Saalt Menstrual Cup*

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When it comes to reducing waste as a woman, one of the best things you can do is re-think your period routine. Like most people, I’ve relied on a mix of pads and tampons throughout my teens and adult life, but when I realised how much plastic I charge through each month, I was keen to learn about how I could reduce my waste.

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I’d never tried a menstrual cup until Saalt sent over theirs over. In a size small and in a pretty Himalaya Pink shade, it’s probably the prettiest way you can deal with that time of the month. Constructed out of medical grade silicon, the Saalt menstrual cup has been designed to feel as soft as possible, and incredibly, it can last up to ten years. If you think of how much waste you can avoid through a decade of use, it pretty much blows my mind!

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Coming packaged complete with a discreet storage pouch, the Saalt cup can be stored in your handbag or drawer without drawing attention to itself. Available in a choice of small or regular sizes, you can even choose your favourite colours. The cup has about three to four times the capacity of a regular tampon, so they can be left in for up to 12 hours at a time. Perfect for long-haul travel, I’ve already decided to pop one in my carry-on for when travel goes back to normal.

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As if the cups weren’t great enough, the story behind them is super inspiring. When brand founder Cherie tried to source re-usable period products for friends and family in Venezuela (where disposable products are not available) and couldn’t find any suitable, she designed Saalt cups herself! As if creating the perfect menstrual cup wasn’t enough, Saalt works to improve the lives of women globally. Since it’s founding in 2018, over 7,000 cups have been donated to those in need, and over a million waste products have been diverted.

Saalt Menstrual Cups are priced at £25 each, and are available here

Building confidence and connections throughout lockdown and beyond with new virtual workshops and styling sessions for women, men and young adults

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The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our lives and our perspective on how we live forever. The journey through lockdown and gradual easing has been testing and emotional for everyone, not least those who have been battling cancer at the same time. Cancer patients have suffered delays in diagnosis and treatments and their particular vulnerability during the pandemic has caused enormous anxiety.

A recent study* found that more than quarter of a million cancer sufferers have been struggling with panic and anxiety attacks during lockdown and are now facing new fears about the loosening of restrictions. In addition, patients are finding it harder to connect with vital cancer support services that help them through their difficult journey and help manage anxiety levels.

Look Good Feel Better is the only cancer support charity helping to boost the physical and emotional wellbeing of people undergoing cancer treatment. For 25 years the charity has offered support and an outlet to cancer patients during the most stressful of times through live skincare and makeup workshops in over 140 locations across the UK.

Look Good Feel Better understands the crucial importance of support networks and, with the onset of the pandemic, moved quickly to introduce online versions of their popular workshops.

The organisation has also expanded its offering to include workshops for men and young adults and, at the request of its beneficiaries, is soon to launch sessions covering haircare, wigs and scarves and body image and styling.

Look Good Feel Better’s aim is to support all cancer patients through these hardest of times with some fun, moral-boosting, positive interaction. The new Virtual Workshops help alleviate some negativity whilst giving back a degree of control and raising confidence levels.

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*A study carried out by Macmillan Cancer support during the Covid-19 pandemic found that 570,000 people in the UK with cancer (19%) have barely left the house because they’re scared to do so and 270,0000 people in the UK with cancer (9%) have experienced panic or anxiety attacks or even suicidal thoughts because of the virus

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Skincare and Makeup

A digital version of Look Good Feel Better’s original workshops. Online group video sessions for 8-10 people, hosted by trained experts, help people combat the visible side effects of their cancer treatment, such as the loss of brows and lashes and skin changes.

Each separate session provides a safe, welcoming and fun environment to learn skincare and make up skills. Most importantly, they also provide an opportunity to chat, ask questions, share experiences and feel supported and connected at this very challenging time.

“It was so helpful to communicate with women in a similar situation. The session was helpful in reminding us how to apply make-up and how to stay hygienic. It was also reassuring to know that there are organisations such as Look Good Feel Better which are still functioning and which are caring for people with cancer. It made a real difference to me and gave my confidence a real boost.

Joanne, attendee of the first Virtual Workshop.

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Skin Fitness Workshops for men

In May, Look Good Feel Better introduced new Virtual Workshops for Men, in association with leading professional wet shave expert Mark Sproston, aka The Shave Doctor.

The workshops focus on practical, down-to-earth skincare, shaving and grooming advice, bringing it directly into the homes of men undergoing any form of cancer treatment. They also provide a supportive environment helping people feel less alone, as well as boosting self-esteem.

“I am delighted to be working together with the charity on this very important project. Men are often afraid to reach out and ask for advice, but these Virtual Workshops are easily available to any man undergoing any type of cancer treatment. All you need to do is sign up, join in and you will receive useful, practical tips on how to look and feel your best.

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Hair and styling focused workshops launching soon

Look Good Feel Better listen carefully to their beneficiaries in order to provide the services that cancer patients really need. There were many requests for guidance on haircare, wigs and scarf styling to help patients through the often traumatic experience of losing their hair during treatment. New sessions tackling all haircare and headwear concerns are in trial now and will launch later this month. Similarly, cancer treatment can frequently alter body image and many patients expressed an interest in styling sessions to boost confidence. These are currently being planned and will launch later this summer.

Regular workshops for up to eight participants are available by signing up at www.lookgoodfeelbetter.co.uk.

Reverse Life Collagen*

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Hitting the big 3-0 last year, meant I really started to take the whole anti-ageing thing seriously. There’s nothing more flattering than having dewy skin and shiny hair, and one of the easiest ways to ensure that you’re looking your best is to add as much collagen into your routine as possible. Over the past few weeks, I’ve fallen a bit in love with Reverse Life Collagen. A marine collagen supplement, which promises results within two to three weeks, the brand prides itself on being the purest form possible, and it couldn’t be easier to incorporate into your daily routine. Just drink a capful of the collagen each morning (I sometimes just add the capful to my morning smoothie) then pop the rest back into the fridge. Within a few days, the difference to your hair, skin and nails is seriously noticeable, and it’s the perfect way to give your system a little extra boost.

Reverse Life Collagen is priced at £29 and is available here

Pat McGrath Lip Fetish Lip Balm

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Do I need another lip balm to add to my collection? No, absolutely not, but when I found Pat McGrath’s iconic Lip Fetish Lip Balm half price, I couldn’t resist adding a tube to my collection. I’ve been a bit obsessed with the brand since visiting their incredible Selfridges pop-up last year, and every product I’ve tried has pretty much blown me away.

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The packaging for the lip balm really was half the appeal – and happily. it doesn’t disappoint. A seriously chic white enamelled tube, complete with luscious golden lips, it’s probably the most glamorous balm on the market. Although there are 16 shades to choose from, I couldn’t resist the clear, as I thought I’d get the most wear out of it. Unlike a lot of the more premium balms I’ve tried (Sisley, La Mer, Chanel), Pat McGrath’s Lip Fetish Balm is scentless and flavourless, so it’s perfect for layering under your favourite lipstick.

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The finish of the balm is super smooth too. Not too slick or too shiny, this just feels silky on the lips, and the balm stays for around an hour or two. I don’t really mind having to top up the balm during the day, purely because it’s so exceptionally pretty. I have really fallen head over heels for the balm, and I have a feeling that this might be the start of a new collection, as I’ve already got my eye on a few of the pink and nude shades which feel perfect for summer!

Pat McGrath Lip Fetish Lip Balm is priced at £24.50 (on special) and is available here (UK) and here (US)

Nails Inc. Naked in Neon

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When it comes to nail care, I’ve been a loyal shellac girl for the past four or so years. Naturally my nails are quite weak and bendy, and they chip just by looking at them, but I can’t stand the feeling of shellac on my toes, so for them, I only use polish. Over lockdown, I blitzed through my collections, keeping only my most-loved shades. I also resolved to stop buying nail varnish because I do not need another one. 

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Then I caught sight of Nails Inc’s Naked in Neon quad – a collection of three ultra neon polishes with a super chic taupe to wear alongside. As a rule, I tend to alternate between ultra dark shades and neutral pinks, but on holidays, those rules go out the window. When I’m tanned, I adore a fun neon pedi – and that’s exactly what I’ll be able to get with this set. The one non-neon shade is Goldborne Road, a cool-toned neutral taupe, perfect for setting off a tan. A creamy formula, which is opaque within a single coat, it was specifically formulated to match with the three neons.

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The brightest shade of the bunch is Knightriders Street – a punchy yellow/green which is positively glowing. I’ve never actually tried my nails as bright before, so I’m aching for a sunny getaway to give it a go! Positively made to go with a tan, this is a shade which pops beautifully against deeper skin tones, and it feels like it could almost glow in the dark! The formula is surprisingly creamy and opaque, and applies beautifully. Like a lot of neon shades, all three of the polishes dry down matte, so you’ll need a good topcoat if you want your nails to stay super shiny.

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I am more than a little obsessed with the juicy colour of Walker’s Court – a rich neon orange which looks good enough to eat. It looks so fun on short nails, and it makes me feel like I’m ready to go on vacation. An easy way to add a pop of colour to summer outfits, the polish has a buttery smooth consistency, and was opaque in two coats.

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Sun Street Passage is a true neon pink, and it’s the whole reason that I purchased the set. There’s nothing I really love more, than neon pink nails on holiday, and I’ve been running low on my previous favourite. Nails Inc’s take is a beautiful blue-toned pink, As with all the other polishes, it’s got a lovely smooth formula, which dries evenly to a matte finished. Topped with a super-shiny finishing coat, it just makes me feel like it’s truly summer, every time I look at it!

Although the polishes are available individually, the Naked in Neon Quad is priced at £22 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

 

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