December Newsletter

December Newsletter

Welcome to the December newsletter where we take a retrospective look at the year and I think most of us know what that means. If you are new to VH this year I welcome and thank you for being part of our ‘family’. As ever, this newsletter is our way of thanking you for your immense loyalty and support throughout the year, for trusting, for believing and for taking the time to give us your feedback, which is so vital to us; we couldn’t do it without you.

Throughout the newsletter there will be rather a lot of gifts, treats and offers, so you will need to read carefully. Can I also say that in the instances where we are throwing in a gift this will not appear on your order confirmation, but that gift will be included with your other products. There is no need to call our Customer Care team, we are in control – I think!

A newsletter is not a newsletter without some new product launches, so I’m doing these first and the retrospective will follow. I’m starting with NIOD of course:

NIOD (Non-Invasive Options in Dermal Science)

I could write an entire newsletter about NIOD and what it means to me. If there is one brand and one person that and who epitomises everything I believe in, NIOD is that brand and Brandon Truaxe, Founder & CEO of DECIEM (and the creator of NIOD) is that person.

When you truly care about making a positive difference with ‘next generation’ products, the ‘normal’ (what is normal!!) business rules do not apply. The passion matters more than the bottom line and quite honestly NIOD could easily sit next to all those £200-£300 skincare products and wipe the floor with most of them (I’m watching my words here – I want to live!). It would be the easiest thing in the world to quadruple the price of each NIOD product, the accolades would remain, but that is not what NIOD is all about; it is not who Brandon is and it is not who I am either. Neither of us understand a world where the consumer (that’s you and me) comes last in every single equation.

Before I head into the new launch, I just need to tell you that NIOD has just won an ‘Outstanding Innovation’ award from Women’s Health for CAIS 1%. DECIEM won the most ‘Innovative Brand’ award and I will talk about everything else when we go retro. Let’s do it:

NIOD Set No.1

For many different reasons, I am so, so happy to introduce you to the first boxed set from NIOD. I think the primary reason has to be that this gives you an opportunity to try out four of the NIOD products if you have never used them before and for those who are using NIOD, you may not have every single product, so this is a brilliant opportunity to fill the gaps in your skincare regimen.

If you have pledged undying love for the brand, which thousands (yes, thousands) of you have, then this serves as a rather fabulous travel kit. I am not going to write chapter and verse about each of the products, I’ll refer to them throughout the newsletter, so if you don’t mind I’ll just give you the top line; please make sure you read the ‘wrap’ at the end of this section and of course I use all of these products – no big secret really, I use the entire range. The kit contains the following:

Low-Viscosity Cleaning Ester (LVCE) 50 ml: LVCE is a skin cleaning system that respects dermal barriers while regulating visible sebum production, cleaning the skin and removing make-up in a single step. LVCE contains no cleansing plant oils, no detergents and no water. It uses isolated sugar and avocado esters to remove dirt and make-up with or without water.

Fractionated Eye Contour Concentrate (FECC) 3 ml: A hyper-concentrated bio-serum for the eye contour, FECC combines 28 technologies to target all aspects of under-eye and above-eye ageing in one treatment, borrowing from advanced biotechnology, polyphenol technology, next-generation cyclic peptide technologies, marine science and modern drone delivery mechanics.

Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex (MMHC) 15 ml: A multi-dimensional approach to topical hyaluronic supplementation, this advanced serum combines 12 forms of hyaluronic compounds in a peptide-charged delivery system to offer visible hydration, plumping, comfort and uniformity from the subcutaneous level to skin surface.

Photography Fluid, Opacity 12% (PF) 15 ml: A novel approach to creating a foundation for skin that reflects even radiance in life and very specifically through the camera lens, this instant treatment is serum-textured, but contains a wide array of light refracting prisms, tone and hue correctors and topical photo-finishing technologies to offer even radiance within seconds.

Instructions for use are listed on our site and the normal price for this kit is £50, but something rather wonderful is about to happen, so please don’t hyper-ventilate when I tell you that until midnight on Friday 11 December, or while stocks last, NIOD Set No. 1 will be £25 and from Saturday 12 December it will be £50, which is still rather brilliant in my opinion, but then of course I am very opinionated, I was born that way. Can’t be helped!

Just a few things to say here, there is limited availability; the sets are scheduled to arrive at the end of this week (don’t shoot me if I’m out by a day or two), so please be patient, all good things are worth waiting for, just make sure you are on that list!

If somebody gave this to me as a gift I would probably die and go to heaven after I had started to use the products, but I would have to come back (girl on a mission!) and finally, if you are thinking that Brandon and I have taken all leave of our senses, we have, but we like it that way. Go NIOD!
NIOD Set No.1 £50

Cailyn Cosmetics

I think most you know that I have been having a big, big love affair with Cailyn products this year, and I am about to do the thing that I said I would never do, which is writing about, and listing, make-up on our site, but I only had to think about it for a few seconds as I thought it would be mean not to share two amazing new products, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do right now – lesson to self: never say never!

Cailyn have just released a new mascara that has gone beyond wild in America; I think it is the best mascara I have ever used and so does Natalie in our customer care team who has been testing with me – it’s pretty awesome. I’ll follow through with a universal eye colour (Champagne – couldn’t help myself) and early next year I am going to add one more make-up product just because it’s fabulous and I can. It hasn’t launched in America yet, so we will need to be patient. Meanwhile here we go:

7 In 1 Dual 4D Fiber Mascara

So where to begin, well Cailyn say that you get seven incredible effects from this mascara and you do. It has a dual wand, a 4D square brush (yes, yes …. square!) and more, which I will detail below. Cailyn also claim that this mascara will fulfil all your desires for luscious, smudge-free and flake free lashes. They are not wrong. The innovative dual wand provides an enormous volume to upper lashes as well as defining individual lower lashes. The meticulous 4D square brush can apply a rich amount of formula without any excessive coating and this intense jet black waterproof mascara contains conditioning E5 fibers (for the purposes of this description, we are American – I promise I can spell!) to create full dramatic long lasting lashes. Let’s do the lowdown:

Dual Wand: Create volume on the top lashes with the 4D square brush and give definition to individual bottom lashes with the slim-detail brush.

4D Square Brush: As above, it delivers a rich amount of formula without ‘clumping’ – I have a serious aversion to ‘clumping’ – it just looks awful.

E5 Fiber: E5 represents five dramatic effects of fiber including lengthening, mattifying, volumizing, lifting and an intense black shade to lashes.

Conditioning Serum: Vitamin B5 keeps lashes moisturized and helps prevent lashes from drying out.

Extreme Volume: Natural beeswax and Carnauba wax helps build up extreme volume.

Dramatic Lengthening & Curling: Dramatically lengthens, lifts, curves and holds lashes in place – we do so love a touch of drama!

Waterproof: A long-wearing film provides resistibility to water, smudging and smearing – in other words it doesn’t land halfway down your face – result.

Now comes the interesting part, how to use it. Please don’t use upward strokes when applying, we are going to zigzag instead. A zigzag motion (across the lashes from one side to the other) helps to coat mascara broadly across lashes and many make-up artists recommend the zigzag technique for applying mascara to create volume. So on clean, dry eyelashes, use the 4D square brush, place the wand at the base of upper lashes pulling towards the end in a zigzag motion. You can do as many zigzag motions as you want, but two or three would be good followed by the inevitable upward sweep. Use the slim detailed brush to apply mascara precisely on lower lashes – don’t overdo it though. So that’s a wrap and it only comes in black. A mascara revolution and evolution – it absolutely is!
7 In 1 Dual 4D Fiber Mascara £20

Just Mineral Eye Polish

I don’t wear an awful lot of make-up these days, less is more and subtle is good. When I met this mineral eye polish I instantly knew I wanted to use him, he was singing to me and he sung a good song because he is pretty fabulous. Made with 100% raw mineral powder, he is a highly pigmented satiny powder that colours your eyes with shimmery, gorgeous hues and his soft and fine sponge tip allows easy application without getting messy.

I chose him in ‘Champagne’ because you can put this all over your lid, under your brows to highlight, or all over. I tend to do all over (I’m a bit of an all or nothing kind of girl), blending it in well, so you know it’s there, but it doesn’t shriek ‘heavy make-up’. Add an eye-liner followed by the 7 in 1 mascara and voila, you are done. You can of course use him as a base if you want more colour on top, but the eye illuminating effect from light reflecting mica should make you smile rather a lot; in other words you are dressed, but kind of undressed at the same time and you will look ever so wonderful.
Just Mineral Eye Polish Champagne £15

The Retrospective

Right, the time has come and we are going to take a month-by-month look at some of the highlights of the year. Inevitably some months will be longer than others and I have had to edit this considerably, but throughout you will discover gifts and treats. In some instances I will be replicating sections of the newsletters, but primarily these will be Shabir’s articles, which more often than not will have an offer attached. Away we go and hold tight, it’s quite a ride:

January

Little did I know the impact the following launches would have; with our eyes barely open after the holiday season, these:

The Rainbow Volume S Brush: I had found this brush in the Far East and for some peculiar reason I was drawn to it; heaven only knows why; it was multi-coloured plastic, it looked like a throwback from my childhood with a mirror on the back, but there was something about it.

The first night I tested it, I tipped my head upside down, brushed my hair and went to bed. I nearly had a heart attack (of the good kind) the following morning; I had 60’s hair and I was Cilla Black, Kathy Kirby and Dusty Springfield all rolled into one – the bouffant had made an overnight comeback!

The rest is history, it flew out of the door when the newsletter was released, everybody fell in love with it and it was featured all over the press, and actually it is still being written about. Who would have thought this £12 hairbrush would make an appearance in The Sunday Times, Tatler and Vogue, but it did and just about every editor I know has one stashed in her handbag. In a league of its own!
The Rainbow Volume S Brush £12

The O! Wow Brush: Same newsletter, another brush, this time for make-up, and the same outcome as above. It flew out the door, it has been featured virtually everywhere, the accolades are pretty unbelievable and when India Knight wrote about it in The Sunday Times, I thought our site was going to fall down. Thankfully it didn’t and if I was doling out awards, this would win the best make-up brush ever, ever, ever. It is described as an ‘awe-inspiring wow-inducing miracle’ and it ensures an airbrushed effect, which we like rather a lot.
The O! Wow Brush by Cailyn Cosmetics £20

The O! Wow Brush Treat: So many of you have bought stashes of these to give away as gifts, so to continue the theme, out comes my sharing gene and until midnight on Friday 11 December, or while stocks last, you can buy a duo pack for £30, saving £10. Not too sure how long this will last, so being fast would be good. ** Sorry, this promotion has now ended. **
The O! Wow Brush Duo Pack £30 (Two x The O! Wow Brush)

Hand Chemistry: The first DECIEM brand to appear on VH and it all began with the exclusive launch of Hyaluronic Body Mist, which fully aligned with my ongoing (at least twelve years and counting) love affair with Hyaluronic Acid. The formulation and the molecular weight ensured penetration and efficacy, the claim that it would maintain hydration for 72 hours made me happy because it lived up to its promise, and onto our bodies it went, in abundance.
Hyaluronic Body Mist £17 for 150 ml

At the same time I wrote about Intense Youth Complex, Hand Chemistry’s award-winning hand cream and Retin-Oil, containing 1% of next-generation retinoids that are far more effective than retinol and cause no irritation. This dry oil can be used all over the body and face to help improve visible skin texture. It is far more advanced than retinol (why are people still writing about and using it in formulations – rhetorical question) and it also contains Vitamin C and anti-ageing marine technologies. It helps target scars, stretch marks, ageing dehydrated skin and surface irregularities and discolouration. That’s all you need to know really.
Intense Youth Complex Hand Cream £19 for 100 ml; Retin-Oil £20 for 100 ml

The Hand Chemistry Treat: We like giving things away wherever we can and whilst stocks last we will drop an Intense Youth Complex Hand Cream 30 ml (worth £7.99) into every Hand Chemistry order, so that means you can order any Hand Chemistry product and get the gift. One gift per customer. ** Sorry this promotion has now ended **
Hand Chemistry

February

We continued the launch of Cailyn and Hand Chemistry; for Cailyn it was Bounce It Aqua Memory Gel and their Cleansing Pad (much loved for its simplicity) and for Hand Chemistry it was Heel Hydration Complex and Extreme Hydration Concentrate, which I use on my hands every night (Intense Youth Complex goes on in the morning – I can’t forget, it lives on my desk).
Bounce It Aqua Memory Gel £40 for 50 ml; Cleansing Pad £8 – both by Cailyn; Heel Hydration Complex £14.99 for 100 ml; Extreme Hydration Complex £18.99 for 100 ml – both by Hand Chemistry

Much of the newsletter focused on inner skin hydration and because I like being neat, I’m going to roll it all up and bring back one of our much-loved treats, Fabulous Skin:

Fabulous Skin: The ageing of skin is a multi-faceted process, which is impacted by lifestyle, dietary choices and genetics. The cells of our bodies are programmed to have a finite lifespan. Each time a cell divides, some genetic material is lost, so that on average thirty to forty cell divisions are usually the maximum and after this the cell is considered to be aged. In order to maintain healthy and radiant skin, you need to protect, nourish and help prevent damage to the cells of the skin.

Shabir has written two articles; the first is Nourish Your Skin (read here) where his core recommendations are to take Hyaluronic Acid High Strength (HA), the most crucial anti-ageing supplement in our opinion, Skin Restoring Ceramides, which are brilliant for dry, dehydrated skin and Astaxanthin, a powerful antixoidant. I will also refer you to Shabir’s article on HA, which you can read here.

Fabulous Skin Treat: We have put HA and Skin Restoring Ceramides together and then thrown in Astaxanthin as a gift for your skin. Together all three products would normally cost £77, but with a wave of my ‘magic wand’, the price becomes £60, which will give you a saving of £17. This is a limited time offer and will be available until midnight on Friday 18 December, or while stocks last. ** Sorry, this promotion has now ended. **
Fabulous Skin £60 (includes Hyaluronic Acid High Strength £35; Skin Restoring Phytoceramides £25; High Potency Astaxanthin £17)

March

I am doing just one thing for March; Banishing Hot Flushes appeared on the March newsletter and because ‘the season of stress’ is almost upon us, the very last thing we need is for our temperatures to rocket out of control whilst we are basting the turkey – ahem!

Banishing Hot Flushes: Hot flushes are mostly associated with women both before the menopause (perimenopause) and during the menopause. Hot flushes occur without any warning and usually last for a few minutes. Cluttered by a feeling of intense heat that suddenly invades the chest and neck, climbing onto the face, hot flushes can also be accompanied by redness and swelling.

In most cases, hot flushes can be directly attributed to declining female hormones, particularly oestrogen, leading to an imbalance between the female sex hormones. Certain drugs may induce hot flushes, but these are in the minority of cases.

Most women may begin to experience hot flushes between the ages of 45-55 with the onset of menopause. Menopause is explained as an uninterrupted time space of 12 consecutive months when a woman experiences no menstrual periods and also signals the end of her child-bearing years.

This is a normal, natural event in every woman’s life and should be considered simply as a phase, rather than a condition. Nevertheless, hot flushes are uncomfortable and many women resort to taking conventional hormone replacement therapy, although increasingly women are choosing natural remedies that help to alleviate hot flushes, reduce their intensity and help to cope with this transition phase.

For women seeking a natural supplement, we recommend Sage Complex. This supplement contains a comprehensive formulation of herbs that are considered ‘phytoestrogens’, herbs that mimic oestrogen in their chemical structure. Because they are not actually oestrogen itself, generally they are free from side effects. Sage Complex also helps to alleviate night sweats, anxiety, mood swings and low energy levels.

The Sage Complex Treat: Sage Complex is normally £24.50 for 90 Capsules, but until midnight on Friday 18 December, or while stocks last (I know, I know – it’s repetitive, but I have to keep saying it) we are offering a duo-pack for £40, which is a saving of £9. Actually it would be worth taking if only to avert those gorgeous mood swings – shame men can’t take it really. That’s all. ** Sorry, this promotion has now ended. **
Sage Complex Duo-Pack £40 (Two x Sage Complex £24.50 each)

April

Ah, April, the month I introduced you to Brandon, the Toronto boyfriend. Up on ‘The Podium’ he went and this is the newsletter where I told the world that Brandon and I had made a pact to turn the health and beauty industry inside-out and upside-down with pioneering, cutting-edge products. Little did we know the impact that statement would have in such a short time, but in that moment everything changed with the fusion of an inevitable acceptability that the journey was about to get rather interesting. And it did. We globally launched Hair is Fabric (HIF).

Hair is Fabric: HIF was created to kick-start serious innovation with its concept of ‘dry cleaning for hair’. Using cleansing fractions, instead of common detergents, together with a long list of conditioning technologies, there are currently 15 different formulations that give a far deeper clean than very aggressive shampoos.
Hair is Fabric

The basic point of difference is that most haircare products target the cuticle only, which does not give long-term benefits, but HIF specifically targets the ongoing health of your hair leaving the hair fibre intact. The full range of the formulations are listed on our site, but right from the very beginning, the bestselling formulation has been Volume Support and I’m sure it’s not just because that is the one that I use. There is something about Volume Support that makes me very happy and I’m about to make a whole lot of you very happy with some rather exciting news:

New Launch – HIF Volume Support: Just to do a quick re-cap, Volume Support provides strength and body to fine or combination hair adding volume and support. Rich in pea bio-peptides, it helps encourage hair volume at the root, while protecting the hair follicle. As with all the HIF formulations, Volume Support should be worked into wet hair, leave it on for three minutes and then rinse. Now the good part:

Volume Support is the first HIF formulation to be offered in a larger size, but much more than that, it is now available in a one litre pump (hurray!) and represents extraordinary value for money. The regular size of Volume Support is 180 ml for £30 and the one litre pump is £65. This means that you get over five times the amount for just over double the price of the regular size. More than that, it means that I don’t have to pile numerous tubes of the stuff into my bag on a rather regular basis, mostly when Shabir isn’t looking. Bottom line here, the pump is living in my shower and the tubes are for travelling. Neat.
Volume Support 1 Litre Pump £65; Volume Support Tube 180 ml £30

Youth Serum by iS Clinical: All my boyfriends on one newsletter so we shoot from Toronto to LA as Bryan and Alec (aka my LA boyfriends) let me launch the long-awaited Youth Serum in the UK. This is the one that I had been testing for nearly seven years as varying formulations came in and out of the lab. By the time we got it, it had already been launched in America and the reviews were pretty awesome; your feedback was in complete alignment.
Youth Serum by iS Clinical £137 for 30 ml

The iS Clinical Treat: If you buy any iS Clinical product before midnight on Friday 18 December, we will automatically throw in the travel size Cleansing Complex (60 ml) which is worth £16. Just to add, if you are travelling to a far warmer place than here, you may want to take Extreme Protect SPF 30 with you because it is rather outstanding; I completely forgot to pack it when I was in the sun recently and my skin (my chest to be completely accurate) suffered really badly. I won’t give you the full-blown horror story, let’s just say that it went red, crinkly and creased, it looked like the chest of a 95 year old (with respect if you are 95) and somebody somewhere has a picture of it. I would quite like to die.
Extreme Protect SPF 30 £60

May

NIOD. Non-Invasive Options in Dermal Science. The global launch.

We launched NIOD with two core products, Copper Amino Isolate Serum 1% (CAIS) and Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex. I had been testing the products for several weeks and I was blown away by their efficacy; I stated that if I could marry them, I would; my passion was absolute and although I knew that NIOD was in a scientifically-advanced league of its own, I held my breath when the newsletter went out because we were really pushing through the boundaries of skin health. And then it happened. NIOD exploded within a few hours of launch and everything changed.

I just want to say a few things here before we continue with the retrospective. I could not have launched NIOD without Brandon holding my hand really tightly; I needed to be educated because if I didn’t understand the products then I really couldn’t expect anybody else to. But more than that, far more than that, it is a huge responsibility to launch a brand, which I don’t take lightly. I am not sure that I could ever find the adequate words to thank Brandon for trusting me to do this because I know what NIOD means to him and I think I will leave it at that.

So the retrospective continues, the NIOD story unfolds further; each product launch was accompanied with a full explanation of how the product worked; often scientific, we took the stance of total transparency, but completely understood that if you just wanted the bottom line, that was fine too; we are all different. When you are reading through, you may want more in-depth information; all the newsletters are on our site, so you can refer to them if you wish.

The road to skin health had begun and everybody was intrigued with CAIS because it was blue, because it needed to be kept in the fridge (that has since changed) and because when layered with MMHC, it delivered on promise to help improve the integrity of the skin.
Copper Amino Isolate Serum 1% 15 ml £38; Copper Amino Isolate Serum 1% 30 ml £60; Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex 30 ml £38

June

Photography Fluid (PF): In the fullness of time PF was to go on to become one of the five most-written about products across all media in July; later in the newsletter I will write about the incredible support we have received from the press on all the NIOD products, which always touches me deeply, but for now PF is in the spotlight.

PF is one of the products in the NIOD box, which I wrote about at the beginning of the newsletter, so you can go back and read about it there if you wish. Just to say that I add a couple of drops (less is more) to Hydration Vaccine and then put my foundation on top of that. If I’m away, or in the warmer months, I don’t use foundation at all, with love and thanks to all the NIOD products!
Photography Fluid £20 for 30 ml

Death of a Product – Seditol: I wrote chapter and verse about the death of Seditol on the June newsletter because of what this product meant to me personally. So once again I was writing ‘all change’ on a product and we were recommending Cherry Night for insomnia, sleep disturbances and for those who found it difficult to maintain a healthy sleep pattern. Later in the year it would go on to become very famous when Sarah Stacey, Health Editor of YOU magazine, declared her love for the product, which she still takes religiously. Let’s throw in another treat:

Cherry Night Treat: After writing about magnesium for many years, I think most of you know that there is nothing quite like a magnesium bath before going to bed. Magnesium Oil Original Flakes are hugely effective for stress relief, relaxation and sleep disturbances. With every purchase of Cherry Night we will automatically include a 250 gram packet of Magnesium Flakes, while stocks last. ** This promotion has now ended **
Cherry Night £24.95 for 150 grams

Adrenal Stress: We had a huge response to this article from Shabir, so we’ll do it again because adrenal stress is one of the most misunderstood syndromes that affects so many of us to varying degrees. Stress, whether physical, emotional or environmental, can stimulate a cascade of hormone production by the adrenals, which includes adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol.

Adrenaline is the most famous of the three stress hormones and acts like an ‘upper’ helping to enhance the function of all our body’s systems in order to meet the demands of stress, such as circulation. Noradrenaline is the body’s modulating hormone working to keep us revved up without causing stress to our body’s systems, including the heart. Cortisol is the body’s ‘downer’ working to bring the body back into its normal healthy state when it has been revved up for too long, or once the stressor has gone away.

These hormones should theoretically work very well to keep our body within its normal mode of operation. Unfortunately we are constantly being subjected to all types of different stressors and whether the stressor is work-related, emotionally linked or hormonally associated, this constant level of stress causes our bodies to release constant amounts of cortisol to lower our system and the contradictory adrenaline to help keep up with the demands of stress.

This is termed ‘adrenal stress’ which is only the starting point; after a while, the adrenals cannot manufacture cortisol and with very little cortisol going around the bloodstream, fatigue sets in and this phase is termed ‘adrenal exhaustion’.

Some amount of cortisol is healthy and it is this hormone that wakes us up in the morning. The problem is that high levels of cortisol impacts on nearly every system and hormone within our bodies. Excess cortisol switches off our digestive system causing any number

of issues such as reflux, indigestion, bloating and constipation. Excess cortisol also affects our immune system, making us more susceptible to infection and it affects nearly every hormonal gland, including the thyroid, pancreas and the reproductive organs. Additionally, cortisol has a major impact on the nervous system and the neurotransmitters, resulting in anxiety, sleep disturbances and mood swings.

Whilst the adrenals are busy producing cortisol, they do not produce sufficient energizing hormones, resulting in tiredness and fatigue. This is why stress often makes us feel tired and even though we may be tired, we still cannot get into a regular sleep pattern. There are two supplements that we recommend to help counteract adrenal stress, Magnolia Rhodiola Complex and Multi-Guard ADR, which together help the body cope with stress and fatigue. We have put them together, wiped off £8.95 so that now becomes £40 for both. Give them time to kick in, but they work synergistically in a rather wonderful way. ** Sorry, this promotion has now ended. **
VH Editorial: Adrenal StressAdrenal Stress Treat £40 (Magnolia Rhodiola Complex £26 for 60 Capsules; Multi-Guard ADR £22.95 for 120 Tablets)

July

Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate: The second stand-alone product from NIOD to launch and it went so completely wild, Brandon put one of his team (hello Jason – waving!) on a flight from Toronto to London with a suitcase full of the stuff because I told him that I refused to wait for it to come via courier. Such is life!

So Lip increases collagen, increases HA, increases lipid content, increases water content, increases hydration, protects from oxyradical, carbonyl radical and glycation damage, increases natural pigmentation (redness), increases volume through seven different mechanisms, has anti-ageing benefits and just in case that isn’t enough, the serum also contains a first-ever oil-compatible form of HA, which is kind of amazing. Oh, one more thing, forget that needles even exist, this is a treatment product that I still use twice a day. If you are flying, pop this into your handbag – we don’t do shrivelled lips, ever, ever, ever!
Lip Bio-Lipid Concentrate £38 for 15 ml

Overnight Facial Supplement: Since we launched this new product from Sarah Chapman, it has gone on to win the ‘Best Beauty From Within’ award, also from Women’s Health. We couldn’t be happier and I am now abdicating to Jo Fairley and Sarah Stacey, the Beauty Bible girls, who wrote the following:

‘It is possibly a little too early to report on the long-term benefits of slipping this additional supplement into our skin-vit regimen, but there definitely seems to be something going on: a little extra ‘glow’ that certainly isn’t down to the increasingly gloomy time of year! The dual supplements, presented in a sort of yin-yang designed tub – one capsule, one tablet – contains a cocktail of skin-friendly ingredients in one and the other supplement is designed to enhance sleep itself, when skin’s regenerating powers are at their peak.

Better sleep = better skin goes the thinking – so hops, lavender, vitamin B6 and magnesium all feature. VH’s resident pharmacist and nutri-guru, Shabir, worked on these with Sarah, so we have absolute confidence in what’s in there.

And what we can say is that if you want some crazy-amazing dreams, these do the trick! Bright technicolour. Fantastical scenes – even ‘scented’ dreams in Jo’s case. We reserved judgment when Sarah told us that many of her devotees were reporting vivid dreams, but that’s just what we’ve experienced. Next-best-thing to lucid dreaming’. Do try!
Overnight Facial Supplement £46 for 30 Capsules + 30 Tablets

Regenerate Enamel Science Advanced Toothpaste: After nine years of research, Unilever launched an OTC product, Regenerate, to help halt acid erosion by re-hardening the soft enamel on the surface of the teeth. Their technology (NR-5) has five international patents, granted and pending. It is the only toothpaste I will use and it’s not only because I like the way the tube stays clean, it truly is a brilliant product.
Regenerate Enamel Science Advanced Toothpaste £10 for 75 ml

August

I declared a national NIOD week when several features articles appeared in the press, one after the other, all hailing the magnificence of NIOD and I also wrote about the morphing of Innovative Skincare into the iS Clinical branding. All was well and we launched two new products, Enterosgel and Skin Insurance SPF 30 from Sarah Chapman, a high factor sun protection cream and sunblock for the face.
Skin Insurance SPF 30 £44 for 30 ml

Enterosgel: Enterosgel brings effective relief from diarrhoea, indigestion, IBS, food poisoning, upset stomach, travellers tummy and food allergies. It has 30 years of clinical research behind it and it is an innovative intestinal adsorbent (enterosorbent) created for binding toxins, viruses, allergens, pathogens and other harmful substances in the GI tract and removing them from the body.

Enterosgel works like a clever sponge, gently passing through the gut, it is suitable for babies, children and adults and it is non-allergenic. It is really easy to take, it has no taste and you simply dilute it in 100 ml water. So that’s one for the suitcase, if you are travelling, and one for the medicine cupboard if you’re not. And now:

The Enterosgel Treat: Because we think this is a fabulous product and because we always, always advocate taking Mega Probiotic ND (non-dairy) whether you are here or abroad, we are dropping in a free Mega P with every order of Enterosgel, while stocks last. This is the travel version, which contains 30 capsules and it is worth £9.25. And just in case you didn’t realise, Mega Probiotic ND remains one of our bestselling supplements of all time – that would be because it’s amazing and really everybody should take it. End of! ** Sorry, this promotion has now ended. **
Enterosgel £18.43 for Ten Sachets; Mega-Probiotic ND £18.50 for 60 Capsules

September

In newsletter terms, it was completely insane to launch three new products from one brand at the same time, but we did it because sanity has never been one of my strong points (hello Brandon!) and we couldn’t separate them out. The brand was obviously NIOD and the products were Low-Viscosity Cleaning Ester (LVCE), Fractionated Eye Contour Concentrate (FECC) and Hydration Vaccine (HV). Hand Chemistry’s Hyaluronic Body Mist won ‘Best Body Hydrator’ in the Cosmopolitan Beauty Lab Awards and Ameliorate’s Skin Smoothing Body Lotion won ‘Best Body Problem Solver’. More to follow, but we’ll do the NIOD launches first.
Hyaluronic Body Mist £17 for 150 ml; Skin Smoothing Body Lotion by Ameliorate £27.50 for 200 ml

Low-Viscosity Cleaning Ester & Fractionated Eye Contour Concentrate: I am not going to write chapter and verse about these two products; they are both included in the NIOD No.1 box and I’ve described them above. All I will say here is that LVCE has revolutionised the way we clean our faces and FECC’s drone technology takes actives into specific areas of the skin, which is really important.

On that last point, most eye serums contain film formers to make the eye area look better instantly. The film hinders the absorption of long-term actives, which is why FECC doesn’t offer instant results. Weighing this against better actual results in the longer-term, better actual results won and we all became happy.
Low-Viscosity Cleaning Ester (LVCE) £30 for 240 ml; Fractionated Eye Contour Concentrate (FECC) £43 for 15 ml

Hydration Vaccine (HV): I’m going to find it really difficult not to write reams about Hydration Vaccine because this product is so outstanding. It sold out the day we launched it, there was a long wait list (which didn’t thrill me as I hate wait lists) and in short HV supplements a surge of NMF (natural moisturizing factors in the form of amino acids) and seals them into the skin with some of the most technologically-advanced, next-generation silicones.

The build-up of NMF within the skin is shown to increase markers of youth within the skin so efficiently to the point that the skin can look up to several years younger after four weeks, purely by increased NMF content. You can actually feel it within a few minutes of application and after I wrote that you could develop a stroking-the-skin affliction, the emails and phone calls flooded in, all in agreement. Oh, and one more thing, all the Front Row girls were wearing HV in Paris at the shows; HV had arrived in style and I started to hallucinate that I was on the front row too, except I wasn’t. More vicarious living!
Hydration Vaccine £35 for 50 ml

Just to add, forget everything you may have read, or believed, silicones are not, repeat not, bad. If you want to read more about this, then please read the interview I did with Brandon because he does not hold back, but I wouldn’t want him to. He also talks about LVCE and FECC, so if you missed it, do take time to read it.
Gill meets Brandon Truaxe – Again!

Stop Press – Travel Tip: In a normal NIOD regimen, HV would sit over the top of CAIS, MMHC and FECC (waiting 20 seconds before application). I have done one too many long haul flights over the past few weeks and I was not prepared to put my skin on the line. So this is what I do when flying and I really recommend you do the same because I stepped off the plane(s) with flawless, hydrated skin.

Rule number one, don’t wear make-up. The minute you get onto the plane, drench your skin with MMHC, well within reason, wait a couple of minutes and then put a pretty thick layer of HV all over your face right down to your upper lip line and although we haven’t got to the launch of Neck Elasticity Catalyst (NEC) yet (wait, wait, it is coming!), from the upper lip line down (down, down, down as far as you want to go!) put on a layer of NEC. Repeat whenever you wake up, or if you are fully awake for the entire flight (my worst nightmare), then once or twice during the journey would be good on long haul; for short haul, one application will suffice.

Absolute Fundamentals: One of Shabir’s favourite regimens, it went onto the newsletter, it went wild, so we’re doing it again. Shabir created this regimen because he believes that everybody should be taking all three of the following supplements for health and wellbeing, here it is:

Power of Krill: The most utilisable and cleanest source of omega 3 fatty acids.

Mega Probiotic: Our bestselling probiotic (I’ve mentioned this above, so here it comes again!), which is all natural, non-dairy and acid resistant to help support digestive tract health.

My Favorite Multiple Energizer: Containing 100% of the recommended daily amounts of all the essential vitamins and minerals in a highly energizing food base for maximum absorption and utilization by the body.

The Treat: We have put all three together, so instead of £59.95, £19.95 has gone floating into the ether and you can get all three products for £40, while stocks last. ** Sorry, this promotion has now ended. **
Absolute Fundamentals £40 (Power of Krill £24.95; Mega Probiotic ND £18.50; My Favorite Multiple Energizer £16.50)

Make-Up Eraser: We launched it in pink; the press went wild for it, you went wild for it and this was the month we launched it in black. So in celebration of another wonderful product:

The Make-Up Eraser Treat: Buy it in pink and black (one of each) and instead of costing you £31.90 for two (they are £15.95 each), until midnight on Friday 11 December, when you order them together they will cost £25, which is a saving of £6.90. ** Sorry, promotion has now ended **
The Make-Up Eraser Treat £25 (One x Pink + One x Black); Make-Up Eraser Pink £15.95; Make-Up Eraser Black £15.95 

October

This month I decided to tell the world, or at least those who follow this newsletter, about the horrors of DHA used in most self-tanning products, two more new NIOD product launches and because you can’t keep a great girl down, Nigella made an appearance.

Glow Oil: I don’t use fake tan, I don’t like fake tan, even though I know I’m in the minority, so I have kind of opted out on a personal and professional level despite it being a billion-dollar industry.

With very few exceptions, most self-tanning products contain Dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which is the active browning ingredient and has been used as the standard technology in self-tanning for many years. It is also the only approved ingredient to be able to make a self-tanning claim, but DHA has two problems, namely it is known to cause cell cycle block and cell death and like nearly all sugar-type compounds it increases the presence of free radicals.

Glow Oil came along and changed everything and as with Hair is Fabric (HIF), it kick-starts innovation in this sector because it really is not looking good for DHA. I absolutely would not use a DHA loaded product on my skin, but I am in love with Glow Oil. It’s not about looking tanned, it is all about glowing, healthy-looking skin throughout the year and that includes the party season. So it’s in my bathroom and on my skin; if you want to read in full about how Glow Oil works then please refer to the October newsletter, where you will also read that DHA smells revolting, turns orange and fades unevenly. Bottom line here, I haven’t got a good word to say about DHA-laden products, neither has Brandon and neither has Shabir. Unanimous in its condemnation.
Glow Oil by Hand Chemistry £20 for 100 ml; October Newsletter

NIOD: Never too far away, two more NIOD launches, but this is where we started to drill down into target-specific products having done core NIOD. The adjunct products can be used as stand-alone products or of course incorporated in an existing skincare regimen.

Ethylated L-Ascorbic Acid 30% Network (ELAN): In order to fully explain this product, we had to use quite a lot of scientific facts in the description and it also necessitated taking a look at what has gone before to make NIOD’s position on Vitamin C serums really clear. Once again it meant that we were taking things right to the edge because despite the fact that Vitamin C has been the celebrity ingredient in functional skincare for over a decade, its best property (being a powerful antioxidant) is also its worst property as it oxidises. The full implications meaning that virtually without exception, if you are using a Vitamin C serum, you are paying to age faster.

If I could, I would précis over three pages into one paragraph, but I can’t, so once again I am going to refer you to the October newsletter, as above, for the full low-down. I’ll finish by saying that ELAN should only be used in the evening, it is hugely beneficial for all skin types and because it is a superstar of a product, it kind of leaves everything else in this category impotent and looking a bit orange-faced in the wake of evolutionary technology – and the truth.
Ethylated L-Ascorbic Acid 30% Network (ELAN) £50 for 30 ml

Copper Amino Isolate Serum (CAIS) 5%: The extreme version of CAIS 1%, originally planned for a 2016 launch, but with an increased stability profile, the uncertainties around very high concentrations of copper peptides were eliminated and I had to tell you sooner rather than later.

We continue to recommend CAIS 1% and MMHC as a core skin health regimen and CAIS 5% is only intended to replace CAIS 1% in cases where the need exists for a concentrated anti-ageing/skin health effort, seasonal recovery and with professional guidance, which of course we offer.

I just need to add here, although I wrote it on the newsletter, the 5% solution cannot be diluted with CAIS 1% to achieve larger amounts. Excess dilution will destabilize the peptides in the formulation and all functionality and efficacy will be lost, so please don’t be tempted.

Meanwhile, I just need to tell you that I received an email from a customer who is using 5%; on a long-haul flight two really nasty cold sores appeared, she dabbed them with 5% and they disappeared almost immediately. She was stunned and I was so, so happy because it underlined everything I had written about CAIS and skin health. And just when I wanted to dance around with Brandon, because all credit goes to him, where was he – on the other side of the world – so I danced alone. Men really are useless at times.
Copper Amino Isolate Serum (CAIS) 5% £130 for 15 ml

Nigella: And so it came to pass that Nigella went onto Twitter declaring her love for the O! Wow brush after India Knight had written about it in The Sunday Times; there is a back story which you can read on the October newsletter (where you will also discover that she is a die-hard NIOD fan), but all I want to say here is that I wrote about her new book, Simply Nigella, on that newsletter, so I’m mentioning it again, just because I can and just because wherever I can I will always support the people I love. So please use the link to buy it, if you haven’t already done so. Thank you.

November

So we are at November, the final month of the retrospective. Because this newsletter was only released four weeks ago, all I’m going to do here is literally run through the new launches without writing volumes because this is beginning to resemble a novella. The very lovely Carolyn Asome keeps telling me that every newsletter is a novella, oh!!!

Neck Elasticity Catalyst (NEC): Brandon wrote this section of the newsletter; he lives in some weird belief that I don’t actually work, but sit on my bed calling certain people on speed-dial and then I go to sleep, so I made him write the whole lot and it won’t be the last time either. In the shortest time, the feedback has been phenomenal and I’m not at all surprised because there is a significant difference between skin ageing and neck ageing and none of us want to feel bad about our necks, today, tomorrow or when we are 80! You may well want to kill me for mentioning this, but it is also brilliant for use on upper arms. Oh dear!
Neck Elasticity Catalyst (NEC) £50 for 50 ml

We also launched the O! Circle Brush from Cailyn, which is to die for – actually, please don’t die, just try it first. The long-awaited Triple Flu Defense for the 2015-2016 flu season was released and Sarah Chapman’s Liquid Facial Resurfacer launched, which has been dubbed as a liquid facial. Sarah Chapman devotees are squealing with delight at this one and her Facial-in-a-Box just flew out the door when I wrote about it.
O! Circle Brush £35; Pure Ease Brush Cleaner £12 for 100 ml; Triple Flu Defense by Dr Nenninger £25 for 30 ml; Liquid Facial Resurfacer £36 for 100 ml; Facial-in-a-Box £43, both by Sarah Chapman

More Happiness

And just when you thought it was all over, you discover that it isn’t, so just five more things, which I hope makes some of you even happier and then I’m doing the wrap:

Superior Joints + Pure Magnesium Oil Spray: We launched Superior Joints a couple of years ago and to this day it remains the one single supplement that Shabir always recommends for joint issues. Incorporating Natural Eggshell Membrane (NEM), traditional joint formulations were thrown on one side as NEM is clinically proven to help alleviate pain and stiffness, without any side effects, often within a few days. Add in Pure Magnesium Oil Spray to topically help alleviate pain associated with arthritis, rheumatism and fibromyalgia, and you have a marriage made in heaven. Together they cost £46, I’m wiping off £10 because nobody needs to be in pain if we have anything to do with it and this offer is good until midnight on Friday 18 December, or while stocks last – inevitably! ** Sorry, this promotion has now ended. **
Superior Joints Treat £36 (Superior Joints £30 for 60 capsules; Pure Magnesium Oil Spray £16 for 236 ml)

Tweezy: And this is the one that went all over the press too; The Tweezy for removing all unwanted facial hair rocked the world and everybody loved it for its simplicity. It is still much loved; it is £10, but until midnight on Friday 18 December, you can buy two for £15. ** Sorry, this promotion has now ended. **
The Tweezy Treat £15 for Two (The Tweezy £10)

Root Cover-Up: Although it has been three years since we did the global launch for Root Cover-up by Color Wow for John Frieda and Gail Federici, it still remains one of our bestselling beauty products. I’ve come to detest the expression ‘game-changer’ because we used the expression when we did the campaign and now anything that moves is described as a ‘game-changer’, even when it clearly isn’t. OMG!

Anyway, not to digress further, because I seriously could, if you buy Root Cover-Up then you will receive the travel sizes (75 ml) of Color Security Shampoo and Color Security Conditioner, which will automatically be included with your order, while stocks last. Banish those grey hairs, unless you want to be completely on-trend and go full-on-grey. Absolutely, your call, but it is extraordinarily chic. I would if I could.** Sorry, this promotion has now ended. **
Root Cover Up by Color Wow £28.50

Aurelia Skincare: Many of you are big fans of Aurelia, the probiotic skincare brand, so in celebration of the brand winning two fabulous awards at the recent Beauty Bible awards, we have a gift for you. I do like a champagne moment, so I went to stand next to them just before their awards were announced so I could have another glass of champagne (I wasn’t driving that night!).

With every purchase of an Aurelia product, with the exception of the muslins and while stocks last, you will receive Miracle Cleanser (30 ml), Refine & Polish Miracle Balm (20 ml) and a rolled muslin. This gift is worth £26 and if you want to read more about the awards in detail, then it is all in The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible, written of course by Sarah Stacey and Jo Fairley. Anna, thank you x ** Sorry, this promotion has ended **
AureliaThe Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible £11.99 (RRP £16.99)

VH Addicts: I am going to end this section by making 100 of you VH Addicts without charge. This is where our phones go crazy, our Customer Care team go into meltdown and we all end up answering the phones or taking messages. Addiction normally costs £30 a year and the benefits include a 10% discount off most of our products (there are a few exceptions, but not many), full access to personal prescriptions from Shabir, a monthly addicts bulletin from me (with the offer of a gift) and access to new product launches before the rest of the world reads about them. ** Sorry, this promotion has now ended. **

So this is how it works, all you need to do is call us on 020 8951 4144 (please don’t email, this is a phone offer only) and just tell the girls (or Shabir!) that you want to become an Addict and so it will be, effective for one year. Just one restriction here, if you are an Addict, or have been an Addict in the past (even if it was many years ago), this is not for you. You cannot use it to renew either (I know that is obvious, but I need to write it) or do it on behalf of anybody.

The whole ethos behind this is to offer some of our loyal customers an opportunity to experience the benefits of being a VH Addict, so please bear this in mind because it really matters to me that this is not abused. I would also like to add that the newsletter is sent out to our entire database at the same time; it is completely out of our control if your server takes far longer to deliver than others. Thank you.
VH Addict £30

VH Editorial

The girls are out in full force, as ever, and I’m going to start by telling you that Carolyn Asome (fashion guru extraordinaire) writes about Non-Sparkle Party Wear and I concur with everything she has written. Sally Brampton writes about ‘Stuff’ and I just happen to agree with her too. You seriously will not find cellophane-wrapped bath salts (with a ribbon) on VH!
Non-Sparkle Party Wear by Carolyn Asome; Stuff by Sally Brampton

Jo Fairley writes about house-plants and after reading it I am comforted by the fact that I have trees and things living with me; the Beauty Bible girls take a look at some gifts for Christmas and Catherine Turner writes about ‘Urban Retreats’ which is all about stillness.
Plants by Jo Fairley; Dear Santa by the Beauty Bible girls; Urban Stillness by Catherine Turner

The Wrap

I thought I would be writing forever, but we have actually come to the end of the final newsletter of the year. I could not have done any of the above without the help and support of so many people. When it comes to moments like this, my emotions are really on the line because there can be no greater gift than being given the opportunity to make a positive difference to so many people, in so many different ways.

To each of you, and together with Shabir and the entire VH team, I thank you. As I wrote at the beginning of this newsletter, we couldn’t do this without you. Your loyalty and support touches me on the deepest level, so much so that words become inadequate. This newsletter is dedicated to you and for all and who that you are.

To all the editors, journalists and bloggers who continue to support us; I cannot single you out individually, but I know most of you read the newsletter every month. Every single time I see an article or one of our products in the press, it is like the first time, and yes I do remember the very first time after all these years. But there is more:

At this point, I really do have to mention NIOD because the words you have all written in so many articles across so many publications really made me weep with gratitude, mostly because I know that each of you meant every single word about each of the products and that is what really matters. If there was an award for ‘campaign of the year’, NIOD would win it hands down, because of you and your unswerving support for pioneering products. I thank you.

I am really not going to continue to do a huge roll-call of thanks, but Krishna and Hilary, once again, none of this without you, together forever – you are the best and I love you. And finally Brandon, he has had far too many mentions right the way through this newsletter, but he once wrote that even in today’s commercial world, true love exists and it really does. That’s all.

All that remains is for me to wish each of you a wonderful December and a very happy and healthy New Year.

Be safe.

With love

Gill x