of 18 to 31 took part in the study. They were photographed between 2pm and 3pm on two occasions, once after normal sleep (8 hours) and once after being deprived of sleep (31 hours of wakefulness after a night of reduced sleep). No alcohol was allowed for two days before the experiment.

The photographs were taken in a well-lit room and the distance to the camera was fixed. During both photography sessions participants wore no make-up, had their hair loose (combed back if they had long hair) and were asked to have a relaxed, neutral facial expression for both photos.

Sixty-five observers, who were blinded to the sleep status of the subjects, rated the photographs for attractiveness and whether the individuals looked healthy/unhealthy or tired/not tired.

The observers judged the faces of sleep-deprived participants as less healthy, less attractive and more tired.

Are we just stating the obvious about the importance of sleep? It is easy to tell by sight alone when someone is tired or not well, which this study is said to prove. The implications for our health are not as easy to see as under eye shadows and droopy eyelids and are far more worrying.

The authors believe their topic of research is becoming ever more important considering the rise in stress, disturbed sleep and the ongoing trend of ours to try and wring every last possible moment of usefulness from each day. Sleep disorders are also on the rise. 

If you would like to read the paper associated with this story please visit

GET £300+ of Estée Lauder beauty goodies for just £49

Estée Lauder has an offer of a beauty collection containing key products worth more than £300 for only £49.00 if your purchase one of their perfumes. This is a really great offer because you can either use it for a complete makeover and bin all your old and tired makeup or give to someone as a special Xmas gift. Blockbuster JPEG [320x200].jpg View image View image View image

Get ready for a relaxing and fun christmas at the Spirit of Christmas Fair


spirit_2010 green2+gold[1] [400x300].JPGIndulge and be inspired this winter at the UK’s most stylish and exclusive Christmas shopping experience Spirit of Christmas Fair in association with House & Garden. Taking place 3-7 November 2010 at London’s Kensington Olympia, discover exquisite and desirable brands offering irresistible gift ideas for the season.

The Spirit of Christmas Fair is a collection of over 600 boutique brands, each hand-picked for their quality and originality, offering a sophisticated and exclusive shopping experience and a great day out with friends.

As well as gifts, the Fair offers fashion accessories such as Alison Van Der Lande’s luxurious bags and designer shoes from Gwendolyn Carrie. Renowned homeware designers Jan Constantine and Emma Bridgewater will be introducing their latest collections whilst Beasty Bags offer the perfect children’s gifts from gorgeous cushions to stylish beanbags. There are also natural beauty products, beautiful stationery, toys and games as well as gourmet food and fine wine. Stockings will be amply filled by the many brands exhibiting including dotcomgiftshop who have a fabulous selection of gifts to suit all needs.

If you would like to join us at the fair, tickets are available at or call 0871 230 1089*

Advance adult: £16

Advance child (13 and over): £8.50

Tickets on the door adult: £18

Tickets on the door child (13 and over): £9.50

Children 12 and under FREE

*Calls cost 10 pence per minute from BT landlines, calls from mobiles and other networks may vary. Booking fee applies. Advance box office closes 2 November 2010

Dr Tracy Mountford – Non Surgical Cosmetics – London & Buckinghamshire


Dr Tracy Mountford is the Medical Director of The Cosmetic Skin Clinic and has over 20 years experience in facial rejuvenation techniques.

Having qualified in London in 1985 she initially worked as an anaesthetist before training as a Cosmetic Medical Practitioner.

She has full registration with the GMC (no 3085451) and MPS, and is a founder member of the BACD (British Association of Cosmetic Doctors).

Dr Mountford is highly regarded by her peers and is considered a key opinion leader in the ever expanding field of non-surgical aesthetic medicine.

She is often quoted in the national media including: The Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, Tatler, Grazia, Woman & Home, & Woman’s Own to name but a few. She also regularly appears on television including – BBC Breakfast, GMTV, ITV ‘This Morning’, 10 Years Younger: The Challenge, UK Living’s ‘The Truth About Beauty’, & carried out many radio interviews which have been broadcast throughout the country. She is frequently asked to present at conferences & workshops at key industry events across the UK.
More about her clinic at T: + 44(0)1753 646 660

Kamalaya – Koi Samui



Koh Samui, Thailand: Think palm trees swaying under a gentle breeze, bodies luxuriating on open-air day beds being rubbed head to foot with sweet-smelling oils, and a myriad of exotic fruit and vegetable juice combinations freshly squeezed and constantly on offer.

This is Kamalaya Asia’s award-winning and renowned Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa situated on Thailand’s ‘island of coconuts’ – Koh Samui, one hour’s flight from Bangkok.

From the moment you arrive here, it’s easy to see that this is no ordinary spa resort. Small, cosy, warm and friendly, it’s a resort where every staff member greets you with a smile and by name no matter whether you’re lazing by the pool, ordering delicious fare at the restaurant or being pampered with one of a multitude of incredible treatments at the wellness pavilion. It’s just one of many personal touches here that really work as each guest is made to feel so special and so welcome.

It’s Kamalaya’s ultimate goal to make every visitor feel great by providing life-enriching, long lasting experiences. Your visit begins with a series of diagnostic procedures, including bio-resonance evaluations and nutritional and biological age assessments to check where you’re currently at, and consultations and comparisons also conclude your stay.

Set on a steep hillside, among lush tropical vegetation that leads down to a private beach, the resort is built around a sacred cave where Buddhist monks have worshipped for centuries.

Founder John Stewart actually spent a year living in such a cave during the 16 years he served as a monk in a remote Himalayan community. A Princeton graduate, John met his wife Karina, also a graduate of Princeton and a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the two decided to combine their passions and vision.

The result was Kamalaya and the resort, which was born in 2006, has been swaddled in spirituality and serenity ever since a haven far away from the madness of the industrialised world just waiting to nurture and nourish every aspect of a visitor’s being.

My personal journey here certainly managed to tick every box. Having selected my preferred treatment package from a substantial wellness program menu some weeks prior to arrival, I was pleased to find the standard of practitioners even more sensational than I’d been led to expect. Kamalaya offers solutions for detox, yoga, stress and burnout, fitness and weight control. I chose the Asian Bliss package from the Stress and Burnout range but had I simply been looking for a relaxing and restorative holiday, I needn’t have committed to a program at all, and could have just soaked up the environment and complimentary inclusions like naturopathic consultations and holistic activities including yoga, meditation, tai-chi and pilates.

My chosen package cost me 61,000 baht (around 1,086 GBP’s) for 7 days but was the best decision I could have made. Disrobing constantly, drinking countless cups of delicious home-made mulberry tea before and after sessions, I was pampered and pummeled several times a day during 60 or 90 minute sessions which ranged from Vital Essential Oil, Thai and Marma Point (trigger point) massages to Reiki and ancient Ayervedic treatments like Shirodara ( a stream of warm, medicated oil is poured continuously on the forehead) and Chi Nei Tsang (Taoist abdominal massage).

One of my practitioners by the name of Saimy had the best hands I had ever encountered. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised given his background as an Indian masseur of some 30 years standing who’d learnt and perfected his craft from his grandfather who was the village healer, since the tender age of ten. As each treatment surpassed the one before, it didn’t take long before I began to slip into what for me was an extremely foreign state of relaxation akin to being semi comatose.

Usually highly active to the point of hyperactivity, I was hardly able to recognize myself as I dragged my weary body up and down countless steps between the pool, the restaurant, the wellness centre and the yoga pavilion for the next few days. Lethargic and bloated despite an over-indulgence in the healthiest food I’d ever eaten, I sought advice from resident naturopath Samantha who told me my state was perfectly normal as the mind begins to unwind and relax and the body adjusts to the pace and to the intake of so much raw food.

Indeed, it’s the food that attracts so many people to Kamalaya. While over sixty per cent of guests come on their own in order to undergo detox therapy, Kamalaya’s unique philosophy is that one should detox with abundance and not starvation. As a result, Chef Kai Mueller continually creates the most amazing menus which include mouth-watering delicacies like lotus root and herbed mangosteen salad with wheatgrass spirulina dressing and Thai herb cured wild salmon sashimi on buckwheat with rocket goat cheese. There’s even a chocolate soufflé!

Guests have the choice of selecting meals from a specific detox menu which features low inflammatory, low allergenic and low GI vegetarian dishes, or from the broader menu, which changes with the seasons and features fresh, local and where possible organic produce.

Here, food is the medicine of choice, and much of what’s on offer is healing in function and tantalising in form. By day four, my stomach had settled right down and I began to regain lost energy. The fresh juices, signature tonics and herbal teas had begun to work their magic and I realized that while each is bursting with nutrients, medicinal properties and taste-bud tempting goodness, it’s often the unique combinations here that keep visitors returning time and time again.

No matter what accommodation option you choose here, you’re bound to find life soothing and serene. We stayed in a magnificent villa perched in the tree tops overlooking both the ocean and the two infinity pools that have been hewn out of rock with a freshwater spring running into them. I particularly loved our open-air bathroom that resembled a mud brick cocoon, and found it truly liberating to take a shower without the confines of walls or screens.

As accommodation options are additional to the price of wellness programs, there are several to be considered. But no matter if you select a room for around 7900 baht (141GBP’s), a suite for 11,900 baht ( 212.50 GBP’s) or a rocktop, pool or beachside villa for 29,000baht (516.50 GBP’s), you’re bound to enjoy your experience. Kamalaya is an inclusive rather than an exclusive resort. It doesn’t boast ultimate luxury or super slickness, but it’s warm, caring, supportive – and very comfortable indeed.

It’s a tranquil healing hideaway with no boundaries, no pressures and no prerequisites, where the natural environment and the inspiring palate of sights, sounds, aromas and textures, empowers and amplifies the healing experience. What you will find, as I most certainly did, is that as the days go by, your mind clears, your eyes shine, your skin glows, your vitality increases and your heart opens to the spirit of possibility.

By the time I arrived home and people asked why I looked so good there was only one word to give in answer – Kamalaya. And that’s not a word or a place I will easily forget.

Contact information
Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary and Holistic Spa:
102/9 Moo 3, Laem Set Rd, Na-Muang, Koh Samui, Suratthani 84140 Thailand Tel +66 (0)77 429 800

Review by Sandy Kaye, Australasia Correspondent



Get answers from world-leading experts on anti-aging topics here – whether is about preventative healthcare, the latest rejuvenation treatments or the best spas and doctors…

Top Aging Tips from Actress Nanette Newman and daughter Emma Forbes


London: Listen to showbiz mother Nanette Newman and duaghter Emma Forbes’ on graceful and effortless ageing.

Nanette Newman is one of Britain’s most glamorous grannies, and her daughter Emma Forbes is following in her mother’s pedicured footsteps – but how do they look so young at their respective ages?

In this video feature Nanette and Emma talk about what keeps them in fine fettle, including hair, make-up and other little tips for not only feeling great but looking great too.

Where Nanette and Emma lead others can follow – and they are. Ordinary women are preserving their looks and joie de vivre – pushing the boundaries of staying fit, healthy and desirable well into middle age and beyond. Most of us also realise that looking after our eyes is also vitally important. In fact according recent research by Optrex Actimist Eye Spray, two-thirds of us are aware that eating a balanced diet can help maintain good vision.

So whether it be eating more fruit and vegetables, drinking more water, or taking more exercise – today we are more aware of the simple lifestyle changes we can make to stay fit and healthy. But for some inside tips on how the age with a little extra glamour and style from Nanette and Emma
Listen to Emma & Nanette here

Defy ageing – New York skin guru Nicholas Perricone reveals his secrets


True beauty is simply a manifestation of radiant health, says New York’s top skin guru Dr Nicholas Perricone, who believes that cellular rejuvenation is the path to beautiful radiant skin. Here he shares his fascinating views and latest insights with ELIXIR readers in our exclusive interview

Dr Nicholas Perricone is one of the world’s most innovative dermatologists, as well as being a best-selling author. His skincare range is based on delivering “magic bullet” ingredients, together with an integrated approach to health and beauty that transforms skin in a matter of days.

His New York flagship store on Madison Avenue is not a simple shop but what he describes as “a unique, interactive lifestyle centre”, where clients experience the Perricone Prescription® Personal Consults – a personalised consulation for health and skin based on an interactive, in-depth evaluation of an individual’s current diet, health and lifestyle profile. There is also a health library where visitors can sip green tea and relax while browsing through a wide selection of health and nutrition newsletters and books, including Dr. Perricone’s five best sellers. Regular lectures also take on subjects such as the Beauty- Brain Connection program that explains the science behind Dr. Perricone’s philosophy which is aimed at reducing cellular inflammation which is believed to be the greatest precipitator of ageing and age-related diseases.

His 70 products, including books, nutritional supplements and skincare products are sold in 11 countries. They range from the least expensive Olive Moist Lips which costs 34 (£18, Euro 27) to Neuropeptide Facial Conformer at $843 (£445,Euro 657)

Here Dr Perricone tells ELIXIR what he thinks about the latest trends in skin rejuvenation:

Why do you think your products are so successful?

My goal has been to create a program that is easy to follow and would enable people to create beauty through health. My decades of research has shown that The Inflammation/Aging Connection is the single greatest precipitator of ageing and age-related diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, certain forms of cancer, and wrinkled, sagging skin. I developed a three-tiered lifestyle program to eliminate the inflammation by the foods we eat, through taking antioxidant anti-inflammatory supplements and by treating the skin with topical antioxidants which as natural anti-inflammatories, and result in a smooth, youthful, supple, toned and radiant appearance to face and body. The highly visible results are key to the programme’s ongoing success.

What are your predictions for the next big thing in anti-ageing skin care?

The future of beauty lies in learning how to rejuvenate the face and body on a cellular level – where it really counts. Science is showing us that we are not subjected to our genes but can actually change them with the latest generation of essential nutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances. These state of the art magic bullets significantly support cellular repair and rejuvenation both internally and topically by fighting free radical activity, reducing inflammation, and in supporting healthy blood flow, while helping to prevent and reverse damage to genetic material. This truly holistic approach will reverse many signs of aging, turn off the genes that cause us to store fat, rejuvenate the brain, etc.

In addition to targeted cosmeceuticals, exciting developments in other areas will also enable us to look younger – I am particularly excited about the age-reversing effects of light – non-laser light, as well as electronic muscle stimulation. Just as exercising the body creates a firm, rounded well-muscled and attractive body, exercising the face can do the same. Electronic muscle stimulation to the face can help shorten elongated, drooping muscles to create a more youthful appearance, while helping to stimulate blood flow to the face, increasing circulation, decreasing puffiness and pallor.

What are your predictions for anti-ageing medicine?

Exciting new scientific developments are showing us that we can actually rebuild our bodies on a cellular level. Brain, bone, muscle, skin can all benefit in a process known as cellular rejuvenation. When we understand that a young cell is characterized by energy production, it becomes clear that when we slow down that production, we begin the ageing process. The goal, therefore, is to rev up your cellular metabolism – the chemical and physiological processes by which the body builds and maintains itself and by which it breaks down food and nutrients to produce energy.

What is your opinion on stem cells in the treatment of the mechanisms of ageing?

Certainly stem cells are looking interesting at this point but I don’t see this happening any time within three to five years and even then it would need to be developed by a pharmaceutical company.

Are we becoming overly obsessed with our looks – what is the balance?

This question can cut both ways. For example, if you are obsessed with your looks and holding onto youth it could be a good thing if it encourages you to give up an unhealthy life style (smoking, excess drinking, junk food, not enough sleep).

If we follow the anti-inflammatory lifestyle, take the supplements, avoid sugar and starchy foods, which are pro-inflammatory and use topical anti-oxidants on skin, we will go a long way towards retaining physical beauty. We will eliminate weight problems, bags and puffiness in the eye and face area, excess body fat, loss of youthful muscle mass in face and body and so forth – in fact dramatic results will be visible in both face and body in as little as three days. In addition, we will keep our brains working at optimum levels, our memories sharp and our moods up beat with a general sense of well being. For example, if you don’t get enough omega 3 essential fatty acids every day (from wild salmon, sardines, herring, trout, anchovies, high quality fish oil, etc.) you will be overweight, wrinkled and depressed. We will see our face and body gradually show signs of deterioration. Unfortunately, no amount of Botox or surgical procedures can take the place of proper nutrition or reverse the decline.

What is your daily fitness and health programme?

I go for a run every day, lift weights and practice yoga. I also follow the anti-inflammatory diet, which consists of the following components:

• high-quality protein, like that found in fish, shellfish, poultry and tofu;
• low-glycemic (will not provoke a glycemic response when consumed in moderation) carbohydrates including colorful fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains such as old-fashioned oatmeal, legumes such as beans and lentils;
• healthy fats, such as those found in cold water fish (especially wild Alaskan salmon, halibut, sardines, herring, anchovies, etc.), nuts, seeds, and olive oil
• 8 -10 glasses of pure spring water per day.
• Anti-oxidant rich beverages such as green tea

These foods and beverages act as natural anti-inflammatories and help to maintain normal levels of insulin and blood sugar.

I also take supplements regularly including the complete spectrum of vitamins and minerals recommended by nutrition experts world-wide, (B-complex, Vitamin E, Calcium-magnesium, etc.), as well as the following

Active ingredients recommended by Dr. Perricone include:
• Alpha Lipoic Acid
o Vitamin C Ester
o DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol)
o Coenzyme Q-10
o Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
o Gamma Linoleic Acid (GLA)
o L-Carnitine Fumerate
o N-Acetyl Carnitine
o L-Tyrosine
o Omega-3
o Carnosine
o Benfotiamine
o Astaxanthin

How do you cope with stress, difficult people – to you have any tips?

I eat a lot of wild salmon – which is high in the omega 3 essential fatty acids. As mentioned before, they not only relieve stress and keep your mood upbeat; they also keep skin radiant and supple and increase mental and physical energy. It might sound simplistic but people on low fat diets and/or those who don’t get enough omega 3 fatty acids (which is practically everyone in the modern society) actually have much higher levels of depression and irritability.

Is there anything new we can expect in the Perricone range?

I continue to work on and expand our Neuropeptide line because the topical results are so phenomenal for aging skin providing the following benefits to skin:
• A visible increase in radiance and glow to the skin. This is the result of their powerful anti-inflammatory activity, as well as their effects on blood circulation and cell metabolism.
• An increase in firmness, as the neuropeptides aid in collagen and elastin production.
• improved appearance of the skin’s resilience, tone, and texture
• decreased appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
• decreased appearance of tiny veins and capillaries
• maximized regeneration and hydration of the skin

Because of their efficacy, they can be used alternately with the original flagship products of the line, the Alpha Lipoic Acid and Vitamin C Ester lines, both of which contain high levels of DMAE and continue to be the must have skin rejuvenating products for women around the world.

We have also recently debuted a Men’s Line, Men’s Total Fitness that introduces a new delivery system containing Fullerenes, so named because the 60 atoms that make up their spherical molecule resemble Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes, which are lighter than plastic yet stronger than steel.

Also known as “Buckyballs,’ they were first identified in 1985 by three scientists who later received a Nobel Prize for the discovery. The fullerenes used in our delivery system are highly stable, microscopic, hollow carbon balls that function as a potent reservoir for the transport of the Perricone patented technology to the skin. Fullerenes deliver active ingredients to protect and nourish the skin round the clock. This revolutionary system brings the intriguing and transformative world of nanotechnology to the fine art and science of high performance anti-aging skin care formulation.

How do you define beauty?

True beauty is simply a manifestation of radiant health.

Look great at the wheel with TV make-up guru Ruby Hammer


London: How often have you stopped at a red light and seen a hot looking guy sitting in their car at the other side of the junction?

It’s true that you never know when you’re going to meet Mr. Right so looking your best at all times is vitally important. The problem with driving is that it presents a car load of drive-time beauty dilemmas. Our once stylish clothes get crumpled and creased and if it’s a long drive we end up looking and feeling a little bit less than fresh.

To celebrate their ravishing new ride; the Kia Picanto top car company Kia have produced this must-see video starring internationally acclaimed make-up artist Ruby Hammer. Ruby knows how important it is for a girl to look glam wherever she goes and will be offering up some exclusive advice for behind the wheel beauty. She’ll be telling you how to give your skin a fresh, dewy glow even after a long journey and how to avoid any high-speed hair/lip-gloss disasters!

Ruby will be spilling all her trade mark secrets, so make sure you watch this video to get all the insider info on looking radiant on the road.

For more information visit

Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort & Spa, Gran Canaria


Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort & Spa
Aloe Spa
Urbanizacion Salobre Golf SN
Maspalomas, Gran Canaria
Canary Islands 35100, Spain
T:34 928 943 030
T:34 928 943 000 Spa
15% off spa treatments

Find all the comforts of home and so much more at the Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort & Spa.

Overlooking the breathtaking greens of the 27-hole Salobre Golf Course, fairways, and splendid surrounding mountains, our resort is the perfect place to catch up with the people who matter.

Treat yourself to some well-deserved you-time and discover a new world of well-being in a relaxing oasis at our Aloe Spa. After a busy day of sightseeing or business, let us show you how to find your internal beauty and balance with our soothing treatments.

Spend the day at Maspalomas Beach. Our free shuttle service can drive you directly to our private beach house, offering a bar, changing room, showers, and swimming pool.

Enticing guest rooms, a wealth of recreational facilities, and a range of exceptional dining venues make the Sheraton Salobre Golf Resort & Spa an unforgettable resort experience.

Plus, all-day, everyday sun, with an average annual temperature of 23C (73F). So there’s none of that anxious staring-up-at-the-heavens and saying, “Surely in five minutes that cloud will have blown away, sod it, where’s the beer. . .?”

The spa treatments include Swedish massage and hot-stone therapy and cost from €20 to €120 (£14.40 to £86.50). The aloe vera wrap is the signature dish, but the spa’s age-defying treatment and lymphatic drainage is another productive way to spend your time.

This spa also uses the high quality Espa products and is the place for fashionable Spanish yummy mummies


Hotel Cordial Cordial Mogán Playa Spa, Gran Canaria


Hotel Cordial Cordial Mogán Playa
Avda. de los Marrero, 2 – 35138
Playa de Mogán – Gran Canaria – Spain
T: 00 34 928 724 100
F: 00 34 928 724 101

Discount: 15% off spa treatments

The hotel is located in the Puerto de Mogan, a beautiful fishing village also known as Little Venice to its visitors. It is just a few metres away from the beach and from the colourful fishing quay and the marina, all surrounded by the lush and vibrant Mogan Valley.

The hotel is set in a luxurious botanic garden with over 200 species of subtropical plants. There are two stunning adult pools which are heated during the winter months, withartificial beaches and whirlpools and a children’s pool and playground. There are extensive solarium areas with loungers and parasols

The Spa offers an array of treatments including Aromatherapy, Shiatsu, Lymphatic Drainage, Reflexology, and Facials. Body Wrapping (Sea Weeds; Chocolate; Wine; Mud…) Peeling (Exfoliates of Aloe Vera; Exfoliates of Sea Salts…


Nestlé launches anti-ageing drink


New York: Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage company has launched an anti-ageing beauty drink.

Glowelle, which comes in two flavours, Raspberry jasmine and pomegranate lychee, has gone on sale at branches of department stores, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.

The drink which costs $7 (£3.50) contains a blend of nutrients which claim to “nourish and hydrate the skin from within and help fight free radicals, known contributors to the signs of aging.”

This drink is just the latest in a bevy of supplements, known as “foodceuticals” that have hit the market.

Get rid of wrinkles – 10 Facial Exercise DVDs to giveaway


Beauty is in your hands! Facial massage really can help you get rid of wrinkles..

Our faces explain a lot about our lifestyles. The late nights, maybe the odd cigarette, alcohol and partying, and excess toxins all build up until dark circles, bags and fine lines appear. Laughter lines and frown lines develop around the eyes and mouth, permanently ageing the skin and its appearance.

Sun is also a major culprit for skin ageing, but of course we all want that golden tan! Combine this with stress, pollution, the toxins that come from cigarettes, alcohol, and food additives and we all end up looking older than our years.

Tension can build up within our facial muscles from the pressures of everyday life without us realising it. It can be easy for certain thoughts and emotions to become habitual, locking themselves into expressions on our faces – sometimes over the duration of a whole lifetime.

Under such conditions muscles can actually dry up and contract, inhibiting freedom of expression. This can encourage ageing and the formation of wrinkles as the face loses its muscle tone and elasticity and begins to sag.

Does any of this sound depressingly familiar?

While some people resort to going under the surgeon’s knife to reverse the effects of ageing skin, there is a simple, pain free alternative, which is incredibly effective – facial massage.

Massage is considered one of the oldest forms of healing. Regular facial massage can lead to smother, firmer, more radiant skin by minimizing sagging and fine lines, releasing toxins and impurities, normalizing moisture balance, maximizing your skin’s natural radiance and releasing tension.

Facial massage is an extremely popular form of beauty treatment and really rejuvenates the skin. It is a particularly pleasurable experience – most people will be surprised at the amount of tension they hold here, particularly around the jaw, and how good it feels to have that tension released with a good facial massage.

Facial massage involves a sequence of massage techniques which act as a natural facelift with no need for surgery, helping you look and feel younger.

The routine releases stresses and traumas locked deeply into the muscles and energy of the face, head and neck. Our face is often our mask, hiding who we really are, and it takes much energy to maintain this “front”. To experience dropping the mask can be the door to profound relaxation and inner ease.

Now a brand new DVD “The Essential Guide to Facial Massage” has just been released in the UK. Presented by Madri Cilliers, the renowned Professional Beauty and Massage Therapist, this will teach you all the techniques used to give a professional facial massage.

There are 10 DVDs to giveaway. If you would like one of these DVDs please email us at with your name and address and DVD in the email header by 31 September 2008. Please note that no cash equivalent is being offered and the Editor’s decision is final.

Facial massage will help to:

Ø Improve your skin suppleness

Ø Reduce and remove wrinkles

Ø Reduce any muscle tension in your face and jaw

Ø Maintain a fresh youthful appearance

Ø Improve your circulation

Ø Release ‘feel good’ endorphins, making you feel great!

Ø What exactly is a facial massage?

Ø What you will need to perform facial massage

Ø How to prepare someone for a facial massage

Ø The facial massage itself – a step by step guide to ALL the techniques used for the perfect facial massage, with a real life demonstration, making it really easy to follow.

You don’t have to spend hundreds of pounds on professional massages. You can learn the techniques that the professionals use, share the information and you and your loved ones can really benefit, using the human touch to really get your skin glowing…

More information can be found at

Ragdale Hall launches Brain Circuit


Health spa, Ragdale Hall, is leading the way in alternative fitness programmes with the addition of its unique BRAIN CIRCUIT class to the already varied, actvity titmetable.

In recognising the importance of exercising the grey matter to overall health and well-being, Health and Fitness consultant, Dean Hodgkin, decided to take this discipline to a whole new level with hand held computers, space-age toys, physical puzzles and a library of books to test your logic, challenge your problem solving skills and elevate your brain to greater efficiency.

The class follows a traditional circuit-training format whereby you move around the room, from station to station, to face a different challenge at each. At one station there’s even a state-of-the-art game-table that allows you to move a ball by simply controlling your thoughts.

Comments Dean, “Beyond the minor hassles of forgetting names, pin numbers or where we left our keys, the current wave of brain training can seriously slow the ageing process, significantly reducing the risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s, that sadly affects around half a million people in the UK.”

To ensure you get the most from the class, Dean has created a dedicated space, the incredible MIND GYM with its eclectic design incorporating quirky furniture in vibrant colours, promising to stimulate your senses the moment you enter. It truly is the perfect environment to unleash the power of your mind!

For more information:

Men are blind to beauty when it comes to mating


Amsterdam: Men are blind to beauty when it comes to mating opportunities, new research confirms.

Human testosterone triggers an automatic reaction which has evolved in man when faced with a woman, to look for mating opportunities, and it does not matter if the woman is not attractive, the research reveals.

Research involving a group of male students found that their levels of the hormone testosterone increased to the same extent whether they were talking to a young woman they found attractive – or to one they didn’t fancy much at all.

After 300 seconds alone in the same room as a woman they had never met before, and in some cases did not find particularly attractive, the men’s testosterone levels of the hormone had shot up by an average of around eight percent.

The rising levels may then fuel more visible changes in male behaviour that occur in the presence of a woman, including a squaring of shoulders, an upright posture, and greater use of hands – and even, it is suggested, a flaring of the nostrils.

The rise in the male hormone may also be the reason why men are more likely to tell women exaggerated stories about their job, career, education and earnings, the researchers believe.

The study, published in the journal Hormones and Behaviour, involved 63 male students aged 21 to 25 who were not aware of the purpose of the study.

Men who were rated as more aggressive or dominant types had registered even higher testosterone levels. The results also show that testosterone levels did not change when they were in the room with another man.

Leander van der Meij, who led the study at the University of Groningen in Holland, said: “We found a testosterone increase after only five minutes of exposure to a woman. Our results suggest that the increase in testosterone levels that we found, may be an automatic male response that activates receptors in organs and the nervous system to prepare the human body for mate attraction.”

The Telegraph quotes him as saying: “Once levels have risen, they can display more dominant behaviour. They talk more with their hands, there is more eye contact, their posture is more upright, and they are more likely to tell stories designed to impress the woman. We know that women can be attracted by these kinds of things. All this, we believe, may be fuelled by the rise in testosterone that we have found.”

Anti-ageing haircare


Shampoo $16.30 (€12.68, £8.30); Conditioner $18 (€13.50, £9.20)

Packed with anti-ageing antioxidants this is a complet range of products with everything you need to iron out the wrinkles in your hair. 7/10

For stockists 1-888-4-ALTERNA or visit
Shampoo $57 (€35.75, £28.50); Conditioner $61.20 (€38.27, £30.50)

Blonde shampoo, conditioner and leave-in conditioner. The products in this range give amazing results. The hair looks younger because it has a beautiful shine and bounce taking years off ageing hair. Hair is also beautifully soft and moisturised. 9/10

FRÉDÉRIC FEKKAI AGLESS (pictured below left)
Shampoo and Condition each cost $54 (€60, £28)

Frédéric Fekkai Agless from the New York VIP crimper contains a shampoo, conditioner and vitamin serum capsules. The exotic ingredients include moisturising amino acids, orchid extract, pearl protein and keratin. Protects hair from environmental damage. Not so good for coloured hair. Buy at Space NK in the UK. 5/10

ACTIV DR HOTING HAIR RETENTION CARE SYSTEM BY Schwarzkopf (pictured below right)
Shampoo costs $20 (€12.54,£9.99) and tonic $26 (€16.30,£12.99)

This is a new range with a shampoo and tonic for men and women designed to maintain the condition of the hair follicle and encourages hair growth, helping to maintain a healthy scalp and, subsequently, full and strong hair. It contains Carnitintartrate, Echinacea and Taurine, By massaging the product onto the head, the blood flow to the scalp is increased and the ingredients work to stabilise the inner structure of the hair. The resulting healthy scalp helps to maintain full and strong hair and, with pro-longed use, will encourage new growth. Best results are obtained with regular use. Fantastic smell and leaves hair soft and glossy. Consumer advice Buy this product here AMAZON HAIR PRODUCTS 8/10


Wrinkle implants may cause arthritis


Permanent cosmetic implants could cause allergic reactions such as arthritis, according to a report published in the Archives of Dermatology journal.

Doctors have reported that some patients developed problems over a year after the fillers or implants were placed.

The report said that the safety of polyalkylimide implant gels is questionable.

Dr Jaume Alljotas-Reig of the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital and Autonomous University of Barcelona said that both doctors and patients needed to be aware of delayed reactions.

The team examined 25 patients who had adverse reactions a year or more after having filler implants.