Christmas is the perfect opportunity to up the ante, so we asked celebrity make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury to create five stand out looks especially for Marie Claire. Prepare to wow.
Whether you want high-octane glitz or just a hint of sparkle, this look is playful, easy-to-do and will take your party look from zero to hero. ‘Start off with a flawless canvas,’ says make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury. Here, she used her Magic Away Concealer, £24 and Light Wonder Foundation, £32. You’ll also want to apply concealer to your lids and under-eye area to give the glitter something to adhere to,’ adds Tilbury who shared her exclusive pro tips on this shoot.
Chocolate and gold: The winning make-up combination for every skin tone. But the festive season gives us license to be more adventurous, so take yourself out of your beauty comfort zone and use metallics to pump up the drama. You’ll need to start with a glossy complexion, so give dull skin a light-bulb moment with Charlotte Tilbury’s Bar of Gold Palette, £49, which delivers a metallic sheen to cheekbones, nose and cupid’s bow.
Whatever else you wear, red lipstick will have you party-ready in seconds. This season’s top lip tip? Focus on the finish. Shiny can look OTT, but a velvety matte stamp is both chic and cool. Plus it’s all the more doable now that lipstick formulas are flexible and soft, rather than chalky and dense. ‘If you want to re-shape and re-size your lips and Cupid’s Bow, stencil first with a “stealth liner”,’ says Tilbury.
Smoky eyes are elegant, mysterious and face lifting but can also be unnecessarily complicated and time-consuming to create. Tilbury’s technique involves just two products. Start off with a cream base such as BareMinerals’ Gen Nude Eyeshadow + Primer in Exposed, £19 to encourage anything you apply on top to stay put.
Christmas is a time to get creative with colour but, instead of a rainbow palette, just stick to one shade. Tilbury chose millennial pink – unexpected, yes, but boy does it work. Step one: create a sheer makeup base. ‘I like to massage the skin with my Magic Cream, £70, to stimulate lymphatic drainage and boost circulation,’ she says.
Who knew that you could create earth-friendly plastic from sugar cane? Aveda did- back in 2002. Since Aveda was founded in 1978 by pioneer of holistic beauty, Horst Rechelbacher, Aveda has been mindful of its environmental footprint and today the figures speak for themselves. Some 85 per cent of its skin and haircare products, such as Aveda’s Thickening Tonic, are housed in PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles and jars made from 100 per cent post consumer recycled materials (think milk bottles). #Avedacleanwater is another of its major philanthropic missions and since 2007, Aveda has raised more than $44 million (about £34m) to support the cause.For instance, every April, during Earth Month, it donates the full RRP less VAT from its Light The Way Candle to the Global Greengrants Fund. Together they have helped 1,137,428 people in 88 countries access clean water. Its use of plant-based and organic ingredients, such as turmeric and amla, has led to 104,900 acres of land being devoted to sustainable agriculture. Throw in the fact that it was the first beauty company to manufacture products with 100% wind power and there’s no question that Aveda is leading the charge when it comes to giving back.
This British brand nixes every rumour you’ve ever heard about botanical skincare not being as effective as its chemical counterparts, while keeping its carbon footprint low too. ‘Balance Me manufactures all its products in the UK and our warehouse is still in East London to ensure our carbon footprint is lower than any brand that manufactures abroad and flies or ships in its merchandise,’ says co-founder Rebecca Hopkins. What’s more Balance Me consciously uses only natural actives and, for complete transparency, lists the natural percentage of each product on the front of its packaging. ‘We’ve created luxury formulations at supermarket prices as we absolutely believe that ethical beauty should be inclusive. To that end, we source natural botanicals from all over the world, but we’re also lucky that we can sustainably harvest many ingredients such as borage oil, cucumber extract and carrot tissue oil right here in the UK.’
Botanical beauty is a growing market, thanks to switched-on consumers demanding greater transparency on the origin of ingredients. But while the industry plays catch-up, brands that have long championed this philosophy are taking centre stage. The Organic Pharmacy first launched organic makeup in 2006. Fast forward 12 years and botanical tech has moved on so much that founder Margo Marrone has re-formulated her entire colour range. ‘Everyone is talking about clean makeup with skincare benefits but that has been at the core of our DNA since we launched,’ she says. ‘We had to work hard to make sure the colour range was performing but now I’ve upped the ante with natural ingredients.’ The Organic Pharmacy Hydrating Foundation, £45 for instance, contains stem cells, hyaluronic acid and vitamins that work with your skin to strengthen it, and the highly micronised pigments are colour-adapting natural pigments that blend perfectly with the skin, meaning the sheer formula will adapt to any tone for a fresh-faced glow. Plant extracts have also come on leaps and bounds. “Before, you would put plant colour into a product and it would disappear after a few hours,’ says Marrone. ‘Now we’ve sourced plants with a punchy hue that are stable even in sunlight.’ The added bonus is that the majority of the vitamins are infused in the pigment, so you reap the antioxidant benefits at the same time as a gorgeous colour payoff.
The tides are – quite literally – changing in the world of skincare packaging. And it’s about time: by 2050 it’s estimated there will be more plastic in the sea than fish. That’s why, as part of the brand’s Clean to Planet initiative, Ren Clean Skincare will be one of the first skincare brands to offer products in a 100% recycled bottle containing 20% plastic reclaimed from the eight million tonnes that enter the oceans, beaches and rivers every year (this is the highest amount that can be safely used with current recycling technology). ‘We decided to take any plastic,’ explains CEO Arnaud Meysselle, ‘and almost the entire bottle can be recycled a second time.’ It’s the latest step in the brand’s pledge to becoming Zero Waste by 2021 and even more fitting considering the product inside. The cult Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Body Wash is formulated with actives such as kelp and plankton sustainably sourced from the eastern coast of Canada. ‘The strong tides bring in a lot of nutrients that are lost in other coastal regions,’ says Meysselle. ‘All harvesters are trained in marine life and use specialised tools that won’t disrupt the ecosystem.’
Growing up, who didn’t wear their The Body Shop Born Lippy strawberry lip balm as a badge of honour? It said ‘I’m against animal testing’ (right now the brand is calling on the UN to adopt a worldwide ban on animal testing for cosmetics and ingredients) and “I support fair trade and going greener’. All this in the late 70s and 80s when lifting the lid on eco issues and unfair farming practices wasn’t a dinner party conversation. That commitment to being a force for good hasn’t changed. In fact, by 2020, as part of its Enrich Not Exploit Commitment, The Body Shop aims to protect a whopping 10,000 hectacres of forest; regenerate 75 million square metres of habitat to help communities live more sustainably and double its community trade ingredients from 19 to 40, helping those in rural areas around the world. The Body Shop was the first to use hemp in beauty products 20 years ago, helping farmers make a living from more diverse crops. Today, the Hemp Hand Protector is one of the bestselling products- not surprising when you consider hemp’s highly moisturising properties. And because it’s a naturally resilient plant, there’s no need for pesticides, which is kinder to the environment. Win-win- all of which proves it’s worth staying loyal to our first beauty love.
Thankfully, our options for cruelty-free beauty products have grown considerably over the past decade. However, finding products that are also vegan? Now that’s a grey area. To be clear: it’s illegal to test cosmetics on animals in the UK but just because a company is cruelty-free doesn’t mean it’s also vegan. That’s why the Maui Moisture range of shampoos, conditioners and hair treatments, deserves bragging rights. Since its launch in 2016, Maui Moisture has never tested its products on animals and, better still, it doesn’t use any animal ingredients or by-products. ‘Many hair products contain honey, beeswax and the animal-derived protein keratin,’ explains Jaime Kontz, Associate Director of Research & Development. ‘Our mission was to find effective plant-based ingredients so that we didn’t have to use anything derived from an animal. Our free-from formulas start with aloe vera juice and coconut water, instead of chemically treated de-ionised water, and are packed with 100% vegan botanicals that have the added benefit of being naturally rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help repair and hydrate strands and scalp.’
Seaweed gives kale a run for its money in the nutrient stakes as it’s packed full of magnesium, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, potassium, phosphorus and zinc as well as vitamins, A, B, C, D and E- all proven to boost immunity, improve heart health and regulate hormones. it does wonders for the skin, too- detoxifying, hydrating and locking in nutrients. That’s why industry favourite Voya, an Irish brand that uses hand-harvested seaweed, is doing its best to protect the algae. Environmentally, seaweed operations must show that they maintain sustainable wild populations and actively minimise their impact on the surrounding natural environment. Voya’s seaweed is grown organically and harvested by a specialist local team on the reefs of Ireland’s north-west shoreline ‘It is essential that our seaweed is harvested in a way that allows both communities and the environment to thrive,’ says Emma Roberts, head of business development. ‘We work closely with environmental organisation World Land Trust and offset carbon-dioxide emissions associated with Voya’s general operations’ And to give something back to the oceans Voya also adopts seals. You can’t get any more caring than that!
Microbeads, now thankfully banned, used to be the nemesis of our sea life. Today, it seems they have been replaced by minuscule particles of glittery plastic, which find their way into oceans and our watery supply. Luckily, we’re not the only ones who think the only shimmery things in the sea should be a shell’s natural mother-of-pearl finish. Lush has replaced plastic glitter with eco-safe synthetic mica. ‘Even though the mica is synthesised in a lab, it is made of natural minerals, so you don’t end up with the problem of micro plastics,’ says creative buyer Gabbi Loedolff. ‘Another benefit is that unlike natural mica, which has jagged edges, synthetic mica is very smooth so we can use much bigger particles, create bolder colours and more reflective products’. All of which gives the environment a shinier future, too.
By now we should all be well- versed in pollution from smog and exhaust fumes. But household pollution? Not so much. And yet the combined effects of outdoor and indoor toxins cause more than 550,000 premature deaths every year in Europe, according to the World Heath Organisation. ‘Simply closing our front doors to a busy road doesn’t prevent ultra-fine and potentially harmful particles getting trapped inside our homes,’ says Paul Dawson, Vice President of health and beauty at Dyson. ‘There are also fumes released from new furniture, cleaning solvents and gasses from cooking, which is all the more worrying considering we spend 90 per cent of our time indoors and a resting adult inhales around 7-8 litres of air every minute’. To offset the damage, Dyson have created a filter system to remove 99.95 per cent of indoor pollution particles and allergens as small as o.1 microns from the air, as well as feeding real-time air quality back to you (try the Pure Cool Purifying Fan, from £399.99). Pretty clever, no?
New season, new make-up. And what could be prettier than flecks of glitter in muted tones of rose, pewter and gold?
Looking for the best new ways to wear glitter? Below Amber Anderson showcases the beauty trend of the season.
The glitter eyeshadow that suits everyone
A smattering of lilac, fuchsia, maroon and mauve glitter are giving the smokey eye a run for its money this season. ‘A cream shadow makes a great base for a matching glitter shade,’ says Amber Anderson’s make-up artist Gina Kane. Dab Dior Backstage Eye Primer £24, Boots, over your lids and around the eyes for a sheer but adhesive base.
PRO TIP: ‘First apply loose powder where you don’t want the glitter to go – like the tops of your cheekbones,’ says Kane.
‘This ensures easy removal of any over spill as you can simply flick it away with a small flat brush. Then tip your head back and drop glitter over your face with a powder brush, keeping your eyes shut.’
‘Anyone that wears highlighter, can wear glitter,’ says Kane. ‘If you’re a fan of gleaming, glossy cheekbones then sparkle is just the next step.’ Gold is a failsafe shade because it’s warm and suits most skin tones.
Lip fillers are having a bit of a moment – but how much do you really know about them, and what should you expect from the results?
Lip fillers; they’re not everyone’s cup of tea but they are one of the most Googled beauty search terms in the UK. A safe bet that a lot of you are at the very least a little curious.
Yes, lip fillers have a bit of a bad rep, but that’s mostly down to a handful of celebrity plastic surgery incidents. In 2002, Men Behaving Badly star Lesley Ash suffered an incident that left her barely recognisable and a reluctant poster girl for lip fillers gone bad. Even now, more than 15 years on, her lips are still affected. But, to put this into perspective, Ash’s lips were injected with liquid silicone by the mother of a friend, a Venezuelan plastic surgeon. Thankfully, permanent silicone lip fillers are a thing of the past in the UK.
Everyone has their own opinion on aesthetic treatments. What’s OK, what’s not, what justifies a treatment, what doesn’t. Sadly people are quick to criticise and label women who do indulge in a little ‘work’. Worse still, this judgement is usually dished out by other women.
But, lets be clear, choosing to have a filler here-and-there doesn’t mean you can’t be a feminist, nor does it mean that you’re overly vain. And it certainly doesn’t mean that you’re suffering from any underlying emotional issues.
Got a few questions? We spoke to Dr Terry Loong, Lead Medical Director at W1 Knightsbridge, to get the low-down on lip fillers. Not convinved? Read our guide to the best lip plumpers instead.
What are lip fillers?
Today’s sophisticated fillers are made of Hyaluronic Acid (or HA), a substance that’s found naturally in the body. It’s a pretty useful beauty ingredient because it’s able to hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water. This is the reason why you’ll find it up front and centre on the back of your skincare products. In a cream, it can only do so much because it can’t penetrate the outer layers of your skin to reach a depth where it can have an instant and noticeable impact. Some brands are using low molecular weight HA, to try and force it deeper into the skin, but even that can only do so much. That’s where the needle comes in.
Because HA is something that our body produces – albeit it in lesser quantities as we age – it’s happily accepted, and once injected into the skin it’s easily broken down over a period of months. It’s far from permanent; which in itself is reassuring. And it’s not only used in the lips; it can plump out wrinkles, restore volume to cheeks and eradicate those vertical lines at the side of your mouth. So if you’re thinking about facial fillers, here’s what you need to know.
The risks with HA over, say, silicone injections are incomparable. But, if something were to go wrong there’s an antidote. Your aesthetician will use another injection that effectively dissolves it and reverse the mistake. Handy.
Are lip fillers safe?
Lip fillers are an aesthetic treatment so there’s always a chance that something could go wrong. This is why it’s incredibly important to only allow a qualified, reputable professional to do it. Don’t ever be tempted to have your lip fillers at a spa or a beauty salon. A beautician hasn’t had the training that a cosmetic doctor has and they are most definitively not able to prescribe medication or treatment if something were to go wrong.
UK legislation for injectables is practically non-existent. In fact, it’s pretty embarrassing compared to the strict regulation that’s enforced throughout the most of Europe.
Research with your doctor and ask to see the before and after shots for their patients. Some doctors will even show a video of them performing the treatment on someone so you can see the results. Very reassuring. What’s more, if you’re unhappy with the results, your doctor is able to dissolve the HA instantly with another injection. Again, this is something a beautician can’t do. If you’re tempted by an offer at a salon, just don’t risk it.
Make sure you see the product you’re being injected with too. During your treatment the product should be taken from the box. Everything should be transparent. You should be able to see exactly what is going on and what is being used.
You might not believe it, but treatment is not painful. There are so many horror stories where people have had to stop proceedings before the treatment can even be completed because the process was too painful. But if the person administering the treatment is good, you won’t be in pain.
Of course, the discomfort level will mostly depend on your doctor’s technique. To put it into perspective; if your practitioner is good, it shouldn’t be any more uncomfortable than getting your eyebrows threaded. Seriously.
‘A local anaesthetic is provided, so speak to your physician before this to see where and how they are going to inject it,’ advises Dr Loong. ‘But don’t book your appointment a week before or the week of your period, as your pain sensitivity is heightened during this time.’
Where should I get lip fillers done?
If you know someone who has had their lips done ask them about their doctor. Would they recommend them? If that’s not an option get onto Google. Find reputable clinics in your area, read their testimonials, check out their before and after pictures. Copy and paste the doctor’s name into Google and see what other people think of their work. If your hair dresser or facialist offers you a little filler, politely decline.
‘Having an understanding of human anatomy is an absolute must, as physicians are able to identify any complications or issues that may arise during the appointment,’ says Dr Loong. ‘Particular products – like hyaluronidase, which can only be dispensed by a physician – can be used in these situations to dissolve the filler should an allergic reaction, ischaemic event or issue occur, but only a physician can legally have these products available.’
You can find a list of registered practitioners in your area on The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) website.
What happens during a consultation for lip fillers?
“Make sure you are offered a consultation prior to your appointment before allowing anyone to go near your lips,’ says Dr Loong. ‘The clinic itself should be extremely clean, preventing chances of infection. But also look at the practitioner’s lips and see if they look like something you would be happy with, as this is a great sign.’
In the spirit of investigative journalism I booked myself in to see Dr Kuldeep Minocha at Absolute Aesthetic’s in London. At 32 I have noticed my top lip thinning-out a little – nothing dramatic – but enough for me to notice, and enough to drive me crazy when I’m putting on my lipstick.
Dr Minocha is a qualified aesthetic doctor and his work leans on the side of subtle – which suited me just fine – an over-inflated pout is not my thing, and thankfully it isn’t his either. Dr Minocha was kind enough to allow us into his clinic with a camera so you can see the treatment for yourself. We went through a thorough consultation where I did my best to explain my issue with my top lip. While I chatted away, Dr Minocha was able to observe how the shape of my lips changed when I was animated.
He explained that the ‘ideal’ ratio for lips is one-third/two-thirds with the bottom lip being the fullest. He explained that he really wouldn’t do much to my lips – he thought they were OK anyway – but agreed that the top lip could benefit from a little filling out.
Is numbing cream used when you get lip fillers?
Dr Minocha talked to me about the product he would be using – in this case Emervel lips which has the right viscosity for lips and as the formula is super smooth it should give a nice, softly plump, finish. He donned his gloves, set up a sterile area, and coated my upper lip with a numbing cream.
After around 5-minutes my top lip was numb enough to get going. He used a cannula (which is like a fine hollow tube) and injected into the lip from just outside its edge – which would minimise bruising – and as he pulled the cannula out he slowly pushed the filler into my lips. I consider myself to have a pretty high pain threshold but I was anticipating this to hurt, a lot. The lips are very vascular and they bruise easily.
What do lip fillers feel like?
Surprisingly it didn’t hurt. There was a sharp pinch as the needle broke the skin and that’s it. The feel of the product pushing its way under my skin felt more weird than uncomfortable.
With the filler in place Dr Minocha firmly massaged my lip so that it was evenly distributed. This, he told me, would help prevent any lumps from forming, which was essential because I didn’t fall into the category of lip fillers gone wrong. One of the main reasons some women may experience bumps in their skin – or granulomas – is because the aesthetician has failed to properly massage it through the lip.
Having finished my top lip, Dr Minocha’s expert eye detected that my bottom lip needed a tiny amount to balance everything out. I decided to forego the numbing cream on the bottom lip (partly to compare it to the minimal pain with the numbing agent, and partly because I’m impatient and couldn’t be bothered to wait for the lip to go numb) and went straight for it. Even without the numbing cream it didn’t hurt. This no doubt has a lot to do with Dr Minocha’s method of injecting into the lip from outside its boarder rather than into the lip directly, but still, you would expect some kind of pain. But no, nothing – my eyes didn’t even water. Not that I was complaining.
Another massage on my bottom lip followed and I was done. My lips were very red, they were fuller – obviously – but I wouldn’t say they were very swollen. Even later that evening, when I expected them to expand in some kind of cartoon-like fashion, they behaved rather well. I was prepared with pain killers and ice packs but, thankfully, I didn’t need them.
How do they look and feel the next day?
‘You will see results straight away, followed by swelling, which is completely normal. This can last from anywhere between 12 and 48 hours, although it’s not unusual for this to continue for up to three days. During this time, an ice pack should be applied to the area to ease swelling.”
But by the next morning, any minor swelling that was there the day before was completely gone. I just had a slightly fuller, plumper mouth. Joy! Smooshing my lips together, everything felt completely normal, albeit for two tiny little lumps marking the areas where the cannula went in. After a couple of days even they were gone too.
On a personal note, I’m overjoyed with the treatment. It’s subtle and completely believable. I developed a tiny bruise that lasted four days and that was the only thing anyone noticed, if you have dark skin, chances are you won’t even bruise. My own family didn’t even guess what I had done – instead colleagues and friends told me I looked ‘refreshed’, ‘healthy’ and ‘glowy’ and a couple of people told me that they liked the way I had done my make-up, though I hadn’t changed it at all. It’s kind of amazing how one tiny ‘tweak’ had such an impact.
Lip fillers before and after
If you’re considering investing in lip fillers but you still had a few questions, we hope we’ve answered them here…
This summer your hair routine is about to get a whole lot easier. Dazzle in the heat with beachy waves and shine intensifying sprays and colour that won’t fade no matter how high temperatures soar.
Want to nail low-maintenance beauty waves? The key is freshly-washed hair and Moroccan Oil’s exciting new styling products for tousled hair and, thank goodness, not a pair of tongs in sight (who has time to tong hair?).
How to get super model hair this summer
The days of the ‘show-dry’ – aka the perfectly coiffed blow-dry – are over. Hairstyles now are more lived-in; in other words, soft, shiny and tousled. For summer 2018, interpret this as flat roots, haphazardly wavy mid-sections and ends that are left straight instead of neatly curled under.
‘The trick is to do a rough blow-dry, working with your natural texture, and using your fingers to loosen the spirals and create zig-zags,’ says Marc Francombe-Painter who styled the hair on this shoot.
Moroccanoil has, hands down, the best products for this type of easy breezy look. The Dry Texture Spray, £17.45, is salt-free, thereby avoiding the dehydrated crunchiness of some texturising sprays, while the Glimmer Shine, £19.95, adds sheen and protects against sun damage but still manages to be lightweight enough that it won’t kill the look on fine hair.
Photographer Jason Hetherington
How to perfect lived in beach hair
The golden rule for summer hair? Fresh, soft layers with tousle-inducing products.
‘Prep the hair first with a good clarifying shampoo and hair nourishing conditioner,’ says Francombe-Painter, who created these looks on our model Tess. ‘Then, apply our favourite Moroccanoil Beach Wave Mousse, £17.45 which leaves hair with a windswept, sun-kissed texture that enhances the natural waves in your hair.
Framcombe-Painter also suggests tweaking the ends with a matte cream like the Texture Clay, £16.35 to create the illusion of a day already spent on the beach.
Photographer: Jason Hetherington
Don’t forget your sun shield
As tempting as it is to bask in the sun, your hair needs as much protection as your skin.
Wear your hair in a ponytail, top-knot or bun to protect the scalp, however, tie loosely as this will put a lot of stress on the hair, particularly those who have afro-textured hair, fine strands or light-coloured locks, which can be more easily damaged.
If you go out between 10am and 4pm, make it a priority to wear a hat or headscarf and stay in the shade. Fortunately for us, hats were all over the summer runways.
After a day at the beach use Moroccanoil Mending Infusion,£26.85, a vitamin-fuelled, quinoa protein-packed formula that reduces visible signs of damaged hair — such as frayed ends, dryness and colour damage — while taming frizz and preventing further damage.
Photographer Jason Hetherington
Give your hair an aura of ocean
Thanks to the latest raft of summery, bright fragrances – all of which feature a strong sunscreen-like note – anyone can smell like they’re lying on the sandy shores of Mauritius.
With its exotic notes of tiaré flower, ylang-ylang and coconut, By Killian’s Love The Way You Feel EDP, £185 for 50ml, instantly conjures up memories of applying Hawaiian Tropic as a teenager. As the name implies, you will love how you feel wearing it – like you’ve stepped out of the ocean and are warming your skin in the sun.
Meanwhile, L’Artisan Parfumer Batucada EDT, £105 for 100ml, features a burst of fresh lime, cachaça and mint combined with a dab of sun cream and sea salt.
Spritz it through your hair and walk into a mist whenever you need to escape the daily grind.
From freezing your fat to brainy workouts and releasing your chakras, these are the next level body hacks along with the behind the scenes making of the Marie Claire July shoot.
This summer is all about super intelligent bodies – these are the latest tips and treatments you need to try…
How to boost your body care
Body products have, until now, been geared towards pampering, not performance. But with the arrival of high-tech ingredients usually saved for our complexions, this category has evolved and now rivals the brightening, plumping and moisturising effects of our face serums as well as tackling issues such as cellulite.
Meanwhile, products designed to diminish cellulite often contain caffeine for a temporary tightening effect. Yes, it’s pricey but Sisley’s Cellulinov Intensive Anti-Cellulite Body Care, £155, which also contains red algae, is one of the best formulas we’ve come across to firm up slack skin – both for instant gratification and in the long term with continued use.
Everything you need to know about going with the flow
A fit body is about feeling strong physically, but also on an emotional, mental and energetic level. ‘Blockages in the flow of energy throughout your body (or chakras) can manifest as aches and pains, constipation and digestive issues caused by stress, anger and negative thinking,’ says David Peter, a traditional Chinese medicine specialist.
‘Thankfully, they can be cleared allowing energy, blood and fluid to flow again, restoring your body’s equilibrium.’ Peter recommends practising yoga and Qi Gong, as both focus on moving stagnant energy through and out of the body.
The needles used in acupuncture are also believed to help. ‘But the simplest, time-tested trick is to tap the centre of the chest,’ explains Peter. ‘This will dissipate energy helping to release emotional tension and elevate your mood.’
Bear in mind, too, that a diet free from processed foods is a great way to restore vitality. ‘Food has its own energy field, especially organic produce, which is grown as close as possible to the way nature intended. Microwaved food and those doused in pesticides, on the other hand, have literally no energy field,’ explains Peter.
Finally, spending time in nature is a great way to restore and harmonise your energy. ‘Trees and plants all have strong, healing vibrations that can help fine-tune your body’s own energy pathways,’ he says.
Wireless lights are used as targets, which you activate or deactivate, depending on your training routine – the end goal being to improve hand–eye co-ordination, strength, speed and stamina. ‘It works on your reaction time, training your brain and body to work in sync,’ explains celebrity trainer Dalton Wong, founder of 22 Training.
‘Reaction Training wakes up and stimulates the brain first and then gets the nervous system and muscles jacked up and ready to go. It’s like a caffeine shot to your body, and it’s fun. Plus you make that mind and muscle connection – you think about your breath and your movement, both of which are key to an efficient workout.’
Photographer Jason Hetherington
Why you should be deep-freezing your fat
This year’s biggest body enhancer is Whole Body Cryotherapy – a body-shocking treatment that promises skin vitality, stress relief, a metabolism boost and better sleep.
What’s the catch?
For three minutes you stand in a chamber of frigid liquid nitrogen at -140 degrees celsius. Trust us, it is worth it. As your body is tricked into thinking it is going to freeze to death, your ‘fight or flight’ response kicks in – all of which means your circulation is boosted and you metabolism speeds up while the body fights to keep warm (how does burning 800 calories in the eight hours post-treatment sound as an incentive?). ‘
‘Once you’re back at room temperature, the extra-oxygenated blood circulates back through the body to relieve pain, eliminate toxins, boost cell renewal and trigger an anti-inflammatory response,’ says Dr Yannis Alexandrides, plastic surgeon and founder of 111 Harley Street and 111CRYO.
‘Increasing the flow of blood and oxygen around the body also assists in the elimination of excess lactic acid and aids with muscular recovery after a workout.’
At £95 a session, it comes with a hefty price tag but this cure-all treatment (at minimum effort) is a groundbreaker.
Photographer Jason Hetherington
The best ways to maximise your immunity
As soon as the sun makes an appearance, so does our gym kit. But low levels of vitamin D, combined with a lack of fresh air and movement over the past few months, means your body is likely to be at its weakest point of the year so you need to rebuild your system first.
Start off with a good dose of vitamin C – 65 to 90 mg is the daily recommended amount for an adult. One of the most noticeable effects of vitamin C deficiency is that skin becomes dry and lacks tone but a supplement such as Altrient C, £35.99, has the ability to regenerate collagen. As well as ramping up its suppleness and elasticity, collagen makes up the walls of those blood vessels, which carry oxygen, water and other nutrients to the skin.
Other superfoods for this time of year include artichokes and beetroot to detoxify the liver; plus mushrooms for their fibre and thyroid-balancing selenium.
Finally, stress causes minerals to become depleted at a rapid rate. Magnesium levels, in particular, suffer – consequently so does your sleep. As magnesium can be absorbed directly through the skin, try bathing in Dead Sea Spa Magik Bath Salts, £4.29, before bed.
Conversely, instead of chugging on energy drinks to feel more awake, add a pinch of salt to your drinking water.
This floods your system with natural electrolytes and allows your body to work at peak performance. Win-win.