Find the right Toner for your skin

This is a great read from our beauty collaborator, beauty Blogger Nicola Londors, take a look at her beauty blog by clicking here, thanks for sharing Nicola!  Toners and why I feel they are so underrated. As a Beauty fanatic I often get asked what my top beauty tip is. Although I have many, my answer is always the same “Always use a toner in your skincare routine after you cleanse your skin”. Let me explain why. After you have cleansed you skin (step one of your skincare regime) your skin will feel clean and fresh and you will believe your skin to be completely clean, well you will be surprised just how much residue is left behind still. A toner (used by applying to cotton pad or reusable bamboo pad) will lift and get rid of any product residue with no need to rinse, oil/ sebum, dirt and makeup that remains on the skin, leaving your skin and pores fully cleansed. in turn this will help prevent breakouts. My pad is never clean, there is always something on it and for me it is so satisfying to see that filth on the pad. After using a toner your skin is clean and will reap the full benefit of the rest of your skincare regime. As well as cleansing, your skin toners have many other fantastic benefits, there are different types of toners too. I will explain a few below for you to help you decide which to look out for. Gycolic Toner Contains an ingredient called Gycolic Acid which may sound scary but acids work so well with the skin when used correctly. The Gycolic Acid will gently exfoliate the skin, eliminating dead skin cells leaving the skin looking smoother, brighter, glowy and youthful. This type of toner in particular is one of my favourites and works amazing with my oily skin type. Though if you have sensitive skin, use with caution as it can be aggressive. Rose TonerRose extract is the key ingredient here which has calming and hydrating qualities, excellent for dry or dehydrated skin. Rose can also help balance the skin which is beneficial to those with oily skin. Perfect addition to your autumn/ winter skincare regime and suitable for all skin types.  Aloe Toner  Aloe has hydrating and calming benefits. Perfect for inflamed, irritated skin. It will cool and calm. I especially like to use toners that contain aloe in the summer when my skin has been exposed to the sun for a lengthy period. Also perfect for sensitive skin types. Vitamin E TonerVitamin E helps the skin against ageing and also fights against free radicals (the sun, air pollution, every day stresses). This in turn will help prevent breakouts and signs of ageing. As well as protecting the skins barrier vitamin E is also moisturising and will give a moisture boost to dry skin. I hope this has given you a slight insight as to why I feel toners are important. There are many types of toners but I have listed the main 4 and you may even find toners to have a mixture of all the main ingredients I have listed above which will make them even more beneficial to your skins needs. I hope you have found this blog to be helpful and if you have any questions, further information or tips to share please either comment below or contact me on Instagram. Thank you for reading. KissesNicola XXX​

Get soft waves with the Dyson Air Wrap

Hair Romance - complete review and tutorial on how to get soft waves with the Dyson Air Wrap Check out this latest video from Hair Romance. Learn how to use the Dyson Air Wrap to get soft waves with ease.  Check out Hair Romance at www.hairromance.com 

Secret to a better nights sleep

This is a great read from our beauty collaborator, beauty Blogger Nicola Londors, take a look at her beauty blog by clicking here, thanks for sharing Nicola! Recently I was extremely lucky to be invited to a sleep well event hosted my Stylist Magazine, Marks and Spencer’s and La Roche Posay all in preparation for a sleep related magazine issue which will be published soon. Yes me “The Londors” got a bloody invite and I can’t F'in believe I was there. A massive pinch me moment in my blogging journey. I spent a whole day and night in the brand new Zedwell Hotel in Piccadilly Circus (Opening to the public in Mid-February). A hotel with no windows and basic pod type rooms that allows you to switch off and use the room for its purpose (to sleep well). Here is where I was lucky to get expert advice and attend sleep workshops hosted by a panel of professionals. I found the event so enlightening and I learnt so much that I was itching to share the information with you all so here we go. Lisa Sanfilippo – Author of Sleep Recovery (available on Amazon)Lisa uses yoga therapy for insomnia and sleep recovery. She was so zen and relaxing to even listen too, but most importantly she made a lot of things make sense. Who here lays down at bed at night and can’t sleep because the whole day comes flooding back? Conversations you had, things you forgot to do, things you wish you did better, a song you heard on the radio. So many thoughts come flooding in at once. This is because our brain is a huge filing system, and everything our brain encounters through the day has to processed and filed. It can’t do this until it has some rest. Life is so damn busy that the majority of the time, the first time we stop and rest is at bedtime when we lay our head upon that fluffy pillow. So, our brain says “time to start processing” this is why you get that influx of unwanted thoughts. Lisa had a very simple solution to stop this. All you have to do is take a couple of 5/10-minute breaks each day to rest and allow your brain to catch up. You can do this absolutely anywhere. You can do this with your eyes open, or with your eyes closed. You can do this sitting on the train, lying on the floor of your office or relaxing on your couch. Most importantly you must be still, quiet and not preoccupied. Take some deep breaths and just rest.   Later on, I attended another or Lisa’s workshops, this time it was yoga. Not the gym bunny kind just a few simple stretches that you can do in your bed if you are struggling to sleep. It instantly relaxes you and your muscles and makes your body feel lighter. Do not pick up your phone or switch on the TV if you can’t sleep or find yourself awake in the night and can’t easily fall back to sleep. More on this later. If you are interested in the bedtime yoga you can find the information in Lisa’s book currently £8.74 on Amazon. Sian Ross (Sleep and Lounge wear Senior Designer) & Karen Thomas (Head of Home Design) Mars and SpencerThese hard working mum's gave a wonderful insight into what we wear to bed and the environments we sleep in. As we spend half of our life asleep, we should do so in a comfortable and relaxing environment, so thought should go into interior design, colours and fabrics. Sleepwear should be comfortable and made from cotton, natural fibers or silk to allow our skin to breathe. There is also a huge rise in women especially, purchasing lounge wear to wear in the house. I can say I am one that immediately gets into lounge wear once home from work. It’s cosy, relaxing and comfortable. I have as many lounge and sleep wear outfits as I do proper clothes. I have no shame admitting. I live for comfort. Our bedrooms should be light and airy with an average temperature of 16/18 degrees. This allows us to relax and our body temperature to be comfortable. Again, our bed linen should be of high-quality cotton and the trend is to layer with blankets and throws etc. To make it feel relaxing keep your room clutter free and use relaxing scents in the form of candles, diffuser's and room/ linen sprays. Take your time in choosing mattresses and bedding, comfort is a huge key to a peaceful night’s sleep after all we spend half our life in bed. Keris Marsden Clinical NutritionistWho forgets that food fuels our body? It’s key to our body working properly. What we eat can be vital to how we feel and what our energy levels are at. Keris had a simple poem that was a rude awakening: - “If it’s grown in the ground or on a tree. If it runs, flies or swims in the sea. It’s probably good for me.” Processed crap is bad for us. It slows us down and gives our body the wrong kind of energy, surely, we all know this really. So why do we ignore it? Convenience and a quick fix are why. The body needs vitamins, minerals and nutrients which are found in natural produce. The healthier we are the less sluggish we will feel despite our sleep being good or bad. Also, when you eat your food is key. Keris believes you should eat with the sun, and you should fast for 10/14 hours a day, you do not need a continuous supply of food if you use your time wisely and sleep well. Naps were recommended. Yes naps! She compared us humans to her doggie Hamish who likes to eat, go for walks and take naps. It inspired her to be more like Hamish and she felt a lot better and healthier for it. She eats well, takes naps, practices her downward dog and goes for regular walks with her furry friend. Hope Bastine Mindfulness based sleep and trauma expert ‍ Gosh the workshop with Hope actually gave us all food for thought and I think I am about to make you all face reality with this. Are you Nomophobic? (addicted to your mobile phone). Yes, I went there and so did she.  We have all become so addicted to our telephone and it is ruining our social skills, memory and sleep patterns. I am about to bombard you with a lot of negative points about our phone: - • Due to having instant information at the touch of our telephone the average human’s attention span has reduced from 7 minutes to 3 minutes in 10 years (less than a goldfish). It is true I swear! • The majority of us spend more than 8 hours a day on our device. • We get a sense of panic if our phones are running out of battery or not in close proximity to us. Fueling unwanted anxiety. • The ability to multitask is becoming difficult. • Our social skills are suffering because our noses are in our phones. I could go on and on but most importantly our phones are impacting our ability to get to bed at a decent time (before midnight because did you know the hours we sleep before midnight are more detrimental to our sleep pattern than the hours we sleep after) and to sleep peacefully. Why does it damage our sleep you may ask? Who reads their phone before bed and who reads there phone if they wake in the night? The unnatural blue light function on our devices keeps our minds active as does the information we are taking in. Our brains are programmed to work with the natural light of the sun. The blue light artificially makes our brain reactive. So, when you wake up in the night and check the time on your phone you wake your brain up! How can we correct this? • Get a digital clock for your room that you can use as a clock and alarm. • Read a book before bed instead of your phone. Ideally you should put your phone down 90 minutes before you plan to sleep. This allows your brain to prepare for sleep. The best way to avoid the temptation stop taking your phone to bed! I too am massively guilty of this and will be practicing this technique myself. • As we spend a lot of time on our phones and rely on it for many things, we should schedule periods to be off of our phones. There are many opportunities for this. E.g. ban phones from the dinner table. Leave your phone when you go for a bath. Keep it in your bag when you are out with friends. We survived without our phones before they became so smart so it proves we just do not need to have them all the time. In practicing some of the above techniques this will help your mental and physical health as well as your ability to have a peaceful night’s sleep. Some other amazing professionals I met on the day that were also extremely beneficial that you can look up advise from are: - • Dr Nerina Ramlakhan – Sleep expert and neurophysiologist. I could listen to her for hours she was super funny and also gave us tips on how to get to sleep without waking up our brains and making them alert. • Dominique Antiglio – A leading Sophrologist in the UK. Sophrology is a Scandinavian way of teaching individuals to deal with stress, anxiety and promoting a happy and healthy lifestyle. Dominique had Sophrology herself and it inspired her to make it more known worldwide. She is now a leading expert in her division. • Krystal Roxx – In demand DJ that not only mixes with well-known musicians to create music she also believed music plays a part in wellness and puts her music with yoga workshops with her ‘let it go’ playlist. • Libby Page – Bestselling author of The Lido, read us a chapter from her new book The 24hr Café which is available now on Amazon. As you can see, I learnt so much but just before I go, I just wanted to share with you some things that I use as a person that suffers a poor quality of sleep through illness to help aid my sleep. • I can’t Sleep without pillow sprays. My favourite’s being – This Works Deep Sleep Spray £19.50 available  - Use code LF20 for 20% OFF valid at the time of this blog post 26/01/2020 Feather and Down Pillow Spray available  • I always wear an eye mask to block out any light. I like darkness when I sleep. I love my Silk Sleep mask a good investment for me. Slip Silk Eye Mask RRP £45.00 available  • A hot bath with relaxing oils. I love Aveda Stress Fix RRP £24.00 available  • Candles and diffusers with relaxing scents. • A hot drink. Usually hot chocolate or chamomile tea. • Comfortable pajamas. I hope you have found this blog to be helpful and if you have any questions, further information or tips to share please either comment below or contact me on Instagram. Thank you for reading. KissesNicola XXX​

3 steps to radiant skin

Thanks to MONU Skincare for sharing this video with us. Using their natural skincare products they show us how we get radiant skin in three simple steps. Watch the video below to find out how!

Sleep with curly hair

Hair Romance - Night time routine for curly hair Today’s hair video is my night time hair routine. I’m always asked how to sleep with curly hair and I’m sharing some tips and tricks that work for my curls. I’ve been following this routine for a few years now and it works really well for me. I can usually get 2-3 days of good curls that I can wear out before I braid my hair. As you know, no two curls are the same so I hope these tips will work for you, or you may need to adapt them to suit your curls.​ Check out Hair Romance at www.hairromance.com 

How to deal with dry skin

Dry skin is the worst and if you suffer with it, you’re sure to agree. Not only does it leave the complexion looking dull and flaky, it also increases sensitivity. Dry skin is slower at natural exfoliation, meaning it doesn't shed skin cells as quickly and is less able to absorb moisture. Without optimum moisture levels, the skin is unable to preserve and sustain the natural substances it relies on to keep it looking healthy and provide a better barrier from environmental factors, like cold weather and pollution. When skin is hydrated it looks fresher, younger and has a natural glow. If you suffer from dry skin, keep reading to find out what could be causing your dry skin and what you can do to turn it around. ALCOHOL Alcohol is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to dry skin. It’s a diuretic, which means it dehydrates the body and leaves the skin feeling dry and dull after a big night out. It also makes signs of premature ageing, like fine lines and wrinkles, more visible. Top Tip: Try drinking a glass of water between alcoholic drinks on your next night out and see how much brighter your skin looks the next morning DIET Diet plays a huge part in skin health and hydration. Foods that are particularly high in salt can make the skin look even drier whilst too much sugar in the bloodstream can affect collagen production, weakening and drying the skin over time. High intakes of coffee and black tea can also be harsh on the skin. Top Tip: Fruit and vegetables are rich in powerful antioxidants that help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals as well as promoting general skin health, so it’s important to get your five a day. Essential fatty acids like Omega 3 are also vital for hydrating and protecting the skin. Found in fish, walnuts and chia seeds, Omega 3 helps the body to produce anti-inflammatory compounds that help combat irritation caused by dryness. COLD WEATHER Cold winds, low temperatures and indoor heating systems deprive the skin of balanced oil levels and impair its protective surface. This is why flakiness, irritations and sensitivity can get worse during the winter months. Top Tip: Maximising the amount of water in the air is paramount when it comes to skin hydration. Try placing a humidifier in the room where you spend most of your time, like the office or your bedroom, to help increase the moisture in the air and help the skins barrier stay hydrated. CLEANSINGIf you’re not cleansing properly, chances are you’re not getting rid of all the makeup, dirt, oil and bacteria that accumulates on your face throughout the day. When this builds up on the skin and isn’t removed, it can leave the skin looking drier and duller as time goes on. What’s more, it also means that any skincare products you apply afterwards won’t work as effectively because they can’t penetrate through the layer of impurities. Top Tip: No matter how late it is or how tired you are, you need to cleanse your skin twice daily to keep it fresh and clean. Opt for a cleanser that is suited to dry skin, as this will help to calm and soothe any irritation whilst restoring your skins delicate moisture balance. OVER EXFOLIATING Exfoliating is an important step in any skincare regime, helping to get rid of dead skin cells and make way for new ones. However, if you suffer from dry skin it could be doing more harm than good. Harsh scrubbing can strip the skin of its natural moisture, leaving your face even drier, not to mention irritated. Top Tip: Use a formula that contains natural exfoliants that gently polish the skin, like diatomatious earth, 1-3 times a week, dependent on the sensitivity of your skin. We recommend using an Exfoliant in conjunction with a delicate Facial Wash. Both products are filled to the bring with skin-replenishing ingredients for maximum nourishment and hydration. CONCLUSION Boosting your skin’s natural ability to stay hydrated is the best solution to keep your skin looking happy and healthy. These are just a few of the simple steps that can be taken to help combat dryness and when done consistently, they can bring about an immediate and dramatic change in your complexion.  ​

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