Category Archives: Anti-ageing

Beauty Secrets: Natural Cosmetic Making

Barbara Villiers painted by Peter Lely
Mistress of King Charles II and a renowned beauty

If my previous post on the 17th century beauty lecture I attended whetted your appetite, well exciting news…

In conjunction with the ‘The Wild, Beautiful and the Damned‘ exhibition and as part of their events programme, I will be at Hampton Court Palace on Tuesday, August 21st , running a workshop creating natural cosmetics; guaranteed to be a mercury, pigeon-dropping and hogs-grease free event!

We shall be channelling our inner Stuart beauty, sampling safe, natural botanical ingredients (some are edible!), renowned for their complexion enhancing properties and creating 17th century-inspired, luxury cosmetics.  You will make two generous sized products to take home, which can be adapted and used  for your personal beautification needs.  A selection of natural beauty recipes will also be provided for home practice.

The workshop will be hands-on and practical, with a smattering of ‘cosmetic history’ and fun theory.  A small selection of essential oils will be available for use during the workshop and the fee includes entry to the ‘The Wild, Beautiful and the Damned’ exhibition – a definite must see, especially the sumptuous Peter Lely paintings of the Windsor Beauties.

You can find out more and  book a place here

And if your sum history knowledge constitutes  re-runs of Blackadder, then here is a short introduction to King Charles II to set the scene, thank you to Horrible Histories and Youtube!

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Filed under 17c Beauty, Anti-ageing, History, Recipes, Renaissance beauty

An Avocado a Day …

keeps the wrinkles at bay. Why should this come as any surprise?  It perhaps does to a recent piece in  The Metro; since it is being lauded as the ‘olive oil of the Americas’.

the ‘pear-fect’ anti-ageing ingredient

The avocado is oft touted as a ‘superfood’ (gah, I do find that word  irritating and a tool of marketing hype!).  All foods are super in their own way, BUT the Avocado is a power-house of supercharged, nutrient-dense, creamy versatility, providing monosatured fats such as omega 3-6, vitamins a,c, e, h, k  b-complex, folic acid, plus various minerals such as magnesium (curbs sugar cravings!), iron, copper, calcium.  What’s not to like!?

Benefits of Avocados

It seems many women steer clear of the humble avocado, for fear of of its FAT content.  Pshwah!   It would be better for your waist and your wallet to reduce your intake of saturated fats (processed foods, hard cheese, red meat, butter and refined sugar, pastry) and hidden refined sugars  … muffin anyone?   The Avocado is one of the ultimate beauty foods, the skin and nervous system need good fats (polyunsaturated and monosaturated fats) to function effectively and the Avocado is filling, nutritious, hormone balancing and fabulous for the skin.

I eat about 2 avocados minimum a week (if I can find nice ripe ones!) and I mainly chop them up and put them in a salad, or for a quick snack I mash them with a wooden spoon until smooth and add in Paprika, lemon juice, black pepper and a little drizzle of Olive or Rapeseed oil and pile it on some toast ..Yum.   I will post some more adventurous foodie recipes with Avocado soon, a lot of ingredients that I’m thinking of using are not in season or available yet.

Although, the benefits of any food are best absorbed via our diets, if you are Avocado-averse, why not try using a good quality organic Avocado oil as an alternative for veg and salad dressing?

Even better, why not  include it in your skincare regime?  I would suggest purchasing in small quantities as it does have a short shelf-life and once a bottle is opened is best used up within 6 months of opening.   I have found it very popular with students and clients in my teaching practice and clinic when creating skin blends.  It is rather rich, but has a very creamy, dense texture.  Amazingly softening, it is a wonderful oil to use at night on dry, dehydrated and mature skin, sun damaged skin or used as a body oil, especially used on legs and arms which can tend to dry out more.  I purchase  my organic base oils and essential oils from, who have amazing quality raw materials and also a selection of skincare blends.

Green beauty – Avocado Oil

(*picture credit:

Here is a recipe to tempt you:

  • Super Softening Facial oil (20ml)

10 ml Avocado oil

5ml   Jojoba oil

5ml Macadamia oil

Use every night after cleansing, you will need about a 5p piece size of oil warm in hands and then press into skin, including neck and chin.  Then apply upward strokes to work the oil into the skin without dragging.   Massage any excess into hands and nails.  If your skin is excessively dry or mature, try using just Avocado oil on its own.  The macadamia and jojoba oils are extremely skin compatible and absorb well without leaving a heavy or greasy residue.    This blend would also be rather fabulous on shins and legs, to get you pins summer perfect!

If you would like to naturally fragrance your oil blend, use a 25ml bottle and you could add a blend of the following:

  1. 4 drops Frankincense + 2 drops Rose (dry/sensitive skin)
  2. 4 drops Frankincense + 2 drops Grapefruit  (combination skin)
  3. 3 drops Lavender + 3 drops Patchouli (sensitive, dry, all skins – balancing)Do not use essential oils during 1st trimester of pregnancy, see advice from a qualified Aromatherapist (IFA. IFPA) if you are receiving GP or alternative healthcare for any health conditions.


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Filed under Anti-ageing, Food, Recipes, Skin, SuperFood