The healing powers of crystals and Sjal Skincare review

lifestyle, product review

Crystals and stones throughout history have long been held as sacred objects; whether worn as jewellery or kept as lose stones, they have always had an alleviating, mysterious and powerful feel omitted from them. People are drawn to them like a moth to the light. Initially the attraction can be due to their aesthetically pleasing characteristics, but on a secondary level because of their aura and energy.

I have been reading Kristin Petrovich’s fascinating book ‘’Elemental Energy’’, where she describes her relationship with crystals. The book contains in depth instructions on how to use crystals to heal, depending on your personal ailments or concerns. Kristin, alongside her sister Karen launched a skincare range, Sjal Skincare to compliment the healing powers of crystals. The range is a hybrid mix of Eastern holistic traditions merged with the latest Western innovations.

elemental energy book

Elemental Energy Crystals and Gemstone Rituals for a Beautiful Life, by Kristin Petrovich

Personally I was totally sceptical before reading this book. I had little / restricted knowledge of crystals and their powers, and now feel more informed and inspired. Whatever your stance, the subject is worth researching as natural remedies can often cure many modern issues. In this feature I will discuss the benefits of using crystals in your beauty regime, and review Sjal Skincare.

Crystals, gemstones and their powers

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Photo Cred: Extracted from Elemental Energy Crystal and Gemstone Rituals for a Beautiful Life, by Kristin Petrovich

I understand that it seems completely far-fetched to think that crystals and gemstones have talismanic powers; however we must first understand origins and composition. I promise you I’m not some new age hippie trying to indoctrinate you to lead a wholly natural lifestyle, but it’s always a good idea to be open to new concepts and ideas – this is how we grow as people.

Gemstones and crystals take billions of years to form. Hot magma from the Earth’s core pushes its way up to the crust, and in turn creating crystals in their purest form. ‘’Since Magma is constantly moving throughout the formation process, the rocks in which the minerals form are storehouses of energy…’’ (Kristin Petrovich, P. 12)

Given that crystals have a kinetic energy, it is not impossible to imagine them having regenerative powers or ‘’good vibrations’’.

You’ve heard of Acupuncture? Meditation? Two very well renowned holistic treatments, with similar beliefs to crystals being used for healing. These treatments are all centered on good vibrations and positive energy. Cleansing your soul. Whether you believe in the mystical effects or not, you cannot argue that introducing positivity into your life is pejorative.

Sjal skincare

Kristin Petrovich and her sister Karen launched Sjal Skincare back in 2001. The range is an absolute compliment to the healing energies of crystals. Colloidal forms of crystals are included in the products. Sjal skincare is unique in being the first skincare range to actively include crystals and gemstones in their formulas.

Not only are the crystals included for their beautifying characteristics, but also their positive energies are transferred via the products to the user.

Although the range contains all aspects of skincare, the tonics and oils can be utilised alongside crystals to perform several massages and treatments.

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Sjal Mineral Kalla Energy Tonic & (From Top Left Clockwise round); Green Moss Agate Crystal – Essential for confidence boosting and personal growth, Scolecite Wand (Milky white or colourless) – Essential for calming and awakening the heart, Hematite – Essential for energizing while grounding

Personal experience

I trialled the Mineral Kalla Energy Tonic by Sjal Skincare. It is a tonic spritz designed to combat skin stress, it also protects skin against the derogatory effects of pollution. The ingredients are mineral heavy, including gold and silver extract to fight environmental stressors. You can use it as a primer before make-up application, or apply throughout the day for a hydrating boost.

sjal skincare

Sjal Skincare Mineral Kalla Energy Tonic

I found the energy tonic pleasurable to use. It smells rather metallic, but this smell is earthly and natural. It is refreshing to the skin, and gives a much needed boost.

I also found the tonic helpful when carrying out A Shiatsu eye treatment with my hematite stones. The tonic added additional minerals, and provided a lubricant to glide my gem over my face smoothly. This eye treatment intends to combat under eye puffiness and alleviate under eye circles. ”Hematite, which is naturally cool to the touch, is 70 percent iron, so it helps blood circulation and is naturally energizing.” (Kristin Petrovich, P.97)

The under eye treatment was immediately relaxing – and I was very surprised at how content I could feel in my own home, which isn’t necessarily a peaceful sanctuary of an environment. My under eye area responded well to the treatment, and puffiness was decreased. More importantly for me was how the treatment made me feel internally.

I felt like my soul was being cleansed. Mind, body and spirit now feel more aligned. There is definitely something extraordinary about those crystals. I urge you to try it for yourself.

Elemental energy provides an educational knowledge and background of Crystals and Gemstones; whilst providing intricate details of carrying out massages and treatments to cleanse your aura. I would highly recommend the book, as it covers all you would need to know.

Happy Cleansing!

Elemental Energy Crystal and Gemstone Rituals for a Beautiful Life Book can be purchased at Waterstones, for £25Sjal skincare range is launching at John Bell Croydon Concession at Selfridges this month, nonetheless Mineral Kalla Energy Tonic is available now from Space NK for £47

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Photo Cred: Extracted from Elemental Energy Crystal and Gemstone Rituals for a Beautiful Life, by Kristin Petrovich

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What is Burlexercise, and why you should try it

lifestyle

I’ll be totally honest with you all; I’m that bitch you all love to hate that is naturally slim without an ounce of hard work towards it. I eat what I want (and in vigorous amounts too), and exercise? I’m sorry could you repeat that last word? It’s unfamiliar to me. For me to attend a fitness class is completely out of my comfort zone.

However I decided this year to push boundaries, to do the unthinkable. If you never take any chances in life you will never progress.

What is Burlexercise?

Burlexercise is a hybrid fitness regime, inspired by the sassy dance moves of Burlesque show girls.

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Image courtesy of Instagram

Contrary to popular belief, Burlesque is not just a seedy form of dancing for money. It is renowned for it’s glamour, and it’s ability to enhance a women’s confidence. That is where Burlexercise draws it’s main influences from.

It is an intense workout that not only tones and tightens all round; it is aimed to empower women and make them feel sexy whilst working out. The regime consists of high powered cardio (usually a dance routine to equally sassy music, think George Michael or Madonna), squats (who doesn’t want to tone their bum?!), planking (great to tighten stomach), and dancing with weights.

My experience

At various points throughout the night, I did feel like a real-life epitomisation of Bridget Jones. My timing was questionable, and my hand eye coordination has certainly decreased since school. I did almost die. (I guess this just reinforced how unfit I am!) But I survived – and more surprisingly my legs did not feel like liquid gelatine the next day.

For beginners the work out can be a little tough, that being said, there is zero pressure to keep up with your instructor. Burlexercise is all about having fun whilst working out, the more you laugh the more you’ll tone your stomach muscles right?

I would highly recommend Burlexercise to anyone looking for a fun, flirty class to attend. Regardless of ranking or fitness, it is beneficial to all. You can also learn to be a fitness instructor for Burlexercise here.

If you would like to attend the Burlexercise class I joined, my instructor was Rachel Tuckett-Lodeiro. The class takes place every Tuesday at 8pm at LJA Academy, Stoneleigh Broadway, Surrey KT17 2HP.

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Rodin Geranium and Orange Blossom Facial Oil Review

product review

Rodin is a brand which epitomises luxury; established back in 2007 after launching their first skin elixir derived from essential oils, the brand has gone on to expand their range to cosmetics, candles, and even hair products. Perhaps arguably their most notorious product, the Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Facial Oil – has been launched again with a new scent, geranium and orange blossom. In spite of it’s renowned reputation, is it worth the £105 price tag attached to it?

When it comes to skincare and make-up I am an advocate for budget products. Finding a bargain or a dupe is a real thrill – to obtain excellent quality at a slashed price can only be a positive thing. However, I do believe even as a cheapskate myself, that there are cult timeless products that are worthy of larger investments. This facial oil is just that.

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Performance

Facial oils are great at replenishing skin – especially when left on overnight. The Rodin facial oil is extremely moisturising. I was ever so satisfied at how it sat on my skin, and gave an instant glow. It’s nourishing yet light, as opposed to other oils which can feel greasy and heavy.

The scent is absolutely divine, and adds to the entire experience. Strong notes of geranium soothe the skin and relax the mind, whilst tones of orange blossom bring a sense of timeless luxury. The smell is intense but not overpowering.

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After leaving the oil on my face overnight, I woke up to my skin feeling super silky. There was an overall glow to my skin, the texture felt smooth and I could observe that my stubborn patch of dry skin had been soothed.

If there is one product you want to invest in this winter, make it this one. You only need a few drops for your face, so this product will last you. You deserve it, and of course your skin deserves it.

Rodin Geranium and Orange Blossom Facial Oil is available at Space NK Apothecary London, for £105.

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January beauty favourites

make-up hauls, product review

I’ve really started to dislike January with a passion. Financially crippled from Christmas, depressive grey weather (even snow in some parts), bitterly winds and de-motivational feelings – it’s certainly not the jolliest of months. However, it’s the start to a new year and with new beginnings brings new chances, new opportunities – and yes, you guessed it, new make up.

Just like every other beauty enthusiast I received some goodies for Christmas (I’m sure no-one buys me anything other than beauty products); and so I have been sampling them all through January. Here’s my favourites so far;

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1. Zoeva Eyeshadow Fix in Pearl, £8

I used to be one of those people who didn’t ”believe” in eye shadow primer. I thought it was merely a gimmick produced by the beauty industry to encourage us to consume more goods. Turns out I was terribly false, and actually, eye shadow primer is a must. It helps your eye shadow to appear more pigmented and gives staying power. I got this primer in Pearl, mainly because the retail assistant in Douglas in Berlin sold it to me; but also because I generally wear metallic shades of shadow. However, there is also a matte version available, if you feel that would suit you better.

2.Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara in Black, £22

This mascara has progressively grown on me. It gives amazing volume in no time at all, the brush is thick and long, long lashes cab be achieved in just a few swipes. No doubt you can replicate a similar effect with cheaper alternatives, but sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself to a bit of high end luxury.

3. Barry M Flawless Setting Spray, £4.99 

Brilliant value for money. I had Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray previously – and I am adamant that this performs just as well. Preserves make-up to within an inch of its life.

4. Barry M Liquid Chrome Highlighter Drops in ‘At First Light’, £6.99

This has fast become my daily highlighter, it gives a natural yet pearlescent glow. Because it’s in liquid drop form, it’s easier to work with. You can apply and work into your cheekbones gradually. Add to foundation for an all over glow. Real-life mermaid vibes here.

5. Urban Decay Moondust Glitter Eyeshadow in ‘Space Cowboy’, £15.50 

I know it’s expensive for a single eye shadow, but it is so worth it. This glitter eye shadow is buildable, and the pigmentation is out of this world. You can wear it both casually or going out out. I’ve come to rely on it, whenever I want to add a dazzle to my make-up, oh and FYI it lasts AGES.

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The truth about getting lip fillers

opinion piece

I feel like people just give you that judging look once you proclaim that you’ve had lip fillers. It’s that disappointed / shocked look a disapproving parent gives to their child when they prefer chocolate over fruit. Why would you want to change your lips? Don’t you think of the consequences? What if the fillers do permanent damage? I have been asked the above questions, and probably much worse. This post isn’t about justifying modifying your looks, I simply wanted to de-myth some common misconceptions that are correlated with lip fillers. I can also offer my personal experience and advice for those who are considering lip fillers.

Common misconceptions and the truth

1. ‘You’re so young, what if you cause permanent damage to your lips!?’ 

Rule number one – lip fillers are not permanent. Depending on how you care for your lips after your procedure, they can last between 6-12 months before the safe substances used dissolve into your face. So, assuming you didn’t like the results – it shouldn’t be too difficult to conceal / rectify or even wait until the filler dissolves completely.

2. ‘Don’t they use dangerous / harmful substances?’ 

The short answer is no. The aesethtic industry has come a long way since silicone was used for breast enhancements. Science continues to change and innovate, and lip fillers are completely safe. Typically lip fillers use Juvederm which is a Restylane facial filler: it consists of  hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring sugar found in our bodies. When it dissolves into our bodies, it causes no harm or adverse side effects whatsoever.

3. ‘What if you end up like Pete Burns?’

To be completely and utterly honest, this one is down to personal preference. There are a lot of people out there, who will ask their aestheticians to continue inserting lip filler – even when they are advised against it and told it will look unnatural. These people are the reason why the general public tend to think that getting lip fillers makes you look ridiculous. However, I am proof that you can get them and continue to have ‘natural’ looking lips.

What is it really like to have lip fillers?

My personal experience with lip fillers (I have only had them once, and been longing for more ever since) was nothing short of great.

The first thing you need to check is that you are using a legit and registered aesthetician. I would recommend Harley Street practitioners generally, or a reputable company that you can easily research beforehand. Often, Wowcher has amazing deals for lip fillers; and they work with reputable practitioners.

Secondly, I picked an amount of lip filler that I was comfortable with. 0.5ml for my first insertion, and the results were pouty yet natural.

In regards to the actual injections, they are tiny and you will have a numbing cream applied to lips before your procedure. I won’t lie to you, the numbing cream doesn’t numb. When the needle is dragging through your skin you can feel it. It’s uncomfortable, but it certainly isn’t intolerable. Your surgeon should make you feel comfortable, you’ll be laying down (probably with your eyes firmly closed!). And because I only had the smallest amount available injected into my lips, it didn’t take too long either.

The recovery is simple, so long as you keep the area clean and moisturised the results will last longer. You are advised that bruising and swelling can occur afterwards; but I was lucky in that sense. My lips healed well and I was very satisfied with the results. It has been around one year and a half since I had lip fillers, and only now I can see the effects have disappeared completely.

It’s a worthy investment if you plan and execute the procedure sensibly. Like anything in life, a little often goes a long way.

Hormonal skin / acne defense kit

product review

You know only too well those dreaded feelings. Irritable, on edge, mentally imagining hurting people for saying the wrong thing. Craving everything in the world that is bad for you, chocolate, crisps, chips. I’ll have all the calories at once please. Just to add insult to injury, your skin is also plying havoc with you. Lovely great red bumps appearing in cute little mountains all over your face. Yep, you are about to menstruate. And it’s not fun.

For those of us suffering with acne (I only just realised I am now classified as an actual adult, skin condition has evolved into ‘adult acne’), or annoying breakouts right before our period; it can cause stress and lower self esteem. Because as if your devilish hormones didn’t make you feel bad enough, your skin also has to suffer for you being part of the female gender.

I have compiled a kit which helps eradicate the breakouts and keep spots at bay, whilst also targeting other skin concerns. I personally have acne, and severe dry patches of skin (possibly eczema). It can be difficult to find products which can cater for two contradicting issues. Hopefully this kit can be utilised by anyone with differentiating skin types, as I seem to have developed all of them at once!

Here is the ultimate skincare line up of all line ups:

1. What Skin Needs Skin Balm, £9.99

I have mentioned this miracle cream in previous posts, and it continues to amaze me. Containing exotic Aussie natural ingredients, the Balm promises to treat a number of dry skin conditions. This moisturiser will help renew hydration in the skin, which can be lost using stringent cleansing agents – especially when treating acne / spot breakouts.

2. Primark Cucumber & Aloe Hydrating Mist, £2.00 (Available in store)

Just to reiterate, it is mandatory to restore the moisture in your skin. I use this hydrating mist after cleansing my face, however it can also be spritzed on after make up application. Use throughout the day to enjoy a fresh burst of moisture. This is an unbelievably cheap dupe for Mario Badescus facial spray.

3. Vitamin E Dual Phase Cleansing Oil, £2.99

A great everyday cleanser which is gentle to skin. Although it may not assist with breakouts, it will help restore any damage caused by harsh acne treatments. My usual routine is to use a face mask once a week, and cleansing oil for the rest of the duration of the week. It’s easy to over cleanse when trying to eliminate spots and oily skin, counteract this with a cleansing oil.

4. Avon Anew Reversalist Night Treatment Cream, £20.00

This cream is aimed at ageing skin; however if you have been subjected to taking any type of oral acne treatment, or other medicinally prescribed treatments for conditions such as eczema; they often contain ingredients like steroids which can strip layers of skin and cause premature ageing. Not to mention all the chemicals which are features in drugstore ‘acne’ treatments which can also harm the skin over prolonged usage. I feel at 25, this is a great time to start targeting the early signs of wrinkles. This Avon dual treatment is scientifically proven to target wrinkles and improve skin elasticity. It works by rotation, you use the night treatments for one week at a time and alternate between the two. It contains a super retinol which boosts collagen and reduces wrinkles.

5. Dr Organic Rose Otto Face Mask, £7.99

I find this face mask is brilliant at calming down stressed skin; especially during or in the midst of a breakout. It contains natural China Clay, which draws out oils and impurities without being harsh on skin.

6. The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2%, £8.00

I use this intermittently when not using the Avon treatment (this product advises against using with other retinoid treatments). As standard with The Ordinary skincare range, I find this more of a treatment rather than an everyday product. On the day where you feel your skin has broken out – or is just about to. This is the perfect time to reach for this emulsion. Although this also contains super retinoids to target uneven skin tone and ageing. I find this also dries out spots, I use it after Cleansing and before moisturiser as a toner. It doubles up as a wrinkle treatment. Killing two birds with one stone!

With this kit your skin should be armed to face anything. The world can be falling apart around you, at least your skin will be flawless.

How to survive the festive period with depression 

opinion piece

It was at that moment that time stood still. Laying limply in a bath full of water which had long gone cold, still. Physically weakened by your own mental state, moving is not an option. Staring blankly at a blank wall, thoughts full of angst and pain. Angst and pain. 

Photography Credit: Nikita Campbell


If you battle depression or anxiety; you will be familiar with this situation, and these bleak feelings. The bad periods come and go, but I have noticed the festive period can be particularly challenging. 

Photography Credit: Nikita Campbell


It’s a time of year where we are expected to be appreciative, grateful and ‘happy’. What if we can’t keep up the pretence? What if we truly aren’t happy? Society at large and the media don’t cover this. This Christmas I found myself at an all time low, I can’t quite distinguish what was the root cause. I fear it may be a build up from what I can only describe as a very harrowing year. 

How can you make it through the period of happiness when you feel like utter rubbish? 

Don’t get caught up in the hype. I think one great tip is not to get caught up in the hype surrounding Christmas. We must remember it is a commercial holiday, with targeted advertising to sell products. It’s almost too easy to browse social media, or any media advertising and see these perfectly constructed images of how Christmas should be. Whether you are religious or not, we can all agree it is a good opportunity to be grateful for what we do have. And not think about what we don’t. 

Don’t suffer in silence. I believe that loneliness is a silent killer; and anyone who will be alone on Christmas (unless it’s by choice), should try their hardest not to be. You can also help relatives who will be alone by visiting, picking them up or even a simple phone call – it can make someone’s day, contributing to their overall mood. If family are too far away, talk to friends. Failing that, if you get into a real depressive mood you can always call the Samaritans suicide helpline at any time on 116 123. 

Don’t overthink. I have recently come to the realisation that my own brain is my worst enemy. I over think absolutely everything, and work my mind into a stage of anxiousness. I think this can be the case for a majority of people who have any type of mental health battle. Although it’s easier said than done, I always advice finding a release. For example, for me writing is a therapeutic activity that I enjoy. It keeps me busy and inspired. Find your activity and revert to that at times of need. 

Finally, I just wanted to make the effort to say that if anyone is reading this and is having a rough time; I would be happy to talk to you if you need. Don’t suffer in silence. Get in touch. Together we can raise awareness of mental health issues, one case at a time.