Sunday, 3 May 2015

Tis the season for New Shoes!

So it’s that time of year again.  The beginning of the ‘time to get your legs out’ and ‘hurray, let’s show some toes’ season … and don’t even get me started on the ‘bikini body ready’ nonsense.  I like sunshine as much as the next person, but oh dear God, the pressure of it all when you’re trying to manage skin, control exposure and still look as on trend as everyone else.  Honestly, it’s enough to make me think wistfully of a bleak, windswept, rainy November!

However seasons change and so do our wardrobes, and although I practically have to be wrestled sobbing from my beloved boots, even I have to admit that it’s time to start looking at shoes.  Sigh!  Shoes are hard!  They are!  It’s easy to find comfortable, stylish, flat boots each Autumn, but looking for a summer equivalent is a much trickier proposition.  Add to that the need for concealing red, inflamed skin and frankly the whole exercise can be very stressful indeed.  So hopefully today, I will give you some ideas of what may work and ease the shopping trip for you.

Today’s search was focused on the type of shoe that you can wear easily day to day.  The sort of shoe that you can wear on the school run, going out to lunch, that you can wear to the office or dress down at the weekend. My flat boot counterpart in other words.  Starting with this gorgeous little number that was pointed out to me by my ultra-glamorous neighbour!  Can I find them online?  Of course not!  But they were purchased in Clarks very recently and also come in black.  With a zip opening at the back and specially padded soles, she says they are the ultimate in comfort.  Love these!  I am definitely going to be stalking Clarks in search of a pair!

Slides seem to be just as popular this year and in their favour they generally have a wide enough band to ensure plenty of foot cover.  Personally I find them too flat, but I know that for many of you they are the Holy Grail of Comfort.  I particularly like this Amersham leather slide sandal from new kids on the block, Finery London

Same brand, but with some added height and even more coverage this time, is the Leander leather ankle strap sandal.  I’m imagining that these might also be a good option for anyone with psoriatic arthritis as they appear quite roomy, but also have support at the ankle.   Certainly the soles look comfortable enough to wear if psoriasis on the soles of the feet is an issue.

And for those who prefer a decent heel, the Lotus leather open shoes provide plenty of coverage without losing the summer vibe.

Tan sandals are always a great investment as it’s a colour that will never go out of fashion and looks so good every year.   I spotted these sandals on one of the team during my trip to San Francisco last month and literally pounced on her for information.  I cannot tell you how stunning these look in real life and I was assured that wearing them was akin to wearing a pair of slippers.  At that stage, they couldn’t be found anywhere, but hey!  They’re back in stock.  I won’t lie – these are not a cheap option if you need to ship from the US, but if you have friends or family who could get them for you, then trust me!  These are a must-buy!

And finally, I suppose I should add these in too.  The Suede Cuff Lace Up sandals.  Let me be completely honest with you.  I truly hate this style of shoe.  I think they all look cheap and nasty and hugely uncomfortable – even the designer originals which spawned the craze.  But for some reason (totally beyond me) they are the shoe ‘du jour’ this summer, so if this style floats your boat, (and to be fair, they'd do a good job at concealing skin) this is the Marks & Spencer offering this year

Tell me! Have you got your summer shoe sorted yet?   Is there a style that I’m missing that would make the sandal challenge a little more bearable? I’d love to know.

I’ll be back later this week with details of some cute new jackets and also a recent photo shoot which included a bare-chested young male model.  Ye Gods!  The things I do …

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Wednesday Wish

I’m not going to lie.  I’m not really a ‘trainers’ kinda’ gal!  All that flatness and whiteness, not to mention sporty connotations, just leave me cold.  But when you throw in a bit of my beloved sparkle, well then!  That changes things entirely!

I fully accept the comfort argument presented by trainer wearers; it’s the ugliness that I really can’t cope with.  But as I always say, ‘sequins are for life, not just for Christmas’ and just how lovely would it be to look down and see your feet twinkling back at you?  Pretty and comfortable!  What could possibly go wrong?  Oops, yes, that’d be the price tag!  I give you today’s Wednesday Wish, the Saint Laurent Sparkle Glittered Leather Trainers



Monday, 27 April 2015

Concealing Facial Psoriasis - Step by Step Guide

One issue that crops up again and again is the problem of how to conceal facial psoriasis.  I have been very lucky, as apart from a brief few days over twenty years ago, I haven’t suffered with psoriasis on my face.  On the contrary, the skin on my face is really good (thank you Mother!) which seems counter intuitive given the state of the rest of me!!  Aren’t genes crazy things?  Good skin and psoriasis in one package.

When I was away in San Francisco recently, I had the pleasure of spending time with the fabulous Melissa and was genuinely gobsmacked to learn that she has psoriasis on her face.  I peered … I stared … I squinted!  I wasn't even remotely discreet.  Nope!  I couldn’t see it.  Can you?

So, because she is as lovely in nature as she is in looks, Melissa offered to write a step by step guide of how to apply make-up so that you can cover up your plaques.  In almost three years of blogging, I have never, ever allowed anyone else to write a post … but I think this information is so valuable and so useful that I am happy to hand over the reins!  For future reference, I will store this post on the top tabs under ‘Products I like’ 
Thank you  to Melissa x


Hi Everyone,

My name is Melissa, and I’m a 23 year-old American girl that has been living with extremely severe psoriasis for 22 years.  Psoriasis is what I know best!

I’d like to share some of my tips for dealing with facial psoriasis. I want to remind you however, that psoriasis has a unique presentation in each patient, so there will necessarily be some trial and error as you test out some of these tips.  Creativity is key!

When I wake up in the morning my skin is usually very dry, so I either take a warm shower to hydrate my skin, or I apply a warm wet washcloth.  Then I exfoliate the patches as best as I can without scrubbing too hard and irritating the skin.

Next, I cream of course! But facial psoriasis is so difficult because there is always a balance between keeping the skin from getting dry, without keeping it too moisturized where there is excess oil that causes acne.  (This struggle is daily).  The cream I currently use is Caudalie’s Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet.  I like it because it has only a minimal residue and is good if your face is totally covered in psoriasis.  However, it is extremely lightweight and I definitely use something much stronger in the winter months.  
For patches that are thicker and drier, I’ll use a heavy ointment or cream.  I like Jergen’s Ultra Healing lotion, or Hydrophillic Ointment.  The latter is available without prescription at your local pharmacy – just ask!  There’s nothing significant in it, but it works as an amazing cream.  Technically it’s just a base ointment that prescription medications are added to.  It’s been my saving grace since I was a baby, and luckily comes in large one-pound jars because I smother it all over my body.

The moisturizers will need time to soak in.  Do not skip this waiting period! After at least five minutes, you will either have to reapply cream, depending on the severity of psoriasis, or you will notice that the skin has a residue/shine.  Use oil-blotting sheets to absorb this residue. (For me, this is the most important step in my routine).  My favorite brand of oil-blotting sheets are Clean & Clear.  Other brands tend to have a tissue paper-like feel to them, which I don’t love.  If you can look for sheets that are almost a bit plastic-y in feel, go for those! Clean & Clear are sold on Amazon at lower prices.

Next, is the make-up! I’m sure you all know to look for hypoallergenic and natural products, but there are two other very important things to consider as well.  First of all, certain make-up lines come in shades that have a pink base – not only yellow or olive or tan.  Using a makeup with a pink base helps blend in the red of the psoriasis.  I absolute love Cover FX or, although more expensive, Laura Mercier.  Their pink tones all start with the letter P, followed by numbers that indicate shade. 
Shade is the next thing to consider.  I have found that the best way to blend psoriasis in is to go up one shade (one shade darker than your real color).  If you try putting your usual shade on a brighter psoriasis lesion, it won’t look natural, it will look like cover up.  If you go one shade darker across your whole face, this creates a blended look.  Don’t forget to extend the color to your neck a bit, so that everything looks natural.  Depending on your shade, a top layer of bronzer might help. (Note: if you have a dark complexion you might do better with tan undertones instead of pink, but I would still recommend going one shade darker).

Now, people also always want to know if they should use a liquid foundation or powder.  I go for a powder, because I’ve found that works best for me.  Some of my friends swear by liquid foundation, so that really might be worth a try!  For me, I worry that it might take off some of my cream and is more difficult to reapply later on.  However, I definitely do not use a complete coverage powder.  Those tend to come out very cakey on psoriasis.  I use a Pressed Mineral Foundation (by Cover FX) in comparison to something like a Total Cover Cream Foundation.  Even still, sometimes my face can look powdery, but I have psoriasis!

Additionally, for isolated and maybe thicker lesions, it works well to blend the edges of the lesion with the edge of your clear skin.  For this I use another pink-based cream concealer by Cover FX.  Do not put this all over your rash.  It’s all about natural blending, so a little goes a long way on the heavy cover up!

It is important to note that when my facial psoriasis is flaring and extremely severe, I will not wear any foundation or cover up.  I hope none of you suffer to that extent.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, you must enjoy your natural beauty!  I love my big eyes, so I have fun playing with eye shadows and liners, and never forget mascara!  The same can be true of beautiful lips, cheekbones, etc.  You are so beautiful inside and out, and psoriasis doesn’t change that one bit!

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Wednesday Wish

Here is a tale that just screams ‘first world problems.’  Whilst in town with a pal last weekend, she decided she would investigate the wonders of Crème de la Mer.  I tagged along, buckets of scepticism in tow.  I don’t care if it contains crushed grains of golden fairy dust, no face cream is worth that sort of money, I thought.  Oh I was adamant in my cynicism!

But then I was given a small tester pot to take home.  So on Monday morning I duly applied said cream and yes!  It felt really, really lovely on my face.  And suddenly I understood the term ‘dewy’. My skin looked fresher … dare I say radiant?  And then, well then, just to really cap it all off, I got not just one, but two compliments that day.  “You’re looking really well” I was told (in tones that were just a tad too surprised for my liking)  “No really, you are. You look younger!” 

People!  I know I’ve featured this before, but I hadn’t tried it then.  This time, I’m hooked.  But sweet mudda, have you seen the price?  This is today’s Wednesday Wish and if it means selling a kidney, it will be mine.  Younger!   It made me look younger!  I’ll race you to the store …