I’ve been thinking a lot about beauty, and how it has been debased in our shiny, over packaged, homeogenised world. Isn’t it time to celebrate the kind of heart-stopping, ravishing beauty that once sent men to war and compelled a man like Richard Burton to buy Elizabeth Taylor a flawless diamond to match the the lustre in those famous violet eyes.
I am not interested in arrogant, cosmetic doctors, usually men, playing god with woman’s faces and promising to transform any woman over 25 five into a weird, ageless, expressionless Barbie with a chemical arsenal of face peels, botox injections and fillers which rob women of their individuality, their gorgeous laughter lines and every ounce character. The other night I stayed up late and re-watched Nicole Kidman in Practical Magic, one of my absolute favourite, life-affirming feel good films. And while I enjoyed every minute, I couldn’t help feeling sad. Where is that gorgeous titian-haired gal who danced around her celluloid sister’s house in a delectable wardrobe by Voyage? I don’t recognise her in those strange, airbrushed Chanel ads, do you?
The ugly truth is that this is Frankenstein’s work and with the awful pressure on women famous or not, to stay forever young, we frequently reach for the short cut in sheer desperation. But there is no short cut to being beautiful inside and out, and if you really want to get your glow back, whether you are seventeen or seventy, you have to put in a little work; but I promise you will enjoy the journey, and it may just change your life in other beautiful ways too!
Now let me share a secret with you. As a teenager, and well into my late twenties, my skin was prone to red, irritable patches, known as high colour or rosacea and I never seemed to beat the teenage hormones and still had spots!
Now in my forties, and after ten fascinating years meeting and interviewing some of the most visionary Supernatural Health and Beauty Gurus on the planet – I now have beautiful skin – and I am pretty happy with the rest of my body too!
So had did I do it? Well the first thing I had to get right was my delicate, frequently miserable digestion. I’ve battled with stomach problems and weak digestion all my life; but several eureka moments have made a big difference to my stomach. I now eat a healthful, totally delicious, life-affirming Mediterranean diet based on Conner Middleman’s Book – Zest for Life. And no I don’t have cancer. But with a very stressful life at times, as a writer, I don’t intend to develop the disease anytime soon, either. The second thing I did was book a complete health MOT at the Organic Pharmacy in London. After being wired up the Quantum QX machine, this fascinating piece of modern techno wizardry was deadly accurate about the state of my health and eating habits. I was highly stressed at the time, and had raised cortisol levels; the other fascinating fact is that I was asked if I eat a lot of smoked food. The answer is yes, as my favourite comfort food in the world is really good wild Canadian Coho salmon with green peppercorns, lemon and a pretty salad. The homeopath who conducted my consultation suggested the following supplements to bring my stress levels under control: a good essential fatty acid supplement absolutely essential for hair, skin and nails) – and I didn’t know that they are also great for beating depression and balancing low moods.
I was also introduced to the miraculous, stress-busting Potassium and Magnesium complex to relax muscles, help me unwind effortlessly after work, and ensure a really good nights sleep. Then it was time to deal with my salty fish habit. A super antioxidant was recommended to mop up that free radical damage from gorging on the salmon! And a tincture and the homeopathic remedy called lycopodium for my nagging stomach ulcer symptoms which were making me feel sick and generally quite unwell – and best of all a really effective probiotic which means an upset stomach is now a rare event, rather than something I used to dread on a weekly basis.
Not surprisingly, my skin started to take on a new radiance and youthful, flushed rosy glow with all this gentle and highly effective tlc.
After a particularly challenging time both professionally and personally, I also finally booked myself on a weekend course to learn Tm Meditation. Wow! If only I had learnt to do this twenty years ago. Transcendental Meditation was popularised by the Beatles who famously learnt the technique from the very charismatic and bright Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. There is nothing strange or esoteric about Tm. The simple relaxation technique is practiced by the surviving members of the Beatles, thousands of doctors, Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and lots of very high-powered people who know that meditation is oxygen for the mind. The great thing about Tm is that it can be practiced anywhere, anytime to transform health, vitality and wellbeing.
After a good session of mediation and making time to do my Bikram yoga practice every other day I always notice how my skin gleams, my cheeks take on a girlish flush and my eyes sparkle. Go on, try it! A gentle sense of wellbeing will wash over you and spur you on!
Once you’ve got your health, stress levels and exercise sorted, the next step is to learn how to take care of your newly gorgeous skin.
Coming next – brilliant insider tips from top organic and supernatural facialist, Nuz Shugaa at The Beauty Lounge, Soho.