Wrap up for autumn
Comfort is a key fashion consideration this autumn/winter. Leather skirts with fitted knit tops, puffy jackets to keep you warm and cosy, and long print dresses to take the effort out of matching an outfit are all winners this season.
Cliona Standun of Standun's department store in Spiddal says elegant print blouses or shirts paired with plain, fitted trousers and heels are the perfect choice to create a professional look.
Check out the long sleeved Kanya print shirt dress available at Standun which is easy to dress up or down. Add a chunky necklace and boots and your outfit is complete. For a cosier, casual look add a knit cardigan or coatigan. Pop on a Nina winter coat when you leave the house - it is as cosy as a duvet but highly sophisticated.
If you are to choose one staple this winter to add to your wardrobe, it is the versatile Amelie pleather jacket. This is ideal to wear over a dress for a night out or with a casual top and jeans.
Visit Standun's store in Spiddal or log onto standun.com for further information and to view its latest range.
These are some of the most challenging times many of us have ever experienced and it is natural to worry about you and your family's wellbeing and safety.
But it is also important to stay calm and physically well and to maintain an even emotional keel.
Many people have turned to crystals to help them achieve this. They believe they have healing abilities and can boost wellness levels.
The theory of this form of healing is based on the belief that everything has a vibration and a frequency or energy, and our energies rise to align with the frequency of crystals.
When we are out of alignment and our frequency is lower, we can rebuild feelings of wellness and positivity by spending time with a frequency that is higher.
That is now easy to achieve thanks to a company which has produced water bottles which incorporate crystals. They marry the benefits of staying hydrated, which is important for your physical wellbeing and overall health, with what they maintain are the energy giving properties of crystals.
Bewater bottles incorporate beautiful, ethically sourced gemstones at their core, each chosen to transfer a specific energy blueprint when the bottle is filled with water.
There are four bewater "paths" to choose from: belove, bepower, bejoy, and bemagic. Each has been designed using gemstones inspired by these qualities.
The makers say there are three bewater crystal combinations which may prove especially useful during times of challenge, these are Compassion, Clarity, and Abundance.
Compassion combines lapis lazuli which is believed to calm stress and support a healthy immune function, with the zen aura quartz.
Clarity uses amethyst to bring clarity of thought and peace of mind and quartz crystal to encourage hydration and amplify energy.
Abundance incorporates citrine to energise every level of life; it is used to open the chakras and sharpen the intuition. The energy of this stone is alive and overflowing.
To tap into the benefits of crystals, all you have to do is fill your bottle with water, leave it for about 10 minutes, and then drink it.Bewater bottles are available in lead-free borosilicate glass and durable, BPA-free Tritan plastic, and cost from £25.95 (Junior Tritan bottles from £19.95 ) from www.bewater.com
Putting on face coverings is as much part of our daily routine these days as reaching for our coats and umbrellas before venturing outside.
Some face coverings make a bright and cheery fashion statement, others are more sober and understated, but they all aim to protect us and others and help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Local shops are selling various types of masks so there is ample choice in terms of colour, coverage, and style.
A new collection of cotton face coverings with the additional benefit of a carbon filter is now available.
Researchers say adding a filter may offer additional protection to wearers as well as those around them. Filters may be effective in absorbing, removing, and capturing particulates in the air.
The manufacturers state that airborne particulates react chemically with the carbon in the filter, causing it to stick to it. Carbon filters are used to trap allergens and viruses. The filter is replaceable for additional security.These unisex masks cost €9.99 and are available from iclothing.com
Some people, particularly those who wear face coverings all day at work, are reporting skincare problems. Skin expert Eavanna Breen says this is becoming increasingly common.
"In addition to the health and social challenges, Covid-19 has also played havoc with our skin," she says.
"Many of us have battled with flare ups and conditions such as eczema, breakouts, and rashes as a result of the severe stress brought on by the pandemic. The skin related problems induced by Covid-19 are far from over however, with ‘maskne’ now a buzzword across the country."
Maskne (mask and acne ) is the name for the increased spot breakouts people are experiencing, particularly on the lower half of the face, due to the constant close covering of a mask," according to Ms Breen.
"It can also present itself in the form of extremely dry and itchy patches, raw and red skin, and even rashes."
Mask wearing promotes a warm, moist environment which is created by talking, breathing, and perspiring within the mask, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to grow, she maintains.
"This in turn then leads to the build-up and spread of often painful acne beneath the mask. This bacteria promoting environment, combined with clogged pores from the occlusion of the mask, unavoidable friction caused by it, and sometimes pre-existing acne are all elements contributing to maskne.
“The important thing to remember is that there are lots of different steps we can take in order to help with this new condition."
She recommends that reusable masks are washed frequently, ideally after every use to minimise the spread and transfer of bacteria.
"General advice would be to examine your skincare routine and keep things simple."
She offers the following guidelines to help people avoid or treat this issue:-
Step 1: Use a gentle cleanser. Cleansers often contain surfactants that strip the skin's hydrolipidic barrier and potentially further aggravate the skin. Speak to a skin therapist about which products are suitable for you.
Step 2: Ensure your mask is cleaned regularly if you are using a cloth mask. If using disposable masks, change them as required.
Step 3: Keep your skincare routine simple, go back to basics for a period of time to allow your skin barrier to heal and repair itself due to the effects of mask wearing.
Step 4: It is important to continue to wear sunscreen because taking your mask on and off frequently can remove your sunscreen and leave the skin vulnerable to further damage and inflammation.
Step 5: Most importantly, do not pick your skin. This may aggravate the condition, further spreading of the acne, and even scarring.