Monday, 12 October 2015

Be Heard!

Today I am asking you all to use your voice and help us in our efforts to raise awareness of psoriasis.  So many of you have talked about the stigma that surrounds this disease and the embarrassment that you have felt because others have not understood what psoriasis is, or indeed have believed it to be contagious. 

But today, I bring you the opportunity to join with us in our effort to combat this lack of awareness.   I’m not just asking for the help of psoriasis sufferers.  I am also asking all of you who know someone with psoriasis, be it a friend, sibling, spouse, child, work colleague, neighbour or inlaw!  This is your chance to show your support and be heard.

World Psoriasis Day occurs each year on October 29th and this year a Thunderclap has been organised to take place on that day.  What this essentially means, is that you sign up via your social media platform such as Facebook or Twitter. When you sign up, everyone who is your friend or follower will receive the same message at the same time on the same date.  Think of it as a Flash Mob for social media if you will!  And at the exact same time the friends and followers of everyone else who signed up, will receive the message too.  A thunderclap across social media to raise awareness of psoriasis.  So simple, yet so effective!

To get involved, please click on this link

... this is the message that you will be sending;

“This #WorldPsoriasisDay #ImPsOReady to raise my voice in support of the 125M people worldwide with #psoriasis”

But that’s not all …

A comprehensive study on the impact of psoriasis on patients is currently being conducted in 37 countries and Ireland was chosen to be part of this.  If you live in Ireland, I would love if you could take ten minutes to fill out this questionnaire.  The great thing is that each study has been modified according to each country so that the national results will be available for use in research, lobbying etc.  Please do use this opportunity to have your say! 

And finally, a bit of humour to end this post.  One of my favourite patient advocates, Toby Hadoke, recently recorded this video and it is guaranteed to make you smile as well as feel so much more positive about psoriasis treatments.

Next time, as previously promised, it will be back to fashion and the coatigan / knitted coat!



Sunday, 4 October 2015

A Quick Round Up

A quick round up from me today of a few bits and pieces that may be of interest.

To those of you who share my desire to conceal psoriasis as much as possible, I bring glad tidings of great joy in the form of two new Cocoa Brown tan products.  This time, the tan is a wash-off formula available in both matte and shimmer.  Ideal for people like me, who always feel a tiny bit scared of the semi-permanence of potential disasters with a tan that develops over time!

I have tried the matte version of this bronzing gel and it is really lovely.  As with all the Cocoa Brown products, this is paraben free which hugely reduces the chances of irritating your skin.  Apparently it is also oil-free and non-comedogenic which means the tan will not block your pores or cause breakouts should you wish to use it on your face.  I’m not going to lie … the teenage years of spots and pimples still haunt me, so I haven’t tried it on my face yet and nor will I.  Psoriasis is as much dermatological grief as I can cope with!

I was really thrilled to be invited to the launch of these products last week in The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin.  (The lovely Marissa Carter is a fellow psoriasis sufferer; hence my invite)  It was a fabulous event, although I did feel slightly like a duck out of water and just a tad middle-aged, as I was surrounded by (very young)  glamorous beauty bloggers.  Never have I seen so much eyeliner in one room!  We were given a demonstration on how to master the ombré lip (yes, it’s a thing apparently!) and then the X Factor make-up artist, Julia Carta took to the stage to give a talk and demonstration.  People!  You are hearing it here first … the ‘natural’ look is coming back in and the era of the heavy dark brows and long false lashes is over.  I swear the room slumped as almost 300 beauty bloggers gasped in horror … and I sat up a little straighter and beamed.  Suddenly and unwittingly my make-up and I were on trend!  
But all joking aside, this is a really lovely product and one that is worth investing in (all of €6.99!)  It won’t turn your psoriasis purple as most tans tend to but it will give you that healthy, golden glow we all crave.  (Note; I wasn’t obliged to blog about this product, but I genuinely believe that those of us with psoriasis should have this as part of our arsenal)

In other news, I have probably mentioned that I do a blog post each month for the Leo Pharma website, Quality Care, and this month the subject is how to dress for an interview.  You can read all about it here.

Finally, I did a quick trip across the water to Windsor last week to give a talk on psoriasis from the patient’s perspective to a group of pharmaceutical field sale managers .  As part of my trip, I was also filmed being interviewed on any tips or advice I might have (and if you haven’t been paying attention, that’d be … find a dermatologist who understands psoriasis).  This turned into a very comical hour or more as I then had to do ‘cutaway’ shots … you know the type!  My voice talking about psoriasis, but the shot is of me gazing wistfully across a summer’s meadow eating a Flake … ok, so there wasn’t any chocolate involved, but you get the idea!  Just like this in fact …


As soon as I have the video I will post it here and we can all laugh together.  Ye Gods, the things I do! On that note I shall leave you.  I will be back next week with a post on knitted coats … coatigans … long cardigans … call them what you will!  But for now, I am wallowing in self-pity as I broke a tooth on Friday and the earliest dental appointment is not until Tuesday.  I am suffering.  Can’t eat without wincing … but the wine is going down nicely!  Have a great week.



Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Wednesday Wish

Now I know it’s white, but that’s not why I chose it.  Honestly, I swear it’s not!  This jacket jumped off the page (screen) at me, because it just seemed so wonderfully decadent.  It reminded me of the smoking jackets of old (gosh sometimes I really miss smoking … I know one isn’t supposed to say that, because we all know that smoking is bad, yadda, yadda, yadda!) 

But I digress.  Contrary to my usual skinnies, I see this with wide legged black trousers, and a silk cami … with a long cigarette holder a la Audrey in one hand and a fabulous cocktail in the other!  Ah yes, it's hard to beat a bit of old Hollywood style glamour.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Keeping it Classic with Camel

I got side-tracked last week from my intended post on camel coats, but this week I am focused and ready to go!  So, let us proceed and talk all things camel.  Such a useful and classic shade to have in your wardrobe and if scalp psoriasis is an issue, fear not!  The camel colour will act as the ideal camouflage.

I bought a camel coat about four or five years ago in Zara and to this day, it remains my favourite coat.  The addition of a fur snood gives it a glamorous edge, but it looks just as stylish worn on its own with a pair of jeans and sweater.  I love it so much that I’ve decided everyone should have a camel coat in their wardrobe, so off I went to see what I could find.  And my first stop was Zara (aside – seriously! How long does it take to renovate the Dundrum store?  Get your act together people!  I’m starting to have serious withdrawal symptoms *nervous tic*)

But I digress!  To be honest, I was a little disappointed.  Or maybe I just wasn’t in ‘the zone’ that day, but everything I tried on was just a little ‘meh’!  First up was the Handmade Coat in Beige and my issue here is that the pockets are stupidly placed on the coat.  Call me old-fashioned, but I like a pocket that I can stick my hands into … or weigh down with keys, phone, wrappers and receipts.  Whilst in some areas I’m all about the form over function, when it comes to pockets, I’m a bit of a purist.   So here it is on the website

And here it is on me … meh!



The next one that I tried is called the Handmade Jacket on the website.  This is a few cents shy of €100 and I felt the price was a bit steep for what you get.  There’s no way to fasten this which I know for a fact would drive me insane and with no lining, it wouldn’t really work during the colder winter months.  Disappointing!


I have searched until my eyes nearly bled, but I cannot find this next coat anywhere on their website.  It looks identical to the straight cut coat, but that only appears to be available in black online.  To be fair to Zara, this is a lovely coat.  Nice quality and classic shape.  It does absolutely nothing for me however, apart from emphasise my shortness!  I prefer my coats to be a little shorter, or else so long that they almost sweep the floor!  But for the leggier amongst you, this is worth a look


To be honest, I was hot and bothered at this stage, so although I loved the look and feel of this duffle coat with the fur lined hood, I just didn’t have the energy to try it on.  Plus I was getting some very suspicious looks from the security man sitting at the door, so it was time to take my leave. 


That same week however, I also happened to be in Dunnes Stores and I spied this little throw-on wool coat, so quickly tried it and oh my word!  The sizing is all over the place here.  This is a size 12, but felt more like an 18 or 20.  It’s absolutely huge and in a world where we are all aiming for a sleek and svelte silhouette, this certainly wasn’t doing me any favours!  For €65 I think you could do better


So then I had a little look online and there are certainly some nice options worth considering.   A similar classic style to the Zara one is also available in Mint Velvet, the camel longline coat

An old classic style that reminds me of my childhood (and that’s not today or yesterday!) is the Asos Classic Duffle Coat.  Just imagine this with a bright scarf, jeans and knee high boots as you head off to pick up your copy of Jackie In Style magazine.


For something a little different, and currently on sale which is always a bonus, there is the Helene Berman double breasted cape reduced from €255.92 to €142.18



And saving the most expensive until last, the Religious Passage Drape Front Dresser Wool Coatwith Belt (now there’s a mouthful and no! I have never heard of Religious Passage either!)

So what are your thoughts?  Do you own a camel coat already or do you think they should be part of the desired capsule wardrobe? 

Have a good week