Forgotten someone this Christmas? The Sanctuary Spa Day, £155, could be the answer to your prayers. Including full use of Covent Garden spa facilities for a day, the lucky recipient can also benefit from a 55-minute treatment of choice (including the Muscle Melt Massage and the Serenity Dreamtime Float, to name just a few of the options available). The gift card for the spa day also comes with the Sanctuary Ultimate Body Revival Gift Set, which is worth £20. And, what's more, the voucher can be sent straight to the receiver's inbox, meaning you needn't waste another second in making up for your slight lapse in organisation this Crimbo. Plus, it can be a great way to brighten up a dull January (the month of austerity and diets...ew).
Roq-ing around the Christmas tree?
Labs around the country are already beginning to surprise us with the latest developments for 2013. This particular new discovery, which comes from scientists working in Cambridge, could help with anti-ageing thanks to the anti-inflammatory qualities of a surprising food source: Roquefort. The cheese develops these anti-inflammatory factors during the ripening process, and these factors perform best in acidic environments, such as the skin surface. It is increasingly believed that sub-clinical inflammation is behind ageing, and the paper released by researchers suggests that regular consumption of Roquefort and other fermented cheeses like it (such as Camembert) could be behind the French population's low cardiovascular mortality rate, as the cheeses' anti-inflammatory properties can also have a positive effect on the buildup of plaque on arterial walls. Hopefully this means we'll all be roq-ing around the Christmas tree (groan) well into the new year.
Witch skincare should I choose this year?
We all over-indulge at Christmas, and it's possible that this could take its toll on our skin, along with over-heated workplaces contrasted with cold weather outside. Witch wants to help with its range of products that could prep your face for the new year. Their Gentle Exfoliating Face Wash promises to help rejuvenate with natural exfoliants, while the classic Witch Blemish Stick uses pure witch hazel to try to kick blemishes into touch. Finish with Anti-Blemish Cream to care for your whole face, before using Witch's Anti-Blemish BB Cream afterwards in place of foundation (this one's already one of the range's top sellers despite only being out for three months). On the move? No problem: their Cleansing and Toning Wipes can pick up the pieces. And the best part? This shouldn't hit anyone's New Year budget too hard, with all products priced between £3.05 and £6.99. I'm trying to save up as much as anyone (aiming for 10k by the end of 2013!) and every little helps :-)
When the lights go out all over Europe
|Cigarettes in 2014?|
Comme des Garçons, comme des kaléidoscopes
A lot of culture these days seems to be all about multi-sensory experiences: think about Fabrice Hyber's lipstick sculpture (that of course, smells strongly of the stuff and had people's fingerprints all over it when I went to visit it) and dinner at Berlin's Unsicht-Bar, where you famously eat in the dark. Fragrance brand Comme des Garçons aims to do just that by extending its new perfume campaign with a kaleidoscopic display online. The new scent, called Amazinggreen, features wild leaves, coriander, and white musk, and is intended to be complemented by the display featured by iPad-exclusive magazine POST. Conceptualized as a 3D rainforest journey, the audience controls the display through their own computer cursor.
Healing our hair
My hair is really the bane of my beauty regime after my skin. Getting it cut and conditioned professionally is so expensive, and I'm constantly fighting between greasy roots and dry ends, with my hair never seeming to have the Pantene-style gloss that my sister-in-law seems to sport effortlessly. High-quality at-home products are therefore a must, and Unite's latest offerings, under the U LUXURY label, are definitely tempting. Its healing shampoos and conditioners contain argan oil, white honey, and crushed pearl, all of which are rich in regenerating calcium, magnesium, and amino acids. Many celebrities are already fans of the brand - including Victoria Beckham and Eva Longoria - and now you can get hold of it too, via several salons in London. The rest of the country is sure to follow once people realise that this is hopefully the hottest property for our hair this year.
And finally, for a little more luxury this 2013 (you know I'm big on it), I present to you Dove's Crème Mousse Body Wash, which thanks to a series of cock-ups by the French postal service has not yet reached me in sample form. This sounds to die for thanks to its thick, non-drip formulation and luxurious feel, and a perfect addition to the Dove body creams that I've already had the pleasure of test-driving this winter. Even if I don't get to test it, I urge you to.