Saturday, June 27

Your Skin's Shield; Why and How To Use Anti-Oxidants!

Why and how to use anti oxidants, title image
Think of anti-oxidants like your skin's shield lying just below the surface - protecting from UVA light, pollution, free radicals,  anything that wants to harm our skin and cause premature aging - they can even reverse signs of aging - we love our anti-oxidant shield! During the day, it breaks down in the sunshine and needs to rebuild overnight for a new day of battling. Happily, we can help it along with various ingredients and some top secret know-how!

To be clear that we're only talking topical anti-oxidants (those you apply externally on to the skin). Consuming anti-oxidants, while very (very) good for your body, has little to no effect on your skin; think of them as totally different districts; your face is the capitol, your body is district 12 and the anti-oxidants don't travel between.

Anti-oxidant Ingredients to look out for;
  • Green Tea
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Vitamin A/Retinol
  • Vitamin C/Ascorbic Acid or Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate
  • Vitamin E/Tocopherol
  • Resveratrol
  • Blueberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Grape Extract
Look out for these ingredients in your skincare and also use them to make some of the DIY recipes on the DIY Facemask Cheat-sheet.

Some of these ingredients will protect your skin, some go further than that and will stimulate collagen production (Vitamin C/Retinol), encourage cell repair (Vitamin E) or even firm skin (retinol). The best way to use them is to combine them. Don't think you have to pick just one!! Apply your retinol serum and your Vitamin C serum as well as your DIY Green Tea toner.

IMPORTANT: Vitamin C is one of the best ingredients out there but grabbing an orange and rubbing it over your face is NOT the same thing! Our skin uses vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid which we cannot make ourselves. We just can't. Rubbing orange/lemon juice and peel over your face will only result in a lovely case of irritation and make your skin extra sensitive to the sun's ageing rays - steer clear..

Anti oxidant skincare products, indeed labs retinol reface, una brennan vitamin c glow serum, the body shop vitamin c capsules and cocoa powder for DIY skincare.
Getting the most from your Anti-oxidant Skincare

Only apply in the evening - Anti-oxidants need a lot of time to rebuild your shield and are immediately broken down by sunshine; If you apply your anti-oxidants in the morning they're already dead - sunshine killed them before they could get to your shield.

Protect them from sunlight - If you make a DIY anti-oxidant recipe keep it in a brown or coloured pot to protect it from the light.

Keep away from chemical exfoliants - topical anti-oxidants like Vitamin C and Retinol are broken down and rendered useless by chemical exfoliants, so apply them at different times - glycolic/salicylic in the morning, vitamin C and retinol in the evening.

Combine them - Green tea toner + retinol serum + vitamin C serum + Vitamin E in night cream = happy skin and strong shield!

Don't Get Ripped Off - Just like chemical exfoliants, antioxidants need a long time on your skin to do their thing - we're talking hours - so a facewash scrub, or anything that is washed off, will deliver no antioxidant benefits - it will have no effect. At all - steer clear.

And by the way if you find a good vitamin C serum that isn't wildly expensive let me know - I'm always looking for the very best one I can find!

Ciao for now

Thursday, June 25

Woodburning/Pyrography; how childhood wonder leads to new passions

Woodburned, bespoke couples gift, From PromisingYellow Etsy shop
As a little girl we used to holiday in a tiny town in North Wales and at the end of the week we'd go to a huge outdoor market; always busy and full of sweets stalls, books and jewellery with dolphins. My favourite stall was run by an old woman who sold all kinds of wooden curios; keyrings shaped like shamrocks, door plaques with Welsh dragons, glittery fairies mounted on wooden plinths. She'd use a special tool to burn any message you wanted into the wood; a good luck message, your own name etc, and you could watch! The burning tip would glide over the wood and in seconds there would be my message in swirly, fancy writing. I was in awe. Every year I'd buy something different; I still have my dragon door plaque!

It must be at least 10 years since the I saw that stall but I'll never forget it, the whirls of smoke and my name burned into the wood. It could never be rubbed away; it would be written there forever!

Many years later I've found out it's called pyrography or more simply, woodburning. Now I've learned the craft for myself and my own hand can glide across the wood leaving trails of smoky, swirly lettering to create some beautiful things.

Every time I'm woodburning I think back to that Lady in the Welsh market. I'm remembering my old bedroom where the blue, glittery fairy stood on the windowsill overlooking the river behind my house, and the dragon door plaque mounted onto my bedroom door. It's like a connection to my childhood.

Magenta wine and Snow on the left, Dark Wood and Snow on the Right - mix and match. Bespoke and unique.

After some thought I've opened up my own Etsy shop selling some of my handmade, woodburned items. At the moment it's a small shop with just the wood burned tiles personalised artwork as above and the wedding placeholder/favors, which personally, I love! I saw the plain wooden gift tags and knew immediately what I wanted to make.

It's so satisfying to know that each one is totally unique; it feels more special. Cut from natural birchwood, each tile has its own pattern of rings and knots from the birch tree so no two tiles are the same and the names are burned into the wood forever.

I hope you'll come on over or share the link with someone else who might like it! I gave one as a gift for my friend's recent anniversary and have one in our own home which I made for Valentine's day.

 Sometimes the most chance encounters can give us inspiration for a future passion.
Click here to visit the PromisingYellow Etsy shop or the link on the top right of the page.
Ciao for now

Thursday, June 18

Summer Trips and Animals by the Sea; Instagram #6

Vanilla cupcake with cream cheese frosting and a flake by the seaside in Llandudno, North Wales with the sea and beach in the background.
 Summer has well and truly arrived, bringing Sunshine, day trips and lazy days in the garden. I've been posting my fave pics over on Instagram @PromisingYellow.

At the end of May we had a long weekend in Llandudno to celebrate Boyfriend's birthday; a gorgeous Edwardian seaside town in North Wales with a cable car, mountain and wonderful animal sanctuary/farm. 

We ate Fish n Chips by the sea a la British seaside tradition, took a visit to a medieval castle, ate cupcakes on the front and, of course, fought off the seagulls! 

Back at home, the gorgeous doggie has been sunbathing and buttercups have been waving in the air. Here are some feelgood photos to celebrate the advent of summer!!

Pastel coloured guesthouses in Llandudno, North Wales. B&B in the summer by the seaside.
We'd just arrived and this was the cutesy view from our window; pastel-coloured guesthouses, shining in the sunshine lining both sides of the street.

A woolly white llama by the sea at Llandudno, North Wales with the Great Orme, sea and pier in the background. Farm and animal sanctuary.
 Off we went to a farm/animal sanctuary where they had the friendliest Llamas ever. You can see the Great Orme and sea in the background

Wrought Iron table and chair at a little seaside cafe with parisienne decor. Llandudno, North Wales, seaside holiday.
 Gorgeous little cafe had these parisienne-esque table and chairs set-up outside. Reminded me of the sims!

A striped owl at an animal anctuary in Llandudno, North Wales on a british seaside holiday. Beautiful owl at the animal and owl sanctuary.
 The farm partners with the RSPB I think, to provide sanctuary for owls. This gorgeous guy is a striped owl.

Lookin up through Rowan tree leaves at the blue sky and bright sunshine. The magical rowan tree in the garden.
Early morning, sitting on the bench under our large, Rowan tree with the sun peeking through the leaves. Did you know that Rowan Trees are said to be magical and druids used to make magic wands from the wood? Love that.

My besutiful little Jack Russell sunbathing in the garden during a heatwave.
The gorgeous little doggie decided to have some time sunbathing and snoozing, the ground was so warm!
Gorgeous yellow buttercups waving in the sunshine with blue sky and fluffy, wispy white clouds.
 Best colour in the whole world ever - sunshine yellow buttercup!

Bumblebee nails! Fun manicre with nail art, clouds, blue sky and bumble bee.
Inspired by the sunny, blue skies and bumbling bees, I just had to. How-to coming soon!

Tried little jack russell terrier squinting on a furry red throw.
And finally, here's a squinty picture of the dog just after I turned the light on and woke her up; 
"turn off the light! I'm sleeping!"

Recently Tanya Burr talked about waking from a nightmare and flicking through some feelgood pics on Instagram to calm her down and help her get back to sleep. There's something about looking a pretty pictures on Instagram, Pinterest or Tumblr that really can lift our spirits and even sometimes offer the same type of a escape that a book can. Suddenly you're in this pretty world of cupcakes, fluffy little dogs, glittering handmade crafts and immersive travel photos.

If you'd like to follow me I'm @PromisingYellow.
And feel free to leave your own Instagram link in the comments below! 

Check out my other instagram posts here 

A beautiful Spring week on Instagram #1

Eyeliner, Pinterest crafts, Easter nests and Shopping - Instagram #2

Out and about on Instagram #3

The Season of Colour on Instagram #4

Wildlife and lipstick on Instagram #5

Hope you're all enjoying this lovely weather and getting out and about.

Ciao for now