WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

Recipes, rituals and other stories to realign the body and mind

Natural Living

We Need To Talk About The Full Moon?

Commisions, Lifestyle, Moon Time, Natural Living, Rituals, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment

Danielle Copperman, author of 'Well Being: Recipes and rituals to realign the body and mind', shares some insights into the affects of the full moon and practices to help you align with it.

The Moon and its various phases is something I have been interested in for a while now. Since first learning about how the cycles of the moon work and how they influence so many things - from animals and humans, to tides and climate - I have been curious to find out just how much the different phases can effect our day-to-day lives. There is a lot of information and many references to the moon these days, particularly to the full moon - which is mockingly blamed for manic mood swings and rolling bad luck. But just how much does the moon really influence us, how exactly does it influence us, and what can we do to really align with it in order to get the most from its powerful energy?

I believe that when we really tune in to what’s going on in the Universe, we can instantly begin to understand ourselves, our environment and others around us on a much deeper level. The phases of the moon is a good place to start, as it introduces you to the idea of energy, and how everything is interconnected. Everything is energy, and understanding how the energy of the universe influences our individual energies has been life-changing for me.

The moon holds a different energy at different times of the month. The moon’s cycle is around 28 days, and during this timeframe, it goes from new moon to waxing moon to full moon and then waning moon. When the moon is waxing, it is essentially growing, and as it grows, it brings an energy of abundance, meaning this time of the month is an ideal time for you to manifest what you want. When the moon is waning, it is essentially shrinking, and that is why this time of the month is an ideal time for letting go and cleansing; be this physically (like tidying and decluttering) or emotionally (like letting go of negative thought patterns or challenges in career or relationships, etc etc). And that’s why the full moon and the new moon are seen as such transformational times. They are the pinnacles of the moon's cycle and are therefore seen to be the most powerful. In this article I’m going to touch on the most popular and perhaps most intriguing; The Full Moon. More on the New Moon next time!

Full moons are powerful but not all are created equally. Usually, we will experience one full moon per month, however sometimes, if we’re lucky, we get two. You can get conventional full moons, but you can also get super moons, blood moons and several other more spectacular and energetically unique full moons. If you delve even deeper, you will learn that each full moon correlates with a certain star sign too, which looks at the full moon in relation to stars and other activity within the cosmos.

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What is a full moon?

The full moon is when the moon is at its fullest. It is essentially when the sun and moon are exactly aligned on opposite sides of Earth, and the entire face of the moon is illuminated by the sun. It is thought that this sense of illumination is present in aspects of our own lives, too, with certain things becoming more illuminated and amplified in the same way as the moon. For these reasons, the full moon is thought to be a time of change and transformation.

How does the full moon affect us?

Generally speaking, people tend to feel physical effects of the moon, as well as mental. Often, during or leading up to the full moon, it’s common to experience more bloating and a feeling of fullness, as well as severe fatigue. And on a more emotional level, the full moon is also thought to amplify mood swings, anxiety, more frequent low moods and sensitivity. It is also interesting to know that in our most natural and harmonious states (i.e. without drugs, alcohol, contraception, other medication and / or poor diet), women are supposed to menstruate either at the new moon or the full moon. It is not surprising, then, that if we are naturally intended to sync with nature, we must have some kind of intrinsic connection to the energies around us. When you also think about how the moon affects water and, more specifically, tides, it is interesting to notice that we humans are made up of around 75% water, and so, if the moon can dictate tides and influence the gravitational pull of our planet, it would make a lot of sense that it might also do the same to us on a smaller scale.

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How to adopt the energy of the full moon and how to handle whatever comes up:

The time leading up to and during the Full Moon is a highly energetic one. It is a time when lots is in flux; it may feel like there is a lot bubbling away and like something is building up and you may feel unsettled, uncertain and ungrounded, but not quite be able to put your finger on it. Whilst the new moon is a time of intention setting and cleansing, the full moon is a much more active time where things seem to be really in motion and up in the air. If you are able to tune into the energy, you can often ground and go with the flow, and be entirely in your power - mimicking the energy of the moon and in fact being super productive and inspired. However, if you are not aligned with its energies, you might experience a constant sense of feeling overwhelmed, confused and lacking direction.

1. My first piece of advice is to honour your energy. Sometimes at a full moon you may have bundles of energy, whilst others you may be super tired and lethargic. The key is to accept however you feel, and understand that it is not necessarily because of anything you have or haven’t done, but is in some cases out of your control. Surrendering like this feels amazing, and it really helps you to tune in to what you need. Sometimes you just need to pause. And at the other end of the spectrum, if you have high energy levels and feel highly motivated, it is also important sometimes to slow down, and not to jump into any rash decisions or make any major changes. Whilst this time can be incredibly inspiring, it is sometimes still best to be open to what comes up, analyse it for a while, and not necessarily act on in straight away.

2. My second piece of advice is to start to take note of when the full moon is approaching. I would suggest downloading one of many free apps, or investing in a moon calendar, to ensure you can schedule in certain things around the full moon (such as seeing friends, a massage, or just doing nothing) and avoid certain things (such as intense exercise, important meetings or self-set deadlines). By doing this you can be not only more aware but also more prepared.

3. Thirdly, take it easy and don’t do too much. It is not just one day that the full moon affects us, unfortunately, but it is often just as difficult or emotional a time in the lead up to the full moon. My advice is to just keep aware of how you are feeling, and take it easy. Don’t try to do too much, instead, turn inwards and dig deep to discover what’s really going on, why you are experiencing certain thoughts or moods, and take time to be grateful for what you’ve got. Having a grateful attitude will attract more experiences and opportunities of the same vibrational frequency. This may sound a bit ‘out there’, but the more positively and abundantly you think, the more of the same you will attract, according to the unwritten law’s of the universe. So, take it easy, take time to take stock, and think positively.

4. Finally, a few tips on making the most of the full moon energy. How should you utilise this powerful time and what can help you in staying grounded whilst manifesting efficiently? For me, it is about taking time to pause and ask yourself a few meaningful questions. How are you feeling, physically and mentally? How is your career? How are your relationships? How is your fitness? Delve deep and try to find the root of any troubling thoughts or emotions, then try to set them right, or do something to change them. To do this, you might do yoga or try meditation, or even sound healing if you don’t have a independent meditation practice. Another thing you can try, to really tune in, is going for a walk, alone in silence or with someone else. Being in nature is incredibly powerful, always, and especially at this time of the month. I often take a cup of tea and walk around my neighbourhood with one of my friends when night has fallen and the moon is bright. Even just gazing at the night sky is an amazing ritual for instantly feeling grounded.

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Once grounded, it can also be useful to write things down or journal. You might want to write about how you feel or write answers to the questions you’ve asked yourself, or you might want to write down things you want to manifest or goals you may have had, or just random bits of inspiration that may have surfaced. I always find it useful to brainstorm at this time of the month, as i often feel quite unsettled and unfocussed. It works for me to brainstorm what i really want to be focusing on, and sometimes this means letting go of certain things or just saving them for another time.

Another way to really nourish and ground at this time, too, is to eat a really natural meal, either during the day of the full moon or the evening of, depending on the time. I like to choose fresh, unprocessed ingredients, such as vegetables and grains, and in the summer I'll keep these raw and in the winter, i'll turn them into some kind of soup, curry or stew, for a more deeply nourishing, comforting and grounding meal.

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So, a lot of information to digest, I know, but in a nutshell, if nothing else, the full moon should act as a reminder for you to slow down a bit and turn inwards; to recalibrate, take stock and to get focused on where you are and where you want to get to. It is a very personal time and can vary from person to person, from month to month, but I would strongly recommend getting to know the phases of the moon in order to get to know yourself a little more, to ultimately live a more informed and empowered life. Honour your energy, and if you're feeling active, get manifesting, and if you're feeling fatigued, indulge and take care of yourself! If nothing else, please go and gaze out at the moon and stars tonight; it will change your mood instantly!

Sustainable Swaps to Live More Consciously ~ for The Welle Co

Commisions, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Rituals, Sustainability, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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KNOWING EXACTLY WHICH EVERYDAY ITEMS YOU CAN SWAP, AND WHAT FOR, GOES A LONG WAY TOWARDS LIVING A HEALTHIER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE LIFE. DANIELLE COPPERMAN EXPLAINS WHY.

Sustainability is a hot topic right now. It’s no secret that human behaviour is taking its toll on the earth and people can no longer deny that the way we act (and more specifically, consume) is unsustainable.

Modern life has progressed so much and whilst we now have more than ever, we also seem to want more than ever, too. We crave more and more possessions, newer and newer things… when in actuality, basic human needs are really very little. As a result of recent warnings, such as the amount of plastic in the ocean equating to more than the amount of fish come 2050 (yikes!), I’m on an ongoing journey of overhauling my lifestyle to make it more sustainable.

I know first-hand that it can seem quite intimidating to know where to start when it comes to making impactful changes. But there are so many things you can do, some large and some small, so I’ve outlined a few of my favourite ‘harmful for helpful’ sustainable swaps below that will help you to reduce your consumption and in turn reduce waste, meaning you will have a much lighter impact on the planet this year.

SAY NO TO…

Single use straws

Say NO to plastic straws! If you absolutely need to use a straw, opt for a paper or bamboo straw or a reusable straw made from glass, silicone, recycled (and reusable) plastic or wood. Luckily, many cafés and restaurants are now ditching the disposable straws for more sustainable options, so this swap is getting easier and easier to incorporate into your lifestyle. You could also buy your own and keep one in your bag ICOE.

Takeaway coffee cups

As much as we all love our coffee, the abundance of takeaway cups being tossed into landfill is absolutely killing the planet. Instead of using takeaway cups, invest in a good reusable option such as a Keep Cup, or a reusable glass, plastic or bamboo takeaway-style cup or flask. Your favourite coffee shop will gladly fill it for you.

Disposable cutlery

Say no to disposable, single-use plastic cutlery from cafés. Instead, invest in reusable bamboo cutlery – this is great because you can keep it in your bag at all times. Alternatively, just keep your standard metal cutlery in your bag (however in my opinion they’re a little heavier, louder and less convenient). This set is super handy and comes complete with straws, straw cleaners and a fabric wrap to keep them together and clean.

Standard cotton buds

Swap your standard, plastic stick cotton buds in favour of those made from bamboo, wood or paper, and ideally with organic cotton. As a bonus, the organic cotton is better for your ears as it contains less harmful dyes than the cotton from a standard cotton bud.

Disposable make up removal pads

Swap disposable, single-use cotton wool pads for reusable versions. You can find reusable cotton rounds, or bamboo options, or even make your own from old fabric. Alternatively, use a muslin cloth or flannel to remove make up (instead of going through loads of cotton pads which take a long time to biodegrade and can harm the environment in doing so). Also, buy in bulk, to save of shipping packaging and transportation miles.

Plastic toothbrushes

Swap your plastic toothbrushes for bamboo ones. If you have an electric brush that lasts for longer, don’t worry too much… but for those of you going through a new plastic toothbrush every month or so, swap to bamboo! You’ll be taking care of your teeth and the environment.

Harmful beauty products

Take a look into your make up bag… how many of your products use plastics, parabens, chemicals and other fillers that are harmful for your skin? Those hidden nasties not only clog your pores but also seriously harm the environment (by circulating in our water supplies). Instead, opt for natural beauty products and keep an eye out for brands with recyclable, biodegradable or refillable packaging.

Fast fashion

We’re all guilty of impulsively spending on a trend that we just had to have… but we could all stand to stop buying so much! Next time you fancy a shopping spree, why not head to a charity, thrift or vintage store or a flea market? You’ll find something more unique whilst also finding a new home for something that could otherwise end up in landfill.

Plastic shopping bags

Not only are plastic shopping bags terrible for our planet and wildlife, they’re relatively flimsy, too… so instead, use reusable tote bags or other fabric bags when shopping. You’ll feel good about making a small swap that helps the planet and you’ll fit more in your bags, too.

Bottled water­

Bottled water costs you a pretty penny and contributes greatly to landfill, with as much as 91% of plastic bottles not recycled. Instead, invest in a reusable water bottle. Reusable bottles also come with great features that disposable bottles can’t complete with (such as fruit infusers, thermos protection and filtration), so shop around and find a bottle that fits your needs.

Supermarket shelf sanitary products

For the women out there, you should really rethink your period management and collection methods. Tampons can be dangerous (TSS, anyone?) and surprisingly, even organic tampons are quite unnatural. During menstruation, your body is detoxing itself so it’s really important to ‘let it out’, so to speak. Moon Cups are the most eco-friendly form of feminine care, and they’re cheaper too! The average period cup can last you up to a decade and has the benefit of being leak-proof (bonus!), so­­­ you won’t have to stock up on sanitary supplies every month.

Simple Lifestyle Hacks for Surviving the Winter ~ for The Welle Co

Commisions, Beauty, Autumn, Essentials, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Rituals, Winter, Wellbeingdanielle copperman2 Comments
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WITH WINTER IN FULL SWING, THE DAYS ARE SHORTER, DARKER AND HARSHER, YET OFTEN WE FORGET TO TAKE THE TIME TO ADAPT OUR LIFESTYLES IN ORDER TO SURVIVE THEM. LONDON-BASED NUTRITIONIST DANIELLE COPPERMAN SHOWS US HOW.

Whilst we take care to brace ourselves for the freezing conditions (think more layers, bigger boots and larger coats), too often we forget to consider the areas of our lives impacted by the cooler weather other than our wardrobes. Instead, we carry on our lives as much as normal, trying to power through and forcing ourselves to continue our usual lifestyles whilst enduring winter’s side effects (such as low energy, low moods, low motivation, skin issues and much more).

For me personally, when the seasons change (and especially during the shift from summer to autumn/winter), I try to make small changes to all areas of my life to help me continue to thrive.

I find that I naturally begin to crave more seasonal foods (which I believe, if we are tuned in to listen to our bodies, is in our innate nature) and honour these cravings;

  • Swap out a few of my daily beauty products

  • Incorporate new rituals such as self-massage and natural movement (even if exercise is the last thing that I feel like doing!)

  • Make space for little moments to pause, take a breather and tune in to acknowledge and honour my energy at least once or twice a week – especially if there’s a lot going on in my life socially or with work. Sometimes, it’s important to learn how to say ‘no’ and the winter is a wonderful excuse for this, so use it!

These little life hacks make a big difference in my life.

Struggling to find the mojo to make it through to the summer with as much energy, inspiration, motivation and positivity as possible?

Try these life hacks and watch your mood improve (you’ll also benefit from supported physiological functions, a thriving immune system and vibrant, hydrated skin – bonus!)

PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOUR CRAVINGS ARE TELLING YOU

We have cravings for a reason and our cravings speak to changes in our activity level, physiological responses and environments.

We crave carbs when we’ve worked out or run or walked for miles. We crave sugar if our blood sugar levels are dipping too low. We crave salt if our blood sugar levels are too high. 

Similarly, at different times of the year and in different climates, we need different things from our food, and nature knows that. It prepares itself for the ingredients that our bodies really need to flourish, and in winter, these foods are usually ones that keep our immune systems strong and keep our energy levels high. They’re also usually warming and grounding.

At the beginning of the year, my seasonal cravings usually include Brussels sprouts, apples, cabbage, chestnuts, mushrooms, dark leafy greens, earthy roots (like carrots, parsnips, pumpkin and beets), blood oranges and grains (like brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat).

I tend to prepare more cooked meals during these colder months as they are easier on our digestion, warm us internally and support circulation. I also try to incorporate apples or citrus fruits into most of my days too, for their abundance of vitamins to protect against viruses.

I also ramp up my adaptogen game during the colder months and add in some new ingredients to replace those I need during the summertime. Adaptogens, herbs and spices play a major part in my daily diet and I find the easiest way to use them is in smoothies or stirred through hot or cold water or plant-based milks. During the winter, I love the SUPER ELIXIR with cacao, mucuna puriens, ashwaganda, cordyceps, reishi, shilajit and maca that really do wonders to keep my energy levels and moods high (as well as keeping those dreaded winter illnesses at bay).

NOURISH YOUR SKIN

My skin always suffers during this time of year and becomes incredibly dry, fragile and sensitive, so I always make sure to switch my lighter and usually water-based summertime products with denser and oil-based products. I also exfoliate less (and use more gentle products when I do) and cleanse as usual. 

Once a month, I also do a steam with essential oils and throughout the season, I use all-natural, organic products made with whole ingredients (without nasty additives or chemicals) and most importantly, lots of natural oils (such as coconut, almond, shea, cacao and essential oils).

If you suffer from dry skin, I’d highly recommend using more oil-based products - or even just pure carrier oils - as they are gentler on the skin whilst providing rehydration and bringing balance back to your complexion. Many people falsely believe that oils will make their skin greasier and blemish prone, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In addition to being nourishing, these natural oils are often antibacterial and antiviral too and as such, keep skin clean.

STEP UP YOUR DAILY MOVEMENT

During the winter, one of the most important rituals to incorporate into your routine (at least a few times a week, if not daily!) is movement. It’s so important to keep things moving and keep your circulation in check with supported blood flow and oxygen intake. If you can’t bring yourself to work out or if it’s just too cold for a run, try to walk places as much as you can. Walking is enough to get your heart rate up so it’s a great option for those who struggle with finding the time or motivation for more strenuous activity during winter.  

It’s super important to find ways to move that are still gentle and not too stress-inducing, as this is a time when most other animals are hibernating… and to some extent, we should be too. But it’s important for us, as we continue to go about modern life and our daily responsibilities, to keep things moving. You’ll feel better mentally and physically for it!

SET YOUR INTENTIONS

Other rituals I like to practice during the winter and particularly at the beginning of the year in January include setting intentions and journaling. This really helps me to reflect on my achievements from the year, focus on what I have and note what I am grateful for – as well as helping me map out my goals for the year ahead.

I also like to use tarot cards or oracle cards if I’m feeling particularly lost, stuck or unmotivated in life. These cards can help to give you a sign, a message or just a nudge in the right direction, and you don’t have to be a pro tarot reader to use them. It works by simply putting your energy into the deck of cards and asking them questions on things you want to know or need some clarity or guidance on. I love this practice and even if it seems a bit ‘woo woo’, if nothing else it helps you to become present and grounded and always gives positive and inspiring information.

BECOME COMFORTABLE WITH THE COLD

This one’s going to hurt, but it’s actually really good for us - mentally and physically - to be exposed to the cold… not for a long time, perhaps, but for short intervals.

That’s why during this time of year, I try to take interval showers a few times a month, which means standing under cold water for 1 minute then returning it to warm water and repeating a few times. It’s like cryotherapy in your own home.

On the other end of the spectrum, it is of course super beneficial to be warm too, and so I’d suggest saunas or steam rooms to be incorporated into your rituals, at least once a month if you can.

When I’m in Sweden visiting my boyfriend, there are places you can go to jump naked into an iced-over lake, and then run quickly (with a robe of course) into a sauna nearby. It’s so invigorating, revitalising and energising and is a wonderful way to move energy, shift blockages and keep your metabolism active.

Danielle Copperman is a qualified nutritionist, food writer and chef based in London. She is also the founder of QNOLA. You can also find Danielle’s book, Well Being, on Amazon.

This Simple (And Cheap) Hack Will Give Your Beauty Routine An Instant Eco-Upgrade

Anytime, Beauty, Essentials, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Sustainability, Commisionsdanielle coppermanComment

The U.N. warned us: We have 12 years before the damage we've done to the Earth becomes irreversible. Instead of letting reports like this paralyze us, let's use them to empower us. The experts are saying it's going to take a mix of large-scale change AND individual action to save our planet—and we want to help you do what you can. Consider our new series your no-excuses guide to cleaning up your act, one step at a time. Today, we're sharing an eco-friendly hack that will clean up your beauty routine.

When it comes to eco-friendly living, I like to think I'm on top of my game. Well, as much as one can be in this day in age.

I made my first step into a more sustainable lifestyle when I worked as a model. Having a behind-the-scenes look into the fashion industry inspired me to make more conscious decisions about my own wardrobe: buy less, recycle more, and support brands championing natural fabrics. Soon enough, I was spending more time browsing secondhand shops and vintage markets than high-end stores—and it felt good. I was excited to start becoming more mindful in other parts of my life too, and my beauty routine soon took centre stage.

The problem: Some beauty tools aren't great for us—or the planet.

I probably don't need to tell you that the green beauty industry is booming. In my opinion, it's great news: Natural products just feel better on my skin, and they also tend to be healthier for the planet since they are free of ingredients like parabens, paraffins, and other artificial compounds that are resource-intensive to manufacture. A lot of them also come in more sustainable packaging, be it recyclable, refillable, or biodegradable.

All of this is great, but I recognise that it's unrealistic to ask people to overhaul their entire beauty regimen in one go. However, even if the average person can't afford to switch over to green products overnight—they CAN easily update some of the tools in their kit.

Over the years, I've made some super simple and economical swaps in my vanity (think: bamboo toothbrushes for plastic ones and refillable floss containers), but finding an alternative for the masses and masses of cotton pads I use to remove makeup is definitely the one that brings me the most pride.

There are a few problems with standard cotton balls or pads: They can't be reused, and they don't biodegrade quickly. Cotton also requires a lot of water and heavy doses of pesticides and insecticides to grow. Cotton pads are often bleached, too, making them more harmful for our skin and more dangerous to the surrounding environment. When you consider that many of us use at least one of these suckers every single day, this ain't good.

The "one small thing" solution: Ditch your cotton balls or makeup rounds for a reusable option.

I've managed to ditch disposable cotton rounds for a reusable alternative that is kinder to the planet, gentler on my skin, and super absorbent. Win, win, win!

These days, it's pretty easy to find a pack of reusable cotton pads made using 100 percent cotton, fleece, or bamboo online. They often come in the same shapes and sizes as standard cotton pads—the only difference is you can still get more than one use out of them. I usually use the same one about three or four times during the week. Then I simply add it to the rest of my laundry. Most shop-bought reusable cotton pads come in packs of five-plus, meaning you can continue to use fresh ones while the old ones are in the wash.

My Favourite options are these, these, these, these and these. Some come in quite large pack sizes, but share them out with friends or family if you don’t think you’ll get through them all yourself. The more people making small sustainable changes the better!

Keep in mind: Cotton pads are not always guaranteed to be 100 percent cotton and sometimes contain synthetics like rayon or viscose. Read your labels carefully!

If you don't want to shell out the cash for these (though they are cheap!), you can simply use a muslin cloth the same way you would a cotton pad, focusing on one corner of it at a time and rinsing with hot water between uses. When it's time for a refresh, simply add it to the rest of your laundry. You can also make these yourself from old clothes or scrap fabrics.

Even if you don't use cotton rounds to remove makeup, there's bound to be part of your beauty routine that adds up to a lot of trash. Identify it, then see what you can do to cut back.

With all the information out there about how to make eco-friendly changes urgently, it can be intimidating to know where to start. The good news is, there are an infinite amount of tweaks each and every one of us can make that will ladder up to larger change. And these changes can be as small as a cotton ball.

Read the full article here.

How to Self Massage ~ For Ecoage

Commisions, Anytime, Beauty, Natural Living, Rituals, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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Massage shouldn’t be a luxury confined to the spa…

Having a massage is commonly seen to be an indulgent act of self-care; an expensive and quite frankly ‘extra’ luxury that only a fraction of us has the time and money to enjoy. It is very rarely seen as a necessary part of our wellbeing, and especially not a priority in our everyday rituals.

However, since studying Shiatsu and holistic massage last year, I became so interested in the benefits that massage has on both our bodies and minds, and how it can be used not only for relaxation but in many cases to prevent and/or to heal all kinds of physical and mental malfunctions.

When you think of massage, likely an image of a peaceful spa springs to mind, and you associate it with feeling instantly relaxed and calm. That, or it’s an unimpressive setting, maybe even a pop-up massage table in your own home, and a deep-tissue sports-style massage that leaves you grinding your teeth and in more pain than when it began. Either way, aside from it being used for pure relaxation or to reduce physical tension, there are so many other benefits of massage and issues it can ease.

Massage, of course, is relaxing, which makes it a powerful ritual to reduce stress, anxiety and even depression. Also, given the purest oils are used, it can help to make skin softer and more hydrated, and can even be used to soothe and heal irritations or imbalances. Massage can also be incredibly energising, which may seem unlikely when you think of how relaxing they can be (I almost always fall into a deep sleep during mine). But given the right techniques are used, massage can really enliven and invigorate the body and mind, and help enhance energy levels. On the contrary, it can also aid sleep and improve sleeping patterns. But perhaps one of my favourite benefits of massage is how it contributes to internal processes such as circulation, lymphatic drainage and digestion. It can help encourage circulation, reduce toxins, shift stagnant energy and diffuse internal blockages, and even improve digestive issues such as IBS, indigestion, bloating, constipation and more. And one last thing, if you think of the body in terms of energy flow and its meridians, massage used to reduce physical tension can help to redirect the energy flow of the body and mind, having major affects on the mental and emotional, reaching them through the physical and enhancing the connection and communication between the two.

Granted, this information is all well and good but it still doesn’t make going for a massage any more accessible for you, right? Well, the good news is, you can still reap the benefits of massage by doing it on yourself. Or, better yet, getting a partner or friend to help you out once in a while. Make it a ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ kind of scenario? However you choose to do it, dissolve accumulated stress and toxins within the body and mind and enhance your mental and physical performance with a daily, or at least weekly, doses of massage. You can do a full body massage using your hands, with or without oil, improvising as you go, or if you need a little more guidance and inspiration, read on for massage sequences for specific areas of the body.

1. Neck and shoulders

These exercises are great for people who are especially stressed and who hold a lot of physical tension in their neck, shoulders and back. It is great for those hunched over desks all day too, and can even be done at your desk during the day. If you want to make it more of a ritual, use a little oil and take more time over this sequence at home after a long day. This sequence is also calming and relaxing as just the act of focussing solely on this massage can help activate the parasympathetic part of the brain, slowing busy thoughts and becoming a kind of gentle meditation.

How to:

Use the thin edge of your hand and in saw-like motions, gently hack at the neck, focussing on the trapezius muscle - the large muscle that holds up the neck and runs over the shoulders and shoulder blades and even around the upper back. Tilt your head to the left, first, and work on the right side of the neck, then repeat on the other side.

After you have done this ‘chopping’ motion, make a fist and gently use your knuckle to work around the shoulder. Have your right arm hanging loose and limp, and using your left knuckle, work in a sort of Mexican wave motion, moving the knuckles in a flowing motion over and around the shoulder. Then, release your fist and simply use your finger tips and predominantly your thumb to work more deeply into the shoulder area. Repeat on the other shoulder.

2. Face and head

These exercises are incredibly energising for both the body and mind, but are simultaneously calming. Working to energise the face and head increases alertness and can enhance focus and concentration, which makes these exercises perfect at the start of the day.

How to:
Using the fingertips of both hands, start by gently tapping them over the forehead and temples. Move the hands across the forehead and the temples, back and forth a few times. You can use as much or as little force as feels good. Gradually work your way in the same manner up the sides of the head to the top of the head, and move around the entire top, back and sides of the head a few times. Finish by bringing the fingertips forward again to the forehead area.

Next, using your middle three fingers, smooth the eyebrow areas from the centre of the face where they begin, out to the edges. Then get your thumb involved, smoothing it under the eyebrows as the fingers remain on the top of the eyebrows or just away from the face. Next, use the fingertips under the eyebrows on the upper eyelid bone to smooth and massage. I often get puffy here after sleeping so this is a great exercise if you experience the same.

Next, bring the fingertips once more to the temple and press with some force, massaging in a circular motion. Then bring the fingertips to the cheeks and cheekbones. Start by tapping the cheekbones with the fingertips, back and forth from the outer edges of the face towards the nose. Then massage the cheek area using circular motions. You can also smooth the area (this works best if using a light oil), starting at the edges of the nose and smoothing the cheeks a few times, out towards the edges of the face. You should work on the top area, the main middle area and the underneath of the cheekbones. Finish at the edges of the face, towards the ears, and using your index finger, press gently a few times into the bone that joins the cheeks and the upper jaw bone.

Then, work on the jaw area. From the cheek and jaw bone join, drag the fingertips down the sides of the jaw to the bottom join, where you back teeth meet. With you middle three fingers on the bottom jaw bone, had the thumb gently gripping underneath the jaw bone, and work in circular motions to move from the edges of the jaw in towards the chin. Repeat a few times and alternate between using circular motions and just smoothing in one swift movement.

Finally, use the fingertips to move above the jaw into the main fleshy cheek area, over the teeth and around the mouth. Work in circular motions or however feels good to massage into the muscles of the cheeks, and do the same around the area above the upper lip and below the lower lip.

Finish by working around the nose, smoothing up and down the sides of the nose and pressing with your index finger into the corners of the nose. Smooth from the nose slightly out towards the cheeks. This is especially good for sinus issues and to improve breathing .

Finish by using the palms of the hands to rub over the entire face, pulling and stretching however feels good or just lightly brushing over the face to complete the ritual.

*You could also try using traditional massage tools for face massage, such as a marble gua sha, a jade roller or other wooden or stone tools

3. Feet

We demand a lot from our feet to support us, perhaps more than any other body part, yet we rarely consider taking extra special care of them. The following massage technique helps to invigorate the flow of energy and relieve tension within the feet. Through working on the major muscles and pressure points (and meridians) in the feet we can aid many other organs and ailments in the body too, including aches, digestion and inflammation. These exercises are great towards the end of the day, and can also encourage lymphatic drainage, meaning diffusing toxins and waste matter. 

Read the full article here, and find out more about self-massage along with more rituals in my book, Well Being.

How to Boost Your Immunity This Fall ~ for Glasshouse Journal

Commisions, Winter, Wellbeing, Rituals, Natural Living, Lifestyledanielle coppermanComment
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Earlier this winter, I shared my winter wellness tips with Glasshouse Salon - one of my favourite natural / organic hairdressers and beauty salon. Find out how I keep well during the colder, darker months, below.

What do you do during the colder months to boost your immune system? Do you incorporate different things that you might not use during the spring/summer?

Yes, totally. Naturally, my body craves different kinds of foods this time of year. I never used to pay much attention to it but as I become more aware of locally seasonal foods, its super interesting to notice how my preferences adapt. I don't know if its tradition and comfort as the temperatures drop, but i start to crave more root vegetables, dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, spices, curries, soups and broths, as well as tea on tap. So in that sense, i incorporate different ingredients into my diet and cook very different (more hearty and grounding, but also energising) meals. I also take more supplements (like vitamin D, 5 HTP, multivitamins, omega fish oils, zinc, copper, probiotics - depending on how I'm feeling) to support my body's natural immune response. And i continue to drink lots of liquids - lemon and ginger, water, charcoal in water, spirulina in water, greens powders and more. I think the more antioxidants the better. It's also useful to know that sometimes, depending on the type of illness (cold/flu or sore throat or headache) will depend on which remedies work for you. Last christmas my sisters and I were all ill with sore throats (it often happens when we fully surrender and relax and our bodies just shut down!), and we were chugging ginger tea like there was no tomorrow. but it was actually aggravating our throats more. So don't just follow what you read. Do some research and use more gentle herbs, rituals and rest whenever you feel the onset of any ailment.

In terms of beauty, I change up my routine slightly as things like colder, drier weather, heating, wearing layers and more viruses in the air tend to aggravate it. I stick to the same fundamentals mostly, as i find my skin gets confused if i change my products too often - and if your regular products are natural and pure enough, they should have a variety of adaptable properties and functions that can provide for all kinds of situations, skin-types and seasons. But I will stop cleansing my face too much with water-based products (as they are more drying), and I tend to use much genteel exfoliation processes, and much fewer masks (changing to sheet masks which I find more hydrating and moisturising). I like to let the natural oils of my face stay as balanced as possible and so i try not to over-wash. I think we over-wash so much these days, that our skins normal and natural PH, oil levels and immunity gets out of whack. If you wash your face less I find the skin is trained and more prepared to cope with bacteria and dirt, as the oils of the skin are our natural protection against these things. It's only really when you've been wearing make up that you need to cleanse thoroughly. A parting note would be not to be scared or sceptical of oils, as i think many people assume they will make the skin oilier. i wear an oil to bed almost every night, and as long as your diet is in check and you are drinking plenty of water, you won't find that natural oils contribute to blemishes or clogged pores like you think they will. what clogs pores is dirt, not powerful and functional ingredients from the earth. Oils are full of essential fats (for cell growth, elasticity and renewal), as well as antioxidants and are antiviral, antibacterial and much more. I use oils as my body moisturiser too, and dry brush to encourage circulation, lymphatic drainage and to remove dead skin.

Rituals I use to elevate my immune system include yoga, movement and pranayama. Pranayama can be really cleansing for the organs and also ensure that breathing is regulated and youre sending enough oxygen around the body for vital functions. I also find movement is vital in order to keep the body feeling alive and active. I use meditation and pranayama to enhance my energy levels this time of year too, as well as yoga and other exercise. I do tapping and shaking (both rituals from my book, Well Being) in the mornings to encourage circulation, to reduce muscle tension and to warm up the body. Hot baths are great when it gets colder, as they regulate temperature. Better more, use a potent mineral-based bath soak to restore essential vitamins and hydrate. I also turn to massage more in the colder months, as the drop in temperature can lead to aching or tight joints, muscle tension and poor circulation. I have the worst circulation and am a cold person most of the year, so in the winter i get really cold hands and feet and my fingers occasionally go completely numb and lose their colour. I use oils on my body to give myself regular massages (especially on my hands, legs and face), to encourage circulation and lymphatic drainage.

I truly believe that illnesses are an indication of a much deeper emotional / mental / energetic / chakral issue. There is so much to learn in this area and it sounds pretty woo woo but it makes perfect sense to me. When I'm anxious or stressed, I always reach burnout and my body just shuts down to show me that i'm trying to make it operate at a pace that isn't normal, and to really force me to stop. When i recently felt super low-confidence, fearful and a little uncertain, I had a sore throat and my chest was tighter than ever. I went to an energy healer and she told me sore throat was associated with not speaking your truth and intense worry. And in the past I have had migraines when i've been too in my own head with thoughts and not living in the present moment. The body is so clever, so if you do feel something coming on, take time to pause and really tune in. Then the real healing can begin. It may not always be something that can be healed with food, supplements or rituals. Although, often at this time of year, illnesses are virus or bacteria based (especially in over-crowded cities), so sometimes its unavoidable and nothing personal at all! Just be aware and then you'll find what you need.

Conscious Gift Guide ~ Christmas 2018

Beauty, Essentials, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Style, Sustainabilitydanielle coppermanComment

This year, a lot of my family are planning to buy gifts for others from charity or second hand shops, or from charity websites where you can buy presents to be sent to people in need, sort of on behalf of your own friends or family (like this website here). Our thinking is that none of us actually really need anything new, and instead of accumulating more stuff and potentially creating more waste, we thought that buying from charity shops was a more sustainable way to do things this year. Don’t get me wrong, we will be buying some things from new, but the focus this year is on what we can find that someone might not especially need but might just like. It feels more creative and somehow more thoughtful.

Granted, you can’t find something for everyone in a charity or second-hand shop, and some people might even be offended to receive someone’s hand-me-down’s, so for other ideas (most of which are ethical / sustainable / organic / eco-friendly / natural), read on.

Goop Exfoliating Instant Facial Mask; the perfect addition to winter skin routines, made with natural ingredients, of which 86% are organic.

Aquis Quick Dry Hair Towel. Such a staple in my daily routine and an ideal gift for anyone into the latest (and healthiest) beauty hacks.

Totally obsessed with this. Apparently, they’re believed to improve energy levels, clear the air of a space, aid sleep, reduce static and electromagnetic energy and reduce stress. It also looks nice and makes my space look more warm and welcoming, so I’m sold.

A gift that’s not just for Christmas. I’ve recently been enjoying the Barbican membership in a quest to get out more and do and see new things, and with all the perks, i’m hooked.

This exfoliating coconut shell face mask.

Anything from here.

This, these, this, this, this, this, this, these and this. Oh, Missoma just has an answer to everything. And even, now, a tray for your trinkets.

Another tray for your trinkets.

For the ‘him’s out there: essential oil shaving cream and soothing essential oil post-shave balm.

Stocking fillers in the form of functional natural nourishment.

Spread sustainability this Christmas, with a Keep Cup for everyone you know. Makes a lovely gift for anyone trying to make more environmentally conscious choices.

These Himalayan pink salt tea light holders.

Cos no one can ever have too many crystals.

Rituals' Ayurveda Candle for inner calm and aligned doshas.

Someone you know has got to love these.

Give beauty lovers something new and natural (and aesthetically pleasing) to try.

Had to drop it in somewhere, didn’t I?

Always love discovering new sustainable clothing brands, and have been living in this, made from recycled materials, all Autumn.

Incredible skincare alert.

One of my favourite recently-discovered activewear brands (especially their collections made from Econyl (ocean plastics up-cycled into a unique eco-friendly thread technology)).

This Goop travel wrap (100% cashmere) is coming everywhere with me. I wear it as a scarf or use it as a wrap to keep warm around the house and on long-haul journeys. Perfect for pretty much anyone.

Palo santo and / or sage, for end-of-year cleansing and new year intention setting.

Anything for anyone from here. I’ve especially been loving this.

These for all the hot drinks to come. Definitely toddy appropriate.

This, this or this for new home owners.

Explore Catch Rhys for eco jewellery. I’m obsessed with their simple, minimal chains.

Can’t recommend Angelica Retreat’s Zone Face Lift Facial enough.

A biodegradable phone case. Clever right?

This frame was a hit with my mum as part of her birthday gift last month.

These or these would make wonderful stocking fillers for spiritually curious, and / or those looking for a little grounding, guidance and clarity as they leave behind 2018 and enter the new year.

For candle lovers who just can’t get enough.

Frederic De Malle for a unique selection of perfume, and such a variety to cater for each and every recipient on your gift list this year. The Dries Van Noten is my current fave.

Rose quartz coasters, anyone?

Some old and new book recommendations: this one, this one, this one, this one and this one. And most importantly, this one.

* My ethos and approach to natural living is to try your hardest to make conscious, sustainable and natural and nourishing decisions as much as possible, but in the modern world in which we live, it’s not always possible or, even, preferable. Whatever I buy new tends to be natural and / or sustainable, but there are the occasional items I am given or I choose to try which are not so pure of heart. That’s why you’ll sometimes find a combination of natural / sustainable and not-so-natural / sustainable suggestions in my posts.

Give a Giving Gift This Christmas

Sustainability, Natural Living, Lifestyledanielle coppermanComment

You’re all aware, by now, that I like to live quite a simplified life most of the time (bar some very glam and pretty extra moments as a model and public figure from time to time but, ya know, without them I may not have discovered how to balance things out and I might not have become quite as conscious about things as I am). Never the less, I like to keep things as simple as possible in all areas of my life, and to me that means using, wherever possible, ethical, sustainable, natural and / or eco-friendly products and practices.

Whilst in some ways, most of the ethical, sustainable, natural and eco-friendly brands I share on here are giving something back by refraining from doing dangerous or damaging things to the planet, the brands and items below go even further. They donate a share of their profits to charitable organisations, supporting many causes and driving forward a variety of projects and initiatives. Whether you’re buying for others or for yourself this holiday season, consider one or some of the below and you’ll be giving a lot more than you realise.

1. Love Welcomes Welcome mats

Love Welcomes is a new social enterprise working to create jobs for Syrian women in refugee camps. They make beautiful products for the home out of recycled blankets and life vests, and every time you buy a Love Welcomes product, you’re supporting a refugee and their family as they begin to rebuild lives shattered by war.

2. Soko Jewellery

Authentic and unique pieces of handmade jewellery, ethically made by local artisans in Kenya from recycled materials. Buying these will mean you reuse rather than buying new, which gives back to the environment in the long run, but also supports the communities of women in Kenya who make each piece. I particularly love these and these. Oh, and this ring.

3. Sseko Designs

Leather goods that do good. Er, yessss. Sseko Designs is an ethical fashion brand that hires high potential women in Uganda to make sandals to enable them to earn money through dignified employment that will go directly towards their college educations. Sseko products are all made in Africa and create jobs, empower artisans and help end the cycle of poverty by building healthy communities and economies. These sandals are the ideal gift for anyone with big travel plans, either this holiday season or in the New Year.

6. Kantha Bae

Kantha Bae has partnered with Basha Boutique to create fair-trade, hand-embroidered fabrics The shop supports Bangladeshi women at risk in trafficking environments and helps them to find a home, a job, and safe care for their children. Kantha Bae’s kimonos (and other items) are made from upcycled vintage silk saris and proceeds from all sales support women survivors in West Bengal, India.

6. Swell Water Bottles

You have surely heard of S’well® by now, but are you aware of the good they do with parts of their profits? They are proud partners of UNICEF USA and help to provide clean and safe water to the world’s most vulnerable communities. Through 2018, S’well is focused on supporting water programs across Madagascar – a country where nearly 50% of the population lacks access to clean drinking water. Explore their water bottles here and their full product range here.

7. Qnola Tote Bags

Throughout December, we are proud to be supporting Unicef UK, donating 25% of all tote bag sales to help support children and communities in danger and need.

8. Sezane x Demain

In 2017, Sezane founder, Morgane Sézalory, created the charity initiative, DEMAIN. The initiative raises funds for projects that improve access to education, culture, and equal opportunities for children around the world. Their latest project, the ‘Promise’ t-Shirt, in partnership with Pencils of Promise, helps support projects with the intention of providing quality educational programming in Ghana, Guatemala, Laos and Nicaragua. I adore the t-shirt and have been wearing it day in, day out.

9. Shop in charity shops

Another way to give gifts that give to others is to shop in charity shops. Anything you buy goes towards whichever charity the shop supports, and if you don’t fancy giving something thats been used, you can usually find brand new things items too. Some stores sell gifts like fairtrade chocolate, teas, hampers and card sets, some even sell fairtrade homewares (Oxfam currently have beautiful woven baskets, throws and rugs), and you can often find clothes, books, DVD’s (I know - old school!) and homewares completely unused and which still have their tags on. At least have a browse ;)

10. Mantra Jewellery x Mind

Mantra Jewllery have partnered with mental health charity, Mind, to help support and champion people living with mental illness. MIND’s intention is to encourage people to talk more about mental illness. In support, Mantra Jewellery have created a pendant with the empowering mantra, Strength, from which 25% of sales will be donated to Mind.

11. House of Sunny

House of Sunny is a super cool and creative fashion brand, specialising in effortless day to day staples. Their sustainability efforts are great and they only release a couple of super consciously-produced collections per year. What’s more, they have teamed up with Project 0, and are donating £3 of every purchase of their Save the World tee, to support Project 0’s efforts to restore and protect the ocean. 

12. Found My Animal 

Found My Animal supports animal adoption and promotes rescue over purchase. They also donate profits from their rope and leather animal collars, harnesses, and other pet accessories to animal rescue organisations around the world. If you won’t be getting or giving a pet this Christmas, why not give consciously to your current pets or those of others?

13. Rumba Time

The Jane Collection of Rumba Time’s watches supports a number of charities, with $2 of each purchase going to either Give Directly or Young Survival Coalition. Inspired by friendship bracelets, you who might like one of these?

14. Marina London

Marina London make beautiful silks in small batches and employ ethical practices and high quality silks. This holiday season, they are giving 5% of all sales within their new Black Collection (dropping soon) to Women for Women - a charity dedicated to helping female survivors of war rebuild their lives. Buy for the party season or gift to others. Or ya know, both.

15. Toms Shoes

Toms - the One For One company - gives a pair of shoes to those in need, for every pair purchased. Not only does TOMS provide shoes, they also provide sight, water and safer birth services to people in need, through a number of different initiatives. Find out more here and shop here. Particularly enjoying their new ankle boots and winter slippers.

16. Mudlove Hanging Planter

The perfect gift for plant lovers or those heading into a new home or redecorating. These handcrafted planters brighten up any space, especially in the know that each purchase provides a week's worth of clean water to a family in the Central African Republic. 

17. Anything from here

Well Being & Other Items ~ The Good Store ~ Now Live

Essentials, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Sustainability, Style, Home + Interiorsdanielle coppermanComment
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Those of you subscribed to my newsletter will have already heard about the newest section of the website - the second hand store! I’m super excited for this as I get so many questions (and offers!) over instagram when I post about my charity or vintage store finds. And now, I want to make as many of the things I find available for you guys. I don’t need anymore stuff, but I always find so many amazing things that I know so many people would find a purpose for.

So many of my friends and some people over Instagram complain that they just never find anything good when trawling through charity shops or navigating the overwhelming and never-ending rails of a vintage store. I, on the other hand, adore it and grew up doing it, so, although I don’t always find things, I often do. You have to have a pretty imaginative approach, at times, as you have to find things that match your style or that you could work into your style. Sometimes, you might have to alter or customise things too, which, quite frankly, no one has time for (I guiltily have so many items that I’ve never gotten around to altering which is such a shame but is also just life). But I think the key is to have an open approach and not to go in there with too much expectation. If you have something in mind that you want to find, the chances are you wont find it. But if you treat the experience as more of an exploratory occasion, you never know what you mind end up discovering. More often than not, you don’t need what you find, but it’s nice to purchase something that is unique and not the same as everything else on the high street, which, by the way, you also don’t need.

The Good Store is something of a side project, in all honesty, and won’t be something that gets updated daily or even weekly. It will be updated depending on authentic sourcing (that is - whenever I or others discover new items) and whenever I or others find the time to photograph and upload the listings. If you have any particular requests for items you would like to find in the store or things you are particularly into or looking for, please leave a comment below.

This store place is an effort to slow down the rate of modern consumption and to provide high quality, pre-loved items that can find new owners / homes and purposes. In this way, by buying from The Good Store, you will be recycling and reusing, instead of buying new and adding to the economical and environmental strains, consequential of our highly demanding, consumerist society.

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+ If you have high-quality items that you no longer want or need, and you would like to sell them via The Good Store, email us via the form below with full details and we will endeavour to have them listed on the site. We will determine a selling price and you will receive a % of profits if they sell.

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You Need to Know About This Natural Contraception - Natural Cycles

Essentials, Natural Living, Review, Rituals, Wellbeingdanielle copperman1 Comment
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You may not be familiar with Natural Cycles. Or, you may have seen it online, advertised on instagram or have numerous friends banging on about it. My guess is the latter.

Natural Cycles is changing the way I think and act about sexual activity and the female body. The app is a method of contraception, available in Europe and the US, 93% effective and completely natural. Not only that, at the opposite end of the spectrum, it also serves as a simple way to plan pregnancy. And if you’re interested in neither right now, A) one day you will be, so keep note, and B) you can also make use of the app for period planning, and simply getting to know your cycle and yourself better. You have a choice of plans available depending on what you want to keep track of; ‘Prevent’ if, as the name suggestions, you want to prevent pregnancy, and ‘Plan’, if you’re planning to conceive.

The Natural Cycles method is comprised of a basal thermometer and an app. It provides a digital space for you to take, collect and store all kinds of data about your cycle - and let’s just be clear, I mean your monthly cycle and not just the period part. You can not only track your basal body temperature (which is what helps to determine your fertility), you can also log whether you’re on your period, whether you’ve taken an LH ovulation test (which analyses the levels of luteinising hormones in your urine to let you know when you’re the most fertile), whether you’ve had sex or not, and add any other notes manually that might be important; for example, mood, energy levels, skin and hair condition, pain / nausea, sleep, diet / cravings, digestion - whatever you like!

The Story

Natural Cycles is the brainchild of Elina Berglund. She discovered that the body temperature changes throughout the menstrual cycle – something that is well-known and well-researched. She then started analysing her own temperature, applying her statistical knowledge from particle physics to detect ovulation and map out her fertile days. Using the techniques she had learned through the Higgs Boson project, Elina created an algorithm to analyse temperature readings, taking factors like sperm survival, temperature fluctuations, variations in cycle length, ovulation day, and the length of the follicular and luteal phase into account to identify fertile and non-fertile days.

She used to plan and monitor everything and her partner suggested she turn the algorithm into an app. Natural Cycles was born. Initially, it not only helped Elina and her partner to prevent pregnancy – but also to conceive when the time was right. In 2013, they announced that they were switching from the app’s “Prevent” mode to the “Plan” mode, and they didn’t have to wait long for good news. “With a little luck, and the precision of the app, we got pregnant the first cycle”.

Now the app is available and used globally and is having positive benefits to understanding how our body functions but also our our relationships, intimacy and awareness.

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How it works & how to use it

Using a basal thermometer provided, you are required to take your temperature first thing each morning (a minimum or 5 times a week) and enter it into the app. You then add the data to your app where it is then processed and logged, and working with your previous recordings and a number of other factors in the algorithm, it highlights whether or not you are fertile. The app will indicate red days as days you need to use contraception to prevent pregnancy, and green days for days when, as far as the algorithm is concerned (and depending on how consistently you have input data), you are not fertile and so unlikely to get pregnant and able to, if you feel comfortable, avoid using any other form of contraception.

A few things to bear in mind

You have to be 18 or older to use Natural Cycles.

To use NC you must ideally have a structured daily routine and are therefore able to manage the discipline and commitment required. Natural Cycles is straightforward to use but requires discipline. It is not simple, and not necessarily for everyone.

You initially need to use the app for a few months before completely trusting it, as it needs enough data and some time to get up to speed with your cycle. To begin with, until it knows enough about you, it will indicate more red days than usual to avoid any risk of unwanted pregnancy.

Users should be willing to measure a minimum of 5 times a week and use condoms on red days. You should also discuss the whole process with your partner, as it is a shared responsibility - which is great!

Natural Cycles encourages couples in a steady, long-term relationship with a structured lifestyle to use the app. It is all about being responsible and taking control, so just because it gives you a green indication, you still might want to be extra careful if you are frequently with new partners and not in a serious relationship yet.

The method does not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

No contraception is 100% effective. Natural Cycles is 93% effective and note that a pregnancy can still happen even if you use a contraception perfectly.

My experience & why I use it

I used to be on the pill, from the age of about 16-22. It always affected me, especially within the first few months of using it when I remember bursting into unnecessary tears in the sixth form common room, totally uncalled for and confused. I personally didn’t get on well with the extra hormones and I feel it affected my weight and my skin slightly too. I persevered though, as, back then, there were few other options. When I got to 22 and was completely changing my diet after discovering more about unnatural foods and how to make the most of natural, healing nourishment, I also began to question why I was taking this pill everyday, which was definitely not natural. In school, you are taught and scared into believing how easy it is to get pregnant, but then when you get to older and you’re trying to conceive, you’re told its only really possible a few days a month. Obviously I understand in school a little extra discipline never hurt anyone, but I wish I had had Natural Cycles as an alternative, had I felt capable and responsible enough to commit to it. I am by no means against the pill or hormonal methods of contraception, however, I’m keen to have a more natural lifestyle and so am very, very pro this alternative at this stage of my life.

People say things like “I came off the pill with plenty of time, to give my body a chance to get back to normal”, which is such a strange sentence to me. It makes me think, shouldn’t we want our body to be in a ‘normal’ state, all the time? I think the pill is good for some people, and I know it is used for other things, such as healing acne and in some cases even balancing hormones, but I think other factors also need to be explored and taken into consideration before depending on a pill, and for anyone wanting to try something hormone-free, I would totally recommend Natural Cycles. It gives you more control and more confidence, I think. It shows that you are taking more responsibility and taking matters into your own hands, and it empowers you with knowing what’s going on with your body. It also brings you closer to your partner as it forces you to ensure that they are also involved and prepared to take part of the responsibly by understanding the process and doing their part, especially on red days.

How to take your temperature using the thermometer

Your questions

Is the pill really bad?

The pill is not bad, however from my personal experience, I didn’t get along well with the effect it had on my hormones and consequently physical and mental health. All though, it’s important to know that the pill carries many additional health benefits for some women.

How confident do you feel not to get pregnant using this and no other contraception?

I had to give the app a few months before I really felt comfortable to trust it. I feel confident that the data is accurate, however, I am still careful on ‘red days’, purely because I am absolutely not at the right stage of my life to even consider falling pregnant just yet. I feel confident and trust the app, however, no contraception is 100% effective. With NC there is a 7% chance of still getting pregnant, so you really need to ask yourself what is important and how careful you think you should be.

How do you know that your change in temp is only due to your cycle?

You need to be disciplined and consistent with taking recordings. You take your temperature before doing anything else - before getting out of bed, before brushing your teeth, before drinking anything - so that your temperature doesn’t deviate due to external factors. If it is particularly warm weather, the temperature is still accurate as your body will still work to maintain its natural body temp. However, it would change depending on if you are ill, sick or hungover. Thankfully, the app has an option to select whether your recording is taken whilst you are ill, sick or hungover, and it treats it as a ‘deviating temperature’. Basically, it doesn’t trust it. You just need to be aware of these things and honest and accurate in the data you provide.

Do you believe it will be reliable?

I would still be a little bit cautious, personally, simply because I am not ready to take any risks. At times of the month where I know there is absolutely no chance that I am fertile, then I rely wholly on this method and, so far so good!

Does it affect with your mood?

Not at all.

How do you know you are taking your temperature correctly?

See diagram above.

Is it more sustainable / eco friendly?

Yes! I guess you won’t be using so many condoms, and you won’t be consuming pills everyday which come in a fair amount of packaging, so less waste in that respect!

If you have any further questions or queries, leave them in the comments space below.

Inside My Apartment & My Sustainable Wardrobe ~ With What's Your Legacy

Beauty, Business Stories, Essentials, Lifestyle, Inspiration, Natural Living, Style, Sustainability, Video, Commisionsdanielle copperman1 Comment

Last month, I welcomed What’s Your Legacy into my apartment and let them nose around my room and delve into my wardrobe in search of the most ethical and sustainable pieces and to discover the stories behind them. We talked about my business, my book, my lifestyle and much more, and I showed them my favourite eco-friendly / second hand / vintage items, from jackets and dresses to bags and other accessories.

If you have any questions or comments, leave them below.

These Rituals will Help You to Realign with Your Intuition & Awareness

Anytime, Lifestyle, Mindfulness & Meditation, Natural Living, Ritualsdanielle coppermanComment

Last week, I co-hosted a Rituals & Spiritual Awareness workshop with my good friend Tamara Driessen (aka Wolfsister). We held the event at recently opened Glow Bar in central London and enjoyed pumpkin dahl, adaptogenic chocolate mousse and calming and grounding chamomile moon milk from my book. With the topic of rituals and spiritual awareness in mind, we focussed on talking about our personal journeys in spiritual awareness and in finding our own alignment and authenticity. It is a forever project, and it takes constant effort and constant reminders to stay connected and conscious, but read on to find out how it’s done.

* If you missed the event, join us for our next Full Moon workshop on 25th Nov.

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Intuition and Awareness

These terms are often loosely tossed about, and whilst you might be familiar with them, do you really understand them?

Intuition is basically instinct. In a nutshell, it is the ability to understand something based on instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning or actual fact. It is within our innate nature to ‘just know’ or ‘have a feeling’ sometimes, that you just might not be able to explain.

Awareness is slightly different, but the two go hand in hand as, to hear or notice your intuition, you must be aware. Awareness, in this sense, is being in a state that is alert, open and conscious of things around you. It is possessing knowledge, perception or an opinion on any thing or situation that is outside of your own mind and body. Self-awareness is another story, but it all plays a part in contributing to your overall awareness of life and of others, and the awareness that everything seems to exist and occur inter-connectedly.

Both intuition and awareness require presence before anything else in order to be fully operational and authentically accurate. We have lost touch with our intuition for a number of reasons and in a number of ways, and we have reduced awareness in many aspects of life. A lack of being truly present is a huge contributing factor. We are more connected with each other than ever, thanks to technology, but we are literally wired and are connected to other people or other things so often that we rarely have the time or space to feel connected to ourselves and to the present moment. There is always someone or something else that requires our attention, and most often these relentlessly demanding situations exist in the past or future. Our minds are often stuck overthinking something that has happened, or planning and prepping (and worrying - let’s be honest) about things to come; things in the near or distant future that have not happened yet and may not ever happen. Sound familiar?

In order to be able to connect to your intuition and in order to be more aware, it is crucial that you find ways to be present, if not constantly, at least more frequently than you do currently. Having rituals that can help you to feel grounded and really ‘in the moment’, is essential for you to be able to reap the rewards and make the most of all the wisdom you’re intuition is trying to share with you. No one knows you like your intuition, let’s be real.

You’re intuition is magically capable of bringing forth ideas, thoughts, emotions and actions that truly align with your authentic sole purpose. Thats why it feels so good! You know those moments when something just clicks? Something just comes to you? Something just feels right and makes immeasurable and indescribable sense? Most moments like these often occur to me whilst I’m either in the shower, chopping or preparing food, during yoga or meditation, or in bed whilst I’m trying to sleep. It is in these moments, amongst others, that we are forced to be and naturally drift into a completely present place. These are all examples of when you are at your most present, and it is in these moments that your intuition can really speak to you. You are suddenly more open and aware enough to allow and to hear your intuition guiding you, and it is these thoughts, or epiphanies, that are most aligned with the true you, and, thus, make the most sense. They are reflections of a deeper part of us; one which is usually suppressed or unnoticed as we go about our busy, modern lives. I have some of my best ideas just before bed or in the shower, and this is because our minds are focussed either on just one thing or on nothing in particular at all; certainly not all the thoughts or worries of the day that usually arise as soon as we wake. When you are present, the daily noise and the messy thoughts are temporarily silenced and, feeling clearer and more organised, your intuition actually has a chance to give its input. It is truly powerful and we don’t reach or remain in this state for very long at all, which is how we end up feeling so overwhelmed, lost, unsure, fearful, low, depressed, confused and miserable; all at once. You know the deal.

So how do you know become fully present and how can you enhance your awareness on a daily basis in order to ensure you are on the right track, aligned with your sole purpose and functioning on a more spiritually-aware level? It takes time and constant reminders, and it takes consciousness, understanding and the responsibility to take control of your life in a way that allows you to live in the present moment as much as you possibly can. Not all of these rituals may be suitable for you. I believe the teacher appears when the student is ready, meaning when you are in the right place for them to resonate with you (if they don’t right now), they will be here whenever you are ready.

Rituals

Make Time & Space; Reduce the Speed at Which You Function

The key to becoming more present is actually as simple as just making more time. We all complain there are not enough hours in the day and we are, in many ways, more stressed than ever (although the things we are stressed about are not stressful at all in comparison to what generations before us or less fortunate communities are faced with - but thats another story, for another post). For many of us, if we’re not doing several things at once, we’re thinking of several things at once, and our minds are moving at a million miles an hour, hardly connected to our bodies and focussed on so many things that they’re barely focussed at all. So slowing down the pace, taking more time and care over things, and just making a window of time to let yourself fully focus on each task or thought you are faced with, is a simple change you can make today.

Pause

Similarly to making more time, pausing is a powerful concept to become familiar with. As well as making more time wherever possible, consciously scheduling time or setting reminders to just pause at intervals throughout the day can actual mean you end up more productive because of it. Taking a break, removing yourself from a situation, or just changing surroundings and finding a few moments to be away from others can be so nourishing for the mind and soul and allow for less rational and rapid thoughts to subside, giving way to more meaningful and natural ones. Try to pause several times throughout the day, and especially at moments if and when you find yourself dealing with particularly challenging or stressful situations. It always helps to take a step back, process and observe the situation and come back to it again with a clearer (and more intuitive) mindset.

Journaling, Brainstorming and Stream of Consciousness

Writing your thoughts out on paper in physical form is a powerful ritual to get familiar with. I don’t journal everyday, and if you feel the pressure of having to, you haven’t fully understood the concept of journaling. It isn’t supposed to add to your workload, and there is no right or wrong or set way of doing it. But however it comes to you, writing or brainstorming can help to process and organise your thoughts, and analyse them almost as an outsider, as if they are separate from you. By doing this, you clear space internally for more truthful and authentic thoughts to present themselves, and you can really put things into context and let go of things that perhaps make absolutely not sense or are simply not worth worrying about. Stream of Consciousness is something I have been practicing for a few months, which involves simply starting to write whatever comes to you the moment you wake up. The content will be completely improvised and unplanned, with no real direction or meaning, but that is what makes it so powerful. It is freeing, it is creative, and it helps you to connect to your subconscious layers as you transition from being asleep to being awake; before you start concerning yourself with the day ahead. You may be surprised what comes up.

Yoga & Other Movement

Yoga is a must for me, but it took plenty of time for me to get used to it and to enjoy it. I still don’t always enjoy it, but I enjoy the way it makes me feel and the constant reminders if brings for self-awareness and self-development. I find it really helps to ground the egotistic mind and really puts things into perspective. Meditation is also a ritual I regard highly and, although my practice is often inconsistent, I know I can turn to it in particular moments. Use a meditation app, the rituals from my book, Well Being, or find some classes to attend and learn how to meditate yourself from a teacher. And if you don’t like yoga or meditation, simply go for a walk or find some outside space to just sit and be still. These too are forms of meditation; meditation does not have to be a structured practice or follow a specific routine. Almost any kind of exercise is meditative to me as it has the same affect as meditation; forcing the mind to focus solely on one thing. Any thing, whether it’s exercise or not, that forces you to focus and centre the mind, counts as a form of meditation.

Breathe Better

With stress levels higher than ever, and a significant symptom of stress and anxiety being shortness or incompleteness of breath, we could all get a little better at this thing that fuels our existence. Breathing is not just something we do for the sake of it, taking in oxygen is crucial for all the vital processes of the body to function. If you’re not breathing fully, you’re restricting the life flow going into and out of the body, and not just your body but your cells, organs and so on. Try to be aware of your breathing, especially in stressful situations, and either practice taking a few deep breaths (maybe during one of your daily pauses, as discussed above), or find a Pranayama ritual that works for you (you can also find some of those in my book).

Be Creative

Whether or not you are what you perceive to be skilful or not, being creative is one incredibly way to really tune in and become present. If you can be creative (be that drawing, painting, making a collage, taking photographs, writing or whatever), you’ll find yourself in that place where your mind sort of wonders from the things it’s been getting worked up over, to a much stiller place of pure peacefulness. Focusing on something like this for which you have no expectations or desired results in mind is incredibly freeing and will help you to feel more present immediately. Don’t be judgmental, self-conscious or embarrassed - just try it.

Human Connection

There is nothing, nothing, like the power of human contact and connection for soothing the soul and calming the mind. Whenever I feel stuck, lost, worried or just generally low, I speak to friends or family, or whenever possible, see them. Speaking to others helps to rationalise your thoughts and provides alternative input and analysis to your own internalised worry. And, there’s nothing like a good hug from someone you know and love and who knows you and loves you back. Sometimes, there are no words, but time just spent together, and just the fact that someone cares, is unbeatable. Your mind will settle and you’ll find your energy begins to match that of the person you are communicating with, making you - you guessed it - more present.

A Few Recent Natural Beauty Finds

Beauty, Essentials, Monthly Essentials, Natural Living, Ritualsdanielle copperman2 Comments

I try to keep most of my make up and skincare products as natural / organic / vegan / ethical as possible. admittedly, it’s not always possible, and some products are ‘better’ than others in terms of their virtuous efforts. Below is a selection of beauty products I’ve recently tried or discovered, and I hope it makes navigating the beauty scene a little easier and with a little more education and understanding. I found the majority of these products via Showcase Beauty - a site showcasing a selection of indie / luxury / natural / sustainable beauty brands, all in one place. Enjoy!

Further information, clockwise from top left:

La Montaña Galán de Noche Candle - Hand poured by artisan candlemakers and made from quality parrafin wax infused with natural essential oils.
Madara Oil-to-Milk Face Scrub - Gentle, oil-based organic face scrub.
Kure Nail Varnish in Cappuccino - Non-toxic, 85% natural ingredients and free from Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate, Synthetic Camphor, Tolune.
La Montaña Candle Gift Set - Hand poured by artisan candlemakers and made from quality parrafin wax infused with natural essential oils.
Studio 10 6-in-1 Mascara - Made with jojoba and argan oils; fragrance, alcohol and paraben free.
Jane Scrivner Peace Body Bath Oil - 100% natural products. jojoba oil, coconut oil and 1% grapeseed oil. essential oils of bay, benzoin, chamomile, eucalyptus, frankincense, lavender, myrrh, sweet orange and pettigrain.
Madara Peel Face Mask - Vegan friendly. Certified natural and organic.
D’Alba White Truffle Mist Serum - Contains pure white truffle, avocado and sunflower oil, as well as 7 Swiss Alpine plant extracts.
Evolve Superfood Serum - Packed with highly effective natural superfoods; partially organic.
Kure Nail Varnish in Parisienne - Non-toxic, 85% natural ingredients and free from Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate, Synthetic Camphor, Tolune.
Antonia Burrell in Facial in a Box - A 7 step treatment that enables you to experience the Antonia Burrell Face Lift Facial at home. 100% natural, organic brand.
MyRoo Superfood Balm - This fragrance-free multi-functional balm combines raspberry seed oil's anti-inflammatory properties with cucumber seed oil to protect and strengthen. Also contains cucumber, raspberry, mango, papaya, carrot, avocado and olive.
Swiss Clinic Pink Clay Mask - An innovative, mess-free clay mask, enriched with peptides and Argereline, that effectively detoxifies and softens your skin on the deep.
Evolve African Orange Aromatic Body Wash - Made with a base of organic shea and aloe vera, fragranced with warming blood orange and vanilla, with notes of spicy black pepper and cedar wood.
Connock Kukui Oil Wonder Balm - A nourishing multi-tasking balm that can be used just about anywhere skin needs a little TLC. Made with a nourishing blend of 100% natural ingredients - kukui oil, monoi, cocoa butter, mango butter and beeswax.

Monthly Essentials ~ August & September

Essentials, Monthly Essentials, Natural Livingdanielle copperman2 Comments

So, the blog has been a little inexcusably neglected over the past few weeks. I’ve been travelling hard and working even harder, and I always prefer to give my full attention to this space, rather than bashing something out half-heartedly. There is so, so much I want to share with you all; so many blog posts in my drafts, so many shoots and videos and recordings scheduled, but it’s super hard to make time at the moment. In the meantime, a combined post to share all my favourite essentials and discoveries from August & September; 2 for the price of one, so I’m forgiven?

The incredible Fiona Burgess of Woman’s Hour performed ‘Dancing in the Dark’ at my dear friend Marina’s wedding last month in the South of France. It is everything.

I’ve been obsessed with Goop for years and years and years, and I hang on pretty much every word Gwyneth has to say. Imagine my excitement, then, when they opened their first pop-up store in West London (where it all began) and launched UK shipping through their online shop. I celebrated the launch with the Goop team earlier this month with a browse around the store followed by dinner just down the road at Farmacy. Maybe I’ll just move there?

JOMO is the new FOMO.

Slow watches; watches with just the hour hand, to make you conscious of the time but less obsessed or stressed and restricted by it. They also happen to be beaut.

Jolene just opened after much anticipation, and just a stones throw away from my house in N16. Just off Newington Green, Jolene is an amazing bakery, serving incredible baked goods, insanely good coffee and lunch and dinner menus, serving fresh, local, seasonal, hand-made small plates, ideal for sharing. The menu changes daily so check in on Insta before you go or embrace the surprise.

Since joining Model Mafia, I’ve connected with some super special souls. Sinead Bovell is one of them. Listen to her story here about changing your life by taking control of it. My favourite quote: “We talk about our dreams and careers as if they should be separate. We think we’re confined to one lane. But we’re not. It’s the integration of all of your multiple passions, your life experiences and your professional experiences that support you in creating something that doesn’t exist. And something that you are truly passionate about. Your dream job should be an extension of your life and who you are. And that usually means you’ll have to create it yourself”. I love this. Our careers ultimately become our lives, and since they take up most of our time, why not work towards finding a career you truly love and enjoy, or creating one for yourself if it doesn’t already exist. It is possible if you firstly work hard and find not only your passion, but your purpose too. The rest will come.

Your October energy forecast.

One of the great things about fall/winter is ALL THE LAYERING WE CAN DO.

Qnola is now available to buy on Ocado. That means nationwide shipping and simple, one-stop shopping.

It’s time to invest in some ‘power pants’. I’m currently loving cord wide legs and suit trousers.

Discover indie beauty brands with Showcase Beauty. I’ve collaborated with the team to bring you a 10% discount; just enter code ‘danielle10’ at checkout.

P.volve - something I’d only tried online and from a distance until now - hosted a soft launch in London this month, and will be back to do more exclusive workouts in due course. For now, try their online video subscription service. I don’t usually love online workouts as I lack the motivation and actually push myself hard enough, but P.volve is more about smaller, slower movements, and I can honestly do these workouts anytime, anywhere, no matter how early it is, how tired I am or how little time I have. It’s such a unique method and I’m addicted.

05 Studio swimwear; I want it all (especially this), and it’s not even summer anymore. Run by a super creative and conscious Bulgarian duo, everything is so effortlessly yet carefully put together, using high quality materials and ethical practices.

I have too many mugs but I still can’t help eyeing up these.

These look goooood. Can anyone in Aus vouch for them?

Halloween is fast approaching.

Saw this on a friends bathroom wall and the message really resonated with me. Why are we al so frantic, as if we are in a race? We do not understand that there is no winner.

Favourite new brush. (Disclaimer: more bamboo).

I met the truly wonderful Madeleine from Astrology For Artists. Check her out. She holds some pretty amazing workshops and offers private sessions and readings.

A new video about the state of our environment, to get you thinking (although its from 2009 but its new to me).

Obsessing over everything here. Such wonders.

I struggle to find good, pure and honest make up removers. I’ve just tried The Body Shop’s camomile blend, made with natural ingredients, and made without animal testing. It’s up there with coconut oil, y’all.

My good friend recently launched a new loungewear brand, designed for slowing down, settling in and switching off. Super comfy stuff.

This is a pretty interesting little test to do on yourself. How self-actualised are you?

ADORE. Lets keep this shell/pearl vibe going through winter, plzzzz.

New podcast alert.

Just added one of these to my home and gym workout routines. Next level, I’m telling you.

Addicted to this Twin Ball self massage tool. I’m a big advocate of massage, and self massage is so easy already, but is so much more achievable and easy to do with tools like this.

Discover Kukui Cream.

🙏🙏🙏.

I’ve been hit with my first cold in years, I think due to overworking, change in seasons and elevated anxiety and panic attacks threatening to shut down my body completely if I don’t just CHILL. These have helped so far.

No matter how small your city apartment is, you can never have too much home decorations and kitchenware (at least thats what I keep telling myself):

This vase. Yessssss H&M Home.

Bamboo everything.

I can see this being added to everyone’s wish list.

This vase (and shell anything these days tbh).

You can never, ever have too many bowls. Seriously. Seriously. No, but seriously.

The Alchemist has been on my list for ages but is definitely next if things go my way. If only I had enough time to finish the books I’m already hoarding first, and get on with this one.

The boot obsession begins.

3 Breathing Rituals That Will Calm You The F Down ~ for Byrdie

Commisions, Mindfulness & Meditation, Natural Living, Pranayama, Rituals, Wellbeingdanielle coppermanComment
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I don't know about you but I can get stressed out. Modern life isn't exactly a walk in the park. But thankfully, you don't need to spend loads of money or time ridding yourself of worry. Apparently, breathwork is the secret to a calmer day, according to wellness guru Danielle Copperman, who practices breathing exercises on the daily.

We've talked about the importance of breathing before and how it can be a simple, quick and free way to de-stress when life throws you a curveball. But, Copperman doesn't just wait use breathwork as a cure. She uses it as a preventative, too. There is one breathwork sequence she uses on the regular and two that are cooling, great for hot, humid summer days.

So what are you waiting for? Breathe your way into a better day.

Breath Retention Pranayama

The morning is an ideal time to practise pranayama (prana meaning life force and ayana meaning to extend or draw out) before your mind has the chance to start worrying too much about the day ahead. When you wake up with morning anxiety, focused breathing is a simple technique to help stop any kind of irrational thoughts and negative feelings in their tracks, preventing them from developing into a full-blown bout of stress that’ll stay with you throughout the day. Meditating in the morning instils not only a sense of calm but also an established sense of awareness and consciousness, which in many ways will help you experience more deeply, and feel more present in each moment.

1. Stand, sit or lie in a comfortable position, preferably in a quiet and undisturbed environment. Rest your hands on your knees if sitting on the floor, or by your side if standing, sitting on a chair or lying down. Notice any internal or external sensations such as thoughts and feelings or outside noise and distractions, and without trying to change anything, focus on nothing but settling.

2. With eyes open or closed and breathing in and out through your nose, become aware of the rhythm of your breath, relaxing your shoulders, your neck and your head. Begin to deepen the breath, taking a long inhale through the nose and exhaling fully to expel every last inch of the breath from your lungs. Observe how the breath feels entering and exiting the nose and the way the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation.

3. On an inhale, notice when your lungs reach full capacity, and pause for a moment before exhaling fully. As you take your next inhalation, count the length of your breath, in seconds, pause at the top of your inhale for the same number of seconds you inhaled for, and exhale for the same number of seconds. Repeat this cycle a couple of times, and if the breath allows, gradually increase the length of each inhalation, breath retention and exhalation, keeping the ratio 1:1:1.

Allow a few weeks of practising daily before extending the length of retention. Over time, increase to 8 seconds, but beginners are advised to work at 4 to 6 seconds. The practice should feel natural, effortless and entirely free from strain. As you retain the breath, feel as if the oxygen is sinking in and distributing itself, filling the tissues of your body.

4. You can either repeat the same counts in one practice (for example, working to a count of three for your entire practice) or you can increase the number of counts within one practice (for example, working to a count of three, inhaling, pausing and exhaling, and then increasing to a count of four, inhaling, pausing and exhaling, and then increasing again to five and maybe six, to however many seconds you can breathe comfortably).

5. Practise for up to 5 minutes, and sit in stillness for a few moments to readjust, before continuing your day. Once you are familiar with this practice and feel comfortable to develop further, work to a ratio of 1:2:3, for example, if you inhale for the count of 2, hold the breath for 4 and exhale for 6.

I don't know about you but I can get stressed out. Modern life isn't exactly a walk in the park. But thankfully, you don't need to spend loads of money or time ridding yourself of worry. Apparently, breathwork is the secret to a calmer day, according to wellness guru Danielle Copperman, who practices breathing exercises on the daily.

We've talked about the importance of breathing before and how it can be a simple, quick and free way to de-stress when life throws you a curveball. But, Copperman doesn't just wait use breathwork as a cure. She uses it as a preventative, too. There is one breathwork sequence she uses on the regular and two that are cooling, great for hot, humid summer days.

So what are you waiting for? Breathe your way into a better day.

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PHOTO: COURTESY OF DANIELLE COPPERMAN

Breath Retention Pranayama

The morning is an ideal time to practise pranayama (prana meaning life force and ayana meaning to extend or draw out) before your mind has the chance to start worrying too much about the day ahead. When you wake up with morning anxiety, focused breathing is a simple technique to help stop any kind of irrational thoughts and negative feelings in their tracks, preventing them from developing into a full-blown bout of stress that’ll stay with you throughout the day. Meditating in the morning instils not only a sense of calm but also an established sense of awareness and consciousness, which in many ways will help you experience more deeply, and feel more present in each moment.

1. Stand, sit or lie in a comfortable position, preferably in a quiet and undisturbed environment. Rest your hands on your knees if sitting on the floor, or by your side if standing, sitting on a chair or lying down. Notice any internal or external sensations such as thoughts and feelings or outside noise and distractions, and without trying to change anything, focus on nothing but settling.

2. With eyes open or closed and breathing in and out through your nose, become aware of the rhythm of your breath, relaxing your shoulders, your neck and your head. Begin to deepen the breath, taking a long inhale through the nose and exhaling fully to expel every last inch of the breath from your lungs. Observe how the breath feels entering and exiting the nose and the way the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation.

3. On an inhale, notice when your lungs reach full capacity, and pause for a moment before exhaling fully. As you take your next inhalation, count the length of your breath, in seconds, pause at the top of your inhale for the same number of seconds you inhaled for, and exhale for the same number of seconds. Repeat this cycle a couple of times, and if the breath allows, gradually increase the length of each inhalation, breath retention and exhalation, keeping the ratio 1:1:1.

Allow a few weeks of practising daily before extending the length of retention. Over time, increase to 8 seconds, but beginners are advised to work at 4 to 6 seconds. The practice should feel natural, effortless and entirely free from strain. As you retain the breath, feel as if the oxygen is sinking in and distributing itself, filling the tissues of your body.

4. You can either repeat the same counts in one practice (for example, working to a count of three for your entire practice) or you can increase the number of counts within one practice (for example, working to a count of three, inhaling, pausing and exhaling, and then increasing to a count of four, inhaling, pausing and exhaling, and then increasing again to five and maybe six, to however many seconds you can breathe comfortably).

5. Practise for up to 5 minutes, and sit in stillness for a few moments to readjust, before continuing your day. Once you are familiar with this practice and feel comfortable to develop further, work to a ratio of 1:2:3, for example, if you inhale for the count of 2, hold the breath for 4 and exhale for 6.

Cooling Breath

These two cooling techniques are ideal for regulating body temperature. The sitali involves creating a straw-like shape with the tongue and inhaling through it; as the air passes through the tongue, it collects moisture. If you can't roll your tongue, use the sitkari method. This technique is also thought to reduce anxiety, regulate the natural appetite and hydrate the system.

Sitali

1. Sit in a comfortable position, either on the floor with crossed legs on the floor or on a chair with your feet flat, however is comfortable, ensuring the head, neck and spine are aligned.

2. Close your eyes and breathe naturally for a few moments. Relax the mouth and then drop the jaw open, as if you were about to make a low ah sound.

3. Curl the sides of your tongue inwards to form a tube-like shape, and then poke it out of your mouth slightly, but with little effort.

4. Inhale deeply through the tongue, as if drinking the air in through a straw. Focus your attention on the cooling sensation of the breath and the rise of your abdomen, rib cage and chest. Retain the breath here for 5 to 10 counts, or release it instantly as directed in step 5.

5. Draw the tongue back inside your mouth, bring your lips together comfortably and exhale slowly through the nostrils.

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 10 to 20 times, or however many times feels comfortable, and bring the practice to a close when you feel cooled and content.

Sitkari

1. Sit in a comfortable position, either on the floor with crossed legs on the floor or on a chair with your feet fat, however is comfortable, ensuring the head, neck and spine are aligned.

2. Close your eyes and breathe naturally for a few moments, then gently bring your lower and upper teeth together. Part your lips as much as you can to expose your teeth.

3. Inhale slowly through the teeth, letting the air flow through the gaps between each tooth, and focus on the feeling of the air against your teeth, entering the mouth, filling your abdomen, lungs and ribcage, and on the hissing sound of the breath.

4. Close your mouth, relax the jaw and the teeth and exhale slowly through the nose.

5. Repeat steps 4 and 5 10 to 20 times, or however many times feels comfortable, and bring the practice to a close when you feel cooled and content.


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Complete Transparency on My Sustainability Efforts

Essentials, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Ritualsdanielle coppermanComment
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I've been asked a lot more and thus talking a lot more about sustainability recently, and so I want to cover the topic in more depth and share the fundamentals  of my own sustainability efforts.

Living in the World that we do, and in the state that it is, it is nearly impossible to live sustainably 100% of the time. This is something I have trouble coming to terms with, as, despite my best efforts, there are always things on which I could improve or wish I could avoid. However, the reality is, unless we retreat to the countryside or relocate to the jungle and live as completely self-sufficient beings, in self-built homes, wearing self-made clothes and eating self-grown produce, we're never going to be as sustainable or eco-friendly as we'd like to be. Things have simply gone too far.

In centuries gone by, we were doing pretty good, but with the introduction of all kinds of technology, we discovered ways to make things much easier for ourselves, and apparently either didn't fully understand or didn't care enough about the consequences these things would have on our environment, experiences and ultimately our evolution. We live in an age where we can have what we want, whenever we want it. This of course has its benefits and is a wonderful way to live, but it doesn't come without its side effects. We have become complacent, much lazier and are producing far more things and far more waste than ever before. We are consuming more than we need to, and the processes involved in the mass-production required to meet our constant needs and demands are often highly toxic, unethical and unsustainable; affecting the environment and the state of our land, our air, our oceans and our ecosystem, along with the welfare of people involved in production and the welfare of us, as consumers of lower quality products (especially when it comes to food).

I dream of a time when - although tougher and of course less luxurious - people had limits. A time when people would grow their own foods or buy from local suppliers and accept that when something wasn't available, they could go without. A time when clothes were made better and, although more expensive, would be more of a luxury or in some ways, more meaningful. If you didn't like something enough, you wouldn't buy it, or if you couldn't find something you liked, you could take the time to make something yourself. This time I dream of seemed much simpler. Alright, we didn't have half the things we depend on and enjoy most in the modern day, but we got by just fine without them, and our environment suffered considerably less. There were less products, less advertising for things we don't really need, and less options. We made do with what we had, and that was enough. Chances are, we were happier too. Some of the poorest countries and cultures I have experienced are some of the happiest, and I am passionate about finding ways to simplify our modern lives so we can live with less, do less and enjoy ourselves, our time and our planet more.

Whilst I am no saint when it comes to sustainability, I try to live as naturally and consciously as possible. In making several sacrifices and taking time to discover ways to swap modern essentials for more natural necessities, I am doing my bits, however small they may be.

Modern-day materials and more eco-friendly alternatives

To me, beyond just generally consuming and buying less, the materials involved in the things I do buy are of major importance to me. In general, a non-biodegradable material is anything that air, sunlight, water, and ground soil cannot break down. There are many manufactured / synthetic materials which are non-biodegradable, but are favoured for being cheaper and easier and quicker to produce. Of those, plastic and cotton most commonly come under widespread scrutiny. Here's a few flash notes on why, and some more eco-friendly and sustainable suggestions.

Plastic uses gallons of water to produce. It takes more water to produce a plastic bottle than the amount of water that it in it.

Plastic, if not recycled and reused, takes years to decompose and biodegrade. Once you throw away something made of plastic, it will sit in landfill or end up in the Oceans, killing the sea life by polluting their habitats, getting ingested or physically harming them in other ways. There is a figure floating around (excuse the pun) that by the year 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea. I'm not sure how they can determine this or how likely it is, but I'd say its enough to make you think twice about using so much plastic, and about how you dispose of it.

The process of making plastic (which is made of polypropylene - a material composed of petroleum and gas) requires lots of energy, involves non-renewable fossil fuels and contributes to the level of greenhouse gases in the environment. 

Cotton is another concern. It requires a lot of water to produce, and is commonly heavily treated with pesticides, unless organic. 

Paper. We all know what's happening to the rainforests. Although it biodegrades, and is easier to recycle, paper still requires a lot of water and wood to produce, and our rainforests can't grow fast enough to keep up with the demand.

There are plenty of other materials - such as styrofoam, polyester, cans and tins, rubber, nylon, cellophane to name a few - that we should also be conscious about using, and serious about cutting down on.

So, what's good?

Other plants, such as bamboo, are generally more sustainable, renewable and more efficient options. Bamboo doesn't require any pesticides, and it is self-replenishing. 1/3 of the amount of water is needed to grow bamboo than is required to grow cotton. 1 acre of bamboo yields 10 times more than 1 acre of cotton. Bamboo is also much more absorbent than cotton and is stronger, meaning its more efficient in serving the purposes we tend to use cotton for.

Bamboo can be used in a solid form to replace plastic, and its fibres can also be used in fabrics and materials for things like clothes, furniture, packaging and more.

Organic cotton is also better than standard cotton, as there is no use of pesticides or other chemicals in the production process. It is cleaner, and better for the environment, but it still uses a lot of water, energy and labour to produce. If un-dyed, cotton biodegrades, which is why its best to buy organic as it is safer and cleaner to biodegrade.

Plant fibres such as hemp, flax, coconut (coir), sisal, jute, silk/wild/peace silk, pineapple (Piñatex), beech tree (modal) and many more make really great alternatives to cotton and can be used to make things like clothes, shoes, furniture and other materials. I also love tencel which is made from wood pulp fibres.

Linen is one of the most biodegradable fabrics used in fashion items. Try to buy it un-dyed as it is fully biodegradable that way.

Using recycled materials is also good, but it does require a lot of energy, especially up-cycling things like plastic. With clothing, buying second-hand and customising or altering something is a great way to give new life to unwanted clothes.

Obviously, to be 100% sustainable, you would have to stop buying things all together. Even these natural fibres will contribute in some way to pollution through processing and will eventually end up as waste, but the good thing is they will biodegrade much more efficiently. Things made with natural fibres tend to cost more too; you are ultimately paying that little bit extra for more careful and ethical practices, for better quality clothes and to support smaller businesses and their authentic morals.

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My Sustainability Efforts and Practices

Like I said, it would be impossible to live completely sustainably and self-sufficiently in this day and age, and I am absolutely not trying to act like I do or come across as perfect and flawless at it. I want to be completely transparent here. I still use a lot of products and have several habits (not to mention jobs) which are not environmentally friendly, but the main thing is I am cutting down on them and making major swaps wherever and whenever I can. Here's the area's I'm making most headway with, as well as those in which I am not quite there yet. 

Beauty

I do use make up and skincare products that aren't entirely natural, vegan, organic or ethical, but i prefer to use things that are at least one of those things. My skincare and beauty routines are not 100% clean or perfect, mainly because as a model I don't have complete control over what products are used on me from one day to the next. Also, at home, there are products I've been using for years which I just love. However, I am more conscious when using them, and choose to use natural, eco-friendly, organic and ethical products much more than these artificial/non-eco products. Products made without artificial chemicals, parabens, micro beads and other fillers are not only better for the environment but also for your skin.

I would also suggest using wooden earbuds instead of plastic earbuds, as well as wooden or metal razors, instead of single use/disposable razors.

+ Go a step further and find products that are packaged in recyclable, refillable or biodegradable packaging.

Style + Clothing

Whilst I prefer to buy second hand/vintage or small-batch/handmade/natural fibre fashion items, I'm not going to pretend I never shop at places like Topshop, Zara, H&M, Forever 21, etc etc. I really do. Not often, but occasionally. And I'm always wearing and promoting brands that aren't always ethical or sustainable in my line of work as a model. But that doesn't mean I approve, it's just part of the job.

Most of the time I try just to not buy new clothes, because I don't really need them. However, from time to time something will catch my eye or I will need something for specific traveling conditions, and if I can't always find (or afford) clothes made from natural fibres, or second hand clothes, I will end up on the high street; although I don't buy something unless I really, really love it.

I have recently felt particularly unfulfilled with pieces I've bought from high street brands, as many of them either need altering or have something about them that I'dd like to change. They rarely feel perfect. And they always seem over-priced and quite often poorly made. Not to mention, everyone ends up buying and wearing the same things. Its far more special to buy a unique second-hand piece or items made to order or in limited batches from more artisan producers. Clothes like these also feel so much better. There is more life and character in them, not to mention you are either giving back to charity, or saving things from going to waste. It's literally all good. 

Food + Diet

I try to eat plant based as much as possible, mostly due to the environmental side effects associated with the production of meat. However, I am not 100% vegan all of the time; I have a flexible approach to eating and try not to put too much pressure on myself if I can help it.

I try to avoid meat and fish, eating it probably once a week, max. This is mainly due to the amount of water, feed and land that is required to raise livestock and produce meat and animal products, which is not very environmentally friendly, and also the state of commercial fishing, which produces a lot of waste which ends up in the ocean.

I try to shop locally and in bulk to avoid unnecessary packaging, but this isn't always possible and I do end up in my local Tesco from time to time. I avoid packaged items as much as possible but sometimes have to grin and bear it and hope it will all end up recycled. Makes me feel better anyway.

Travel

I travel a lot with my job, and that is certainly not an eco-friendly habit. Flying is pretty bad but unfortunately can't be avoided. I love travelling too much. I try to balance it out by taking buses instead of cars and trains, and, whenever possible, I always schedule in extra journey time so I can get to places by foot or by bike. 

See my latest video on IGTV to explore my favourite simple sustainable swaps for useful tools and everyday products.

 

Simple Sustainable Swaps

Essentials, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Sustainability, Videodanielle coppermanComment

In this video I share a few simple tips and tools for making more natural, sustainable and conscious lifestyle choices. 

Modern day materials - such as plastic and cotton - are having damaging affects on our lives and on the planet, and things are getting worse. By swapping things made with synthetic materials for things made with more natural, renewable, recyclable and biodegradable materials, and which involve more environmentally friendly processes, we can all make a difference and play a part in reducing the amount of pollution and physical waste ending up in landfill or in the oceans.

Find out more on my website ~ www.daniellecopperman.com ~ and shop some of the items mentioned in this video here, http://daniellecopperman.com/store-1/. 

Monthly Essentials ~ June 2018

Monthly Essentials, Natural Living, Lifestyledanielle coppermanComment

Have been loving the Ballet Barre and Box & Burn class @RefineryE9

All-natural wooden razor? yuhhh please

This All-natural coconut fibre dish scrubber is completely compostable and entirely, in no way synthetic

Trying to live more plastic free? This will come in handy.

Summer is for Miiro Ice Lollies - dairy free, gluten free, all-natural, no refined sugar, no artificial flavourings - its aaallllllll good

My new favourite online vintage destination is One Scoop Store. The founder buys all her (mostly designer) stock second-hand from charity shops, markets, car boots or private clients who have surplus clothing. Her mission is to reduce landfill and reduce the amount of clothes being thrown away by finding items a new owner. I got some incredible Gucci loafers and a hoop top which I'll share soon. 

I'm trying this next week and I can't freaking wait. My Mum has been having regular treatments for about a year now and I don't know why I didnt think to try it sooner. It sounds amazing, is all-natural and apparently reduces visibility of pores and strength of hairs over time (also reduces the risk of ingrown hairs too ewww)

Aquafaba mayonnaise is about to change your life. Made with the water from cooked chickpea (tinned is best), it is one of the easiest things I've ever made and so, so needed to see any vegans or anyone more preferable to plant based food through barbecue season.

These dungaree's - so comfy and all ethically / hand made

Lucy Williams x Love Stories is a viiiiibe

I am now a proud owner of bamboo cutlery and I pledge to keep it on my person at all times to avoid using plastic knives and forks whilst out and about. You should too

There's some funky stuff going on over here

I recently joined a friend of mines all-female creative agency, Female Narratives. Check them out; they have a portfolio of incredibly talented and inspirational women who you can either follow, connect with or work with; or just read their stories and be inspired.

I've finally sorted my life out and started using Natural Cycles. Full blog post coming soon; leave a comment if you have any specific questions you'd like to ask about it. Disclaimer: I'm never looking back

I've never enjoyed sleeping so much. I genuinely wake up feeling happier and more content than I've ever felt at the sound of my alarm going off, thanks to Casper #CasperAndMe

Charities like these 🙏

New skincare on the block

Hypnotherapy with Luca Bertali was a wonderful experience and has left me feeling subconsciously stronger and more confident. He works with people on more specific issues such as addictions and traumas but also offers more general support with self worth and confidence

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We've been working away on a little zine which we filled so much it's practically a small book. Named Well Being & Other Stories, it contains a collection of recipes, rituals and words and contributions from inspiring women from all over the world. Based on the theme of Transformation, and divided into sub-topics of Earth, Self and Community, it is been curated with the intention of serving as a manual and guide to inspire a more grounded and abundant way of living, and to encourage you to welcome change and transformation and enjoy it. Available in paperback or downloadable PDF version

The Basics Store is baccccck yo. My Marina is such a talented bunny and she has basically crammed all of my favourite things into one beautiful shop that I want to live in. 15 Monmouth Street, Central London ✌️

Free-From All-natural deodorant that actually looks legit

Too many great earrings

I've teamed up with Marysia and every single item I put on feels like heaven and makes me feel almost the same way

If I were a store, this is what it would be like

Got both eyes on this Mango playsuit

 

Sunlight Therapy and How To Have Safe Sun

Essentials, Beauty, Natural Living, Traveldanielle coppermanComment
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If you're anything like me, you'll have a tendency to gravitate outside at the first sight or sense of sunshine. I am a sun baby through and through; I could basque in it - literally soak it into every pore of my body - until it goes down. When it's not sunny, I feel low, but as it rises day in day out, I always tend to rise with it (regarding my sleeping patterns are as they should be and not disrupted by stress or other factors).

It fascinates me why we are all (mostly) drawn to and addicted to the Sun. It enlivens the senses; it governs many natural bodily functions, such as sweating, hydration, metabolism and mental wellbeing; and it permits more time outside, meaning more fresh air, more nature and more freedom out of the constant confines of an office and / or home. Our modern lifestyles are predominantly based inside, exposed to artificial lights and screens, and it's thought that these conditions may encourage and even worsen Seasonal Affective Disorder. So, seriously, make a conscious effort to get outside a few times a day (that doesn't include your commute).

The Pros

The sun triggers the production of endorphins, which just make us feel good.

Vitamin D. You all know about that.

The Sun is energising. Its rays and the frequency of its energy is absorbed into our cells and fuels our internal systems. In other words, it boosts the metabolism and feeds our internal processes.

A surge in metabolic power can have domino effects on nearly everything else going on within. From how we break down energy from food and how strong our immune systems are to the behaviour of brain chemicals and other substances that contribute to mood, weight, energy and more.

It increases positivity and elevate low moods. As well as endorphins, we produce higher levels of serotonin when exposed to more sunlight, a chemical / neurotransmitter believed to help regulate mood, appetite and digestion, sleep, memory, and sexual desire and function. It is known to reduce anxiety, stress and depression. Think of it as Sunlight Therapy.

It brings people together more. When the Sun is out - especially in the UK as it's so rare - there is a stronger sense of community and connection. People gather more frequently to and generally spend longer together, as the days are longer and lighter.

Sunlight can also help regulate sleeping patterns. With more exposure to light, the sleep hormone melatonin is more efficient and we tend to produce more of it, meaning we sleep better and at more natural times, which may mean we're able to wake more easily too.

The Cons

Over exposure to the Sun has been linked with accelerated aging.

Over exposure to the Sun has also been linked with risk of developing skin cancer.

In warm, humid climates, dehydration is a common side effect of too much time spent in the Sun. This includes dry skin as well as internal thirst. Drink more than you usually would and moisturise like you mean it.

Overuse of sun protection can lead to greasy, oily skin and clogged pores (choose a natural one, for this reason if nothing else).

Below are a few summertime beauty products I've tried and loved or have been recommended recently; most are natural, organic, free of parabens and other nasty chemicals and / or ethical in some way, but some are a little guiltier. I use a combination, depending on where I am, what my skin is doing and what kind of skincare support I need in each present moment.

A Few Skincare Brands You Should Know About

Prep

Decleor Aromessence Solaire Tan Activator

Holistica 'I Am Balanced' Crystal Mist with Orange Bloom and Smokey Quarts

Sukin Balancing Anti-Pollution Face Masque

Loli Beauty Purple Corn Grain Face Mask

Loli Beauty Plum Elixir

Madara Brightening Aha Peel Mask

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

Protection

Biosolis SPF 50 Solar Spray

Organii Sun Milk Cream SPF 50

Madara Plant Stem Cell Age Defying Face Sunscreen SPF 30

Kypris Pot of Shade

Green People's Organic Sun Cream SPF 30

Endota Spa Daily Defence Cream SPF 50

Darphin Soleil Plaisir SPF 30 

Susanne Kaufmann Sun Cream Cell Protection SPF 25

Acorelle 100% Natural Tinted Sunscreen SPF 30

Aethic Vegan and Eco Compatible Sunscreen

Hurraw SPF 15 Lip Balm

After Sun

+ Directly after exposure to the sun and / or if you have light burns or any sensitivity, try to avoid heavy creams or oily products and opt for lighter, more cooling treatments.

Vegan, Paraben-free Aloe Vera Gel / Organic Aloe Vera Gel or even better, fresh Aloe Vera gel scraped from the plant

Cucumber slices or natural cucumber water

Pure Organic / Raw / Manuka Honey face mask

Loli Beauty Aloe Blueberry Jelly

Loli Beauty Blue Cornflower Water / Chamomile Lavender Water / Rose Water

Espa Soothing Body Oil

Espa Regenerating Face Treatment

Organii After Sun Cream

Green People Hydrating After Sun

Biafine Emulsion Hydratante

Fake it

Luna Bronze Sunless Tanning Lotion

Luna Bronze Eclipse Tanning Moose

Tan Luxe Rejuvenating Anti-Age Self Tan Drops

Tan Luxe Tan Booster

Tan Luxe Hydrating Self Tan Water

Tan Luxe Illuminating Tanning Butter

Espa Gradual Tan Moisturiser

Espa Gradual Tan Face Concentrate

Lavera Self Tanning Lotion

Eco by Sonya Invisible Tan Cream

Tanorganic Certified Organic Self Tan Lotion

Kora Organics Gradual Self Tanning Lotion

Glossier Hydrating & Soothing Moon Mask Face Treatment

111 Skin Hydrating Sheet Masks or Khiel's Instant Renewal Concentrate Mask or Origins Soothing Lavendar Soothing Sheet Mask