Mitherings from Morningside

you'll have had your tea

Mitherings from Morningside


I never used to have such brittle nails, but in recent years they’ve done nothing but split, crack and (often painfully) break. I’ve tried strengthening coats, biotin supplements, B complex supplements, omega supplements, CND Rescue Rx oil, more strengthening coats … Nothing has worked.

I recently stumbled upon Bliss Kiss Simply Pure nail oil and decided to give it a go. The product is being shipped from the US so it could take a while to get here. The creator of the Simply Pure nail oil has kindly listed the ingredients on the site. In the meantime, I’m trying pure jojoba oil, applying it to my nails, rubbing it in, waiting until the nails have soaked up all the oil and feel dry rather than oily, then doing it again. Just now, it takes about five minutes for my nails to absorb it all and feel dry.

This is the state of my nails after two days of jojoba oil. Today is 07/08/2020.

You can see they look dry, they’re split and peeling, and the right thumbnail is torn right down to the quick.

12/08 I did frequent coats of jojoba oil, as above, for four days. Then I got hold of some applicator pens and filled them with jojoba oil, vitamin E gel and plant squalane. I cleaned my nails, applied a base coat, and have continued to apply the treatment multiple times per day. This is my nails today. I don’t see any improvement so far.

Today is 17/08, so ten days into the jojoba oil treatments. I removed the base coat a few days ago and have been doing multiple, frequent treatment applications. My nails are still dry and absorb the oil very quickly, but I think they are looking a bit better (the hairy background is in fact my cat).

The order from Bliss Kiss is held at the sorting office because there was a £12.71 customs charge, but I paid that today, so with any luck it will arrive in the next couple of days. I will switch to the Simply Pure when it arrives, and continue to update this post.


The Bliss Kiss package arrived on the 19th. I’ve been doing the same – painting my nails and the surrounding skin multiple times per day. The photos below are my nails today. Next, Bliss Kiss recommend cleaning the nails with alcohol and painting them with a good base coat. They specify a base coat rather than a base/top coat because base coats are formulated to stick to the nail surface. I will also keep applying the oil several times a day.

They are looking better aren’t they?

07/09/2020 Things have gone a bit tits up since the above.I applied another base coat, then got carried away and applied a couple of coats of my current favourite nail polish, Camo by Revolution Beauty. Like all the nail polishes I’ve ever tried, including gel manicures, it was chipped at the ends within 24 hours. I left it all on for a week though, so as not to dry my nails with remover. Once I’d removed it, my nails weren’t great – flaky and chipped at the ends and they were breaking very easily, especially as I assembled a new cat tree, and spent a weekend doing a big batch cook with my hands in and out of water. I kept oiling my nails and about a week ago applied another base coat, which I removed yesterday.

I don’t think my nails like being painted, even if it’s just with a base coat. They look healthy enough when it’s on, but when I take it off, the ends are split and peeling, and they break. Or maybe they’re ok with the base coat but react badly to the remover. I dunno. Anyway, my nails are bare just now and I’m back to frequent multiple oilings.


I think my pattern for the next wee while will be wearing a base coat through the week, with regular oilings, and remove it at the weekend for frequent oiiing. Ideally I’d like to get to a point that my nails can survive without a base coat. To that end, I’ve been reading a bit about the benefits of dietary sulphur for the hair and nails, such as this article. I’m going to try sulphur supplements (MSM) and see if that helps.

20/10/2020 A couple of months if oil treatment and base coat, and a month of sulphur supplements, and they are definitely looking better (the gloss is base coat).

The Smell of Bullshit, part 81: Whose Lives Matter?

From Twitter today – make sure you read the whole threads.

The Smell of Bullshit, part 80: The Karass Sanctuary

Someone just sent me to a facebook page belonging to the Karass Sanctuary. The post she wanted me to see says this:

Last year we applied for a grant of £7,000 from LUSH UK to help us with our work at The Maggie Fleming Animal Hospice and to help us create the first purpose-built animal hospice, and to give end of life care to terminally ill abandoned companion animals and rescued farmed animals.

We were declined, but we accepted that, given that they receive many applications for funding each year.

However, a couple of weeks after it declined our application, Lush chose to screen Crannog, a documentary about our work, at its film festival. We were pleased and thankful for their interest, but neither we nor the director received any payment or publicity from Lush UK for them using our film, nor did we expect or want to, but Lush Film Festival benefited from showing our work.

We enquired and were asked to reapply in light of these circumstances as they said it seemed like we should get their financial support. We have just had an email to say we’ve been declined again.

It seems that the work of a tiny charity run by two volunteers is valuable enough for a multi-national multi-million pound company to use and profit from, but not valuable enough for it to support us financially and help us do the work they clearly think is good enough for them to capitalise on.

Ahve spent years raising the money we need to make aw this happen, and Adam has spent years designing and building it, and this grant would have been enough to complete this project we have spent every day for the last three years working on, every bit of it from our souls. We’re knackered, and this would have been the piece that made it aw come the gither.

Ahm actually greetin ahm so disappointed.

I don’t have their permission to post it here; I hope they don’t mind. You can get more information about them here.

Lush Film Festival? They get more pretentious every day. And benefiting from someone else’s hard work without giving them any credit or payment? How surprising.

The Smell of Bullshit, part 79: More Alternatives

Last year I discovered Merumaya, courtesy of a giveaway from The Pool.

The Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm is great. I’ve found it copes well with everything except stubborn mascara, and it leaves skin soft and happy. Apply a small amount to dry skin, massage it in, then massage again with warm water and remove either with water or with a face cloth. It works as hard as Andy Murray and it lasts for ages. It makes a great first cleanse if you’re someone who likes a double cleanse.

The eye makeup remover is equally effective, including on stubborn mascara. I find it a little bit sting-y on my over-sensitive eyes so I have to be careful with it and rinse well afterwards, but after a day of contact lenses, cat allergies, Scottish winds and computer monitors, my eyes are knackered and tender. I’m sure people with less wimpy eyes would have no issues.

Merumaya mineral cleansing paste is a gorgeous exfoliator. The texture is very fine so the exfoliation is gentle rather than scratchy but still effective. My skin feels smooth and almost polished after use.

The Lavender Eye Makeup Remover from Stripped is my current favourite. It’s a blend of four organic oils and I’ve found it removes eye makeup gently but effectively. It has a pump dispenser and one pump of oil is enough for each eye. I massage it gently into the eye area, concentrating on the lashes, and it loosens and removes mascara and clears away eye makeup without any stinging.

Another great cleansing balm is the apricot butter cleansing balm from Beauty Pie. To me, it looks and smells like The Body Shop mango body butter I loved in the 90s. Like the Merumaya balm, I don’t find it enough to remove waterproof mascara, but otherwise it’s effective, gentle, smells great and lasts for ages if you can resist the temptation to hoik great gobs of it out of the tub.

Talking of mascara, I also really like the Beauty Pie Flash False Lash Mascara. It gives a jet black, glossy colour, and lengthens, defines and separates lashes. It’s noticeable but not OTT – ideal for work/daytime wear.

I haven’t been offered any kind of reward or recompense for reviewing any of these products.

The Smell of Bullshit, part 78: That Pesky Public

In part 77, we talked about Lush’s campaign related to the undercover police officers nicknamed “spy cops,” and how upset many of the public were. A little while ago, I received this email from a Lush staff member.

My Favourite Recipe Books

I like to do a batch-cook once a month. I spend a weekend cooking as many main meals and lunches as I can fit in the freezer, and these are the recipe books I use most often.

Madhur Jaffrey

  • Curry Easy Vegetarian
  • The Madhur Jaffrey Cookbook
  • Curry Easy

Anjum Anand

  • Anjum’s Indian Vegetarian Feast
  • I (heart) Curry

Kaushy Patel

  • Prashad Indian Vegetarian Curry
  • Prashad at Home

Meera Sodha

  • Fresh India

Krishna Dutta

  • the Dal Cookbook

Mona Hamadeh

  • A Lebanese Feast of Vegetables, Pulses, Herbs and Spices

Salma Hage

  • The Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook


Why? Because they are filled with recipes for tasty, nutritious vegetarian meals,which freeze and re-heat well. Because they use a combination of common (to white British people) and unfamiliar (to white British people) ingredients, which encourages me to eat a wider variety of foods and buy from a wider range of shops. I tend to use Jordan Valley on Nicolson Street and Bismillah Food Store on Nicolson Square, but Maqbool on Potterrow is good too. I like to support small, local businesses where I can. Jordan Valley is great for pulses and spices and huge jars of artichokes at good prices. Bismillah is good for spices, pulses and Asian vegetables. Which reminds me, I bought medlars and I need to see if they are bletted yet…

The Smell of Bullshit, part 77: Another Lush Campaign Upsets People

Several years ago the press revealed that the Metropolitan Police had sent officers undercover into various organisations, to infiltrate the organisations and get evidence of criminal activity. During their undercover time, several of the officers began relationships with women, who were understandably distraught when the truth of their identities were revealed.

I don’t know enough about police work to comment on whether infiltrating groups is common or acceptable police behaviour. I don’t know whether any of those police officers genuinely fell for the women they had relationships with, or whether it was all manipulation and abuse of power. Only the officers involved know that and regardless of any real feelings they might have had, those relationships were strictly forbidden. Certainly the women involved feel that they were manipulated, abused and deceived.

When this information first became public, Mark Constantine had a right bee in his bonnet about it. He posted about it on the Lush forum a lot, along with posts about news reports of MI5 and MI6 using torture or information gained by torturing suspects. He didn’t often post on the forum about anything but he had a lot to say about these issues, in his usual pretentious, trying to be cryptic, pseudo-intellectual way.

Now, Lush believe that the public inquiry into the claims of wrongdoing by the undercover officers is protecting officers, and they have chosen to draw attention to this by what might be their most over the top and not in a good way campaign yet.


On their website, Lush say

“This is not an anti-state/anti-police campaign. We are aware that the police forces of the UK are doing an increasingly difficult and dangerous job whilst having their funding slashed. We fully support them in having proper police numbers, correctly funded to fight crime, violence and to be there to serve the public at our times of need.

This campaign is not about the real police work done by those front line officers who support the public every day – it is about a controversial branch of political undercover policing that ran for many years before being exposed. Our campaign is to highlight this small and secretive subset of undercover policing that undermines and threatens the very idea of democracy.”

But unsurprisingly, the public are seeing it as an attack on all police. Thousands of people on social media are threatening to boycott Lush, their facebook reviews had approx 16,000 one star reviews added overnight, and at least one shop has removed the campaign from its window (note to staff: make sure you’ve joined a union for when the shit comes down on you).


The thing that bugs me most about this is – Lush knew that this window display would trigger strong reactions from the public, and they clearly didn’t give a fuck about how that would affect the frontline shop staff. I’m sure that 99.99% of police officers are professional enough not to let this ill-conceived campaign affect their attitude to their work, but if I worked in a shop with that display up, I’d be at best embarrassed and at worst reluctant to call the police to an emergency situation. Some Lush staff used to be police. Some police used to be Lush staff. Lots of Lush staff have family who are police. Lush can’t have given a second’s thought to what this display would feel like to those staff. And what of the women abused by these few police officers? How do they feel, going into town for a bit of shopping and finding their trauma all over a shop window, selling increasingly laughable products at increasingly inflated prices?

Of course the prices are inflated; Mark keeps giving his money away.

Edited to add: how do the abused women feel about the campaign?

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