Category Archives: Facials

Summer must-haves

The summer is one of my favourite times of year, a time to relax –  if you’re lucky enough to go on holiday – and an opportunity to enjoy the sunshine, either at home or away. Make summer 2016 your most beautiful  to date with some of these secret weapons…


beautyspotblogThis eye gel, is a real wonder. The Environ Ionzyme C-Quence Eye Gel has been specifically designed for use on and around your eye area to deeply hydrate and prevent fine lines, and can also be used on your forehead. It contains peptides (Argireline, Matrixyl and Dermaxyl), which have been scientifically proven to combat the appearance of wrinkles, antioxidants (from Soybean and Rosemary extract) and vitamins A, C, and E to boost the skin. It’s a soft, see-through gel that is instantly absorbed on application. It’s also lovely to use when it’s hot because it’s very refreshing, so a real hydration boost for those hot summer days. Apply in the morning and evening after cleansing and toning. It’s available in a 10ml special airless dispenser, at £49.36 it’s not cheap but excellent quality and value, as a little goes a very long way…

For more information go to


laiafarrangravesThis small package, with its low price, is not to be underestimated: RADIANCE LIFTING SERUM, from the ARGAN 5 – ARGAN PLUS PRODUCTS range. A little goes a long way, and it really helps firm the skin, leaving it smooth and thoroughly hydrated. It contains bee venom and antioxidant botanicals, which help with elasticity. The bee venom is known to boost collagen in your skin, the argan oil hydrates intensely and the serum also contains various nourishing oils – baobab oil, kukui oil, moringa oil, sacha inchi oil – and a firming formula. Use a tiny amount under your usual day or night cream. An absolute treat to give your skin a lift!

For more information go to The RADIANCE LIFTING SERUM from ARGAN5 is priced at £15.99 for 30ml.

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.

Smelling of roses

laiafarrangraves.pngThere are night creams and then there are night creams, and the Wild Rose Advanced Repair Sleeping Facial from KORRES, is definitely in the latter category.

It’s a night cream with a difference, because it acts like a facial and repairs your skin while you sleep, providing intense hydration. It also contains vitamin C for extra potent skin brightening and radiance, reinforcing the natural cell renewal process overnight. When you first apply it, its velvety texture literally melts away into your skin leaving it smelling simply delicious – sweet with a hint of flower. It’s intensely hydrating and soft on the skin, so it’s suitable for all skin types, and contains wild rose oil and hyaluronic acid to help combat dry skin – something I’m always battling with. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now, and especially love how nurturing it feels when I apply it, and also how my skin feels in the morning – no tightness or dullness. It’s definitely a little bit of luxury at your fingertips, and worth investing in if you have the slightest tendency to dry skin. So make sure you get your beauty sleep…what’s not to like?

KORRES Wild Rose Advanced Repair Sleeping Facial RRP: £26.00 and available to buy online from For more information go to



Want some sheer tint? We’ve got it covered

laiafarrangravesIf you’re after a daily moisturiser with sun protection and a hint of colour, look no further. The Sheer Tint from Dermalogica is a great light moisturiser that will smooth out your skin and hydrate it whilst adding a hint of colour to it. It’s ideal all year round because it gives you a healthy glow and protects your skin from harmful UVA and UVB sun rays and it’s easy to apply – just once a day after cleansing your skin. You can use it alone as your daily moisturiser or, if like me you need an extra hydration boost, you can use it over a serum or a rich day cream. The colour is translucent enough to provide a radiant glow without looking like you’re wearing make up, giving you a natural, healthy glow. It contains hydrating Hyaluronic Acid and antioxidant Walnut Seed extracts help improve
 the skin’s texture and reduce the appearance of fine dehydration lines. It also has an SPF of 20, which is great to provide your complexion with that extra protection from damaging sun rays all year round (and not just when you’re on holiday!). It comes in three shades, light, medium and dark. I tried the medium and it worked well, once I mixed it in with daily moisturiser. I also tried it as a blush, applying just a little on the cheek area and it looked great, so like any good quality product it’s a bit of a multi-tasker. The shades are very adaptable and subtle too, so one shade will accommodate a number of skin tones. As always, it’s formulated without artificial fragrances and colours – well, we wouldn’t expect anything less from Dermalogica! A good, staple investment if your skin need a pick-me up…

For more information go to Dermalogica’s Sheer Tint spf20 is priced at £34.80.

Fancy a drink? 3 steps to hydrated skin

This season, quench your skin’s thirst with maximum hydration.

laiafarrangravesIf your skin is anything like mine, this harsh cold weather – combined with spring’s sporadic sunny spells – will be drying it out like nobody’s business… As well as drinking water and eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, skincare is key to your skin’s appearance and health. A hydrating cleanser, serum and moisturiser are the three essential steps to take when combating dry and dehydrated skin. I’m currently taking action by using a trio of ‘hero’ products from Environ – one of my all-time favourite brands.

Firstly, I’m using their C-Quence Cleanser morning and night. Why do I like it? Because it feels super-soft and gentle on the skin, whilst giving it a noticeable boost (it features hydrolysed oat extract that is very moisturising). It comes in pump form too, so it’s easy to see the amount required without spilling or wasting it – and in case you were wondering, it’s suitable for all skin types. After this, I’m applying their Focus Hydrating Serum, again twice a day. It’s a see-through, almost-liquid product (bursting with ultra-hydrating hyaluronic acid) that you apply before your moisturiser, and that literally disappears on application, leaving your skin feeling instantly refreshed. beautyspotblogTo finish off, Environ’s Super moisturiser + provides your complexion with all the hydration it needs, all day long. It’s fairly light in texture and feels wonderfully creamy. Because it restores the natural moisture balance of your skin, you will also notice that it eliminates any feeling of tightness you might have felt before. You can use it alone or as an extra boost, in addition to your existing moisturiser, for more effective results. The great thing about this skin regime and, in fact, all of the Environ product range in general, is that the results are gradual and long-lasting. They’re not a quick fix or instant transformation, but over time I believe a good routine pays off and produces much better results than other less holistic approaches to hydration and anti-ageing. Both the serum and the cleanser are part of Environ’s ionzime skin care range, which contains a combination of vitamins, antioxidants and peptides that work together to create a smooth, healthy and glowing skin. For more information go to Products are available from Environ’s UK and Ireland distributor +44( 0)20 8 450 2020.


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!










Honey delight

beautyspotblogLiving Nature’s certified natural Nourishing Day Cream, which is nutrient-rich and extra nourishing. It’s suitable for normal and dry skin, but as it’s fairly heavy in texture, so it really feels good if you need that extra boost. Its hero ingredient is anti-bacterial active Manuka Honey, which is healing and protective, and it also contains Totara extract – rich in anti-oxidants. The cream has an earthy scent to it and is quickly absorbed into the skin, giving you a natural brightness after application. To use, you apply it once a day generously on your face and neck, after your cleansing and toning routine and enjoy the benefits! It’s a beautiful product, and – as with the rest of the Living Nature range – it contains only certified natural preservatives, fragrances and ingredients. The brand is also listed as one of the safest skin care range on Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, which is quite a good indication of its gentle yet effective performance.

For more information go to Living Nature’s certified natural Nourishing Day Cream  retails at £31 for 50ml. l)

About the brand…”Living Nature is New Zealand’s original, certified natural skincare company, founded in 1987 by Suzanne Hall, who was inspired by the healing properties of New Zealand native plants to remedy her own skin conditions”.

Timeless classic – celeb favourite revealed

laiafarrangravesWhen it comes to skincare, I’m always interested in the latest technology and developments, as well as in natural products that use nature’s wisdom to excel. Every so often, however, I come across products that are worth writing home about, even if they don’t fit my usual bill. I recently read about Astral and thought I’d give it a go. I’d seen make-up artists use it on sets – particularly on legs and arms to give the models’ skin that glow it requires before being snapped – but I’d never actually tried it on myself. It’s a real iconic classic that ‘does what it says on the tin’ (since it was created in the 1950s, its formula has remained unchanged) and it works for all ages. It’s a thick all-over moisturiser, which smells reassuringly clean, that does what it claims to: moisturise and hydrate. You can use it as a face cream, cleanser, as a mask, as a moisturiser, as a night cream, make-up remover, to give your legs a shine for your Christmas party, to soothe cracked heals, even as an after-sun lotion. It has a massive celebrity following including Joanna Lumley, Patsy Kensit, Jesy Nelson from Little Mix, Nikki Sanderson from Hollyoaks, Emma Thompson, Kate Beckinsale, Shingai Shoniwa from the Noisettes and Sam Faiers from TOWIE. It’s an ideal product to take to the gym, to the pool or to carry in your handbag just in case, also – of course – it could become invaluable when travelling and you need a faithful, tried-and-tested multi-tasker with you. I could see it becoming a part of the family…













Sam Faiers from The Only Way Is Essex says: “I use Astral Moisturiser. I apply it all over my face if I’ve had quite a heavy weekend and when I wake up in the morning my skin feels really hydrated.”


Joanna Lumley says: “I’m thrilled to try all sorts of face firmers and wrinkle-reduction creams, but the one I always come back to is plain, simple Astral cream. I’ve used it for over 35 years and it just works for me. I also use lashings of Astral moisturiser to take off make-up. I travel everywhere with a little pot of Astral in my bag.”

Astral is available at Superdrug and other reputable chemists and is priced at £1.52 per 50ml, £4.28 per 200ml and £8.16 per 500ml.

Give yourself a Super Boost!

Fancy treating your skin to some extreme hydration? We sent our skin expert Sam Richardson to check out a brand-new facial which she loved –  and is now raving about…

Anesis Salon stands out on the strip called The Pavement in Clapham Common. The exterior is as inviting as their signature SuperBoost Facial delivered by the amazing Theresa – it was pure indulgence.

The salon entry has the feel of a lounge – as I walked in, two locals were sat on the couch with their dog chatting to the owner as if they’d just popped round for coffee to a friend’s house. The warmth was extended by the very courteous staff who prepped me and then introduced me to a woman with truly gifted hands called Theresa.


The treatment began with a Roshehip seed cleanser which was light and creamy. I have sensitive skin, and stay away from heavy lotions, but this wasn’t laiafarrangravesone of them. Warm mitts were gently swirled on my cheeks  and I went into a sense of floating relaxation. Within the blacked-out room including the funky snake skin effect wall paper I was quickly in a state of nirvana, only revived by the Fruit Acid Gel that followed. A tingly exhilaration crept over my face as the effect of this exfoliator kicked in. Think of the infamous Laura Mercier lipgloss, add the kick of a handful of chillies and you’ve got the sensation. This led to a soothing and cooling effect and then the most divine touch from Theresa.

beautyspotShe pressed, wrapped, stimulated and tapped my facial muscles…bliss! Then added a Corrective Oxygen Mask that contained plasma serum and apple stem cell serum. After this, a warm towel with essential oil of lavender was placed to cocoon my face and décollete. The blend of serums was light, yet effective enough to penetrate deeply. This relaxed me so much that I wasn’t sure if I needed to go to my weekly meditation class. But on second thoughts I did… A woman can never take enough care of herself!

I’m feeling my face now – it feels supple and loved. Before the winter kicks in and you visibly need one, treat yourself to a facial –  with Theresa. Then tell your friends or make it your Christmas gift to them. You’ll seriously kick yourself if a facial or a massage from her isn’t on your bucket list!

This, their signature deep cleanse and moisturising facial, includes steam & extractions for all skins types. It’s a fabulous facial that will address skin concerns such as dullness, dryness and congestion utilising the Anesis Skin range of cosmeceutical skincare.

For more information go to The Anesis Superboost Facial is priced at £65, for a 60 minute treatment.