A quick guide to mindfulness for a happier life

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www.pexels.comMindfulness is being talked about in the media today more than ever, but what’s it all about?

Quite simply, mindfulness is an awareness of ourselves as well as the world around us and it can improve our mental wellbeing, calming the mind and allowing us to focus on the here and now.

If we are more aware of the present moment, it can help us enjoy the world around us more and understand ourselves better. If this happens, we can experience and enjoy the people and things we have been taking for granted, and leave behind the stresses we don’t need.

What does it involve?
Just taking notice of your thoughts, feelings, sensations and the world around you is the first step towards mindfulness.
There are books, apps, and courses that give you a structured way to bring mindfulness into your life, but at the heart of it, what you are doing is stopping for a while and focusing on your breathing. You will then notice that your heart rate slows down, adrenaline production is reduced and you feel more relaxed. With practice you can develop greater focus, better sleeping patterns and start to feel happier as well.

It is true that some of us find the idea of sitting with our thoughts when we are stressed or unhappy, quite difficult, so we have some simple tips that could help you get to grips with mindfulness.

Mindfulness isn’t easy to learn at first, so you can start by reading up about it some more, taking a course, joining a group or using an app like Calm.

It is thought that just ten minutes of mindfulness meditation a day can bring massive benefits when it is done on a regular basis. If you can, do it at the same time each day – maybe when you are on the tube, at lunchtime or before you have a bath in the evening, and it’s at this time when you can really be at one with yourself and leave behind your worries and fears. Clear this space each day, stop everything else and practise your mindful meditation.

Start with short bursts of three, five or ten minutes – you can even do it on the train.

When you sit down to meditate, take a few moments to get comfortable. Notice the sounds around you and how you’re feeling. This will help your mind and body reconnect, so when you do start focusing on your breath, it’s a little easier.

When you are practicing mindfulness and meditating, all you need to do is notice your breath and when your attention wanders, which it will as you wonder what to eat for dinner or where to go at the weekend, let go of it and bring your focus back to your breath. Each time you do that, it’s a win and it gets easier.

When you progress and start to bring mindfulness to your daily life, our advice is to start slowly. We suggest that in week one, you are mindful when you are brushing your teeth – be aware of the sound, the smell, the taste, and the movement as you clean. Then build up slowly, adding a new thing each week, such as being mindful on your walk to work, or while stacking the dishwasher.

Mindfulness isn’t for everyone, but why not give it a try and in time we hope it can become a part of your life and one that will make things easier and happier for you.

Team Pure Beauty

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Toners are in the spotlight

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dermalogica-multi-active-tonerYou might not think you have time for a toner in your life, but we think you need to make time if you want to keep your skin healthy and in tip-top in your beauty regime, and extra money out of your bank account, but we hope our overview of some of the best toners we sell, will make you rethink.

One of the most popular toners at Pure Beauty works for all skin types and is the Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner. This refreshing blend of skin-repairing aloe,moisture-binding sodium PCA and soothing lavender, mint, and arnica is perfect for hydrating skin after cleansing. The hygienic, fragrance-free spray can be used throughout the day and because it evens out skin porosity, it means your moisturiser to be evenly absorbed, which has to be a good thing.

If balance is what you need, the Elemis Balancing Lavender Toner is for you. This product effectively tones the skin and rebalances the pH levels, without the use of alcohol or harsh chemicals, so you are left with a fresh, clear complexion. Extracts of lavender, sweet Betty flower and saponins from Quillaja wood are all part of the blend and we think you will love it as much as we do.

While the Dermalogica Redness Relief Essence is lightweight like a toner it is concentrated like a serum, which means it reduces redness and sensitivity by strengthening the skin’s moisture barrier. As part of the UltraCalming line, this product works to relieve, restore and hydrate skin, taking care of discomfort and dehydration and is a great addition to the beauty regime of anyone with sensitive skin.

How about trying the Decleor Essential Tonifying Lotion? This professional-strength toner totally enhances the toning process and leaves skin feeling beautifully refreshed, revitalised and rehydrated. Detoxifying green tea essential water removes impurities and tightens pores, while neroli essential oil helps protect, repair and fight against dehydration, something many of us need in the summer heat and on long flights. Use after cleansing by applying to the face using a damp cotton pad or clean face cloth which can then be used to absorb any excess product before your moisturiser comes on the scene.

Breakout prone skin needs toner love too, and this is where the Dermalogica All Over Toner comes into play. This light, refreshing, purifying, spritz on toner is suitable for teenage skin and is a great intro to a good beauty habits. Salicylic acid exfoliates surface skin cells and reduces inflammation. Orange peel and lavender soothe and refresh sad skin, while the antiseptic in tea tree oil kills bacteria and you can spray the toner over your face, and as well as anywhere else that is prone to breakouts. Try to give it time for the toner to absorb before applying other products and use morning and evening for best results.

If you are worried you won’t be able to take a toner in your luggage this summer, think again. The fantastic Decleor Essential Tonifying Lotion now comes in a 50ml bottle, and is perfect for ensuring your skin is refreshed and balanced when you are away. This gentle paraben-free toner contains neroli essential oil which protects and repairs your skin whilst easing dehydration so you are left with a complexion that is moisturised and radiant.

Need help to find the toner for you, get in touch and we would love to help.

Team Pure Beauty

Salad, but not as you know it

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How many times do you buy luscious green salad, only to find it limp and sad at the back of the fridge because you don’t know what to do with it?

Full of flavour, the peppery leaves of watercress and rocket contain essential vitamins and can be a great addition to any diet.

Whether you are having friends for dinner, planning an end of term BBQ or packing a picnic for the park, we are here to share some ideas of how to get the most out of your salad leaves.

Watercress and apricot pitta bread
This vegan option takes around 10 minutes to get ready and serves two, making it a quick, easy lunch that is light but tasty.

Ingredients
1 bag of watercress and rocket (washed)
4 ripe apricots
½ a head of fresh fennel
Extra virgin olive oil
Wholemeal pitta breads
For the dressing:
75ml of extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
½ teaspoon of lemon zest
Fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper

To start, halve the apricots, cut them into slices, brush them with oil and place in a hot, dry pan and cook for a minute or so, turning so they are soft.

To make the dressing, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper, adding more lemon juice if required.

Toast and break open the pitta bread, add the salad and apricot slices, and enjoy.

Summer chicken salad
This is perfect for a mid-week treat or a lighter alternative to a full roast with all the trimmings.

Ingredients
2 free range chicken breasts
1 x bag of watercress and rocket
1 beef tomato, sliced
60ml olive oil
Large bunch of fresh asparagus, trimmed and washed
Salt and pepper to season

For the dressing

1 red onion, very finely sliced
1 red chilli, grated
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of cold water
Salt and pepper to season

Method
Start by making the dressing as giving it time to settle before eating makes it taste best. Ensure that the onion is finely sliced into slivers and the garlic is well crushed. Put all the ingredients into a glass bowl and beat with a fork until you have a smooth mixture. Pour into a jar and put in the fridge.

We would suggest either putting the chicken on the BBQ or roasting for around 25 minutes, using any left-over garlic plus salt and pepper to season.

Cook your asparagus for two minutes in boiling salted water, then drain and set aside.
Wash the watercress and place onto each plate, then add the chicken and asparagus before drizzling on your dressing – and enjoy.

Hot Tuna and Sweetcorn Salad

Ingredients
1 bag of watercress and rocket
2 fresh tuna steaks
Cherry tomatoes
2 fresh corn on the cob
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar to drizzle
A large knob of organic salted butter
Salt and vinegar

Method
Firstly, boil your corn on the cob in a pan of salted water, chop the tomatoes and wash them, together with the watercress and place on plates.

Next, cook the tuna steaks but do note, this doesn’t take long and burning can happen easily, so don’t walk away mid-cook! Brush the tuna lightly with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place the fish in a heated frying pan over a high heat and cook for just a couple of minutes, depending on how thick the steaks are. Then, turn the tuna over and cook for another couple of minutes.

Add a drizzle of the balsamic vinegar to the salad, place the tuna on the leaves, drain and butter the corn and enjoy with seasoning as required.

Team Pure Beauty

How to Keep Your Make Up in Place in a Heatwave

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How to Keep Your Make Up in Place in a Heatwave

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Okay, lets be real – summer hasn’t exactly hit us with much in the way of a heatwave, despite what the tabloids keep telling us. However, it’s only the beginning of July and we’re hopeful that things will get a lot warmer in the coming weeks. With this in mind, we thought we’d share a few handy tips on how to keep your make up in place once the British Summertime decides to switch on the heaters!

Prep Your Skin

The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure your face is totally clean, but without inflaming your skin or making it hotter than it already is – the cooler your face is when th make up goes on, the better staying power it will have. Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser is a soothing, pH-balanced gel/cream that glides easily over face to cleanse and cool sensitised or highly reactive skin.

Tone it Down

Next, you should opt for a toner which will cool and calm your skin; we’d recommend Dermalogica All Over Toner. This little spritz will refresh and purify your skin and contains cooling ingredients which will purify your skin before your next step. Allow it to really sink into your face before you move on.

All About the Base

Once you’ve got your skin cool and clean, adding a base for your make up to cling to will increase your chances of getting it to stay put. A high-quality primer such as Dermalogica SkinPerfect Primer SPF30 is remarkably lightweight but very effective in terms of keeping your makeup in place. In addition, it cools your face when applied and even offers sun protection, which is an added bonus on sweltering days.

Think About Your Products

You can apply all the magical stuff in the world UNDER your make-up, but if you choose the wrong make-up products to begin with, you’re going to be on to a loser. Opt for oil-free foundation as this has a tendency to slide off of even the driest faces in the heat, and try to use waterproof eye products if you don’t want them to be affected by sweat.

Go For an Up-Do

You may want to wear your hair down in nice, beachy waves during a heatwave, but wearing your hair up and off of your face is far better for keeping your face in place! Hair around your face will not only increase your body temperature, and therefore your tendency to sweat, but will will also increase the amount of friction around your face, carrying your make-up away with the sweat.

Top Tips for Returning to Work

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Whether you’re going back to work after maternity leave, have been made redundant or have taken an extended career break, going back to work can be daunting.

We have had a look at how to embrace change and go back to what you love in style.

Confidence
Be it six months or six years, time away from your workplace can leave you feeling a little lost and wondering who you are. Many people find that some of their confidence has gone and a loss of career identity leaves them feeling out in the cold. It’s normal to feel this way, but it is something that you can talk to your HR Manager and team about. If you are up to speed on changes, new staff and anything else major you have missed out on, it will help get you back to your old positive self.

Step back in time
Now is a great time to think about your past achievements and experiences as well as looking at your CV. Focus on what you have done, what you do know and get used to recording new wins and goals. While your confidence may have taken a little bit of a battering, you are still very capable, so when the self-doubt creeps in, go back to that list and celebrate YOU.

Value Yourself
It is really important that you value yourself in all parts of your life when you go back to work. Be sure you ask for the salary you want, as well as the support you need and don’t sell yourself short. If you aren’t’ quite sure what you are worth, do some research, speak to a recruitment consultant and look at sites like LinkedIn so you can get a feel for the land.

Flexible Working is Out There
If you’re looking for flexible working, you need to know that this is possible and there are companies who do offer it. This isn’t just about part-time hours, but compressed hours, working from home, starting the day early or working term time only. Not everyone will offer this but just think about how working life needs to look for you and go for the right fit.

Skill Up
Depending on just how long you have been out of the working game, you might want to get some new skills that will take you further in your career. Whether it is an updated first aid course, a social media seminar or a refresher in Excel, do what you can to make the transition as easy as possible.

Leave Perfection at the Door
No one, absolutely no one is perfect, don’t even go there. Yes, social media feeds will show ‘picture perfect’ people at their desk with manicured nails and a whiter than white smile, but that’s all about the filters and the good days. Do your best and that is more than enough.

Don’t Say Yes To It All
You will want to please your employee, your friends, family, and colleagues, but where do you fit into this picture. Look at your work contract, your hours, obligations and take it from there. Do the shopping online, share chores with your partner and if you need to delegate – do it.

Network
As the saying goes, it’s not what you know but who you know and this is pretty true when it comes to working. Connecting with old colleagues, bosses, HR teams and suppliers can be super helpful and just meeting for a coffee and catching up can lead to the unexpected, and in a good way.

Take It Easy On Yourself
Just as it took time to get used to being off work, you will need to give yourself time to get used to being back in the saddle.
Take each day as it comes, one step at a time and as the days, weeks and months pass by, you will find a new rhythm and even a more confident version of you will start to bloom.

Team Pure Beauty