HER SIGNATURE FACIALS, AND BESPOKE FACE MASSAGE METHODS ARE HIGHLY SOUGHT AFTER IN LONDON. HER SKIN COACH METHODS AND PHILOSOPHY ARE ALL ABOUT A NATURAL APPROACH TO HEALTH AND WELL-BEING, COMBINED WITH INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY. WELLKNOWN FACIALIST ABIGAIL JAMES BELIEVES THAT BEAUTIFUL SKIN CAN REALLY BE ACHIEVED WITH A WHOLE HEALTH APPROACH. VIKI SHAH MEETS HER TO FIND OUT MORE…
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU BECAME A FACIALIST.
I was originally in the food industry with a role in my family’s company. At 23, I had my daughter and was experiencing post-natal depression and was unable to return to work. I really felt I needed to do something I loved, so I trained at night school whilst raising my children and balancing my family to learn beauty therapy. That’s where my journey began. I have spent the past 15 plus years learning different methods and achieving a variety of qualifications. Adding lots of skills, methods and therapies to build and develop my career alongside being a parent.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR VIEWS ON SKINCARE. WHAT ARE THE DO’S AND DON’TS TO ACHIEVE BEAUTIFUL, GLOWING SKIN? WHY IS BALANCE IMPORTANT?
I do believe in balance; anything in excess is unhealthy. If you want to see results, you need a routine -that’s the first key must do. A simple cleanse, tone and moisturise is not enough, with the advancement of skincare there are plenty of products that you can incorporate to create a bespoke skincare ritual for you. For example, I believe that serums such as the Rituals newly launched, The Ritual of Namast. Glow Radiance Anti-Aging Serum are essential. They have key actives you can’t hold in a moisturiser that really help supply hydration and plumpness to the skin. Genetics are also a factor; however, your lifestyle has a more noticeable effect, including: air quality & pollution, exercise, mental well-being, and hormonal balance. However, I am a firm believer that incorporating regular facials into your routine are really key to maintaining radiant skin.
HOW DOES OVERALL WELLNESS AND STRESS AFFECT OUR SKIN?
It plays a huge factor. When we are stressed the body releases different hormones, such as cortisol, which has a physically detrimental effect on so many body functions along with the deterioration of collagen fibres. When we feel tense and uneasy, we tend to tense our muscles, including our facial ones, and this shows in the face. When we are stressed our sleep suffers, which means slower cell turnover and regeneration. Our shallow breath means less oxygenation of the body, all adding to the overall detriment to your skin. When we tense muscles, the face is made up of muscles, so this shows in the face. The list goes on and on …
WHAT ARE YOUR TOP TIPS TO MANAGE STRESS?
• Meditation – it doesn’t have to be 20 minutes, let’s start with 3 minutes of reset and recharge either first thing when you wake up or before you go to bed to let go of all the day’s happenings.
• Making time for yourself and seeing it as part of your to-do list – a walk in the park, a bath with your favourite oils, a weekly face mask such as the The Ritual of Namast. Glow Mask with natural fruit acids.
• Ensure you are eating well. Refined sugar really spikes the mood in highs and lows, so try your best to minimise this intake.
• Getting out in nature. This is one of my go-to’s when things are feeling a little overwhelming or unmanageable. Take solace in the peace and beauty of it and reset yourself to take on any challenge.
• Yoga – I love a flow class, you can really lose yourself in it and feel like a totally new human afterwards.
WHAT IS YOGA TO YOU?
Yoga to me is an essential part of my everyday life, it’s a stress management system which is not only good for the physical practice, but also for the breath work and meditation. I have experienced physical injuries and for some time I had to stop the physical practice, however, the other aspects were still there to support my everyday balance of mind, body, and soul.
HOW DOES YOGA HELP US LOOK BEAUTIFUL INSIDE OUT?
There are so many benefits of yoga but the ones that I feel help me personally are the moments to switch the brain off from stress and really help ensure full body relaxation. It has amazing physical benefits on the circulation and lymphatic system, and the movements increase blood flow to the face, boosting oxygenation and consequently the appearance of the skin. But mostly the general happiness it brings: helping me to appreciate everyday moments and turning them into more meaningful routines and rituals.
WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL YOGA ROUTINE LIKE? DO YOU FAVOUR ANY PARTICULAR YOGA STYLE? IF YES, WHY?
I used to love a rocket class. I’ve never been a huge hot yoga fan; however, I appreciate sometimes the fact that the heat is great to improve flexibility. As my body has aged and has had a few injuries, I really appreciate more variety in my classes. I love a flow and I do prefer a slightly more active class but there is a time and place for all styles. I am hyper mobile with short hamstrings, which for yoga is a challenging combination. A yin class is not the best for my body type, however my hamstrings need constant work to keep them anywhere near flexible.
HOW IMPORTANT IS FACIAL YOGA IN BEAUTY?
It can be a great addition to your soulful skincare routine. The face is made up of muscles and tissue just like the rest of your body. Releasing tensions as well as lengthening and strengthening muscles helps to keep them rejuvenated. This is also great to practice free of charge at home. Once you know a few moves and methods, try incorporating it into your routine – after regular practice you will see a difference.
CAN YOU GIVE US A FEW FACIAL YOGA TIPS TO PRACTICE DAILY?
There are so many but a few of my favourites include:
Kiss the sky – hold collar bone and look up kissing the sky
Pursed lips – pressing your fingers against lips – move air from one cheek to the other
Lifting rabbit ears – where you glide your knuckle from mouth to temples
A FEW QUICK QUESTIONS:
THE FIRST THING I DO WHEN I WAKE UP IS… Annoyingly, I check my phone. I don’t spring out of bed, I much prefer to set the alarm early to allow a slow start, giving my body and mind time to wake up.
BEAUTY TO ME IS… being happy and confident.
MY FITNESS MANTRA… is all about balance, I’m not an athlete so I allow my body to do what it feels comfortable with.
MY BEAUTY ROUTINE… is by most standards probably a bit lengthy, however it is my passion and profession! It includes the following:
MORNING – Cleanse, eye cream, hydrate, double serums, moisturise, and SPF
EVENING – Double cleanse, serum, oil
WEEKLY – Face masks
Every 2 – 4 weeks a facial treatment I do on myself including possible lowlevel peels
WELLNESS TO ME IS… multifaceted, and a balance of mind and body.
MY GO-TO BEAUTY PRODUCT… a face oil such as The Ritual of Namast. Ageless Restoring Face Oil
ONE THING I DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT… a smile and telling my kids I love them.
I AM HAPPIEST WHEN… I have my children with me.
I AM MOTIVATED BY… my children! (there seems to be a pattern here with my kiddies!) as well as making people happy and helping others.
ONE THING THAT PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT ME… we had a variety of animals as children including a monkey, llamas, ostriches, and chipmunks, to name just a few.
THE RITUALS OF NAMASTE
THE RITUAL OF NAMASTE FROM RITUALS COSMETICS IS DESIGNED TO CELEBRATE THE POWER OF NATURE AND COMPRISES AN ADVANCED SKIN CARE RANGE THAT HAS BEEN CAREFULLY DEVELOPED TO UNVEIL THE SKIN’S NATURAL RADIANCE, USING NATURAL INGREDIENTS AND FRAGRANCES FROM THE WORLD’S LEADING LABORATORIES. THE COLLECTION INCLUDES ONLY NATURAL OR NATURALLY DERIVED INGREDIENTS THAT HAVE BEEN RESPONSIBLY SOURCED AND INTRODUCES FIVE LINES – GLOW, PURIFY, HYDRATE, AGELESS AND SENSITIVE: EACH ONE CREATED TO MEET INDIVIDUAL SKIN CARE NEEDS. NAMASTГ IS A GREETING THAT SAYS, “MY SOUL HONOURS YOUR SOUL.” SHOW RESPECT FOR BOTH NATURE AND YOUR SKIN, AND THIS RESPECT WILL BE MIRRORED IN YOUR BEAUTIFUL COMPLEXION.
THE GLOW COLLECTION
A collection that consists of anti-aging skin formulas, specially developed to fight the first signs of aging. It helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and restores radiance with enriching saffron flower and holy lotus, a unique combination that helps regenerate skin, leaving it bright and glowing. The Glow Collection has been developed for customers between the age of 30 to 45.
THE PURIFYING COLLECTION
Purify has been designed to help you achieve the cleanest and purest skin possible. Suitable for all skin types, the collection uses a combination of moringa and holy lotus that helps purify and cleanse the skin, while fighting against daily pollutants to create a soothed, refreshed complexion.
THE HYDRATE COLLECTION
Proper hydration is essential for healthy skin. Created to maintain the natural moisture of younger skin, between the age of 18 to 30, the products contain an active complex with hyaluronic acid and Indian rose which helps restore skin’s moisture balance for intensely hydrated, supple skin. Natural plant based antioxidants help protect the skin from negative external influences.
THE SENSITIVE COLLECTION
Calm and balance your skin with natural ingredients like white water lily and holy lotus – both, alcohol and fragrance free, the sensitive collection has been dermatologically tested to offer products that are gentle on the skin.
THE AGELESS COLLECTION
Designed for mature skin types, over 45 years of age, the Ageless Collection contains formulas that firm and lift the skin. Enriched with gotu kola and holy lotus, the products help diminish visible signs of aging, bringing more firmness to the skin, with a smoother complexion.
Abigail James was in Dubai to launch the Rituals of Namaste Collection