How to Combat that Blue Monday Feeling

How to Combat that Blue Monday Feeling

Monday, for most, is the worst day of the week, right? First day back at work, ruins a Sunday night with *the dread* and you have a whole 5 days until the weekend. Well Blue Monday is even worse and it’s upon us! Blue Monday is considered the most depressing day of the year, party season is over, new year’s resolutions are taking their toll, our bank balance is dwindling and it’s pretty cold and miserable… sounds great!

The good news? We have some amazing tips to help boost your mood and get you ready for the week ahead! After all, starting a week with a positive attitude will have you bouncing through the week! Say goodbye to Blue Monday…

  1. Sleep well

Sleep is essential for your mood and the amount of quality sleep you get on a Sunday night can make a huge difference to your week. If you don’t get enough sleep, you can wake up feeling grumpy and irritable which is not a good start for the week ahead. Remove any distractions from your bedroom and get an early night and you’ll have a much better chance of waking up in a positive mood and feeling refreshed!

  • Eat well

What you put into your body makes a massive difference to your mood and how productive you are. Eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables works wonders for your brain as well as your health. Looking after yourself gives your brain lots of positive endorphins which leave you feeling happy and fulfilled, a perfect start to the week!

  • Compliment those around you

Compliment the people around you. Spreading positivity not only makes other people feel great but it’s the best way to warm your own heart too! On Blue Monday, make it your mission to compliment a hand full of people before lunch time, you never know you might make their day!

  • Do something that makes you smile

The most depressing day of the year is the perfect opportunity to focus on yourself and do something that makes you happy. Whether that’s taking 5 minutes to yourself to meditate you going for a facial, using the time will only benefit you mentally and help give you a boost for the week ahead.

  • Avoid stress

Stress has a negative effect on so many different parts of the body and mind. It can accelerate ageing, mess up your hormones and generally affect your mood in a negative way. Try to take as much stress out of the beginning of the week as you can, meal prep, set out an exercise plan for the week, schedule in some chill time. By doing as much preparation as you can, it makes it much easier to stick to and takes the stress out of the week.

Even if you pick just one of this tips to implement for Blue Monday, you’re guaranteed to improve your mood and make the week that bit more positive!

New Year’s Beauty Resolutions We’re All For Making In 2020

New Year’s Beauty Resolutions We’re All For Making In 2020

Every January marks the occasion of a new year and new goals. What resolutions have you already set for yourself? No matter how big or small, progress is progress and if you pair determination with passion you’re bound to achieve them in no time. So, you’ve had a little think about it but have you given any attention to the beauty department? Today, we’re pledging (with you) to stand by the following New Year’s Beauty Resolutions to start the decade living our best glamourous lives.

I will… learn more about ethical brands

A new year calls for a fresh focus on something new. When it comes to ethics in fashion and beauty, many of sustainable brands are often overlooked because not many people know much about the topic. Which, to be honest, is a little bit scary when you think about all the products you could potentially be using that have been tested on animals or may even contain animal products and you don’t even know it. It’s always a challenge to steer away from some of your favourite beauty products, but 2020 is not only a new year, it marks the start of a new decade. Make a change today!

January’s Brand Of The Month who kick-started 2020 is Love Beauty & Planet who are an incredible sustainability-led hair and skincare brand who create products with amazing cruelty-free and vegan formulas. In addition to this, their products are packaged in 100% recycled plastic bottles and jars, helping you to give a little bit of love back to the planet. They believe in the power of small acts of love to make both you and the planet more beautiful every day with phenomenal,ethically sourced ingredients. You can shop the range here at Fragrance Direct where you’ll also be able to take advantage of unbelievable discounts.

I will… invest in a skincare routine

We’ve all said it before but how many times last year did you get back in from an evening out and “accidentally” sleep in your makeup? If not to that extreme, there have most likely been a few occasions where you’ve gone to apply your mascara in the morning and noticed the brush doesn’t glide through as effortlessly because you’ve still got traces of yesterday’s on. Completely removing all traces of makeup isn’t difficult when you have an array of cleansing and hydrating skincare products to choose from.

I will… regularly clean my makeup brushes

Speaking of wanting to improve and take better care of our skin, the brushes and sponges we use to apply our makeup every day are just as important to look after. This is not only to keep them in good condition for optimal makeup results, it’s to keep them clean. All you need is a brush cleaner and a surface to lightly scrub them against (we’ve got trays too) and you’ll be good to go. A useful tip for whenever you run out or are waiting to stock up on supplies, a pea-sized amount of washing up liquid will do just the trick.

I will… be kinder to myself because I deserve it

Self-care is a topic we, as a society, are becoming more and more open to talking about especially regarding mental health and its surrounding topics. Implementing self-care practices is easy enough to do, it’s just about setting aside some time to relax and take a break. One of the best ways to inject feel-good vibes into your weekly routine is to indulge in a pamper session. Bath & Body goodness is just waiting around the corner!

I will… aim to get more sleep each night

Beauty sleep is a thing. It’s actually defined as a night’s sleep filled with extra resting time aka the hours gained by catching z’s before midnight hits. So many of us are guilty of endlessly scrolling through our phones while in bed and it’s not that good for us. Instead, this year, why not light a candle and start that book you’ve been waiting to read or simply keep technology time downstairs before taking yourself up to bed. You should find that it makes a big difference. To take things up a notch, why not try out a sleeping spray too?

Which of these resolutions will you be making for yourself? Be sure to tag us your progress @fragrancedirect on social!

How to Fall Asleep Naturally – Understanding Natural Sleep Remedies

How to Fall Asleep Naturally – Understanding Natural Sleep Remedies

Is there anything better than a good night’s sleep? We don’t think so. But drifting off quickly and comfortably and sleeping peacefully through to the morning is something many people take for granted.

If you struggle to fall asleep or you often find yourself tossing and turning through the night, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll explore the importance of sleep and how to improve your sleep quality, so you can change the way you recover and improve your energy levels during the day.

Is sleep important?

Yes! You already knew the answer. Sleep is incredibly important for your mental and physical health. Not only is sleep deprivation often linked to weight gain, but good sleep can also help improve concentration and productivity throughout the day. Need more? A good night’s sleep can also:

  • Enhance athletic performance
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Improve mood
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Improve ability to interact socially

Not to mention, a good night’s sleep can work wonders for your skin! Nobody likes undereye bags and making sure you get enough sleep is the best way to keep them at bay, so there’s another great reason to be interested in sleep.

How much should I sleep?

The amount of sleep you need will change throughout your life and will be influenced by your age, gender, health, and daily activity. On average, adults need around seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Teenagers need more sleep than adults to help support their development, and as you age, the amount of sleep you need might change again.

To work out how much sleep you need, pay attention to how you feel. There are several reasons you might not feel tired at bedtime, and one of them could be that you’re getting too much sleep. The same applies if you’re super-tired when you hit the sheets. Are you sleeping too little?

Why can’t I sleep?

There are plenty of factors that can affect the way you fall asleep, from things you’ve done in the day to how you act right before bedtime. If you’re worried about falling asleep, your anxiety could make the problem worse. Try not to stress. It might even help to remove the clock from your bedroom so you can’t count down the hours of sleep you have left.

Other things that can cause problems falling asleep include:

  • Drinking alcohol before bed
  • Drinking caffeine too close to bedtime
  • A big meal before bed
  • A snoring partner
  • Snoring yourself! You can visit your doctor for advice
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Hunger
  • Light
  • Noise
  • An uncomfortable bed
  • An irregular sleep routine

That might seem like a lot of obstacles, but most of them are easy enough to overcome. Getting your sleep routine back on track will take a little thought and effort, but it’ll be worth it when you’re springing out of bed each morning!

How to improve sleep quality

If you’re struggling with sleep, there are some things you can try to improve your sleep quality and ensure you’re giving yourself the best rest.

One of the most important things is to make sure you’re following a good sleep routine. Try to go to bed at the same time every night (with the odd exception!) and wake up between seven and nine hours later every day. After a while, your body will start to recognise your sleep pattern. Who knows? Maybe you can cut down to just one alarm.

To improve your sleep quality, you’ll need to make sure your bedroom is a peaceful environment that you can relax in. Try to remove any distractions from your room, like your phone (sorry), and any other devices. You should also try to make sure your bedroom is dark enough at night and quiet enough for you to fall asleep easily. If you can’t control these things, try an eye mask or earphones!

Your body temperature can also affect the way you sleep. If you wake up in the night feeling cold, try warmer pyjamas or a thicker duvet. If you’re too hot, open a window or sleep with a thinner blanket.

How to fall asleep naturally – Step by Step

Falling asleep is the part a lot of people struggle with. Laying in bed, tossing and turning for hours after bedtime can cause anxiety and take away from the amount of good sleep you get. In the next sections, we’ll explore some natural sleep remedies to help you drift off better.

Essential oils and sleep

Essential oils can help promote relaxation and good sleep, making them a good natural aid if you’re struggling to settle down. With so many types of essential oils available, knowing where to start can be tough.

Here are some of the best essential oils for relaxation and sleep:

To make the most of essential oils for sleep, try adding them to a warm bath just before bed, and soak in the steamy water for at least ten minutes. Breathe deeply and let your essential oil do its thing.

Aromatherapy and sleep

Aromatherapy is a type of therapy which uses scent to help with physical and emotional health. It’s a great way to enjoy all the benefits of your favourite essential oils at home. There are so many different essential oils, which means there are plenty of types of aromatherapy to try.

The easiest way to enjoy aromatherapy in your home is through an essential oils scented candle or reed diffuser. Here are some of our favourites for sleep:

Set up an essential oil diffuser in your bedroom or light a candle before bed and read for a while before you sleep. The soothing scents of your aromatherapy and the peaceful environment of your bedroom should help get you feeling sleepy in no time.

Relaxation and meditation

New to meditation? The practice can help improve the way you think and feel by giving you a new perspective. Meditation is a skill, and it’s not always easy to start. Thankfully, there are loads of great apps available to help.

Meditation and sleep go hand in hand. When you meditate, you rest your body and focus your mind, creating the perfect conditions for a dreamy night’s sleep. Set up your favourite aromatherapy and settle in for ten minutes of meditation before bed. Not only can it help improve the quality of your sleep, but meditation can also reduce anxiety throughout the day and lead to better mental health overall.

Create a perfect bedtime routine

Your bedtime routine plays an important role in the way you sleep. Of course, everyone’s bedtime will be different depending on lifestyle and personality, but here’s an idea of what a great one looks like:

  1. Take a warm bath with a few drops of essential oils in the water
  2. Wash and moisturise your face
  3. Brush your teeth
  4. Get dressed into a set of clean, comfortable pyjamas
  5. Light an essential oil candle to help relax
  6. Make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet
  7. A short period of meditation, unguided or using an app
  8. Get into bed
  9. Read a good book until you feel sleepy
  10. Lights out

Tweak and tailor your bedtime routine to suit your lifestyle. You might want to have a little snack before bed or listen to some soothing music to help yourself relax. Try some different things until you find the sleep routine that suits you, then stick to it, completing each step at roughly the same time every night.

Looking for more health and lifestyle advice? Keep exploring our blog for all the latest, as well as the best in skincare, makeup, beauty, and fragrance.

Understanding Stretch Marks And How To Treat Them At Home

Understanding Stretch Marks And How To Treat Them At Home

Whether you have stretch marks yourself or not, you’ll probably know how common they are. The completely harmless markings are often caused by sudden growth or weight gain and can appear in a variety of different colours, shapes, and textures, in several places on the body.

Despite their harmlessness, many people are unhappy with their stretch marks and look for ways to reduce their appearance or cover them up. There are a couple of ways you can try to reduce or remove yours, but nothing has been proven to work completely. We’ll get into ways to reduce their appearance later, but for now, let’s dive a little deeper into what causes stretch marks.

What are stretch marks?

Stretch marks are visible lines or streaks on the skin and can be pink, red, brown, black, silver, or purple depending on your skin colour. They’re a type of scaring, and the result of skin stretching faster than new skin can form. When the fibres in skin break quickly, if you gain weight or grow suddenly, you might notice that stretch marks are the result. They usually appear darker when they first arise and can settle down naturally over time.

The most common places for stretch marks to appear are the parts of the body which are prone to quick growth, like the stomach, chest, upper arms, legs, bum and hips, or back. We know, that’s a lot of body parts!

Who is more likely to get stretch marks?

Stretch marks aren’t fussy. Anybody that undergoes quick growth or weight gain is at risk of developing stretch marks, which is why we see them so often. While they are more common in women, they also often affect both male and female teenagers and men.

You’re more likely to develop stretch marks if:

  • You’re pregnant
  • You’re going through puberty
  • You’ve lost or gained weight quickly
  • You’ve gained muscle quickly
  • You’re female
  • You’re overweight
  • You use some kinds of steroid creams
  • You have stretch marks in your family

If you’re pregnant

Not all pregnant women develop stretch marks, but because of the quick weight gain and body changes that come with pregnancy, the chances of skin breaking into marks is quite high. In fact, as many as eight out of ten pregnant women see stretch marks appear.

Your likelihood of developing stretch marks in pregnancy can depend on genetics, as well as how big your bump grows. Pregnancy stretch marks most commonly appear on the stomach, upper thighs, and breasts, and are celebrated by many women as a sign of strength and motherhood.

If you’re going through puberty

Adolescent guys and girls are also prone to develop stretch marks. For females, the marks usually appear on breasts, bums, inner thighs and hips as these body parts grow and change into puberty.

Teenage males are more likely to notice stretch marks on their backs or sides as their body grows quickly in these areas.

If you’ve gained muscle quickly

Bodybuilder? If you’re training the muscle and seeing good results, you might also start to notice stretch marks as your skin stretches to accommodate your new gains. You can expect to see stretch marks on your biceps and thighs if you’re working on bulking up over a short period.

By now you get it – stretch marks can happen to anyone and are most likely to develop in areas that undergo quick growth or change. Puberty, one of the body changes that can cause stretch marks, is unavoidable, which is part of why they’re so common. Because of this, there isn’t much that you can do to prevent them. We’ll look into the ways you can try in the second part of this guide.

How to prevent stretch marks

When it comes to preventing stretch marks, all you can do is try. There are no guaranteed ways to avoid the markings developing on your skin, though there are a couple of things you can do to try and keep them from appearing unnecessarily.

1. Maintain a healthy weight

Stretch marks are often the result of rapid weight gain or loss. While sometimes (like during pregnancy) you can’t help gaining weight, maintaining a regular and healthy weight the rest of the time can help you to avoid developing stretch marks.

We hate to preach, but here goes; making sure you maintain a good diet and exercise routine can work wonders, reducing the likelihood of stretch marks and helping to keep your body feeling strong and healthy inside and out!

2. Keep skin hydrated

Keeping your skin hydrated by drinking plenty of water and using good moisturising products may help reduce the likelihood of stretch marks developing. While hydrated skin can’t heal existing stretch marks, making sure you keep it supple throughout your life might help prevent minor ones from appearing.

Of course, you can do both these things and still see stretch marks develop – we told you, there’s no sure-fire way to avoid skin stretching! If you have existing stretch marks and you’re looking for ways to reduce their appearance, there are some things you can try.

How to get rid of stretch marks

While there’s no guaranteed treatment for stretch mark removal, there are plenty of creams on the market which promise to help reduce their appearance. There are also some medical treatments which can help to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, but these cost a little more and, because they’re cosmetic, won’t be available on the NHS.

The best stretch mark removal creams

Here are some of our favourite stretch mark removal creams:

  1. Bio Balance Stretch Mark Removal Cream
  2. Inecto Naturals Coconut Body Oil
  3. Clarins Stretch Mark Minimiser
  4. Remescar Stretch Mark Body Cream
  5. Guinot Crème Specifique Vergetures Stretch Mark Cream

Try rubbing one of these creams onto your stretch mark areas after a shower and see if you notice a difference.

If you’re looking for a more heavy-duty stretch mark treatment, explore one of these medical options. Remember, because stretch marks are so common and are completely harmless, these treatments aren’t available on the NHS.

  1. Retinoid creams or hyaluronic acid (not to be used when pregnant)
  2. Light treatments
  3. Laser treatments
  4. Microdermabrasion

A final note on stretch marks

Before you start scrubbing and rubbing or spend a lot of money on trying to remove your stretch marks, consider how common and harmless they are. Because no treatment can guarantee that it will remove your stretch marks, you might end up no better off than you started.

Stretch marks will usually fade away over time, from red or purple marks to thinner white or silver lines. Some stretch marks might even disappear altogether, so it might be best to try and forget about them.

If your stretch marks are causing you real distress, you can book an appointment with a dermatologist and discuss possible treatments. If you catch the issue in the early stages, you have a higher chance of being able to remove it.

For more skincare advice, keep exploring the Fragrance Direct blog and take a look at some of our guides. Whether you’re looking for tips for treating acne, the best ways to banish brassy hair, or a guide to understanding and getting rid of dandruff, you’ll find everything you need on our blog.

Why Everyone’s Loving Yankee Candle Right Now

Why Everyone’s Loving Yankee Candle Right Now

Discover new fragrances today with Yankee Candle and their iconic, new square jars that are on everyone’s wish list this Christmas. Now, of course, you’ve heard of Yankee Candle before, but did you know about their newest range? Say hello to the Elevation Collection.

Whether you’re searching for Christmas gift ideas or just fancy treating yourself to something new this festive season, you can’t go wrong with Yankee Candle. Their newest range, the Elevation Collection is completely unique with new and improved features that make them perfect for turning any house into the cosiest home. Each candle features a distinctive lid that doubles up as a platform, giving them an added touch of sophistication.

In addition to this, the candles themselves are adorned in quality, thick-cut glass jars to showcase their sleek silhouettes. Yankee Candle are well and truly stepping up their game in the world of aromatherapy with extravagant fragrances that look as incredible as they smell. So, let’s take a look at some of their best new scents.

Holiday Pomegranate, £15.99 / RRP £23.99

A festive gathering of cherry, apple and pomegranate that practically bubbles a warming welcome. This is the perfect candle for creating that festive, spicy aroma in any room of the house. If you’ve got lots of guests coming over this Christmas for cosy evenings in and to celebrate the big day, why not mark the occasion with an elegant, standout candle like this one.

Frosted Fir, £15.99 / RRP £23.99

A winter walk on a frozen path beneath crisp pine needle, balsam, and a delightful hint of winter citrus. If you’re a lover of pine-scented anything, this candle will soon become a new favourite. It’s got that fresh-smelling essence that you get from a brisk walk outside on a crisp winter day. Once you inhale a refreshing breath of this gorgeous candle air, you’ll never look back.

Shore Breeze, £15.99 / RRP £23.99

A walk along the seafront with sweet and salty aromas. The initial scent is that of the salt sea, followed by coconut and bible leaf. The last nuance is amber and musk making this a truly iconic candle because it’s got the depth of winter but the memories of a sweet and fruity summer. How delicious!

Exotic Bergamot, £15.99 / RRP £23.99

A clean, clear mix of bergamot and gentle blossoms – lavender, jasmine and African orange. If you’re a fragrance-lover, you’ll soon fall in love with this beauty. Bergamot is a common note in stunning perfumes such as Gucci Bamboo and Jean Paul Gaultier Classique La Belle. Bergamot infuses an exquisite citrus element into any fragrance that is truly delectable.

Arctic Frost, £15.99 / RRP £23.99

Featuring fresh herbs mixed with cool mint and soft, sweet tones, this candle will take you away to a winter’s day. With crispness beneath your feet as you step into a winter wonderland, this fragrance will take you far far away up into the clouds with its heavenly scent. It’s bursting with top notes of crisp air, peppermint, bergamot, lavender, musk and vanilla. What a dreamy mixture!

Black Friday 2019: The Ultimate Guide & Best Buys

Black Friday 2019: The Ultimate Guide & Best Buys

The big BF can be a little bit overwhelming when you’re being pulled in every direction to snap up the best deals around. However, when it comes to beauty, there really is no better place to be than Fragrance Direct. Not only do we guarantee incredible prices all year round, this year we’re offering Black Friday deals like you’ve never seen before everyday in the lead up to Friday the 29th.

So, sit back, relax and get surfing our site to find all the beauty bargains you’ve been searching for this festive season!

Fragrance Gift Sets

From top designer brands to new fragrances and your favourite classics, our stunning collection of fragrance gift sets are some of the best Black Friday buys around. Featuring iconic brands including Paco Rabanne, Marc Jacobs, Jean Paul Gaultier and Hugo Boss, we can guarantee you’ll find all the gifts you’re searching for right here for phenomenal prices.

FD Beauty’s Black Friday Best Buy: BOSS THE Scent For Her Gift Set 50ml

Make Up Deals

In our Black Friday makeup category, we have a huge range of top makeup brands and high-end cosmetics at extra low prices thanks to the amazing discounts and offers available! Make sure you’re looking your best every day with a great selection of makeup products, makeup sets, and makeup brushes guaranteed to turn heads. Shop from top brands such as Rimmel, L’Oréal and Max Factor without having to leave the comfort of your own home and save money in the process.

FD Beauty’s Black Friday Best Buy: Royal Cosmetics Enhance 15pcs Cosmetic Brush Collection

Skincare Deals

Check out all our skincare products that are on offer this Black Friday week. Give your skin the attention it deserves with our huge range of products that tick every box, shop from a range of cleansers, toners, serums, moisturisers, eye creams and plenty more. Whatever your skin type, we have the product to suit! Bag a discount today and make the most of the amazing offers available!

FD Beauty’s Black Friday Best Buy: Dermalogica Your Most Radiant Skin Gift Set

Bath & Body Deals

In our Black Friday Bath & Body category you can find everything you need to pamper yourself at a great, discounted price! That way you can treat yourself or others whatever your budget! Take a look at our huge range of shower products, bath bombs, body lotions, gift sets and plenty more all on offer for Black Friday. Including bestselling brands and products that you can try now for even less!

FD Beauty’s Black Friday Best Buy: Gatineau Little Luxuries Collection

Hair Care Deals

Shop from our huge range of haircare products that are all on offer for the Black Friday period! Bringing you top products at amazing discounts you can be sure to find the products that will keep your locks looking luscious. Our huge haircare range includes premium salon brands for both men and women so we have something to suit everyone. Looking for the perfect gift for a hair fanatic? Shop our great range of haircare gift sets at great discounts too!

FD Beauty’s Black Friday Best Buy: Sexy Hair Curl Defining Shampoo & Conditioner Duo

Candles & Home Deals

What’s more inviting than a home that smells gorgeous and feels cosy? Get your hands on some of our bestselling candles, diffusers and home fragrance products all with huge discounts off the RRP for Black Friday! Bag your favourite scents from big name brands such as Yankee or Woodwick at a fraction of the usual price, make sure you snap them up before Black Friday is over!

FD Beauty’s Black Friday Best Buy: Yankee Candle 12 Votive Book 2019 Gift Set

Which sections can’t you wait to get shopping? If you’re well and truly into the Christmas shopping season, there couldn’t be a better time to get buying all your gifts!