For the past two years I have been an occasional user of the Karin Herzog Dynamic Duo cellulite creams. It all started when I attended a business school in the UK and my roommate told me about how great it was.
I did some research and saw a range of case studies on various websites which seemed to show that Karin Herzog creams really do work. After a lot of deliberation I invested the most I've ever spent on a tube of cream and spent £45 on the Dynamic Duo set. The set comprises one large tube of Silhouette cream (a 4% oxygen cream) and Tonus B12 (a cream packed with various antioxidants and caffeine). The instructions were a bit misleading about whether to use Tonus B12 first or Silhouette first. I opted to spread a reasonable amount of Silouette on my thighs and stomach each evening after my shower. I then waited about 10 minutes to allow the Silhouette to absorb into my skin before rubbing in a small amount of Tonus B12.
I am a beauty cream skeptic generally so I had low hopes for what it would do to my rear. However, it really did seem to work. I don't have a lot of cellulite as I'm in my twenties and quite slender. I eat healthily and exercise moderately. I therefore know that my cellulite is mainly just a natural part of being a woman. I've seen all different types of women on beaches and almost all of them have a little bit of cellulite. I think it comes from the weight of my bottom pushing down on the tops of my thighs and compressing the fat there. Therefore unless I were to be a skeleton pumped with steroids to rid my body of all of the naturally occurring female fat or one of the lucky percentile who don't have it, I think cellulite will always be a part of my life. However, Karin Herzog Dynamic Duo does seem to really tone up, tighten and smooth my thighs.
I don't use it every day as I don't have the time. I just use it whenever I feel my thighs getting a bit wobbly. Recently though, I have started to worry about what is in the cream. The main ingredient is Hydrogen Peroxide and I'm not sure that putting it on my skin is a good idea so I have really dropped off in my use of it.
A few days ago I happened upon a great website called Paula's Choice. She is a skeptic like me who goes around the world investigating the reality of cosmetics and whether they actually work. I wrote her an email about the Dynamic Duo. I received the below email from one of her helpers:
Thank you for your email. Karin Hertzog’s Dynamic Duo is, unfortunately, just a dynamic waste of money where affecting cellulite is concerned. Cellulite cannot be changed by rubbing products into skin, vitamin B (or any antioxidant) or hydrogen peroxide will have no impact on the formation or breakdown of fat cells in the skin. Hertzog’s product duo blames cellulite on “toxins that block the capillaries, causing uneven, bumpy skin,” and that cellulite can be “washed away” with “trapped toxins.” This could not be further from fact.
Women have a unique skin structure, forming honeycomb connective fibers, which acts as a mold for fatty tissue to form the familiar pattern of cellulite. These connective tissues are too weak to prevent the dimpling of cellulite (there is some research that indicates that vascular changes may be to blame, but this is in its early stages and should be considered causal inference, at best.)
The claim of toxins as the cause of cellulite essentially follows that purging the body of pollutants is the answer, and there is no evidence to support that this is even possible. Detoxifying the body where science is concerned translates to a reduction in the cellular damage with a mixture of antioxidants or other enzymes that have proven capabilities of reducing undesirable cellular functions from occurring. There is certainly helpful for the body, but there is no evidence to support a connection to cellulite, and the benefits have no impact on fat accumulation when applied topically. Cellulite has no relationship whatsoever to toxins from the environment, but rather by accumulation of fat on the body because of caloric intake and exercise imbalance. That is not new knowledge, unfortunately!
The claim of detoxifying the body is an ironic one where Hertzog is concerned, as hydrogen peroxide has extensive research provide its ability to impede the production of healthy skin cells, and oxidizing agents have a destructive effect on the skin by causing free-radical damage. Hydrogen peroxide does function as a disinfectant, but the accumulative effects that result from using such a damaging substance to skin cells on a regular basis will result in cellular destruction and a reduced healthy cell function.
Hertzog’s Tonus B12 is just a collection of various conditioning agents and some antioxidants (its not known how much of each, as the ingredient list is not available on their website.) However, this is irrelevant as avocado, green tea, jojoba oil or any other antioxidant or conditioning agent will not have an impact on cellulite in any way. Skin cannot be “energized” by a skin care product applied topically.
I would recommend that you adhere to your initial reaction, that no skin care product can deliver miracles outside of what is scientifically possible, or evidentiary.
Pretty damning stuff. I don't know where I stand on this. I definitely think he's right - apart from the exercise and caloric intake bit because I'm pretty okay on both of those. On the other hand, I do notice an improvement when I use the creams. I think I will need do get a response from Karin Herzog.
If any of you guys have tried Karin Herzog Dynamic Duo or any other cellulite treatments then let me know!
Sunday, 14 November 2010
For the past two years I have been an occasional user of the Karin Herzog Dynamic Duo cellulite creams. It all started when I attended a business school in the UK and my roommate told me about how great it was.
It's been a long time since my last blog, I've been very busy taking my two ACA advanced stage exams. Having taken 12 exams already, in order to complete the ACA professional stage, I was pretty bored of the whole thing by the time my technical integration tuition started. Luckily one of my ACA tutors in Nicosia gave us all a relatively inspirational speech about the merits of passing these two first time so that all that would be left would be the case study.
I don't think I've ever done as much preparation for an exam as I did for these two. I studied every weekend and some nights after work too for about 6 months. By the time it came to the exams I knew the whole syllabus completely. However, there were massive building works going one next to my apartment and I sat my Business Reporting exam in a state of total sleep deprivation. You can also always rely on the ICAEW to mix it up and give you a paper that is different to any of the past papers or mocks. I really wonder what the point is of the ICAEW writing mock papers if they are not going to be representative of the real exam.
Needless to say Business Reporting may end up being one I have to retake. I think Business Change went okay but you never know. Fingers crossed.
Wednesday, 2 June 2010
Like many people my age, I live in a rented apartment. I really have no desire to leap into owning a house anytime soon. Much as owning my own little nook would be nice, I don't want to be tied to a mortgage or have to worry about maintenance. It's great to be free from owning any real furniture and it's great to know that I can leave my job without stressing quite so much. However, the one massive flaw in renting is that you can't decorate your apartment properly.
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
On saturday, I went horseriding at Drapia Farm in Cyprus. It was my birthday treat organised by my lovely fiance. Unfortunately, I think I may have given him the impression that I was a more experienced rider than I am.
We turned up to Drapia Farm in Kalavassos on saturday morning and were greeted by a couple of young girls. To be honest they weren't the most friendly bunch. I explained that I am not a very experienced rider. I swiftly found myself on a horse with very little guidance. From the start, I had a bit of a bad feeling about my horse as she kept wondering off and ignoring me when I pulled on her reins. Our "instructor" left me alone with my horse and on her return, I asked her for some help. I think German was her first language and I didn't really understand her english. There was no explanation of the trail we would be following or anything like that. Our instructor rode ahead with a friend and we were left behind slightly clueless as to where we going or what we were supposed to be doing.
It all seemed to be going pretty well. Then I suddenly found myself sprawled on the floor in agony. It turned out that our horses had been given a fright from a rock falling off the cliff next to us. Falling of a horse is really scary and very painful. Luckily, I didn't hurt myself too badly. I have some very bad bruises and for a few days I had a sore back and neck.
To be fair, accidents happen with horses and when you get on a horse, you take the risk that you might fall off it. However, for the amount it costs to go riding at Drapia Farm, I think the service was pretty poor. It doesn't cost much to be friendly and give a little bit of proper tuition. I certainly wouldn't ride with them again and I wouldn't recommend riding with them unless you are very experienced.
Monday, 17 May 2010
On Sunday, we went to the Rose Festival in the small village of Agros in Cyprus on the foothills of the Troodos mountains. The drive up was gorgeous, all the flowers were out and the mountains were verdant and fresh – a pleasant reprieve from the heat of Nicosia. Driving in the troodos is always a bit scary thanks to all the people driving too fast or too slow along the windy mountain roads. We finally made it to Agros and had a delicious lunch at the main taverna in the village. You can sit outdoors under the shade of a huge tree whose branches spanned the entire seating area of the taverna. As it was Sunday, there was a set menu of souvlaki (rotisserie pork, lamb or chicken). We ordered souvlaki with green beans, greek salad, dolmades (stuffed vine leaves), fresh yoghurt and olives washed down with some local wine. The food was really good although a little pricey.
Afterwards, suffering from the accompanying sugar low of a large meal, we headed off to find the rose festival. Like most things in Cyprus, it wasn’t very easy to find. Eventually we got there – take the first left before the high school (the modern building with a green roof) - and follow the road down. First stop was the rose house of Agros which is home to the Venus Rose range of bio-certified organic rose products. All the roses are grown locally and harvested in May at dawn. The petals are distilled using by hand. It takes a lot of rose petals and a lot of work to produce even a tiny drop of pure rose essence.
We were given a guided tour of the venus rose range by Christakis Tsolakis who owns the company. It is a family business which has been running since 1948. Chris demonstrated the rose water cleanser which really did seem to work miracles. My skin was left cool, soft and very clean. We also got to try some of their local rose liquer, rose aperitif and rose wine. Chris was a charming if slightly eccentric guide. His demonstration of the flammability of the rose perfume certainly put me off buying it! The Venus Rose range is distributed worldwide which is incredible for a little company based in a mountain village. However, it is easy to see why people would want to buy it. There is no animal testing, no parabens and the ingredients are all organic and natural. The Venus Rose range is very ahead of its time!
The best thing about the tour is that you are under no pressure to buy anything. The shop is in a separate part of the building and you are left to browse alone at leisure or to leave empty handed. Unfortunately, we missed the main events of the rose festival but we were shown a video of the proceedings and it definitely looks worth visiting. The festival takes place in May each year.
Click here if you are interested in buying from their range.
Friday, 14 May 2010
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
At the weekend, I made my first donation to Argos Animal Shelter Cyprus. It wasn't a lot of money, just 20% of my profits so far on my jewellery sales. I think it will still make a difference as it was enough to buy a couple of bulk bags of animal food.
Argos Animal Shelter looks after more than 200 abandoned cats and dogs. They really need all the money that they can get! Hopefully people will keep on buying jewellery and I can keep on giving donations.
Thursday, 6 May 2010
I've just launched a sale section in my etsy shop where you can buy some pieces from my collection at greatly reduced prices. Don't forget that 20% of all profits go to helping animals in Cyprus. Happy shopping!
Last night we were visited by representatives of the church of Jesus Christ and the Latter-Day Saints AKA the Mormons. Having recently read an article from the Sunday Times about their programme of sending young people around the world to spread the word, their visit was a bit like bumping into a celebrity for me.
We were making our dinner at about 6.30pm when we heard a knock. Given we only know about 10 people in this country, we tend to assume someone knocking on the door is asking us to move our car in the car park. My boyfriend answered the door and there were two young men dressed in shirts and ties with little backpacks on. They both looked very neat and nervous. They each had a little name tag written in Greek.
My instinctive thought was – don’t let them in, they will try to brainwash us! Luckily my boyfriend is slightly friendlier than me. They stood in our entrance way for a while explaining that they were representatives from the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter-Day Saints. I asked the obvious. Apparently Mormons is their nickname. Even our usually feral kitten was silently watching them next to us. Usually he runs and hides from visitors but obviously even he found them to be quite gentle.
We invited them in and ended up having a very enjoyable chat with them about their work in Cyprus. These young men had saved $10,000 each in order to have the opportunity to spread the word during a two year stint abroad. The one man was from Utah and the other from Germany. They both spoke fluent English as well as Greek. Quite incredible considering that Greek is a hard language. They were quite disappointed that people in Cyprus seldom actually talk with them in Greek but instead respond in English.
Intriguingly, they have actually managed to convert some Greek Orthodox Cypriots to the Mormon faith. Certainly, their visit helped me to learn about a religion that I know little about and it probably does result in the occasional conversion. They were not pushy in their methods but instead were happy to just answer any questions and provide information. I definitely have more respect for a religion where believers actually do something for their faith.
Friday, 9 April 2010
Having recently started selling on Etsy and Dawanda, I made myself some business cards to send out with my orders. However, www.newworldmonkey.etsy.com is not exactly catchy, neither is www.dawanda.com/shop/newworldmonkey. What I really needed was a succinct domain name. It’s also very useful for advertising as it looks more professional to have a proper domain name. I’m not very experienced at these things and I assumed that if I bought a domain name, I’d have to buy hosting and build a website. Luckily, it turns out that you can create a domain name and then forward it to a url of your choice. Here’s how to do it:
1) Find out what domain names are available. I am from the UK so I opted to use www.daily.co.uk which has a special offer on at the moment where domains are half-price. A lot of Americans recommended www.godaddy.com
2) Most of the good domain names are gone. I’m no expert but, based on my research, it seems that the best thing is to get a .com or failing that a .co.uk. You should write down all the possibilities available to you and compare them. A brief, catchy domain name is best but catchy is more important than brief. You also want to include your keyword in your domain name to optimize it.
3) I managed to get www.bohemian-jewellery.com for 10 GBP for 2 years. It doesn’t include my brand name but it is easy to remember and includes my two main keywords.
4) Daily offered me quite a few things to pay extra for. I think it’s best to opt out of everything and buy it later if you find that you need it.
5) Make sure that your domain name is registered in your name.
6) Once my domain name was set up, I went into my control panel on daily and clicked on domain forwarding. I then entered my etsy site and filled in the meta tags and meta description. Daily has a very good guide on this which they provide a link to when you set up domain forwarding.
Now if you go on www.bohemian-jewellery.com it automatically will take you to www.newworldmonkey.etsy.com. I hope this helps, please comment if you have any questions.
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
When you are in Vienna, you must visit one of the traditional coffee houses. I would recommend going to Cafe Sperl on Gummpendorf strabe. All the cafes are wonderful and make you feel like you have stepped onto the set of an Agatha Christie novel. Waiters wear black tie and most of the cafes have chandeliers and lovely high ceilings. The coffees are wonderful - I recommend trying the Marie Therese which has orange liquer in it. Most cafes have a selection of cakes available - try the sachertorte or strudel with vanilla sauce.
Saturday, 27 March 2010
I recently discovered the Max Mara discount store in Nicosia. It is amazing! Like most people with an average job, I never thought Max Mara would be in my price-range, then I discovered this mecca of discount fashion.
The Max Mara discount store in Nicosia contains some amazing bargains - such as a range of shoes reduced from hundreds to 40 euros. I got a gorgeous coat for only 50 euros reduced from hundreds. There are suits, knitwear, bags, jewellery and perfume.
Friday, 26 March 2010
I recently made cookies for the first time; I usually make biscuits and a rather leaden shortbread. Anyway, I amalgamated a number of recipes in order to bake some peanut butter and nutella cookies. They worked out so well that when I offered them to my colleagues at work, they were all begging for the recipe. The best thing about this recipe for peanut butter and nutella cookies is that you don’t need a weighing scale. Also, don’t be put off by the name; the resulting cookies have a subtle flavour which tastes more of orange, nuts and caramel. Here it is in all its glory. It’s a rough recipe so don’t feel that you have to stick with it exactly and if you discover any ways to improve it then please leave a comment!
You will need:
Approximately 100g of butter – I didn’t have weighing scales so I used just under half of a 225g pack of butter
One cup of caster sugar – a small coffee cup should do (not a mug)
3 tablespoons of nutella
One orange with the skin on
2 tablespoons of peanut butter (crunchy or smooth, you’re call)
At least half a pack of plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
• Mix together in a large bowl the caster sugar, butter, nutella and peanut butter. You can use a wooden spoon and your muscles or a whisk. I just used a spoon and it was fine (and I’m a small woman).
• Once you have a smooth mixture, grate in the skin of the orange. Mix some more.
• Whisk the whole egg.
• Add half the egg to the main mixture. Add about one cup of plain flour (sieved) with one teaspoon of baking powder.
• Mix until smooth.
• Add the rest of the egg and more sieved flour as necessary. The flour doesn’t have to be measured exactly. Just keep adding small amounts of flour until you have a firm, smooth dough which isn’t too sticky.
• Cover the mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
• Take out the mixture and shape into 1 inch dough balls. Place them on a plate. Put topping on them. I put half an almond on some and a lump of chocolate on some (just normal Cadburys chocolate).
• Refrigerate the uncooked cookies for another 15 minutes. You don’t have to put the dough in the fridge but if you want soft, chewy cookies; I’d advise doing it. If you don’t refrigerate them then you will get a more crisp biscuit.
• Preheat the oven to 180C.
• Place the cookies on baking paper – do not grease it.
• Put them in the over for about 15 minutes but check them regularly. You are aiming for them to be gently baked on the outside and slightly soft inside.
• Let them cool and store them in an airtight container.
This is a great recipe because you can play with it. I am adding nutmeg to my next batch!
Friday, 12 March 2010
One of the things that one notices in Cyprus, is how much the women love jewelry. Obviously, women everywhere love jewellery but Cypriot women really love it. With their warm colouring, they are also able to wear pretty much any kind of metal.
It is interesting that both men and women wore jewellery in Cyprus at this time.
Sunday, 14 February 2010
Valentines day has hit us. For women I think the importance of the day and our relationship with it is formed at school. Ask any woman and she will have some story of a school V-day experience. The disappointment of not receiving a card, the humiliation of roses being handed out to the popular girls, the injustice of some very undeserving girl getting flooded with gifts. During those hormonal days, Valentines day seemed like a day designed to emphasise your success (or lack of success) with the opposite sex.
By the time you actually have a partner with you on Valentines day, it has been built up in your mind as this day of wonder that other people have been enjoying each year whilst you have been sitting at home watching bad TV. I genuinely think it is this build up that means women have such high expectations of the day. I am very lucky in that my partner is a very considerate man who always plans something even though he doesn't believe in the day. However, if your partner disappoints you then try to focus on all the many things that they do do for you on all the other days of the year. Generally, men who are good at the big gestures are not good at the real things that count. You only have to look at the fact that footballer John Terry is planning a big surprise for Toni Terry and has given her 100 red roses. I know that I would rather have a partner who is there to support me than a partner who sleeps around but buys me lots of gifts.
On that note, I've found the perfect gift for a tetris fanatic to give to his special lady next gift-giving time. Tetris has designed a range of jewellery based around the little tetris shapes. They do have a pleasant simplicity to them and would no doubt be happily worn by women who like nostalgic, ironic items. However, I am very disappointed to see that the colours are not quite as bright as those of the tetris game.
Thursday, 21 January 2010
Sunday, 10 January 2010
An icelandic jewelry designer, Hafsteinn Juliusson, has come up with a novel way to bring nature into the lives of city dwellers. Juliusson has designed a range of rings which are inset with icelandic moss. The rings have to be watered regularly and can last up to six months if they are looked after.
Juliusson states that the collection is an "experiment in drawing nature toward man, as nature being the presupposition of life." The rings cost £480 each.
Juliusson has definitely come up with something unique and wearing one of his rings would most likely get you attention. However, one does wonder how the ring would survive through day to day life - washing your hands, getting dressed, putting on your coat. Most likely you would end up paying £480 for a ring that after two days has a large hole in it with a few bits of soil.
For more information about Iceland visit http://www.icelandic-traveller.com/