Thursday, 19 February 2015

Ova-coming ovarian cancer with Barry M

Despite periods being every woman's common problem, it's something we rarely discuss (for what it's worth, I'm a Mooncup girl, so feel free to shout if you have any questions about those!). Perhaps more seriously, we don't discuss part of what causes us to have periods - our ovaries. This is serious because it's estimated that 5%-10% of women suffer with polycystic ovary syndrome (and the real number could actually be even higher due to lack of awareness), which can cause fertility problems as well as many other undesirables, including acne and hirsutism (again, I'm your go-to for questions on this syndrome). Furthermore, ovarian cancer is the seventh most-common cancer and the eighth most common cause of deaths from cancer, with five-year survival rates being just 45% in the US (and worse in developing countries). Again, lack of awareness and a lack of willingness to discuss it are factors in how early diagnoses can be made, enabling the illness to be treated sooner and survival rates to thus increase. 

Every little step taken to do this is therefore a move in the right direction. Ovarian cancer support charity Ovacome is therefore delighted to be partnering with cosmetics brand Barry M on its Teal Tips initiative, in which willing volunteers (male or female!) are invited to paint their nails in the brand's new green-blue shade (entitled Pacific, and shown to the right-hand side of this paragraph). This metallic effect colour is sure to turn heads and provoke discussion during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month (in March).

So how can we start the conversation, and most importantly, keep it going? Just remember Ovacome's acronym, BEAT: B is for bloating (that does not come and go), E is for eating less and feeling fuller quicker, A is for abdominal pain, and T is for telling your GP. You could also hold manicure and pedicure parties, with the polish as a centrepiece. And why not ask your local salon to fundraise by promoting nail treatments using this colour?

The Pacific nail polish, from the Aquarium collection, costs just £3.99 - and if you buy it during February or March, Barry M will donate half of the cost of all purchases made via to Ovacome. However, the outcome could be far more valuable than a mere four quid - so all the more reason to get talking with teal tips.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Natracare Organic Makeup Removal Wipes

RRP: £3.99 for 20

--What does the promo say?--
"Rule number one of a good skincare regime is to cleanse the skin properly, removing all make-up and grime. The last thing you want is a product that could be putting more on to your skin than it is taking off. Unlike conventional wipes, we use only the best organic and natural ingredients, making them incredibly gentle on your skin. Infused with the organic essential oils of almond, apricot and chamomile, Natracare Cleansing Make-Up Removal Wipes leave your skin moisturised, cleansed and refreshed naturally. The soft and strong organic cotton cloth is gentle but effective, removing even waterproof mascara and lipstick. Formulated for sensitive skin, the wipes are dermatologically and opthalmologically tested and free from all the types of ingredients women have ever been concerned about putting on their skin."


The blue, purple and white colour combination of the plastic pouch is refreshing and feminine. Furthermore, the pouch opens and closes securely throughout the product lifespan, not losing stickiness at all as time passes.

Sweep one wipe over face and neck to remove makeup, using both sides of the wipe to ensure thorough makeup removal.

The wipes are white, and the lotion they are soaked in is invisible, meaning minimum fuss.

An overriding citrus scent thanks to the oranges, lemons and bergamot, which adds to the wipes' refreshing character.

--Texture and consistency--
The organic cotton wipes are smooth and non-irritating, yet have enough of a slightly raised texture to gently scrub skin, enabling makeup removal.

--Effects on the skin--
Removes makeup just as well as any conventional makeup removal wipe I've tried, and maybe even better - it even does a great job on mascara.

--Value for money--
At £3.99 for 20 wipes, it therefore comes to around 20p per wipe, which is about standard (and even more commendable given the high-quality, organic provenance of these wipes' ingredients, as well as their robust packaging). It also competes favourably price-wise with high street brands (Boots, Simple, Soap & Glory, Clearasil and L'Oréal all charge about the same, for example). This product's only weak point is perhaps its lack of availability: with its main suppliers being online, you have to put in a little more effort to seek it out. Nevertheless, despite being sent mine for free this time, I would still spend my money on them in future. A great product that truly sets an example to others in terms of both quality and ethics.