Tag Archives: Beauty

Spa Days: The Spa at The Midland, Manchester

Over the weekend my husband took me to The Midland Hotel in Manchester for a romantic weekend to celebrate my birthday. My gift from him was a night in a suite, a nine course meal in The French and some time in The Spa at The Midland. It was not the worst present I’ve ever been given. The boy did very well.

The Spa at The Midland

I am VERY fond of a spa day. Sometimes I will go to a spa for a treatment or two and then chill out in the thermal rooms, sometimes I will just go for a swim, a sauna and a steam. I find thermal rooms are very good for my back (I have chronic pain), the warmth of a sauna or a steam room really eases my old bones, so a spa day isn’t just a nice treat, it’s like therapy. 

As a guest at The Midland if you just want to use the spa, all you do is phone the Spa Reception and they’ll book you in for a time. This is so the spa doesn’t get too busy and noisy. If you’re not staying in the hotel, then you’ll need to book a spa day, there are a range of options on their website.

The Spa at The Midland has won a whole host of awards including Best City Spa Break Manchester, Best City Spa Day Manchester and Best Hotel Spa Manchester. The Spa at The Midland has also been named as ‘Best City Spa’ in The Candis 2016 Spa Awards. It is very good.

Take the lift to the lower ground floor and open the door to the spa, the smell of soothing essential oils permeates up the corridor to the spa reception. We were greeted by one of the staff, given a fluffy towel, a robe and slippers and directed to the changing rooms.

The Spa at The Midland

The communal changing rooms are a little on the small side, but if they only have small numbers in at a time it shouldn’t be an issue. The changing area has showers as well as an area where you can dry and straighten your hair.

I headed straight for the pool area, taking a shower before diving in. The shower has three different settings, and is a bit of an experience in itself. The cool misty shower is great after the sauna. 

The pool isn’t large, but it’s big enough to do a few gentle laps before sitting in the jacuzzi. The jacuzzi is very warm, it was too warm for my husband, but the bubbles pummelled my back in all the right places so I did spend quite a lot of time in there.

There is a small sauna and a steam room tucked away near the tropical shower area. Both rooms are probably big enough for 4 or 5 people but no more. I really enjoyed both rooms and I would very much like to go back and spend some more time in them. There is something very cleansing about having a sauna and a steam, I’d recommend it, especially if you suffer with aches and pains.

I didn’t venture into the relaxation room, but hubs spent quite a lot of time in there, he made himself a herbal tea, found a restful corner and promptly fell asleep. I do enjoy a relaxation room after I’ve had a treatment, they’re good places to chill out in whilst you come round after a massage or facial. Or if you’re my husband, a great place to have a nap.

The Spa at The Midland

We spent a couple of hours enjoying the pool and thermal suites before heading back to our room to get ready for dinner. We are talking about coming back for an afternoon of post-Christmas relaxation in the New Year. We didn’t have the time to try out any of the treatments on offer at The Spa at The Midland, but that is something we will look at for our next visit.

The Spa at The Midland also has a gym, a number of treatment rooms and a cafe to enjoy when you visit. I’ve been to a lot of spas and this felt very luxurious, it was clean, the lighting was soft and relaxing and the staff were attentive without been obtrusive. I enjoyed my couple of hours in the spa very much and I’m looking forward to our return.

For more information and more detailed photographs (I didn’t take any photos inside the spa for obvious reasons), visit The Spa at The Midland website.

Spa Days: Volair Spa, Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park

Despite a promise to look after myself a bit better this year, beauty treatments and spa days have been pretty thin on the ground. Other things and other people come first, which as a mum is how it should be, but it was definitely my turn for a bit of TLC. Real life friend and fellow blogger Liz from Expression and Confession and I hopped in the car for a day at Volair Spa at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park. We had been invited to the spa for the day to check out their facilities and to find out more about the treatments they offer.

Volair Spa at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park

We arrived at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park and not being locals we had no idea what to expect. It is a large, very modern leisure centre. It’s an interesting state of the art building, filled with sculptures, interesting art works, the biggest swimming pool I’ve seen in a while, a gym, squash courts and lots more.

We headed upstairs to the Volair Spa. We were greeted by Hayley who gave us fluffy robes and slippers to change into. Once we’d got changed we sat in the relaxation room and chilled out with a cup of herbal tea while we waited for some more people to arrive. This is a really restful place, with soft mood lighting, scented candles and comfortable chairs or beanbags to sit on.

Volair Spa at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park

After a short welcome and health and safety talk we were shown downstairs to the Thermal Suite. I love thermal suites, they are always my favourite part of a spa. The thermal suite at the Volair Spa was small but perfectly formed. It had one steam room, a sauna and a jacuzzi. Everything looked new, scrupulously clean and very very tempting.

We were given some Lycon Spa Essentials exfoliating sugar scrub to scrub ourselves all over with before we began. There were lots of different scrubs to choose from, but I went for the pomegranate. We scrubbed and showered, and with fresh glowy skin we slipped into the jacuzzi to let the de-stressing process begin.

Volair Spa at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park

We had an hour in the thermal suite, and we tried out the sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. We felt deliciously relaxed and reluctant to leave for lunch. A two hour session in the thermal suite costs just £9.50, or two people for £15 which is excellent value. If I lived locally I could happily spend the day here, swimming for an hour or so, then unwinding in the thermal suite for a few hours.

Volair Spa at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park

After a light lunch and a glass of fizz we found ourselves in the capable hands of Beauty Therapist Hayley. Hayley gave us a fascinating hands on workshop on how to take our make up off and give ourselves a lovely home facial. My skin already felt pretty fantastic after applying the AromaWorks facial cleanser, toner and facial oils.

We were then ushered into one of their treatment rooms. The rooms are quiet, lit softly and are lovely relaxing spaces. I volunteered to have a Crystal Clear Micro-Dermabrasion treatment. It works by gently exfoliating the outer layers of the skin and gives immediate results for a range of skincare niggles including fine lines and wrinkles, open pores, blackheads, pigmentation, blemish scars and acne scars. I have pretty good skin for my age, but they promised to blast out some of my stubborn blackheads, clean my open pores and give me a general freshen up.

The Crystal Clear Micro-Dermabrasion didn’t hurt at all. Ultra-fine crystals are blasted onto your skin, but it feels quite gentle, just a little bit like someone is gently pushing your face with something like the rubber end of a pencil (that’s the only comparison I could think of, I’m sorry). It took around 20 minutes and afterwards my skin was moisturised. When I got home I took a photo…

Volair Spa at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park

… and I was impressed by how fresh and glowy my skin looked. It was visibly cleaner (yes I do wash every day) and brighter. Everyone who has clapped eyes on me since has remarked on how well I’m looking too.

We had a thoroughly relaxing day at the Volair Spa at the Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park. It’s a lovely, modern spa with good facilities, great treatments, a restful atmosphere and free parking. It was so good we’ve booked to go back next month!

Visit the Volair Spa at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park website for more information and special offers.

The Volair Spa is at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park, Longview Drive, Huyton, Merseyside, L36 6EG Tel: 0151 443 2580

We were invited guests of Volair Spa, but all images and opinions are our own. We were under no obligation to blog about our spa day.

Prosecco, skincare and a makeover in Didsbury

I am not by nature one of the beautiful people. I don’t have lovely swishy hair and flawless make up. In fact on the rare occasions that I wear make up it’s usually a quick flick of an ancient mascara and some free lip gloss I got with a magazine years ago.

The saying goes – you can’t polish a turd, so there’s no point in me trying, but this week my friend Jane and I went to Toni & Guy in Didsbury to find out more about their beauty rooms and Jane persuaded me to have a makeover. 

makeover

Jane has recently had what ladies of our age call “a special birthday”, she arrived at her party looking stunning. Gillian Rafferty, a local make up artist had done her make up and although Jane is naturally beautiful anyway (with swishy hair) she looked flawless and fabulous. Gillian has been a make up artist for ten years and has worked with celebrities including Colleen Rooney, Kate Kelly and Michelle Keegan.

Gillian did my make up and Jane watched keenly. Gillian quickly assessed my skin and applied a tinted primer, deftly hid my quite massive eye bags and put eye-shadow, mascara and eyeliner on me to make more of my eyes. She finished my makeover with some pink lipstick in a shade I’d never normally try, but obviously worked for me, and then sort of spray painted my face which fixed my make up and made it look flawless. Yes, I looked flawless.

makeover

We spent some time looking around the beauty rooms, Clare Angela is the resident beauty therapist and she offers pretty much everything you might need -manicures, pedicures, tanning, waxing and facials. Clare is passionate about skincare and she offers a range of facials using Environ products starting from £45.

During the evening Environ were there with a special camera which takes photographs of your face and allows you to see how damaged your skin is and what you can do about it. They come to Didsbury every few months, so if you’re interested it’s worth phoning Clare and booking a session with them. 

makeover

We had a lovely and interesting evening learning about make up, beauty and skincare at Toni & Guy and then we went off to drink some more prosecco in a local bar. And my make up still looked good when I got home!

makeover

Beauty and Skin Health by Clare Angela is available by appointment at Toni & Guy in Didsbury, phone 0161 445 5466 for more information on what Clare offers. Makeovers and make up tutorials are available from Gillian Rafferty by appointment. Visit her website for more information.

Win a pampering facial at Beauty Bee, Bramhall

Last month I had a lovely treat at Beauty Bee in Bramhall, Stockport. I booked myself in for a pampering facial and it was incredible. You can read my full review here, but the picture below and the look on my face in the “after” photo probably tells you everything you need to know. Read on to find out more about how you could win a pampering facial at Beauty Bee, Bramhall for yourself!

Win a pampering facial at Beauty Bee

Beauty Bee are located at Moorend Golf Driving Range in Bramhall and they offer a selection of deep tissue and sports massages to the golfers, as well as a full range of beauty and pampering treatments to non-sporting types too. Abby has worked as a beauty therapist all over the world and specialises in  Oncology massage, as well as facials, massages, waxing, manicures and pedicures.

I can’t recommend Beauty Bee enough, I had an amazing facial and Abby has a very calming and caring way about her. I’m really pleased that Beauty Bee has kindly offered the prize of a facial to one of my blog readers, one of you lucky lot will get to experience a Beauty Bee facial.

Win a pampering facial at Beauty Bee

Beauty Bee is at Moorend Golf Driving Range, 177 Woodford Rd, Bramhall, Stockport, Cheshire SK7 1QE Phone: 07876 032125. You can find Beauty Bee on Facebook. They also offer treatments on selected days at The University of Manchester.

SPECIAL OFFER: Maternity Mondays at Beauty Bee – 30% off all treatments if you are on maternity leave and book in on a Monday. 

Win a pampering facial at Beauty Bee

To be in with a chance to win a facial at Beauty Bee in Bramhall, Stockport simply enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Please note that the prize is for the facial and does not include any transport or accommodation, so winners need to ensure they can get to Bramhall themselves. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5.The winner will win a pampering facial at Beauty Bee in Bramhall, Stockport. Transport and accommodation are NOT included.
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 16th June 2016.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner may be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode.
9. The winner’s name will be available on request
10. Your email address may be passed on to to the promoter for marketing purposes, you may unsubscribe at any time.
11. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
12. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

A seriously good facial at Beauty Bee, Bramhall

When Beauty Bee opened in Bramhall a few months ago, I started to hear from friends how good it was. As something of a facial addict I decided to book myself in for a treat and to see if the buzz about Beauty Bee was correct.

Located at Moorend Golf Driving Range in Bramhall, it might at first glance seem to be an unconventional location for beauty treatments, but Beauty Bee offer a selection of deep tissue and sports massages to the golfers, as well as a full range of beauty and pampering treatments to non-sporting types too. Once you are in the Beauty Bee treatment room you’d never guess you were in a golf club and it has the benefit of having more than ample free parking too.

Beauty Bee

On arrival Abby greeted me and escorted me into her treatment room, it was warmly decorated and very comfortable. We sat and chatted about my skin and if it had any problems, then she left the room while I got undressed and I made myself comfortable on the treatment table. Abby wrapped me in towels and a blanket and offered to put the heated blanket on for me, but I was warm and comfortable enough without it.

I’d booked myself in for the Prescription Facial (£30) and Abby took a good look at my skin. It’s fairly normal, combination skin which is a bit dehydrated around the eyes and starting to show a bit of wear and tear (I am 40 this year so it’s time I started looking my age, if not acting it occasionally).

Abby explained that she would be using products from The Potion Shop, a Manchester based company who make organic and paraben free skincare products.

Beauty Bee

It was at this point I largely zoned out and just relaxed into my treatment. I was aware that for the best part of 45 minutes I was being pampered to death. My skin was exfoliated, massaged and treated to hot towels and lots of TLC. Towards the end of my facial, Abby applied a face mask and put chamomile and lavender soaked pads on my eyes whilst she gave my hands and forearms a massage. It was blissful.

My skin felt amazing and was really glowing. As you can see from the before and after photographs below, my skin is a much more even tone, it’s less shiny and I look incredibly relaxed afterwards.

Beauty Bee

The treatment lasted just under an hour and it was an excessively good pampering. Abby clearly loves her job and is very passionate about what she does. I can really recommend Beauty Bee and the prescription facial, I adored my treatment, the look on my face in the second photo is all you really need to know – I will definitely be booking to go back again soon!

SPECIAL OFFER: Maternity Mondays at Beauty Bee – 30% off all treatments if you are on maternity leave and book in on a Monday. 

Beauty Bee is at Moorend Golf Driving Range, 177 Woodford Rd, Bramhall, Stockport, Cheshire SK7 1QE Phone: 07876 032125. You can find Beauty Bee on Facebook. They also offer treatments on selected days at The University of Manchester.

The Well Spa Retreat at Bluestone Wales

I’m not a person who likes to treat myself much, I rarely buy clothes, or spend hours browsing posh beauty counters, I’m not one for a new pair of shoes each month and a matching handbag. My treat to myself is getting everything waxed every month and occasionally going for a pamper. Whilst on holiday in Bluestone Wales I booked myself in for four hours of pampering in The Well Spa Retreat. It was incredible.

I’d spent a long time (weeks, months maybe) looking at the website and examining in detail everything The Well Spa offered. I knew I wanted to do the “Celtic Spa Experience” and I also fancied a treatment, my favourite treatment being a facial. After being forced to make my mind up the week before we went to Bluestone Wales, I opted for the “Early Bird & Spa”, which was breakfast, three hours in the Celtic Spa Experience and a 50 minute treatment.

Well Spa

I arrived at 9am on the day of my treatment and was asked to sit in the “Cwtch” area (cuddle in Welsh) and complete my health and safety form. I was then given a bathrobe and a towel and shown to the changing area and told where to go for breakfast. The Well Spa changing area is large and open plan, there were no private changing cubicles, but at a push if you’re shy you could change in a toilet cubicle.

I put my swimming costume on, wrapped myself in a big snuggly bathrobe and went to find breakfast. There was no breakfast menu on the website for Caffi Mor so I wasn’t sure what to expect. On the tables were individual bottles of britvic orange juice and a box which contained a croissant (with butter and jam), a pain au chocolate, a pot of creamy yoghurt and an apple. The waitress came along and took my coffee order and I was left to munch my big continental breakfast in relative peace. It was a very lovely breakfast, I was very full by the time I’d eaten it all, I’m a sucker for a croissant so it was perfect for me.

After breakfast I had about half an hour before my treatment, so I had a very quick look around the Celtic Spa Experience, I would go back in after my treatment for a few hours of relaxation. The Celtic Spa Experience is a selection of thermal rooms you can use and spend some time in relaxing and unwinding. The Well Spa has six rooms including, the Red Brick Sauna, the Herbal Steam Room, the Marine Steam Room, the Hot Slate Sauna, a Salt Inhalation Room and an Ice Room. There are also Experience Showers and The Sanctuary Relaxation Room as well as an outdoor Hydrovitality Pool.

I didn’t want to get too hot and bothered before my treatment, so I had a quick sauna in the very lovely Red Brick Sauna which was a nice temperature for me, bearably hot, it was probably my favourite room so I did go back in a few times.

The time came for my treatment, so as instructed I went back downstairs to the Cwtch room and waited to be called. This was by far the least fun part of my experience. Having unwound a little upstairs in the spa I was in a fairly draughty waiting area with the most awful pop music blaring loudly at me. At one point I sat with my fingers in my ears for a few minutes to stop the aural assault. Thankfully Ruth my therapist arrived after about ten minutes and took me to my treatment room. I may well be showing my age, but I’m not sure why places, especially places which should be quiet temples of relaxation feel the need to blare out loud pop music all the time. Silence is underrated.

Ruth showed me upstairs to the Opal Treatment room and we had a little chat about what I was expecting from my facial. I had opted for the ESPA  Re-Hydrator Facial as I’d been told a few months ago that parts of my skin were quite dehydrated and the previous day I’d managed to burn my face a bit in the sun, so hydration and pampering were the order of the day. Ruth wrapped me up on the treatment couch, made sure I was comfortable and began the blissful and relaxing treatment. The 50 minute Re-Hydrator facial is an intensive and regenerating facial for dehydrated skin leaving it supple and nourished. My skin looked and felt fantastic after it and continues to feel good a few days later.

After the treatment I retired to the Sanctuary Relaxation Room for a few minutes, had a drink of water and returned to the Celtic Spa Experience for a proper look around. I visited each thermal room in turn, here’s what I thought of them…

The Salt Inhalation Room – This was a room with two curved seats in it, it was slightly colder than room temperature and I wasn’t really sure of the benefits of it, though it did seem quite popular on the day, it wasn’t for me, my old bones prefer heat.
The Red Brick Sauna – A good sauna which runs at about 65 degrees. It was a great temperature for me, comfortable and I kept going back for ten to fifteen minute sessions.
The Herbal Steam Room – A lovely steam room with herbal steam, running at around 45 degrees this was a very pleasant room to spend time in, again I returned to this room a few times.
The Marine Steam Room – I thought I’d love this room, the marine steam smelt incredible and the sign suggested it was a 45 degree steam, but it was much hotter than the sign suggested and I couldn’t tolerate it for more than a few minutes. I did ask a member of staff but she didn’t know why it was incredibly hot in there, I heard several other people complaining to each other about it too.
The Hot Slate Sauna – This is a hot sauna, running at 85 degrees I really enjoyed it but couldn’t tolerate it for as long as I would’ve liked.
The Ice Room – This is a cold room, it’s about 10 degrees and there’s a big bowl of ice you can rub all over yourself. I didn’t linger, but understanding the benefits of an ice room, I popped in for a few minutes at the end.
The Experience Showers -Three showers of varying temperature and power, these were very pleasant and refreshing, especially after a session in the Hot Slate Sauna.
The Outdoor Hydrovitality Pool – This is probably my favourite thing. It was a lovely hydrotherapy pool on the roof top, it was incredibly peaceful and I enjoyed floating in the pool and enjoying the jets of water even in the slight drizzle, in fact I think the rain added to the experience. I wasn’t cold, it was just blissful.

Well Spa

The Well Spa Retreat is so lovely, it was pretty quiet, it wasn’t full of people, at other places I’ve been they’ve been full of large, noisy groups which I feel aren’t conducive to relaxation, this was just right for me. Peaceful perfection.

I only have two words of negativity about the spa, the first was the blaring pop music in the Cwtch room (it was like being trapped in Top Shop in my swimming costume); and the second is the slate floor can get quite slippy, especially when it’s wet, I think it would be good to offer people the use of spa slippers.

My four hours in The Well Spa and my Early Bird Experience cost just £75 which I thought was incredibly good value. The facial treatment alone should have cost £70, a two hour spa visit is £35 and the breakfast was plentiful and good quality. I’d love to go back, it was probably the most restful spa experience I’ve ever had. For more information about The Well Spa Retreat at Bluestone Wales visit their website.

Note: I paid for my visit to The Well Spa in full.

Spa Days: The Sienna Spa, Radisson Blu Edwardian, Manchester

I like to think of myself as a reasonably articulate person. I’m usually pretty good at stringing a sentence together, but as I left the Sienna Spa at the Radisson Blu Edwardian, Manchester, I literally had no idea how I was going to write it up. It’s rare I’m left speechless, but my afternoon at the Sienna Spa was so incredible I had no words. A few days later I’m now able to formulate proper sentences, so here goes.

On Monday I went to the Sienna Spa at the Radisson Blu Edwardian, Manchester. I love going to the spa and pre-baby, it was something I treated myself to fairly regularly, I used to have regular facials and massages but now time is tight and my face further down the priority list. I was booked in for an ‘Advanced Enzyme Facial’, I arrived early and was offered the chance to use the facilities before my treatment. I took one look at the pool and couldn’t resist.

Sienna Spa

The Sienna Spa is gorgeous. There is a modern, well-equipped gym, a stunning pool with jacuzzi as well as a selection of steam rooms. I had a quick swim in the pool and enjoyed the hot bubbles in the jacuzzi before drying off and going for my treatment (for this reason, next time I’ll take a spare swimming costume, one to swim in, one to wear during my treatments).

I was given a lovely fluffy dressing gown to wear and I was escorted to the relaxation room. This had a number of comfortable, adjustable couches where you could recline, relax and drift off before and after your treatment. You could also help yourself to water and herbal teas. The relaxation room had ‘spa music’ piped in, you know the kind of music I mean, the sound of water in a stream, birdsong and such like. I do find ‘spa music’ quite restful and it helps me to focus on relaxing and clearing my mind.

My therapist, Cathy came to collect me and ushered me into the treatment room. Cathy ran through the details of my ‘Advanced Enzyme Facial’ and explained that it was quite an intensive treatment which would involve a fruit acid peel which wouldn’t be suitable for very sensitive skins.

The ‘Advanced Enzyme Facial’ is described as “a powerful and highly effective facial to boost cell regeneration and give an instantly smooth, softly glowing complexion. A deep brush cleanse is followed by an intense Enzyme Peel containing botanical extracts and Pumpkin Enzymes to deeply exfoliate and remove dead skin cells. After a soothing massage using Rose Quartz Crystals to help cool and calm, a Lifting and Smoothing Mask is applied, containing concentrated Seaweed Extracts, Argan Oil and Menthol, to give your skin a more plumped and firmer appearance”.

I lay on a heated treatment table and the treatment began. The heated table is such a good idea, especially for someone like me with a very bad back, the heat helped to soothe my aches and after my 90 minute treatment was over I got off the table quite nimbly, without the heat it would’ve been a different story.

Cathy talked me though every step of the process, telling me what might tingle and what might feel cold. She looked at my face carefully under a special lamp and told me that the skin around my eyes, on my forehead and chin was quite dehydrated, she advised me on skincare to help hydrate my skin as well as encouraging me to drink more water, something I have been trying to do lately anyway.

The facial was relaxing but thorough, the treatment also included a scalp massage and conditioning treatment as well as a hand and arm massage and some neck and shoulder work too. At one point I drifted off I was so relaxed.

My skin looked and felt so much better. It was clearer and it glowed, some of my more noticeable lines were less prominent too. Have a look at my before and after picture and see for yourself. (Also, note how incredibly relaxed and happy I look in the ‘after’ picture).

Sienna Spa

It was absolutely the perfect pampering treatment and without a shadow of a doubt THE best facial I’ve ever had, both in terms of how good my skin now feels and just how relaxed and pampered I feel right now.

The Sienna Spa is a beautiful spa, well designed and comfortable, I am already planning to go back very soon. They have regular special offers available to book on their website, so it’s worth looking our for deals on their spa days and treatments.

My ‘Advanced Enzyme Facial‘ cost £100 for a 90 minute treatment. Any regular spa goer will know that this is a good price for that quality and length of treatment, especially one which includes a peel. I really feel it made a big difference to my skin and to the appearance of my wrinkles. I will be returning to the Sienna Spa very soon. Sometimes a girl just needs to treat herself.

Note: I was an invited guest of The Sienna Spa and I was not asked to pay for my treatment. All images and opinions are my own.

Review: Braun Face Epilator & Cleansing Brush

My Nan was the most beautiful woman I ever knew, she had great skin which helped her stay looking younger than she was, even into her 80s. She was a fine looking woman but I do not take after her in looks, but thankfully in terms of skin type I do.

I don’t really wear make up and my skincare routine involves a wash with water, or if I’m mucky then I’ll use a really gentle cleanser; about twice a week I use an apricot scrub to exfoliate. I moisturise daily with a mid-range Olay product, at the moment it’s “Complete Care” but whatever I use has an spf. That’s it.

I’ve been looking tired and a bit run down recently and this morning a spot appeared on my chin, probably the result of burning the candle at both ends and not looking after myself. Earlier in the week I’d received a Braun Face Epilator and Facial Cleansing Brush Premium Edition to try out, so I thought today was a good day to give it a whirl.

Braun Face

The Braun Face is a two in one facial epilator and cleaning brush. I was sent the “beauty edition” which comes with –

  • Two different heads, an epilator and a cleansing brush
  • A lighted mirror
  • A storage pouch
  • A brush to clean it with
  • A cap to protect it and a AA battery

The Braun Face was easy to put together, a 5p coin slots in the battery casing so you just turn it and insert the battery. The head just pulls off and you can attach either the epilator or the brush. We went for the brush first.

Following the instructions I washed my face and left it wet, I dampened the soft bristled brush and added a squeeze of my regular cleanser and switched it on. The brush oscillates so you just apply a tiny bit of pressure and move it to different parts of your face, you’re advised to avoid the delicate eye area and your hairline.

Once you get over the initial  “I’m scrubbing my face with a brush” thing it’s fine. I moved it all over my face, paying particular attention to my chin (and the spot) and to my nose, both of which are “problem” areas. It didn’t hurt me, I thought it felt like a deep clean, my face feels smooth, smoother than after exfoliating and my skin is tingling. I’m hoping that means that the blood is circulating better and rejuvenating me in some way. After I finished I rinsed my face, dried it and moisturised it and it does feel great.

Occasionally with beauty things I like to torture try out things with my husband, I have quite sensitive skin and his is more “normal” so it’s a good indicator of how things work. He works with ink and chemicals so his skin always needs a good scrub, he likes to exfoliate before he shaves as he feels it gives him a closer shave, so this might be a good option for him.

Braun Face

His skin definitely looked brighter and cleaner for using the Braun Face, though it’s not specifically designed for rugged menfolk who work with chemicals. I am tempted to buy an extra brush so he can use it  when he needs to. What I like about the Braun Face is you can use it in the shower, which is great, I think the warm steam of the shower opening up your pores and using this would be an effective combination.

I hold my hands up and say I do fear epilators, but in the interests of giving a full and frank review I tested the epilator on my arm. I was expecting to scream the place down but it was fine, it didn’t hurt and was much gentler than the terrifying ladyshave I used on my legs in the 90s. I know that when I need to epilate my face in the future I’ll use this.

The Braun Face will definitely be part of my weekly skincare routine from now on. I’d recommend it if you’re keen on exfoliating like me, it feels like a deeper cleanse and my skin looks fantastic. Beauty is half how you look and half how it makes you feel and I think this ticks both boxes.

Note: I was sent a Braun Face Epilator and Facial Cleansing Brush Premium Edition free of charge for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.

Pamper Me! A warm bamboo massage at HealthySpirit

Pre-baby I was a bit of a massage addict. I love facials and pampering and being pummelled into blissful relaxation. Then the small boy came along and suddenly there didn’t seem to be time for me, just when I needed that time for me most. This will not do, so I booked a warm bamboo massage at HealthySpirit in Didsbury, Manchester and readied myself for 75 minutes of bliss.

I arrived and Stephanie (my therapist) gave me a little tour and led me into the Crystal Room. The Crystal Room is where most of their treatments are done, it’s a lovely warm, comfortable room. The lights are kept reasonably low; pleasant, restful music plays in the background, sometimes they burn oils to enhance the experience.

bamboo massage

We sat down and ran through my medical form, due to my back surgeries last year I am always cautious and explain what can and can’t happen with my back during treatments. Stephanie was great and reassured me that any pressure around my surgical site would be minimal. She then asked me to take my clothes off and get comfortable on the massage table, she left the room for a few minutes while I did this and while I got settled on the table.

Stephanie made sure I was warm and comfortable before she began, she asked what kind of oils I liked and then applied a relaxing blend of neroli, lavender and sweet orange mixed with the sweet almond oil carrier. The scent immediately started to relax me. She then started to massage my back, shoulders and neck using the warmed bamboo sticks.

The sticks are quite warm, but in a soothing way, they’re not quite as hot as a hot stone massage, but definitely warm enough to sooth and relax the muscles they’re rubbed on. I could definitely feel the muscles in my too-tense shoulders relaxing as the treatment went on.

Stephanie checked on me regularly, ensuring that the bamboo was the right temperature, that I was comfortable and not in any pain. Although it was a relaxing massage, the heat and pressure from the bamboo meant that the massage was deeper than it felt, which is a good thing.

Stephanie really worked at the knots in my shoulders, working her way down my body. She spent some time massaging my calf muscles, apparently we hold a lot of emotional tension there, and it’s no surprise to me that they needed some extra work.

The incredibly restful treatment ended with a lovely face and scalp massage, I’d drifted off a few times during the treatment, but this is where I did actually nod off. After 75 minutes of bliss I was left to relax, wake myself up gently and get dressed. I felt utterly relaxed but energised, like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

The warm bamboo massage is innovative treatment which is said to aid lymph drainage, promote restful sleep, help sensory nerve perception and provide stress relief. It really is the best treatment I’ve had in a very long time, I’ll be booking myself in for another before Christmas, because I’m worth it.

The warm bamboo massage at HealthySpirit is £45 for a 75 minute treatment, which I think is exceptional value.

bamboo massage

Note: I was given this treatment free of charge for review purposes, all images and opinions expressed are my own.

My Top Make Up Tips

I don’t wear make up. I don’t like how it feels on my skin. I don’t like looking like a painted facsimile of myself.

I’m not beautiful. Painting my face won’t make me beautiful. I’m ok. You’re ok. You don’t need to put a face on. You don’t need to hide behind a mask. You’re fine. You’ll do. You’re cute. Don’t hide it.

Dark circles and blemishes? You’re fine. No one cares. Really they don’t.

Spots? No one cares. Caking your face in concealer is probably making it worse anyway.

Scars? Ok, hide them if you want. But they don’t bother me. You’re not ugly, you’re not horrifying. You’re cute, they tell a story and they’re probably hardly noticeable anyway.

If you want to wear make up for you, do it, but don’t do it because you’re worried about what people think about you. Or because someone tells you to. Or because all your friends do. Because really, you’re beautiful and you really don’t need it.

No make up