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Face Fresh Every Day!

It's hard to say exactly when International Women's Day began, but its roots may be traced back to the USA in 1908 in February, when 15,000 women marched Through New York demanding better pay, working conditions and voting rights. The following year, the anniversary was celebrated and, over time and for various reasons, the date became set as 8th March worldwide.

I am amazed at the changes made in my own life time, the difference in expectations from my mother's generation to mine, but I am still aware that there are changes to be made that I will not see, but I hope that my daughter will experience. I feel fortunate to have been raised to believe that gender should play no part in how you develop as a person and in your career, but I have experienced a working environment where women were seen very much as 'just admin or secretaries'. It is not my intention to pour scorn on either of these roles, but the use of the word 'just' in that sentence indicated to me two things. The first was that these roles (without which, I know the team would have floundered) were seen as less than other roles. The second showed me that I would never be taken seriously in such an environment. Needless to say, I left!

I have a few role models I look up to, both younger and older than me. However, I am most inspired when I see a woman become the person they were meant to be, without losing themselves in the process. Women who are strong without feeling the need to be aggressive, who do well in their chosen profession without needing to push others aside, who understand that personal success and happiness is achieved as much by giving as it is taking, who support each other without needing to think too hard about doing so. I am especially inspired by the many time I meet women who show everyday strength in continuing to keep a positive outlook in spite of a whole host of problems thrown at them by life, usually in quick succession!

I hope you each find inspiration today and use it to enhance your own life choices, whatever they may be. I hope also that you realise that you are probably already an inspiration to someone too!

Life Lesson from Tim Minchin

Next month sees the launch of an annual fund raiser at The Retreat, for Student Minds. More details on this to follow, but with so many students feeling the pressure of upcoming exams, further education choices etc, I hope this helps put things into perspective for some.

From a very early age we are encouraged to have a goal, something to aim for and to focus on achieving. Whilst this is an admirable trait for those who know exactly what they want to achieve in life, for the majority of young people, it's a very daunting thing to face. They have to make decisions and choices which they believe will affect their entire life from the age of around 14. The pressure can be immense!

How many of you had your career planned from an early age and are doing something completely different now? How many wish they were doing something completely different right now?

I love this address to graduating students at UWA by Tim Minchin. Tim, born in Northampton and raised in Perth, Western Australia, has many successes to his name as a comedian, actor, writer, musician and director. His speech focused on 9 life lessons, the first of which may strike a chord to many.

'You don't have to have a dream... I advocate the passionate dedication to the pursuit of short-term goals. Be micro-ambitious. Put your head down and work with pride on whatever is in front of you. You never know where you might end up. Just be aware the next worthy pursuit will probably appear in your periphery.'

My interpretation of this is, while you focus on desperately trying to find your dream to chase, you could be missing something that could help you find what really inspires you. Keep those options open and say 'yes' to the opportunities that come your way. The worst that can happen is you discover something that's not right for you...but you can find something else! Not everyone's path will be the same and it's never too late to change, even if you're half way through a university degree.

So for those younger people worrying about their future, stressing about exams, feeling the pressure to go a certain way....just stop for a minute...take a very deep breath...and look up! Life is a journey, your journey - make sure you enjoy the ride.

For those who understand a little about the holistic approach to self care, you may know that it is guided by a belief that a person's well being is based upon the need to be well as a whole. When one part is unwell, this affects everything else.

Traditional medicine is used to treat the symptoms and problems associated with a specific area of your health. For example, if you were sick, you would ask your GP for advice and medicine may be prescribed based on your presentation.

The Alternative Approach or Holistic Approach deals predominantly with the cause of your illness and prevention by using more natural methods.

Neither method could be said to be "wrong", but I am a firm believer that prevention is better than cure.

Holistic "medicine" can include treatments such as Massage Therapy, Reiki, Crystal Therapy, Essential Oil Therapy and Meditation.

MASSAGE THERAPY can help with many body, mind and spiritual issues.

Massage helps to stimulate blood circulation, which increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles while removing toxic waste. It allows you to completely switch off for a time, to help you recharge, making you more able to face challenges. Essential oils act directly on your mood system which in turn plays a great part your general well being. Different oils may lift you, relax you, calm you and energise you. All this leads to faster healing, increased flexibility both mentally and physically and lots of other benefits!

MEDITATION helps to relieve stress and anxiety.

Meditation helps to clear the mind. It can enhance awareness, focus your mental health and help you to achieve an emotionally calm and clear state. There are many techniques dating back thousands of years and these methods have been refined and updated to deal with modern events and stresses by experienced tutors.

As Christmas approaches and 2019 is just around the corner, this year, I encourage you to be kind to yourself, nurture yourself and try a holistic approach to your life. See if it can make a difference to your overall health and your ability to handle whatever may come.

How many times have you been too tired to really cleanse your face (and neck!) before you go to bed?

If your face is just getting a quick wipe before bedtime, here's something to think about.

All day your skin battles the elements: cold weather, heating systems, pollutants etc etc. And just as your body rests and repairs itself overnight, so does your skin! Your night time routine is probably more important than your daytime routine!

Here are my 5 tips to a great, quick routine:

1. Use the right cleanser for the right makeup!
No, this doesn't mean a lot of expense, but if you use a mascara which clings like glue, you need something a little more intense to stop the ground in panda look by the morning! Clear Cleanse by Eve Taylor doubles as a cleanser and works well at breaking down heavy makeup and mascara

2. Don't skip the Double Cleanse!
The first cleanse is good to loosen the dirt and grime and gets rid of most of it. But I dare you to double cleanse and review the cotton wool pads after the second cleanse! Was there anything more to be removed?

3. Only Scrub if you Need To!
Too much scrubbing can have the opposite effect of what you are trying to achieve. Yes, it sloughs off dead, dry skin cells, but if your skin doesn't need it, it's scrubbing at new healthy skin and stimulating oil production, possibly where you don't need it.

4. Use a Gentle Toner
A gentle toner acts like a spritz to close up pores and remove last traces of cleansing product. It helps to reduce the opportunities for bacteria to get in! A toner that tingles and reddens isn't really a great sign - it's irritating your skin.

5. Use an Overnighter
Oils and balms containing essential oils will work best overnight, to penetrate deep as you sleep. Your skin takes full advantage overnight to replenish and renew so give it a little help. Eve Taylor Aromatic Serums are inexpensive and a great way to treat your skin every single night.

So? Fancy trying this routine out for just a week? See the difference it makes in just a few days. You may even find you're not having to work so hard to cover up any spots or blemishes with your foundation any more...saving you precious time in your morning routine!

...Makes you Stronger??? Right????

It's a well used phrase and, for the most part, it's largely true. However, sometimes, it really doesn't feel true. It may be something traumatic or it could be a series of events or circumstances that finally don't actually kill you, but they don't make you stronger either.

It is not unusual for us, as therapists, to begin an aromatherapy massage and to find that the client breaks down in tears during treatment. For us, this can be a good sign. The aromatic oils work on the brain as well as the body to stimulate your senses. The warmth of the therapist's hands are a comfort also. Crying during the massage is a sign that you're mind and body are wanting release and are finally ready to begin the process.

Making time for yourself is NOT selfish or an indulgence. It is a necessity and an essential part to recovery.

Depending on your circumstances, this may be all you need. But if you need more help, we are fortunate enough to have connections with a number of great mental health therapists who have helped people through different issues.

I always say, if it's not broken, don't fix it. But if it is broken, or even beginning to break, getting the right help quickly is extremely important to enable you to be well soon.

You wouldn't leave a broken arm to mend itself and hope it will be ok would you?

I appear to have great, not being big headed here, but I do receive lots of compliments and questions about what I use.

It's fair to say that my skin isn't actually that great in reality. Eczema in childhood meant skin stripping ointments which, over the years, gave me a healthy respect for what I could and couldn't use on my skin, to avoid any flare ups.

So my apparent "great skin" isn't by accident!

But, if it's looked after, is there really a need for a facial then?

Well, a lot depends on your own skin type, condition and whatever is happening in your life! And I've been reminded of this very recently!

As some of you know, I took a bit of a fall recently and managed to break my right arm. It's been a tad sore and inconvenient (understatement!) but I've coped with help and a pretty useful left hand. However, despite my resolute adherence to my usual skincare routine, my complexion has suffered.

I've had spots!!!! UGHHH!!!

I know...some will be saying "big deal" and I can hear the eye rolling too, but for me, this is a big deal - I just don't get spots normally. And then there's how it it's coated in something and in need of a really good scrub! All in all, it's lost its vitality, bounce and shine. The temptation is to change my regime and for most, that means spending on different products to try to fix it.


Medication and stress (more frustration that everything takes twice as long) have taken their toll. I am pretty certain that my usual routine is pretty good (I should know what I'm doing, right?).


I know that, with a couple of treatments, my skin will receive the tonic it needs to get back on track and then my usual routine will be all it needs.

So, to answer the title question, just keep checking your skin. If it's not broken, DON'T FIX IT!

But if your skin just feels a little off, book yourself in for a treatment and have a chat with your therapist. Tell her what's happening, how it feels and if there have been any changes recently. Yes, she will probably ask you about your skincare routine to see if it's missing a trick. However, it may just be that you just need a tonic treatment, a couple of skin boosters to help rebalance the temporary glitch, rather than an expensive complete overhaul of your bathroom cabinet!