Winter Skincare with Votary

by Alexandra Radiance,

 As we face winter head-on, it’s important to ensure we’re continuing to look after ourselves, both on the inside and the outside. Votary, experts in natural plant oil skin care, share with us their top tips for looking after your skin during the colder months.  

 

As we head into the colder weather, what are the main things we need to be aware of when it comes to our skin?

The main thing to be aware of is protecting and deeply hydrating your skin as winter draws in. It can be punishing for the skin’s mantle to go between warm centrally-heated spaces and below-freezing temperatures outside. That’s why layering your skin protection is so important in the winter.

When the weather turns cold, I always add our Super Nutrient Cream to my morning routine to layer and lock-in moisture. My skin feels instantly happier and weather-proofed! I also switch to our richest, most hydrating facial oil, Rose Maroc and Sandalwood. We have customers who won’t step outside without it.

We all know that with the heating up, we can get really dehydrated - yet cold water isn't always what we want to be drinking in mid-winter. How do you keep hydrated?

I still drink lots of water, but water at room temperature rather than from the fridge. I love my morning juice, which tends to be thinner and more vegetable-based than the soft fruit ones I enjoy on summer days. I’m also a huge fan of tisanes such as peppermint tea, ginger and turmeric. I love a beautiful cup of herbal tea after a stomp through autumn leaves.

The shorter and colder days have an impact on the amount of sunlight and Vitamin D we're absorbing, which can be reflected in our skin looking dull. Do you take any supplements or have any tips to minimise this?

My top tip is our Super Seed Nutritional Supplement. I have a daily spoonful, and feel that I’m nourishing my skin, hair and nails from the inside out. It’s vegan, gluten free, and packed with flaxseed which is the richest plant source of omega oils 3, 6 and 9. It keeps my skin glowing and my hair glossy even through the darkest of days. I also make lots of vegetable soups with seasonal produce to make sure my vitamin levels stay high.


 

Just 'feeling' better about our skin can make a world of difference, and we know a bit of a tan can have that impact - is there a good facial tan you would personally recommend?

I confess to not being a fan of facial tan - even the ones you add as drops to your moisturiser, I think they add patchy colour. Instead, I’m a huge fan of Hourglass bronzer. Like Votary, they’re a vegan brand and their bronzer comes in several shades, giving a lovely ‘just-back-from holiday glow. I’d be lost without it in deepest winter.

With party season around the corner (and a wedding at Radiance!) - what are your top tips for glamorous events in the winter calendar, to keep our skin glowing?

My mantra is that beautiful glowing skin begins with skin that is properly cleansed. Using a plant oil cleanser deeply cleanses your skin without stripping or dehydration. During the winter, if you are wearing fuller coverage foundation, or more make-up for seasonal parties, I suggest double cleansing so that you can make sure everything is removed, and then repeat to allow it to really penetrate. 

I’m also a fan of the quick at-home, super easy facial. On a night when I’m staying in, I’ll run a relaxing bath, and use one of our facial oils like a mask. I apply it before getting into the water, and then let it deeply nourish my skin while I soak. I also make sure not to neglect my limbs during these months. I’m loving our new Antidote Bath and Body Oil which can be used in the bath or shower or put straight onto your skin. It makes my limbs feel smooth and lustrously soft, even when they are tucked in boots all day.

 And finally, for wedding skin, I can’t recommendour Jasmine and Calendula Facial Oil enough. (Get the Gloss recently chose it as one of their six best products ever to celebrate their sixth birthday). Applied with a stipple brush, it creates a fabulous, flawless base for make-up. Happy Radiance wedding.  x


Profile: Renée Lacroix, founder of La Crèmerie

by Alexandra Radiance, , link

 

Renée Lacroix is one busy entrepreneur. It's been just 18 months since she set up La Crèmerie - an organic and handmade brand of delicious dairy free yoghurts, which is already stocked in Selfridges, Abel and Cole, As Nature Intended, Revital and Farmdrop - to name a few... When we first came across La Crèmerie last year it was a match made in heaven - we love the ethos behind the brand, their product and their business. We've also been known to eat a pot in one go, which is usually a good sign....

The product base for La Crèmerie is an organic rice, which is mixed by hand with Brittany spring water, and specially selected live cultures. Completely dairy free, and a refreshing alternative to coconut yoghurt - with four flavours, including Cherry Rhubarb - what's not to love?

Fiercely passionate about the benefits of a plant based diet (a convert from vegetarianism after watching the popular Cowspiracy), Renée found that it was really difficult to find a plant based yohurt that wasn't soy, or coconut based. We're in agreement that though we're partial to a good coconut yoghurt, it can be overpowering - and it's so refreshing to have an alternative option. Having dabbled in business before (running a sustainable fashion business with ethical fabrics) - this was the moment Renée knew this would be her next venture. 

From talking to Renée, it's absolutely clear that her passion for the product, and a plant based diet is multi layered. She's insistent that it's not just about the health benefits; going dairy free can clearly have an enormous environmental impact, not to mention animal welfare. Organic was a natural decision for La Crèmerie, and their products have always been made in a certified Organic factory in Brittany, France. Sustainability is at the core of the business; reflected in their beautiful and environmentally friendly glass jars. 

 

From talking to Renée we really picked up on her skill as an entrepreneur to make decisions based on core principles, mixed with a bit of instinct - so important in those early stages of building a food business. With her roots in ethical principles, and organic being part of her lifestyle - it was almost fate that finding a manufacturer came completely by chance at a London trade show. We were really inspired by the way Renée told us the story of how she nurtured this relationship. As she put it - 'two one man bands' working together, to learn the ropes of artisanal yoghurt, and bringing it to market. Despite doing the incredible job of running La Crèmerie herself; she says she doesn't find it a lonely experience - due to this amazing relationship she has with her producer, and her distributors. 

Infectiously enthusiastic, and grateful for all the opportunities that come with running a company - we're so thrilled about the success Renée has already enjoyed. We've been lucky enough to get our hands on an exclusive 18 jars of La Crèmerie, which we'll be adding to some lucky Radiance clients cleanses whilst stocks last - the perfect post-cleanse breakfast!


Breakfast Inspiration from Primrose

by Alexandra Radiance, , link

 

Do you have a quick, go-to breakfast you eat routinely? 

My quick go to breakfast is overnight beetroot muesli made with oat or almond milk - I love soft oats and this is both warming and nourishing and keeps my energy levels balanced for the morning.  I find beetroot and ginger very energising as well as it increases the circulation. 

 

If you're having breakfast on-the-go - would you recommend any spots to pick up a healthy option, or would you always try to pre prepare something yourself?

I am conscious of food to go packaging so if I know I am going to be on the hoof eating breakfast I tend to just put some overnight oats or overnight muesli  with extra chia seeds and 1/4 of a banana, peanut butter and lots of homemade oat or almond milk added in a nutribullet and blend so I can drink it on the move!

I always have a mini pack of granola in the car or a kilner jar of homemade trail mix.

 

When you have people staying, or are entertaining - what's your choice for feeding a crowd for breakfast or brunch? We always find it's difficult to have '1 thing' that works for everyone!

I do poached eggs on organic sourdough from a local artisan bakery with mashed avocado. Then I lay out a selection of my muesli and granola with Coyo for people to choose. An indulgent Saturday morning in alone - what do you love to make for yourself when you have a little more time.

I love making pancakes when I have the time. I am always playing around with combinations adding things like chestnut flour, oats, spices, honey, sweet potato and sprouted buckwheat flour tougher. They are so wholesome and delicious but still hit the comfort food box.

 

Do you find your breakfast's vary seasonally? 

  At this time of year I am making the most of all the fresh fruit on my doorstep. I have great fig trees at home so have been having those with wild blackberries and some local yogurt or kefir with nut butter before I eat any of the above! 

I am always experimenting with sourdoughs from new bakeries popping up near me and go through stages of having that with homemade jams for a week and then I won’t have it for months.

  In the winter I love having broth instead of tea first thing in the morning made from left over free range organic chicken bones. Whilst being nourishing for my gut it helps keep the immune system boosted too.

 

If you're treating yourself and heading out for brunch, where are your favourite places?

My favourite place for brunch in my local home town of Bridport is Soulshine Cafe. Everything is organic and they do wonderful fresh juices,pancakes, salads and gluten free cakes. 

 

 If I am in London I love going to The Tin Shed on all saints road in Portabello and having chilli avo mash and poached eggs on their homemade organic sourdough breakfast 



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