beauty & wellness blog

Welcome, Beautiful, to the Simply Skin Beauty Blog where you'll find a little bit of my heart as I share with you stories that have moved me, chats with customers that have lead me to aha moments, and just ponderings from my heart about beauty and the beauty industry. I hope you enjoy what you find. Viv xx

it's personal, really personal

I remember when I first started out in business, fellow business-owners and entrepreneurs would often say "your business is like your baby".

They were sharing with me that your business is a part of you, something you give birth to, something that needs your protection, constant support and vigilance.

But only today have I realised that they were all wrong.

get rid of your pores...?

So I follow a few other brands in my industry, some small artisan brands and some large corporations, and I find it interesting the claims that many make to encourage you to part with your hard-earned cash.

For example “Use this and your pores will be gone by morning!”.

i get to cuddle a bunny everyday!

As Easter is just around the corner and one of the cutest symbols of Easter, by a country mile, are bunnies, I thought an introduction to my Bunny Initiative would be apt.

During my Simply Skin journey one of the best lightbulb moments I’ve had was when I just knew I wanted my products to make a really positive impact on the lives that are so closely associated to the cruel, unethical side of skincare – animal testing on bunnies.

do something that matters

A number of years ago a door opened for me, a door that led me away from the unhealthy, long-houred, unappreciated corporate life that I had been leading.

The door that opened for me was not one that led me down the path of enlightenment. It didn’t guide me towards an easier life, a more in-flow existence. Quite the opposite, to be honest.

top tips for your face

“You’re not just a pretty face”. My Dad would say that to me all the time when I was growing up. Has anyone ever said that to you?

Well today I’m here about more than just a pretty face, I’m here to touch on what it’s like to have a healthy face.

just coz it's natural...

... doesn't mean it's safe.

Today, if I may, I’d like to have a little rant. And my rant is about bloggers, vloggers, the media and some skincare brands that tell you to buy only products that are 100% natural.

how do you choose?

How much more would you appreciate buying from a brand that actively encourages you to fall back in love with the amazing and beautiful woman you already are than a brand that zeros in on a perceived imperfection, makes you feel at best insecure, at worst ugly, and then turns around and asks you to buy their product because it contains some magic formula that will correct the imperfections they tell you you have?

shamed... into purchasing

When was the last time you bought a beauty product touting to correct your imperfections? I’m guessing pretty recently.
No matter how much forward progress you think has been made (by introducing regular-sized models onto some catwalks or cutting back on photoshopping), the beauty industry is still all about achieving perfection and damning imperfections.

that dirty little secret

... and then 10 minutes before the end….

... BOOM!!!

The guy being interviewed dropped the bombshell about running your own business. And suddenly I crawled out of my little self-made hidey hole because suddenly I realised that I was not alone.

dalai lama on international women's day

I read a quote recently by the wonderful Dalai Lama and it lit up my heart. The quote was: "The world will be saved by the Western Woman".

I don't know about you but I've been feeling a real shift in energy these last couple of years and witnessing feminine energy begin to light up and shine. And it's a beautiful thing to witness.

critcism is tough

So yesterday I was criticised by a complete stranger.

She knew nothing about me, nothing about Simply Skin, nothing about my desire to spread self-love to every woman I meet, AND nothing about the work you and I do together to help abandoned and rescued bunnies.

She was in a Facebook group I've recently joined. We've never interacted before. Indeed this was one of my very first posts in the group.

"be happy with what little you've got..."

Today is my #beautyfullquote day and this morning I asked the angels to place a quote before me that I should write about.

I came across quite a few but it was only when I read this quote that I could feel that this was the one I wanted to focus on today:

"Be happy with what little you've got. There are people with nothing who still manage to smile." (Unknown)

i fell into my own trap

With crampons attached to our hiking shoes, we headed up to a snowy and peaceful plateau for a winter walk on Sunday.

The sky was the brightest of blues, the snow crunched under our feet, the mountains around us felt close enough to touch. In every single way it was perfect.

I had my camera at hand... we were ready to enjoy our day.

i didn't love myself yesterday

Every Wednesday for the past few years I have shared what I like to refer to as a #beautyfullquote. And I haven't missed many (if any) Wednesdays... until yesterday.

Because yesterday I was feeling far from beautiful. Yesterday I was in a low place.

It wasn't anything as shallow as having a bad hair day... I'm at the stage where I can now look myself in the eyes and tell myself "I love you" even when my hair's standing on end.

  • 2019.02.13 #beautyfullquote Comparisonitis
  • 2019.02.06 #beautyfullquote Confucius

do you suffer from comparisonitis?

Do you know what 'comparisonitis' is? It's a commonly-found dis-ease that has taken hold of so many people over the last years and has destroyed their self-esteem, self-confidence, self-worth.

You tend to contract comparisonitis from over-use of social media but it was around long before the birth of social media. Social media has just made it more widespread.

beauty in everything

Our apartment lies above a beautiful lake which is simply idyllic to walk around. And, to our right, in the distance, are the majestic Swiss Alps, currently white with snow.

It sounds bliss, right?

Well today, although I know of the beauty that surrounds us, as I see it and appreciate it so regularly, today it's shrouded in fog.

how 'scrubby' is your facial scrub?

There's a lot of debate about how scrubby your facial scrub should be; so many differing points of view, so many opinions. So much so that all that noise on the internet can become overwhelming. You don't know who's right and who's wrong, or who to believe and who to ignore.

So I thought I should step up with some sensible, down-to-earth and easy-to-follow advice.

self-care, exercise & wrinkles

As women, we're rarely truly content with ourselves.

If I was to ask you to write down 5 faults you saw in your looks/skin, I bet you could list them in a matter of seconds, right?

But what if I was to ask you to list 5 things you love about your looks/skin? I'm betting that'll take a lot longer and you might even struggle to find 5!

  • 2019.05.11 blogpost Lettuce Leaves
  • 2019.01.23 #beautyfullquote Audrey Hepburn

a salad of only lettuce leaves

“I use only coconut oil on my skin” (you can replace ‘coconut oil’ with any other oil you might use)

I love coconut oil and I even use the liquid version (fractionated coconut oil) in some of my facial serums. So you’re not doing anything wrong there.

But here’s the thing.

is your body butter the real deal?

"I simply love my body butter :) ...The body butter is an amazing product that is not oily and absorbs easily. Smell is light and wonderful and I've received many compliments when I use it. Highly recommend it." ~ Jailan

Do you use a body butter?

And if you do, are you using the 'real deal'?

standing tall with comfort

"Stop hunching over!", "Keep your back straight", "Stand tall"

I don't know about your experience but when I was young I used to hear these phrases more than I care to remember. And even now, when my husband is around and I'm working on my computer, I often hear "stop hunching over!"

A good upright posture is really important for our health and wellbeing...

diy perfume recipe

Before I begin this post today, let me give you a warning: you may sense some anger in this post... you'd be right

I came across an article recently shared in the Guild of Craft Soap and Toiletry Makers, of which I'm a member.

The article was entitled: "Organic, Vegan, and Cruelty-free perfume recipe to try this Valentine's Day"

exfolating doesn't have to be 'harsh'

When most women I chat to talk about exfoliating, they talk about bringing out the big guns: the salt scrubs or sugar scrubs.

Whilst these are excellent products for exfoliating your skin and leaving it glowing and radiant, you don't have to use them all the time or, indeed, you may not actually be able to use them at all if you have sensitive skin.

foods that slow down aging

Did you know that the key to eating a diet that will slow down the signs of aging is to eat one that is rich in anti-oxidants?

Oxidants (or free radicals) can create cell damage (which attributes to aging) and it's the anti-oxidants (or 'against oxidants') that prevent this cell damage.

Now, don't get me wrong oxidants are not a bad thing. The ones created internally by our own body fight off viruses. The challenge arises when...

why can't we be happy?

A few weeks ago when the first snow of Winter reached the lower peaks of the Swiss Alps, we went out for a winter wander.

It was cold, the fresh air gently nipped at our faces, the sun was shining. It was lovely. And we enjoyed a truly beautiful and spectacular snow hike surrounded by stunning mountains as well as ski-ers, sleighers and fellow-hikers. Until, that was, my husband decided to go a bit off track and follow a snow-shoe route... we were in hiking boots.

love: the best investment

"They say love is the best investment; the more you give, the more you get in return" ~ Audrey Hepburn

I came across this quote only this morning and I just thought "yes.... this is so true".

I wasn't looking at it from a romantic point of view, although that certainly is one way to look at it. I was looking at it from a self-love point of view.

not like those girls in the magazines

"She was beautiful, but not like those girls in the magazines. She was beautiful for the way she thought. She was beautiful for that sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved. She was beautiful for her ability to make other people smile even if she was sad. No, she wasn't beautiful for something as temporary as her looks. She was beautiful deep down in her soul"

  • 2019.01.15 blogpost My Gratitude Jar
  • 2019.01.10 blogpost Science of Attraction

my gratitude jar

...This year I started a gratitude jar. I had tried to create one a few years ago but I wasn't committed and it just didn't work... after just a couple of days!

But now I appreciate and value the difference in my mindset that a daily gratitude ritual creates. And so, I thought I'd create a visual reminder on my working desk that I could contribute to daily.

the science of attraction

So I was flicking through my news feed the other day and an article caught my eye. It was entitled: "The Science of Attraction: Men are subconsciously looking for these 8 things in a woman"

Now, I won't lie, I was shocked.


  • 2019.01.09 beautyfullquote
  • 2019.01.02 beautyfullquote

don't try to fit in

As I was coming to the end of my #beautyfullquote post last week about taking the time this new year to fall back in love with yourself, I wrote the the following message:
"You're not meant to fit in, Beautiful, you're meant to stand out"

And it felt like such a special message that I thought I'd return to it this week.

fall back in love with yourself this year

So tell me, Beautiful, have you got caught up in the whole "New Year, New Gym Membership" or "New Year, New Fitter Me" that I see bandying around at this time of year, every year?

Can I suggest something quite radical?

Don't buy into it.

goals with soul

The internet is absolutely buzzing with yearly reviews and setting goals for 2019. Everywhere I look there's a ton of advice about what I should be doing right now.

But as I shared in an earlier post, I'm not one for spending time looking back and dissecting my year as I prefer to live in the present.

In saying that...

looking back

We're on the cusp of entering a brand new year.

And I'm seeing everywhere, people looking back over their year and breaking it down into what went right and what went wrong. And then looking forward to what the new year will have in store for us.

Have you done this yet? Are you planning to do it?

get off the scale!

“Get off the scale!
I have yet to see a scale that can tell you how enchanting your eyes are.
I have yet to see a scale that can show you how wonderful your hair looks when the sun shines its glorious rays on it.
I have yet to see a scale that can thank you for your compassion, sense of humor, and contagious smile.
Get off the scale because I have yet to see one that can admire you for your perseverance when challenged in life.”

a surprising benefit of a good night's sleep

According to Lauren Hale, Ph.D., of the National Sleep Foundation adults over the age of 17 need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep. There’s no exact figure as each of us is unique and individual but this is a guideline.

As most of us already know, getting a good night’s sleep is important for our overall health and well-being but did you know that it also has an impact on your skin?

exercise and wrinkles... is there a connection?

Wrinkles. We all get them. They’re a natural part of life and aging and something, I believe, we shouldn’t be ashamed of. They add character and definition to an aging face and are evidence of a life well-lived.

In saying that… I don’t want to sport too many wrinkles too soon so whilst I’m all supportive of aging naturally and gracefully, I also don’t want to age too fast.

self-care at christmas

The Christmas Season is well and truly upon us, wouldn't you say?

The shops are filling up with Christmas shoppers and our agendas are getting blocked left, right and centre with Christmas parties and get-togethers.

It can all be a bit hectic but, you know what, the buzz is great. It keeps us high and our energies lifted. Isn't that right? Or do you get a sense of overwhelm at this time of year?

dry skin in winter

Do you know what one of the top 5 causes of dry skin is?

Let me give you a clue.... if you're feeling warm and cosy whilst reading this, whether at home or at work or even in a cafe, then I suspect you might be enjoying the benefits of this right now.

Have you guessed it?

animal testing post brexit

Today's a happy day.

Because I just read an article that made my heart sing.

You see the future of many bunnies in the UK has been unsure and unknown for a while now, with the planned exit from the EU.

happiness makes you pretty

Have you ever noticed that when you're feeling happy and are smillng, that people smile back at you and, even, treat you differently compared to times when you're feeling down or grumpy?

It's as if they want a bit of what you've got or want to be part of what you're part of. It's as if they're mirroring your feelings and unconsciously becoming part of your happiness. And that is beautiful.

today was a tough day

Today I struggled with myself, with my business, with life.

And rather than hide away and pretend to everyone around me that life's going just fine, I decided to show up and be honest with myself and with you. Because we can't expect that every day will be great. Some days are challenging - that's just life.

look at yourself as a colour

"Look at yourself as a colour.
You may not be everyone's favourite.
But one day you'll meet someone who
needs you to complete their picture"

What a #beautyfullquote for today.

I always wonder on a Wednesday morning what quote will pass by me, catch my eye and capture my heart that day and I have yet to be disappointed.

love letter from my customer

I received a love-letter the other day from one of my beautiful and amazing customers.

I call it a love-letter, others might call it a product review. But to me it was a love-letter because my customer took the time to write from her heart. And it truly brightened my day.

And I'd love to share some of it with you. Not to boost. But to honour my customer and publicly say "thank you... you mean the world to me."

And once you read what she has written you'll know why I feel so blessed to have customers like her.

do you only see thorns?

"Some people could be given an entire field of roses and only see the thorns in it. Others could be given a single weed and see the wildflower in it. Perception is a key component to gratitude. And gratitude a key component to joy" ~ Amy Weatherly

I wonder... which person are you? Do you only see the thorns, or do you see the wildflowers? Or do you see both, depending on the situation?

I know, for me, I have a tendency to see the thorns when the situation is personal or self-created whereas I tend to focus on the beautiful wildflowers in everything else around me.

The Natural Facelift (A Study in Marketing)

What if I told you: "I've created a product that would give you a facelift without botox, without fillers, without surgery or any other invasive procedure".

What if I told you: "I’ve surveyed this product on a number of women and 90% of them were elated – with a percentage of them saying they saw an improvement".

And what if I told you: "The secret ingredient in the product comes from the leaf of a tree native to the high Himalayan region of Nepal and that the Sherpas chew on this leaf every single day".

What if I told you: "This product is soon to be the hottest reverse-aging product on the shelves and will shortly be featured in beauty magazines".

What would you think? Be honest…

How Will You Weather the Storm?

"Life's not about how you survived the storm, it's about how you danced in the rain."

What a beautiful quote and it really means a lot to me.

Because when you run your own business, you could say you truly weather the storm. You rely on people to find you, to trust you and then to love you, your products, your ethics, before they even consider becoming your customer and buying from you, not once but on a regular basis, so you can pay your bills at the end of each month...

Bunny Initiative (video)

Sometimes lightbulb moments come instantly, sometimes they take a little more time to develop... but when they do, your eyes light up and your heart sings coz you know that you're hitting on something truly special.

And that's exactly what happened to me with the Simply Skin Bunny Initiative. I had this deep down desire to make a real positive impact in this world with my products.

"I Love You"

Recently I read the book "Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends on It" by Kamal Ravikant.... seriously... one of THE best books I've read in a very long time (and it's only 57 pages!) If you haven't read it yet, please do so. It really is transformative.

I've since moved onto another book about animal communication and read a paragraph that totally supports the whole concept of saying "I love you" (to yourself, to someone else, to your pet).

"Hey Beautiful" (video)

Have you noticed that when I write a post, email or similar, I start with "Hey Beautiful"?

Tell me... how does that make you feel?

The reason I ask is that I receive regular feedback on this: some women love it, some women loathe it. It's a bit like Marmite...

But do you know the reason I use these words when chatting to my customers? Because I do actually use these words consciously and purposely. If you don't know the reason, watch the video below. I think you'll be surprised at the thought process and meaning behind these two words.

How to Apply a Facial Serum (video)

A facial serum is a carefully chosen blend of oils and essential oils, deemed the best for your skin-type. In essence it's a powerhouse of nature and a product I, personally, could not live without.

Unlike facial creams and moisturisers, a facial serum does not contain any water so all you're getting is the very best that nature provides and you need only apply it once a day to lock in moisture, nourish your skin, and keep it hydrated.

Check out the video below to find out how I apply my serum every morning.

It's National Fragrance Week!

What better time to share a tale or two about fragrances and scents, and about memories based on scents.

And what better time to share the concept behind each Simply Skin collection.

Our sense of smell is an important sense, which we often take for granted. The reason this sense is so important is that it can alert us to danger such as a fire or gas leak, or ‘off’ and rotting food.

But there’s much more to our sense of smell than being a warning signal.

It wasn't always Femininity & Sensuality

Simply Skin… celebrating your femininity and sensuality. That’s the focus of my brand nowadays but I wasn’t always about celebrating my own femininity and sensuality.

When I was growing up and in school, I struggled. I was never accepted by the cool gang. I was never the girl the boys would chase after or show interest in. I was never confident in simply being a girl, comfortable in my own skin. It was a challenge. And on top of that I was bullied, even in Primary School. Nothing serious, nothing like the type of cyber-bullying you hear kids having to live with nowadays. But nonetheless I was bullied and it really impacted my confidence.

Do You Know Your Cruelty-Free Brands?

I thought I'd pop in and share an experience I had recently when I was looking to buy a bottle of perfume.

Some time ago I was in hospital and one of the morning nurses wore a perfume that I simply fell in love with - it was sweet and vanilla-y and exactly the kind I love. So I asked her the brand and perfume name and she kindly shared it with me.

Recently while visiting family, I dropped into a local department store in search of this perfume. By this stage I had forgotten the name but was pretty sure I could remember the brand. It didn't take long to find it and I was all ready for buying it when a thought came into my head: "I wonder if this brand is cruelty-free?"

Gender-Neutral Beauty Products

What do you think about the new trend of gender-neutral beauty products? The claim is that they're all about celebrating the individual, not the gender.

But how do you feel about that?

Gender neutrality is a well-debated subject, especially when it comes to children. There's no more "pink for the girls and blue for the boys"... and I get that.

But as we grow older and are comfortable with who we are, do we really want to use products that are available to everyone, regardless of gender?

Allergens and Me

What is an Allergen and why should I be bothered?

An allergen is a substance that can cause an allergic reaction, especially in someone who is sensitive or intolerant to it.

Allergens that tend to have the most potential for creating an allergic reaction are found in fragrances.

The Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) published a factsheet explaining that up to 3% of the European population have an allergy resulting from fragrance ingredients.

Why Should I Use Oil On My Skin?

I get asked all the time by customers why they should use oil on their skin.

Many customers are afraid that oil may cause blocked pores which could lead to pimples and acne.

And others believe oils should be avoided, like some fats in our diet, as they are bad for us.

I want to highlight the importance of using oils on your skin by listing a few of their benefits, below.


Oils - Urban Myths

There are many Urban Myths surrounding the use of oils on your skin, especially in relation to facial oils.

I'm here to smash through those Urban Myths and show you how important and beneficial oils are for your skin.


New Organic Ingredients

If you've read my article: "Why Use Organic Skincare Ingredients?" you'll already know that I'm a huge advocate of using as many organic ingredients as possible in a skincare product.

And, so, I'm always researching new quality suppliers of organic ingredients and every day my goal is to upgrade the natural ingredients I use in your products to organic ingredients.

I'm delighted to say that this summer (2017) I have upgraded  two natural oils used in the Simply Skin Facial Serums to their certified organic equivalent.


Body Butter - The Facts

When it comes to moisturisers, body butters tend to be the least popular choice for most women so I decided to run a survey to find out why body butters are not as popular as I would have expected.

And the primary reason I discovered was that women just don't know what a true body butter is and, therefore, do not understand how it can benefit the skin.

Why Use Organic Skincare Ingredients?

I get asked all the time by customers why I think they should buy skincare products which contain organic ingredients.

Is it really worth paying 2 or 3 times the price (at least) for such a product?

Plain and simple, my answer is yes. Read on to find out why.

The Organic Farmer

Why have I decided to go that extra mile and incorporate organic ingredients wherever possible?

The answer is very simple:

I believe in supporting farmers who have chosen to follow the more difficult and costly, yet ethical and environmentally-friendly route; farmers who have chosen to grow their crops organically.


There's been a lot of talk on the news for a while about Microbeads, how they are damaging the environment, and the ethical responsibilities that skincare companies should conform to.

But many skincare consumers are still confused and don't know if their favourite skincare brand is using Microbeads or not.

I hope to help shed some light on this issue so you feel more confident when you're out shopping.