Category Archives: Body

My favourite daily sun protection

My guess would be that if you asked any Beauty Editor to share with you their top skin care secret it might be that they wear sun protection all year round. And I’m not talking about a day cream or make-up containing  and low SPF, I’m talking about sun protection in its own right, straight down the line. Again, I’m not talking about your greasy holiday Tropical Oil, I’m talking about a much more sophisticated cream or powder you can use daily and incorporate into your day to day routine. You can really protect your skin from premature ageing by getting into this habit – that and drinking water, of course. I’ve been shopping around for great sun protection and here are two of the best I’ve come across.

Environ Sun Care RAD SPF15

beautyspotblogThis is a cream you’ll love to wear, because of its light, creamy texture and subtle scent. You can wear it under your make-up as a base layer or on its own as it provides a very slight satiny sheen. It contains antioxidants to protect from damaging UVA and UVB rays, photo damage and free radical damage. It’s suitable for all ages –  including children – face and body and all skin types, and it’s also water resistant. It’s one of those products you can get into using daily without noticing, as it’s not heavily scented, thick or greasy. But what you will notice, a few months down the line, are the effects of a well protected skin: beautifully healthy, plump and hydrated.
For more information go to www.environskincare.com. Environ Sun Care RAD SPF15 is priced at £19.95. Available at environ stockists nationwide.

Jane Iredale Powder-Me Dry Sunscreen SPF30

beautyspotblogThis is a great find, and one that may transform your beauty routine. It’s a translucent powder (it also comes in Golden and Tanned) that can be applied on your face, body and scalp to give you dry sun protection. It couldn’t be easier: the container has a foam sponge attached to it and you just shake it lightly and then press it onto the area you want to protect. It can be applied over your make-up or on moisturised skin to give it a finishing touch. The top of the lid has a mirror so  you can ensure you haven’t missed any bits 🙂 It’s ideal to take in your handbag or in your hand luggage when travelling as it won’t spill or leak, and being a powder it can be taken safely through customs. For more information go to janeiredale.comJane Iredale Powder-Me Dry Sunscreen SPF30 is priced at £35.00 (175g).

Environ® cannot be purchased directly online, and must always follow a consultation and product recommendation by a trained Environ® Skin Care Professional. Our unique STEP-UP SYSTEM™ helps skin become gradually more comfortable with increasing doses of vitamin A and other ingredients thereby reducing the likelihood of a skin reaction.

 

 

 

Heavenly Body Lotions

Hot weather can really dry out your skin, so it’s extra important to pay attention to it during the summer months. Although this year hasn’t really felt like summer much in my corner of the world, except for the glorious heat wave we had, I still like to experiment with nourishing body lotions to keep my skin in good condition. Here are a few of my favourites, which I hope you’re going to love too…

THE RIGHTEOUS BUTTER

beautyspotblogFrom the delicious and quirky Soap & Glory range, with its retro and witty packaging comes a rather special body butter. As it says on its fun packaging, you might swear you’re wearing velvet! Smooth and intense, with softening shea butter and moisturizing aloe vera as well as cocoa seed butter, coconut oil and rosa moscheta seed oil, it’s super creamy but not too rich. Of fast absorption, non-greasy and reminiscent of the Miss Dior Chérie fragrance, this body cream is divine. The fragrance includes bergamot, mandarin and musk, with floral, fruity and woody notes. Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter comes in a 300ml container and in a mini handbag-size too – all their packaging is lovely.

For more information go to www.soapandglory.comTHE RIGHTEOUS BUTTER™ MINI is priced at £2.50.

DHC OLIVE BODY BUTTER

beautyspotblogDHC OLIVE body butter is also very nourishing for your skin, with a delicate scent. It seals in moisture from top to toe, enveloping your skin in a rich veil of hydration. It contains cocoa and shea butters, as well as emollient oils: olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, aqualane and argan oil. Your skin will feel soft and silky, with a non-greasy after-feel. It comes in very pretty and delicate circular packaging, with a dynamic and lively green apple and rose scent – so uplifting even on a grey day!

For more information go to www.dhcuk.co.ukDHC OLIVE body butter 100g is priced at £15.50.

BETTY HULA CHAMPAGNE & SPICE

beautyspotblog3Another vintage find that you’ll love and that will make a great gift for that girlfriend who adores all things vintage is the Betty Hula Champagne and Spice moisturizing cream with shea butter. Made with natural ingredients and featuring a luxurious, unusual fragrance, this product is creamy yet light, and gets absorbed immediately, leaving a decadent scent behind. This product also comes in Rum & Blackcurrant, in quirky and pretty 120 ml containers, with a hand-crafted look that will look fabulous in any bathroom.

Betty Hula Champagne and Spice is priced at £12.99. For more information go to bettyhula.co.uk.

DOVE INDULGENT NOURISHMENT BODY LOTION WITH SHEA BUTTER

beautyspotblog2This has a very pleasant texture and is quickly absorbed. The scent is gorgeous, and it truly envelops your senses in a nourishing cloud of creamy goodness. It contains Dove’s DeepCare Complex nourishing ingredients, filled with active moisturisers than will keep your skin soft and smooth for 24 hours, with a delicate fragrance that will complement any perfume.

Dove indulgent nourishment body lotion with Shea butter is priced at £3.49. For more information go to www.amazon.co.uk.

If you can’t stand the heat…

laiafarrangravesIt seems to be a good time of year to review sun creams as this UK heatwave is in full swing!

I came across the new Organii Everyday Organics Sun Milk 50 at my local health food store a few months ago and couldn’t resist buying it…I’ve been using it all summer and it has become another favourite of mine, especially when it comes to children, because you know their preciously delicate skin is completely protected from the sun’s harmful UVA AND UVB sun rays. As a friend said to me in the park as I was applying it to my toddler from head to toe: ‘These wholesome organic sun creams leave you child looking like they’re ready to swim the channel’ 🙂
This organic mineral sun cream is vegan (another reason I like it) and fragrance free and it’s very easy to apply because of its fluid consistency – it’s not runny but it’s not a thick cream either. And it works on all skin types, so it’s ideal for the whole family. Its formulation includes extracts of jojoba, olive, sunflower and argan oils to nourish and moisturise the skin while naturally shielding you from the sun. Because of its high protection, it’s ideal for those with fair skin or those who burn quickly too: all in all a wonderfully wholesome Sun Milk you can trust and enjoy during the hottest of summer days.

UVA & UVB Protection
Effective immediately
Fragrance Free
Paraben Free
No colourings
Water Resistant
Suitable for sensitive skin
Suitable for vegans
Nickel Tested
Dermatologically Tested
Certified by ICEA

Organii Everyday Organics Sun Milk 50 is priced at £19.90. For more information go pravera.co.uk.

Spritz on your sun screen

laiafarrangravesIt’s finally hot: it’s summer, my favourite time of year, but a season that can be very harmful for your skin if you don’t protect it sufficiently. I always wear factor 50 sun cream on my face, all year round, because it’s exposed – it may sound excessive to some but I truly believe that when it comes to skincare, prevention is key and sun damage can age your skin prematurely. I normally use a lotion, but when I saw this new Invisible Hydrating Mist SPF50 from Vichy, I simply couldn’t resist trying it out. It’s designed for your body, but I’ve also used it on my face and it works well. The obvious advantage using this product has, is that it’s extremely easy to apply, just spray on and Bob’s your uncle. It’s also invisible, meaning that it leaves no streaks or white marks on your body or clothes, so you can wear it with any outfit. It’s designed for all skin types, including sensitive skin, and it’s also unisex – my husband sprays it on before cycling to avoid greasy hands, and I’ve used it on my toddler when, pool in sight, she has no patience to wait for cream to be applied. The formula filters UVA and UVB harmful rays to protect the skin. It’s also enriched with Vichy Thermal Spa Water (soothing, fortifying and regenerating) for maximum hydration – contains no Parabens and is Hypoallergenic. It’s a very clever idea and a great family all-rounder that can keep you all protected from the sun. In short,  think this one is a keeper: easy to use, effective and offering all-round protection. The only drawback is that you can’t carry it in your hand luggage if you’re off on a short sunny break, but then again you’re bound to find some at the airport…

For more information go to www.vichy.co.ukInvisible Hydrating Mist SPF50 from Vichy is priced at £16.50. It’s also available in SPF30. Ideal Soleil is available at Boots Nationwide and at www.boots.com.

 

Relax…it’s only Christmas!

beautyspotThis time of year is filled with social occasions and a busy calendar for us all, so make sure you block out some precious me-time and schedule in some quiet relaxation and replenishing time for yourself. Christmas can be stressful and filled with high expectations, so why not treat yourself in the form of some time out from your busy week and a few simple beauty rituals? A candle-lit bath and a clay mask should leave you feeling relaxed yet invigorated and fresh, ready for the next round of social events!

Neom Organics make my favourite candles, and they have a special limited edition candle as part of their dreamy Christmas selection: Christmas Wish and Perfect Peace (£49.95). Neom have created their 100% natural Neom Christmas Wish™ fragrance, part of their therapeutic Neom Scent To Instantly De-Stress™ range. It includes thirteen pure essential oils, amongst them mandarin, cinnamon and tonka bean. The candle comes in two different sizes, with one and three wicks. They’re long-lasting and work even in large spaces. The scent evokes all the traditions of the Christmas period and helps reduce stress levels, too – and, this year, it’s sprinkled with 18 ct gold, to add even more luxury to the experience! You can also go for Neom Perfect Peace™ , a fragrance that is part of their therapeutic Neom Scent To Make You Happy™ range. It includes twenty-five essential oils including pine, myrrh and lime peel, blended to lift your mood, and helps with anxiety and stress, giving you a sense of calm – plus this year it comes sprinkled with real platinum, for added glamour. Another option is Neom Perfect Peace™ , also part of the therapeutic Neom Scent To Make You Happy™ range. It includes twenty-five essential oils including pine, myrrh and lime peel, blended to lift your mood, and helps with anxiety and stress, giving you a sense of calm – plus this year it comes sprinkled with real platinum, for added glamour.

laiafarrangraves.pngAfter choosing your scent, it’s time to run your bath. I have found some incredible bath salts called Rosemary & Ginger Body Soak (£12.75). This is great for soothing tired muscles, aches and pains. The scent packs a punch and is delicious yet strong; it’s handmade in the UK with pure ingredients – you will find nothing artificial in this attractive aluminium canister, and it’s suitable for every skin type. This aromatic mixture will ease any muscle stiffness or aches: the Epsom salts offer trace elements and help get rid of toxins; the ginger and galbanum relax and warm the muscles. Wintergreen is good for joints, lavender peps you up and calms, and rosemary revitalizes.

beautyspotFinally, for a great face mask. I recommend ARGAN+ LIFT & RENEW CLAY MASK (£8.95) from the ARGAN 5 – ARGAN PLUS PRODUCTS range. It contains an astonishing amount of natural oils – baobab oil, kukui oil, moringa oil and sacha inchi oil, as well as the revitalizing passionflower oil, which is rich in vitamin C and essential fatty acids. There is also shea butter to replenish, moisturize and soften, green clay and kaolin to draw out impurities and, of course, precious Moroccan argan oil. I use this mask once a week. Apply it to clean, dry skin, and rinse off thoroughly with lukewarm water. Your skin will emerge fresh, rested, renewed and nourished, with added elasticity. Fine lines are visibly diminished and your face will feel smooth, clean and soft… you’ll be ready for a beautiful Christmas. So make sure you take some time out to beautify yourself, take a deep breath and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KORRES to the rescue!

beautyspotblogAre you ready for Christmas? If – like me– you’re a last minute shopper, read on for some inspiration that could be just the ticket for those ‘question marks’ on your shopping list… Just in time for Christmas, the legendary Greek natural brand KORRES has launched the most exquisite four new gift sets, which could be the answer to your prayers: the Shower Gel Collection (£10 – a collection of 4 travel-size shower gels), the Bergamot Pear Collection (£15  a set which includes a shower gel and body milk – this by the way happens to be my favourite), the Mediterranean Trio (£26 which has a shower gel a body milk and a body butter) and finally the  Guava Collection (£20 this one contains a guava shower gel a body milk and mandarin lip butter stick).
The lovely thing about these gift sets is that not only they’re original and unusual in their scent combinations, but they’re presented beautifully, and the quality of the products – they only use natural products with no added chemicals – is second to none. Consequently their aroma and texture are as light as they are exquisite. The Guava range, for instance, smells sweet and tropical, reminiscent of that holiday feeling, whereas the Bergamot Pear is as refreshing as a fruit sorbet after a heavy meal. Let’s face it, one can never have enough luxury bathroom products (especially if they look beautiful in your bathroom) so if you’re after some last minute inspiration you can’t go wrong with these sets…

KORRES Christmas sets are available to buy in-store and online from selected stockists, including debenhams.com.

About the products:

1. KORRES BERGAMOT PEAR COLLECTION RRP: £15.00. Go “festive fresh” with the Bergamot Pear collection. Reminiscent of sunny walks in the blooming countryside, this  fresh, fruity and floral body line sets the holiday mood; Let the citrus accords, the aquatic tones and the fruity nuances refresh your senses. 
Contains: BERGAMOT & PEAR SHOWERGEL 250ml, BERGAMOT & PEAR BODY MILK 200ml

 2. KORRES MERITERANEAN TRIO RRP: £26.00. Dazzling fresh Basil Lemon, freshly cut figs, bergamot and pears from Aegean island gardens; Reminiscent of long summer afternoons, the KORRES Mediterranean trio collection, instantly sets the mood for an idyllic get-away. Contains: BASIL LEMON SHOWERGEL 250ml, BERGAMOT & PEAR BODY MILK 200ml,FIG BODY BUTTER 125ml

 3. KORRES GUAVA COLLECTION RRP: £20.00. An invigorating blend of tropical fruits offer an exotic note in the middle of the winter. Contains: GUAVA SHOWERGEL 250ml, GUAVA BODY MILK 200ml, MANDARIN LIP BUTTER STICK colourless 5ml

 4. KORRES SHOWER GEL COLLECTION GIFT SET RRP: £10.00. A Limited edition Mini Showergel set containing a deliciously scented quartet of KORRES most popular and best selling scents in miniature 40ml sizes. The perfect stocking filler! Contains: GUAVA SHOWERGEL 40ml, BASIL LEMON SHOWERGEL 40ml, BERGAMOT & PEAR SHOWERGEL 40ml, SANTORINI VINE SHOWERGEL 40ml.

Super moisturising action

laiafarrangravesThe summer is officially over, and with the weather changes ahead, your skin may be prone to getting dry. It’s time to take action (remember that it’s better to prevent rather than cure) and to intensify your moisturising routine, ensuring your complexion remains fully hydrated. Recently on the market is a great product I’ve been using over the past few weeks; luxurious and rich (yet light and easily absorbed) the new Environ intensive super moisturiser +, has been especially designed to combat enviromentally-induced dryness so it’s ideal to use during the dryer winter months. It contains Shea butter and pure grade Lanolin to protect the skin, as well as antioxidants to help shield it from the outside world. You can use it on its own or after a serum or day cream to boost its effect. I used it twice a day after cleansing and applying a brightening serum, and loved how it simply disappeared on application leaving no trace, just a feeling of freshness and healthy, hydrated skin. As I’ve experienced with all Environ products (I’m a massive fan!), it’s very effective and does what it says on the tin, so if you’re prone to dry skin this is the moisturiser for you. It’s so effective and gentle you can use it during pregnancy, when flying and it’s even used as after care following a cosmetic peel – to help keep skin hydrated and supple.

Super Moisturiser+ is ideal for:

  • skin that has become drier with age
  • skin affected by environmental factors
  • skin affected by changing climatic conditions
  • alleviating skin dryness following a peel
  • comforting sensitive or compromised skin
  • additional comfort alongside Environ’s vitamin A products
  • an alternative moisturiser for dry or sensitive skin

 Environ’s Intensive Super Moisturiser+ is packaged in a 50 ml airless pump dispenser, is priced £29.95 and is available from Environ’s UK and Ireland distributor iiaa (www.iiaa.eu /+44( 0)20 8 450 2020). For more information go to www.iiaa.eu

Babylicious

laiafarranThis week I’ve fallen in love with a range of products  for babies from Burt’s Bees called Baby Bee. The buttermilk soap, in particular, is totally addictive and will have you thinking up reasons to go and wash your hands or indeed your baby’s hands…It contains buttermilk, rich in emollients and natural fats which are ideal for sensitive and delicate skin, and oat flour – another great skin soother. It smells absolutely delicious: delicate, soft and sweet without being at all overpowering and feels particularly soft when you apply it on the skin. It’s designed for and loved by babies because of its smooth and gentle texture, but I’m actually sold on it myself…Also particularly delicious in the range is Burt’s Bees Baby Bee’s beautyspotblogShampoo and Wash, because we all love a multi-tasker, especially when we become mums and life becomes a bit of a juggling act! It’s a great product, gentle enough to use every day (it’s tear free and non irritating) and I love that it cleans both hair and body saving you the hassle of needing two products. Its formula includes sweet orange, lemon and coconut oils to create a nourishing and effective cleanser, but more importantly doesn’t contain phthalates, parabens, petrolatum, or SLS. It bubbles generously and leaves skin and hair soft, so much so that I’ve stopped using a conditioner too. If you’re looking for a gift for a new mum or you have children yourself this is a great range that ticks all the boxes: from the beautiful packaging to the subtle fragrance and texture, to the fact that the products are made with a lot of love, natural products and no nasties at all. All in all a winner range that I (and more importantly my much harder to please baby daughter) would thoroughly recommend.

For more information go to Burtsbees.co.uk. Baby Bee Shampoo and Wash is priced at £7.99, and the Buttermilk Baby Soap is priced at £4.99.

Wyboston Lakes – the perfect getaway

beautyspotbloglaiaIf you’re in need of a break, check out the Wyboston Lakes hotel complex hidden away near Cambridge… I arrived at the hotel at about 10,30 pm on a weekday, after a long day. The train from King’s Cross was so speedy it felt more like a flight, earache included – but it got me to St Neots in no time. I arrived at the hotel complex courtesy of a chatty and well-travelled taxi driver, and when I eventually got there (in the dark, it was a maze of green spaces and hotel buildings) I was informed that my booking was made for the following day in error, and that the hotel was fully booked. However, the very efficient and helpful staff found me a perfectly adequate room in a nearby training centre. The building was fairly modern, carpeted and fairly neutral in design – a cross between a Spanish holiday resort (tiles and summery furniture) and a very English B&B.
The room was very clean and more of a little apartment, with a window overlooking a wild garden, a kitchenette which included a cooker and a fridge, and a bathroom. The television had seen better days and had very limited channels; however, I wasn’t there for the entertainment but for the purpose of relaxation! The bed was huge, very comfortable, and I had a very good night’s sleep. beautyspotThe next day I made myself a morning coffee in my room and went to have a shower. It seems that having so much green around has one minor side effect – spiders! As I walked into the shower I was greeted by a massive spider and thankfully managed  not to scream and wake up the entire 501-540 section of the building. It hid somewhere, probably more scared of me than me of it, and I had a very pleasant power shower. The bathroom was pleasant, clean and tidy. I had breakfast amidst a crowd of corporate executives whom, judging by their animated conversations, were attending meetings in the center. Breakfast was a buffet with the usual offer of English breakfast, cereals, tea and coffee. I would have liked more fresh fruit in the menu, but the healthy eating choice was good. This is a hidden gem of a hotel complex. If you want to get away from it all or need to be near Cambridge and/or Milton Keynes, this is an excellent hotel choice. It is surrounded by green and even a lake, and has a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere. Wifi and phone reception weren’t the best, but strangely enough, this small issue contributed to making my stay there even more relaxing – I had, literally, switched off. It also offers the superb Y Spa, which you can book to enjoy treatments or enjoy their facilities for the day.

For more information go to Wybostonlakes.co.uk.

Spa Heaven


beautyspotblog

I have found a great spa to escape to from the busy rhythm of city life. It’s called Y Spa and I’ll tell you ‘Y’ I like it so much…

The entrance to the spa was relaxing, airy and feminine, with its colourful OPI nail varnish displays and elegant furniture. The staff were extremely friendly, and there was a feeling of luxury in the air. As you walk into the spa, there is a café area with a modern feel to it, where you can have a drink and a chat before entering the blissful experience that is this spa.laiafarrangraves

The spa is spotlessly clean and well-organized. The “keys” to my locker were in a convenient wristband and all the sections in the spa were clearly marked, so it was easy to navigate. I was shown around and then left to my own devices. The place is kept clean and tidy by an almost invisible army of staff, working quietly in the background and keeping everything just right, so the clients can enjoy their experience fully. The relaxation area is decorated in soothing, rich colours, which enhanced the experience even further.

I first tested one of their divine state-of-the-art water beds. It was warm – the perfect temperature, in fact – and I covered myself with a soft blanket for a cosy, relaxing moment. It was so comforting, it almost felt like being embraced by an old friend. I rested there for a few minutes, and then wandered to the 1960s “cocoon pods” in the next room. Alongside these cool pod chairs there were also designer armchairs that added to the sharp ’60s look of the room. You could choose from a wide range of books and magazines to read inside your individual pod, which was like a little space of your own, and its clever design cut out any outside noise. We don’t realize how many decibels we handle in our busy lives – you only realize when you get rid of the extra noise. It was a very soothing few minutes. There was also a section with cosy beds and low lighting, but I was eager to try out the spa.

beautyspotlaiafarrangravesThere were two steam rooms, an ice room, two showers with different scents, two saunas (the aptly named Softy and Some Like it Hot) and a small pool-jacuzzi outside. I particularly enjoyed Salty, a steam room with salt water that left you feeling as if you’d had a long swim in the Mediterranean… I then went into Softy, a gentle sauna, to dry off, and then into the ice room (where a block of ice covers an entire wall) for an invigorating few minutes. There was a jug of fresh water waiting for me before I step outside. As I walked into the glorious sunshine (which really contributed to making me feel as if I was on holiday), I noticed couples chatting and laughing, a mother and daughter sipping champagne and a bunch of girls relaxing on a sofa, next to an outdoor fireplace. It occurred to me that pampering and indulgence mean different things to different people and, as our hostess, Melissa, had mentioned in the introductory spa tour, some people want to detox while others want to indulge during a day like this. After some more indulgence in the jacuzzi (shame there wasn’t a larger swimming pool – that’s all that was missing to make the experience perfect), I really felt as if I’d been away for a week-end, and my everyday worries seemed to have melted away in the steam room, any tension in my muscles had dissolved into the waterbed, and any stress had evaporated in the sauna.

laiafarrangravesbeautyspotThe experience ended with a fabulous buffet – a huge variety of healthy and exquisite dishes – overlooking the lake. All around me I could see people laughing, strolling outside in the beautiful grounds, while the friendly staff made sure I was enjoying my time with them – I particularly remember Pom and Magali. Even the fact that I had erratic wifi and phone reception added to the feeling of being away recharging. A perfect end to a wonderful day of complete relaxation.

For more information go to Yspa.co.uk.