Tuesday 26 July 2011

The Yantra Mat - finally!

I feel really guilty for not getting this up here sooner. The Yantra Mat, though clearly not a skincare product, still has some interesting contributions to make in the 'looking good, feeling good' arena. I'm a firm believer that feeling good means you look better. And the Yantra Mat reduces stress, increases circulation and can help improve sleep which I think all helps to brighten you up and put a smile on your face!

Let's jump straight in. The Yantra Mat works the same way as accupressure does, stimulating points all over the body to release endorphins in the brain which makes you feel shiny-happy. Cue REM music. This is partly due to the slight sensation of pain caused by a thousand-million spikes! (Think of the old Indian theraputic device, the 'bed of nails'.) Stay with me here, slight pain. Not much. 'Pain' is counteracted in the brain with the happy-hormones, endorphins, so although the feeling of lying on the mat is quite something, it is definitely bearable and almost fun!? 

So the mat itself is about the length of your upper body, from your shoulders to your waist and you can lie on it any which way you want. Put it under your legs, bum, back, stomach, even your face. Or roll it up and put it under your neck. Put it on your chair and sit on it. Maybe don't kneel on it though. That is a little bit too much pain for me!

It's all about weight distribution. If you spread your weight evenly, the sensation is a little sharp to say the least. But with a larger surface area, the spikes feel more tingly than spikey. And clothes dull the feeling so much more, making it very comfortable. And you definitely build up a tolerance to it too. Have I convinced you to lie back and try it?

There is something peculiar about this mat that makes people just want to have a go. I've had my whole family queue up for it and then they want to try it every which way.

So it's good for easing sore muscles and relieving stress and to add to these therapeutic effects Yantra have also worked out a yoga-like routine you can perform on the mat, incorporating certain poses and stretches that will further lull you into a calm and peaceful being!

Being a make up artist, I find if I'm not lugging about my kit (which weighs something similar to a small family of elephants), I'm craning over whomever is plonked in my chair. After being on your feet for anything up to 18 hours a day, I can end up feeling like an 80 year old woman. Made out of straw. Which was left outside and went soggy in the rain. Having something to collapse upon that will soothe those aches and ease those pains is a very necessary piece of equipment.  It comes with a carry bag and a foam pad inside which can be removed to reduce its size and make it much easier to carry around. I am currently filming in Cornwall so I have brought it along with me to liven up the evenings at my hotel which I'm calling the 'real Fawlty Towers'.

I do love lying on it. All you need to do is stay still and r e l a x. But I do find it quite a challenge to stay still for 20 mins without a voice to lead me up a visualisation of a garden path. But like I mentioned earlier, it is kind of fun. I have even boldly suggested Stephen Fry give it a go on Twitter. I wonder if he did?

The Yantra Mat is available online and RRPs at £39.99 but is on offer (save £10) at Lifes2Good so take a peek.

Thursday 14 July 2011

Inika at John Lewis

Ooh how exciting! I was there doing a spot of imaginary/online shopping for my house on the John Lewis website and I stumble across this babygem of information... Inika is now sold at my favourite department store.

Now I'm not certain if this is online or in store too because I couldn't wait and instantly started writing this...hang on...nope, I can't deduce from the website whether its online only. But I do see that it is a bit more expensive...but anyway, what this means is really something! I love that slowly but surely the mainstream market is catching up. 

John Lewis pleases me particularly because they already stock a fair few natural brands, Neal's Yard Remedies, Nude, REN, Trilogy and the 'less natural than they would have you believe but still better than most' - Liz Earle, plus a few others like Balance Me, Evolve... oh there's a good helping for your average consumer who isn't aware of the natural and organic issue but will happily buy quality products that are beautifully designed. So to welcome a natural make up brand onto the sales floor, or screen as the case may be, I am very impressed, because if only by accident and intrigue, more and more people might just give natural a try. Which might just get them turning their bottle of foundation round and finding out just what is actually sinking into their skin everyday.

Praise Be. Now, back to choosing a lamp.

Wednesday 6 July 2011

Madara Moonflower Tinting Fluid

Now I know I promised to keep up with this blog whilst filming here in Malta. But I'm getting up at 3.30am, getting in at 9.30pm and you can imagine there isn't much time for even the essentials like sleeping and eating. And I know I also promised my next post would be about The Yantra Mat but it isn't. Sorry. I will follow with that one when we get back because I want to try a few more things out with it... Sounds intriguing non?

I really want tell you about Madara's Moonflower Tinting Fluid which is perfect for hot, hot summer days like it is here.

So this is like a tinted moisturiser but this grey area of skincare confuses me so I always use it as a base or a pre-base and not a moisturiser. The texture is really light, spreading very easily and quickly over the skin, in no way a greasy kind of cream. Fluid is exactly the right name for it. This makes it feel very light on the skin, which means it's comfortable in hot weather, or in fact in any weather, and it doesn't clog or cake.

And the colour, either a paler, pink toned (Moonflower) or a warmer, yellow toned (Sunflower) gives the most radiant sheen to the face for that nice sunny glow.

Now, please note I hate shimmer. I hate looking slicked and reflective or glittery or sparkly. I like a subtle kind of glow. And this is exactly what you'll get. It disappears into skin, not providing coverage but definitely evening out skin tone for that subtle no-make-up-make-up.

With a dab of concealer in the right places, it's all you need to prep the skin. And you can re-apply all day without feeling like you're trowelling more on. Skin stays fresh. Can you tell how much I love it?

Madara Eco Cosmetics are from Latvia and base all their products on the plants and flowers of the Baltic region. The smell of this cream is indeed like a summer meadow. Heaven.

So, be it a moisturiser, be it make up, there's no need to decide. It's lovely either way. A definite favourite.

p.s. I won mine on a competition on Facebook - what an added bonus! And it's lasting ages though I will  surely repurchase on the event of its sad but inevitable demise.