City breaks you will love

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Summer isn’t the only time to go on holiday.

With children back at school and prices back to normal, autumn is the perfect time to book a romantic city break or enjoy a weekend away with the girls somewhere new.
Brussels is a chic, multicultural powerhouse set in the heart of Belgium that is a joy to visit. Steeped in culture and history it is easy to while away the day exploring tourist sites, popping into shops and galleries and enjoying beer and chocolate in one of the many pubs, cafés or bars dotted along the pretty streets. If it’s art you are after, Brussels was home to the Surrealist artist, Rene Magritte, and the Musée Magritte is well worth a visit. By night hang out in the beautifully illuminated at Grote Markt and soak up the infectious European vibe.

It might be a cliché, but if you’re looking for a romance, it has to be Paris. The city is enveloped in love and you can stroll hand in hand as you explore the magical streets. From the world-famous Louvre and Eiffel Tower to Versailles and the Moulin Rouge, you really are spoilt for choice. After a lie in and lazy brunch, spend the day sightseeing and shopping, then take a walk along the Seine at dusk and have dinner by candlelight. Perfect.

Meandering waterways scattered with quirky houseboats and lined with beautiful trees are part and parcel of a weekend in Amsterdam. This stunning city is packed with museums and galleries, coffee shops and boutiques and is just an hour away from the UK. Explore the cobbled streets by bike, enjoy stroopwafels (thin waffles with syrup in the middle) by the water and don’t forget to visit the Anne Frank house.

Beautiful Barcelona is one of the most vibrant destinations for a weekend away and the perfect place to make memories that will last a lifetime. From the quirky Gothic Quarter and the bars and boutiques of Las Ramblas to the world-class galleries and super-hotel bars, there really is something for everyone. The food scene in Barcelona is huge so after a day on your feet, let your hair down, put your best dress on and enjoy an evening of good food, local wine and have fun.

Be the envy of family and friends and pop to Nice for an absolutely fabulous weekend away. From sipping coffee in Cours Saleya to feeling the sun on your back as you walk along the Promenade des Anglais, a mini-break in Nice will make you feel totally chilled. Nestled between narrow lanes are a plethora of galleries, markets, delis and boutiques like no others in the world. Once you are done with walking, find a parasol to sit under and enjoy a cold glass of champagne and live like a celebrity as you watch the sun go down.

If you really want to push the boat out, how about a trip to the Big Apple? Swapping Sainsbury’s and the cinema for the sights and sounds of New York City has to be done at least once in your lifetime. Stroll through Central Park in the autumn sunshine, catch the ferry to Ellis Island, take selfies in Time Square and be sure to leave room in your bags for some shopping state style.

Next week we will be staying on home shores and looking at where you enjoy the magic if autumn leaves, don’t miss it.

Team Pure-Beauty

Caring for Your Skin After a Chemical Peel

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facial peelHere at Pure Beauty, we feel that the products we offer from Dermalogica and Decleor are more than enough to ensure that we don’t need to go for more drastic measures such as fillers and chemical peels. However, we know how a-peel-ing (see what we did there?!) the prospect of totally renewed skin can be and that a chemical peel can seem like a good idea, so we thought we’d put together a guide for helping you to care for your face after taking the plunge.

Be Gentle

The single most important thing we can tell you is to BE GENTLE! The skin which has been peeled away has revealed the brand new, extremely delicate and sensitive skin beneath and it needs to be treated with the utmost respect. Opt for the mildest cleanser you can find; we recommend Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser which is designed to cleanse and protect even the most delicate and sensitive of skin.

Don’t Over-Moisturise

The whole point of a peel is to destroy the top layer of skin, which means that your face will feel dry and flaky once the chemicals have started to work. It’s tempting to add moisture to your skin when it feels this way but actually, in order to get the full benefit of the treatment you need to allow your skin to dry out and flake away.

Replenish

Once the old, dead skin has fully peeled away, NOW is the time to start replenishing the new, rejuvenated skin with the moisture it needs. One of the unwanted side-effects of a chemical peel is that the peel can actually increase melanin production temporarily, which can cause dark spots. Using a product which reduces the effects of hyperpigmentation is really important, so investing in Dermalogica Pure Light SPF50 ahead of time is a good idea.

Stay Away from the Sun

Keeping your brand-new skin away from the sun is also very important. Your risk of burning is FAR higher when you’ve had a chemical peel and burning brand new skin right away, causing sun damage, completely defeats the object of having a peel in the first place! The Dermalogica Pure Light SPF50 that we mentioned above is good for this reason too; the SPF50 gives added protection if you simply aren’t able to stay indoors.

Don’t Exfoliate

This may seem like a no-brainer but exfoliating is a big no-no right now. Your skin is probably the most delicate and sensitive it will ever be and exfoliating it now could cause you some serious discomfort. It may be tempting to help the flaky skin to peel away but YOU MUST RESIST!

Sit back and relax

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The arrival of the Internet, email, and smart phones means we are living in 24/7 information age.

Given that we are constantly bombarded with perfect images and are expected to available all the time, it is little wonder that stress is on rise.

If you are feeling as if it is all too much, we have some tips that might just help calm things down.

Take some time out. Sounds obvious but when was the last time you did just that? If you are feeling overwhelmed you often start to panic, you become unproductive and things just get worse and worse. Leave the house, have a cup of tea, go for a run, just get away from it all and take stock.

We are all good at saying yes, but saying no is harder. Just because someone asks you out for lunch or to look after their children, doesn’t mean you have to say yes and you don’t have to feel guilty about saying no either. If you don’t have time, just say no.

We like to think we can multi-task, but it is often counter productive. You might be able to talk to a colleague whilst writing a business report but it is likely that you are not concentrating on either task 100% and mistakes will be made. If you focus on one thing at a time, you will soon start to feel calmer as jobs are done more effectively and faster.

Breath. Yes, we know we do it all the time but if you take time to really focus on your breathing you will feel more able to deal with life. Each hour, stop and take five deep breaths in and out (your tummy should come forward with each inhale). As you exhale, feel the stress leaving your body and focus on the moment.

Learn to be flexible. It doesn’t matter how carefully you plan and prepare, things can change at the last minute but it isn’t the end of the world. Rather than this causing upset, take a step back, regroup and find a way to deal with the new situation in a calm, happy way. We know you can do it.

Stop trying to be perfect. There are huge pressures to be amazing at everything, but this simply isn’t possible or realistic. Demanding perfection of yourself will only add to your stress levels, so lower expectations, do your best and you will feel happier.

This is an oldie, but a goodie – count to ten. If you feel it is all getting too much, stand up, walk away, count to ten then look at things in a new light.

Focus on the positives in life. Rather than thinking about the things you haven’t done or what isn’t right, give yourself a pat on the back for what goes well. The more you look on the bright side of life, the better life is!

Surround yourself with cheerful friends. Yes, life can be tough but toxic people will eat away at your happy levels and bring you down.

Get outside and do some exercise. Your to do list might be growing by the minute, but a little fresh air will clear your head and give you some breathing space so you can move forwards calmly.

Remember to smile because it is pretty hard to stay stressed with a grin on your face!

Team Pure Beauty

Autumn/Winter 2016 Trends – Glitter Lips

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glitter-lipsGlitter lips are a trend which has been gaining momentum for some time now, but with autumn and winter on the way, they’re set to make an explosion! They might look like something which should be confined to the catwalks but according to anyone who knows anything about fashion, everyone will be adorned with glitter in the coming months.

It’s one of those trends which can be quite tricky to get right, so we thought we’d put together some tips for keeping your lips in tip-top condition so that you can be festive from now until next spring!

Exfoliate

Flaky lips will not only look unpleasant when covered in glitter, it would probably be quite tricky getting glitter to stick to them in for first place. Exfoliating beforehand with Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant will help to slough away dead skin, giving you a much better surface for bedazzling.

Moisturise

If your lips are overly dry or aging prematurely, you’ll want to start a regimen of moisturistation before you get glittery. Dermalogica Lip Renewal Complex is the perfect product to add moisture to your lips while minimising contour lines and helping to prevent the signs of aging.

Line

To get a really good, even coverage of colour you’ll want to use a lip liner in a similar colour to your glitter to create a really defined outline and then fill your lips with liner, too. This will give you the perfect base to work from.

Gloss

The final step before applying your glitter with a soft brush is covering your lips with gloss. The gloss gives something for the glitter to stick to and will add to the overall shimmery effect of your lips. Choose either a clear gloss or one which is a similar colour to your glitter and using the ‘gloopiest’ gloss you can find will help when it comes to getting as much glitter as possible to stick to your lips.

Cleanser

Obviously, wearing glitter on your face is going to leave you needing a pretty heavy-duty cleanser once you’re ready to de-glitter. We’d recommend Decleor Brightening Cleansing Oil to really help to remove all glitter, plus the layers of make-up beneath, and leave your skin looking radiant and luminous.

In a pickle

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As summer comes to an end and autumn begins, many of us are switching from burgers on the grill to jacket potatoes in the oven.

With a wide variety of gorgeous autumn produce on offer, this is the perfect time to get to work in the kitchen making chutneys, pickles and jams that will take you through to spring.

To save you slaving over books, we are sharing our favourite recipes that will make your mouth water and taste buds tingle.

Tomato chutney is an autumn kitchen cupboard staple and a great way to use up anything still growing on the allotment.

This recipe does take two days to complete, but is so worth it.

What you will need:
3kg tomatoes
500g red onions
1 large tablespoon of sea salt
500g juicy sultanas
500g cooking apples
500g organic brown sugar
1.14 litre spice pickling vinegar – we love Sarsons

Slice and skin the tomatoes and chop the onions as finely as you can, then place in a large bowl with the salt. Put a clean tea towel over the top and leave somewhere cool overnight.

Next day chop and core the apples and chop the sultanas too.

Mix the sugar and vinegar in a large pan, then stir as you bring to the boil and totally dissolve the sugar. Add the apples and sultanas and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain the tomatoes and onions in a colander, add to the pan and return to the boil. Then simmer the liquid for around an hour, stirring now and again until you have a lovely thick, pulpy mixture.

Once cooled, put into clean, sterilised jars and enjoy with bread and cheese.

Damson Jelly is a fantastic preserve that you can spread on buttered toast or enjoy with colds meats and Sunday lunch.

To make a decent batch of delicious jelly you will need the following ingredients and a little bit of patience, as this can be a fiddly recipe to perfect:

2kg soft, ripe damsons
The juice of two organic lemons
A bag of preserving sugar
Water

Once you have washed the fruit put it in a large pan together with 300 ml of water. Slowly bring to the boil before simmering for around an hour or until the damsons are soft.

Very carefully sieve the hot fruit and catch the resulting liquid in a large bowl. Leave to rest for around three hours.

Next measure the cooled mixture into a pan and add 500g of sugar for every 500ml of liquid. Stir this over a low heat and once the sugar has completely dissolved, raise the temperature and boil until the ‘setting point’ is reached. To find the setting point, put a little jelly onto a saucer, cool slightly then push with your finger. If the mixture wrinkles it is ready, if not, return to the heat, boil for five more minutes and test again.

Put the jelly into sterilised jars, cool before sealing and use within a year, but we think it will be eaten sooner than that!

September is the perfect time for blackberry picking and these purple beauties are perfect for making jam.

To make traditional no nonsense blackberry jam, you will need around three hours of time and the following ingredients:

2kg of just ripe blackberries – if they are a little sharp they will set better than over-ripe fruit
100 ml water
3 tablespoons of organic lemon juice
2kg caster sugar

Put the blackberries, lemon juice and water in a large pan and simmer until the fruit has broken down and is soft and lumpy. This tends to take around an hour and a half.

Once ready, add the sugar and bring to the boil whilst stirring all the time. You can then start testing for the ‘setting point’ using the same method as above. Once ready, place into sterilised jars and seal immediately. Leave in a cool, dark place for 24 hours and then you are ready to enjoy with fresh bread or scones and cream.

Happy cooking and let us know how you get on.

Team Pure-Beauty