Let’s be honest we all want to look beautiful, youthful, have glowing skin and healthy hair and nails. The truth is… it takes more than just products and potions to obtain true beauty. This week my guest on Veggies & Me is Natural Beauty Expert Belinda Hughes. With party season upon us we all want to look our best and Belinda has some great advice for us here.

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What does beauty mean to you?  

Ultimately I feel that beauty is confidence. If you look at someone who may have tried to change their appearance by wearing a lot of makeup or having a lot of work done, they can come across as self-conscious and don’t shine like the natural beauty that is full of life and confidence, imperfections and all. Then of course healthy skin, the type that glows from the inside that comes from great inner health. That shine you get from confidence and inner health is the most beautiful thing.

What are the top beauty myths you hear from your clients and what do you wish everyone new about achieving beauty through a holistic approach?

Many clients have 2 big things they don’t understand when it comes to beauty. They don’t understand the different between a professional product and it’s active levels compared to retail products. There’s a lot of education I do around how much active ingredients are in a product. Over the counter or party plan skin care have lower active ingredients because anyone can sell them safely without an understanding of the skin. Professional products require training to recommend because the level of active ingredients are much higher and more effective. Secondly I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding about DIY at home beauty hacks. Raw materials don’t actually penetrate the skin as effectively as professionally blended creams. Using raw oils can have the opposite desired effect and I often clean skin out that has had comedogenic ingredients applied over a period of time.

What role does what we eat & drink, who we love, how we move and where we live & work effect our appearance?

It is everything to do with our appearance. Our skin is our biggest detoxifying organ so everything that goes in, affects our skin. A healthy diet with plenty of omega 3’s, fresh vegetables and water are key to healthy skin. The skin is also an extremity so you need to get your blood moving to get enough oxygen to the surface and that’s effectively done through exercise. Our environment has a profound effect on our skin, environmental and UV damage can wreck havoc with skin. Minimising effects of these factors by using sunscreens and staying out of the sun in the middle of the day are essential to healthy youthful skin.

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What are the top 5 foods to eat on a regular basis to maximise your natural beauty?

I love food! But there are certain foods I always eat.

  1. Avocado daily for breakfast
  2. Salmon 3 times a week
  3. More vegetables on my plate (by a lot) than protein. My plate is mostly green vegetables with butter and garlic daily.
  4. I cook everything in coconut oil, it’s the least carcinogenic of oils to cook with and full of healthy fatty acids
  5. Filtered water, lots of it

Can you recommend any DIY beauty treatments people can do at home on a budget?

I’m really not a fan of the home DIY. There are actually A LOT of amazing affordable skincare lines that are completely natural. You will only get the results you are after long term with properly formulated skincare. The good news is that natural products are more concentrated so you only need to use a small amount. My favourite beauty hack is to sprits a natural toner on the skin before applying your moisturiser to help it go further, therefore using less.

What big name beauty products make you cringe and what do people need to be aware of when shopping for skin care and personal care products?

All the big supermarket brands, L’Oreal and Garnier are the worst I think with very cleaver marketing campaigns that lead people to believe they’re good products. The reality is these products are doing more harm to your skin than good. Then the products that have ‘organics’ in the name that are definitely not organic!

What does self-care mean to you?

It means nourishing myself and I can do that through many different means. Usually I’ll reach for a nourishing meal first when my energy is low. Other ways are going for a walk through a park, spending time with my family, doing a beauty routine on my skin and body and sleeping when I need it. Being good and gentle to yourself is key to getting through stressful times.

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Having beauty treatments can be a key part in people’s self-care routine. Can you share any strategies from your own busy life to help others prioritise self-care?

This is a big one and I have a few beauty hacks I love! Firstly you are allowed to cleanse your face in the shower, just turn the temperature down a bit before sticking your face under the water. Take the time to use a serum every day before you moisturise, there’s no getting that minute back, BUT the long term benefits are so worth it. Using 2 in 1 products are also great, use these in the shower also, like an exfoliant/mask for example rub around your skin for a minute and leave it on while you shower, rinse off just before you get out. Invest in a mask that you can use as a night cream once a week as well and sleep in it for an overnight hydration boost.

We are always on the look out for tips and tricks to help people include more fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet. Can you share any words of wisdom on this topic?

I make everything fresh on the day. I don’t stock up on food in the pantry that is non perishable so I don’t have a choice, but it’s easier than people think. When I make salmon I only use one pan. I blanch the vegetables in water first, drain them then cook the salmon. When that’s done toss the vegetables back in the pan with the juices and garlic. It’s simple, quick and delicious. I also only eat avocado on spelt toast for breakfast every day. I avoid cereal. These simple habits great increase my vegetable intake without even trying. Sometimes I’ll grab a banana as I’m running out the door.