Wellness Know How: Ilapothecary

Sometimes life sends us an unexpected gift of a person, treatment or lesson that ends up being so transformative, you struggle for words to do justice to describe it. I had a pleasure of meeting Denise read more

From cynic to fan: Jade Beauty Head Massage Tool from Hayou Method

While I am a big fan of quality hair brushes, like Kent, Tangle Teezer or Wet Brush, that don’t irritate the scalp, nor pull your hair out when brushing, recent hype about jade & rose quartz head massage tools has left me cold – yet another expensive tool that we don’t need in our arsenal, I thought to myself. Yet the images of Chinese concubines and Japanese geishas brushing their gloriously long and glossy manes kept swirling in my mind and when an opportunity to try the launched in October

Jade Beauty
read more

The benefits of plants: Saskia Flower Essences

We live in a truly abundant world, where nature is generous with its gifts and teachings, if only we took the time to notice, learn and appreciate them. Eating seasonal foods instead of the same ones read more

Galina Reviews: Superfood Series from Bodhi and Birch

Having been a fan of aromatherapy for years, Bodhi and Birch bath and shower therapies fall into a deeply cherished category of products for me. Elijah Choo, brand’s read more

Time to do good – The Boost Box Company

Sometimes out of something terribly testing comes out a seed of hope that blossoms into a giving tree – that’s really the first thing that came to mind, when I received a gift box from the Boost Box Company. Its founder, Nadia Campbell, initially comes across as any other busy mother of three daughters, balancing work & family, but dig deeper and a treasure of wisdom comes to the surface, teaching anyone willing to listen that life doesn’t give us tasks that we can’t deal with, but it is the way that we respond to challenges that is the making (or breaking) of us.

Nadia and I ‘met’ via social media pages. We exchanged e-mails, which led to a long phone conversation on March 8th, International Women’s Day, on a variety of subject. Her story touched me deeply & having had my own personal crisises in the past, I know that we share multiple common threads.

The idea for the business was inspired by my eldest daughter’s cancer diagnosis, prognosis and treatment and the holistic approach read more

Beauty brand in the spotlight: Skin Owl

Knowing the beauty brand from afar and enjoying using their products is one thing, but meeting the founder allows you to view the brand in a completely different light and from multiple angles. You observe the person ‘in action’, talking about their passions and products, while you innately decide whether what they tell you makes sense to you or is more about trends and mass market mentality that prevails in the beauty marketplace. Some play the role well in order to charm you, other allow themselves to luxury to be themselves and letting you be the judge of their character. Meeting Annie Tevelin, an American founder of a natural beauty brand Skin Owl, didn’t go to plan, but allowed me to meet a woman who is not only passionate about her day job, but clearly see that she holds women and their skincare needs deep inside the confines of her heart.

Originally I was supposed to meet up with Annie at the brunch that she was organising during her visit to London from the US. Annie used to live and work in London, so the city holds a very special place in her heart and so she wanted to get together a group of women, who didn’t know each other and forge new connections based on the female spirit and interest in natural beauty. However on the eve of the event Annie had to cancel it, due to unforeseen circumstances, and we both tried to juggle our busy schedules in order to meet up before she flew back home. On a cold morning I arrived at Camden’s Triyoga and settled myself in a corner sofa of Nectar cafe with a cup of warming matcha latte.

Annie arrived quietly, but her wild mane of hair and a coat in an eye-catching shade of coral red, accompanied by her wide smile, which seemed to draw people towards her (one will later spill water over her, eliciting first surprise and then an understanding giggle from Annie) and within minutes, joined by a fellow beauty blogger Ailish Lucas, we all chatted away like old friends.

Time flew by, with us discussing our opinions on the problems we all face, busy schedules, skin woes, travel, love & relationships, favourite products and skincare tips. Annie is good at listening and asking you with genuine interest about things that matter to you, but when you ask her questions, she is engaging and open as well. She is a realist and doesn’t promise magic, but there is a strong undercurrent of passion that must be one of the ingredients that she infuses her products with. There is no doubt in my mind that at the centre of Skin Owl is Annie’s desire to help women feel good in their skin, because it is something that affects the self-esteem of many. Throughout life we are affected by our hormones, every day – from our moods to our skin. There are many beauty products and even more promises thrown at us daily from the press pages and tv and phone screens, yet not many brands engage with consumers and try to tackle the problems that negatively impact us. Treating healthy young skin is easy, dealing with problematic skin is another story. Annie, who has suffered from acne and eczema in the past, is the vocal advocate of looking after our skin and she makes sure she gives you ammunition with her helpful advice, if you ask for it. Being privy to one person’s discontent with one of Annie’s products, I promised that I will talk to Annie about it. When I did,  I passed Annie’s comments to the person, made sure she got in touch with Annie and by the time Annie was back in the US, overpowered with jet lag again (she battled it fiercely in London, attending to her very busy schedule come rain or schedule crumbles), the problem seemed to be in the process of being resolved. If that isn’t customer care you want to receive when something doesn’t work for you, I don’t know what is.

‘Skin Owl’s sole mission is to educate you about your skin & deliver the best products, so that skin “care” read more