Monday, 28 November 2016

Naturally beautiful Christmas gifts

With increasing numbers of us looking to use more natural products on our skin, here at Ginger Tree we have Christmas covered.

In the pink

 Pinks Boutique may be a fairly new kid on the beauty block, but their natural and organic skin care and beauty products are already winning national awards. With a range that literally spans head to toes, you will find a product to suit all ages and skin types.

Among our favourites is the Lemongrass Body Balm - a fabulous fruity combination of lemongrass and mandarin, this rich shea butter balm made from organic ingredients, will smooth and rehydrate skin.

Oils are very on trend, and Pinks Boutique Rose & Jojoba Face and Body Oil won’t disappoint. A deeply nourishing, calming, soothing anti ageing oil, it is suitable for sensitive and dry skins.

Ideal for stocking fillers or table gifts are small gift bags of some of Pinks Boutique’s best-selling products, including cuticle oil and anti aging serum.

Nail it!

Increasing numbers of us are concerned about the “nasties” in traditional nail polishes. Thankfully SpaRitual allows you to have fabulous nails that are good for you and good for the planet. Their nail laquers are vegan and free of DBP, toluene, camphor, formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin. And there is no compromise on either quality or colour ranges. Everyone loves red nails at Christmas - our festive favourite is SpaRituals “Brazen”.

Natural beauty product legends

British brand Neal's Yard Remedies has been selling its organic natural health and beauty products since 1981. The brand is synonymous with quality, ethically produced products that range from essential oils through baby powder to shower gels and scented soaps. With products very keenly priced, Neal’s Yard Remedies make ideal stocking fillers, Secret Santa gifts, or why not make up a beauty box of goodies in the brand’s signature blue packaging?

Pucker up!

Jane Iredale is renowned globally for producing natural mineral based makeup products that are kind on your skin, and kind on the environment. The brand has brought out some new lines especially for Christmas, including our favourite Champagne on Ice lip gloss set – ideal for puckering up under the mistletoe!

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Guest blog from Carol Rennard

In the pink with body bliss treat

Like many women I want to take as much care about what I put on my body, as what I put in my body.

I avoid additives and processed foods, so why would I want to put harsh chemicals onto my aging, delicate skin – not to mention the risk to the environment?

One of the appeals of Ginger Tree is that the skin care and beauty ranges Kathy uses are free of such nasties. Kathy suggested the Pinks Boutique Body Bliss – a delicious one and a half hours of top to toe pampering – as my first treatment at the salon. Pinks Boutique, founded by husband and wife Luke and Kirstie Sherriff, is inspired by their trips throughout Asia.

Pinks Boutique skincare products are natural, organic, approved by the Soil Association and have won a clutch of awards. Many are oils and balms smelling deliciously of rose, lemongrass and mandarin.

The treatment starts with a soothing scented foot soak while I sipped a mint tea – from my favourite Pukka brand. Then I moved through to the peaceful treatment room, where Kathy makes me comfortable on her massage bed complete with memory foam mattress. There’s the option to have the bed heated, but on a warm summer’s day this wasn’t needed.

The Body Bliss treatment starts with exfoliation of my upper back using Rosehip Face and Body Scrub followed by a Rose, Clay and Rosehip Mask. Then Kathy moisturises and massages with Rose Face and Body Balm, and Rose and Jojoba Face and Body. My much-neglected upper back soaks up these anti-aging products, designed for dry and sensitive skins, like a sponge.

An hour long facial follows, using many of the same products. Kathy decides that my face doesn’t need exfoliating after cleansing with the amazing Anti Aging Deep Cleansing Melt – a luxury cleansing balm, which I will be buying. Balm and oil are massaged into my face and décolletage following the Rose, Clay and Rosehip Mask.

If you have this treatment don’t plan a lunch date afterwards because the next stage is a superb head massage using oil. I had to go straight home and wash my hair as Kathy really does get down to the roots. It’s worth it for the benefits though – which had the added bonus of conditioning my hair, as well being a great stress reducer.

Body Bliss includes a leg or arm and hand massage – I opted for the latter. Kathy’s experience really shows in her massage – firm, but calming.

The wonderful scents of the Pinks Boutique’s products lingered for the rest of the day. They do candles and room spray too, which would make great birthday or Christmas gifts.

Days after my Body Bliss experience my skin is still glowing and I have worn very little makeup - just a bit of concealer. There’s no doubt that my skin loves Pinks Boutique. I think it may be an expensive autumn when I overhaul my skincare!

Monday, 9 May 2016

Review of the Environ Purifying Facial

I was lucky enough to experience an Environ Purifying facial with Kathy a few weeks ago. I am no stranger to facials and normally enjoy a more traditional facial using Pinks Boutique products but Kathy encouraged me to try something new, so I did!

When doing blogs for Kathy before I have made no attempt to hide the fact that I am very driven by smell and I believed that an Environ facial would be exactly the same as a normal facial, but without all of the floral smells. I was very wrong.

The Environ Purifying facial brings skincare bang up to date and into the 21st century. I am not a scientific person (I failed my A-level in Biology) so I am not even going to try and attempt to explain the process behind the facial, but I was very impressed by the scientific knowledge that had gone into producing a treatment tailored to plump up the skin and increase the moisture in the skin using a variety of techniques.

Kathy felt that my skin looked a little congested and dull and suggested the Purifying Facial to deeply cleanse and steralise my skin. So whilst this treatment is great for acne and serious problematic skins, it is also useful for skins that are getting slightly spotty.

Before the Facial.

One part of the facial which I strangely enjoyed was when Kathy applied a product that looked like icing that you would normally put on a cake! Kathy left my nostrils free but applied this product over my entire face including my eye sockets. This icing like mixture then dried and hardened which was an extremely unusual feeling and eventually made a rubbery mould of my face. I can see why Kathy said that some people had asked to take their moulds home, it was fascinating!

Whilst the mask is on iontophoresis current is put through the mask to increase the penetration of the serums used deep into the dermis of the skin. This is one of the things that makes an Environ facial so effective. Sound waves are also used during the first part of the facial to create temporary cavities in the skin, allowing the products to seep deep into the skin. I have never experienced sound waves on my face and was a little apprehensive as to how it would feel, but I could honestly not feel a thing! It was unusual to not be able to open your eyes because of the face mould over them, but that was the only odd part of the experience.

After the facial my skin felt brighter and plumper.
After the facial, my face felt noticeably different. I felt like my cheek muscles had been dramatically lifted (I didn’t even know they needed that!) The most visible difference though was the disappearance of fine lines around my eyes and a smoother forehead. I don’t mind fine lines at all, I laugh a lot, but it was extremely impressive to see my eye crinkles completely disappeared after just one treatment!

Sarah x

A slightly more glamorous picture of me, thanks to Jane Iredale makeup (and Kathy of course!)

Friday, 29 April 2016

Eyebrow: part 2

So you want to smarten up your eyebrows and make them the best they can be? Perhaps the colour is fading as we age, or the hairs are becoming sparser. Or maybe you’ve been the victim of over plucking in the past.

There are lots of products in the Jane Iredale range to help with brows:

Clear Brow Fit Gel, Brow Gel in 3 colours, Liner Pencil in Taupe, Basic Brown, Brown/Black, Grey, Black and an updated brow kit – Great Shape Eyebrow Kit in Brunette and Blonde.

The Jane Iredale Great Shape Eyebrow Kit includes a specially designed dual ended applicator as well as a light weight transparent botanical brow wax that is perfect for taming stray hairs without leaving a sticky residue. The highly pigmented powders can be used to create a soft and natural brow shape, easily filling in any areas that may look sparse without appearing too heavy. Equally you can build up the colour and apply the wax before the powder to create a denser, fuller look. The powders are also water resistant, meaning even if the weather doesn’t hold up, your eyebrows will. The powders are pigmented enough to cover greys and create a personalized shade.

Here’s just one brow beauty tip from Jane Iredale:

For trending thick, bold brows begin by using Clear Brow Fix Gel to brush your brow hairs up, this will help create fullness. Mix the wax portion and the powder portion of your GreatShape Eyebrow Kit, this will create a coloured waxy pomade that will allow you to draw sharp lines while keeping your brows looking soft. Starting on the underside of your brow, underline your brow with an angled brush. With the pigment that is left from the line, begin to blend upwards in tiny strokes. Repeat this same technique on the topside of the brow to make it bold. To create a more stand out brow, choose a concealer about a shade or two lighter than your skin tone and use the Camouflage Brush to clean underneath your brow and make it more defined.

The brow gels are £14.00, the kit is £26.00, pencils are £13. All of these items are long lasting and you use a small amount, so they are long lasting representing a fantastic investment towards creating the perfect brows to frame your face.

Want to try these products for yourself or still unsure how to tackle your brows? Then why not book a make up consultation or lesson with me at Ginger Tree. You can book online by clicking the link below.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Eyebrows – they’ve always been “in”

Eyebrows – they’ve always been “in” The last few posts have talked about lips and the history of lipstick, we looked at how lipstick tricks have changed from the early lip paints used by the Egyptians to the gorgeous red toned lipsticks worn by women in the 30’s.

This month I’d like us to focus on another important part of any beauty routine – our eyebrows. Eyebrows are the cheekbones of the eye, they frame the eye, give definition to the face, emphasise our emotions when communicating via facial expression and they keep the sweat out of our eyes. Practical as well as pretty!

Let’s look at how trends have changed (and even come full circle) and what you can do to achieve the perfect eyebrows to suit your mood, style and face shape.

In 3500 BC, Egyptian women, as with lipstick, pioneered another make up movement – bold eyebrows. Make up was worn by Egyptian men and women for its supernatural powers, with particular emphasis on eye makeup. The popular heavily lined eye look was won in homage to their god Horus and was completed by applying black oxide substances to their brows to create an elongated and arched shape.

By 753 BC, the Ancient Romans began experimenting with their brow styles and the preferred look of the day was the unibrow!!!! Far from being cause to call in for an emergency waxing appointment at Ginger Tree, the unibrow was considered to be a beautiful trait.

1066 and all that and the beginning of the Middle Ages brought a dramatic shift in eyebrow trends. Medieval women wanted to emphasise their foreheads and plucked their eyebrows heavily to create thin arches. Some went so far as to dye their eyebrows with a red tint in an attempt to emulate Queen Elizabeth I’s eyebrows.

As with many fashion trends, a celebrity led the way in the 1920’s. Her name was Clara Bow and she was a silent film actress. The eyebrow was made of a thin arch and extended beyond the corner of the eye creating a striking look. This era was also the first time cosmetic companies made cosmetics specifically designed for the eyebrow and the stylish women of the day took full advantage.

The 1940’s saw a switch in brow trends towards heavier more natural looking brow shape. The prominent arch was still in vogue, but the brow was thicker. Grace Kelly the famous actress and later Princess of Monaco would be the perfect example of this style.

The 1960’s brought a stronger, bolder look with heavy use of eyebrow pencil. Think of the actress Sophia Loren. Did you know she removed her own eyebrows completely then pencilled in bolder, thicker brows.

The 1990’s we went back to thinner brows, think Kate Moss and Drew Barrymore, but we also started to see the emergence of the ‘Scouse Brow’ and new cosmetic products and treatments sprung up. In recent times ‘The HD Brow’ has been a very popular treatment, giving bold, defined eyebrows, although some think they are overdone, but it’s certainly helped to bring attention to eyebrow make up and styling. So we have come full circle from the Egyptian bold brow to the ‘Scouse Brow’.

Perhaps you’re not so much a follower of fashion, but current trends have made you think about your eyebrows. When deciding on your eyebrows, it’s important to consider your face shape, bone structure and age. The next blog will talk about this specifically and give you hints and tips on how to use the latest brow kit from Jane Iredale Mineral Make up – The Great Shape Eyebrow Kit.

Guest Review: Jane Iredale Tantasia Self Tanner

Now I am not normally one for fake tan but when going on holiday I like to try and have a base layer of colour so I don’t feel so white on the beach! Earlier this year I went on a trip of a lifetime to Koh Samui in Thailand. Two of my beautiful best friends were getting married on a beach and we would be there for a 10 day holiday exploring the island.

I contacted Kathy asking what she would recommend for a base tan, I have had dodgy spray tans in the past and I am very good at making my legs stripey at home with self-tan so I needed an alternative.

Kathy recommended Tantasia and made said that it doesn’t streak or make you look orange! To be honest I wasn’t expecting that to be true, but I was very pleasantly surprised.

I started using the product the day before my trip and the results were almost instant. I wouldn’t say that this is a gradual tanner, in fact the catch line is ‘tint today and tan tomorrow’ which is very true. By the time I was catching the 14-hour flight on the second day of using this product I was extremely happy with the colour on my legs and Dan my partner even noticed! Another bonus of this product was that it didn’t even smell like fake tan, which is normally a huge clue that you aren’t naturally a bronzed goddess!

I would definitely use this product again and it will be perfect for weddings and special occasions. I can’t believe that at the age of 28 I have finally found a streak free self-tanner, where has this been all my life?!

Sarah x

Monday, 18 April 2016

Antioxidants – now what’s that all about??

Antioxidants might be familiar to you or they might not. But, they are very important when it comes to healthy skin. What are they and what do they do?

Patrick Holford, the nutritionalist, in his book The Optimum Nutrition Bible heads his chapter up “Antioxidants – the Power of Prevention”. Antioxidants slow down or prevent damage to our cells called oxidative damage. Oxidative damage occurs when the skin is exposed to light, pollution, stress, illness, smoking, burning petrol to create exhaust fumes, frying or barbecuing food and normal body processes. All of these listed situations create free radicals which lead to oxidative damage and antioxidants disarm the free radicals.

Oxidative damage is key to the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin – these are the two fibres responsible for keeping the skin plump and firm – age spots which can have the potential to become more serious.

As antioxidants can help to fight oxidative damage it makes sense to not only to take them in supplement form but also for them to be in our skincare products, thereby absorbing the free radical damage.

The main antioxidants are Vitamins A, C and E plus betacarotene, the precursor of vitamin A that is found in fruit and vegetables. Other antioxidants used in skincare and Jane Iredale makeup are green tea, coenzyme Q10, grape seed extracts, resveratrol, soya bean sterols, niacinamide, pomegranate, idebenone, turmeric and superoxide dismutase.

Whilst some products may contain some of these ingredients, it is thought that a mix of antioxidants is best as they have different benefits. For example, Vitamin C is effective against ozone, grape seed extracts are effective against pollution and Vitamin E is effective against UVA rays.
Antioxidants deteriorate if they are exposed to sunlight and oxygen, so it’s important that they are packaged in opaque, pump only containers. Use them morning and night, ensure they are included in your diet and supplements.

All skincare ranges at Ginger Tree – Environ, Pinks Boutique and Neal’s Yard include antioxidants in their products.

Friday, 18 March 2016

CACI Review

"This was a first time for me - I had not experienced CACI before, although I have had what I would call 'machine intervention' facials rather than the traditional 'hands on' facials in the past.

I hadn't expected it to be, but it was a very relaxing experience, no sensation or 'clicking' or 'fizzing' of electrical pulses. The rollers & probes were comfortable & once I got used to the sensation of targeted micro massaging, it was rather pleasant.

After just this one session I could see instant results - yes honestly, particularly on the 'apples' of my cheeks & under my jawline! Went straight to school pick up & it was immediately noticed by a few of the other Mum's who wanted to know what I'd been up to as I looked fantastic! I would most definitely go for the full 10 sessions just based on the results of one! Quite amazing & truly 'uplifting'."

Monday, 7 March 2016

Lips part 3

So regular readers, I’ve talked about how to care for your lips and started to look at the history of lipstick. Here’s the next history info blog….1900s to the present day. I find the history of make up fascinating and this blog takes in my mother’s youth during WW2, I just love the pictures of her with her red lipstick that she shared with her 4 sisters!

So thank you BABTAC for sharing this with us…….

‘By 1915 lipstick was being widely commercially produced and was sold in cylinder metal containers. These containers were invented by Maurice Levy. To move the lipstick up the case you had to slide a lever on the tube.

In 1923 (the year my mum was born) the swivel-up lipstick was created by James Bruce Mason Jr. Lipstick became more and more popular due to the evolution of the cinema and film, where actresses would be seen with a fully make up look. In the late 1940s, Hazel Bishop, an organic chemist, created the first long lasting lipstick, which was named No Smear Lipstick.

During the 20th Century various new shades of lipstick were introduced due to advances in technology and trends. In the 1920s a deep red was very popular and flapper girls would wear lipstick to symbolize their independence. (See more about this in the link below). In the 1930s Elizabeth Arden introduced new lipstick colours and inspired other make up companies to create a variety of shades. In the 40s lipstick was considered a morale booster during the war, due to it being inexpensive to make. A brand name Gala introduced a pale shimmery lipstick in the 50s and later Max Factor created a popular lipstick called Strawberry Meringue, colours then began being made in lavender, pale pink, white and peach, providing more neutral shades for teens. Red remained popular still, as film stars continued to opt for a bolder make up look.
Later in the 20th Century technologies advanced and ‘mood’ lipsticks were introduced, that were supposed to change colour when applied depending on the wearers’ mood. In the 90s semi-matte finish lipsticks were introduced, but towards the end of the 90s pearl shades in a shiny finish came into fashion.’

And above is an advert from the 1930s that brings us full circle to my first article about caring for your lips – not sure I fancy this product though!

Next time, a bit more about today’s lipsticks and trends.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Lipstick History

 Hi all, I’m a member of BABTAC the British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology and last month in our monthly magazine BABTAC had a great article on Lips Through the Ages….here are some of the main points to share with you as we continue our look at LIPS. Today lipstick is probably the most popular cosmetic product which a huge number of colours, finishes, brands and textures. People and society cultural attitudes vary widely, so where did it all begin………

In the Beginning 

The first known creation of lipstick was carried out by Mesopotamian women around 3100 BC, who ground up precious gems and used the dust to decorate their lips to create a glistening finish.

Archaeological finds indicate that between 3000 BC and 1500 BC women of the Indus Valley civilisation, which was located in modern day Pakistan and north west india, used lipstick. This culture traded with the Mesopotamians, so it’s thought this is how the practice spread.

It was the ancient Egyptians who created the first lipsticks with a creamy consistency which were kept in little lidded post. Bright red shades were used by royalty and the upper ranks of the clergy to show their status. A carmine colour was made by crushing beetles and ants, which is known to have been favoured by Cleopatra.

Another popular shade was a purple-red, which was made from seaweed,iodine and bromine mannite. Unfortunately bromine mannite is poisonous and even the small amount used in the lipstick receipe was probably enough to kill the wearer and anyone who kissed them!

Ancient Greek prostitutes were expected to have a made up look so they didn’t trick men or pass themselves off as ladies and would be fined if they were found working without wearing lipstick.

Around 5000 years ago in Ancient China, reddening of the lips was popular. Painting the lips was practiced to please the gods and was carried out by both men and women.

During Medieval times red lipstick was banned by the church, but natural pinks were deemed acceptable. But only by 16th Century was lipstick widely used. Cosmetics were expensive and the right the person, the less natural the look: Queen Elizabeth I favoured red lips, which became a trend. Elizabethan lipsticks were made using beeswax and plant dyes. In the late 17th Century, lipstick became on trend for men. During the reign of Charles II in England and Louise XIV in France, lips were rouged heavily by both men and women, with inspiration coming from actors. Carmine and grease were used to colour the lips and even men with a moustache and beard would wear lipstick.

In 1656 Parisian rosary-maker Francoise Jaquin created a pearl essence from fish scales to be used in lipsticks. This substance is known as crystalline guanine. Guanine is still used today, as a synthetic ingredient to create a pearly shimmer.

Lipstick was first commercially produced in the 1880s, advertised in 1890s and sold in paper tubes. Isn’t it interesting to see the different attitudes through the ages and I think the same diversity of thinking is still apparent today.

Next time: The 1900s to the present day 

 Further reading Lisa Eldridge; Face Paint - The Story of Make Up

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

My First Experience with Jane Iredale Makeup

I was completely unaware of the makeup brand, Jane Iredale, until I first met Kathy when discussing about wedding makeup. Before experiencing this exciting cosmetic range I was never really a wearer of makeup, and when I did, it was usually inexpensive high street brands. I was often frustrated that most of the foundation I purchased were not a close match in skin colour and I frequently experienced outbreaks of spots from using them. I guess I wasn’t very knowledgeable about makeup at all!

It seemed like the mission for finding makeup that did not fight with my skin was at an end… until Kathy convinced me to give Jane Iredale a chance. She offered to do a quick makeover on me so I could experience the feel and look of the cosmetics. She gently applied PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation with a powder brush around my face. She didn’t take long but I was astounded by the coverage I received - my acne and red blemishes were completely covered and it felt weightless! The foundation gave my appearance a sheer and matte finish, which I greatly appreciate as I have oily skin. The colour was a perfect match too! I had no idea I had yellow undertones in my skin.

Kathy said that this brand of makeup also carries skin care benefits, where the mineral powders also contain a sunscreen to protect the skin from UV damage. One of my main concerns was whether or not my skin would retaliate from the application of this makeup. I was dead chuffed! Not a single spot emerged to taunt me.

Jane Iredale has gained a happy customer! I now use the PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation and apply it with The Handi Brush, which is so quick and easy to do. I’m so excited to try her other products and I know I can buy with confidence as I have been introduced to a makeup that is kind to my acne prone skin, has handy skin care benefits and has a super close match with the complex colour of my skin. My mission is completed, thanks Kathy!


Monday, 8 February 2016

Let’s look at LIPS

Lips have been much on my mind this month and as we enter February I thought it would be a great time to blog about them. Looking after your lips and using great products on them, can really enhance how you feel. A bit of lippy and away you go! Lipstick is a great pick me up and a relatively affordable treat. I always feel fully made up, even if I haven’t done more than a 5 minute face, with a pop of colour on my lips.

Last month I had the opportunity to work with David Miller Photography on a photoshoot entitled Peer Pressure and featured some of the finalists of Miss North Yorkshire. 12 beautiful faces to play with – oooh I had fun. I did notice that some of the models were suffering from winter lips. When I asked what products they were using, the common reply was a product that was Vaseline based.

Anyone who has been reading my newsletters, blog, Facebook or website will know that ingredients, such as a petrochemical based ingredient like Vaseline are a big no-no for healthy skin.

Also, we’re in winter time. Winter can play havoc with the skin. Lips don’t have oil glands. Also, unlike the skin on the rest of the body, lip tissue has no thick, protective outer layer, either. They are also constantly moisturized by saliva, then dried by breathing, which has an evaporative effect.

I stock Pinks Boutique Organic Skincare in the salon, here’s what they have to say about Petrochemicals;

“Petroleum-paraffinum liquidum, mineral oils, petroleum oils.  These are some of the cheap base products in nearly every non-organic cleanser, body lotion or moisturiser [and many other things]. Much like wrapping your skin in cling film, these chemicals block pores and interfere with the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins. They can slow down skin function and cell development resulting in premature ageing.” (

Take a look at your lip balm, lipsticks or lip glosses. If they contain any of the listed petrochemicals, then they are drying out your lips and when you add in the effects of winter – no wonder these models were experiencing dry lips.

So what can we do;

I recently had a cold and after a couple of days, my normal soft, pouty lips were cracked and painful. I used my favourite product, Jane Iredale Lip Drink all over my lips and top lip area. Within 2 days the pain and cracking had diminished and by day 3 I was well on the way to being back to normal.

As a little extra during facials, I include a lip exfoliation and lip plumping moisturiser with the Jane Iredale Sugar/Butter £19.95.
Lip Drink costs £12.00. Not cheap, but it lasts for ages, has an SPF 15 in it and comes in 3 shades – sheer, nude and pale berry.

Neal’s Yard also do two products – Bee Lovely Lip Balm £6.50 which comes in a handy tin and Shea Butter and Rosehip Lip Balm £7.00 and comes in a lipstick bullet.

If your lips are in great condition, then your lipstick will stay on longer, look smoother and of course you’ll have soft kissable lips.

Next blog: The history of lipstick and lipsticks for healthy lips