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Karen J. Gerrard Blog

Behind the SEAMS  

HOLDING HANDS for Valentine’s…

It's February already, and  at SEAMS  we are busy preparing for London Fashion Week and our Valentine's Hand Parlour in Fenwick Brent X. We are so happy that lots of men have been buying SEAMS as a gift for their wives and partners, but let's not forget that men's hands need tender loving care too, as SEAMS most recent piece of press coverage in FHM reminds us: Men's hands are just as susceptible to dryness, so why not treat your man to his own tube of SEAMS for Valentine's? He will love the clean, unisex packaging and scent, but it's SEAMS fast absorbing texture that he will respect most! As one male admirer told me: "I love it, especially because it doesn't leave greasy stains on all my stuff." Quite! While on the subject of gift-giving, SEAMS is appealing to all this Valentine's day to also give the gift of "holding hands"! This uncomplicated, tender (and free) gesture seems almost old-fashioned as we are more customary to holding our mobile phones than our partner's palms! So while we all love to receive hand written cards, bunches of roses and candle-lit dinners (and of course, tubes of SEAMS), it's more the simple gestures like holding hands that make us feel special. To make hands desirable to hold, skin needs to feel and look sensuous and soft, while nails should be smooth and trim. So here are my top tips to keep your hands beautiful for holding: IF YOU'RE OUT FOR A VALENTINES STROLL keep your hands  protected from the cold weather by wearing gloves. Moisturise with SEAMS before you put them on and don't forget to take off your gloves as soon as you get back in the warm to avoid dehydrated skin! IF YOU"RE COOKING  A DELICIOUS DINNER  moisturise with SEAMS before and after to keep hands nourished and protected during exposure to heat from the oven and cold water, SEAMS' antibacterial ingredients will help to protect hands against germs and to heal any cuts. Keep kitchen tongs close to save your hands from contact with hot foods and oils and don't forget to use gloves when washing up. The less wet work you do, the better hands will feel. IF YOU'RE GOING ON A CINEMA OR THEATRE DATE don't forget your hands will also be on show! It needn't take long Simple steps like massaging SEAMS onto cuticles and nail beds overnight will transform hands and give nails a smooth sheen. Shape nails using a file with a fine texture and only file in one direction to prevent nails breaking. Finally, whatever you decide to do for Valentine's, why not give each other  a sumptuous hand massage. 1 - Massage SEAMS HAND CREAM into skin in a series of long strokes from the wrist down to the fingertips. 2 - Concentrating on one finger at a time, gently rub the cream into the three joints on each finger. in circular motions. Then very gently stretch each fingertip away from the hand. 3 - Turn the hand so that the palm is facing upwards, and with the thumb on the opposite hand massage in circular movements. Do this on both hands. Happy Valentine's Day Karen J Gerrard http://www.pinterest.com/seamsbeauty/holding-hands/      


Seams Hand Yoga

  KEEP HANDS FIT AND FLEXIBLE Happy New Year! SEAMS has had a great start to 2014 - not only are we so excited to have been featured on the beauty pages of The Mail On Sunday's YOU magazine last Sunday, but we are also happy to be launching our new must-do exercise regime this month: SEAMS' Hand Yoga. We have been inundated with emails from customers for simple exercises to keep their hands flexible and fit, especially during these cold, winter months. Most of us would never think about exercising our hands, yet they endure so much daily wear and tear, which can lead to joint problems and stiffness. These yoga stretches encourage hands to open up, helping them to be as free, mobile and loose as possible, maximising their potential for everyday tasks. SEAMS' Hand Yoga comprises of 3 short, easy exercises that help to keep hands and fingers supple and flexible: 1 HAND STRETCH Gently draw your fingers into a fist placing your thumb on the outside, but don't squeeze or clench tight. Hold for a few seconds, and then stretch open your hands wide with fingers spread apart. Hold them for a few seconds, and then repeat the first movement. Do 5 -10 of these close-and-open sets. SEAMS TIP: For an extra stretch through to your arm, try doing this with your arms out either side of you so they are in a 'quarter-to-three' clock position. 2 PALM PLANK Place your hands in a praying position in front of you, leaving both sets of fingertips touching each other, while separating the palms away from each other. You should feel a stretch in the muscles directly underneath your fingers, which is where we get tight from too much clenching. SEAMS TIP: Think about your posture while doing this stretch, stomach in, shoulders down, back straight. 3 FINGER PRESS Bend each finger backwards for an individual stretch. Make sure you support the knuckle joint with your thumb from the opposite hand, and use the rest of the fingers from the opposite hand to bend the finger back. Another way to do this exercise is to place a finger tip ( up to the first joint), onto a steady flat surface, press down keeping your hand as vertical as possible for comfort and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat on the rest of your fingers and thumbs. This is a great way of relieving finger tension. SEAMS TIP: You could also massage your fingertips to increase circulation. 4 PALM  MASSAGE Why not finish up with a 30 second palm massage, use the opposite thumb to massage your palm in a circular movement, this really helps to relieve tension! The great thing about SEAMS Hand Yoga is that it can be done pretty much anytime and anywhere. When you're on the telephone for example or having a couple of minutes break from the computer. You could also try to incorporate it into your exercise regime as keeping fit often takes its toll on hands. Here are ways to keep your hands healthy while you exercise: SEAMS HAND YOGA: IF YOU'RE OUTSIDE TRAINING Running in cold, wet or windy weather can cause dryness and will make fingers' stiffen up. To avoid dryness, moisturise with SEAMS HAND CREAM before and after training concentrating on knuckles, cuticles and tops of hands. To keep fingers from stiffening, wear gloves but remember to take them off as soon as you get inside and stretch with SEAMS  Hand yoga. IF YOU'RE CYCLING There is a hand condition called 'Handlebar Palsy' that is a form of repetitive strain injury caused by holding the bike's handlebars too tightly. So as well as protecting hands from the elements by wearing bike gloves (make sure you wear new gloves in before a long cycle!) and using SEAMS before and after you cycle, you may want to consider doing a short session of SEAMS Hand Yoga. IF YOU'RE AT THE GYM Most gyms encourage us to use antibacterial gels after each weight session. Yet while hygienic they are also drying for the hands. SEAMS Hand Cream contains Fragonia oil which will help keep 'gym germs' at bay, its non-greasy texture won't make hands slippery. IF YOU'RE BOXING Hands can get sore during a boxing session, as they are prone to developing calluses caused by friction and tension against your palms. So as well as a pre-box moisturise, it's also worth using SEAMS at night for extra help softening your palms. If you develop any hard skin, rub the area with a pumice whilst in the shower. IF YOU'RE SWIMMING Chlorine and expose to the extreme heat of the pool versus the cold temperatures outside can wreak havoc with the condition of hands. Make sure you keep a tube of SEAMS in your gym bag to keep them nourished before and after you hit the pool. It's also worth noting that the SEAMS lovely light scent will help take away the medicinal chlorine smell that normally clings to the skin. Happy exercising Karen J    


De-stress Christmas Hands

  SEAMS first Christmas has been a busy one! Most of December has been spent in our Hand Parlour at Fenwick Brent Cross, nurturing tense 'Christmas shoppers' hands with Seams now infamous Hand Shake massages. We have witnessed how much customer's hands endure during the Christmas shopping season and if, like them you've been busy shopping and wrapping, your hands are most probably in festive distress too! Wrapping paper works like blotting paper on the hands, absorbing all of their moisture so fingertips get get that dry pulling sensation and become prone to paper cuts and rough snagging skin. One of SEAMS' star ingredients - Shea Butter - works hard to moisturise parched hands, and because of its fast-absorbing texture that sinks in instantly, shopping, wrapping (or cooking) can reconvene straight away. Switching from warm heated shops to the cold air outside is another seasonal strain, making hands and cuticles really dry and sore! It has been great seeing how instantly SEAMS transforms hands to look younger and feel softer like silk, and customers have been astonished at how a simple hand massage can de-stress. Join us for a very merry HAND SHAKE in our Hand Parlour! We will be in the Toiletries department at Fenwick Brent Cross until 24th December. We have also added a soft eco- friendly  SEAMS gift bag to package SEAMS as a stocking filler, or as a neat way of storing SEAMS in your handbag, drawer or glove compartment. Being very eco-consious at SEAMS we have made sure that our gift bags and gift boxes can be recycled or re-used. We suggest using the gift boxes as storage for pens and paper, and  our gift bags as the perfect travel pouch.  It becomes very clear at this time of year, how much paper, cardboard and tissue is wasted on wrapping, but SEAMS love to recycle, simple  ideas like using delivery notes as scrap paper, tissue paper and bubble wrap for home storage and saving all your Christmas delivery boxes to re-use  can really help to lower waste. We have had a busy month for press as well. I was honoured that SEAMS was featured on the beauty pages of Hello Magazine. It was lovely to be picked as one of the team's favourite hand creams! 2013 has been a very exciting year for Seams and in 2014 we look forward to launching innovative SEAMS products that your hands will love. I will keep blogging with lots of practical advice, including a Hand Tip of the month to keep your hands looking and feeling healthy. On that note, I'll leave you with December's Hand Tip: Fingertips, cuticles and knuckles often get missed when hand cream is applied, (try yourself and you will see!) yet these are areas that suffer the most with dryness and sores. So to get the most from your hand cream, make a conscious effort to massage into these areas, and at night add an extra squeeze of SEAMS to your fingertips and around your cuticles.. Happy New Year! Karen J


CARING FOR WINTER HANDS

As the cold weather began to take hold this week, SEAMS' pop-up shop in the fashion floor at Fenwick Brent Cross was a busy one. While SEAMS was on hand to care and comfort dry, winter-worn hands, flurries of shoppers filled the floor purchasing this season's most stylishly soft and warm sweaters and coats to prepare for the impending arctic blast. Many noticed how dry their hands had become since the temperature drop, so a tube of SEAMS (along with a free in-store HANDSHAKE massage) was a welcome accessory to add to their shopping bags. Tailoring your routine to care for hands and nails during winter is just as important as tailoring your wardrobe for the colder weather. While you cover up with stylish outerwear, underneath your skin is crying out for moisture! Cold temperatures mixed with drying central heating can wreak havoc on your hands, causing cracked, weak nails, dry skin and sore, unsightly splits. To keep your hands healthy over winter, follow my top 'winter handcare' tips... ALWAYS CARRY SEAMS HAND CREAM IN YOUR HAND BAG Even if you're leaving a warm building for just a few minutes, the cold air will soon make hands really dry so always carry a tube of SEAMS to replenish the moisture regularly. Many customers told me that SEAMS is ideal to keep in the car too as the non-greasy texture allows hands to grip the steering wheel easily. They also love the way its lovely light scent helps the car smell gorgeous. WEAR GLOVES PROPERLY Gloves are essential, but don't forget to take them off as soon as you get in the warm! This will stop skin losing any unnecessary moisture when they are exposed to central heating. Also use SEAMS just before you put them on, and just after you take them off to lock the moisture and keep your hands soft. BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR CLOTHES Wearing knitwear can dry out the hands as wool is a powerful moisture thief! Nourishing with SEAMS will not only replenish your hands' moisture levels, but will also keep skin snag-free. As the editor's of Harpers Bazaar recognises - SEAMS is perfect for keeping "hands conditioned and your silk and cashmere pristine." KEEP NAILS SHORTER Nails tend to become very dry and brittle during winter, so keep them shorter to avoid breakage.  SEAMS  works as a cuticle oil too, always massage it into the cuticle and nail beds every day to banish winter nail problems like hang nails, dry cuticles and brittle, flaking nail beds. SEAMS contains Keratin to help keep your nails strong. Always keep SEAMS close to hand this winter Karen J Gerrard SEAMS Pop-up shop will be in Fenwick Brent Cross fashion floor until 29th November.


Backstage at Wool Week

Last week we got to join with one of our popular customer bases: knitters. Knitting ( Also one of my favourite ways to relax) is fast becoming very stylish. In the past few months, I have witnessed many sophisticated models and actresses behind-the-scenes at catwalks and TV studios passing the time by knitting beautiful bespoke designs. London's hippest fashion brands went crazy for the launch of Wool Week, H&M made the  impression clear in this fashionably succinct window display at their Oxford Circus store: Wool Week was a great opportunity to spread the SEAMS mantra:  that hard working, creative hands ned to be nurtured and nourished. Knitter's  hands are a great example of how skin can be sapped of moisture when it's least expected. As you knit, wool absorbs moisture from the skin making hands feel dry. Plus, the warm feeling experienced whilst knitting, makes skin even more dehydrated. Dry cracked hands then snag the wool, which in turn makes them work slower. Knitters hands need to be kept soft and supple! SEAMS worked its smoothing magic on some of knitting's most influential VIPs whilst at Wool Week. I had the pleasure of meeting the knitting world's answer to Dolce & Gabbana, fashion designers Arne and Carlos who have written lots of cool creative books. It was also great to meet the people behind the new Yarn Bombing craze. Knitting's very own "Bansky's" like to remain incognito to avoid being recognised while leaving their magical creations in random public places, but I am happy to say they loved using SEAMS to nurture their dry, aching hands. I advised them that by taking a few minutes to stop and massage with SEAMS their 'hand ache' (caused by repetitive movements) would disappear. Seams has now become a vital tool in their knitting bags. I spotted some amazing knitwear whilst out and about at Wool Week too. Gorgeous cashmere cardigans, cable-knit ponchos and soft, fluffy angora-blend sweaters in shades of 'winter white' were my particular favourites. The fact that they are the perfect match to SEAMS packaging is of course a little more than a coincidence.... as the editor's of Harpers Bazaar said about SEAMS: it is perfect for keeping "your hands conditioned and your silk and cashmere pristine." Always keep Seams close to hand Karen J Gerrard


Seams in Store At Fenwick Brent Cross

I am happy to announce that SEAMS HAND CREAM is now available to buy at FENWICK store in London's Brent Cross shopping centre. To celebrate this new partnership I will be in-store all day this Thursday 3rd October, and as part of Fenwick's special Beauty Week, you can redeem a complimentary SEAMS HAND SHAKE (a heavenly de-stressing hand massage) when you buy a tube of SEAMS HAND CREAM. If you don't have time to visit us, don't worry! Take 5 minutes to try my 3-step hand massage: 1 Massage SEAMS HAND CREAM into your skin in a series of long strokes from your wrist down to the tips of your fingers. 2 Concentrating on one finger at a time, gently rub the cream into each of the three joints on each finger, in circular motions. Then gently stretch and pull each fingertip away from the hand. 3 Turn your hand so that your palm is facing upwards, and with the thumb on the opposite hand massage circles into the palm. Do this on both hands. THE BENEFITS OF SEAMS HAND MASSAGE - A quick and instant de-stresser. - Improves the motion and flexibility in fingers and wrists. - Enhances the circulation in your hands and arms. - Massaging with SEAMS HAND CRAEM is nurturing and nourishing for skin and nails. As Apple creator Steve Jobs once said, "the hand is the most used part of the body to implement what the brain wants to do." So look after them! I promise you will feel (and work) much better! Karen J Gerrard  


Caring for Celebrity Hands

I should have guessed that the month of September would be an exclusive one for SEAMS when it began with a fabulous review gracing the pages of Harpers Bazaar at the beginning of the month..... The fashion connection followed at London Fashion Week. Whilst Seams helped fashion hands backstage at the shows of  Top Shop Unique, Jasper Conran, Meadham Kirchhof, Antipodium and Nicholas Kirkwood. I spotted a tube of SEAMS HAND CREAM in the handbag of one of fashion's front-row elite! I had given The Telegraph's Fashion Director Hilary Alexander OBE a hand cream to try four months ago at a fashion soiree, so I was so honoured to see her still using it while sitting by the runway at the Osman show! "I always have it in my bag" she told me. "It's the perfect size and makes my hands gorgeously soft" Wow I am proud to say the least... Whilst SEAMS was working hard smoothing fashions most hard-working hands, tubes were also taking centre stage behind-the-scenes at London's Theatreland. At the press night of Storm in a Flower Vase I spotted actress Anita Dobson using SEAMS HAND CREAM. "Not only does it feel wonderful on your skin and absolutely does the trick, but it also smells divine!" And if that wasn't enough. SEAMS" reputation seemed to have spread amongst celebrity chauffeurs too! Whilst sharing a ride home with presenter and writer Jilly Johnson (who also told me how SEAMS is "so soothing without being greasy"), her driver opened his glove compartment to reveal a tube of SEAMS. " I like it too" This is what makes SEAMS so unique. Covetable yet curing, fashionable yet functional; exclusive yet inclusive.... Seams can ft into everyone's lives! Karen J Gerrard


Backstage at London Fashion Week

As Autumn/Winter fashions hit the stores, the fashion world is getting ready for the Spring/Summer' 14 catwalk shows, and Seams is giving a helping hand! Seams is honoured to be part of London Fashion Week by making its backstage debut at many of the shows. I was lucky enough to get a quick glance of the  behind-the-scenes buzz normally reserved for designers, models and the rest of their teams. The creative energy oozing offstage is electric and I was in awe watching some of the amazing designs come together. Time is clearly of the essence and SEAMS is playing a big part in the couturiers last minute sewing and stitching, as they need to soften their needle-worn sore hands before they dress the models for the catwalk. They tell me Seams is the only cream to do that without leaving a greasy residue on the fabulous fabrics. Make-up artists too are stashing SEAMS in their kits to help soften the models hands and nails before they hit the catwalk. I cannot wait to see what the rest of the week has in store for fashion and for SEAMS, so I will be back next week with some more backstage blogging. Until then, have a good weekend! Karen J


CARING FOR SEAMSTRESSES HANDS

Next month is London Fashion Week and some of Britain's greatest designers are getting ready to show their new collections. Specialist sewers and embroiders fill studios around London  bringing fabulous designs to life. Hand beading just one dress can take many days and often nights, so hand ache frequently sets in......slowing down work and causing discomfort. Hands have to be kept in great condition. Which is why Seams now plays a vital part in a fashion designer's atelier room. I recently received some fabulous feedback from Selfridges' Head Seamstress, about how great Seams is for sewers hands. I had sent her some to trial as she couldn't find a way to treat her sore, cut hands. The only time the sewing-induced cut on her thumb ever healed was when she was away on holiday. Yet when she tried Seams whilst at work, the split skin on her thumb began to heal with in a week! I've heard from other designers, dressmakers and sewers saying that they are big fans of SEAMS HAND CREAM too. A common problem with sewers is dry skin so that they often seek to find a good reliable hand cream. Constantly touching fabrics, chemicals and glues also causes skin to dry and crack, leaving hands and fingers prone to snagging the fragile materials. On top of this dozens of daily pin-pricks, cuts from scissors and burns from hot irons make hands really sore and damaged. However no other hand cream helps to solve all of these problems like Seams does, which is what makes SEAMS HAND CREAM so unique and popular! It helps to heal and moisturise dry, sore hands, plus it's non-greasy-but-still nourishing texture sinks into skin straight away! Designers can be fitting a dress on a model minutes before a show and their hands must be smooth, greasy fingerprints are a definite no-no when working with fine materials. Using Seams Hand Cream really does care for hard-working sewers hands, and here's how: THE HAND PROBLEM: CHAPPED HANDS SNAG MATERIALS THE SEAMS SOLUTION : Seams uses Macadamia Nut Oil to help soften and condition cracked areas on your hands so that they are not prone to splitting. Glycerine also helps to maintain moisture levels way so skin stays soft. THE HAND PROBLEM: SPLIT NAILS TEAR FABRICS THE SEAMS SOLUTION: Keratin significantly improves the condition of damaged nails, so that nails grow strong, healthy and smooth. Seams gives them a natural shine too! THE  HAND PROBLEM: CONSTANT WASHING CAUSES DRY SKIN THE SEAMS SOLUTION: Clean hands are vital for crafters, but constant washing in water just dries them out even more. Seams contains Shea butter which is deeply moisturising, soothing and helps promote skin renewal. Fragonia Oil a natural anti-bacterial which helps to keep hands clean. THE  HAND PROBLEM: MOISTURE CAN LEAVE MARKS THE SEAMS SOLUTION: Seams has been developed with a secret non-greasy texture that sinks into the fabric of your skin straight away so there's no risk of ruining delicate materials with greasy fingerprints and stains. THE HAND PROBLEM: PIN-PRICKS AND HOT IRONS MAKE HANDS SORE THE SEAMS SOLUTION: Glycerine which helps to treat burns, minor skin sores and maintain moisture balance; Fragonia Oil which helps to heal with anti-inflamatory properties makes Seams the perfect skin-soother for treating damaged hands. THE  HAND PROBLEM: HANDS ACHE FROM REPETITIVE SEWING THE SEAMS SOLUTION: One of the most common causes of hand aches is caused when performing repetitive work such as sewing ( repetitive strain injury). Taking a couple of minutes massaging Seams into your hands from wrist to finger tips to loosen the joints and encourage blood circulation, paying particular attention to the palms of your hands. So always keep a tube of SEAMS HAND CREAM in your sewing basket and by your sewing machine. Create beautiful things with beautiful hands. Karen J Gerrard    


HOW TO LOOK AFTER YOUR HANDS IN SUMMER

Aah, summer, what's not to love? Well sorry but summer does actually have some drawbacks, and most of them are to do with our skin. Behind that tan, skin is crying out for moisture and shade. Yet while most of us are quick to try to resolve the damage to our face and body, how many of us actually stop to think about the damage summer is doing to our hands and nails? I have become a little obsessed about the health of my hands and nails, which is one of the many reasons why I formulated Seams Hand Cream. Whilst relaxing on the beach hands can feel hot yet dry at the same time. Here's why... High Temperatures + Sea Breeze = Very dry hands. Sun Exposure + UV Rays = Age spots and wrinkles. Sand + Sea Salt = Dehydrated skin. The salt from the sea dehydrates your skin, whilst the sand exfoliates exposing new skin to moisture loss. SEAMS SUMMER SOLUTION SEAMS HAND CREAM contains special ingredients including: Shea Butter (Bytyrospermum Parkii) - To moisturise very dry skin - help soothe sun burn't skin - soften and calm dehydrated skin - prevent wrinkles and protect hands from the damages of  High Temperatures and sea breezes. Garden Cress (Lepidum Sativum) A powerful skin conditioning antioxidant that helps to prevent and fade age spots, even - out skin tone and reverse the signs of ageing caused by  Sun Exposure + UV Rays. Macadamia nut oil (Macrose Ternifolia seed oil and Rossa Canina oil) - is a great emollient with high levels of vitamin E, which helps to protect and nourish dry skin, restore condition, and slow down the signs of ageing. Macadamia nut oil is great for the nails also, a perfect solution to care for hands after enjoying the Sand and Sea. NOT TO FORGET WATER!  Water is one of your hands biggest 'dehydration' enemies, so all of the swimming and extra hand washing we do during the hot sticky summer makes them suffer. Plus whilst in the evening as temperatures cool, the heat of our bodies evaporates water through our skin, making our hands dehydrated and feeling dry. SEAMS HAND CREAM is full of nurturing ingredients that work fast to care for our hands all year round. Seams helps to maintain moisture levels - nourish nails and cuticles, moisturise skin instantly, reduce the appearance of age spots and wrinkles and  protect against environmental damage. So, I cannot say enough how important it is to care for your hands at this time of year. While you use sunscreen during the day always make sure you apply SEAMS HAND CREAM in the morning and night to look after your skin in the way a sunscreen cannot..... Happy holidays!