Monthly Archives: October 2012

I had never heard of Rose Hip oil until I heard my favourite super model (Miranda Kerr) proclaim that she used it every day. For those that are not familiar with Miranda, she has the sort of dewy, raindrop-splashed skin usually only exhibited by babies and goddesses. Other than sounding deliciously dainty, this product is a skin saviour.

If you Google Rose Hip oil you will be presented with a lot of relatively expensive, high end brands, and this initially put me off. I didn’t want to spend close to £20 on one small bottle of Miranda Kerr’s secret beauty miracle. If you browse a little more thoroughly however, you will find some very competitively priced Rose Hip oils minus the frilly bottles and fancy names, that do the job equally well I’m sure. I located one of these bottles, read the reviews and ordered myself one.

I have now been using my product for a week and before I talk about the benefits and effects on my skin, I should probably talk about my skin type. I have naturally quite oily, sensitive skin and some scarring from some pesky, persistent spots. All in all, I feel a lot better when I can put a little foundation on.

I am reluctant to call any product a ‘miracle’ but for me, this really was. You are advised to use 2-3 drops of Rose Hip oil in the morning and at night, but as a heavy handed consumer and connoisseur of all things, I used 2-3 drops more. The oil is very soft and pleasantly scented and it rubs easily into the face. It brightens and smooth’s the complexion instantly giving it a radiating sheen. It works brilliantly as a moisturiser and leaves your skin feeling fantastically soft. I was slightly concerned that using oil on my naturally oily skin would turn me into something we were likely to go to war over in the Middle East, but it actually seemed to balance my skin somehow, lapping up my gross oil and leaving me looking hydrated and bright. My scarring is still apparent but is definitely less visible than before and I notice I’m using a lot less make-up to cover up any imperfections and my break outs have diminished greatly (although my break outs are more hormonal in nature so I’m sure that won’t be the last of them!).

Rose Hip oil is the champion of dry skin, surface scarring, fine lines and wrinkles. It’s a really gentle, light oil with an instantaneous effect. It’s so gentle that it didn’t even agitate my eyes as most products usually do.

Use morning and night (2-3 drops) and gentle massage into your skin in circular upward motions. No skincare product is ever guaranteed so use a little and watch for how your skin reacts. If your skin breaks out or looks excessively shiny, either tone down how much you use or consider switching to a different product. I have heard that many people mix a little oil into their usual cream moisturiser rather than applying it directly to the skin.

When purchasing Rose Hip Oil:

  • Don’t worry about purchasing expensive, branded products. You can purchase Rose Hip oil for much cheaper if you look online. You could try ‘The Little Green Nursery’ website, Amazon or EBay for cheaper products.
  • Most sites advise against using on ‘live acne’ or spots, but I haven’t noticed a problem with this personally and use the oil all over.
  • You can apply a small amount to the eye area as it does not agitate.
  • A little goes a long way! You don’t need to overuse this product.
  • Rose Hip oil should come in a dark bottle. This prevents the sun causing the product to become rancid. Do not purchase a product that is in a clear bottle. You want to store the product out of direct sunlight and you may wish to refrigerate it. Some women swear by storing their beauty products in the fridge.
  • You won’t notice a drastic change in your skin if you continue with skin-damaging habits. Ditch smoking, excessive drinking, poor night’s sleep, poor dietary habits and sunbathing, and you will likely notice a far greater impact!
  • Rose Hip oil can also be used on areas of skin that suffer from poor pigmentation, eczema, sun burn, stretch marks and rosacea.
  • Rose Hip oil is packed with various natural vitamins and minerals including vitamin A (retinol), vitamin C and essential fatty acids.
  • Supposedly Rose Hip oil effects are best noticed after 3 months (it’s a slow burner) but I noticed an effect far quicker than that!
  • As with all products, do your research. It is possible that some sellers are selling Rose Hip oil mixed with something else, or lacking something. Read the label to see what your product contains.
  • Not all products work the same for everyone. Buy a cheap brand first and try just a little to see if it works for you.

1.      I realised that I am a lot stronger than I ever thought I could be

Emotionally, mentally and PHYSICALLY. For me the decision to volunteer for a month was a massive leap into the unknown. It was overwhelming, surreal, transformative and incredible. I learnt that I am capable of far greater independence, resilience, courage and hard work than I previously thought possible. Long days, oppressive heat, physical labour, sleepless nights and culture shock were hard hitting for my first couple of days, but your body and mind quickly adjust to the demands.

2.       I realised that I can do something on my own

People always make a ‘big thing’ out of the person who eats alone, or goes to see a film alone.  Although you quickly make friends and bond with the people sharing the same experience as you, one of the most important things I gained from my experience was realising I could fully trust myself to do something that I really wanted to do – ALONE.

 3.       I realised I have to give myself time…

Sometimes when you leave your comfort zone, you have an instinctive urge to run straight back to it. You put one foot out the door, nod satisfactorily and shut it closed again. On my first day of volunteering, I didn’t like it. Not. One. Bit. The phrase that was floating around in my head was ‘quit or commit’. I didn’t make a rash decision to leave. I stuck with it, and after the adjustment of the first few days, I fell in love with the experience. Looking back, I realise that if I had left when I felt awkward and uncomfortable, I wouldn’t have all the pictures, memories and experiences that I came away with.

4.       You don’t need as much as you think you do

Inexperienced at launching myself into the big wide world for long durations, I packed a suitcase that could have served as a life dingy for survivors of the Titanic. I tended to wear the same clothes on repeat, barely used a hairbrush, didn’t use a hairdryer once and probably wore the same socks more times than is recommended. Outside of my torch, sun tan lotion, my mosquito spray and a toothbrush, I didn’t really ‘need’ any of my things, and after full immersion in the dirt and grime, I didn’t really miss much of it either. Cold showers refresh you quickly and certainly prevent you from languishing on ‘vanity time’.

 5.       The beauty in people is not physical

I was surrounded by people who for the most part wore not a slick of make-up, wore dirty, unfashionable clothes, were covered in cuts, grazes and mosquito bites and had the odd tick jumping to and fro, yet the people I lived and worked with here were honesty beautiful to me in their courage, commitment and compassion to the project we worked on. Stripped of anything superficial, materialistic or glamorous you see people only for who they are and what they have to offer.

6.       Nature is an amazing alarm clock

It is better waking up to the calls of gibbons, the trumpeting of elephants and the howling of territorial dogs than it is to hit ‘snooze’ on a bleating alarm clock.

7.       Very different people can unite under the umbrella of a singular cause

The people I worked with were from various countries, cultures and some spoke different languages. What we were connected by was a desire to help. Everything else falls into place.

8.       Even in a ‘good’ place, there will be ‘bad’ people

You could be staying in a nunnery and still come across someone you can’t stand. People are people wherever you go.

9.       When you live with the sun all day every day, you learn to be smart with it

Vacation sun and everyday sun are very different. You learn to cover up, keep up with the sunscreen and no, no, NO sunbathing.

10.   White is…not your colour

White clothes will end up anything but white if you insist on wearing them to clean bear enclosures, go swimming and machete banana trees.

11.   Belly button piercings will not stay in

Carrying a basket of food around all day will eventually dislodge it…and the next one…and the other one…AND that one.

12.   The only things impressed by your shiny jewellery are the gibbons, and they will try to grab it!

You don’t really need to ‘dress to impress’ anyone.

13.   Prepare for the unexpected

Sometimes good people are the targets of the very bad. Sometimes places that serve as a sanctuary are invaded by those with hostile intentions. During my stay, we were raided by the DNP (Department of National Parks) who removed 100 animals from the centre using violence, cruelty and a complete lack of professionalism or compassion. I felt it was important for me to witness this to understand firsthand the threats facing wild animals and those that try to protect them.

 14.   God/fate/guardian angels…something guides you to where you are meant to be

My desire to volunteer came from out of the blue. I typed in ‘volunteer’ and ‘elephants’ not really knowing why and having no expectations. What came out of that Google search was one of the most enriching experiences of my life.

15.   Caring for animals is a 24-7 job

Volunteers and staff care tirelessly for the animals they work with. The vets in particular dedicated uncountable hours to the treatment, rescue and care of numerous animals. Little life’s need constant maintenance and lots of consistency and routine.

16.   Your heart will get broken

You will fall in love with the animals. You will learn their stories, grow mad at what happened, and then have to leave them.  You will communicate without words, you will admire the love and patience of such animals, who after so much abuse, torture, neglect and suffering can still play and are still happy to see a human.

17.   You will learn about local life

The good, the bad, the hidden, a few odd words here and there, throw in some misunderstandings and miscommunications, maybe a romance or two, hospitality, rudeness, ‘sniff kisses’ and swear words.

18.   You will realise that home is where you are now, not where you were raised

It’s amazing how strangers can become your tribe, animals your guardians, and strange, basic bedrooms can become your sanctuary.

19.   You will start to hate their food

I was so un-infatuated with the food that I lost a stone. That should speak for itself

20.   Your feet will hate you

The only other ‘vacation’ to batter my feet so much was a shopping marathon in New York.

21.   You won’t need language to be understood

People will take an interest in you, or they won’t and if they do, you will both find your own language.

22.   Time will fly

So enjoy every moment and be open to everything that this new and strange culture can show and teach you.

23. Life goes on if you keep moving

So keep moving!



Product Purpose:

Dyed red hair unfortunately fades very quickly. They say that all good things come to an end and this striking, dynamic colour is included on that list. The pigments in red dye are larger, so it easier for them to fade quickly, leaving you less Rita Hayworth and more Terry’s Chocolate Orange. Aveda Madder Root deposits red colour back into the hair whilst conditioning, helping to ‘top up’ your red in between dying, keeping it vibrant, fresh and unmistakably red.


This product is typically priced at £20 a bottle making it a pricier option but you can also purchase it on Amazon for around £17 or slightly less.


An earthy, herby scented product which is quite subtle.


You can buy a bottle containing 250 ml of product so you can most certainly get your money’s worth out of this product. It can last an age if you use it sparingly.


Just recently I had my hair dyed a mixture of copper red and brunette. It wasn’t actually what I asked for, but when I saw myself in the mirror, the bright, vivacious colour slapped an instant smile on my face. The intensity of colour does not tend to last much further than the salon, but I have noticed definite colour deposition back into my hair. I then run Moroccan oil through my hair to add softness and moisture which will hopefully help to seal the colour in further. I also never blow dry or straighten which isn’t particularly popular these days, but keeps my hair in far healthier condition. This product is pricey but it does work and the bottle contains so much that you can definitely make use of this product for a long time. Directions advise leaving the conditioner on the hair for 3-5 minutes, but unless your hair is particularly light, I would recommend 5-10 minutes (or longer) for a deeper deposit of colour. Check for irritation on the first use (I have sensitive skin) and if you notice no problems, settle yourself in for a rewarding love affair with a hair colour that will liken you to a fox, tiger or Jessica Rabbit!