This True North Skincoach app will tell you your skin age

This True North Skincoach app is pretty genius. It takes a picture of your face and then lets you know what your problem areas are. It focuses on four areas; dehydration, sensitivity/redness, Dryness/roughness and lines/wrinkles. It also measures the air quality around you and the UV index. True North is a Scandinavian brand started by Jan Behrens a medical research specialist. Scroll down for link to the app.

Why I like it:The app is quick and easy to use and free. It gives a balanced view of your skin conditions without scaremongering or making the user feel uncomfortable or not good enough. I like the mention of wrinkles and the acknowledgement that there’s no natural magic bullet that can get rid of them. The skincoach instead encourages us to be proud of them and to think of wrinkles as a ‘reflection of your smiles, your experience’ and all of the good times we have had. Rather than stress out too much about them.

Whats’s not in it: Their products contain no Mineral oils and Parabens. I have am awaiting feedback from the Company as to whether their products are tested on animals. [update]. Products are not tested on animals.

The app scans your face and then within seconds shows with dots the areas of your face which need focus. And then… drum roll. It gives you your skin age and emails you the analysis. Oh lord. I am approaching my 46 birthday in November so I was eager to see the diagnosis. Low and behold, it came out at 33-40, True North skincoach? I’ll take that. IOS uses can download the free app here.

You can then head to the prescription page where it gives you ‘your full balance recovery’. They give you a full list of their products which will have your skin looking tip top in no time.

Here’s my diagnosis.

Moderate dehydration

Yellow shows moderate dehydration, red is more severe.
The upper layer of my epidermis where the hydrolipidic film lies needs more hydration to avoid fine lines and wrinkles developing.

Redness

The pink and dark red areas show a nonbacterial inflammation on the skin. I am to avoid ingredients with a high concentration of Vitamin A in, along with strong Fruit Acids and Glycolic acid. And keep wearing sun protection on my face each day. They recommended calming and moisturising products for these areas.

Dryness

Dry patches on my face need an excellent moisturiser to maintain and repair the upper layer of my epidermis. Left untreated the ageing process will happen much faster.

Lines

Fine lines are in red and deep lines show purple. These are due to the natural ageing process and or sun damage.

From this diagnosis. I am to avoid using soap on the face, which I am guilty of doing quite a bit so kudos to this app for noticing that. My skin objective is to rebalance and regain moisture on the skin and focus on ingredients such as Vitamin E. Are you going to test your skin age?  let me know how you get on. Do you think it is accurate and that it really works?

These three in one utensils are pretty genius

Are you looking to spring clean your kitchen utensils? Wooden spoons looking a bit shabby? Then look no further than these three-in-one finds  from the innovative kitchen utensil collection by Mason Cash. They are pretty genius. The weather is going to get cooler tomorrow. This may prompt you to hang up your summer togs for a while and get on with a little baking.

 

These utensils are made of beech a beautiful creamy looking hard wearing wood. The spatula feels so good that when on a call earlier I wedged the phone between my cheek and shoulder so my hands could be free to massage it and revel in its smoothness. Beech may not be the most sustainable wood on the planet, but Mason cash are giving us a two utensils in one, so that innovation decreases production and makes good environmental sense.

The slotted Turner with rack puller £7.50

I usually only use a spatula like this for pancakes not for steaks as they say on the website. However it will work well for steaks and for pancakes as you can get under it well as the end of the spatula is very thin. For eggs, it may be a challenge as you need that flexibility to push right under the egg to lift it off. This implement will shine coming into bbq season when racks need to be pushed and tugged around as steaks and burgers are slapped on to the barbie, and Whispering Angel and Pimms flows freely.

 

The spaghetti spoon measure £7.43

Hang on, is this a three in one? Yes indeed, hold on to your glass water bottles. They have smashed it with the three in one utensil that you never thought you would need but is pretty darn good. We start off with the holes in the centre which if you stick your spaghetti in will give you the right portions for one or two people. Then move on to the left outer edge where you will find a squared off corner perfect for getting right into the bottom ‘corners’ of your risotto pan. Then you have the spoon to stir the pasta but also to serve it up. The ridges make it easier to scoop up the pasta without it slip sliding around so much. Clever.

 

The multi-function spatula £7.68

Another three in one invention which will save more space in your bursting kitchen drawers. The straight edge on the right will help you scrape your bowls clean and get all the mixture out. You can pull the large silicone head off this and use it as a scraper if say ingredients have disobediently stuck to the side of the bowl or pan. Thirdly the small spatula at the other end of the utensil is perfect for spreading jams, or levelling out cake mixtures, maybe even frosting cakes and cupakes. It also works well for getting into the bottom of jam jars and the like. Nice touch.

The slotted spoon with egg separator £5.95

Lots of people write to me about egg separation anxiety. This spoon will do well to quell those baking woes. Crack the egg into the spoon while the spoon rests on a plate and then carefully lift up the spoon, and your egg white will run free off keeping the egg yolk capture in the spoon. As long as you do not break the egg yolk of course, which even the most seasoned bakers sometimes do. They also have a pastry brush with the quadruple uses of brushing, crimping, whisking egg wash and pricking pastry. And their whisk which doubles as a reamer too. I was never comfy with the word ‘reamer’. It has a particular risque connotation to it. One that perhaps should not be associated with the angelic act of baking a cake. Back in Witney, we call it a posh lemon juice squeezer out-er.

 

The Bakers Spoon and Jar Scraper £7.00

We start off again with a scraper at the top of the spoon. Sliding down to the base we find a measuring spoon marked off with 1 tbsp, 1 tsp and 1/2 a tsp. It will be easier to measure liquids with this. Pour some liquid on to the spoon to get the right amount. Powders will prove a bit of a challenge however but still a good idea. Then, of course, its original function for beating (mixtures not people), mixing, stirring and blending.

Happy baking x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the salad you be should be eating now

Summer is throwing us its best angles at the moment. The time has finally come to get your legs out, get that dress out and start on the Pimms. It is also salad season, and if you are fed up with the ones from Pret, then this is the salad you should be eating now.

I went for my annual medical check-up this week. The boob doctor gave me a sheet of paper with tips on for reducing breast cancer risk. On the list were the usual things about exercise, drinking no more than one glass of wine a day, (I may have failed on that one); Eating a Mediterranean diet, staying a healthy weight and getting some sunshine every day.

Vitamin D and Omega 3 were the recommended supplements. And specific nutrients such as Berberine which is, which is known for its anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, cholesterol-lowering effects; Polyphenols found in green tea and berry fruits and Genistein found in soybeans (which we should eat in moderation). Other things such as Reservatol, curcumin, Sulforaphane (found in cruciferous veg, but need mustard or radish to aid absorption), coffee and lactobacillus in low-fat yoghurt.

Rather than throw everything into a blender and make a smoothie, I thought it would be nice to make a salad which contained some of these health-promoting ingredients.  I hope you enjoy eating this as much I did. Let me know how you get on with it if you make it and enjoy the sun.

1 chicken fillet

1tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp black sesame seeds

2 tsp turmeric

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and black pepper

1 handful each of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries

100g black grapes

5 handfuls is kale chopped

Dressing

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1tbsp balsamic

1 tsp English mustard

1 tsp honey

Serves one

Chop the chicken into bite sizes pieces. Toss with the chia, sesame, turmeric, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 or so minutes on each side. Once fully cooked, set Aside.

Put the kale in a bowl add some oil and massage the oil into the leaves. This helps tenderise the leaves. Add the berries and grapes. Add the chicken. Mix all the dressing ingredients together, pour over the dressing and serve.

Let me know if you spot any typos and I will correct them.

Patyka Paris: Luxury Organic skincare worth spending money on

Packaging is stunning. Gift worthy!

Products come in glass bottles and some squeezable tubes.

 

Luxury organic skincare 

When I opened the box, I was hit by a fresh sensual and  expensive smelling scent. The way it is packaged in a stunning black, and white box, lined with black tissue paper has elegance written all over it. The French do indulgent beauty so well.

Patyka began in the 1920’s and was the first brand in the world to achieve Ecocert organic certification. And most of the range is vegan (except three products).

Youth remodelling cream £70

Coming in a glass bottle which feels super luxurious the youth modelling cream sinks easily in to the skin. Initially it feels to0 thin but it leaves skin feeling soft fresh and dewey.  With no heavy shiny film. And after an hour my skin still felt nicely moisturised.

Advanced plumping serum £70

This product contains Hyaluronic acid which acts as a moisturiser and is said to plump up lines and give a more youthful feel to the face. I rubbed it on and waited for the years to come off but after 30 minutes of patient waiting I still looked the same age.

My skin did feel plumper, which alas only lasted for a few minutes. Some serums have a silicone slimey like feel but this is more like a gel which goes in to the skin easily.

Fortunately, both of the above products are light enough that putting on this next product will not make the skin feel weighed down or block your pores.

Huile Absolue £43

I would be comfortable giving this ‘everything oil’ as a gift to a friend. It has extracts of olive, rose hip and St Johns Wort. Combined they have loads of anti-oxidants to help the skin against premature ageing along with hydrating, healing and astringent properties. I need all of that right now especially after what seemed to be the longest winter known to man.

This may become a favourite travel companion for my work trips away and post the gym. The oil can be used on the face and body as an emergency fix for any dry bits and even on the scalp and the hair. Got to love a three in one product. It is an oil so it did leave me shiny. Which is great for when you are knocking about home. I would not use it under make up as your freshly applied face would slide off. Great for deep facial hydration when you are knocking about at home on the weekend though.

Almond Blossom Moisturising Body milk £23

As much as I love the other products the body milk did not work for me with my dry skin. It will be perfect for someone with normal skin. It has Aloe Vera, Tara seeds and Shea butter for skin regeneration and hydration so I am guessing that although it was not thick enough for me, it will still be doing good things to my skin. And comes in that glass bottle again which makes you feel like you are giving yourself a bit of luxury which is good.  Like all these products it smells divine.

Marine Crystals revitalising body scrub £23

The body scrub smells so good, I could hold it to my nose all day and smell it.  The crystals and the poppy seed particles are fairly big but not scratchy. I felt I got a good polish without the product leaving scratch marks like some body scrubs do. Admittedly sometimes I rub too hard me thinks!  They suggest using it once or twice a week but I am already very addicted to it, so that advice has gone out the window.

Loved this brand. Will be buying the body scrub and the oil again once it runs out. Definitely one for presents too. Let me know your thoughts if you have used this before and tell me how you get on if you buy it! And I am always on the look out for new brands so let me know your favourite clean beauty products. Have a great week.

Lorraine Pascale x

 

If you spot any typos let me know and I will change them x

 

How to smell incredible all day

 

This Luxury fragrance and personal care range is heaven sent

Every time I fly, which is an awful lot, I like to buy a new luxury fragrance. I have a lovely collection of perfumes and Eau de toilettes which I buy without smelling them first. So far I have a 100% success rate for keeping the ‘blind buys’. This routine came to a grinding halt when I found the scent of my dreams, and I have not looked back since our meeting a year and a half ago. Every time I use these products people stop and ask which scent it is and where they can buy it.

At first, I was reluctant to tell people my secret find, but it is such a gorgeous smell that I have to share it with all of you! The brand is Le Labo which began in New York. They have a small selection of some of the most beautiful smells your nose will ever come across. The products I have shown here are the body lotion, the shower gel and the massage oil. If you buy one of their fragrances, they will blend it in front of you, and you can decide what you want the personal message on the table to be.

Their adorable Manifesto

I adore their manifesto here about making products which are full of soul. The Edition hotel uses a fragrance which has been specially blended for them and is not for sale. However, le Labo says that The Noir, which is the one I use, is similar. Santal 33 is their best seller with Rose 31 coming in third. I visited one of their stand-alone branches in the West End. Just going in there is an experience in itself. It’s like a magical boutique-style factory with faded shabby chic walls and bottles lined up in pristine fashion.

 

Why you should try it

They come paraben  free and the products are not tested on animals. The range is available in Selfridges, Liberty and Harrods too but try to go to the boutiques instead as they are much more fun. I like my showers using the gel and then I massage the lotion into my skin. The oil is good for a cheeky massage with a partner or by yourself 🙂 Slather this over your whole body in place of the lotion or just use it for those pesky drier parts like elbows and knees.

The scent lingers evocatively on the skin all day which is rare for a shower gel and body lotion! I feel like I am doing something indulgent for myself when I put them on. It is not very often that a fragrance can turn heads like this one. I hear that it has that effect with so many people time and time gain when they wear it.  It is difficult to pick out the individual ingredients but it contains things like black tea, bergamot, fig and cedar wood. Writing out the ingredients does not do it justice, you have to get up close and personal to this one.  Put a visit to Le Labo on your list of things to do when you are next in London. I promise it will not disappoint!

Spot a typo? Let me know and I will correct it.