Tag Archives: relaxation

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 www.environskincare.com.


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 arganplus.co.uk. 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.

Into the sun

beautyspotblogWe all know that we’re meant to wear sun protection all year round to protect our skin from damaging sun rays, but during the summer months it’s that more important to do so, as the sun is out in full force – even if it’s cloudy. I try to always wear sun cream, but often I find that the products that offer the best protection are thick and white, so hard to blend into one’s skin. So when I came across a brand new product called SPF45 Tinted Moisturiser, which is part of the Marine Skincare from Spa Technologies, I was keen to give it a try. It’s a gorgeous cream that smells clean and refreshing and is instantly absorbed into the skin, providing an even and matt finish. It’s a great daily moisturiser with a hint of colour that you can wear without worrying about adding sun protection, and because it’s so packed-full of nutrients (its main active ingredients are Hyaluronic acid, aloe vera and mineral make-up) you know that you’re also nourishing and feeding your skin. The entire range of serums and creams are, in fact, formulated by blending natural active ingredients into a 70% food-grade seaweed base (seaweed contains magnesium, potassium and phosphorous, essential for collagen production, which maintains the skin’s elasticity), resulting in a nutrient-rich product that provides protection against ageing without relying on chemicals, so you know it’s completely safe to wear. Not only that, but the range is completely vegan so free of any animal products, which is wonderful in itself on so many levels… I love that this luxurious, high-end brand is so ethical and results driven, as often the most effective creams available have very heavily chemically-based formulas. So if you’re conscious of what you consume inside and out (remember that the skin is the largest organ of your body), but still want a product that delivers, this could be the brand for you. You heard it here first!

Spa technologies is:
Hypo-allergenic, contains no Parabens, no sulphates, no sulphides, no MI, no artificial fragrances or colours, no animal product, and is not tested on animals.

The SPF 45 Tinted Moisturiser from Spa Technologies is priced at £25, and £101 for the Restore kitAvailable from Spatechnologiesuk.com  For more information or to see the full range here go to http://www.veganbeautyskincare.co.uk/product-category/skincare 

Luxury in a bottle

beautyspotblogI love the idea of using multi-tasking products. Not only does it make me feel like I’m getting value for money, but I also love to think that things are getting done around me. This is why I’d like to introduce to you the Lala & Bea Organic Family Skincare range, which has been designed to be suitable for use by all the family, meaning you no longer need  to buy a cream or an oil  for your husband, one for your children and one for yourself. No, just the one. The range includes a Baby Oil, a Sleep Tight Pillow Spray, a Nourish Balm and there’s also an adult-only product called Organic Nourish Oil, which due it’s aromatherapy oils may be too strong for babies’ delicate skin.  It contains nourishing sweet almond oil and oat oil, both of which revitalise and moisturise the skin, and a delicate blend of essential oils of sweet orange, geranium, bergamot and cardamom which is just divine.  It was, in fact the scent that enticed me to use it: I gave it a go and absolutely loved it. Like the rest of the range you can feel the quality of the product from the moment you open, smell and feel the product. This particular oil can be used as a moisturiser, in the bath and I’ve found it has made my nails stronger so i’ve been using it as a hand oil. I’ve also added some to the tips of my (dry) hair to hydrate the ends. It’s a great concept and as products go, the practical element of being such an all-round range really appeals to me. The packaging is also charming, as is the idea that  most of its ingredients are sustainable and sourced locally so you’re doing your bit. All in all a great find!

Lala and Bea’s Organic Nourish Oil is priced at £14.50/100ml and available from Lalaandbea.com. For more information go Lalaandbea.com.

About the brand…”Free from parabens, natural and organic ingredients are used in our skincare and where possible, any ingredients that are grown in the UK are used. We have developed our creams & oils with a medical herbalist to ensure they are as nourishing and healing as possible for use by the entire family.  Our skincare is not tested on animals and all of our ingredients and packaging come from natural and sustainable sources.”



beautyspotblogIf you love the smell of Baby Johnson’s baby products (let’s face it, who doesn’t?!) you’ll love this brand new fragrance from The Library of Fragrance. It’s called Baby Powder and it smells just like baby talcum powder. Of course, once you apply this Eau de Toilette on your skin, some of the top notes evaporate and it adapts to you, it might change a little, but that trusting, just-come-out-of-the-bath scent is definitely in the air: it’s a clean and comforting smell that will take you back (possibly) to your very own childhood. It’s light and fresh and great for the summer as it’s clean and breezy. The fragrance is priced at £15.00 for a 30ml. bottle and is available on their website Thelibraryoffragrance.com and Boots (online and stores nationwide}. They have some great scents like Play-doh (another memory lane classic!), Sunshine and Grass. Check them out if you’re after some delicious new colognes!

Advancing scientific research is showing us that scent is processed deep within a part of our brains that also manages emotion and memories. It’s not likely that many of us have tangible memories of being a baby, but it’s very likely that the scent of our Baby Powder fragrance subliminally takes us right back to feeling soothed, cradled and cared for. And who doesn’t want to feel like that at least some of the time?



No time to beautify? We’ve got it covered

beautyspotblog1-26 at 15.03.53So you want to look good, and you’re desperate for a manicure or pedicure but there aren’t enough hours in the day –  and you don’t really want to go in your lunch break because you can’t relax…so why not get them to come to you?
I did exactly that a few weeks ago and it was genius. I wanted to catch up with a friend and also get some beauty treatments done, so we called CitySwish and booked them to come to us (killing two birds with one stone so to speak). One of the main benefits they offer, is that it’s all done online: you book your treatment, your time and date of choice and you pay. Done. The other thing that was great about CitySwish, was how flexible our therapist was – as it was two of us, in essence she said we could use up our time fluidly, so we felt very relaxed, which in turn enhanced our experience. We were treated by Francesca, who arrived promptly with all her stuff (from towels to nail varnishes and a massage bed!), and after a short introduction started with the first treatments: a pedicure for me and a manicure for my friend (who had amazing navy nails done!). laiafarrangravesIt was very professional and we were both very happy with the results. Then, as a complete treat, we both had a short massage which I have to say was FANTASTIC. Francesca placed some hot water with essential oils underneath the massage bed below the head before starting, which was a wonderfully relaxing touch and proceeded to do such a good job that I stopped talking 😉 Once she completed all the treatments, she tool all her bits and pieces and left, leaving us feeling blissfully beautified.
I’m sure the experience would’ve been just as enjoyable had I been on my own, but having a shared experience with a girlfriend made it that more fun. You need to live in London’s zones 1-3 for them to come to your house, but if this is the case, check them out. You won’t regret it!

For more information go to Cityswish.com. Their prices are:
Beauty: £45 per hour
Massage: £60 per hour
Massage & beauty: £55 per hour

Honey Heaven Facial

If you’re heading to Portobello Road Market for the day, check out the Comvita store, which not only sells their own beauty products and health food supplements it also has a fabulous treatment menu. I tried their signature Manuka Honey Facial, which left my skin feeling soft and radiant. The products are made freshly for each appointment to match your individual skin needs. The facial begins with a cleansing ritual and is followed by a deep cleanse, using Comvita’s Olive White bright cleansing lotion. Your face is then exfoliated and steamed to open up the pores and allow the mask that follows to penetrate deeply. The mask is made with Manuka Honey, Rosewater and Carrot Seed essential oil – amongst other wonderfully nourishing ingredients. Using a brush it’s ‘painted on’ and left on the face for a few minutes. Once the mask is removed you are massaged with a a mix of Carrot Seed, Camomile, Rosehip and Evening Primrose. The massage extends to your neck and shoulders making you completely relax into the experience. To finish your skin is moisturised and aye serum is applied, once again using the Olive White products.

The quality of the products used in this facial is second to none and Lisa, the therapist, is fantastic and very intuitive in the way she works. Entering the Comvita store felt like finding an oasis of calm in a particularly vibrant London neighbourhood. A wonderful experience and a great addition to the area.

For more information go to http://www.comvita.co.uk
Prices start at£45.00 for a 45 minute treatment.

Comvita Portobello
212 Portobello Road
London, W11 1LA
020 7985 0056

Irresistible orange zest

BeautyspotlaiafarrangravesSometimes the subtle touches we’re not aware of are as just as important as the bold statements made for all to see. I love a beautifully scented room, for instance, and just in time for Spring I’ve discovered Wax Lyrical’s new Mediterranean Orange, an amazing candle that smells of real fresh, tangy oranges – a scent which  I can pretty much guarantee will lift your mood. It’s a very refreshing and natural scent that also has sweet notes of mandarin and aniseed in the mix, adding an extra, subtle depth to it. I tried the small candle, as I like the simplicity of its design, but you can also buy it as a candle jar or as a candle tin, depending on your taste. The small scented candle will burn for about 35 hours. It’s clean and fresh and will definitely put you in the mood for the new season ahead.

Other new scents from Was Lyrical include Peony, Honeysuckle and Red Cherries and Chamomile and Violet.

About the brand: Wax Lyrical was established in 1980 and is one of the UK’s largest privately owned home fragrancing companies. We design and manufacture luxury scented candles, reed diffusers and private label collections at our home in the beautiful English Lake district.

The Mediterranean Orange small candle is priced at £6. For more information go to www.wax-lyrical.com.

Mud mask indulgence

beautyspot_laiafarrangravesWith the weekend around the corner, it’s time to plan some me-time to beautify and fully relax. There are so many products and treatments on the market these days that sometimes we forget how effective some of the good old classic ones can be. I hadn’t had a mud mask for a very long time, but I fancied going back to basics and loved the results. I tried the Bio-Plasma Mud Mask from the Dead Sea Mineral range from Dr. Organic, which is a good old-fashioned mask that you put on, let dry and rinse off. It’s incredibly purifying (good for oily skin!) and also has anti-ageing properties.  Organic Dead Sea Mineral salt and Dead Sea mud have a long history of skin purifying and health promoting properties. This main ingredient is combined with natural and organic extracts to deeply cleanse and promote new cell regeneration. To use – you can use it up to twice a week – apply a thin layer on your face and leave for 10 minutes (and hope that nobody rings the door bell!), after which you can rinse off with plenty of warm water. It’s simple, effective and very reasonably priced.

For more information go to www.drorganic.co.uk. The item is priced at £7.99.

Love a good Mask!

Sunday is often my ‘Beauty Day’, starting with a lie-in and followed by a long bubble bath. And recently I’ve started using face masks once a week to give my skin that extra boost in needs, especially in the winter months. It’s a very relaxing thing to do (a bit of a ritual!) and it’s also fun – you just hope nobody will ring your bell while looking like you’ve got chocolate spread or clay all over it! I recently tried a mask from the newly launched  skincare line My Skin from Tesco. It’s designed for young skin, but it’s also ideal at any age if you have any blemishes. The Skin Deep Cleansing Mask contains strawberry and honey extracts, and smells absolutely delicious. It also feels lovely on the skin and once you rinse it off with cold water,  your complexion will appear really smooth to the touch. And because you need to leave it on for 5-10 minutes, it really forces you to relax and slow down, making  you feel really pampered.

So next time you’re in Tesco pick one up. It’s only £1.95, and currently £1.00 on offer until the 14th March.

My Skin has been developed with key ingredients that help to keep your skin clean and healthy. The range also includes a brand new Radiance Moisturiser, which is formulated with SPF 15 and radiance boosting particles. This moisturiser protects your skin from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays, and contains passion flower extract and skin –illuminators to rehydrate and replenish your skin, leaving it looking smoother and more radiant. All the products in the My Skin range have been dematologically tested and contain no Parabens.