It’s this time of year when we are reminded that we’re still part of the animal kingdom. The days grow shorter, the nights longer and our urge to hibernate, with the rest of the animals, has us thinking about little else. The desire to sleep or make every day a duvet day often leaves us frustrated, as normal life becomes that little bit harder. Here are a few things TheChicGeek thought may help you to adjust and beat SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder:
Try to get as much natural sunlight as possible. Even a brief lunchtime walk can be beneficial.
Make your work and home environments as light and airy as possible.
Sit near to windows when you are indoors.
Take plenty of regular exercise, particularly outdoors and in daylight, if possible.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
If possible, avoid stressful situations and take steps to manage stress.
Talk to your family and friends about SAD so that they understand why your mood changes during the winter. This will enable them to help and support you more effectively.
There are a few things on the market which may help to make SAD a little happier:
Add Vitamin D
We’ve all heard of vitamin water, but here’s one especially for Vitamin D, the vitamin you get from daylight. Vitamin D has several important functions, it helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These nutrients are needed to keep bones and teeth healthy. ‘Get More Vitamin D’ is a low-calorie drink designed to help consumers achieve an optimum benefit from their daily diet in an easy yet convenient way. Containing only seven calories with no added sugar, Get More Vitamin D helps you protect your immune system, maintain healthy teeth, bones and muscles and can help naturally enhance your mood, all delivered in a completely naturally-flavoured and sugar-free way.
Left - ‘Get More’ is priced from £1.45 at Tesco stores across the UK
Help Waking Up
Mornings are the worse this time of year. Dragging your sophisticated derriere out of bed, when it’s cold and dark, has many of us doing the ‘ten minutes’ more trick with the alarm clock. Something to try is the Bodyclock, also known as a dawn simulator. It wakes you gradually with increasing natural light. This is a signal for your body to ease production of sleep hormones and increase those that help you get up and go. Lumie, the brand behind the clock, has been researching and designing bright lights to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and other conditions since 1991. The benefits of light therapy reach far beyond SAD. Lumie lights help you to sleep well and get up in the morning, beat the afternoon slump, conquer jetlag and look after your skin. They also optimise sports performance. As official supplier to British Swimming, Lumie are proud to provide lights to Great Britain’s elite swimmers and divers.
Right - Lumie BodyClock Starter 30 - £53.96
Lift Your Mood
Light therapy is a popular treatment for SAD. There is no strong evidence to support the long-term benefits of using light therapy to treat SAD, although research does suggest that it may have a positive short-term effect. It’s definitely something worth trying. Just as sunlight naturally makes you feel good, topping up with extra bright light in the winter months, or when you're stuck indoors, is proven to put you in a better mood and make you feel more awake. Using the Arabica model from Lumie every day makes a big difference to symptoms of SAD such as tiredness, over-eating and a lack of energy and motivation. It’s ideal for treatment while watching TV or using the computer with a recommended treatment time of 30-60 minutes.
Left - Lumie - Arabica - £99.95
They say when in Rome do as the Romans do, so when in Turkey, it would be a be shame not to try the traditional Turkish scrub and massage in the Hamam or Turkish Bath.
Left - The middle door leads the way to Club Letoonia's Hamam
The 'Scrub and Bubble Massage' is the traditional cleanse and body treatment in an environment that dates back to Roman times.
TheChicGeek dropped his Orlebar Brown’s and opted for some Turkish Delight!
Here's How to Hamam:
1. Get starkers. Lightweight loincloths are provided to protect a Geek’s modesty.
Right - Dishes of water are used to wash and cleanse the body from sinks around the room
2. Lie on the heated marble slabs in the centre of the room.
3. The masseur uses the sinks situated around the room to wash you with warm water.
4. You are scrubbed, thoroughly, front and back, using a linen mitt.
5. You are then rinsed off.
6. Then soaped all over. The masseur uses a pillow-type piece of cloth to increase the volume of bubbles over your body. Here you are massaged, again front and back. You can at this point be spun on the marble slab!
Left - Relax on the warm marble slab
7. You are rinsed again with cold water and then towel dried and allowed to relax outside the steamy environment of the Hamam.
8. Feel like a new person!
TheChicGeek stayed at Club Letoonia, Fethiye, Turkey
Sometimes you need reminding about the basics of keeping your skin healthy. Rita Strazinska, beauty expert and founder of Bio2You, answers some of the most frequently asked questions on how to detox skin and bring back the healthy glow before the Christmas season.
Q: What is a cheap and easy way to detox the skin?
A: Drink more water – It sounds simple and is simple, however, not many people drink the recommended six to eight glasses of water a day. Drinking water helps flush out toxins, cleanse the liver and your skin benefits from the hydration.
Q: How do I get my skin looking instantly better after over-indulging during party season?
A: Get up and glow – by using a facial scrub to effortlessly sweep away dead skin cells and residue. The result is cleaner, fresher more radiant and younger looking skin.
Q: Do anti-ageing products help with skin detoxing, even if I’m not concerned about wrinkles?
A: It’s never too early to start thinking about anti-ageing as prevention is always better than cure. We are surrounded by and consume free-radicals from the moment we are born so investing in a good anti-ageing cream will provide long-lasting moisture, nourishment, protection and rejuvenation for tired looking skin.
Q: What’s all the fuss about detoxing with organic products?
A: Organic products are free from hidden nasties and unnecessary ingredients and not only are they better for your health but are also kinder to the environment. So you can treat yourself and do your bit for the world at the same time.
Q: What are the best ingredients to look for when detoxing the skin?
A: Be greedy with your ingredients – Just because a product has a high street name doesn’t mean it has high grade ingredients. Look for products that contain active ingredients from a natural source for the best results.
Making your way through the minefield of superfruits and foods is often very confusing so the best way to look to the future sometimes is to look to the past. Seabuckthorn has been used in therapies for skin complaints for many years due to its amazing nutritional properties and can be used for a multitude of skin conditions including revitalising and improving skin elasticity, renewing skin cells and nourishing the epidermis.
Q: Are good skin products enough for detoxing or do I need to change my lifestyle?
A: An easy way to give your skin a boost is to get a good night’s sleep - not only does this help you function better the next day but it also helps reduce puffiness in the eyelids and face. So go to bed an hour earlier and see the difference the very next day.
Everyone's face is different. The shape of your face will determine the types of eyewear that will suit you, and the styles that won't look as good.
The Transitions® Guide to Choosing the Perfect Eyewear for YOU! In partnership with TheChicGeek, is a comprehensive guide to help stylish men, like you, choose the most flattering eyewear styles.
Left - Are you a Law, Gosling, Pitt or Pattinson?
ChicGeek Tip - This is a guide to get you started. The best advice is to go to your local optician and try a few on. You can always order online later when you know what you want.
Firstly - Determine your Face Shape
Before we start to find a frame that suits you, we need to discover your face shape. There are quite a few, so let’s get this right. Some people may fall somewhere between two.
You will need measuring tape, pen and a piece of paper – old school! - to make a record, then draw your face.
Step 1 - Measure the area of your face horizontally just above your cheekbones.
Step 2 - Locate the widest point of your jaw and measure horizontally from point to point.
Step 3 - Locate the widest point of your forehead and measure horizontally from point to point.
Step 4 - Measure from the centre of your hairline to the bottom of your chin vertically.
Step 5 - To determine your face shape sketch the measurements, in proportion, on the piece of paper and your face shape should emerge.
Now, time to find out which frames suit your face - here
#Competition - Enter TheChicGeek competition to #WIN one of two pairs of spectacles with Transitions® lenses - Enter here
Now you’ve discovered your face shape, now find out which styles work best for you. Everything is about balance. There will be a fashion element to choosing a pair of spectacles, but finding something to compliment your shape is more important.
ChicGeek Tip - Do not get seduced by a label. Go in open-minded and don’t look at the names or branding. If it’s a choice between two, then a designer name can be the decider.
Description - An oval face with a rounded chin and forehead is the 'ideal', as this shape has balanced proportions. An oval face appears longer than it is wide, with the forehead being slightly wider than the jaw.
Go For - To maintain this natural balance, frames that are as wide as or slightly wider than the broadest part of the face are the best choice. Alternatively, 'walnut' shaped frames that are not too deep or narrow also suit an oval face. However, ovals are lucky in that almost any frame design will suit them, remembering to take into account hair colour and complexion as well.
Celebrity Ovals – Jude Law, Hugh Laurie
Rectangle or Oblong Face
Description - If your face shape is more a rectangular shape, then you have a longer face with a square chin, quite a strong jaw line and possibly a longer nose length.
Go For - Large, square frames. These suit rectangular faces best, helping to make the face appear shorter and more balanced. Decorative or contrasting temples will add width to the face. A frame with a low bridge will help to shorten the appearance of a longer nose, balancing the face and giving the overall appearance of a shorter, more defined line. A rectangular face can look particularly good in modern styles that help to shorten the length of the face.
Celebrity Rectangles – Eminem, Russell Crowe
Description - The diamond shaped face is the rarest of face shapes, and is defined by a narrow forehead, wide cheekbones and a narrow chin. Diamond shaped faces are usually narrower at the eye line and jaw line, with high and often dramatic cheekbones.
Go For - The aim here is to draw attention to the eyes, giving this area more width and balancing the face. Frames that have detailing or distinctive brow lines will help to achieve this effect. Alternatively, try rimless frames or oval shapes, which will also draw more attention to the eyes. Diamond shape faces look particularly good in dramatic, outsize frames.
Celebrity Diamonds – Beck, Robert Pattinson, Zac Efron
Description - A typical triangular face has a broad forehead - the width of the face tapering down to a narrow, rounded chin.
Go For - The best frames minimise the width of the face's top and bring the overall look back into balance. Frames that are wider at the bottom will help to achieve this, placing greater emphasis on the lower half of the face. Very light colours, light materials and rimless frame styles can also help, so consider small square or rounded frames to achieve more balanced proportions for the whole face.
Celebrity Triangles – Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake
Description - A circular face with full cheeks and a rounded chin.
Go For - Angular, narrow frame styles will help to lengthen the face. The round face shape needs a frame design to make it appear narrower and longer. The width and the length of a round face are proportionally similar, with no angles for definition. The aim is to lengthen and give more definition to the face shape, as well as widening the eyes. A clear bridge will help draw emphasis to the eyes and frames that are more rectangular and wider will balance the shape of the face, providing more definition.
Celebrity Rounds – Elijah Wood, Jack Black, Kanye West
Description - A square face has a very strong jaw line and a broad forehead. Unlike the rectangle, the width and length are proportionally equal.
Go For - Narrow frames with more width than depth can help to achieve this, particularly oval and round frames. The aim is to soften the angles of a square chin and ultimately make the face look longer. Frames of this style can soften the jaw line, place emphasis on the eyes and lengthen the nose. Square framed styles will achieve the opposite effect, and look out of balance with the rest of the face.
Celebrity Squares – David Beckham, Brad Pitt
Description - A heart-shaped face has a broad forehead, tapering to a small neat chin and mouth.
Go For - Choose smaller styles without decorative detail on the temples. Try slender, rounded or square styles, with lower set sides and avoid styles which are wider at the top; these will reflect the face shape rather than balance it.
Celebrity Hearts – Michael Jackson, Johnny Depp
Don't Forget About Hair Colour
In the same way you choose complimentary coloured clothes to suit your complexion and hair colour, you should apply these principles when selecting your glasses. If you have fair hair, softer pastel shades or transparent or metal frames will ensure that your glasses don't overwhelm your face. Black or brown hair works better with more dramatic and thicker frames.
#Competition - Enter TheChicGeek competition to #WIN one of two pairs of spectacles with Transitions® lenses - here
What are Transitions® SignatureTM Lenses & How do they Work? Transitions® SignatureTM lenses are a revolutionary development in eyewear technology. They continuously adapt to changing light so they’re always exactly the shade you need them to be. Completely clear indoors and at night, they block 100% of UVA and UVB rays and fit any prescription and frame. The lenses adapt with you as you move through your day, so you see everything in the best light.
Left - The molecules in the lense are responsive to direct and indirect sunlight and change accordingly
How do they work? The exclusive Transitions® molecular formulation allows the lenses to be more responsive to direct and indirect sunlight. When Transitions® lenses are exposed to UV light, trillions of photochromic molecules in the lens begin to change structure. This reaction is what causes the lenses to darken.
Only Transitions® lenses use this exclusive technology, from patented formulas that are the result of more than 20 years of research and innovation. Each formula is integrated into the surface of the lens. These molecules constantly and smoothly recalibrate so the optimal amount of light reaches your eyes whether you’re in bright sunlight, under cloud cover or indoors. A pioneer in light management, Transitions® Optical has invested 5 years of research and extensive testing in this innovation.
Right - Transitions® SignatureTM Lenses seamlessly change to protect your eyes and work in any frames
To find your local Transitions® optician – click here
#Competition - Enter TheChicGeek competition to #WIN one of two pairs of spectacles with Transitions® lenses - Enter here
Borealis Natural Skincare’s in-house expert, Linda Horan, gives us her opinion
Try to avoid sun bathing or long periods of exposure between noon and 3pm when the sun is at its hottest. Choose a sun protection cream, lotion or oil suitable for your skin type and ensure it has not passed its sell by date as this may affect the preservative and active (sun factor) ingredients in the product. There is confusion around the protection SPF can give. As a general guideline, the differential between SPF 15 and SPF 50 is 5%.
Sunscreens help prevent the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the skin. Two types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA and UVB, damage the skin, age it prematurely, and increase your risk of skin cancer.
Left - This is what you should be avoiding looking like - Hulk Hogan
UVB damage results in sunburn, while UVA rays, penetrate the skin more deeply, and are associated with skin ageing (photoaging). They may also exacerbate the carcinogenic effects of UVB rays, and increasingly are being seen as a cause of skin cancer which is on the increase. Sunscreens vary in their ability to protect against UVA and UVB so it’s essential you understand the star rating (UVA) and the SPF rating.
15 - 1/15 of the UVB rays get through to your skin - blocking about 93%.
30 - 1/30 of the UVB rays get through to your skin - blocking about 97%.
50 - 1/50 of the UVB rays get through to your skin - blocking about 98%.
So, if you wear no sun protection, it takes 20 minutes for skin to start turning red. If you use an SPF 15 sunscreen, it theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer - around five hours.
What are the active ingredients used in SPF lotions?
It varies depending on whether the product uses a natural SPF such as zinc oxide or titanium oxide. Borealis Natural Skincare uses Red Raspberry Seed Oils in some of its moisturisers as this provides some level of protection.
UVA-protecting sunscreen ingredients: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone, mexoryl SX
Which foods are good for your skin when it has been exposed to the sun?
Red and orange fruit and vegetables are packed with carotenoids, which may help to reduce sunburn intensity. So, carrots, beetroot, peppers, oranges etc. all have beneficial qualities as well as tasting great and hydrating you.
Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which may reduce damage caused by UVA light.
Omega 3 fatty acids contained in salmon & other types of fish, nuts, such as walnuts and oils guard against sunburn and cell damage.
How can you help your skin recover from sunburn?
It depends on the severity. If you feel severe dehydration, nausea and severe blistering, you need medical help. Often the effects of sunburn aren't felt until 5-6 hours after exposure. Cool the skin down with a cool flannel, ideally the cool water should have a couple of drops of pure lavender in to help reduce inflation, cool skin and help with itching. Calamine lotion also helps to reduce itching and the irritation that accompanies it. Pure aloa vera (not perfumed) hydrates and cools and nourishes the skin. Painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen help reduce inflammation. Stay out of the sun until the blistering has healed and no other symptoms remain.
How can you help your skin recover from long-term sun damage?
Keep covered in the sun. Wear a sunscreen every day, including the winter months. If you have sun damage on the face and neck area wear at least a broad spectrum SPF 25 daily. Exfoliate gently. Some people opt for 'chemical peels' to remove the layer of skin cells including top layer of brown spots. Glycolic acid is an active ingredient that removes several layers of dead cells. Other treatments include Botulinum toxin type A, dermabrasion, intense pulsed light therapy. Generally these would only be available privately.
Superfoods are just as important to feed your skin from the inside, so, Omega 3, 6 & 9 oils, lots of fruit, vegetables, lean protein all help to restore the lusture to skin. Supplements may help depending on age and overall health and eating habits.
How does your skincare regime differ throughout the different seasons?
During the winter months I still use a broad spectrum SPF moisturiser, but I would use a night moisturiser particularly if my skin is very dry from central heating, wind etc. Also get some natural sunlight as it is easy to miss out on Vitamin D and sunlight in winter, which helps give a glow and improve skin condition.
‘How to check your moles’ by Anna Gucova of The MOLE Clinic
A little bit of sunshine is good for our health, but the problems arise when we’ve basked in it a little too generously. With sunshine slowly breaking through the clouds, we’ve started to bare our skin, so why not give it a once-over whilst it’s on show?
Prolonged or excessive sun exposure can dramatically increase your chance of skin cancer – melanoma in particular as it usually starts as a mole, which is why it is important that you don’t let potentially suspicious moles go unchecked.
It’s wise to have your skin checked by an expert like The MOLE Clinic - www.themoleclinic.co.uk - once a year to check out areas you may not be able to reach or monitor easily, such as your back, or it might save time if you have a lot of moles. The important point is that you should be self-checking anyway. Here is what you should be looking out for:
• A: Look for moles that are asymmetrical in shape, where one half of the mole is unlike the other
• B: Does the mole have an irregular border? Is it scalloped, jagged or poorly defined?
• C: Is the colour of the mole different from one area to another or does it have different shades of tan, brown or black?
• D: Check the diameter of the mole to see if it is bigger than 7mm (about the size of the end of a pencil)
• E: Is the mole evolving or changing size, shape or colour?
It is really important to take note of ‘E’, as any mole that is evolving or changing needs to be examined by an expert right away. With skin cancer, only early detection saves lives – if you follow the above guidelines, it’s easy as ABCDE to keep your skin-health in check this summer.
Jean H. Paldan is the Director of Marketing at APHAMA, the Association of Professional Hair and Makeup Artists. Here are her 5 tips for perfect skin - that you didn’t know about!
We already know that drinking 8 glasses of water a day, using SPF, and having a solid cleansing routine are essential. Here are five tips that you may not have known about:
Tip #1: Flip your pillow case
I’m going to be blunt, as it's the only way. When you sleep, you drool, perspire and sometimes sweat. This goes directly onto your pillow case and sheets. Most of us know to wash our sheets once a week, but even with regular washing, your pillow is a breeding ground for bacteria, dustmites and their faeces, yuck!
Left - Get skin like the Zegna AW13 model
To keep your pillow clean - every two weeks you should vacuum it with a turbo brush - think Dyson and their attachment spinner brush. Then wash it on hot (or follow care instructions), shake the pillow out and let dry naturally in sunlight. This regular cleaning will help reduce the bacteria, and nasties in the pillow.
But here’s our pro tip. During the week, between washing the sheets, turn your pillowcase inside out and upside down, so that you are getting the side that your face hasn’t been touching. You should notice that this makes a difference in getting clearer skin.
Tip #2: Steam up your shower
Going to the spa for a facial is one of the best things you can do for your skin. Estheticians are able to look at the condition of your skin and recommend the best treatments. But no matter what type of skin you have steam is one of the spa’s secret tricks while giving you a facial. It opens your pores, and the gentle heat brings blood to the surface of your skin, which helps it naturally repair itself.
When you’re going to go take a shower, turn the temperature hotter than normal, and shut the door for a few minutes. This allows the steam to build up. Once it has a good amount of steam, you have created your own steam room. Take your shower as normal, and over time, your skin will start glowing like never before.
Tip #3: Wash your face for longer
This third tip also takes its inspiration from the spa. Most people are in a hurry, and when we wash our faces, it's a quick thing at night, and in the shower in the morning. When they cleanse your face at the spa, a normal facial takes between a half an hour to an hour. Here’s our tip, and it’s simple. Wash your face for longer. You know you should brush your teeth for two minutes, so give the same kind of attention to your skin. When you wash your face, do it for at least two minutes. This allows the cleanser to really do its job, and get into your pores.
Tip #4: Don’t touch your face
You touch your face more than you know. The National Health Institute of Bethesda found that people touched common objects an average of 3.3 times per hour and their faces 3.6 times per hour. If you get bacteria on your hands and then touch your face...the bacteria is now on your face. And bacteria causes imperfections.
Touching your face is a harder thing to stop doing than you think, as it happens naturally. How often do you move your hair out of your face? How often do your rub your eyes, or hold your hand up to your face when you sneeze? (As recommended by doctors, when you sneeze, cover with your elbow instead of your hands, so you don’t spread the germs). But the pro tip here is make a concerted effort to not touch your face; and use anti bacterial gel or wipes to kill all the nasties.
Tip #5 Keep your hair clean, and out of your face
Your hair, especially if you have fringe, can lead to spots. The natural oils in your hair can build up and then transfer onto your face. If you use products on your hair, this can also lead to imperfections.
But let's be honest, you’re not going to change your hairstyle or stop using products. So the solution is two fold. First, when you’re at home, push your hair behind your ears, get your fringe off your forehead, and ponytails are your new best friend. The second is to use products on your hair that will be better for your skin. We especially like organic, natural products, as these tend to be gentler on your skin.
This is a young man’s rite of passage. If you can master tying a Bow-Tie, then you can pretty much do anything. The world is your sartorial oyster!
Left - Beginning of the night - Justin Timberlake
It will take practise, but it's like a sartorial puzzle worth solving.
1. Adjust the tie's length so it fits your neck; they are usually easily adjustable. Sizes are usually marked. Move this around so it’s comfortable and also looks high enough on the front of the shirt.
2. Lift up your shirt collar and put the tie around your neck so the ends hang down at the front. One end should hang 3.5-5cm (1.5 to 2 inches) lower than the other.
3. Bring the longer end across, behind and over the short end to form a simple knot. Pull snugly around the neck.
4. Fold the shorter end of the bow-tie at the widest point where the hourglass shape begins to narrow, to form a bow shape. The bow shape should be in front. Hold the bow in a horizontal position at your neck.
5. Bring the longer end of the over and in front of the shorter end.
6. Fold the longer end at the widest point to form a second bow and then bring this bow under the first bow.
Right - End of the night - James Bond
7. There's a finger sized hole behind pull the second bow through this gap.
8. Adjust and tighten the bow by pulling the opposite ends until happy with the shape. If you’re not happy, then start again. Keep playing until you get it right.
ChicGeek Tip – Don’t try to master this a couple of hours before you have to go out. You’ll get frustrated, panic and then never get it.