Take some ‘me’ time

After the hot dry summer we’ve experienced, it’s safe to say that our hair and skin is in need of some moisture and nourishment. Beauty expert, Angela Lopez of Belle-Toi in Bournemouth, recommends treating your hair and skin now before the cold and winter rains take their toll, and if you keep to a beauty regime you can be sure that you will look radiant in time for the Christmas parties.

To achieve a beautiful body, begin with a weekly body scrub not only will it get rid of sun dried, dead skin but also rejuvenate and stimulate the skin that is about to be wrapped up for the coming weeks and months. After exfoliating, moisturize with a rich hand and body cream to nourish your skin, leaving it super smooth.

Eating too many bbq’s and drinking too much alcohol throughout the hot summer months will have no doubt left you feeling a little sluggish, so it’s a good idea to kick-start your body with Angela’s detox remedy, which is also good if you need to lose a few pounds to be able to slip into your little black dress.

DETOX You can begin with a salt water cleanse but you will need to do this at home as you might need to go to the bathroom more frequently than usual! Angela recommends drinking 1-2 tablespoons of sea salt in a litre of lukewarm water. Then throughout the day drink 3-5 cups dandelion tea and approximately 1 litre of 100% natural cranberry juice every day for the next four days.

If you’ve overindulged on alcohol, you might also like to try drinking cabbage juice, which you can blend with apples, celery, parsley and cucumber – add carrots for a sweeter taste

Detoxing might be helpful in your efforts to lose weight but taking a fresh look at your diet will have longer-term effects. Angela and her partner Albert changed their diet and became vegans last year, and have seen a massive improvement in their hair, health and weight since eating plenty more healthy, vitamin-rich organic vegetables.

PAMPER SKIN For good looks, it’s vital that you pamper your tired, worn out face with a relaxing facial. Angela’s deep cleansing treatment and rich moisturizer will not only brighten your complexion but also protect it against pollution and weather damage and delay early signs of aging. Simply massage a blob of cream to your face and neck and leave it to work its magic overnight.

To protect chapped lips from the chill, rub some honey onto them or buy an aloe vera plant and use the gel inside the leaves daily. For a quick fix remedy, rub a slice of cucumber onto them and they’ll instantly become smooth again

Treat your hands and feet too, after all they will have become ‘roughed up’ a little by wearing open sandals and from building too many sandcastles on the beach. They will need rescuing with a moisturizer that will soften and soothe the skin.

Angela has found that hand creams that contain honey work best, especially for cracked, irritated hands, as it is naturally anti-bacterial and antimicrobial, so helps protect the skin from future infections

Angela’s go-to moisturiser recipe is a blend of coconut oil, almond oil and olive oil – ¼ cup of each with a tablespoon of shea butter mixed together with 6tbs of beeswax pastilles and melted in the microwave for several minutes or until the oils and beeswax has completely melted.

At this stage she whisks in a couple of tablespoons of honey and if you like, add essential oils of your choice to give it fragrance, then when it’s cool pour it into glass jars with fitted lids. The most popular essential oils that Angela uses are Lavender, which has antibacterial, antidepressant and anti-inflammatory effects; Oregano, which has similar effects but also helps to fight off colds and flu and peppermint oil that helps eliminate fatigue.

HOME SPA An old family recipe that Angela uses is to simply soak the feet in warm milk with a dash of olive oil added before exfoliating with a scrub made by blending honey and sugar or the juice of a lime and sugar.

After soaking your feet, wash them in lukewarm water and dry with a soft, fluffy towel before trimming and painting your nails

Cracked heels, which is the result of a build up of dead skin and dryness, will only become worse in winter, becoming chapped, cracked and split, unless you do something about it now. New and ill-fitting shoes will always make matters worse causing the skin to rub or even tear and wearing wellington boots whilst gardening will only add to the nightmare problem.

To resolve this problem, Angela uses another old remedy that she remembers from her childhood – mash a ripe banana and apply to cracked heels for about 15-20 minutes then wash off with lukewarm water. You should repeat this once a week.

 A quick-fix remedy for dried feet and cracked heels, is to massage them with coconut oil then put on a clean pair of white socks, leaving them on overnight, and when you get up in the morning you should have baby soft feet

Footbaths are deeply relaxing and restful and an easy way to enjoy herbal remedies that can improve your overall health and at the very least, improve your mood! Angela’s go-to footbath herb, especially in autumn and winter, is fragrant and soothing, thyme, which she says, is the best way to refresh tired feet.

Be aware that fungal infections like athlete’s foot, thrive when your feet get hot and sweaty from wearing the same Wellington boots or trainers for days on end. Susceptibility to this contagious infection is increased by poor hygiene too, so bear this in mind when spending weekends in the garden clearing leaves, digging the veg plot and doing other essential end of year tasks. Vinegar soaks work well at curing athlete’s foot.

LOVELY LOCKS The effects of swimming in the sea or in the chlorine water of the pool outside your holiday villa will have no doubt taken their toll on your hair, leaving it lackluster, brittle and dry.

A regular trip to the hairdresser is essential for lovely locks but for lasting effects, you will also need to make sure that you have a healthy diet and occasionally treat the scalp. Angela recommends gently massaging the scalp with warm olive oil for 5-10 minutes. Wrap your ‘oiled’ hair with a warm towel and leave for at least 30 minutes (and preferably overnight) before washing and conditioning your hair with your usual hair products

To be a cutting edge fashion icon, go for a short shaggy cut with a wet look finish. Also tendy are bobs, pixie cuts or having a long fringe and middle partin with glossy straight locks. If your style allows, on a big night out, blow dry lots of volume into your tousled waves to get the ‘big hair’ of yesteryear. Plaits are also in vogue but not those you remember from your childhood but thick, oversized ones or try cornrows using three tight plaits and low tail with slicked back sides and for parties wrap a plait around a ballerina bun or go for a trendy top knot or low strung pony tail with a big bow!


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