5 Christmas superfoods

18th December 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos

It’s definitely more ‘naughty’ than ‘nice’ when it comes to our food choices during December, but don’t just think of the obvious sugar-loaded treats such as gingerbread, boxes of festive chocolates or mince pies. There are plenty of ‘hidden’ calorific sins to be found in butter sauces, stuffing, creamy Baileys and food-of-the-season, pigs in blankets. Not to mention all the prosecco and champagne… it’s no wonder the average Brit puts put on 4.5 pounds during the party season, according to research.

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But what if we tell you that on your Christmas dinner table you can find healthy superfoods? We’ve asked Nutritionists to give us their 5 top healthy choices:

Brussels sprouts

“Brussels sprouts are cruciferous vegetables that are packed with vitamin K, vitamin C, folic acid, calcium and magnesium. As a valuable source of glucosinolates, they protect our DNA from damage. They can also help to avoid the mid-afternoon slump on Christmas Day, as they are packed with B Vitamins which are essential for energy.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and will leach into the water if you cook sprouts for too long. Try steaming them instead to keep in their goodness and add nutmeg for Christmas twist”, says Shona Wilkinson, Nutritionist.

Cinnamon

“Cinnamon is one of nature’s most revitalising herbs. Filled with potent antioxidants – more than almost any other spices and herbs – it may help to reduce signs of ageing, boost metabolism as well as aid digestion, gently warming your stomach, supporting the breakdown of your food more efficiently”, explains Dr Marilyn Glenville, Nutritionist.

Do you have a sweet tooth? ‘Cinnamon is also great for reducing sugar cravings. Add some to a cranberry, pear and clementine juice for a festive pick me up on the go. You can also combine it with spinach or kale for a super shot of festive green goodness’, adds Wilkinson.

Nuts

“Nuts are packed with goodness – high in essential nutrients especially minerals and vitamins. They are also protein-rich so are broken down more slowly and therefore stay in the stomach longer, making us feel fuller and wanting to snack less.

They also help to balance your blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, which is an essential part of healthy weight loss and management. Nuts are high in calories, so don’t gorge on them, but allow yourself a healthy decent handful a day. Make sure they’re raw and unsalted to get the maximum benefit from the delicate oils they contain”, says Dr Glenville.

Turkey

“Turkey is a great source of lean protein. It is also low in fat and low in calories – ‘turkey is also high in selenium, which supports your metabolism, zinc that helps to boost our immunity and vitamin B6, an essential for energy production”, explains Wilkinson.

Do you often feel like snacking? “Carb cravings are a sign of low levels of the amino acid – tryptophan, which is necessary for the serotonin production, a ‘happy’ brain chemical. It plays a crucial role in sleep and wake cycles as well as digestion. A lack of it can lead to low mood and anxiety. Instead of reaching for stodgy carbs go for turkey – it’s packed with tryptophan”, says Dr Glenville.

Mulled red wine

Red wine is a good source of resveratrol… as if you need an excuse to have a glass. Just don’t overdo it! This powerful antioxidant, which can be found in the skin of red grapes, berries, cocoa and red wine, is produced in plants to defend them from invading microorganisms.

It can not only protect you from damaging free radicals, but it also boosts cell replication by promoting a healthy, inflammatory response in our body which delays the premature ageing process and turns excess flab into calorie-burning ‘brown fat”, says Michela Vagnini, Nutritionist at Natures Plus.

Gabs

 

 

 

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This week we tried: Hotpod yoga

6th December 2017 / Abbie Tanner  

Who knew that getting up early on a Saturday morning, grabbing a coffee and sitting in an enclosed hot pod doing yoga with half-naked strangers would feel so god damn great. Certainly not me. As a revived exercise fan (well, sort of) I am all about trialling the latest work out craze; anything that gets my heart rate rising and my non-existent abs squealing, then I’m in.

Know what I mean? Well, in that case, let me introduce you to Hotpod Yoga.

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Hotpod yoga is exactly that. Yoga, in a hot pod. It was launched in 2013 by strategy consultant, Max Henderson and yoga teacher, Nick Higgins, and is based in a cocoon-like studio environment which reaches up to 37 degrees. It may sound unbearable but trust me, it’s not. It’s actually really, really nice. The pod is dark and intimate with all classes having roots in vinyasa flow. I am not a total ‘yogi’, but the more I do it, the more I love it. And this sweaty yet soothing work out has by far been my favourite.

The one-hour session was based in their Hackney, London location and was taught by Lucy. Lucy also teaches self-development workshops which follow Embodied Yoga Principles, plus she’s had her writings published in top yoga publications such as Om Magazine and Yoga International, don’t you know!

Her knowledge guided me through the class with ease, and I reached a peak level of concentration which enabled me to stay focused on my flexibility, pace, and breathing technique. It’s a pretty hard task to get me to completely switch off, so well done Lucy.

Hotpod Yoga is not to be confused with Bikram, yes, both are heated, but Bikram can reach a hotter temperature of around 41 degrees and you’ll find that classes usually run for 90 minutes instead of 60. Heated Vinyasa and Bikram yoga are both Hatha-based practices which are made up of asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques), but heated Vinyasa classes will contain a variation of a sun salutation sequence (Surya Namaskar).

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I have never experienced Bikram or heated vinyasa so this was a new and refreshing experience for me. I left incredibly sweaty, incredibly energised and with a clearer mind. This was certainly one yoga class I couldn’t wait to re-book in for.

Who would I recommend it to? This is a great class for all ability levels, it’s super accessible, dynamic and practical so even as a beginner you would settle into it quite easily. There’s no stress if you don’t know each specific yoga term too!

Great for: calming your mind and loosening up your body. Just don’t forget your water.

Hotpod Yoga has their studios nationwide, to find one near you please visit their website HERE.

Abbie

How to feel a tank that’s never full: hunger-busting tips that nutritionists swear by

4th December 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos

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If you, just like me, are the unlucky owner of a bottomless pit instead of a stomach, then you know just how hard it’s to beat that constant feeling of hunger. So, if you spend your days thinking about what, where or when to eat, here are some less known tips on how to trick your body and mind into thinking it’s full.

Spice things up a little

Go for Cayenne Pepper, which is a natural appetite suppressant. It will not only curb your hunger due to the chemical capsaicin, it also turns up your metabolism.

Spend an extra hour in bed

Studies have shown that a lack of sleep may cause us to eat 300-400 more calories the next day! And in order to keep energy levels high, we tend to choose sugary or starchy quick fixes. Just one extra hour of sleep each night can increase leptin, the hormone that suppresses appetite,” says nutritionist, Lily Soutter.

Snack on an egg

“These make a great snack as the combination of protein and good fat help you feel fuller for longer.  Try boiling them in advance, and keeping them in the fridge as an easy, snack to enjoy on the go. They will last up to a week,” says nutritionist, Shona Wilkinson.

Breakfast for champions

Shona explains, “oats are brilliant for keeping hunger pangs at bay. They are nutritious and contain a good amount of fibre. They have been shown to help balance blood sugar levels, thus keeping sugar cravings and hunger pains at bay. A small bowl of porridge is a quick and easy snack and much better than reaching for that chocolate bar”.

Are you thirsty or hungry?

“It’s actually relatively common for people to confuse thirst for hunger, that’s why keeping your fluid intake up is really important. Try drinking a large glass of water when you are feeling those hunger pains and wait to see if they dissipate” says Dr Marilyn Glenville, Nutritionist and author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar.

Go green

“Adding a teaspoon of a super greens mixture to your water or juice can help keep hunger at bay. It’s a great way to boost your nutritional intake with greens such as spirulina, chlorella and barley or wheat grass. These superfoods contain fibre, helping you to feel fuller for longer as well as many energy-giving nutrients such as B vitamins to help you get through the day. Try the Natures Plus Ultra Green Juice,” suggests nutritionist, Cassandra Barns.

Tea time!

“The catechins found in green tea also help balance blood sugar levels. An added bonus is that green tea can help to lower cholesterol and triglycerides, as the polyphenols can help the body both eliminate cholesterol and stop its absorption. Try having 2 to 3 cups daily, in between meals” explains Lily. Here at YSV, we LOVE Pukka Green Matcha.

Switch it off!

Do you eat your meals in front of a screen? Dr Glenville explains why you should turn it off. “You can eat up to 70% more if distracted by watching the TV or in a cinema.  Research has shown that eating lunch in front of your computer makes it harder to remember what you have eaten and then you don’t feel as full. As a result, you will then be looking for something else to eat. In one study, computer users then ate twice as many biscuits half an hour later than the non-computer users eating lunch!”.

Keep it clean

A study published in the journal Environment and Behavior found that preparing and eating meals in a messy kitchen/living room area can cause us to eat more by… 40%. So, do the dishes, file your mail and chuck old newspapers away before you start preparing your meal.

Drizzle Vinegar on your salad

Shona says, “it improves digestion by keeping food in the stomach longer, reducing the hunger hormone ghrelin. Vinegar also helps prevent blood sugar spikes after a meal, helping cravings for up to 3 hours after”.

Light a vanilla scented candle

Have you heard of Christmas Dinner Syndrome? This is when the person who has been cooking doesn’t eat as much as their guests because they’ve been smelling dinner all day. There’s a theory that sweet scent reduces sugar cravings and can keep your hunger at bay.

The ‘F” word

“Foods high in ‘good’ fats – such as oily fish, avocados, raw nuts, seeds and cold-pressed oils made from seeds can help slow the release of sugars into the blood and make us feel fuller, preventing cravings,” says Dr Glenville.

Be a smart snacker

Lily explains how: “almonds are rich in protein and healthy fats, giving you the energy boost you need whilst balancing blood sugar. This snack is exactly what we need to prevent carbohydrate and sugar cravings”.

Trick your brain full

When choosing plates go for blue. Why? Research shows that blue is a natural appetite suppressant. The colour is almost never found in natural foods, so our bodies have no natural appetite response to blue. It’s not only colour that matters though. Dr Glenville says that “we tend to put larger portions on larger plates and end up eating more food. If you can’t fit as much on a plate you will automatically be eating less”.

Call a friend

According to a study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, hearing a kind, familiar voice stimulates the brain to release oxytocin, a stress fighting, mood boosting, “love” hormone. “Reduced stress, on the other hand, has been linked to increases in your satiety hormone, leptin,” Cassandra adds.

One apple a day

In one study in Washington, people were asked to eat an apple 20 minutes before each meal. Without making any additional changes to their diet, they lost an average 1½ stone in just 3 months. Apples are packed with fibre and they keep you fuller for longer. The more space an apple will take in your stomach, the less is left for less healthy dinner options.

Instagram your meal

Dr Glenville explains why: “researchers suggest that taking a photograph of food just before you eat, concentrates the mind to eat not only healthier foods but also less of it.  The photograph seemed to deter binges”.

Start with a soup

If you have soup before a meal you will end up eating fewer calories during the meal. The soup gives you the sensation of being fuller because it remains in the stomach for longer and makes you feel more satisfied. In addition, the soup remaining in the stomach stops the cells in the stomach producing your hunger hormone ghrelin and turns off your appetite,” Marilyn explains.

Gabs

 

 

This week we tried: Vinyasa Flow Yoga at triyoga

28th November 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos 

When it comes to working out, I know the main aim shouldn’t always be weight loss or toning, but general wellbeing and health. The truth is, if I am going to wake up at 5.30am three times a week and drag myself to the gym in the dark, I want to see visible results. Six-pack and peachy bum, preferably, like now, please!

I always thought that a ‘bikini body’ can only be achieved by HIIT and weight lifting. What about Yoga? Surely you can’t get lean from stretching? It’s too slow. And no music? Looks boring. WRONG. After trying Vinyasa Flow class at triyoga I am totally hooked!

tri yoga

With fellow YSV editor and co-founder, Abbie, we deliberately chose the 7.30pm class on Friday, (ultimately to make sure we didn’t get tempted and go out for ‘one drink’ after work). triyoga – we went to the one in Camden – has a very ‘zen’ atmosphere, one that almost makes you want to whisper – it was a perfect way to finish off a stressful week.

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Our class was taught by Marcus, who uses his Dj-ing experience and plays some great, Café Del Mar-like tunes in the background. Even though the atmosphere was very relaxed, it took literally 10 minutes and a few positions for us to start sweating and engaging muscles that we didn’t even know existed.

Vinyasa means ‘to place with special awareness and intention’. Flow suggests a movement that is continuous and smooth. Vinyasa Flow is a popular form of modern yoga that draws from traditions including Ashtanga and Iyengar yoga, as well as martial arts and dance (we did feel like we were trying to do some sort of Capoeira/breakdance at some point).

As I am still a beginner when it comes to Yoga, the hardest part for me is to breathe properly and coordinate my inhales and exhales with the movements. Thanks to Marcus, who was constantly reminding everyone to actually breathe, I started to control it more by the end of the class, which is a great success.

I left the class, with a great post-workout feeling: tired, sweaty and happy! Not so happy next day – my core, glutes, hamstrings were on fire, more than they usually are after a HIIT class. It makes sense how Madonna looks the way she does at the fabulous age of 60. It’s mainly thanks to Yoga.

Who would I recommend it to? Those, who’ve done Yoga before as it’s quite a fast pace class and it’s good to know the names of specific positions so you can change smoothly.

Be prepared to work on a deeper (both physical and psychological) level, with more challenging asanas, sun salutation variations, inversions and backbends. Not suitable for beginners!

Great for: toning and de-stressing.

triyoga has their studios nationwide, to find one near you please visit their website HERE.Gabs

 

 

 

 

 

Editor’s picks: Monday fashion treats

27th November 2017 / Abbie Tanner

How, how, how is it nearly the end of November? We’re really not sure, but we do know we’re in need of a cheerful pick-us-up on this dull and dreary Monday, and over at YSV we know exactly what will help: online shopping!

It’s Cyber Monday and the sales are out in force so we’ve trawled our favourite sites to bring you the best bits, you’re welcome.

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& Other Stories Boots – Was £125, Now £88

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Zadig & Voltaire Cardigan – Was £540, now £378

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Olympiah Trousers – Was £360, now £216

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Whistles Jumper – Was £99, Now £74.25

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Urban Outfitters Jacket – Was £99, Now £69.30

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Revolve Dress – Was £171.22, Now £82.61

 

Abbie

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Go on, treat yourself! Our top 5 payday buys

24th November 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos

Finally, another payday! So until all bills are paid and direct debits have disappeared from our accounts, we have 3 days to feel a teeny bit rich again. At YSV we pride ourselves on being budget queens (have you read our budget party tips and how to survive until payday articles?) so even our payday treats (and cocktails) are planned and included within the monthly spendings.

Here are our top five things we will be getting this month – cha-ching!

Metallic gym tights, Puma, £35

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We might not be exactly gym bunnies but we do try drag ourselves to the gym; attempting barrecore or yoga at least 3 times a week. So, when it comes to leggings, they need to do 3 things: stay in place (no sliding when we squat please!) cover our bums completely during downward facing dog and be pretty enough so we can get excited to wear them (anything to motivate). These gorgeous metallic ones do all three. Boom!

Translucent loose setting powder, Laura Mercier, £29219

December means one thing: after work drinks. If you put your make up on at 7am chances are, that by 6pm, most of it has gone. Not with this all-time bestseller loose powder from Laura Mercier. It works for all skin tones and contains light-reflecting, micro-refined spherical silica powders that help create a soft-focus appearance while diminishing the look of fine lines and imperfections. Bonus: 29 grams will get you through another 20 paydays. God, we’re good to you!

Statement earrings, Topshop, £14.50

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Thank god big earrings are back in fashion. They’re the perfect ‘desk to disco’ addition. While everyone is currently going crazy for big tassels, we’ve chosen something slightly different – obviously, a red accent is a must.

Espresso spread, Flat Brew, £5.99216

We won’t tell you how much coffee we drink at the weekend while flicking through newspaper supplements and chatting about absolutely everything and nothing over brekkie. Because it’s not normal, and we are not proud of it.

So, to mix it up a little bit, instead of drinking it we are putting it on our toast. Or just eating it straight out of a jar. This espresso blend contains everything we love: Arabica coffee, cocoa butter, cream and… sugar. Oh, well.

How To Be a Grown Up by Daisy Buchanan, £14.99217

We spend approx. 2 hours a day commuting, one part of it including the apparently ‘pleasant’ overground, also known as the ‘misery line’ or the ‘hipster express’. The only thing that stops us from losing the will to live, is a good book. Ideally, something that makes us feel better about ourselves. Daisy’s book covers everything from how to become more successful and confident at work, to turning rivals into mentors, and learning to enjoy spending time on your own. In a witty and warm voice, Daisy is basically saying ‘don’t worry, you are doing just fine!’. And we love her for that!

Gabs

 

 

 

 

 

The only treatment that does it all: chemical peels

20th November 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos

Even if you’ve managed to catch some last-minute September sun, it’s most likely, like mine, your summer glow is long gone. According to media and beauty brands, it’s ok to be pale, tan is so 2006 anyway. Well, it might be, but somehow as a nation, we still crave that sun-kissed look: sales of fake tan products have rocketed by almost 40% in last two years!

As much as I would love to say that I’m happy to embrace my pale-going-translucent skin shade, I must admit – I love being tanned. Give me a week in the sun and my skin tone looks more even, blemishes have dried out and skin feels firmer (probably because it’s burnt = tight). Unfortunately, it’s only an illusion of a healthy glow – in reality, our body does not create a tan to be pretty, it’s a response to the mutations that occur in our DNA, which means the skin is being damaged on a cellular level. This can lead to the weakening of connective fibres (read: wrinkles and sagging), the aggravating of acne and the worsening of pigmentation.

Once the glow is completely gone and the tan fades, all imperfections that are caused by sun damage are suddenly more visible. Acne scars and dark spots are likely to be darker than they were before we spent all those hours in the sun.

Usually, November is my month of a ‘skin panic’. Do I desperately try to prolong my tan and carry on with a few cheeky sunbeds to get me through until early spring? Or do I just face the reality, and deal with the damage I caused by recklessly frying myself in a sun? At the age of 30, the second option seems like the right solution. How? Two words: CHEMICAL PEELS.

I am pretty sure every woman instantly thinks of Samantha’s bright red, burnt face from Sex and The City when hearing about chemical peels. However, this regenerative facial had its beginnings much earlier than the ’90s. Did you know? To exfoliate and brighten her sun-damaged skin, Cleopatra used to bathe in milk, which contains lactic acid and tone with wine that includes tartaric acid.

This old as hills treatment really does it all. Improves the texture of your skin and minor scarring, decreases hyperpigmentation, unclogs pores, helps clear up acne and reduces fine lines. And, it’s still one of the quickest and simplest facials out there. ‘A chemical peel consists of applying an exfoliating solution to the face, neck and decollete. It improves the appearance of the skin by removing the top layers of the epidermis in a controlled manner and accelerating cell turnover’, says Dr Krystyna Wilczynski, skin expert at Blush + Blow.

Depending on types of acids used, skin usually starts peeling 2-3 days after the treatment and within a week you are ready to party again. For best results, dermatologists recommend a course of 4-6 peels, every 2-3 weeks. ‘Chemical peels are great for autumn, as they brighten and refresh the skin greatly in anticipation of winter. It’s important to thoroughly protect your skin from the sun for 4 months after chemical peels, so autumn is, in fact, perfect for a course’, suggests Stefanie Williams, dermatologist and author of Look great, not done!

According to Dr Rabia Malik, an aesthetic doctor at Grace Belgravia, peels have been largely under-utilised in the UK. Even though their new formulations mean less downtime with quicker and better results: ‘Peels, particularly in combination with other modalities such as micro-needling, are a great way of stimulating one’s own collagen.’

Peel formulations have evolved over the years and we now have some very sophisticated options that combine different acids with other active ingredients including fruit enzymes and amino acids, to enhance efficacy. Correct combination peels mean that lower strength acids can be used to deliver the same results with comparatively less downtime. Newer formulations are often referred to as ‘metabolic’ peels – they don’t just strip the surface of the skin and leave your skin physically peeling off, but they stimulate new skin cells, are less inflammatory and result in ‘micro-peeling’ where old skin cells come away gradually and less noticeably, while delivering a better end result’.

Which peel is right for you?

The best way to choose the right peel is to seek advice from a specialist, as they will be able to tell which peel will work better for your skin type. However, if you don’t know where to go, we’ve peeled our skin at few places, so are on hand to give you some great recommendations – you’re welcome!

If you are struggling with pigmentation: NeoStrata Retinol Peel at EUDELO Clinic.

When applying Retinol, also known as vitamin A, to your skin, you help increase cell renewal and boost collagen production. It also slows the production of melanin and helps to reduce hyperpigmentation. The NeoStrata Retinol Peel contains 3% Retinol and a specially developed Retinol Boosting Complex™ to reduce fine lines and promote a bright, even complexion.

If you want your radiance back: Get The Glow Glycolic Peel at Blush + Blow.

If your skin looks dull and is in need of that ‘glow’ factor, then glycolic acid is your best option. With hardly any downtime and minimal redness, you can expect instant radiance, smoother texture and a brighter complexion.

If your skin is sensitive: Hydrating Peel, The Peel Boutique.

This is a perfect choice for dry and sensitive skin. A combination treatment containing a pomegranate, papaya and pineapple enzyme peel base with a chirally correct lactic acid, followed by a hydrating mask infused with green tea, lemon peel extract and R-lipoic Acid. This treatment nurtures, treats and hydrates while soothing and brightening the skin.

If you suffer from acne: Dermaquest Salicylic Acid Resurfacer at SK:N Clinics.

This treatment uses 20% Salicylic Acid to effectively exfoliate the skin by controlling congestion and relieving inflammation. It also targets blemish-causing bacteria and prevents future breakouts, stopping acne-causing oil in its tracks.

If you are looking for an anti-ageing solution: The TCA Skin Peel at EF Medispa Spa.

This trichloroacetic acid (TCA)-based peel works to tighten loose skin and refine lines. TCA acid is a more effective and longer lasting than the sugar and citric acids, as it goes deeper into the dermis and can treat more skin problems. Recently, it has even been used by doctors to treat, remove and lighten tattoos!

Gabs

 

How to be a girl boss: Natalie Powell from Parcel London

18th October 2017 / Abbie Tanner

Your Style Vaults meets… Natalie Powell

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Are you always on the hunt for that perfect pressie? A gift that combines style, thought and a little edge? Yep, we know, it’s a tough task! Enter Natalie Powell, Founder and Director of the luxury gifting service, Parcel – this brand new concept is sleek, time-saving and unique.

Natalie lovingly sources a selection of luxe, innovative brands in order to create bespoke gift ideas, which have already been a hit with top bloggers. These are top-notch gifts (our personal favourites are ‘Besties’ and ‘Pamper’) and ones we know people would love to receive – with Christmas around the corner, could this be any more perfect?

So, without further ado, let’s meet Natalie, see what makes her tick and how Parcel came to be such a god damn awesome idea!

YSV: So tell us, what is Parcel and how did it all begin? 

Natalie: Parcel is an online service which offers pre-curated gift boxes full of lovely presents for women. I’ve always been obsessed with giving (and receiving) gifts but it’s hard to find the time when you’re busy with work and distracted with everyday life, to pull off an amazing present with all the little extras. I decided to set up a website that does it all for you! We choose gifts from loads of lovely brands, wrap them, write the card and deliver them to the doorstep. We get the gifts, you get the glory.  

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Besties Parcel, £85

YSV: What was your background before going it alone?

Natalie: I’ve had quite a varied career but always based in Fashion. After graduating from London College of Fashion, I started out as a make-up artist and then eventually transitioned into shoot direction and production, most recently at Net-A-Porter. I’ve been very lucky to be exposed to incredible brands and products which has helped me to pick gifts for Parcel which I think people will love.

YSV: Who was a big part of helping you embark on your new career? Be it inspiration or support? Family, friends, an icon?

Natalie: My fiancé Mark was an incredible support to me, he was my 24-hour sounding board, as well as helping with all the real-life things that I didn’t have the time or brain space to do during the start-up phase (he’s now head chef at home!) but mainly his unwavering belief in me, you definitely need that in times of fear! I also have an amazing group of friends and ex-colleagues that helped me out with so many important things such a branding, copywriting and digital, they’re wizards! It can be a very lonely time when launching a start-up so it was lovely to have my friends around me to help – especially when they’re so talented in their fields. 

YSV: What is your number one tip for anyone wanting to embark on setting up their own business?

Natalie: Keep a side hustle for as long as possible! There are so many different parts of setting up a business that are scary, the main one being that you often can’t avoid spending lots of money, so if you can keep a small income on the go while you’re finding your feet, it can really help to take the pressure off. I think the tip for this is to pick something that leaves a realistic amount of time for you to concentrate on growing your own business rather than distract from it. 

YSV: What do you wish you knew before you started Parcel?

Natalie: That no decisions are set in stone. When you first go it alone, it’s an amazing feeling not to have a manager to answer to, but I was paralysed by indecision, thinking every single tiny choice had to be underlined in a notebook and never changed. Once you get further down the line you realise that every good business is constantly changing and evolving. I update something every day based on feedback and hindsight, so there really was no need to worry so much before the launch!

YSV: Tell us about the brands you have curated for each box? How do you choose who to work with and why?

Natalie: The quality of brands included in each Parcel is what I’m proudest of and the part which took the most work. I’m very conscious of the types of brands I work with and am a huge supporter of independent and innovative makers. Some of my favourites, which are all based in London are chocolate experts – Land, leather and stationery brand A L’aise, handcrafted candles from Join and Guy Morgan Apothecary who create the most gorgeously packaged natural skin care. When I set out to create Parcel my main aim was to create gifts that not only looked beautiful when you open them, but that are also great quality. The question I asked myself in the early buying stages was ‘would I buy this myself, for myself’ if the answer was no, then the product wasn’t included. 

What was the best piece of advice you ever got? And, the worst?

Natalie: The best advice is from my parents who told me to ‘just go for it’ because it will be worse to regret never trying than to fail. The worst advice – that it would be a viable option to plan a wedding and start a business in the same year. It. is. chaos. 

YSV: When you’re not working, where do you like to hang out in London?

Natalie: Before moving to Surrey, I lived in East London and this is where I feel most alive! I love that everyone has such a sense of personal style and open attitude. My favourite place is Broadway market on a Saturday afternoon, you can wander around for hours, looking in bookshops and eating the worlds BEST chicken burgers from the stall right at the end.

Finally, for some fun…

YSV: Handbag essential number 1?

Natalie: Paw Paw papaya moisturising balm. It’s actual magic!

YSV: That one song which brings all the memories?

Natalie: Kevin Lyttle – Turn Me On. It instantly takes me back to teenage holidays with my best friend Sophie.

YSV: On top of your bucket list you have…

Natalie: To visit the Galapagos islands, I’m obsessed with wildlife documentaries!

YSV: Last three things you bought on your credit card?

Natalie: Pink velvet Gucci loafers – Swoon / A flight to Dubai – Excruciatingly hot / Coffee and cake – because I never sleep or carry cash.

YSV: Give us your usual coffee shop order

Natalie: Almond milk cappuccino.

View the full Parcel gift collection here.

 

Abbie

Have you heard of the ‘bright smile’ diet?

29th October 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos

It can help you make friends, win that job, pull that hot guy or even get you a free coffee at Pret. A beautiful, beaming smile makes you look happier and appear more attractive – it’s your golden ticket to success.

According to the British Dental Association, teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedure in the UK, but before you spend hundreds on whitening strips, toothpaste and treatments, how about starting with your diet. Bacteria absorbed from food can not only leave stains and yellowing, it can also cause tooth decay, so we’ve asked our experts to tell us what to eat to perfect that million-dollar smile.

Dr Krystyna Wilczynski, a cosmetic dentist at the Hyde Dental Practice and facial anaesthetist:

Say ‘YES’ to:

Cheese

Studies show that eating cheese can raise the pH level in your mouth and reduce the chance of tooth decay. It also contains calcium, which is fantastic for enamel strength.

Pumpkin seeds

Packed with nutrients and vitamins, they contain zinc, iron and magnesium which strengthen tooth enamel and prevents decay.

Green Tea

It has been known to reduce bacteria and the toxic products they produce in the mouth. Tea is also rich in fluoride – the most well know tooth strengthener.

Broccoli

Raw broccoli (instead of steamed or roasted) can act as a natural toothbrush to remove external staining on teeth. It also contains high levels of iron, which can help reduce acid erosion leading to the discolouration of teeth.

Strawberries

They are not only low in calories and perfect for snacking but also contain malic – a natural tooth whitener!

Dr Richard Marques, celebrity dentist:

Say ‘NO’ to:

Crisps

The nation’s favourite snack is full of starch that turns into sugar in the mouth. This then gets trapped between the teeth and creates bacteria which causes plaque, so always be sure to floss after indulging.

Popcorn

It can get stuck in the tiny spaces between your teeth causing a build-up of plaque.

White bread

It contains simple carbohydrates including sugar which dissolves in the mouth, which then creates erosive acids when you chew. Rinse with a mouthwash after consuming and use dental floss to prevent build-ups.

Tomatoes

They are surprisingly acidic, which can cause tooth erosion and damage to the enamel. If eating them raw, always consume with other foods such as in a salad, as this will not directly expose your teeth.

Balsamic vinegar

It’s deeply pigmented and full of acid, so will stain the teeth and cause erosion. Drink a glass of water after you eat anything containing vinegar to help clear any lingering acids.

 

Gabs

You can do this! How to get through the last week before payday

25th October 2017 / Abbie Tanner

How we long to be one of those people in the office that come payday declare, ‘oh, do we get paid today, I totally forgot’. Eugh. Well until then, take note of our top 9 money-saving tips to see you through the final leg. Some might say, it’s the survival of the skintest…

Waitrose do free coffee!

Skint or not, we all need our coffee fix, but those tasty Starbucks mount up if you treat yourself on the daily. The answer? Get a Waitrose card. With every purchase you get a free tea or coffee, so pick up a single banana for 20p, then grab your free caffeine hit on the way out. No Waitrose near your office? OK, there must be Pret, so why not flirt your way to a free hot drink (they’re allowed to give away free tea and coffee if they see fit!). However, if your flirting skills are as bad as ours, they do filter coffee for £1. Treat yourself.

Make your own lunches

Be organised because when you’re on a budget, preparation is key. Sunday nights should be spent meal prepping, so get your Monday to Thursday meals on lockdown. Then come Friday, when the pay cheque gods rock up, you can get your arse back down to the local overpriced sushi bar. Until then, it’s canned Tuna salad. Joy!

Yellow labels are the answer

If food prep isn’t for you then we have a few other tricks up our sleeves: M&S love a yellow label. Time it right and you can get your lunch (and dinner) for a fraction of the price. Just keep your eyes peeled for a member of staff and their sacred reduction gun.

Top tip – catch Itsu half hour before they shut to bag their delicious sushi meals for 50% off. That’s dinner sorted then!

Walk it

Check your route to work, can you walk any of it? If not all of it? If you can save the pennies AND workout at the same time then that’s a win-win, right?

Work out for free

On the subject of exercise, did you know that there are SO many ways to work out for free in London. Take Our Parks, a new initiative bringing group exercises to your local parks, there really is no excuse!

Be cultural, it’s free!

London might be an expensive city to live, work and play in but there are endless options to get out and explore for free (reason 3527485635 why this city is one of the best places in the world). London is home to some of the most iconic museums and, they’re free to get in! So from The V&A and Natural History Museum to The Tate Modern and National Gallery you can get your art and culture fix for nothing.

Top tip – If contemporary art isn’t quite your bag but gorgeous views are, then enjoy the London skyline at the Tate Modern viewing platform, again ALL for free.

Turn your phone off and lock your door

Sounds dramatic but if there’s ever a time to say, ‘I can’t come out’, it’s the week before payday. Turn it into a positive! Spend your evenings – once you have walked the 25 miles home from the office – snuggled in bed. It’s a chance to catch up on those ITV dramas your mum has told you about, or how about that Netflix series they were discussing at work? Don’t worry, it will be a few more days until you can pop that prosecco and blast your hard-earned cash in the pub, but until then, Netflix and chill is the answer. There is the other ‘Netflix ‘n’ chill’ option, a much better way to pass the time and ignore those money worries if you ask us…

Did we mention prosecco?

Thirsty Thursdays can still be a ‘thing’, just make them an ‘indoor thing’. Get your skint butt down to Lidl ladies, because their prosecco is £5.79 and it’s bloody lovely (trust us, we’ve tried it). Let the normal hungover Fridays resume.

Get your salesperson’s hat on

If you know you’ve got a super busy month that’s bound to leave your overdraft aching, then get savvy. Enter, eBay. Without knowing it, you’re probably sitting on a small fortune. It’s either a case of finding pieces you forgot you had (which basically feels like shopping) or, making some hard cash on clothes/shoes/bags that you (let’s be honest) probably won’t end up wearing again. You know what they say, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure…

Enjoy the tips! If you can live by these ALL month, the possibilities are endless. Imagine, that plane ticket might just be closer than you think…

Abbie

 

 

 

 

 

The shower that kickstarts your day

19th October 2017 / Abbie Tanner

It’s the first thing in the morning, your alarm goes off and in a zombie-like state, you prise yourself out of bed. If you’re anything like us, once you’ve avoided the urge to hit snooze, you head straight to the kitchen – it’s coffee time.

Coffee IS good for you! It’s rich in antioxidants which can boost your brain power, help lower risks of type 2 diabetes and it’s a powerful energiser. It also makes for a great exfoliator…

Here at YSV, we’re all big fans of pampering, and like any pampering process, exfoliation is a must (professional tanners over here). More and more beauty brands are turning to coffee as their main exfoliating ingredient – no surprise really, caffeine is cellulite’s number 1 enemy. Another reason why coffee is a popular scrubbing choice is that it’s natural. Not a plastic bead in sight.

We’ve chosen our top 3 scrubs to get you feeling revitalised; so banish the microbeads and choose coffee instead, it’s kinder to your skin, better for the environment, and you’ll love that uplifting hit in the shower. What’s not to love?

Optiat Scrub – available here

What does Optiat say?

Siblings William and Anna Brightman founded Optiat in April 2016, after a series of events led to them conceiving the idea of a body scrub created with used coffee grounds. William explains:

“Having received a cafetiere for Christmas, I began making my own morning coffee. However, I realised that post-brewing, the freshly brewed grounds had to be thrown away. With more than 55 million cups of coffee drunk every day in the UK, this represents a big waste problem. Indeed, it turns out that more than 500,000 tonnes of coffee grounds are sent to landfill every year in the UK alone! I saw an opportunity to change this.”

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What do we say?

Tried and tested by YSV’s editors, this nourishing scrub genuinely leaves your body feeling silky. Leave on for a few minutes before rinsing off for super smooth results. They are great for gifting too so if you’re stuck for stocking filler ideas, these scrubs are the answer!

Bean Body Coconut Scrub – available here

What does Bean Body say?

Ideal for eczema and psoriasis, the blend of Himalayan pink rock salt and demerara sugar buff away dead skin cells, helping eliminate blackheads and breakouts or a smoother, more refined finish.

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What do we say?

It’s all about the smell on this one, anything with a coconut scent and we’re sold! It’s also great on the face as well as the body.

Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub – available here

What does Frank Body say?

Australian made and owned, this is the scrub that made Frank Body famous. A natural blend of coffee, oils and vitamins give you the best exfoliation of your life & banish dry skin forever.

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What do we say?

The scrub that got us hooked on using coffee in the shower! We’ve never looked back.

Abbie

Smells that ring bells: why do scents bring back memories?

22nd October 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos 

Whenever I pass a man on the street who is wearing the 90s classic, CK Obsession aftershave, my mind flashes back to my very first boyfriend. A whiff of freshly baked doughnuts and I am instantly transported to my grandma’s flat, where we used to eat warm, rose jam doughnuts on Sundays. Everyone has certain scents that take them back in time, proving there’s a strong connection between smells, emotions, and memories.

For some reason, smells can trigger memories faster than words, pictures or even sounds. Dr Becky Spelman, a psychologist at Private Therapy Clinic says, “as babies, we come into this world with blurry vision, poor coordination, and an inability to interpret the sounds we hear around us. We are guided to our mother’s breast through the sense of smell, which is perhaps the most fundamental of all our senses. As we grow and develop we learn how to speak, listen and gain an understanding of the world through touch, sight, and hearing. Our sense of smell seems to become less important, and yet, smell more than anything can evoke a memory and a strong emotional response as it’s linked to our instincts and the days when we relied on our mothers for everything”.

According to scientists, smells go into the emotional and memory part of the brain, whilst words go into thinking part. This could explain why memories brought back by smells feel nostalgic rather than specific and detailed.

Dr Spelman adds, “our memories tend to hook highly emotional moments onto smells which can trigger all of those feelings whenever they are encountered. These strong experiences will meld with their associated scents, and every time you encounter those scents, you will be assailed with memories”.

What smells trigger memories the most?

So how can we trigger the greatest memories from the past? Is there just one unique fragrance or smell?  Nick Gilbert, fragrance expert at Olfiction says, “every single person is different, with their own scent associations based on their own experiences and memories. So it’s not that any particular notes tend to be more impactful to the majority of us”.

However, there are smells that most of us will associate with our happy childhood. Erica Moore, fragrance evaluator at Fragrances Of The World explains, “certainly, we can generalise that the smell of vanilla, for example, which is most commonly associated with baking, cooking and sweet food such as chocolate will provide positive scent memories.  Cut grass, coffee, fairy floss (or sugar) and wood-smoke are also notes that rate highly as preferred scents.  Perfumers and marketers often weave these notes into fragrances to appeal to happy childhood”.

Lots of us have strong relationships with older, classic fragrances just because our parents or grandparents wore them. “Children from the 60’s may recall their parents smelling like patchouli, 70s children may have a similar experience with fragrances such as Charlie and 80s children will no doubt smell Opium or Lou Lou from the next suburb”, says Moore.

There is no doubt, smell associations are really powerful. “When I used to sell perfume, a lady came into the store and sprayed Youth Dew onto a card and almost instantly burst into tears. I just gave her a big hug and let her cry, and eventually, she told me her mother used to wear it and she had died a few weeks ago” says Nick.

Memory-triggering perfumes

 

39Jo Malone, Blackberry and Bay Cologne – £44

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Chanel Cristalle EDP – £57 

41Guerlain Herba Fresca EDT – £39.49

42YSL Black Coffee Opium EDP – £50 

43LA Fumee, Miller Harris EDP – £105 

 

Gabs

 

 

 

Glow baby glow! The best foundations for autumn.

12th October 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos

As an ex-makeup artist and absolute beauty geek from my early teenage years, I dread to think how many bottles of foundation I have actually tried in my life. I also happen to be the ‘lucky’ owner of oily and acne-prone skin, which means I’ve spent years caking on layers of powdery formulas thinking that’s the key to great looking skin.

Now, being in my 30s, all I want from my foundation is a natural glow, that ‘no make-up’, ‘I woke up like this’ look. I haven’t found ‘the one’ yet, but I’ll know a good one when I get my hands on it! (just to be clear, I am still talking about make-up, not men… ahem). Let the search begin… (again, still talking about foundations here, ahem)

So, to save you time and money, I’ve put together the top foundations available out there to get you that radiant skin (and I want them all!). You’re welcome…

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Cushion Compact SPF 35 – available here

What does Bobbi Brown say?

The weightless, soft-focus liquid foundation delivers an instant glow. What’s the secret? It’s the capsule technology and airtight packaging that helps preserve the formula’s freshness and longevity.

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Packed with skin-boosting ingredients like Pink Silk Tree Extract and Caffeine, the multitasking formula also rejuvenates and re-energizes skin, while helping to protect it with a moisture-infused anti-pollution barrier and high-level SPF.

Why do I love it?

Cushion compacts are game-changing for many reasons. This one is not only very convenient to use ‘on the go’ but also its liquid formula gives you a very natural finish. Bonus: it doesn’t settle into fine lines.

Guerlain Lingerie De Peau Aqua Nude – available here

What does Guerlain say?

This new Lingerie de Peau foundation is using the Aqua Plump technology. It acts on the water channels in the cells, distributing water evenly over the entire surface and at the heart of the epidermis to boost hydration. A long-wear polymer adjusts to the curves of the face to lastingly protect makeup from sweat, sebum and water.

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Perfect for moisturising, this new foundation has less weight and gives you that fabulous “no make-up, make-up” look.

Why do I love it?

Guerlain products are what we call ‘high tech beauty’. You can always be sure all ingredients have been tested and won’t do any harm to your skin. With this foundation, your skin will actually feel hydrated and plumped.

Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation – available here

What does Laura Mercier say?

This is Laura’s longest wearing foundation of flawless full coverage and 15 hours of wear fused into one weightless mesh formula. High-performance wear that’s sweat, humidity, water and transfer resistant. Colour stays true all day and won’t oxidise. Instant oil control, immediately and throughout the day. Matte finish that is never dull, flat or cakey.

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Why do I love it?

We’ve never thought you can have your cake and eat it: natural glow AND a matte finish. Thanks to Laura’s new baby you won’t have to top up with a powder to take the shine away. No idea how they did it but we are loving the look!

Too Faced Born This Way – available here

Born This Way is an oil-free foundation that diffuses the line between makeup and skin. For coverage so undetectable, you can’t see the makeup and you can’t see imperfections— all that’s left is naturally radiant skin. It’s infused with a potent combination of Coconut Water to naturally replenish moisture levels; nature’s resilient Alpine Rose to brighten the skin’s appearance and promote elasticity and Hyaluronic Acid for a smoother, more youthful appearance.

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Why do I love it?

Massive brownie points for ingredients – both Hyaluronic Acid and Coconut Water can help with hydration. It blends in easily and one layer is enough to cover your imperfections. Impressive!

Oxygenetix – available here

This high-end foundation is the most breathable foundation on the market, with a combined 160 years of expertise behind its revolutionary formula. It has real skin care benefits, provides flawless coverage and delivers an unparalleled, oxygen-enriched formula that allows the skin to breathe more than any other foundation brand.

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The prime ingredient in the product is pro-healing, patent-pending CeravitaeTM a super-charged oxygen complex that promotes collagen cell production and connective tissue growth to promote youthful and smooth skin. It is also natural Aloe Barbadensis gel based (not water-based like most foundations, that often attract bacteria to the skin), which provides anti-bacterial qualities, while astringently removing dead surface cells.

It contains skin-loving ingredients Vitamin E, Grape Seed Extract, Green Tea, Hyaluronic Acid, Salix Alba Extract (avonoids) and Glycerin to soothe, heal and replenish moisture loss.

Why do I love it?

Water resistant, smudge-proof and so good for the skin that sleeping in it will not aggravate it. Next time you ‘forget’ (read: pass out) to take your make up off after a night out, you won’t have to feel guilty anymore!

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup – available here

With a demi-matte finish and light-diffusing spheres to help blur imperfections and wrinkles and look like you’ve been professionally retouched, this buildable formula perfectly complements your complexion and provides medium to full coverage with a flawless finish.

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Urban Decay loaded this oil- and paraben-free formula with nourishing ingredients: anti-wrinkle peptides, Litchiderm™ (derived from lychee fruit) to protect skin from dehydration, stress and aging, Sodium hyaluronate that holds and attracts water for smoother, softer, more youthful-looking skin and Japanese green tea and vitamin E to fight free radicals and promote collagen production.

Why do I love it?

It’s easily buildable so you can go from a very light to full coverage, without looking like you’re wearing a mask. It also comes in 24 shades, so no more tanned face/white neck situ!

 

Gabs

Would you trust your dentist to do your botox?

26th September 2017 / Abbie Tanner

Your Style Vaults meets… Dr Krystyna

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Getting, and looking older is always at the top of our discussion list (the prosecco-fuelled weekends probably don’t help), so anything – be it surgical or non-surgical – to help us fight the hands of time is always a win in our eyes. We’re obsessed with the latest beauty hacks, getting enough sleep (well, except at the weekend!) and how to make the most of what we’ve got.

In the market for Botox? Finally, want to give in to teeth whitening? We say go for it. If it makes you feel better about yourself then why not make fewer trips to the pub and turn those drinking tokens into beauty tokens – the after-effects will be so much more rewarding than a hangover, that’s for sure.

Once the funds are saved, choosing the right procedure and clinic is a MUST, so if you’re treating yourself to new dentist work or a subtle lip-filler, then treat yourself right and DO YOUR RESEARCH. Enter Dr Krystyna… a fully qualified dentist with a passion for cosmetic dentistry, Botox and dermal fillers. As a member of The British Dental Association, the Royal College of Surgeons Faculty of Dental Surgery and the International Team for Implantology, she is trusted professional. 

We wanted to pick her brains about why choosing a dentist for facial aesthetics is always the best route…

YSV: How did it all begin?

Dr K: Being a dentist was always my passion, both my parents were dentists and they inspired me to study the profession myself. Once I had finished my dental degree and began working in practice, I realised I was able to expand and pursue other avenues within the profession. I naturally gravitated towards facial aesthetics and cosmetics because I wanted to be able to offer people a service that enhanced their appearance. I find it very satisfying to offer my patients opportunities to advance both their dental and facial cosmetic issues and improve their personal confidence as a result.

 

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Image credit: @drkrystyna

YSV: Why are dentists best placed to offer facial aesthetics?

Dr K: The truth is dentists are actually ideally placed to perform facial aesthetics treatments since we have undergone 5 years of undergraduate training focusing solely on the face! The intensive training and education of a dental degree give the most specialised understanding and surgical skills to undertake facial cosmetic treatment. We have an in-depth knowledge of oro-facial anatomy: musculature, blood supply, neural supply and function so can be precise with the application of cosmeceuticals and neurotoxins. We can fully control and remove pain through anaesthesia. Risk factors are also minimised through the technical skill of dental training with empathy and sensitivity to provide the best care for every patient being ideally met in a dental practice environment.

YSV: Any advice for someone looking to embark on facial aesthetic treatment?

Dr K: My advice is to take the time to find a reputable practitioner who is appropriately qualified. Ensure the clinic is clean and safe, and the materials used are licensed and registered. Worryingly, there are a lot of fake clinics which could lead to disastrous consequences. Would you really want to risk it for a cheap deal? 

YSV: What treatments do you offer?

Dr K: The Dr.Krystyna clinics offer a wide range of high quality, bespoke dental cosmetic and facial aesthetic treatments. Tooth whitening, Invisalign clear braces and composite tooth bonding are all available to get you to that winning smile. Botox/Anti-wrinkle and dermal filler to treat all areas of the face and neck to give people a more natural, youthful appearance or to enhance one’s lips, cheeks or chins. I also can use botox to combat excessive underarm sweating and jaw clenching habits!

YSV: What’s the diff between botox and fillers?

Dr K: Botox and dermal fillers do different things but can be used in complementary fashion. Botox is a muscle relaxer and dermal fillers, as their name implies fill lines or can be used to add volume. Botox is injected into the muscles that cause wrinkles and relaxes them to reduce the signs of ageing. Dermal facial fillers, on the other hand, are used to add volume to the skin and lips to hydrate and plump. Botox lasts up to 6-9 months whilst fillers last between 12-18 months depending on the area and type used.

YSV: As a London-based girl boss, where do you go to enjoy your free time? If you have any that is!

Dr K: Well, I’ve recently become a founding member of The Curtain Hotel so spent the summer on their rooftop! Some more of my fave bar and restaurants include The Ace Hotel, Village East, Bistrotech and The Hoxton Hotel. I also like to go to Boxpark in Shoreditch for casual weekday hangout. 

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Image credit: The Curtain

YSV: What’s the future for Dr.K?

Dr K: Ideally, I would like to expand and build the Dr Krystyna clinic and brand itself in the London, Surrey and Essex areas. I aim to become an approachable and trustworthy name which provides clients easy accessibility to the treatments they desire. 

Discover more about what Dr Krystyna can do for you HERE.

Follow the clinics latest Instagram updates HERE.

 

Abbie

 

This week we tried: Barrecore

25th September 2017 / Abbie Tanner

Here at the Vaults, we enjoy the feel-good factor that comes with exercise; the rush of endorphins, the physical changes, the increase of energy. However, the dragging-your-arse to the gym factor, hmm not so much.

Running into oblivion on a treadmill isn’t our favourite way to burn those cals so we’re always on the hunt for awesome new workouts that are not only result-noticing but enjoyable.

Enter, Barrecore. A favourite with Victoria’s Secret models such as Jourdan Dunn, Eva Herzigova and Arizona Mews, Barrecore classes fuse yoga, Pilates and ballet techniques with gentle weight-training exercises to elongate muscles and create toned physiques. And with founder Niki Rein, proclaiming that ‘in just a couple of weeks of taking 2-3 sessions a week, clients see fat melting, metabolism boosting and mood improving results’, we can see why this trendy workout has become super popular. And after a few classes, we can totally vouch for that.

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It’s a fast-moving and efficient workout that yes, made us hurt, but in that weird enjoyable way – it was a class that has us yearning for more. The enthusiastic instructor and her incredibly toned body were so encouraging (seriously, her abs), that holding tricky poses for a little longer seemed possible.

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If you’re wondering whether previous dance experience is necessary then fear not, it’s ultimately still a fitness workout with only 20% being dance-based movements. This is easy to follow choreography that focuses on getting your body leaner, stronger and longer. Something that we can really get on board with. We’ll be rocking those crop tops in no time. Maybe a bit extreme, but you get the idea.

They have studios nationwide so why not see what’s near you. Book your first class HERE, you won’t regret it.

 

Abbie