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Give yourself and your wardrobe a boost with Stylist, Helen’s top tips to inject life into your stay-at-home style.

We may have started lockdown living in luxe loungewear and gym kit but the novelty of dressing down on a daily basis has definitely worn off after several weeks at home and we are in need of a sartorial pick-me-up; a stylish raison d’être, if you will.

Now is the perfect time to experiment with your clothes as well as a great opportunity to streamline your wardrobe with a clear-out because sometimes we just cannot see the outfits for the clothes.

I am a big believer in not ‘saving things for best’ because we deserve to feel our best every day, and even more so now in fact, with our diaries emptied of all social activities for the foreseeable future. This doesn’t mean I’m going to tell you to wear a ball gown to take the bins out à la Amanda Holden or your wedding dress to do the vacuuming, although if you can and want to, why not? It might just lift yours and your neighbours’ spirits!

We threw out the old-school styling rulebook long ago and we are now no strangers to wearing dresses with trainers, combining sporty pieces with tailoring and donning daytime sequins so this the ideal time to look at your wardrobe in a fresh new light with endless outfit opportunities ahead.

Stylist’s Tip: Remember those mood-boosting sequins you wore for the party season back in December? Get them out now and wear that sequin skirt with a slogan t-shirt, try on that sparkling top with jeans and finish both with simple white trainers.

Style Inspiration: Get Houseparty ready in a flash by topping your day look with sequins.

A few carefully selected accessories is all you need to take your outfit from lounging in the living room to catch-ups with family and friends on Zoom, with just a few tweaks, a simple t-shirt and jeans pairing becomes a styled look with minimal effort. Experiment with your necklace collection and wear your go-to evening earrings during the day as all eyes are on your top half when communicating with the outside world.

Head scarfs and headbands were already a top accessory choice in the style stakes this season which is great news – if like me, you cannot wait to get back into the salon chair for a colour and cut – because we can disguise those ever-growing roots just a little bit longer.

Stylist’s Tip: Every time you get dressed, see if you can add at least one accessory to finish the look. Try layering two or three thin necklaces of different lengths together or change the existing belt on a dress for a different one in your collection.

Style Inspiration: Elevate a messy bun and classic white shirt with waterfall earrings and high-shine trousers usually reserved for nights out.

Neutral loungewear definitely has its place in the wardrobe as do the muted basics for outfit building, but if you are looking at the same four walls, all day, every day, a bright colour really will lift your spirits and those of the people around you, not to mention helping you to stand out on screen.

If you are working from home, wearing a full outfit – with a fabulous pair of shoes – can help to get you into the zone and compartmentalise that side of your life from the rest, just as you would if you were leaving for the office every day. While you don’t need to be as formal as you may do in the workplace, even a brightly coloured top and a necklace worn with jeans and heels will feel polished and presentable.

Stylist’s Tip: Pick out something patterned and pair with another item in one block colour which can be found within the print; it’s the easy way to build an outfit that looks effortlessly styled.

Style Inspiration: Dress up your wardrobe basics of denim and stripes with a bright pair of shoes. It’s my own favourite way to inject an instant feel-good factor into my day.

I like to leave my clients with a little challenge until I see them next, to get them thinking about their clothes differently and plant a seed to try something new, so I’m setting you a challenge to get you inspired to make the most of your wardrobe too. For the next week try to wear at least one different thing every day that has not made its way out of the wardrobe for a long time and style it with uplifting colour, fun accessories or a smattering or sequins using my top tips.

Let’s stay stylish and feel fabulous, now, even more so than ever! For more style inspiration, check out Helen’s Instagram page.

The ultimate natural high?

CBD, a current beauty buzz word – but what exactly is it? Beauty expert, Felicity Barnes, explains. When it comes to Beauty, generally we know what works for us and bring beneficial changes to our skin, but we also embrace innovation, welcoming new ingredients and formulas to our regimes. CBD has been one of the hottest beauty and wellness ingredients of the last couple of years, but still it appears shrouded by a sense of caution. Let’s delve a little deeper take a closer look at the science to understand its benefits.

CBD and Hemp Seed Oil – same plant, but different.

The Cannabis Sativa plant yields both Hemp Seed Oil and CBD.

Hemp Seed Oilis cold pressed from the seeds of the plant and rich in Omega 3 and 6 oil – essential fatty acids that help nourish and strengthen skin barrier. Antioxidants A, C, E help protect the skin from environmental damage that accelerate ageing.

CBD extract – is harvested from the flowers and buds of the plant. Its anti-inflammatory properties calm stressed skin, soothe irritation and restores balance.

They are complementary. They are not the same.


Miracle Molecule?

Maybe not a miracle, but there is a growing research supporting CBD in medical, therapeutic and topical application for its balancing, anti-inflammatory action.

The hemp plant from which CBD originates produces around 100 different cannabinoids – the active compound found within the cannabis plant.

CBD (cannabidiol) – anti-inflammatory, calmative, strengthening.

THC (Tetrahyd­rocannabinol) – mind-altering, psychoactive that is widely illegal.

CBD is extracted without THC; it has no comparable psychoactive properties.

Our human Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a network of receptors found throughout our connective tissues, internal organs, glands, immune cells and skin known to help regulate internal balances; from mood to appetite, to immune response and skin health.

Our skin recognises CBD as an adaptogen; they are absorbed quickly and connect to receptors that resolve pain and inflammation.

How can CBD help your skin?

CBD has been digested orally for some time because of its renowned calmative properties, helping many with anxiety to maintain equilibrium, focus and ease chronic pain.

System inflammation can result from environmental exposure, lifestyle and diet choices, UV damage, health issues or stress, it can cause many of our skincare miseries – breakouts, hyperpigmentation, sensitivity, redness, flare-ups like psoriasis and eczema.

If you are suffering from “lockdown skin” woes, this may be a perfect time to try a new addition to your skincare wardrobe.

CBD is sebostatic which means it is efficient at balancing sebum production, relieving congestion and breakouts. It helps reinforce skin strength and resilience through improved hydration and barrier function and it helps minimise ageing damage caused by trauma and irritation.

Incorporating CBD into your skincare regime

For optimal potency, opt for an oil or serum. Look for an optimal ‘mg dosage’ of CBD on the packaging as this indicates expertise and purity of extract.

Application will vary depending on the formulation, however my suggestion would be that if you choose an oil, apply this as your last, restorative and relaxing step in your evening routine. For a serum, the general rule of thumb is to apply serums in order of lightest to heaviest, giving each a little time to absorb. Whether it’s an oil or serum, always remember to follow individual brand directions.

The Beauty Expert’s Tip

Information is power.

Hemp Seed Oil or any other iteration of Hemp derived oil…is not CBD.
Check the ingredients list (INCI), it should read cannabidiol to be truly CBD in the formulation. The higher up the INCI it is, the higher the potency.