Jo Loves... July/August
Jo loves... her beauty sleep - which this edition means bath salts, an iPod speaker and a fab foot balm. (Plus, for daytime, a new, lighter foundation...)
Like most people, I've had terrible trouble sleeping in the hot weather - so I've evolved a three-point plan which really seems to help. It starts with a cool-ish bath infused with these magnesium chloride-rich salts. Magnesium is absorbed through the skin and is the 'sleep' mineral: it really helps me drift off, certainly. (The key right now for me is not to have the bath too hot, though.) Unlike the magnesium salts I used to use, only a couple of scoopfuls are needed, with these - which saves a lot of space on my (somewhat crowded) bathroom shelf. The subtitle for these is 'Instant Serenity Bath Salts' - and that's just what they deliver, in my book.
This was a generous birthday present from my lovely husband (though I did have to write to the 'birthday fairy' to ensure I got my heart's desire!) It's a Bluetooth speaker (so: no cables), which links wirelessly to my iPhone so that I can play my music through it - and the sound is fantastic. Because it's rechargeable (with an eight-hour battery life), I can take it to the sanctuary of my shed, listen while I'm in the kitchen cooking - or on hot nights (when I'm having trouble sleeping and aforementioned husband is away). I use my Jongo to play my Brain Wave app: there are dozens of different settings, but the sound works using brainwave frequencies to induce different states of mind. I go for 'Deep Sleep', or sometimes 'Lucid Dreaming' (that's amazing!), and choose the 'Thunderstorm' option (I've always been a big fan of thunderstorms); it fills the room realistically with the sound of thunder, and I'm asleep within minutes. (If you're not weird like me you can listen to gongs, or tabla drums, or a waterfall, etc.)
I've always been slavish about my ritual of massaging my feet before bedtime, but this is a lovely new foot treat discovery. (I went for a body treatment at the founder's barn in West Sussex, and was very impressed with several of the Soil Association-certified organic products I took home.) This has all the richness I like in a foot balm: it's packed with olive oil, avocado, calendula and pumpkin seed oils, as well as shea butter, for softness - and a blend of peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary and lemon, which gives a lovely refreshing smell and is great for circulation. After my bath, I dry feet thoroughly and massage this in. And happy feet make for happier sleep, I've always found.
I'm slavishly devoted to my By Terry Cover Expertfoundation, for winter - but in summer, the finish is just too velvety. So, because I know Terry de Gunzburg's shades are fantastic for my skin, I've switched to this till the weather changes again: it's a lighter-weight foundation - sheerer than my usual choice, as the name suggests. It doesn't leave me shiny, but it does seem to cover imperfections like broken veins which are the reason I wear foundation at all, in summer. (Only for meetings, though - at home I just wear tinted moisturiser.) My shade is 7 Vanilla Beige: just a touch darker, for summer, too - as it's been impossible not to catch the sun just a little, in the lovely weather...!