Want a skin care product made for yourself only and nobody else?

Well then, BESPOKE is the way to go!

I’ve been working behind the scenes to revamp my website, and whilst gathering opinions and expert advice on dos and don’ts, I realised quite a lot of people think when I’m talking bespoke skin care, I mean wholesale – which is something I don’t do.

Ok, so how do bespoke skin care orders work?

According to the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists, ‘Pharmacy compounding is the customized preparation of a medicine that is not otherwise commercially available.’  So, the main advantage of using a compounding medicine is to customise it for you according to your needs and requirements.

Compounding medicine is an ancient tradition. It works so well and patients are so satisfied with the results (and benefits) that, in Brazil, where I come from, compounding pharmacies have become increasingly popular.

Although my products are not medicinal, my bespoke skin care products are developed under similar principles to compounding medicine.  It’s not an ‘off-the-shelf’ product, it has to be made – for you.

Deo Balms for Sharon

Step by step, basically:

1)   We discuss your requirements,

2)   I come up with a formula,

3)   I send you a quote (we can agree on a sample size product to be made and tested),

4)   You pay, if you agree with the quote and product suggested,

5)   I make it and ship it to you as soon as it’s ready.

Bespoke products are a total challenge and that’s why I enjoy making them so much! When I get it right (and so far, I’ve had 100% approval of my bespoke orders), it’s such a reward…

I recently created a bespoke deodorant balm (picture) for Sharon, with added moisturising properties, and an ‘uplifting fresh citrus smell’ which she loves. She wanted both a big and a small version of the deodorant so that she could keep one in her bag at all times.

I made her a small sample to try before making the ‘full’ order. When asking her for feedback, she wrote: ‘I’m so pleased with it. I would definitely recommend your bespoke service and I think it’s good value for money.’

Not every client is the same, though…  Molly was my first customer for whom I created 3 bespoke soaps.  She wanted something ‘fresh, detoxing and positive’.  When I received her email saying how much she loved the soaps, I asked if I could quote her for a testimonial.  She didn’t reply back and I felt almost uncomfortable, unsure whether she really liked the soaps, agonising over what I could have done wrong.

Well, one day later, I found out!
http://mollyflatt.co.uk/2010/09/07/the-perfect-soap/

On the pipeline, bespoke wedding favours – watch this space!

Please drop me an email if you’re interested in my bespoke service:
andrea@skinbistro.co.uk

To find out more about my bespoke service, please visit:
http://www.skinbistro.co.uk/bespokeskincare.html

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Don’t get caught by the winter bugs

Although I’ve joined Twitter a while ago, only recently I became more (inter)active on this social media platform.  Working from home can be quite a solitary task, so Twitter kind of fill in the space of office chit-chat – and I am completely hooked now!

Just like in a real office, lots of tweets over the past few weeks talked about cold, flu, sore throats and other undesirable symptoms caused by nasty winter bugs.  Here’s some of the advice and information I shared on Twitter… And a little more!

1) Eat healthily, making sure you include lots of citrus fruits and berries as well as green vegetables and garlic in your diet.  These are source of vitamins A and C, and zinc, all of which boost the immune system.

2) Wash your hands regularly. In public places, like the tube, try not to touch anything and steer clear from the sneezing and coughing types. I always pull my scarf up to my nose when I go on public transport.  If you touch things, do not touch your mouth or nose until you have washed your hands.

3) Echinacea – particularly, I don’t take it, but if you do, have a preventative course for no longer than 8 weeks.  If you take medication for health problems, make sure to tell your GP you’re taking Echinacea as it does interact with certain types of medication.

If all these fail and you end up catching a nasty cold or flu:

– Make sure you drink plenty of water; tea helps too, especially if add fresh ginger, lime and honey.

– Wash your hands everytime you blow your nose, otherwise, you’ll re-infect yourself!

– Essential oils of eucalyptus, tea tree, rosemary, niaouli, cajeput, ravensara and thyme all help to fight infection and clear the airways. Remember essential oils are powerful plant extracts that have to be diluted in vegetable oil (cold pressed olive oil from the kitchen cupboard will do!).  Use as a chest and back rub.

– For sore throats, propolis (spray or tincture) is a widely known and scientifically accepted antimicrobial agent.  Make sure you buy a good quality one.

Since I’ve started working from home two winters ago, I’ve been winter bug-free. I do miss the office gatherings, but I don’t miss the colds!

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Hurray!

I’m very please with the results and recognition Skin Bistro is getting.

It took me 3 years to develop our best selling product, the castile soap made with organic, extra-virgin olive oil.  Compared to the soap, developing the packaging was easy!

All this hard work was so worth it when last week I received the news Skin Bistro was a winner of the Future 100, an award that recognise the success of young entrepreneurs ‘who demonstrate entrepreneurial flair and innovation in progressing a responsible business venture’.

Winning a business award is an incredible achievement, taking into account the company is only 3 months old.  It proves I’m on the right track from the beginning.  It is, however, the rave reviews I’m getting from clients that really make my day.  Without them, this business wouldn’t be possible.

If you want to buy any of my soaps, please go to: http://www.skinbistro.co.uk/shopskincare/cat_637606-Soaps.html

http://mollyflatt.co.uk/2010/09/07/the-perfect-soap/

http://thegreenfamilia.co.uk/tgf-rated-review-castille-soap

http://thegreen.greatbritishlife.co.uk/article/top-to-toe-health-and-beauty-26576/

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New soaps on the block

I’ve been very busy today.  There was creation in the morning, some label revamping right on time for the photo shoot to follow… Ah, and a vegetable lasagne in between washed down with one of my favourite wines – organic tempranillo from Santa Julia, Argentina.

I’ve created some brand new soaps:

– flower bud: delicate enough to use on the face; pink clay creates a marble effect; the flowery scent brings spring back to life!

– face scrub: for oily skin, it works like a solid, soapy scrub; it contains green clay and cupuaçu grains for extra cleansing and smoothness.

– scrub bar: a citrus, pungent blend to keep circulation going while gently sloughing off the last bits of summer tan…

– wedding favours: these little pink hearts are cute enough to be considered as such, huh?

Here are some pics of the show – I loved them, and you?

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Simple balm to use after waxing or plucking hair

I make this soothing balm in small batches for myself and use it after waxing or plucking hair.

Add:

20g of apricot kernel oil

2.5g of cocoa butter

2.5g beeswax

to a small glass or stainless steel container and melt the mix using a double boiler method.  It’ll be quick, so as soon as it’s all melted, take the container ouf of the heat source.  Pour into a small glass jar. Don’t screw the lid on just yet.

Soothing balm

Prepare your essential oil blend in another small glass or stainless steel container, mixing together:

10 drops of lavender essential oil

5 drops of German chamomile.

Get your melted mix and stir gently to cool it down.  The colour and consistency will begin to change once it’s starting to cool.

As the mix starts to solidify, add your essential oil blend, mixing well.  Leave it to cool completely, and harden, before you close the jar.  This will eliminate condensation inside the jar. You may also put the jar inside the fridge to cool it quicker.

After waxing legs, or plucking eyebrows, I rub an ice cube made of strong chamomile tea all over the affected area, and then apply this balm.  It works a treat!

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Herbal vinegar for hair conditioning

I use this recipe as a hair rinse every time I wash my hair.  Besides leaving my hair with a wonderful scent, it does condition and nourishes it too, and helps balance excess oil.  Benefits will depend though on the choice of herbs and essential oil (EOs) used in your blend.

Fill up a third of a clear, preferably wide-mouth jar with dried herbs of your choice:

– rosemary for stimulating hair growth and strength

– peppermint for balancing excess oil

– thyme and sage if you have grey hairs; they’re also stimulating, but I wouldn’t recommend for blond hair

– lavender for nourishing and wonderful scent

Top up with apple cider vinegar, close it, shake it, and leave in a windowsill or somewhere with lots of sun light.  Shake the bottle at least twice every day for about 2 weeks, and your concentrate should be ready after this period.

I usually keep the herbs in the jar until the vinegar is finished.  I use a funnel and a sieve to pour just the amount I need each time straight in the bottle I’ll take to the shower with me.

How to use it: dilute 1-2 tbsp in 500mL water, and if you want, add 10-20d of EOs of your choice, and use it as a hair rinse on washed hair.  There’s no need to rinse the hair with water, this is a ‘leave-in rinse’ conditioner.  This is for one use, so you can vary the EOs every time!

Many people think vinegar will leave their hair stinking, but in fact, the smell fades off as soon as you towel dry your hair.  Use an old or coloured towel, as the herbal vinegar will stain the towel.  If you add EOs to your mix, that’s really the ‘perfume’ that will stay on your hair.  Believe me, I’ve got compliments from strangers on the streets for ‘how nice your hair smells!’.

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Alternative to wheat-free couscous

I brought a pack of millet a while ago, promising that I was going to embark on the alkaline diet… Well, it never happened and the millet went to the black hole in the kitchen cupboard never to be seen again…

Salmon was soon gone...

I found the millet grain this weekend, when doing a clean up, and decide to try it.  I made it like a dried couscous salad.  Here is the recipe that turned out to be delicious!

1 cup of millet grain

1 ½ cups of water

Cook millet just like rice.

When ready and cool, separate the amount you will eat straight away and add fruits, nuts and seeds of your choice.  Mine was:

Fruit (dried): Goji berries, apricots, raspberries

Seeds: sunflower, linseed, pumpkin

Salt and pepper, to taste

I made grilled salmon with mint and yogurt sauce to go with it.  Yummy!

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