March Newsletter

March Newsletter

Hello and welcome to the March newsletter, where we continue the Hayo’u and Ilapothecary journeys with the release of some powerful new products. We also launch a new haircare brand, Trinny and Shabir have another moment (well perhaps more than a moment, an entire hour) and somewhere in the middle of all of this is a treat, which I have a feeling might be over before its begun.

Additionally, we take a look at some health concerns; we welcome a new monthly contributor to our editorial team and I’ll introduce you to her further down this newsletter.

Before we go any further, I would just like to say that the tone of this newsletter will go right to the core of what really matters, our health and wellbeing. I have always believed that we are served far better if we delve into the root cause of certain health concerns, which can, in turn, manifest themselves into powerful solutions. And do I dare write about cellulite. Yes I do. Let’s go:

The Hayo’u Method

So let’s take a deep breath and do an update before I write about the next product launch. This is what happened. The February newsletter was released on a Tuesday morning where we launched the Hayo’u Beauty Restorer and Beauty Oil; halfway through the day we ordered another consignment of both the Beauty Restorer and the Beauty Oil because we were on the verge of selling out. By the Friday we were onto our third consignment and then I woke up Saturday morning to read an article in The Telegraph written by Lisa Armstrong. And suddenly the room seemed to spin. By Saturday night I was in a virtual coma. And then all my worst fears came crashing around my head in the form of a wait list, which was resolved fairly quickly thankfully.

So let me just say here that I have seen Lisa’s skin and she has seen mine. The Beauty Restorer is, in my humble opinion, a ‘forever investment’ unless you drop it (please don’t drop it!), so actually a one-off spend of £35 for this specifically designed jade Gua Sha tool is pretty amazing in my book and several thousand other books too it would seem.

On the rampage. Yes we are, but please bear with us because this has all happened during Chinese New Year (The Year of the Dog) and everything in China stops for two weeks. The Beauty Restorers are hand-made; they are ethically sourced and this is so very important to the ethos of the brand. Because they are not mass-produced, the supply is limited, but constant, so please understand if you do not receive your order immediately. Thank you.
The £35 Jade Stone That Gives Your Face A New Lease Of Life by Lisa Armstrong; Hayo’u Beauty Restorer £35; Hayo’u Beauty Oil £33 for 30 ml

The Hayo’u Body Restorer and Body Oil

When I met Katie five years ago, I had quite a few treatments with her. I needed to experience and learn as many aspects of her work as I could before I started to write about it. Neither of us knew that it would take five years to get to this point, but she was the teacher and I was the student.

The experience was of course profound. I vividly remember being totally shocked the first time I had a body Gua Sha experience as my back was red raw and it took several days to calm down. But all this is perfectly normal as Gua Sha has been shown to exponentially increase blood flow to the surface of the skin, which scientists believe works in a number of ways.

Firstly it helps to disperse toxins by increased circulation and aiding the lymphatic and immune systems. As the blood is re-absorbed by the body it helps promote an enzyme (HO-1), which is anti-inflammatory and helps increase immunity. We associate redness with bruising and pain in the Western world, but in this instance it is in fact healing. In basic terms, and as I wrote on the February newsletter, the Hayo’u Method addresses the root cause of most modern-day illnesses – inflammation.

Traditionally, Gua Sha would be given by family members or friends in an attempt to help treat a whole range of conditions including fever, muscle pain and tension, chronic cough, sinusitis, mastitis and migraines. There are many different rituals and ways to use the body Gua Sha tool, which we will unfold throughout the year, but for now, please allow me to introduce the Body Restorer to you.

The Body Restorer, unlike the Beauty Restorer, is made of metal, which means this really is a ‘forever’ product. The use of metal is specific to the body and it should not be used on the face as it could damage your skin. As with the Beauty Restorer (for the face), there is a simple one-minute ritual, which Katie demonstrates on the product page and is the starting point for body Gua Sha treatments. Metal works on the body far quicker than jade and it can also be used over clothing, so you are not restricted on use during the day.

The Hayo’u Method rituals are based upon Chinese ‘coining’ which is a technique widely used in ancient times to treat many illnesses. It is still widely practiced in China and South-East Asia and is employed to help rid the body of heat and helping to restore balance. Gua Sha is often referred to as ‘coining’, as coins were traditionally used to perform the treatment. The basic one-minute ritual, in simplistic terms, will help open up the chest area, which in turn helps decrease our stress levels rather significantly.

The difference it makes is quite remarkable because mostly we have forgotten how to breathe and the bottom line is that stress creates heat and inflammation with elevated levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) swirling around our bodies, which in turn leads to many other health concerns as I’ve written above.

The thing that is so important here is that we can begin to become more in control of our own health and wellbeing within one minute of use and that matters rather a lot because helping to eliminate stress is fundamental to our wellbeing. So given that the £35 jade stone gives your face a new lease of life, the £35 metal body restorer gives your body a new lease of life, in so many different ways. And onto cellulite we go.
VH Editorial: How To Deal With Emotional Stress by Katie Brindle

Cellulite and the Body Restorer

There were five of us sitting round a table. We were talking about many subjects and then I threw the cellulite question at Katie. So how effective would the Body Restorer be at getting rid of cellulite. Like I mean really get rid of it because not since the days of the iconic Dior Svelte has anything really worked lotion and potion-wise and I needed to know.

I suppose it’s like the million-dollar question because most of us have cellulite and none of us want it. According to a study published in the Journal of European Academy of Dermatology, cellulite can be caused by increased levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Researchers found that individuals who had chronically elevated cortisol levels were much more likely to have cellulite, although it is of course hereditary too.

In Chinese medicine, cellulite is connected to water metabolism. When our Qi (life-force) is stagnant, proper fluid management is impeded, which is one of the causes of cellulite. Gua Sha stimulates the flow of Qi and blood around the body. It also helps stimulate lymphatic drainage, firming the skin at the same time. So can this tool shift cellulite; Katie believes it can.

The belief is very real because Katie got rid of her own cellulite, more by accident than purpose. About to go on holiday, she sat crying in her bathroom because she was overweight and couldn’t shift the fat that had accumulated since the birth of her twins. She started to Gua Sha her thighs in desperation and of course they came up very red, which is a sign that things are shifting. And shift it did. She still does the ritual twice a day. She has no cellulite.

I think it is really important to say at this point that this is not an overnight solution to getting rid of cellulite; it will take time and we are each different, so some may see tangible results quite quickly, as Katie did, but for others it may take a couple of months or longer. And you have to use it religiously and be disciplined because nothing is going to happen otherwise; it really is pretty easy to do. Use eight firm strokes of the Body Restorer over each part of the affected area; it doesn’t really matter which direction, but don’t go up and down. Simple one-way strokes. No pain, no gain.

Finally, a word about the Body Oil. Like the Beauty Oil, Katie formulated the Body Oil to be used in conjunction with the Body Restorer. Loaded with Sea Buckthorn, rice oils, lotus flower, lemongrass and frankincense, these ingredients are known to be highly beneficial for a variety of health concerns including stress and anxiety relief and pain relief. On it goes and after me – one, two, three, four ….. eight!
Hayo’u Body Restorer £35; Hayo’u De-Stress Body Oil £40 for 100 ml


Before we launch the latest product from Ilapothecary, I would just like to take a moment to say a few things about the brand. There is no doubt in my mind that each of these products are powerfully formulated to help make a positive difference in our lives. It is not until you use them that you can fully understand their extraordinary impact.

Interestingly, the bestselling product to date is the Beat the Blues Room Spray, followed by the SOS Pearl drops. So many people are describing Beat the Blues as a spray-on anti-depressant. It is of course far more than a room spray; I spray it all over me, carry it in my bag (for the moments when) and just in case you are interested, this is what Trinny was spraying in the room when she did her latest Facebook Live with Shabir (more on that later). She fell in love. Not with Shabir I hasten to add, but the spray because it is so uplifting. It is of course divine, in every sense of the word and I call it ‘Happy Happy Clappy Spray’.
Beat The Blues Room Spray £28 for 50 ml

Also in my bag, the SOS Pearl drops; I suppose I could really call this the ‘wait list tincture’, which perhaps would explain why I am on my third bottle. Nothing to add there, but in other news, the latest topic of conversation ‘amongst the few’ is that we wish to declare ‘The Year of the Bath’. I’m not writing about it on this newsletter, but it’s not too far away.
SOS Pearl Drops £15 for 15 ml

That said, it occurs to me that not everybody has a bath, or has the time for a bath. If you are a shower-bod then the very fabulous Magnesium and Amethyst Bath Soak can be used as a foot soak in the evening. If you struggle to sleep, this will help. And for those who do have a bath, do try anointing your body with the Feminine Happy Oil. And soak.
Magnesium and Amethyst Deep Relax Bath Soak £35 for 400 grams; Feminine Happy Oil £40 for 100 ml

Speak Your Truth Aroma Roller

There are times when I find it really difficult to describe the impact a product will have and this is one of those occasions. I was with Denise (Denise Leicester, Founder of Ilapothecary) when I first tested this product and I couldn’t hold back my emotions because I knew how very important this product is to each of us and how I felt when I used it. Centered. Calm.

Being lost for words, I asked Anastasia (Anastasia Achilleos) to describe it for me. A touch of background, Anastasia has worked with Denise for many years, she is the Founder of The Anastasia Achilleos Method and she is the angel who puts me back together (and a whole load of other people) when I’m broken. This:

‘Denise is a true alchemist and I do not believe there are many of those in the world. Everybody from my husband to celebrities steal my ‘Speak Your Truth’. I gift it to people as I’ve yet to find anything as special which brings such joy and immediate gratification to a loved one or a friend’.

And this is what Denise told me:

‘I was going to change the name because I felt it was too provocative, but then the Harvey Weinstein story broke and somebody close (no names) in America said, ‘it was time we all speak our truth’. On a personal level, lies are exhausting and they drain us. When we speak the truth we feel empowered’.

Denise on female alignment:

‘Society is built on logic and practicality, which pulls us towards our masculine self and we’re less in touch with our feminine side. Everybody thinks that the heart is the centre of love, but it’s actually the centre of truth. Men carry more energy in their throat chakra, women carry more in their heart, where the truth resides’.

And so it is. I almost feel that we are not launching a product, but a way to be, another way where we remember all that we once knew and all that we believe in. Deeply healing on so many different levels it is loaded with Rose, Sandalwood and Vanilla. It is best to rub the oil onto your fingers and tap it onto your pulse points and at the bottom of your throat as this has a connection with your heart chakra.

Tapping has been used in Tibetan treatments for centuries as it awakens your energy. There is an entire ‘tapping movement’, which is incredibly profound. We will also save that for another time, but for now I invite you to tap with me. Tap, tap, tap. Feel the change. Acknowledge your truth. And celebrate.
Speak Your Truth £27 for 10 ml (it will last a very long time)

The HA Treat

Let’s throw this one in now. Hyaluronic Acid High Strength is our bestselling supplement. No surprises there because as most of you know Shabir and I consider HA to be the most crucial supplement to take in any anti-ageing regimen. It plumps, it hydrates and is pretty essential for joint health too in conjunction with Superior Joints (bring on the eggshell membrane!).

I am sending up a prayer that this treat lasts longer than a few hours; I don’t want to encourage bedlam, but if you buy Hyaluronic Acid High Strength, which contains 30 capsules, we will automatically send you an extra 15 capsules in a cute travel size pot. This will not show up on your invoice, but will automatically be included with your order until we post on the product page of our site that it is all over. If it’s all over by 3 pm, I’m emigrating for good with ten bottles of SOS Pearl Drops. ***Sorry, this promotion has now ended***
VH Editorial: Hyaluronic Acid: The Anti-Ageing NutrientHyaluronic Acid High Strength £35 for 30+15 Capsules; Superior Joints £30 for 60 Capsules

Exuviance AF Vitamin C20 Serum Capsules

This bit really belongs to Victoria because she discovered this product. It came to pass that I took a look at her skin one morning and asked what she had put on it because it looked amazing and she didn’t have any make-up on. Exuviance AF Vitamin C20 Serum Capsules. Excuse me. Why don’t I know about this product.

In Victoria’s words, ‘it is Vitamin C for dummies: one capsule per day for face and neck. Within three days skin is smoother and by the two week mark it’s brighter, smoother and softer. Exuviance you have taken it to the next level’. She then went on to tell me that she, and a whole lot of other people were totally obsessed. An obsession. Count me in.

I really don’t think I need to write much about the benefits of Vitamin C. A potent antioxidant it helps to decelerate signs of ageing, is an essential co-factor in collagen synthesis, which helps improve skin firmness. I could write more about the scientific evidence of Vitamin C, but I’m not going to. All I really care about at this point is that the product does what it says it will do and it absolutely does.

I rather like the way it is packaged; these secure single-use capsules limit exposure to destabilizing light, air and water, which is really important. We recommend using at night after cleansing and before any other skincare products. You can also dispense the contents of the capsule into a moisturizer if you so wish. No hard and fast rules here. Victoria, star girl. Officially obsessed. Thank you.
Exuviance AF Vitamin C20 Serum Capsules £59 for 60 Capsules (Use One Daily in the Evening)

72 Hair

This relatively new haircare range landed on my desk coincidentally, or otherwise, when Victoria was sitting next to me. Oh, she said, I know all about this brand. The hero product is Intense Replenishing Mask and it has a cult-like ‘underground’ following. Underground. Right.

Intrigued, it went straight into my bag for testing. I have a ‘thing’ about hair masks and stuff like that. Memories of my teenage years came to the fore when I would lock myself into the bathroom and use the ‘forbidden’ Hint of a Tint on my hair, followed by the ‘acceptable’ VO5 Hot Oil. Give me something to slather all over my hair and I’m a happy girl.

Put to the test. I completely get why this has such a huge following. Formulated to help de-frizz, strengthen and replenish moisture in the hair, it can actually be used for all hair types. I have straight, fine hair, but a lot of it and it worked for me in a majorly exciting way. It is infused with avocado and wheatgerm oils and all you do is apply it evenly onto clean hair and leave it on for 10-15 minutes, although I tend to keep mine on longer because it makes me smile. Small things. I know.

Anyway, the first time I used it I walked into the office and started swinging my hair in front of Shabir, who couldn’t have been less interested in my bouncy, shiny, glossy new hair, but of course that didn’t stop me. I mean when you have good hair, you have good hair and the world (and Shabir) needs to know about it.

There is an entire range of shampoos, conditioners and a rather amazing Blow Dry Cream, which actually annoyed me because somehow or other it gave me much more hair and it took longer to blow-dry. I suppose forgiveness is the way to go. Forgiveness and an extra five minutes. The world won’t end because of five minutes.
72 HairIntense Replenishing Mask £24.99 for 250 ml; Blow Dry Cream £14.99 for 150 ml (use a small amount only)

What It’s Like Living With An Autoimmune Disease

Each month I tend to pull out one or two of our editorial features and write about them. I have pulled this one for several reasons. The first is because I would like to introduce you to Tina Gaudoin, who has joined our editorial team, which of course makes me extraordinarily happy on many different levels.

Tina has had many roles in a long and successful career; these include Style Director of The Saturday Times, Editor in Chief of Luxx Magazine and Editor in Chief of The Wall Street Journal Magazine. And then she discovered she had an autoimmune disease and everything changed.

This is the first time Tina has written about it and I applaud her bravery and courage to tell her truth. Emotive and thought-provoking on life itself, you may well remember me writing about Tina on a previous newsletter as she also created the fabulous RoadScents, which so many of us love. Embracing Tina.
What It’s Like Living With An Autoimmune Disease by Tina Gaudoin; RoadScents

Good Vibrations: The Power Of Sound Baths

With self-healing being so dominant on this newsletter, I implore you to read Catherine Turner’s article on the profound effect sound healing can have. I don’t think it is any accident that ancient rituals and practices are some of the most sought-after treatments and therapies at this moment. But it is more than a moment, it is yet another ‘way’ of being, and it is a way that we all believe in. When I say ‘we’, I am talking about most of our editorial team. We have all known each other a very long time. We stand as one. We always have. We always will.
Good Vibrations: The Power Of Sound Baths by Catherine Turner

Trinny and Shabir Do The Menopause

Another early Sunday morning. And it was the menopause. An hour. Facebook Live. Once again, it was the Trinny and Shabir show as they talked literally thousands of women through the varying stages of the menopause, discussing the treatments that are available and the solutions that are available. I think one of the most important things to say here is that the information imparted allows each of us to make a considered choice on the route we want to take. For some it is HRT, for others it is Bio-Identical Hormone Treatment and for some, the natural route.

If you are pre-menopausal, menopausal, or post-menopausal you may find this of interest to you. And suddenly once again Shabir is a hero. He may well become a monthly hero, because Trinny wants monthly ‘chats’ with him. And I will remain in the bath spraying sprays. Because I can. Shabir the Brave (and awesome). Trinny, thank you. Loving your make-up. L-O-V-I-N-G. Clever girl.
VH Editorial: Takeaway Tips from Shabir and Trinny’s Menopause Facebook LiveSage Complex £25 for 90 Capsules; Omega 7 Sea Buckthorn Oil £19.95 for 60 Capsules

News and Feedback

Just two things here. The first is an email Shabir received from a customer about Neuro-Mag, with nothing to add from me because it’s self-explanatory, save one thing. I would like to thank each of you who give us feedback. Your words help others:

‘I contacted you last October when I was very concerned about my teenage son’s sudden constant debilitating headaches. After investigation and an MRI to rule out a brain tumour, I firmly believe that he was suffering from concussion syndrome. I contacted you and you recommended Neuro-Mag. I am pleased to tell you that he is headache free, not one occurring during his recent mock GCSE exams when he was stressed (which was the GPs diagnosis for the headaches in the first place)’.
Neuro-Mag £33 for 90 Capsules

Secondly, I hadn’t written one word about the Hayo’u Body Restorer, other than telling the VH Addicts that I would be writing about it on this newsletter. And then this from an Addict:

‘So excited to get the body tool and of course broke open the package and started the eight strokes … got curious and so I did a search on inflammation and stress on other parts of my body, namely my left knee as I’ve been hobbling around for three days. Three whole days …. I used the tool with the body oil and the first time I got a definite easing. So I thought, let’s do it again and having left it for a couple hours, I just have and the pain is nearly gone. I am walking normally. I shall do it one more time tonight to see if I can rid myself of the pain entirely …..’
Hayo’u Body Restorer £35; Hayo’u De-Stress Body Oil £40 for 100 ml

VH Editorial

This month, Jo Fairley writes about ‘A Shed of One’s Own’, which, let me tell you is as glorious as she describes it; the Beauty Bible girls do foundations and Carolyn Asome researches on how to find the perfect pair of trousers. Actually you need to know that I got severely depressed when I read it because she was rude about skinny jeans and I spend virtually my entire life in skinnies. Sulking.
A Shed of One’s Own by Jo Fairley; How To Find The Perfect Foundation by Beauty Bible; How To Find The Perfect Pair of Trousers by Carolyn Asome

Additionally, Carole Morin writes about Psychic Sisters and I’m safer not commenting and Jackie Annesley writes about ‘the power of looking up’ in the metaphysical sense – on theme Jackie, thank you.
Psychic Sisters by Carole Morin; The Power of Looking Up by Jackie Annesley

And Victoria. What of Victoria. Well she has written so many articles, I just don’t know which one she will release with this newsletter. Being editorial director, she will decide. I know my place, but just to say that she posts each of her articles on Instagram, so best to look there, not here!

The End Bit

So much love for the Tutti London candles. Thank you.
Tutti London, £48 

And what happened when we released the LixirSkin Limited Edition Set. It sold out. That’s what happened. I hope that those who were trying these incredible products for the first time have enjoyed using them. Simple. Solid. Skincare.
LixirSkin from £20

All I’m going to say here is long live Ameliorate. I fall deeper in love with the Transforming Body Cream with each use. And when he (Shabir) went there, the shelf was bare. Tragic.
Transforming Body Cream by Ameliorate £27.50 for 225 ml

And so we have come to the end of another newsletter, where once again, together with Shabir, I thank you for your ongoing loyalty and support. My personal thanks to those around me who never stop trusting and believing in the work that we do and support unconditionally.

I hope each of you have a wonderful March.

With love

Gill x