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The website of Author/Writer and Psychic Medium Astrid Brown. Making the most of 'YOU' i.e. how to achieve well-being and beauty from within ourselves. A truly holistic blog providing information on all aspects of psychic mediumship, spiritualism, philosophy, holistic therapies, nutrition, health, stress, mental health and beauty with a little bit of Wicca for good measure. Feeling and looking good is as much a part of how we feel inside as the outside.

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I am a great believer in Karma, but just what is it? Karma comes from the Sanskrit and ancient Indian Language with the underlying principal that every deed in our lives will affect our future life. For example, if we treat others badly during our lifetime we will have negative experiences later on in that lifetime or in future lifetimes. Likewise, if we treat others well we will be rewarded by positive experiences.

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Today I am blogging about inexperienced Psychics/Mediums. There are many psychics/mediums around who give the profession a bad name, t...

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It's not just humans who groom themselves, all you need do is take a trip to the local zoo and visit the ape enclosure, where you will see, chimpanzees sit socially in groups grooming and picking out fleas from one another. It is a social activity and it is also for health reasons picking out parasites. You will see other animals such as cats too lick themselves clean and birds enjoy a bath in a puddle. Grooming keeps us clean and tidy and healthy and ultimately makes us feel better within ourselves and gives a good impression to others. It is an outward message to say I take care of myself and if I do this, then I will take care of others and situations. It denotes that you are a tidy and responsible person, in turn others will show you more respect, which in turn will reverberate on you.

I know in an ideal world it should not matter what you look like but grooming is more than being concerned with our appearances, its taking care of YOU. It has health benefits, keeping good hygiene should be obvious, its important we keep our skin clean to prevent infection not just our own skin but to prevent passing on infection to others, not to mention various parasites such as Scabies and lice.

When we take care of ourselves and know that we look as best as we can be, it lifts our self esteem that in turn makes us feel positive and that positive energy reflects and resonates with others. When we feel good inside we gain better rapport with others.



Now this isn't just one for the ladies, men wax these days too and there's nothing wrong in keeping yourself tidy. You can wax at home these days, there are many products available, from cold wax strips to hot wax, warm wax kits and sugaring kits that you can warm in the microwave some are easier than others for the novice to use at home. If you are going to try waxing I recommend you have one or two treatments by a professional therapist to watch how it is done. Word to the wise avoid therapists who double dip their spatulas, think about this there's the wax all nice and warm a perfect breeding ground for micro-organisms, ok the therapist may use a new spatula for you but every time she puts that spatula in the wax pot she takes the odd hair, skin flakes, traces of blood from hair follicles and  micro-organisms off your skin (and anyone else she's treated before you) so imagine what's breeding in her wax pot!

Technique is the key to efficient and painless waxing, with warm, sugaring and cold wax strips, the wax is applied in the direction of growth. The skin is stretched brace with your hand and ripped off quickly in the opposite direction to growth. Remember to cleanse the skin and make sure it is dry before waxing and to apply a soothing lotion  one that is slightly antiseptic (your hair follicles are open) a tea tree one is ideal. It's normal to have a 'Histamine Reaction' that plucked chicken appearance and slight redness after all you have activated the 'Mast cells' in the skin (see skin care) to produce histamine, this in turn causes blood to rush to the surface to repair damage. This will disappear within 24 hours and may be itchy don't scratch it you will make it worse and damage the skin with your finger nails and render it to infection, just apply a cool soothing lotion.

Hot wax has a different technique and should not be applied by the inexperienced and there is risk of burning. If you are using a product you heat up yourself always patch test a little area first to check the temperature.

For those that have been waxed before the good therapist will always explain the growth cycle as first timers may be disappointed to find that you have hairs popping up the next day or two when you thought it would last 4 to 6 weeks. Well waxing can last this time but in order for this to happen to have to educate and train your hairs. Your hair both head and body hair goes through a cycle of growth, transition and resting, now can you imagine if all your hair on your body and or head went through that cycle at the same time! You would be bald. So nature being very clever devised the hair growth cycle so no one is bald, but we can outwit nature, if you remove all the hairs at once and initially wax areas say every 2 to 3 weeks eventually you will catch all the hairs and train them to be at the same stage in the growth cycle. This will take several treatments to achieve this but eventually you wont have to do your waxing every 2 to 3 weeks but more like every 6 weeks and the hair will grow in tapered and finer as a result. So if you are planing on being fuzz free for the beach in the summer start several months earlier and you will find the benefits of carrying on all year as the hair follicles will be weaker and shallower over time and it will become pain free. if you give up waxing and want to return to the hirsute look all you need do is discontinue and the hair follicles will strengthen and become their old selves.

Remember Waxing is a long lasting temporary solution to unwanted hair and always patch test and follow manufacturers guidelines when using products.

To be continued..........



A beauty/make up routine should become a habit. On this page will be discussed make up and application does not require hours, at the very most 30 minutes, which with practice you can get down to 10 to 20 minutes.

Like any good craftsman to apply make up flawlessly and effectively you need good tools. These do not have to be expensive, nor do you need a big bag full of them, buy a few good ones rather than a lot of inferior ones and learn to take care of them and they will last for years. For personal use you do not need to invest in specialised brush cleaners, a good quality hair shampoo is effective. Your brushes should be washed in warm water with some shampoo massaged gently into the hairs  squeezed gently in a clean towel  and air dried and when dry wrapped and stored in clean tissue until needed.


  • Two large fluffy brushes for face powder/blusher
  • One flat wide blending brush for eyeshadow blending
  • One smaller flat eye shadow brush
  • One pointed pencil brush for eye definition
  • Two lip brushes (one is good for detailed eyeshadow application)
  • One eyeliner
In addition cotton wool pads for face powder and cotton buds for any mistakes and cleaning up.

Get into the habit of using a lip brush to apply your make up as for one it gives you a more professional finish and secondly it will save you money as you will brush more lipstick into the lips more effectively and you'll find you will be able to get access to all the lipstick left in the tube. Your lipsticks will last twice as long and with practice you'll get faster using a brush. Many lip pencils come with brushes at the opposite end of them, thus saving space in your make up bag.


As you know this blog is a cornucopia of things, about all this pertaining to YOU and your well being inside and out, mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, covering your well being and beauty as well as tips on using Wicca to make your life better and of course Holistic therapies so this topic is about beauty and False Eyelash Application.
If you haven't tried false eyelashes they are the quickest and easiest way to transform your look. I know they can be fiddly and they take a bit of practice in getting the right amount of adhesive and getting them positioned right but once you have become adept at using them you will become addicted.

When first trying them, try fairly natural ones to begin with, when you get better at applying you can go on to longer styles

  1. Carefully using tweezers, remove the strip lash from it's tray and measure the lash from where your own lashes start to the end and with sharp scissors snip off the excess, little by little until you have the exact length. Repeat with the other strip lash.
  2. Apply your complete eye make up as usual, though you can apply them to unmade up eyes, its also helpful to apply eyeliner along the edge of your own lash line as it makes it that but easier to apply the lashes especially when you are learning, and apply mascara first.
  3. Holding the lash centrally in the tweezers using a cotton bud apply a very thin line of adhesive to the lash band (dont worry although it's white it will dry clear, and you can even obtain black adhesive now) and give the adhesive 30 secs or so to dry so that it becomes tacky.
  4. Looking down into a mirror apply the centre of the strip lash to the centre of your natural lash line (on your skin not your eyelashes) press down first the centre with the end of a make up brush handle or your finger tips then both ends. If you have allowed the adhesive to go tacky you should not got it all over your eye lids and lashes. There is also this great little gadget around see below that clamps the lash as a whole to make applying easier.
  5. Using a dry brush fluff your natural lashes with the strip lash to blend and if wearing eye make up apply a thin line over the strip lash band to blend. Do not use normal mascara on the strip lash as it does ruin them, a couple of manufacturers do make a special mascara for use with false lashes and its well worth buying as it blends your natural lashes with the false ones perfectly and wont damage the false lashes after all you do want to use them again and again. Voila perfect.
  6. To remove the striplash holding your eye lid gently closed without over stretching, lightly pull away at the outer corners to peel the strip lash away from the lid. With clean fingers and tweezers gently pull off the dried adhesive from the lash band and with a cotton bud dipped in surgical spirit wipe over the lashes gently to remove any residue of make up and adhesive and place back in their tray for future use. If you look after your false lashes you can use them many times.
Striplash Applicator

For the beginner even simpler are preglued lashes these are totally idiot proof and even a trained monkey in a frock could apply these. I myself am partially sighted and I can manage these in seconds. There is no waiting for adhesive to dry, these can be used a few times so you can reposition if not right but because there is no layer of adhesive they are much easier and quicker to apply. Most come with a spare new self adhesive strip for when the first looses it stickiness and when the spare one looses it stickiness you can use them as conventional strip lashes. The application is just the same as above minus the adhesive application.

What more do you need ladies to enhance your looks fast some preglued lashes and some lip gloss 5 minutes fast and ready to go!




Under the 'Stress section' I talked about how stress hormones such as Adrenalin and Cortisone affect the skin, if you recall Adrenalin reduces the nourishment delivered by the blood stream by directing the blood flow away from the extremities to the heart, lungs and muscles, so the skin and hair wont be so well nourished. Cortisone damages the fibrocytes, these are specialised cells within the Dermis that produce collagen and elastin and it is collagen and elastin that provides support and elasticity within the skin, akin to the foam and springs in a mattress. When we are young our skin is plump and elastic but through use from normal facial movements, the downward pull of gravity, the collagen and elastin tends to bunch together just like the stuffing in a well used mattress. Now if we undergo stress for a considerable period as these fibrocytes become damaged due to the action of Cortisol so the skin will loose its support structure, its elasticity will suffer and it wont spring back to shape like it used to, like spent elastic. Cell renewal will suffer due to the reduced blood supply there wont be adequate nourishment and the skin will take on a greyer pallor and it will loose its healthy rosy glow.

Now there is another aspect to this equation, the action of Ultra Violet Light from the sun and of course sunbeds. The sun produces three types of UV Light UVA UVB and UVC. The Earth's ozone layer blocks 97-99% of this UV radiation from penetrating through the atmosphere. Of the ultraviolet radiation that reaches the Earth's surface, 98.7% is UVA  (UVC and more energetic radiation is responsible for the generation of the ozone layer, and formation of the ozone there). Now I don't want to get to technical here and want to focus on UVA and UVB. UVB can only penetrate down through the skin to the dermis and is responsible for burning but UVA is able to penetrate down through the dermis and like Cortisol damages the Fibrocytes, those little cells that plump up our skin and give it elasticity.

One of the best places on our bodies to see the affects of gravity and demishing collagen and elastin especially on women is on the thighs often referred to as 'Cellulite'.

Because we are composed of 70% water, water is an important component of the skin, therefore it important we drink adequate water to keep ourselves hydrated. Don't wait until you feel thirsty before you reach for that drink, it is much better to sip water at regular intervals as we are constantly loosing water through bodily processes.


Everything in moderation is something to bear in mind when it comes to food and drink and that includes alcohol, but alcohol is a toxin and the liver has to work hard to break it down. The occasional drink is not going to have too much effect on the skin but it does cause the peripheral circulation to dilate and one of the characteristic signs of too much alcohol is the appearance of broken capillaries across the face, There are other causes of broken capillaries, sometimes, it's hereditary but often caused by  sudden changes in temperature i.e. going from very warm central heated homes to going outdoors without protecting the skin or driving in cars with the heater blasting against the face. Squeezing spots is another cause. Too much alcohol is a depressant too, so you may feel rather jolly at the time but you are sure to come back down to earth with a bump.

Many common prescribed drugs have an effect on the skin its something to be aware of many drugs such as diuretics will cause a loss of moisture so forewarned you take extra care to apply a good moisturiser to help counteract this effect.

Recreational drugs obviously will have an effect on the skin too with many of them toxic to the body and anything that diverts the body to spend time detoxifying obviously takes energy away from repairing and maintaining the body. This is not a blog that discusses drugs I am sure readers will already know the dangers of such substances.


Smoking is one of the worst abuses you can do to your body, firstly because of its direct effect affect on the lungs, it impairs the uptake and absorption of oxygen and of course all cells in the body require oxygen in order to function normally. The nicotine  as well as being addictive is a powerful vasoconstrictor therefore it reduces blood flow to the peripheral circulation so the skin and hair are going to suffer. So as well as impairing oxygen uptake and reducing blood flow to the skin, the body is also having to use its resources dealing with all the toxins also inhaled. Poorly nourished skin means it cannot repair itself adequately. Smoking also leads to more wrinkling, those little purse string lines around the mouth and crows feet caused by the smoke further research has proven that smoking causes the skin to age ten years.

The lungs to the right here are really quite shocking and here you can see the effects of tar from the cigarettes.


Firstly please read the blogs and page on health as this will give an indication on a balanced diet.

If I were to ask you what is the largest organ in the body what would you say? It's not the liver or the intestines but the skin, it does a very important job for us and how many of us take it for granted and don't look after it.


The basics so you will understand how the skin works. The skin is comprised of 3 layers, the Epidermis the layer you can see, the Dermis the true skin and the subcutaneous. Cosmetics only work on the Epidermis and you can see how deep it is, if you have ever experienced a blister. A blister is caused when friction causes the Epidermis and the Dermis to separate and the fluid within the blister is lymph. The Epidermis has no nerve endings or blood supply that is why removing the top layer of a blister is not painful, not to be recommended though as it exposes the Dermis which is rich in nerves and a blood supply to infection.

The skin  has several functions to secrete sebum that oily substance on your skin, this is to help keep the skin moisturised by trapping moisture and forming a barrier together with sweat known as the 'Acid Mantle' The Acid Mantle is slightly acidic and acts as a Bacteriastat to inhibit bacteria. The skin secretes sebum via the sebaceous glands within the hair follicles and sweat via the Endocrine glands (there are another type of sweat glands know as Apocrine glands these are found in the axillary and pubic regions unlike Endocrine sweat bacteria act on Apocrine sweat quickly and this causes the characteristic Body Odour, these glands only become active after puberty and have a role to play in pheromones)

Our body temperature is regulated by the skin this is due to the  peripheral circulation either dilating to bring blood to the extremities of the body like the skin causing flushing to help loose some of the heat and also by sweating for as the sweat evaporates heat rises with it. The opposite happens when its cold the body conserves heat to vital organs more important than the skin, giving a more white/bluish appearance and may even induce shivering. At the base of every hair follicle there is a tiny cilary muscle when its cold and we start to shiver this muscle contracts causing the hair to stand up trapping a layer of air next to the skin, giving the appearance of goosebumps. Within the Dermis there are sensory nerves that detect temperature. We also have an insulatory layer of fat in the subcutaneous.

Our skin is waterproof so absorbs very little, the only things that can permeate the skin are medications, this includes patches such as Nicotine  and HRT and Essential oils (see Aromatherapy articles on Blog) COSMETICS CAN NOT. Do not believe the hype and sales talk ladies if it could be absorbed by the skin you you have to go to your Doctor for it and it would need to be licensed as a Medicine.

Our Skin is protected by sensory nerves that alert us to pain, pressure, touch, heat and cold, it is waterproof largely impermeable except to the substances above, fairly tough and it with its layer of fat below the dermis in the subcutaneous layer keeps us warm, protects our organs and bones, gives us shape. As fore mentioned the Acid Mantle helps protect from bacteria as bacterial growth is inhibited in its slightly acid environment. Melanocytes special little cells in the dermis increase as a result of UV light and give us tanning, the epidermis also thickens to help protect our skin. Also in the skin are mast cells and when they are damaged, they produce histomine, it gives the characteristic itching a weals associated by allergies, its function is to stimulate blood to the skin to repair and maintain it. However with allergies the body is hypersensitive producing this effect.

The skin also excretes some toxins through sweat but this is very very minimal, so do not believe the hype of some sales people who will suggest you have a detoxifying foot bath that will rid you of toxins as it changes the water to a dirty brown colour. Again this is sheer hype and nonsense for if ridding the body of toxins was that easy we wouldn't have a need for Dialysis Machines for those suffering kidney failure. It is the Liver, Kidneys and large Intestine that detoxify us.

Vitamin D is also formed in the skin as a result of the action of UV light acting on 7-dehydrocholesterol present in the skin, so everything in moderation we do need some sunlight.


So you know know how the skin works and it's functions  and that's great when everything is in balance. However skin is a very sensitive organ but as far as the body is concerned it is a lesser important organ that the heart, lungs, liver etc, so priority is given to important organs at times of stress, whether that is emotional stress i.e. worry etc. or physical stress such as extremes of temperature and its very cold.

What we put on the skin can throw it off balance, many people use soap and water, well thats fine for your body, but our face has more sebaceous glands, is more exposed to the elements and more open to micro-organisms. Why not soap and water? well soap is alkaline  and remember the acid mantle is slightly acidic, this maintains an environment where micro-organisms are less likely to multiply and if you use an alkaline product you will strip away this protective layer, making the skin more susceptible to infection. Because our sebaceous glands tend to be more active on the face, and this increase of sebum in nature's moisturiser, there may be more of a tendency for them to become blocked, if infection enters the blocked pores the result it a spot. There are a number of cleansing bars on the market and water activated cleansers around for those of you who like the feel of water on your face.

The trouble and risk of blocked pores is magnified if there is also a build up of dead skin cells. Now it takes roughly 28 days for new cells in the basal layer of the epidermis to form and be shed, this time span increases with age, as we get older our skin becomes more sluggish, if we don't cleanse our skin adequately enough a layer of dead cells sit on the surface making our complexion dull, combined with sebum these dead cells can block pores causing blackheads. Inncidently blackheads are not dirt but sebum and dead cells form a plug and oxidise  causing this this discolouration. In order to keep our complexions fresh and depending on the type of skin you have exfoliation should be carried out once to twice a week, with oily skin generally twice. There are various products on the market but avoid those exfoliators that are made from ground up nutshells and husks as these can be quite scratchy and can damage the surface of the skin leading to possible infection. Rather choose a product with fine micro beads. Some exfoliators work by dissolving dead skin cells and are often fruit based containing fruit acids or enzymes, these may irritate sensitive skin so its a good idea to patch test an area  before proceeding.

But before choosing what cleanser to use on your skin, you need to know what type of skin you have. Firstly normal skin is a rarity, normal skin is like the skin children have, its neither dry or oily, theres no visible pores nor shine, it has a good texture and colour, no spots, blackheads and is plump and has good elasticity. Now how many of us can say we have normal skin? Oily skin often has visible pores particularly down the 'T zone' of our faces, it becomes shiny very quickly, it is prone to blackheads and spots, its doesn't have dry, flaky patches and often has a sallow colour about it and make up slides of the face quite quickly. Dry skin, has no obvious pores, doesn't have a tendency to blackheads or spots, can have flaky itchy areas, often feels tight after cleansing and a tendency to line and can often be more highly coloured. Combination skin is by far the most common type of skin, it often has an oil 'T zone' with normal, if your lucky outer areas or dry cheeks. It is a combination of either of the aforementioned types. So you have 4 skin types. Now if only it was that simple but the skin has different conditions that affect it. Firstly moisture, it may surprise you to know that even oily skin can become dehydrated as this is down to moisture content in the skin and not oil. Central heating, changes in temperatures, windy weather and not drinking enough water, too much coffee, tea and cola drinks and alcohol all affect our skin and can lead to dehydration. Oily skin favours better than most as sebum can trap some moisture but not enough to prevent moisture loss. So its important you keep yourself hydrated and drink plenty of water to start with and use the correct moisturiser for your skin type. Moisturiser does what it says, its job is to trap moisture in the skin, with dry skin moisturisers, they generally are more oil based than one designed for oily skin and so on.

Cleansing is a matter of preference but your skin type will guide you as I mentioned early, some people prefer the feel of water on their skin so a rinse off type of cleanser will suit them. But whatever way you cleanse your skin, cleanse it twice once to remove make up and the grime from the day and second to deep cleanse the skin. Which leads me on to eye make up remover. The skin around the eyes is very delicate and is the thinest skin thickness on our bodies so treat it with care. Do not treat it roughly or rub cleanser harshly around the eyes as this will stretch this delicate skin. Eye make up is designed for this sensitive area and not all facial cleansers suitable, check the packaging. Which leads on to all in one cleansers and wipes, these are fine short term but not ideal in the long term. Many of the wipes contain alcohol and irritate sensitive eye tissue and certainly the same wipe should not be used for both eyes due to the risk of cross infection, the same goes for cotton wool pads and tissues.

Toners do we need them? well if you use a water based rinse of cleanser no you don't as the water is suffice to tone and freshen the skin, but if you use a tissue off cleanser yes you do to remove any residue of cleanser and grime. These vary from hydrasols (i.e. rose water) to witch hazel, avoid alcohol on the face as it will remove the acid mantle.

It may surprise you to know that skin after the age of 25 is considered mature but after the age of 25 ageing signs start becoming apparent. Prevention is better than cure and a lot easier. We know from Part 1 how UV light contributes to ageing so be sure your moisturiser contains a sun protection level of at least 15 thats the first thing to be aware of. Drink plenty of water to maintain moisture levels and avoid caffeinated drinks as they are diuretics as encourage the kidneys to excrete more urine and can lead to dehydration. A good balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables to give the cells the right nutrients. Avoid smoking I explained in an earlier article how this ages the skin and does so by ten years. And there is stress, now that is difficult to avoid but there are things you can do, you can lessen its affects by relaxation and I will be giving tips to avoid the damaging effects due to stress later.

Anti-wrinkle cremes, well if you read the earlier article in Part 1 no cosmetic can penetrate the epidermis, so I have to say ladies expensive skin cremes are a total waste of money. The only thing I would say is that avoid products with mineral oil as this oil sits on the surface of the skin, yes it traps the evaporation of moisture but it can block the pores but its fine to use on the body, instead use a vegetable oil based product and by that I don't mean 'Crisp and Dry' some examples are Almond oil, Jojoba oil, Olive oil. With expensive cremes you are paying for the packaging and nice jar. There are temporary anti-wrinkle fixers that work by temporarily tightening up the skin or have fillers and light reflective powders that soften the appearance of lines. Simple things like avoiding squinting in the sun or getting your eyes checked if you have difficulty in reading will prevent many a line forming around the eyes

Aromatherapy cremes and face masks I will cover in a later article


A new book separates beauty fact from fiction

Can you become addicted to lip balm? Does nail varnish really turn your nails yellow? Will an expensive conditioner work wonders on your hair?
In this extract from a new book, the top cosmetic scientists contributing to a popular website called beautybrains.com answer key questions about the everyday beauty products we use.
Yes. Skin is a complicated organ, with multiple layers. The top layer, the stratum corneum, consists mainly of dead, dried-up cells, and as those cells flake off they send a signal to a deeper layer of skin - the basal layer - to produce fresh skin cells.
Hooked: You can become addicted to lip balm as you can train your lips to rely on it to become moisturised
Hooked: You can become addicted to lip balm as you can train your lips to rely on it to become moisturised
This is the process of cellular turnover. When you apply lip balm regularly, you create a barrier that prevents the evaporation of moisture from the inner layers of skin. Since the top layer isn't drying as much as it would normally, the basal layer stops getting the signal to produce new cells and slows down production.
When you stop using lip balm, your lips dry out and your basal layer must start producing new cells again. But since your lips already feel dry, you apply more lip balm.

Once that application of lip balm has worn off and there are no new, plump, moist skin cells to replace the ones drying out, your lips feel dry again and you have to apply more lip balm. And so on, and so on. Use balm too often and you'll train your lips to rely on it.


  • Wear a clear base coat under coloured polish to protect your nails from staining.
  • Choose a formaldehyde-free varnish.
  • Use a nail varnish remover with a whitening formula - most brands do them - or soak your fingertips in ½ cup of water and the juice of one lemon for up to 15 minutes, once a week, to remove stains.
  • Never try to scrape or file away stains: you'll damage and weaken the nail
Some of the darker-coloured polishes can stain nails because of a chemical reaction between the colorant and the nail plate.
This reaction is hard to predict because it doesn't happen to everyone or for every dark colour. It can also take a few days to a few weeks to occur.
Formaldehyde is one of the hardening ingredients used in some nail polishes. It can react with the keratin protein in nails to make them brittle and yellow.
Yes - by irritating your lips and causing them to swell.
That tingly feeling when you apply them is not in your imagination; your lips are reacting to a menthol-type chemical called menthoxypropanediol used to stimulate the skin.
The plumping effect is only ever slight, and temporary. It's not a good idea to use them often because they might damage your lips.
Will designer conditioners such as Philip B's White Truffle Conditioning Crème - which retails at an astonishing £65 (spacenk.co.uk) - make a difference?
Cheap conditioners, priced at less than £2, don't usually contain silicones, which are among the most effective smoothing agents. Once you get over that £2 barrier, the differences are less significant.
Buy what you like and can afford: Many expensive conditioners have the same ingredients as cheaper ones
Buy what you like and can afford: Many expensive conditioners have the same ingredients as cheaper ones
Pantene and TRES emme are among the best conditioners we tested and they're not expensive.
Even the high-end brands use the same basic ingredients as products costing £5 or less. As we always say, you should buy what you like and what you can afford.

An estimated 50 million unused skincare products are gathering dust in UK bathrooms
We've all read the instruction on the packaging - 'apply cleanser in an upward motion' - but we aren't aware of any scientific need for this.
Our guess is that this is just marketing-speak.
Maybe the manufacturers think that since gravity drags your skin down, pushing your skin up will help get rid of wrinkles. It won't.
Extracted from Can You Get Hooked On Lip Balm? by Perry Romanowski, published by Harlequin Books S.A. © 2011 Perry Romanowski. You can order a copy via millsandboon.co.uk and other ebook retailers.


The effects of ultra-violet on the skin are a mixed blessing!

Some is beneficial, necessary for the formation of vitamin D, some is harmful. Much of what happens to the skin as a result of ultra-violet light is the result of the skin trying to protect itself and the body inside from the harmful effects of an excess of the rays; the skin is quite effective at preventing the rays penetrating deeply into the body.

The Stratum Corneum is a major factor in this prevention (see diagram below)

Reflection of rays by layers of the Stratum Corneum

The Stratum Corneum is maintained at such a thickness that with the ‘usual’ intensity of ultra-violet falling on it, very little passes through and no damage is caused to the live cells beneath. The Stratum Corneum of exposed parts of skin such as the face, neck and hands will be thicker than those parts normally covered by clothing.

However, exposure to higher than normal intensities of ultra-violet will allow sufficient rays to pass through the epidermis possibly to cause damage to the living cells underneath.

Penetration of Ultra-Violet Rays into the Skin

In a skin, which has active melanocytes producing melanin pigment granules, this extra ultra-violet will develop the colour of this melanin, resulting in a Tan.

But not everyone’s skin is in such a state of readiness; their melanocytes may be inactive, as a result damage will be caused to the live cells. The result reddening, discomfort, may be even blisters and peeling i.e. Sunburn.

Regardless, more UVB rays will penetrate to the Stratum Germinativum to stimulate its dividing cells into greater activity, this will produce new epidermal cells at a more rapid rate and this will eventually thicken the Stratum Corneum, thus helping to reflect UV rays.

The general increase in the skin’s metabolism reflects throughout the body in creating ‘a feeling of well-being’.
The physical, physiological and psychological effects of Ultra-Violet

Beneficial effects:
  • Vitamin D production
  • Stimulation of Metabolism
  • Tonic Effect
  • Has slight Germicidal effect on the skin
  • Causes hyperkeratinisation (thickening described as above), which is thought to help with some skin conditions such as Acne Vulgaris and Psoriasis.

Screening responses against excess:
  • Suntanning
  • The irritant effect of sunburn
  • The thickening effect of the Stratum Corneum

Damaging effects:

  • Short term – Sunburn
  • ***Long term – Premature aging, thickens the epidermis giving a ‘leathery’ appearance, irreversibly damages Collagen and Elastin fibres, causes dehydration, can cause allergic reactions, can produce dark pigmentation patches; Skin Cancer.

Vitamin D Production

A normal varied diet including dairy produce will supply all the vitamin D required; however through sunshine the vitamin may be made in the body with the help of ultra-violet.

In the body there are two substances, which can be converted into vitamin D, these precursor substances are 7-dehydrocholesterol and ergosterol. When vitamin D is required these substances are moved to exposed skin where using ultra-violet energy these substances are converted to Vitamin D.

The potential for making vitamin d in the skin is so enormous that merely exposing the face for less than an hour on an overcast December day will make all that is required for the day, the body is able to regulate this however so a days long sunbathing will not cause over production.

***How too much sun and UV light damages and ages the skin


Having good skin doesn't have to cost a fortune, you do not have spend a lot of money of products and indeed many beauty products can be found in your food cupboards and fridge. Ideally these masks should be applied over gauze as it makes it a bit easier to clean up afterwards and its easier to use gauze with the help of a friend as you can lie down and relax whilst the friend applies. You can use your fingers to apply the products and professionally you would use a mask brush however any small paint brush or pastry brush would do, but for hygiene's sake keep it specifically for this purpose. The ingredients can be combined or applied to specific areas e.g. in combination skin apply avocado to dry cheeks and lemon juice to the Tzone across the nose etc. They should be applied for 5 to 10 minutes

If any of the ingredients like any other product you use on your skin feels uncomfortable and irritated, remove at once throughly with damp cotton wool and rinse well with cool water.

Natural Masks
Natural Masks must be prepared immediately before use, as they contain no preservatives a blender/food processor is best to mash up the ingredients failing this a fork and or sieve.

Is nourishing for dry skin owing to the high oil content of the fruit, especially suitable for mature skin and rich in Vitamin B and E

Egg White

Has a tightening effect and especially suitable for crepey skin on the neck.

Egg Yolk
Rich in B6 and nourishing for dry skin.

Has a natural antibiotic effect, it is a highly effective emollient, softening and smoothing the skin.

This fruit is a rich source of Potassium, and is an ideal emollient, good for sensitive skin.

This has a cooling and soothing effect yet can gently stimulate the skin.


Rich in Vitamin C, i.e. Ascorbic Acid, this restores the skin’s natural acid mantle and helps fight against ‘Free Radicals’ being an anti-oxidant.

Natural Yoghurt
Restores the skin’s natural acid mantle and has a cooling soothing effect.

Rich in Vitamin E, a natural anti-oxidant that fights against the effects of ‘Free Radicals’ therefore helps lessen the effects of ageing and aids healing.

Lemon Juice

This has a refining action on oily skin, tightening and refining the pores and restoring the skin’s pH balance, due to its acidic action.


Especially good for dull sluggish skin, with a build up of dead skin cells, a highly effective exfoliant (removes dead skin cells) Mix with water or any of the other ingredients to form a paste.


Being slightly acidic aids and restores the natural acid mantle.

Kiwi Fruit
Rich in vitamin C restores the skin’s natural pH balance and fights against ‘Free Radicals’. Like Strawberries suitable for younger skins or Combination, especially the oily ‘T.zone’.

A rich Humectant and ideal for dehydrated skin. (Humectants attract water. are natural moisturisers) and also a source of salicylic acid therefore aids desquamation. (removing dead skin cells)

Like apple a good humectant, but without the same amounts of salicylic acid.

Tea Bags

Have a cooling and tightening effect, due to the effects of the anti-oxidants, biflavanoids and caffeine, fight ‘Free Radicals’ and aid in the improvement in tired puffy eyes.

Teabags or Cucumber slices can be used over the eyes

At the end of the treatment time, the gauze should be rolled up carefully and back as this makes its quicker and easier to remove. You should use damp cotton wool pads to remove the product, then follow with your usual toner and moisturiser


Now the golden rule is you don't squeeze spots as you can damage the skin, cause bruising and scarring and spread infection, but let's be honest we have all done it. If you must do this, then do it correctly in the way us beauty therapists do. Only spots that are ripe and have a 'white head' can be extracted any other kind can lead to problems of spreading infection etc.
You need to open up the pores of the skin first and this can be done in one of two ways, both by heating the skin. Either by steaming the skin, must not be done if your skin is highly vascular or you suffer from broken capillaries or acne rosacea, or by the use of a hot compress but again not if you suffer from acne rosacea. If you have a few broken capillaries you can protect the areas affected by petroleum jelly before applying the compress.
For the compress you will need a freshly laundered small hand towel wrung out in as hot water as you can bear and is comfortable on the face, and protect your hair with a shower cap. 
Also required are:
  • A pair of PVC or latex gloves
  • Clean tissues
  • Teatree essential oil if not sensitive to it or Lavender essential oil, failing those antiseptic lotion
  • Damp cotton wool pads for the eyes
Wring out the small hand towel in the hot water and fold in half length wise and lying semi reclined drape it over the face placing the centre of the folded towel on the chin and draping it over the cheeks and up onto the forehead leaving out the nostrils to enable you to breathe. Cover your eyes with the damp pads and relax for 5 minutes.
Not only does this open the pores to prepare for spot extractions it also moisturises the skin.
Wash your hands throughly and glove up and covering a finger on both hands, index fingers are ideal and using the diagram here as a guide, push down under the spot and trying to meet the fingers together underneath it, this will apply pressure within the hair follicle and cause the spot to rupture, this expressing the excess sebum and dead white blood cells, which make up the white matter in the spot along with a little serous fluid. Using a clean cotton bud apply a little neat teatree or lavender essential oil or antiseptic fluid. For additional spots you must use clean tissues over your gloved fingers for each spot. Whatever you do, if the spot wont budge don't force it as you will cause broken capillaries in the skin, and these are permanent or spread the infection further. In this case apply a little of the a fore mentioned essential oils and leave alone, they will ripen in there own good time
Treating spots in this way is not a substitute for good skincare however and more often or not dirty fingers or make up brushes are common culprits leading to spots. There are many reasons for break outs from hormone imbalances, to poor hygiene, stress or bad skincare. If you have full blown acne, then I urge you to seek medical advice as there are many effective treatments to alleviate this distressing condition.


Well remember this blog is about being beautiful inside and out. Being beautiful on the inside is important for this will give you lasting radiance that just concentrating on the outside wont do, however it's still important to take care of yourself on the outside too.

I have addressed the important of looking after your skin and its not just how you treat it cosmetically that's important. Your skin is the largest living organ in the body and like any other organ in the body it needs good nutrition and I've discussed as well as that you also have to care for it and be aware that the environment can also cause damage.

Today however I am going to look at quick tips to improve your appearance. Firstly in good light study your face and get to know it. what shape is your face, is it round, long, do you have a big chin? Most beauty guides will tell you how to camouflage the bad bits and sure you can do this by shading out areas you don't like and highlighting areas that are your best features, but all this takes up time and if you are busy and have work to go to or a small baby you simply don't always have the time or energy. So secondly make a note of these bad bits and then forget about them now look at your best features. Everybody has some for most people its their eyes but some will have beautiful cheek bones others will have a lovely shaped mouth, it is these features you are going to play up.

You don't have to spend a great deal of time on your make up routine to make the most of your good bits. Even if you don't have the time to do a whole make up play up your good features. Some staples and essentials for your make up bag are a natural lip coloured pencil, slightly darker than your natural lip colour, lip pencils stop your lip stick bleeding through and keep that well groomed look, a pearlised bronzer, this is multi purpose it can be used as a highlighter/shaper and eye shadow, and a lipstick in a natural pink slightly darker than your lip colour, is should be neither to pearly or too matt and a lip gloss.

If you can providing you have no allergies, have your eyelashes tinted, it will save you masses of time and it tints the pale tips that even dark lashes have.

If your eyes are your best feature make a note of the colour and have an accessory such as earrings, a necklace or even a scarf, with the same colours, subconsciously to onlookers it will draw attention to your best feature by doing this, on lookers are not going to bother looking at your not so good features. Remember too if you are following a healthy diet and drinking lots of water and taking care of yourself mentally and emotionally as well as physically your eyes will shine and radiate that inner beauty and contentment. They are not called 'the windows of the soul' for nothing. 

My lashes
If I don't have the time all I do is just wear false lashes and they are not so difficult to apply as you might think. I will just apply moisturiser and the lashes and thats me done and ready in a few minutes flat. There are so many styles to choose from and I normally cut a pair in half so I get two pairs for the price of one and apply them to the outer lashes only. The key is practise and draw on a line close to the lash edge before you apply the lash it makes it easier to see where to apply them and the adhesive dries and takes on the colour of the eye liner. When the adhesive is dry and it only takes a minute or two apply the liner over the eye lash band and there Voila ready to go.

If you have good cheek bones highlight them by quickly brushing your bronzer over them take it up to the temples you can even gently sweep it over the eyelids and with your finger apply some to your lips and top with bronzer, there done.

One of the quickest way to add colour and lift the face is by lipstick but if this is all you are going to wear in a hurry don't use to dramatic a colour else it will be over powering a lip pencil will stop it bleeding and apply to the out edge of the lips just inside the lip line to slim lips and just outside the lip line to plump them up. Remember too dark shades will make lips look smaller and paler glossy/pearlised/frosted shades will make them look bigger


Before using any new product particularly on the skin its a good idea to patch test on a tiny area where you wish to apply it and leave it unwashed and alone for 48 hours, if there is no reaction then its safe to go ahead and use the product.
Aromatherapy oils MUST NOT BE USED UNDILUTED and for the face the dilution is 1%, this is because the face is close to the nose and therefore the limbic system.

For this recipe you will need a base creme and its best to obtain one from an aromatherapy supplier as they are designed to be used for blending. The active ingredients in this recipe are the essential oils themselves and not the base creme.

Essential oils
On the skin this oil helps regenerate helps smooth out wrinkles, it has a firming action, and helps balance sebum levels. The ancient Egyptians used this essential oil in mummification, therefore if it helped preservation it makes sense that it will help preserve the skin.

Helps promote new cells again has a balancing effect on the skin and speeds up healing, so its especially effective at dealing with break outs.

This essential oil is also a good skin oil, particularly for rough dry areas and soothing for inflammed areas.

You will also require the contents of a Vitamin E capsule or a few drops of wheatgerm oil (which is high in Vitamin E) this extends the shelf life of the creme but more importantly Vitamin E is a powerful anti free radical agent and helps sooth the skin.

This creme is best used at night however if used during the day you would require the addition of a sun protection factor as UVA light ages the skin (see earlier articles on the skin)

To make a 1% dilution the ratio is as follows 1drop of essential oil to 100 drops of carrier oil/creme

1% dilutions
  • 5 ml:1 drops
  • 10 ml:2 drops
  • 15 ml:3 drops
  • 20 ml:4 drops
  • 25 ml:5 drops
  • 30 ml:6 drops
Therefore if you use a 30 ml jar of base creme you will need 6 drops of essential oil in total so for this recipe add 2 drops each of Frankincense, Lavender and Patchouli, add the contents of the Vitamin E capsule and stir well with a clean spatula. The preparation should last for 3 months and should be kept in a cool place out of direct sunlight.


The £8.49 jar of honey that can be used as a face mask and 'reverses signs of ageing by 10 years'

A new 'sticky' face pack made from honey which claims to reverse the ageing process by up to 10 years goes on sale today.
Active Chilean Rainforest Honey is said to smooth fine lines on the face, neck and hands while tightening the skin.
Used twice a day for 20 minutes, it is also said to be twice as good as normal moisturisers at reducing stretch marks, and for preventing sunburnt skin from peeling.
Bee's knees: Active Chilean Rainforest Honey is said to smooth fine lines on the face, neck and hands while tightening the skin
Bee's knees: Active Chilean Rainforest Honey, which costs £8.49 a jar - is derived from the nectar of the Quillay, Tineo and Ulmo trees, native to the Valdivian rainforest of southern Chile
Studies show the honey - which is also edible - is significantly more potent than Manuka, the much-hyped 'superfood' from New Zealand.
Active Chilean Rainforest Honey is already a phenomenon in America - the obesity and sunbed capital of the world - where sales have grown by 400 per cent since April.
Boots and High Street health food stores say they are expecting an 'unprecedented rush' in the coming weeks.
Jamie Christie, of British manufacturer The Active Honey Company, said the anti-ageing properties came as a surprise.
But he added: 'Active Chilean Rainforest Honey is a wonderful product as it can be used in such a variety of ways. 
Miracle product? Used twice a day for 20 minutes, it is also said to be twice as good as normal moisturisers
Miracle product? Used twice a day for 20 minutes, it is also said to be twice as good as normal moisturisers
'The latest, it appears, is for a facial mask.
'It is incredibly popular in the United States and, judging by the feedback we've received, it looks set to become something of a 'hit' in the UK, too.'
The honey - which costs £8.49 a jar - is derived from the nectar of the Quillay, Tineo and Ulmo trees, native to the Valdivian rainforest of southern Chile.
Unlike normal supermarket honey, which is pasteurised, it contains a treasure chest of 'raw' nutritional value including an abundance of vitamins and minerals.
Local Chilean tribes have used it to treat wounds and common skin ailments for centuries. But modern practitioners are recognising its value, too.
It is naturally acidic, high in antioxidants, and releases a small amount of hydrogen peroxide that has been shown to fight the three types of bacteria that commonly infect wounds - including the notorious MRSA 'superbug'.
A clinical study in 2009 by the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin found Active Honey from Chile killed more bacteria than its 'rival', Manuka.
The secret to Chilean Rainforest Honey's anti-ageing properties could lie in the presence of enzymes, which break down scar tissue and make ageing and sun-damaged skin more elastic.
There have been no clinical studies but the company claims the users have reported looking ten years younger in a matter of weeks.
Mr Christie said British consumers have already placed almost 1,000 online orders in the last fortnight.
'It's one of the most exciting skincare products to hit the shelves in Britain for a decade, no question,' he said.
But he admitted: 'Chilean Rainforest Honey does have one, small drawback when used as a face cream - it's a bit sticky.' 



I found this great site "thefactsabout" by the cosmetic, toiletry and perfumery association

Safety matters

Ever wondered about the latest scare story and whether your cosmetics are safe? Read why you shouldn't worry.

Beauty matters

Being confident in our appearance can increase our self-esteem. Find out why a 'bad hair day' affects us so much.

BEAUTY ON A BUDGET (A review on E.L.F.)

For those of you who know me, you will know apart from being a Psychic Medium and writing books, I used to be a college lecturer in Beauty Therapy and Holistic therapies, I trained therapists who came from all over the world and many of them went on to open spa's internationally. Now my personal preference is MAC but it can be expensive if you want to experiment or as a student who wants to obtain a large range. I have started using E.L.F. Cosmetics and I love their philosophy "Beauty comes from feeling and looking your best. an inner confidence that translates to the outer world as attractiveness." It's very much as my own and my reason and philosophy for beginning this site here. Of course I take and even more holistic route and going further than cosmetics, however cosmetics make a woman feel good and give her confidence, so it's with pleasure to discover the range of their products. Their brushes are excellent value and professional quality and they have a wide range.

Their range of colour cosmetics and palates are brilliant. OK you wont get the fancy packaging but the quality of the products are excellent, finely milled unlike some other cheaper brands and very blendable and long lasting. Lipsticks are £1.50 and their waterproof pen eyeliner you won't be able to fault it and I use their products myself, so I've tried and tested them. I'll still periodically use MAC as I love the luxury of it and the packaging but with the way the economy is going we are going to see and hear a lot more from E.L.F.

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e.l.f. philosophy 

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Beauty comes from feeling and looking your best. an inner confidence that translates to the outer world as attractiveness.

In today's world, beauty and wellness go hand in hand - it's a holistic approach that places good health and wellbeing at the center of what it means to be truly beautiful. Beauty comes from feeling and being your best, an inner confidence that translates to the outer-world as attractiveness.

e.l.f.'s philosophy is that beauty comes from within and it's our goal to enable every woman to look and feel her personal best through the perfect blend of both the inner and outer person. With that goal in mind, e.l.f. cosmetics was born - a line of simple, luxurious, problem-solution tools that allow you to showcase and believe in your unique, personal beauty. Our cosmetics are designed to improve and accentuate the individual, not hide her away.

We at e.l.f. believe that innovative technology, quality ingredients and superb delivery systems should not be limited to prestige retailers. Every woman should have the opportunity to participate in innovation, without sacrificing her budget. We hope you agree and invite you to experience e.l.f.'s revolutionary, value-priced cosmetics and the proven results they offer.


A beauty blog this time as this site is holistic i.e mind body and spirit and aimed to create beauty inside and out.

I discovered this fantastic oil from my friend Dony a lovely Italian lady who gave me the link to SIMPLY ARGAN I had started using the oil on my skin and its a fantastic product but have now started using this on my hair and anything that makes my hair easy to manage is a miracle product to me. I had been using expensive branded serums on my hair, as when I wash my hair it resembles a sheep dragged through a car wash, but this oil is much better and of course a fraction of the price as a few drops goes a very long way. For once I didn't look like a blow dried sheep! It's rich in antioxidants that wonderful Vitamin E well known for its repair and anti ageing effects. It doesn't leave the skin or hair oily either as it is not a mineral oil.



Argan Oil Benefits and Information

Argan Oil is a very rare and precious oil which has been used for centuries by the Berber tribes of Morocco. Its secret properties, which have enhanced the beauty of Moroccan Women for thousands of years, have in more recent times been discovered in other European countries such as France, the centre of the beauty world, where it is now well known for its cosmetic benefits.

Think of Argan Oil as food for your skin. You will be well aware of the need for your body to be nourished with vitamins and minerals. The same is true for your skin which, in the modern age, may suffer deprivation of its natural oils and nutrition because of environmental stresses and the over use of makeup, which in turn deprives your skin of the necessary levels of collagen and hydration.

Argan Oil is extremely rich in vitamins (particularly vitamin E) and is unrivalled by any natural and manmade product in providing its unique blend of natural oils, minerals and fatty acids. Simply Argan helps repair damaged and maintains healthy skin, protects against free radicals and nurtures hair, nails and lips.

Argan Oil is renowned as the natural anti-ageing cosmetic product. It is rich in freulic acids, eight essential fatty acids, carotenoids, anti- oxidants, sterols, saponins and polyphones. It also contains very high levels of vitamin E which is essential for the skin. It even contains Squalene which has been reported to protect against skin cancer . It is this unique blend of natural, rare and essential components that makes Simply Argan work wonders, maintains your body’s radiance and turns back time! Simply Argan works by nourishing and moisturising your skin with pure unadulterated Argan Oil, containing absolutely no artificial colouring, preservatives or perfumes.

The anti-ageing properties of Argan Oil are well documented with its unique blend of properties restoring the skin’s lipid layer and thereby improving the skin’s health and beauty. Free radicals are eradicated from the body by the oil’s natural anti-oxidant properties which are essential in protecting the skin against the rigours of today’s society.

Argan Oil is obtained from the kernels of the Argan tree which is now virtually only found in the Argan forest of South West Morocco, a tiny area in world terms.

How to Use Argan Oil

Simply Argan should be massaged into the skin, hair, nails and lips as a matter of routine. It is non greasy and absorbs well into the skin.

Only a small quantity about 2-3 drops is required which should be warmed in clean hands and gently massaged into the required area in an upward and outward circular motion on the skin with the fingertips, with care taken in applying around the eyes and other sensitive areas.

Simply Argan Oil is fantastic as a moisturiser and night cream!

For a luxury bath about 2-5ml of Simply Argan should be a added to some water before the bath is fully filled to ensure an equal consistency in the water.

For stretch marks, eczema, chicken pox, acne, psoriasis, scars, inflammation, arthritis and joint pain massage more generous amounts into affected areas.

For dry and damaged hair, or to reduce frizziness and improve the natural shine of your hair, simply rub a small amount into the hair starting at the roots and massage to the ends. Leave on for about 30 minutes and then shampoo out on either wet or dry hair. For damaged or very dry hair you can leave it on overnight. (I used it as a serum on wet hair, spreading a few drops warmed in my palms and spread through wet hair before blow drying. No more Sheep Hair!)

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I am often asked various questions pertaining to the spirit world and various aspects of the psychic, here are some of them: I will in time feature more questions and answers as this webpage evolves

Q. Is a psychic or medium a fortune teller?
A. It may surprise you to know psychics and mediums are not fortune tellers
Q. Is it possible to forecast the future?
A.Well not 100% and this is because of free will.
Q. What is free will?
A. Free will is YOUR right to decide what you want to do about a situation, it is a choice
Q. How does free will affect a situation?
A. Well before we incarnate as Spirit in a human body, we decide on what experiences and challenges that will benefit our spiritual growth. However we are given the choice (free will) as to whether we go through with the experience or challenge. In effect we are allowed to change or mind.
Q. So are you saying we all know what lies before us?
A. Well in a way we all do. Remember we are 'Spirit' in a human body and your spirit does retain a memory but it is deep in our subconscious. This memory is retained deeply for a reason to help us fulfill our experiences and challenges we ourselves chose. However it is also at this deep level so we are not so aware. If you knew what lay before you would you go through with it? Probably not but we still retain this memory deeply and this reflects in our Aura.
Q. So what is the Aura?
A.The aura is The Aura is an electromagnetic field that surrounds living bodies, this includes people, animals, plants and crystals and is composed of several layers that are constantly moving. The Aura links us to whats known as Universal energy i.e. that is all the knowledge in the Universe past, present and future. It is on this aura that psychics are able to tap into and access your past, whats going on in the present and the possible future and I say possible specifically if your goal or desire is dependent on other people, for remember every person involved in a situation has free will.