Saturday, 31 December 2011

Handcrafted Soap Expensive?

Why does handcrafted soap seem so much more expensive than shop-bought soap?  What’s so special about it and why spend the extra?  It’s just soap ain’t it?  Well, you may well find that some of the shop-bought varieties are not actually soap at all and are just a cocktail of this and that chemical to give the look, feel & function of soap but, in the opinion of many a convert, soap it ain’t.  This is why many are sold as ‘moisturising bars’ or ‘beauty bars’ – they aren’t really soap at all!  Read more....

Kick Off The New Year!  See the Soap Showcase with some extra special & exclusive offers here...

Monday, 26 December 2011

A ‘Saling’ Lesson

I had to take my daughter to town today (Boxing Day sales) because she was 'sooo desperate' to bag a bargain (or ten) at Lush.   However, Lush didn’t open until 11am, but I had no intention of getting into town around this time – the parking would have been a nightmare. 

So, we got up nice and early and got into town at around 9ish.  Well, it was BLISS!!!!  Hardly any other ‘salers’, so we had the ships to ourselves – well, for at least 10 minutes, after which, we were swarmed with other ‘salers’.  Anyway, it gave me an opportunity to teach my offspring the ways of the ‘saling world’. 

I tend to stick to these rules of thumb:

If you are going to ‘The Sales’ and you want to minimise the stress, tension, pushing and shoving, elbowing, snatching, grabbing, endless queuing…

  • Get in there early – got out of there early!
  • NEVER look at anything other than the sales racks – you can look at the other stuff anytime but sale items will usually fly,
  • Many shops offer 10-20% throughout the year, so focus on those that are discounted at least 30% or more.
  • Be quick and decisive about what you are going buy, hesitation and deliberation will (very often) mean the item will disappear before your very eyes (like magic!)
This was seriously put to the test in Lush I might add – my daughter’s eyes were as big a saucers with shock and surprise and she actually asked to leave!!!!  THAT’s never happened before.

Anyway, we had a bit of time to kill so, of course, we headed for Primark.  I had absolutely no intention of buying anything but oops!!  Look what fell into my bag!! 

The boots are sooo comfortable.  They were £15.00 but reduced to £8.00, so I got two pairs (great for the school run).  How could I not?  It would have been most rude not to.  The lovely chunky knit scarf was only £2.90, reduced from £4.00 and I thought it would go lovely with the boots (I have a couple of lovely grey jumper dresses too, so will be nice altogether).  The top is from New Look.  It was £9.00 but I can’t remember what it was originally.  I just liked it though.

The over the knee socks I bought from Primark but not in the sale.  They were only £2.00 anyway but I love the little detail.  I have some black ones too and I tend to wear them over the top of black tights (bit of extra warmth and added interest to the overall look I think).

I bought my daughter some things too (not pictured).  A lovely fur collared, leather look jacket (only £6.00!), a pair of boots, a bag and a cardigan.  These too were from Primark and the total bill was only £45.00 (or thereabouts). 

We got to Lush and queued (not for too long) and when the doors opened…..  OMG!!!!!  That was MADNESS!!  All the Christmas stock as half price and people were literally scooping products off the shelves, into their baskets with their arms.  Baskets were full to the brim but oh my….  You couldn’t move in there.  Needless to say that my daughter applied all the knowledge of her teachings, , only looked at the sales items, made her decisions quick and headed for that exit, quick-sharp!!  ‘You have done well my child’ 

Of course, none of those rules would apply had I gone on my own – I would probably still be there now – albeit in a crumpled heap on the floor and bags full of stuff I don’t really need and probably wouldn’t normally buy, but I won’t tell her that ;o)

We bagged a few bargains and were home by 12 (although took until about 1.30 to recover).  Overall, not bad and from what I could see, most of the High Street shops had some great sales and were well worth the visit, if you dare – gulp!

Friday, 23 December 2011

How To 'Set' Your Style... Keeping It Cool

Have you ever wondered what that ‘cool’ button on your hairdryer is for?  Obviously it gives a blast of cool air but why?  Basically, it ‘set’s’ your style, making it last longer and can help to improve shine.  How?

This article/video explains how to get the best from your hairdrying and demonstrates some techniques to set your style.

Read the article/view the video at Maboho World....

Friday, 16 December 2011

Let's Take A Moment To Just Breathe...

How often do we make a few minutes in the day to just breeeeeathe?  Well, we all breathe I guess but most of the time, we don't breathe 'correctly'.  I know I don't.  Yes, it is quite remarkable what a few minutes every day of correct breathing can do for your inner well-being.  
Rajiv from Yomojo is a yoga teacher and recently posted a wondrful, yet really simple breathing exercise to the forum, to help reduce stress, relax and re-energise the mind and body. .  I hope you enjoy it and find it useful x

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Buy Small, Get Big! Maboho is on a mission!

Maboho is on a mission!!  In these harsh economic times, we are all feeling the pinch – some more than others.  I passionately want small, independent businesses, to do well – No! I want them to prosper.

I think, and I doubt I am alone in my in this, small businesses really care and genuinely value their customers.  They have the advantage of being able to see things through different eyes than their more mainstream counterparts.  For customers who buy from a small business means they gets big value, big service and big product, which helps support that small business grow and become bigger.

Buy Small, Get Big!

So if you are a small/independent business/retailer, specialising in beauty products/cosmetics/fashion/accessories, get involved and help build promote the benefits of buying small and getting big.

  • Use Maboho as a platform for new product launches/press releases/special customer incentives/articles of interest (send these to
  • Beauty & style bloggers are your friends and if you have had a great review, this can be added too (with their permission of course).
  • Let your customers know you have been featured at Maboho.
  • Join the new forum and encourage your customers to do so – there’s nothing better than interaction within a friendly community to strengthen a bond.  There's also a private board for business members to chat freely ;o)

Get on board!  Help spread the word that to buy small is get big.  Buy Small, Get Big!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Getting Started In DIY Face Masks

High quality face masks that match any expensive shop-bought masks are so, so easy to make at home.  From setting masks through to the freshness and goodness of natural fruit/botanical cocktails, all of which can be made in minutes at home. 

With a little basic knowledge and a few ingredients, there’s a plethora of combinations.

This recently added article outlines some of the basics and gives some recipe ideas to suit various skin types, just  to get you started.

Read the article at Maboho World….

Monday, 12 December 2011

New Video Tutorial - Salon Finish Nail Enamel

This latest video was quite a project.  I wanted to produce something that would be useful to the viewer and one that followed on from the previous video (Basic Filing Techniques), so Applying A Nail Colour For A Professional Finish seemed like a good idea.  I also think I sound ever so boring, so this project I was determined to spice up a little bit (and also include less of me).

However, what with keeping up with the Christmas rush while trying to get my poor little brain unfamiliar editing software has been a heck of a challenge.  I spent hours and hours editing the video and was nearly complete.  THEN… the nightmare came true!  The software only went and got itself a blasted error and shut itself down (I say it got itself the error because it couldn’t have been something I did *whistles innocently*.  I lost the lot!  Why?  Because, silly me, didn’t do one of the most fundamental things and save my work regularly.  Doh!

Anyway, lesson learned and I was not going to be defeated.  So I started over and, although  I am not 100% happy with the outcome (my editing skills still need a LOT of work), the end result is at least a step in the right direction.  There is also an accompanying article if you prefer.  I hope you enjoy it!!

Watch the video/read the article at Maboho World...

The Perfume Pen That's Interestingly Spot On!

This most interesting pen, from Lazer Cutz, has been hand-turned from wood sourced from sustainable managed woodland.  It is a wooden dabber pen and is incredibly high quality.  Very stylish.  It has been designed for the precise application of perfume.  You simply dip the nib into your favourite perfume and apply with great precision but it made me think..... there's another use for this.  Read the article at

Friday, 2 December 2011

New Video Review

I have had these soapies sitting here for a little while now, just waiting to be used.  Now that I have got around to finally using them, I thought it would be nice to do a video review (video reviews are so much easier to watch aren’t they?  They’re not so easy to produce, but that’s a whole other story, lol). 
They were kindly sent to me as a gift from Scent Trail (gosh… sometimes I feel so lucky).  So here’s my review.  Again, I am super nervous but I think I am ever so slightly more relaxed than the first video.  There’s also an accompanying written review if you prefer.

Watch/read the review here.... 

Monday, 28 November 2011

The Fear Was Felt, The Video Done!

Sometimes it is better to show how to do something rather than write about it isn’t it?  Well, that’s what I decided to do, hence the video.  But it was far from easy.  Honestly, I bow down to those v/loggers out there.  It is much more difficult than it looks, being in a room, alone, talking into a camera as if it was your friend.  And, as a person who runs a mile (or further if I have enough puff) from even a photo being taken…. well, it just wasn’t easy.  I must have done well over a hundred takes (no exaggeration) and almost threw the towel in.  But, then I thought of the saying “feel the fear and do it anyway”, so I felt the fear (goodness, did I feel it) and did it! 

It isn’t in any way perfect (and I seriously can’t watch it back) and I don’t think the true ‘me’ comes across (amid all that thick, cotton woolly sort of feeling you get with fear) but hopefully, that fear will be replaced by some confidence so that I can be a little bit more relaxed.  We shall see ;o)  Anyway, respect to all ye vloggers out there!

P.S.  I hope the video is useful and all comments (good and critical) are more than welcome x

Saturday, 26 November 2011

If You Love Vintage...

Browsing the internet the other day, I fell upon this great site.  Electric Gypsy reproduce, by hand, beautiful, quality, iconic garments for men and women.  What struck me about the site was the prices.  So reasonable and more than fair, considering how labour-intensive it must be to create a garment from the pattern up.

The reproductions span many decades, from the 1930's through to the 1980's and they even given you tips on how to wear these quality pieces.  Classic vintage pieces are (ironically) timeless aren't they?  I think that if you like something a little different, whether it be a little understated skirt or top to team with other things in your wardrobe or something that truly makes a retro statement, then this would be right up your street.

Here's a little taster of what Electric Gypsy have to offer....

Monday, 21 November 2011

My Big Fat Tub Of Organic Skin Love!

From the second the lid came off, I was in a sweet, buttery heaven.  The recently launched Top To Toe body butter from ethical brand, Beyond Organic Skincare, is the haute cuisine of skin care.  A tub that hosts an A list, elite guestlist of natural, organic goodies, with vanilla and active alpine rose being the stars of the show. and together, these lovelies work in synergy to moisturise, protect and soothe the skin and reinforce it’s natural defences.

This butter has an unusual texture and an intriguing surprise upon application, which adds a new dimension to the experience.    Read the full review at Maboho World...

Friday, 18 November 2011

Glitter Bug

I have been feeling a little bit festive today.  I think it was because yesterday evening I went to Tesco got very sidetracked by the lovely sparkly baubles and Christmas decorations - ooh pretty!  That and my daughter (who is THE biggest Lush fan) is slathering herself in the sparkly Shimmy Shimmy & 'making' glittery stuff, so its Glitter City around here at the moment (that stuff gets everywhere doesn't it?).

Anyway, since I am a rather partial to a bit of sparkle and beginning to catch the festive bug, I spotted these lovelies and wanted to share them at Maboho World.....

Yomojo Mojo....

I have been lucky enough to able to try the Neroli Balm from Yomojo but before I talk about this, I would first like to introduce you to the creator behind the balm. 

Rajiv, one of the calmest and nicest guys you could wish to meet and has a strange way of transferring this vibe through the ether and onto others.  Without wishing to sound too ‘out there’ and I know that is does sound a bit strange but honestly, he’s a lovely guy with a great vibe and I swear that he gives each pot of balm a nice dollop of good karma.

Not only does Rajiv teach yoga but is also a Thai Yoga massage therapist and combines techniques based on yoga and Ayurveda working along the body’s energy lines.  Here’s a short video of him at work….

Thai Yoga Massage from Rajiv Shah on Vimeo.

Read the full review at Maboho World...

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Extreme Skincare & No Fluff

A while ago, I got to test-drive a range of certified organic products from the multi-award winning skincare company, Beyond Organic Skincare .

Sea buckthorn features heavily throughout the range and Beyond are particularly interested in harnessing the unique properties of this wonder plant, since it “it is the only plant in the world known to include omega 3, 6, 7 & 9”.  Beyond are proud to say their products “contain more than one hundred and ninety biologically active compounds”.

But what is it like to use?  Well, I can say first hand that Beyond have created a range that is quite different.  Despite their complexity at molecular level and the clever combining of biological actives, I feel it is a range that has been somewhat ‘stripped back’ and loses all the unnecessary ‘fluff’.  I think Beyond have focussed most of their attention on really goes on at skin level and it is this, I think, that makes it a very different product to use.

Take A Closer Look & Read The Full Review At Maboho World....

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The White Spots On Nails Myth

I hear this a lot and I have no doubt that you have heard it too.  White spots on the nails is a sign of a calcium deficiency.  In fact, this is a bit of a myth.  It is true that one’s inner health can be reflect in the nails and that vitamins/minerals do contribute to healthy nail growth, but in the case of white spots on the nails, this is not (at least not directly) the case.

The white spots are called ‘Leuconychia’ (lu-co-nic-ee-ah) and are actually caused by slight damage or injury to the nail matrix (from where the nail originates) or to the nail plate, leading to minor separations of the nail plate from the nail bad (the pink area visible through the nail upon which, the nail is adhered to).

Unfortunately, nothing can be done to resolve this.  But it is worth noting that it is harmless, is not a reflection of a nutritional deficiency (although there’s a lot to be said for a good, balanced diet, rich in vitamins and minerals) and will eventually grow out.  In the meantime, it can be disguised with nail enamel.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Sweet Sugar Shower

Sometimes I am in such an honoured position and get to try out some absolutely beautiful products, even before they are brought to market.  Well today was one of those times.

Nicoletta, from Nicoletta’s Beauty Space, has been doing some product development and I got to try out a Pink Sugar & Gingerbread Solid Scrub Bar she’s been working on.  Packed with lovely natural oils, butters and crammed to the brim with luscious, sweet sugar (to exfoliate) and wrapped in a lovely foil wrapper, these pretty little bars pack quite a punch!

They are not designed as a cleanser, so best applied after normal soap/gel cleansing, but whilst still in the shower.  The bar is just the right shape and size to be held comfortably in the hand and I found that a few long strokes deposited just enough product on the skin.  Once applied, if you use circular motions, the scrubbing action is gentle, but enough to give a stimulated sensation and the oils/butters both work to act as a skin emollient as well as help to work the sugar evenly over the area to gently exfoliate.  Then simply rinse off the excess to leave a lovely, emolliating film on the skin.

So, what I loved about it….

·    Simple, yet pretty, presentation in the little foil wrapper (like an expensive chocolate)
·    Excellent size & shape – easy handling
·    Gentle scrubbing action, yet leaves the skin stimulated, soft and glowing
·    No need to moisturise afterwards – it leaves a lovely, natural oil film on the skin so no need to moisturise afterwards
·    Moisturiser chill avoidance – Because you apply it while still in the warm shower, you don’t get that chilly time that you can get (especially in the colder months) while you apply moisturiser after showering.  Or is that just me, lol.
·    The lovely oils leave a nice film on the skin that isn’t too oily – just enough
·    Skin feels soft, smooth and moisturised
·    No mess left in the shower (so no major clean up afterwards and no clogging plughole)
·    Easily enough for 2-3 applications
·    Eco-friendly – minimal packaging
·    Leaves a lovely, soft scent on the skin

Any downsides?

Not exactly a downside but more of a little caution (and this is true for all similar, oil-based products).  Be careful in the shower (and I imagine in the bath, although I haven’t actually used it in the bath yet) as it can become a bit slippery.

Other possibilities perhaps?

While talking of baths, I would think this would be a fantastic treat in the bath because the oils, from the bar, will disperse throughout the bath water and, coupled with the oils that are present on the skin as well as the warmth from the water, it would absolutely cocoon the skin is these lovely, luscious oils.

These definitely get my thumbs up and I really have enjoyed trying this.  They are not available to buy (yet) but hopefully, Nicoletta will consider that an option at some point in the future????

My sincerest thanks to Nicoletta x

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Nothing Like It!

I absolutely love the idea of owning something that isn't mass-produced and is really unique.  I am very lucky in that I rub shoulders, every single day, with some of the most creative and caring people who produce, by hand, beauty products that really are to die for. 

I know how hard they deliberate over every single detail and how much care and attention goes into their products.  From diligently selecting THE finest ingredients right down to how they are going seal the carefully selected packaging.  I know how many barriers they have to overcome to ensure that what they produce is safe and effective, but overcome them they do.  So much heart and soul goes into them and it is admirable to see such determination in people who are hell-bent on sticking to their ethos and principles.  The result?  THE most exquisite, individual and unique products available to anyone's beauty arsenal.  Isn't it a shame there isn't a Michelin Star rating equivalent for the producers of such finery.

Beautiful products make beautiful gifts for beautiful people. Over at the Maboho site, there's a selection of lovely gift ideas made by these lovely people and I really would highly recommend a little look-see.  There's also a few special and exlusive offers available to visitors to Maboho. 

Enjoy!  x

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Nanoblur Review

 Well, I am having a few issues with the Maboho World site so, while that is being sorted out, I thought I would use this opportunity to talk about Nanoblur. 

If you aren’t familiar with Nanoblur, it is a cream that is claimed to make you “look up to 10 years younger in 40 seconds”.  Quite a claim and I have to say, it aroused my curiosity, so I thought I would give it a go.  Why not?

The cream is a little expensive, £19.99/30ml but I guess, if it works and you are happy with the result, it is a small price to pay.  It creates an optical effect (so no claims that it works deep within the epidermis) that is designed to soften fine lines, enlarged pores, sagging skin etc….  and is designed to be used as the last step in your morning/daily skin care/make-up routine.

It can be used:

- alone after moisturising
- after foundation but before powder

You are advised to mix it with moisturiser if your skin is very dry.

My experience:

At first, I thought that maybe yes, my skin seems more luminous, but I did have a bit of trouble using it over foundation, because as I was applying it, it seems to rum off the foundation.  So, the next day I tried gently patting it on, using a rolling action with the pads of my fingers.  This seemed to be better however, when I applied the powder over the top, I felt the powder was sticking and it seemed patchy – clearly I hadn’t applied the Nanoblur evenly enough using the rolling and patting. 

I think I have perfected applying it over foundation now, still using the patting and rolling action, but I seem to do that more evening now.  But I would advise anyone to wait a few minutes before powder to really allow the cream to dry – as it can seem a bit sticky/tacky if you apply powder straight away.

You might be reading this and saying, that’s great Helen but does it work?  Does it make you look younger? 

Oh I so don’t want to say this and I wish I could be more positive.  All I can say is I didn’t think it worked for me.  Maybe I am not applying it correctly.  Maybe my mirror is in lighting where I can’t tell.  It may well be wonderful for others (and I am sure there will be lots of really positive reviews), but for me, I don’t think it is the right product for me, at this time.  I just didn’t notice much of a difference, well not enough to make this a must-have product in my skin care collection.  Sorry Nanoblur.

There is one more thing (gosh… I hate being so negative), I noticed a flakey film develop on my skin after a few hours (although it was only visible when you looked up close – so not so bad).  It gave the appearance of dry skin but I don’t tend to have dry skin on my face.

So all in all, for me, it wasn’t the wonder-product.  Sad because I really did have really high hopes.  That is not to say that it won’t work for you as I am sure it has been fabulous for some.

To help balance this, there is a great review over at Nicolletta's Beauty Space blog, where she talks about some of the issues that I experienced but was, all in all, really impressed and there's some great before and after pics.

Friday, 4 November 2011

You Too Can Be a Dragon...

Just a quickie post but had to share.  Seriously, I laughed until I cried.  Thank you to Vikki Stone who gives us wee folk a chance to really feel like a multi-millionaire Dragon, oh nooo no no......  Only the bestest Dragon of them all.  The one, the only....  you want it - she can give to ya...........Hilary Devey.  Just don't make her foot itch ;)  Go watch it over on the Maboho Forum, such a giggle...

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

I Have To Be Honest...

Just Me & My Thoughts
But I Wonder If It Is Just Me?

I was thinking about where I stood regarding the fast-paced world of style & beauty. 
I like honesty and admire it in others.  So I thought I would I would write a few, very honest, words about where I stood on this – at least where I stand today, in this moment in time.

I love style and beauty.  I love to shop, dress nice, paying attention to those finishing touches and to flick through magazines for the latest looks – love to be inspired.  Got to be honest though, I can just as easy throw on a pair of comfy jeans, sloppy sweater & little baseball shoes – and often do for school runs.  I like to feel relaxed about how I look and how I should look.  I don’t want to feel pressurised and intimidated to dress or look a certain way in this ever-evolving, fast-pace sector.  I find it difficult to keep up.  I guess I am like so many other people.  I am just normal, average, typical.

I am inspired by the creativity of designers, be they well-known or not so well-known.  But I believe we are all designers.  Pioneers of the ‘latest look’.  Think about this, walk down any busy street and there will be just some normal, everyday person who just inspires you.  The way they have put together their look, the way they have done their make-up or how they have done their hair or whatever – regardless of their shape, size or age, something about them will inspire you to try and emulate an aspect of their look or to try something new & completely different.  Likewise, you get that same inspiration from many of the beauty blogs and YouTube channels – these are real people who are really inspiring.

Sure, celebrities do influence our looks and possibly our lifestyles, but the problem here, for us regular folk, we don’t have the luxury of personal stylists, designers who want us to ‘wear’ them and rarely do we have a pocket deep enough to fund it, especially in the current economic climate.  Plus, I would bet that most celebs are, deep down, a bit like myself…  happy in a pair of jeans & sloppy sweater when the mood takes them.  I wonder if any of them grimace at the thought of having to go out of a morning/day/evening, looking perfect, just in case they get papped.  This said, most big High Street retailers are on top of this and do make the latest designs available at more affordable prices (phew!).

I like fashion and beauty when it’s within reach (and budget).  Do-able.  When it ‘speaks’ to me but doesn’t pressurise me.  I also like unique – something that little bit different.  Independent designers and small businesses of style and beauty products offer that uniqueness that you wouldn’t necessarily see on the High Street.  That enables the everyday, average Jo(anne) to be a pioneer.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the High Street, with its variety, availability and accessibility.  But I also like to mix in unique pieces/products and wear them at ease.

If you are reading this, I am kind of hoping that some of what I have said you can relate to.  These are just my thoughts that I think right now but, as the saying goes, what’s true today may not be true tomorrow.  What do you think?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Interesting Question

Picture from
Well, this is the first post on the Maboho blog and I never really knew what to include here that I wasn't saying on the Maboho website, but a questions was asked on twitter this morning, that has spurred this post.  So, please forgive the lack of furniture around here, I will need to find some time to make it look a bit more homely.

So what was the question that stimulated this post?

It's a cute one really....  On twitter, someone asked "I'm paranoid about having crepey 'nana arms' when I'm older, do you think my exfoliation routine will prevent this?" (see?  it is quite cute isn't it).

Well I guess the answer to this is yes, it will certainly help.  In the short-term, it instantly improves the look of the skin but, when regularly done, the long-term advantages of regular boosts to the blood circulation (which will bring fresh oxygen and nutrients from the blood as well as help improve lymphatic circulation) speaks for itself.  Also, by removing the dead skin cells (sounds lovely doesn't it?), it will allow more efficient absorption of moisturisers.  This is excellent for dry skin (which tends to look dull and can appear crepey).  I recently wrote an article for Maboho all about exfoliation, that is a little more in-depth, which might interest you.

Regular exfoliation followed by a suitable moisturiser will leave the skin glowing, looking smooth and the plumping effect from the more efficient absorption of moisturisers will give the skin a nice, youthful appearence and reduce the crepey appearance.

Of course, exfoliation should form part of a bigger regimen, but it will certainly play a huge part, along with regular moisturising.  Exercise, a good diet (lots of fresh fruit and veggies), lots of clear fluids and, above all, regular application of a high SPF(summer and winter) are all highly important too.

Anyway, there's the first post and I am rather please about that :o)  Do have a look at the Maboho Website though, there's some further information on exfoliation, some great reviews on exfoliating products by some great beauty bloggers as well as other bits and bobs that might be of interest.

Ooh.... and do bear with me on this blog, I will spruce it up in due course - honest gov!