Health Speak: Wellbeing Escapes’ Stella Photi talks health, fitness and relaxing


Stella Photi is founder of healthy holiday company Wellbeing Escapes. 

What do eat for breakfast?
On waking I have a glass of warm water with half a lemon squeezed in. After returning from walking the dog, I will have some porridge with berries and walnuts in winter and replace the oats with greek yoghurt in the summer.  If I have time, I will have a boiled egg with a slice of wholemeal toast. As a treat at weekends I sometimes make muffins using spelt flour and a small amount of xylobit (a completely natural sugar substitute that has 40% less calories) with blueberries or mashed bananas.

How do you keep fit?
I get bored quite easily with the same routine so I try and vary different forms of exercise. I power walk with the dog for an hour each day, try and get one session of personal training each week, at least one zumba class (my latest obsession) and maybe a yoga or pilates session, on a good week.

What motto/advice do you try and live by?  
I try very hard to find some happiness and laughter in my life every day whether it is laughing with colleagues at work or singing loudly and badly to music on the radio. Over the last few years I have learned not to be too hard on myself. I know so many A type personalities who drive themselves to be perfect in every aspect of their lives and forget to enjoy the small day to day pleasures. That used to me and now I am  very mindful of living a more balanced lifestyle. Curiously with this approach, I have achieved more…

How is your diet?
I have very strong feelings about food and I believe that a varied and healthy diet is the single best thing you can do for your health. I love all types of food, as long as it is fresh and made with quality ingredients. I only buy organic meat, poultry and dairy and try very hard for my fruit and veg to be seasonal and local. I detest what I call “fake food”, processed and readymade meals. I’m not a big fan on fad diets and am really against diets like the Dukan and Atkins diet as I think they are unhealthy. Any diet that bans fruit completely and promotes diet coke just doesn’t seem right to me. My downfall is chocolate. I have friends who can get by on one small square a week of dark chocolate, for me it’s more like one big bar a week and in the winter when I crave comfort foods it can increase to three bars a week.

What is your skincare routine?
Consistent but not brilliant. My Mediterranean genes have blessed me with fairly good skin so up to now I haven’t paid it that much attention apart from regular cleansing, toning and moisturising. I currently use Decleor products as I love their aromatherapy skin oils and balms and  have recently splashed out on Crème de la Mer eye cream.  Now I am into my 40s I have started thinking about having more regular facials in my free time, but still prioritise a massage or private yoga class over this.

What song do you listen to when you work out?
I see ya baby by Groove Armada.

What do you love to snack on?
Nuts and Nakd raw food bars – good alternatives when the chocolate cravings come on.

How do you relax?
I meditate – it’s amazing, I actually feel my limbs softening when I am doing it.

What three things can you not live without?
My dog, my son and my husband.

Favourite healthy holiday?
Como Shambhala Estate in Bali for sheer holistic bliss and luxury spa holiday and Ti Sana in Italy for a fantastic Detox holiday

Favourite place in the world?
My parents summer home in Cyprus – it’s a three minute walk to the crystal clear sea where I swim every morning, many times without seeing a soul.

What three things do you take everywhere with you?
My blackberry, my kindle and hand cream.

Top flying tip?
Holistic silk slippers with magnetic insoles – very comfortable and great for circulation. Just make sure you walk up and down the aisles every couple of hours and drink lots of water.


Beach Ready and Beautiful!

JUST BOOKED A HOLIDAY? Here’s what to do next… It’s time for the Pre-Holiday Pamper.

Getting yourself prepared for a holiday is one of life’s most exciting things, it is also one of the only times in life (bar a wedding, big date and party at which an ex may be at) in which you can pamper and buff yourself within an inch of your life… totally guilt free. It’s not about vanity, this is all about maintaining holiday sanity. No one wants to see an unkempt bikini line, ugly toe-nails or unruly eyebrows. Here are our pre-holiday suggestions on how to look good at the beach:

The Brazillian Bikini Wax: Aveda
Ask for their hot, no-strip wax and you wont be disappointed with the results. The wax is applied and then left to dry until it goes hard (a bit like rubber). The therapist then whips it off. Less pain, more gain. Great for those with sensitive skin. £25.

The Eyebrow Thread: Blink Eyebrow Bar, Fenwicks
Although not everyone likes the idea of having their eyebrows done in a department store in front of tons of shoppers, Blink discreetly occupies the corner of the ground floor and there is one treatment room available for those really adverse to feeling on display. There really is no better place to get your eyebrows done. It lasts longer than waxing and the shape is undeniably better then any other forms of eyebrow shaping techniques. £17

The Pedicure: New York Pedi at The Chelsea Day Spa
Tucked away on the Kings Road is one of London’s top places to grab a quick but brilliant pedicure. The routine is simple; soak, cut, file and shape all performed by an expert Nail Technician, but the service is unrivaled and you get to watch some of the best chick flick’s ever made during the treatment (Failure to Launch never gets old). And because I was happy watching one of my (admittedly) favourite films, I wasn’t in a rush to leave allowing the nail vanish to dry thoroughly and the pedicure lasted the entire two week holiday. Result. £20

The All-Over Scrub (essential for pre-tanning bods): Total Face and Body Scrub at Elemis Day Spa
When we dare to bare, we want to do it with as much confidence as possible. To achieve an all-over even skin tone (one that will not only tan better but also look better on the beach to begin with) then this is the treatment for you. It is also a pre-holiday pamper that tops the chart in the relaxation factor. After an initial consultation about your skin with the Spa Therapist, she then tailors the treatment to meet your needs. After a full body exfoliation, hot oil massage and complexion boosting facial, you can be rest assured that your whole body will beach ready from the moment you leave the salon. £85


Our Top Three DIY Tans


Words by Harriet Chubb

After my rigorous investigation of the London spray tan market, it’s difficult to remain satisfied with my English rose complexion, so I took to trying a few at home products as well, here are my top three:

WinnerSt Tropez Self Tan Bronzing Mousse. Hands down the best at home fake tan I have ever used. Applied with a mitt, this light mousse glides over your body and brilliantly shows up on your skin so you can see instantly where you are applying it and if you need more coverage. This method pretty much guarantees no streaks once dry, which only takes 4 hours, before showering off. It looks as natural, if not more, than their spray tans and is so easy, quick and fuss free to apply. I am a convert.

Runner Up – L’Oreal Body Expertise Nutrisummer in Medium. This has been my old faithful for many years now and never fails to get an even, natural tan, with, most importantly, no trace of that tell-tale biscuit smell. In a moisturiser format, you can’t see where this is going when you apply it, however, I have not yet had a streak from it. It takes a while to apply as you need to make sure you have really rubbed in the cream to each part of your body, but the moisturising effect is delicious and worth the extra time. Apply a couple of hours before you go to bed to avoid staining your sheets and wake up happily bronzed with no need to wash off.

Runner Up –  Rimmel Sunshimmer Instant Tan in Matte. This is the perfect antidote to pale legs that need a quick fix just before a night out, applied with a mitt, it smoothes on with no developing time – you can put this on instantly and walk out of the door feeling sun kissed. I would recommend the matte version over the shimmer, as the blinding sheen can me a bit much picked up in the light.


Image: Seafolly – Happy Hour Kaftan and Amelia Sunglasses

…Follow our top 10 tips to get a bikini body


by Personal Trainer, Sabi Phagura

Spring has finally sprung! But after months of being under wraps, we may feel a bit daunted at shedding the layers. And if you’ve booked a summer holiday or are thinking of booking one, chances are you’re in a panic about how you’ll look in your bikini body. The good news if you start now, you’ll definitely start seeing results in a matter of weeks.

Here are my top 10 tips to getting that bikini body this summer:

1. Eat Clean – this means eating foods as close to nature as possible like fish, meat, nuts, seeds, good fats, fruit and vegetables at least 80 per cent of the time.

2. Take up exercise whether that’s walking briskly for half an hour or joining a gym class. Aim for 30 minutes at least 3-5 times a week.

3. Add some weight training to your exercise. Strength training gives you great muscle tone and burns more calories overall.

4. Drink plenty of water. Sometimes we can confuse hunger with water so it’s good to keep you water levels topped up. Try swapping tea and coffee for herbal teas.

5. Proteins help to build muscle after a grueling workout and you will need plenty if you want to get that lean bikini body ready to go according to sport nutritionist Matt Lovell. Some good sources of protein include chicken, fish, lean beef, turkey, lentils, and beans.

6. Keep your metabolism revved up by eating small meals more regularly. Your body doesn’t respond well to starvation and it wants to hold on to as much fat as it can because it kicks into survival mode.

7. Move as much as you can in your day to day life such as parking your car as far away from the supermarket, take the stairs and get off the bus a stop or two earlier.

8. Cut down on alcohol or give it up altogether as it has empty calories. If you must have a drink have a small red wine or a vodka and low calorie mixer.

9. Start cooking your own meals wherever possible. By doing this you will be cutting out processed foods naturally.

10. If you fancy a treat it’s ok to have one. Just make sure you keep an eye on the portion size and really enjoy it. This will ensure that you won’t fall off the bandwagon.

Getting a great looking bikini body does take time so don’t be one of those women who waits to the last minute to get started. But you will start to see results in a matter of weeks. Following these tips, planning, sticking to it, and giving yourself plenty of time and leeway to correct mistakes will get you the beach body you so desire this summer.

Image: SAFARI BUSTIER MAILLOT, 10441-450; AMELIA SUNGLASSES, 70497; DIP IT SARONG, S51299; All from Seafolly: 

London’s Best Spray Tans

A Hip and Healthy round-up of some of London’s best Spray Tan’s to get you through the rainy days…

Vita Liberata at The Chelsea Day Spa
Where: The Chelsea Day Spa
How: King’s Road, Chelsea (Nearest tube: Sloane Square)
What: The A list Sunless Spray Tan which uses Vita Liberata an odourless, orgainc and paraben-free tanning product
Tester: Sadie Macleod, Editor of Hip and Healthy
Talk us through it: Seemingly small yet spread over two floors, The Chelsea Day Spa is a spacious sanctuary from the madness of the King’s Road. After being led up to a small shower room on the top floor I stripped off and popped on a pair of those charming paper knickers. I also removed my entire make up and was told to apply moisturiser to elbows, knees and ankles, and Vaseline to the palm of my hands – to avoid the orange hands; a tell tale sign. With three shades to choose from, I went for light as I wanted to achieve a look that resembled a sun-kissed Jennifer Anniston rather than looking like I belonged on My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. Once suitably sprayed (note to reader: try not to breathe in when the therapist sprays your face) I waited for 15 minutes before putting on loose (this is key to remaining seam-line free) clothing.
Result: A great even glow, which made me look healthy and like I had spent a week in the English sun. It lasted about 6 days.Details: £35 (reduced from £55).

BeauBronz Spray Tan at The Browns Hotel
Where: The Brown’s Hotel
How: Albermarle Street, London (Nearest tube: Green Park)
What: BeauBronz Spray Tan – ‘Healthy and Natural Tanning’
Tester: Harriet Chubb, Features Editor of Hip and Healthy
Talk us through it: Having a spray tan amidst the beautiful surroundings of the Brown’s Hotel was a fake tanning experience like no other. The ambience of the spa immediately puts you at ease and the spacious room that you have to strip down in is so luxurious that you forget about the embarrassment of the cumbersome, infamous paper pants. I was very intrigued about this particular spray tan, having never heard of the company before, after a lot of research it seemed to be the Hip and Healthy readers dream: organic, paraben free, over 95% natural and free from alcohol and harsh chemicals, I was so impressed with these credentials, yet slightly nervous at what level of results this would produce. I needn’t have worried. The knowledgeable therapist took me through their holistic approach to tanning, which includes a pre-tan exfoliating spray and a post-tan moisture lock spray, this 360 approach was something I didn’t experience with any other product and it made a huge difference to both the tan and my overall experience of the service. The best part; unlike other spray tans, you don’t stand there with a scrunched up face trying desperately not to breathe in the toxic smelling chemicals, as the smell it produced was akin to that of flowers. Heaven. After going for the lightest shade I was looking forward to seeing the results in 8-12 hours…
Result: The best spray tan I have ever had by far. I left the salon wearing my work clothes, which after the moisture lock treatment wasn’t a problem and as promised by my therapist it didn’t rub off. I also didn’t go steadily more orange as the day progressed like most tans, I remained a pleasant, and lightly sun kissed shade. After showering the next morning I was so pleased with the results, it lasted for a week and again, unlike other tans, it didn’t go patchy or flaky when it faded.
Details: £50 (expensive, but worth it!);

St Tropez Spray Tan
Where: St Tropez, Debenhams
How: Oxford Street, London (Nearest tube: Oxford Circus)
What: St Tropez Spray Tan
Tester: Harriet Chubb, Features Editor of Hip and Healthy
Talk us through it: In case you hadn’t guessed already, I have very pale skin that doesn’t ever tan with the exception of freckles, hence my obsession with fake tan. However, I had always been too nervous/intimidated to try the original and famous founders of fake tan; St Tropez. Images of the 80’s tantastic orange haunting me, I had always thought that St Tropez was really only for the naturally bestowed bronzed, giving them a few shades darker than their already caramel skin. However, St Tropez, as ever, is at the forefront of the tanning industry and as the wonderful therapist explained to me; they only spray with one shade and this shade will adapt naturally to the melanin in your skin giving you the most natural tan possible for your skin type. She even said that she had sprayed people paler than me, which immediately put me at ease. After moisturising my hands, knees and wrists (the all important areas) we proceeded with the spray which only took 15 mins and was dry in no time, allowing me to out on my work clothes, even tights, and stroll back to the office; not an orange ‘tantastic’ shade in sight.
Result: After showering the next morning (I was impressed as hardly any of it came off on my white sheets) I then moisturised with St Tropez Tan Optimiser Body Lotion which left me with an even more enhanced result. It lasted a good 7 days without flaking or going patchy and using the moisturiser really helped to maintain that just stepped off the plane glow. I would highly recommend the salon as the therapist was expertly trained; even knowing all the latest catwalk trends and looks to help me get the best out of my tan.
Details: RRP from £20, St. Tropez Debenhams Oxford Street (02074957445)

Fake Bake Spray Tan at Benefit Boutique
Where: Benefit Boutique
How: 19, Shorts Garden, London (Nearest tube: Covent Garden)
What: Fake Bake Spray Tan
Tester: Harriet Chubb, Features Editor of Hip and Healthy
Talk us through it: Religiously going back month after month to have my eyebrows done at this particular boutique, I wasn’t worried about putting my pasty skin into the therapists experienced hands at this salon. I had always heard of the Fake Bake experience and had been keen to give it a try for ages as they promised that the tan would not turn you orange, you could only go the colour you would naturally go from sunbathing, I was also pleased to hear that Fake bake is paraben free. After dressing down in a massage room I speedily jumped across the corridor with a towel covering my profanities into the tiny spray booth room. With not really enough room for two people I manoeuvred myself into the inflatable booth, sticky shoes and pants included. After a very quick application (10 mins) I was then given the end of the spray applicator (minus applicator) and told to dry myself with the nozzle that was spouting lukewarm air – a strange method but I suppose it sped up the drying process. Luckily on this occasion I was heading home, not back to work, and so had the obligatory loose clothing, as even my dark loose clothing was covered in the orange matter when I got home. I also decided not to go to the pub to meet friends as my face had gone a significant shade darker than my mahogany coffee table…
Result: After washing it off the next morning I had a beautiful colour that lasted for a good 5 days. I would recommend this tan as an express pick me up for the weekend, as it is cheap and cheerful and gives a great result the next day. Perfect preparation for a Saturday night party.
Details: Full body, £25 (0207379 0316)

Hip and Healthy’s Five Fake Tan Tips:

  1. Exfoliate before.
  2. Shave or wax your legs before, as shaving also removes the colour.
  3. Always wear loose clothing afterwards.
  4. When having your first shower after a fake tan, wash of the excess product before washing your hair as the soap can affect how much is washed off.
  5. Try to avoid sleeping in the hand under face on pillow position.

CFS: How can you manage it?

Managing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 

Words by a wonderful woman who suffers with CFS herself

I’ve always packed as much into my life as is humanly possible. I would be running from one rehearsal to the next at school as I insisted on being in two plays at the same time. Not to mention choir practice, jazz band, sports; you name it, I was involved in it. You can imagine how unsettled I became at University when my body seemed determined to stop me doing everything I wanted, as I suffered from severe tiredness and joint pain. After a year of blood tests and Doctors appointments in 2008 I was finally diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). It is estimated that around 150,000 people in the UK have CFS and diagnosis is not simple. This attack on the nervous system causes extreme exhaustion, muscle/joint aches and does not go away with rest. In severe cases of CFS, it can be completely debilitating. It often targets those with hectic lives and may be related to viral infections from your youth (I had glandular fever at school). With the way I had been feeling, I was glad to know it wasn’t something more serious but I was deflated when I heard from my GP that technically there was ‘no cure’. I was told I had to take a step back and do less of everything, which I found incomprehensible. The good news was I did not have CFS in its most severe form and I was comforted to hear about people who had learnt to manage with the condition and had eventually fully recovered.

Now, four years on and after a lot of lifestyle trial and error, I want to share some tips that have helped me. By making some changes and learning how to manage and pace my lifestyle, I am now even able to run my own online business and feel as healthy and happy as ever.

Exercise – the worst assumption I made was that exercise should be avoided – it is in fact the complete opposite, introducing moderate exercise has been a huge benefit. I was advised to undertake graded exercise, a couple of years ago my body would not have accepted this but now I walk for 30 minutes a day no matter how I feel. I go first thing every morning, which I find is also a great way to gather your thoughts and plan the day. For me the consistency of this slow burning exercise helps keep the aches in joints and muscles at bay. If I don’t go for a walk one morning, I’ll feel worse the next. I also do pilates. Pilates is a great way of strengthening muscles without over doing it and (having saved my pennies) I am joining a gym with a swimming pool so I can do lengths in the mornings before work.

Energy food – It’s tempting to reach for sugary foods thinking that they will boost your energy levels but for me this was the worst thing I could do – it would give me a short burst of energy followed by a come down. Blueberries and grapes are my new sweet treat along with dark chocolate (70% cocoa or over). It gets rid of those sweet tooth cravings whilst being a lot better for you and is proven to actively help chronic fatigue sufferers. Another tip is to replace sugar with nature’s sweetener where possible – Honey (Manuka is best as it is naturally antibacterial). I try to be wheat and dairy free, which takes a lot of will power, but in doing so I have been introduced to a whole new range of foods that I would never have tried before. These not only help sustain my energy levels but also give me the nutrients my body needs.  Eating little meals often also helps ensure a constant energy supply. Wheat free pasta by Doves Farm is a lifesaver as are their wheat and gluten free flours for baking! I’ve never enjoyed cooking and baking as much as I do now even though I (normally) stick to the dietary requirements.

Water! I, like many other people, find drinking the recommended 8 glasses of water a day quite a challenge and yet I could overdose on tea very easily! I’ve replaced half my daily tea intake with hot water and a slice of lemon. I find sipping hot/warm water much easier and it doesn’t feel like such a conscious effort!

Stress – Stress and Anxiety naturally peer their nasty head round the corner when dealing with CFS and ironically they play a major role in further zapping energy and triggering aches in muscles and joints, headaches etc. I found writing things down when they were worrying me was a great way of being able to put my mind at rest. My GP also recommended Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which I found incredibly helpful. CBT teaches you to put situations into their true context – ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ Simple changes to the way you deal with stressful situations make a huge difference – I found this technique especially helpful when setting up my business.

It definitely took me time to realize that just ‘plowing on’ as I was, would not make the fatigue disappear. I have made lifestyle changes and have also been lucky in that my symptoms have slowly reduced and allowed me to move forward. I live as busy a lifestyle now as ever, I just do so in a controlled manner – keeping an eye on my diet, getting enough exercise and rest and dealing with obstacles in a positive way. Although these tips are things that I have found helpful in coping with CFS, I like to think that they are all things which would help anyone lead a more hip and healthy lifestyle!

Hip and Healthy –  Suggested Alternative Treatment:

The Lightning Process – A therapeutic treatment for auto-immune diseases that has been proven to be a very effective; particularly for sufferers of ME and CFS. We asked a recent participant of the programme what they thought about this supposedly life changing course…

Caroline W has been suffering with CFS for over 30 years. Just like our lovely anonymous writer, Caroline has always been an extremely physically active person and so this has been a particularly debilitating time for her. She heard about the Lightning Process through a fellow CFS sufferer and took the course in December 2011:

1.What is the Lightning Process?

The Lightning Process (LP) is a training course, it is not a therapy. It is based on a combination of approaches from osteopathy, NLP, and life coaching.

2.Which course/practitioner did you choose and why? 

All LP practitioners are accredited by the creator of the process, Phil Parker. I chose a local practitioner, whose website gave me confidence, as the practitioner herself had suffered from severe CFS, and had recovered through LP, which gave me a great deal of confidence, and convinced me that the LP was worth a try.

3.What is the success rate of LP?

The practitioner I saw claimed a record of 100% success, but the LP website suggests approx. 82% of participants have successful outcomes from LP.

4.How long is the course? Are you supposed to keep up the approach once you have finished?

The training is an intensive 3-day course available as an individual or as part of a group. The purpose of the training is to provide you with powerful techniques to practice on a daily basis.

5.Does this mean that you are given ongoing support after the course has ended? What form does this take?

Practitioners will usually offer a 30-minute follow-up, plus some telephone support within the cost of the initial training.

6.What makes it different from ordinary life coaching? 

Life coaching is normally about motivation and decisions; LP is a set of techniques designed to teach you how to adjust your unconscious thought patterns, which can have a profound effect on your physical well-being.

7.Do you feel that it has worked for you?

In some ways, perhaps, but certainly there are no guarantees, and it is not a cure-all. It requires constant practice and rehearsal of the techniques, which takes time, and requires a degree of energy (usually lacking in CFS sufferers!).

8.Would you recommend it to other people? If not/so why?

I know from my own situation that CFS makes you feel desperate and therefore sufferers are generally willing to try anything that may help them. Personally, I felt too self-conscious to be continually rehearsing the techniques, which require a private space (not easy in a family home!).

I decided, because of a complicated personal history, that it would be more beneficial for me to undergo this training on a one-to-one basis, which was exceedingly expensive, and really too intensive for me.

From a cost point of view, (unless you have a spare £1,000) I would not recommend it. Also, I selected my practitioner on the basis of the training taking place in London, but the follow-up has been offered in Devon (not very practical!).

9.What is the most important thing that a sufferer should know before considering to take the course?

LP is a training course, it is not a therapy. Read the book (by Phil Parker – available on Amazon) and decide if the training looks right for you. You need to find a practitioner you can fully engage with.

10.What advice would you give to people who are carers, long term partners or family members of someone with CFS or ME?

Unless you have suffered from CFS, it is almost impossible to understand the limitations it  places on those who suffer from it.

Patience, love, and support are the best things to offer, and a belief that the sufferer can get better in the long term.


3 Ways to Fall Back in Love with the Gym

New Gym Class Heroes
Sometimes it can feel like ground hog day when it comes to exercise classes. Trying something new is a great way to restore your love for the gym. Virgin Active has begun offering Willpower and Grace™ classes nationwide; great for those who find yoga too ‘slow’, it is said to combine the self-awareness of yoga practice with the energy of a boot camp.

Update your Music
Dr. Costas Karageorghis, an Associate Professor of Sport Psychology at Brunel University has proven that the music you listen to whilst you work out does effect performance. Having studied the effects of music on physical performance for over 20 years, he discovered that a song’s tempo is one of the most important elements in motivating you. One that scores highly in getting you moving is Salt ‘n’ Pepper’s Push It. As if we needed an excuse to listen to that.

Seek Expert Help
“Book a session with a Personal Trainer, even if it’s just for an hour, they can design specific programmes based on your exercise likes/dislikes. It will also be more enjoyable and inspiring than going to the gym with no real structure to your session. ” Alex Manos, Personal Trainer and Founder of Vital Fitness.

Mask those imperfections with A’kin

Just a quick blog to shout about a fantastic face mask I have discovered from little-known brand A’kin. I honestly can’t rate it highly enough. I have always approached using face masks with caution as they often bring me out in spots the next day or don’t really make any difference at all. That was until I discovered A’kin’s Multi-Fruit & Willow Bark Instant Radiance Facial Masque. Packed with multi-fruit AHA, which is fantastic for calming and preventing skin break-outs, it also instantly makes my skin feel and look more even, reducing the appearances of wrinkles, pigmentation and blemishes.

I now rely upon this mask to give my skin a boost. Its so easy to use and, because of its clay base, dries quickly, drawing out impurities as it does. Its also fantastic for scarring due to the rosehip and Vitamin B3 and the hyaluronic acid (which sounds harsh but really isn’t) is fantastic for moisturising and plumping out the skin. I have listed the key ingredients below:

Bilberry Fruit Extract (AHA)
Echium oil
Hyaluronic acid
Pomegranate Extract [CO2]
Rosehip oil
Vitamin B3
Willow Bark Extract (BHA)

The A’Kin range is available from Holland & Barrett, Bentalls, John Bell & Croydon, Whole Foods Market, Planet Organic, and For details of your nearest stockist please call 01622 859898.

Put a little glow back in your life: Top Five BB Creams


words by Penny Lane

What if you could achieve natural coverage, balance moisture levels, prime the complexion and protect from UV and environmental damage, all in one bottle? Well, the Beauty Balm has arrived, with an array of textures to suit all skin types. For luminous skin, in one quick application, this is sure to be your best friend throughout spring and summer.

Daywear B.B Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit Creme by Estée Lauder 
Super lightweight with oil-free hydration, this multitasking tube moisturises, protects with SPF 35 and covers imperfections, for a flawless glow. Plus, the antioxidant content keeps the effects of harmful environmental factors at bay. Available in two shades, wear alone or apply underneath your foundation. £32,

Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF 35 by MAC
The ultra sheer, beige tone works to even the skin tone and brighten the complexion, whilst prepping the skin, thanks to the inbuilt primer. Gives a lovely natural look for daytime, giving the impression of immaculate skin and makes your bronzer and blusher sit perfectly for hours. £21,

Age Defense BB Cream SPF 30 by Clinique
With a medium to full coverage, choose Clinique to control shine levels, hide blemishes and disguise fine lines. With a choice of three shades, simply apply more over the areas you wish to conceal. Works brilliantly to balance high colour and pink undertones. £25,

Nude Magique BB Cream by L’Oréal 
For a barely there, no make-up look, L’Oréal have created a breathable cream infused with pigment capsules that release to match your skin tone, on application. Gives a light coverage and releases moisture over 24 hours. The result is your skin, only better, with a gorgeous dewy sheen. £9.99,

A Perfect World BB SPF 15 Age Defense Tinted Moisturiser with White Tea by Origins
For radiant skin with increased clarity, Origins’ take on this beauty trend has the widest shade collection, with six available. The white tea content tackles age acceleration, promoted by harmful free radicals. Plus, pores are left minimised. The natural blend has the most beautiful scent, with essential oils of lemon, bergamot and spearmint, combined. £27, 


Ice Ice Baby: We talk to a champion ice skater about her fitness regimes

Q&A with nine times British Championship Ice Skater, Jenna McCorkell

Jenna is part of Team GB, we chat to her about her fitness regime, diet and training for the Olympics

What inspired you to go into skating?
When I was 7 years old, I saw a little girl in the newspaper in a pretty little dress with a big trophy and I asked my mum to take me skating so I could have the same!
How many hours of training do you do a week?
I am training 6 days a week, 3 hours on and the ice and 1-2hrs off the ice running, conditioning and strength training.
How do you train?
On ice I train a lot of technical elements and practice skating my competition programmes. Off the ice I run, mostly on the treadmill, weights, plyometrics and stretching.
Is there any aspect of the training you hate or find difficult to motivate yourself to do?
Sometimes when I have had a very long day of training and I still have to do a long run on the treadmill, that can be tough but I would never let myself miss it!
What is your diet like?
I am quite a fussy eater so I tend to stick to quite plain foods. I eat smaller meals more often to keep my energy levels up during the long training days.
Does your diet change at all in the lead up to a competition?
No, I stick to eating the same foods.
What three foods could you not live without?
Chicken, potatoes, sprouts.
What is your beauty regime like?
I drink a lot of water to keep my skin good, lots of fruit and vegetables and plenty sleep.
How do you relax after a competition?
I normally take a couple of days off to recover and prepare to get back into training. Lots of rest and chilling out.
What do you do in your down time?
I don’t tend to get a lot of down time but when I do I like to go shopping or go home to Northern Ireland to see my family.
What motto do you live by?
Winners don’t quit when they are tired, winners quit when they have won.

Jenna has teamed up with yoomoo frozen yogurt and is starring in their upcoming national TV advertisement. yoomoo frozen yogurt have launched their at home range into supermarkets nationwide. For information please log on to

If you only do one thing this week… follow our top celeb beauty secrets

by Tui Mclean

Celebrities always seem to have it all, and we mortals are constantly in awe of their flawless red carpet style and airbrushed skin. But even the stars have tricks up their sleeves, and here are some of their top tips on how to look and feel good:

The dream skin cleanser
Supermodel Helena Christensen is not shy about the fact she is a huge fan of Mario Badescu Almond & Honey Face Scrub, £13.50, She claims ‘It smells like marzipan,’ and ‘gives my skin a clean, velvety feeling.’ From

The  trusty Daily SPF Moisturiser
Reese Witherspoon swears by her favourite moisturiser, Avon Solutions Hydra-Radiance Cream SPF 15, £8. ‘I’m a working mother… so I need to keep it simple and quick. I wash my face then apply Hydra-Radiance, which has a built-in SPF to protect my skin.’

The splash of colour
Red lips make for a timeless look, and Cheryl Cole is famous for her stylish red lips! She has teamed up with L’Oreal to launch her own Limited Edition Lipstick: ‘Red Passion’. One pound from every sale will go to The Cheryl Cole Foundation in aid of The Prince’s Trust. Cheryl’s gorgeous new lipstick comes in L’Oreal gold packaging and the best part is that it has Cheryl’s autograph on the side! So add some colour to your look and make sure you get your hands on some!

The secret weapon
Rachel Bilson’s secret weapon is Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, £20. Bilson says ‘It gives my skin a dewy look,’. From Boots (0845 070 8090)

The Body Oil
Ubermodel Erin O’Connor is a huge Dr Hauschka fan, and her favourite product is Lavender Oil, £18. ‘It’s soothing, relaxing and sleep-inducing, especially on long-haul flights,’ says O’Connor. ‘It absorbs into my skin without leaving it greasy, and it’s effective enough to use on super-dry areas, such as elbows and feet.’

Hip and Healthy Loves… Sunset Hues, from Nike X Liberty Trainers to Lucas Hugh


Clockwise from top left:

Lucas Hugh Lazar Bra (£65) and Flash Capri Leggings (£185)

Inner Me Lustrous Locks Hair Supplements (£15 for 28 capsules – two week’s supply)

Nike X Liberty Red Print Time Out Shorts (£55)

Stella Mccartney Falabella Faux Leather iPad 2 Sleeve (£235)

The Alchemist by Paul Coelho (prices vary)

Nike X Liberty Red Print Free 5.0 Trainers (£90)

Background: Como Shambhala Turks and Caicos Sunset