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Updated: Mar 23

Manuka Honey is known as 'Liquid Gold" due to its incredible healing properties. I have been a regular user of this SUPERFOOD, and I am so excited to share some of the hidden benefits of Manuka Honey that you may have never heard before!



Healthy Lifestyle


The last few years have seen me gradually gravitate towards a healthier lifestyle! It's not to say that I was a particularly unhealthy person before, but I was not so bothered about what I ate, and I most certainly did not like the idea of working out. But once my body started to reap the rewards of adopting a healthier lifestyle: eating more veggies & fruits, regular walks, exercise, great sleep, yoga, meditation etc., I knew I was going to stick with it for life.


Now, I am quite picky about what goes inside my body. And it is astonishing how much more energy you have and how much healthier you feel when you eat what is right for your body. The new boost of energy and an overall improvement in your health makes you want to adhere to this new routine. And not to mention the positive change in your mood, and as we all know how mental health is just as vital as physical health.



My Manuka Mornings


My daily routine is to start my day with a spoonful of Manuka Honey every morning! I discovered this particular type of Honey not too long ago, but I was quite intrigued by its health benefits and decided to give it a go. One thing I noticed after regular of this superfood use was that I didn't get any annoying episodes of cold and flu - even in colder winter months when it seems inevitable - and I had tons more energy. So there was something special about this type of honey which led me to dig deep into it, and I am happy to share my discoveries with you!



So What is Manuka Honey?


Manuka Honey is the produce of New Zealand and comes from bees who feed on Manuka trees. Native Kiwis have used the Honey as part of their traditional medicine for over 4000 years. It contains high levels of Methylglyoxal (MGO) - a magic ingredient with antibacterial properties - which is found in most kinds of honey in small quantities. But in Manuka honey, MGO can be up to 100x higher. But Manuka Honey's benefits go beyond this because it contains compounds that fight many types of viruses, fungi and bacteria. It has antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Given its miraculous healing properties, the Honey comes at a higher price point. It can cost you anything from £30 to a few hundred pounds for a regular jar of authentic high-grade Manuka Honey.




Why is Manuka honey so expensive?


"Why is Manuka Honey so expensive"? It is a very legit question. The answer is that all honey is not made equal - and Manuka is a rather rare and precious kind of Honey. It has a very limited harvest period and can only be collected at certain times of the year. Plus, its healing benefits are second to none!


But before you part with your hard-earned cash, make sure that you're getting the real deal. Most authentic Manuka Honey from New Zealand includes either MGO or UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) rating on the label. The UMF number relates to the potency of antibacterial property in the honey at the time of packaging. The higher the number, the more nutritional benefits – and the more expensive the product will be. Generally, a UMF rating of 10 and above and MGO rating of 300 and above is considered fairly good.


How to use Manuka Honey?


There are so many ways you can add this magic food to your daily diet routine:


  • Right off the spoon (it is so delicious!)

  • Drizzle over porridge, yoghurt or smoothies

  • Stir a spoonful into a cup of coffee or tea as a natural sweetener

  • Spread it on a slice of whole-grain toast




5 Health Benefits of Manuka honey


With its luxurious amber looks, earthy flavour and fantastic health benefits, it's easy to see why Manuka Honey is enjoying a star status. Here are some of its key health benefits:


Soothing Sore Throats


Honey and lemon in hot water is an ancient home remedy for a cold, but recent studies have supported this claim. A study found that Honey was more effective on cough in children than over-the-counter cough suppressants. If you take Manuka honey in a warm glass of water, it can provide great relief to a sore throat. Its antiviral and antibacterial properties help reduce inflammation and attack the pain-causing bacteria. Furthermore, it also coats the inner lining of the throat for a soothing effect.


In August 2018, Public Health England and the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence published guidelines advising that people with colds & flu should take honey first instead of going straight onto antibiotics.


If you take Manuka Honey in a warm glass of water, it can provide great relief to a sore throat.


Helping the Immune system


I can testify to this one myself. Manuka Honey has helped boost my immune system. It's antiviral, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties can keep all those nasty bugs at bay. It also encourages 'good' bacteria to grow in the gut, thus promoting healthy digestion. Scientists throughout the world are researching, and there is a growing number of clinical trials that support the Honey's healing qualities. So next time you are down with flu, why not try Manuka Honey with lemon in hot water!





Healing Wounds


Honey has been used since the ancient times to treat wounds, sores, burns and boils. In 2017 FDA approved Manuka Honey to be used as an option for wound treatment. Researchers from Cardiff University suggest that the miraculous Manuka Honey could tackle the bacteria that makes some wounds challenging to heal. When Manuka Honey and antibiotics are used together, they may be able to overcome some of the most difficult to treat wound infections that are usually resistant to antibiotics. When using this Honey for infections, it must be sterilised in a laboratory.



Treating Acne


When applied topically, Manuka honey has shown to soothe inflammation and irritation in eczema. Due to its immense infection-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties, it can be a beneficial treatment for acne and spots.


It makes a great skin moisturiser when combined with coconut and shea butter oil. Here is a recipe for a DIY face mask for acne-prone skin. The ingredients are:


1 tsp Manuka Honey

¼ tsp Spirulina powder

1 drop Tea tree essential oil


Mix all the ingredients well to make a smooth paste. Then apply a thin layer to the affected area. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then wash the area with gentle soap and warm water. Repeat daily for the best results.



Not a DIY person? Fear not..here is a tried and tested Manuka Acne Clear Treatment Serum that can solve all your problems. It is formulated with the purest ingredients found in nature to reduce acne and restore beautiful, healthy skin. Supercharged ingredients such as Karanja and Red Thyme help to improve and restore your skin. Chamomile with nutritive Vitamin E nourishes and calms red, irritated skin.





Promoting Oral health


It is essential to minimise harmful oral bacteria that can cause plaque formation. Our "bad" bacteria-fighting friend Manuka can also help rescue our gums and prevent tooth decay. However, Manuka honey needs a UMF factor of at least 15 to be effective to fight gum infections. The studies suggest that Manuka Honey can be useful in treating gingivitis and periodontal disease, which can affect teeth, bones, roots, gums and ligaments.



Is Manuka Honey for everyone?


It is generally considered safe for most people except infants. However, people with diabetes or those who have shown an allergic reaction to honey or bees and pregnant women should all take extra precaution and seek their doctor's advice beforehand.




Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The recommendations are based on my personal experience, traditional use and natural remedies. Seek the advice of your healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

Updated: Mar 22

Let your 'natural beauty' shine through clean and green skincare products!

The natural and organic beauty has hugely inspired me in the last few years, and I have swapped many of my personal skin care products over to more pure and sustainable options. Now I am on a mission to provide you with the resources for amazing organic alternatives to your favourite products.




Beauty Goes Green!


If you’re thinking of switching to or have switched to, more natural beauty products, it’s a smart thing to do. There are thousands of harmful chemicals in the beauty products, many of which are absorbed into our body. Just as we check the food labels, we need to start examining those beauty products ingredients a bit more closely. How can we look and feel our best when our skin is loaded with toxic chemicals?


Putting poisonous and irritating chemicals such as parabens, sulfates, silica, lead, mica and hydroquinone (a key ingredient in many skin whitening creams) on your skin is not only an invitation for allergies, inflammation, redness and rashes but in some cases can result in respiratory, lung, liver, kidney and cancerous diseases.


Green beauty is a lifestyle and a philosophy; it is a conscious choice to avoid products proven to be harmful to our planet and its inhabitants. It involves sourcing the purest, natural, organic and most sustainable ingredients possible. Natural beauty products are not only good for your health but also great for the planet. To reduce pollution and waste significantly, many brands are launching natural, organic, and eco-friendly products. We are talking ditching plastic packaging, avoiding toxic chemicals and supporting sustainably-sourced, plant-derived ingredients, which means it's officially never been easier to look fantastic and go green at the same time!



Green beauty is a lifestyle and a philosophy; it is a conscious choice to avoid products proven to be harmful to our planet and its inhabitants.


The detox market is one of my personal favourite online destination for green beauty. Their products are meticulously vetted by their team of experts - so instead of worrying about a product's safety, you can enjoy what green beauty is all about! They stock so many amazing brands that you will be spoilt for choice.


Here are my top 5 favourite picks for you!!



MAY LINDSTROM

The Problem Solver


The Problem Solver lives up to its name - this innovative powder-to-mousse formula is powerfully potent, unearthing extraordinary results from the very first use. Once activated with water, the warming blend of salts, spices, cacao and charcoal transforms into a thick whipped masque that immediately goes to work, drawing out impurities from deep within the skin. The one-of-a-kind formula is as efficient as it is exotic—brimming with ingredients that increase circulation including cinnamon, clove, turmeric and cayenne pepper, plus Fuller's earth clay to detox pores, nourishing marshmallow root and brightening vitamin C.



HONUA HAWAIIAN SKINCARE

Hawaiian Beauty Water



Hawaiian Beauty Water is a liquid exfoliant that can be used 1-5 times per week (dry:1-3 oily: 3-5) to gently exfoliate all skin types for a luminous complexion, tighter-looking pores and a fresh face. Papaya enzymes, hibiscus and kō (Hawaiian sugar) work together to gently exfoliate the skin, revealing a healthy glow. Great as a skin prep before makeup applications!



ODACITE

Bioactive Rose Gommage


This one is my absolute favourite! A professional-strength resurfacing treatment that erases dead skin while respecting the delicate skin surface. Get Pro results in 10 minutes from the comfort of your own home. Gommage (erase in French) is a peeling treatment - a French spa favourite for its remarkable ability to remove dead skin cells. The enzyme-rich pink gommage is made with replenishing aromatic rose water, hyaluronic acid, and purifying konjac root. This luxury French resurfacing treatment dissolves dullness fast, pinky promise!




Plus, roses are filled with skin-supporting antioxidants, protective vitamins, and moisturising properties that support a youthful-looking complexion. How's that for flower power!



ODACITE

Bl + C | Pimples



Bye, bye, breakouts! This miracle serum is formulated especially for problematic skin and works to reduce the appearance of blemishes. Containing just three ingredients—purifying black cumin oil, cleansing cajeput oil, and soothing vitamin E—this blend is so potent you only need a couple of drops to see results.



TATA HARPER

Volumising Lip and Cheek Tint


This 100% natural & nontoxic Volumising Lip & Cheek Tint delivers a more modern beauty experience - by combining lush natural pigments with the latest in anti-aging skincare technology.


The tint delivers the perfect pop of natural colour to lips and cheeks while helping to fill the look of fine lines, for skin that has the irresistible flush and volume of youth. The smooth, easily blend-able formula adapt to compliment all skin shades.


Hope you enjoy the above selection and stay CLEAN and GREEN!

Updated: Mar 9

"Why is bridal makeup more expensive than the party makeup?" It is a common question that comes to your mind when you are looking around for your wedding makeup service, and to be honest; it is a fair question. In this blog article, we will try to demystify some of the costs associated with the bridal makeup.





The main difference between the bridal and party makeup is that the former takes much longer to apply and is an entirely bespoke service. Even if the makeup look is simple that can be achieved quickly; usually, the makeup artist would still spend more time on the bride making sure everything is perfect. In essence, you don't want to rush this process and carefully select each product so that the bridal makeup not only looks fabulous but stays fabulous all day.



Party Bookings


Party bookings are very straight forward and require minimal planning and preparation. A client would typically enquire about the artists' availability and ask for a quotation. If the artist is available, and the client is happy to proceed, then the booking is confirmed upon deposit payment. The artist would turn up on the day at the specified location and ask the client about the desired look. The client would briefly describe the look and perhaps show some inspirational images, and the artist would then deliver the makeup and leave. A party makeup only booking would generally last around 30min- 45min.



Bridal Bookings


Bridal bookings, however, are an altogether different ball game. It is a huge day for any bride, and so everything has to be perfect! That is why artists spend more time with bridal clients than they would with a client who books for a special occasion makeup. Why? Because you have one shot on the day to blow everyone away with a stunning bridal look! Hence, bridal makeup involves a significant amount of planning and preparation to make everything perfect for the big day.



Bespoke Service


As with any business, sometimes you pay extra for a special service. A bridal makeover is an extra special service. The makeup artist would need more information more about the outfit, the details, the embellishments, the style, the fabric, the way it flows. Only after considering the finer details will an artist create a bespoke look which will enhance and not overpower the outfit! It inevitably means that the bridal makeup is unique to the bride. It compliments her face and eye shape and most importantly, her dress and wedding.



A good makeup artist will keep your wedding ceremony, outfit and theme in mind, pick products that work for your skin type and make sure the makeup lasts throughout, without any need for touch-ups. Things like mascara, eyeliner and kohl will all need to be waterproof. As a bridal makeup artist, you don't just create makeup which looks good in person; you design a look which looks good in person, on video and camera in lots of different lighting conditions.



Time


The price charged has to reflect time spent with the bride, such as emails, texts, phone calls and anything else. A makeup artist spends a lot more time communicating with a bride in the run-up to the wedding. And it is important that your artist has excellent communication with you and is available to discuss any questions or concerns and be able to make you feel at ease. On average, between the first enquiry and the big day, 30-40 emails or text messages are exchanged between the bride and the artist. Compare this to one or two phone calls/emails for a party or a special occasion booking!



Trial


Another vital element of a bridal booking is the trial run. Most artists don't offer a trial for the party bookings whereas almost all artists would accommodate a request for a trial from the bride. Even if the bride does not want to book a trial, the artists would still offer a detailed phone/video consultation to discuss all her requirements.


At the trial appointment, the artist will discuss everything in detail with you and take notes. They will be able to assess your skin, any allergies or concerns, face and eye shape and give you skincare advice to help prep your skin in advance of your wedding. They will ask you to show images of hair, and makeup looks that you like. The artist will then create the look based on your suggestions and their interpretation of your desired look. You will also have the chance to tweak things as per your desire: try a different lip colour or more blusher etc. Once you are happy with the final look, the artist will take pictures and make final notes for you.


Contract


Another considerable difference between party booking and bridal booking is the contract. Every bride receives a contract which agrees on the details of the wedding and is a legally binding document. Now, that's not to say because party makeup clients don't have a contract, artists won't turn up, of course, they would, they are professional. But having a contract guarantees this, which for a bride on a wedding day, is super important. It applies to any supplier delivering a service on the day.



I hope this blog gives some insight as to why there is a difference in price when it comes to bridal makeup, and hopefully, you can see more about what goes into planning a wedding from a makeup artist's perspective.