Category Archives: Skincare

Dealing with Sun Cream refusers, with Childs Farm

AD/Gifted Product. I think it’s probably fair to say that most people don’t enjoy wearing sun cream. It’s sticky and greasy and it quite often brings me out in spots. If you’ve got a sensory disorder, like my son, then even the merest suggestion of putting sun cream on can be really challenging. I can’t keep him in all summer, and for a while we have compromised with a big sunhat and just cream on his arms, but a sunny holiday in Devon and us all wanting some beach time means, that we have had to insist on sun cream on all of his uncovered bits.

Over the years we have tried all kinds of tricks to get sun cream on him. We have applied it while he is asleep, we have ambushed him and we have tried getting him to put cream on us so he knows it’s ok. This week we showed him some pictures of bad sunburn, so he knew what could happen if he wasn’t careful and I gave him a bag of Childs Farm creams and carefully explained why he really needed to use them. He started by helping put sun cream on me, the back of my neck always gets a bit pink and is one of the areas he dislikes the cream the most, so he used a roll on cream on me, then rubbed it in. He’s a helpful boy.

There was a spray one which he used on my arms. He liked spraying the cream too. He seemed to react most negatively to the more traditional lotion. I let him rub some on my arms, then I admired his handy work. He went away and obviously thought about it for a little while, then came back and picked up the roll on cream and tried it on his arms. This was a really positive step, so I tentatively suggested he try it on his legs. This went down surprisingly well and a few minutes later he was dancing around my room shouting “Mum, I’ve overcome my greatest fear” whilst rubbing sun cream on the back of his neck.

This was all such a huge breakthrough, huge. I genuinely could have wept with relief. I’m not sure what the catalyst was. It could have been me patiently going through things again with him, it could have been the sunburn photos, it could have been having his own sun creams, or it could have been me saying we wouldn’t be able to go to the beach again if he wasn’t wearing cream. Whatever it was it worked, and I’m forever grateful.

Dealing with Sun Cream refusers, with Childs Farm

He’s very familiar with the Childs Farm brand, he uses quite a lot of their products at bath time anyway. I think using a brand he already enjoys was helpful too. I really like using their moisturiser myself, so I knew the sun cream would be kind to my sensitive skin too.

The Childs Farm sun cream range has factor 30 and 50 spf sun creams, most of which are water resistant and protects from UVA and UVB rays. It is suitable for babies and children and adults. It is dermatologist and paediatrician approved and suitable for sensitive skin and safe for people who may be prone to eczema.

We were sent a selection of sun creams and were not asked for anything in exchange. I wrote about our experience because it’s been so hard for us to get our son to use any cream at all!

Skincare: Montagne Jeunesse Charcoal Peel Off Mask

I like to give my skin a bit of TLC every so often. I swear by a good moisturiser, regular gentle exfoliation and the occasional pampering face mask. I’d seen these relatively new charcoal face masks online before but never tried one, so I put the Montagne Jeunesse Charcoal Peel Off Mask to the test.

The Montagne Jeunesse Charcoal Peel Off Mask contains activated charcoal, pressed birch leaf and crushed witch hazel which draw out impurities and also calm and soothe problem skin. I don’t have problem skin, but I had high hopes the mask would give my pores a deep clean.

Skincare: Montagne Jeunesse Charcoal Peel Off Mask

Activated charcoal seems to be a popular product at the moment with it being used in toothpastes and cleansing products. The detoxifying charcoal in the face mask absorbs excess oil and impurities. I was keen to give the Montagne Jeunesse Charcoal Peel Off Mask a try.

To use the mask, cleanse your skin with warm water, smooth over the mask with your fingertips, leave the mask to dry for 25 minutes. Once dry, peel the mask off. Your skin should look and feel smooth and clean.

Skincare: Montagne Jeunesse Charcoal Peel Off Mask

The mask had a slightly gloopy texture, but it wasn’t runny so it was quite easy to smooth on my face. I have quite sensitive skin and this was very gentle for me. I left the mask to dry for 25 minutes and then peeled it off. This did not hurt at all, it was a very gentle process. Peel off masks should not hurt you.

Charcoal Peel Off Mask – My verdict

I’m a big fan of peel off masks, I like the idea that as you’re peeling them off they are gently pulling the dirt from your pores. I’m not sure if it did or not, but it did leave my skin feeling incredibly soft and clean.

I would absolutely use this Montagne Jeunesse Charcoal Peel Off Mask again. I was really impressed with how it brightened my skin and left it soft and glowing.

The 10g sachet of face mask costs £1 from Boots and is widely available in chemists and supermarkets. The Montagne Jeunesse Charcoal Peel Off Mask is PETA certified cruelty free and is Vegetarian Society Approved.

Skincare: Montagne Jeunesse Charcoal Peel Off Mask

No make up, no filters, just my naked 42 year old face!

Skincare: Montagne Jeunesse Dead Sea Mud Mask

On a recent girls weekend we all brought along some pampering treats. The aim of the weekend was to relax, have fun and return home with our skin glowing and feeling pampered. In my box of treats I took some body scrubs, hair treatments and a selection of Montagne Jeunesse face masks for the girls. I put the Montagne Jeunesse Dead Sea Mud Mask to the test. How did my middle-aged skin get on with this mask?

Dead Sea Mud Mask

The Montagne Jeunesse Dead Sea Mud Mask is an ultra deep pore cleansing mask made from Dead Sea mud, lavender and sea kelp nutrients. The mud helps to draw out impurities and open blocked pores to leave you with clean, soft skin. The mask is apparently ideal for oily skin, is PETA certified cruelty free and is Vegetarian Society Approved.

To use the Dead Sea Mud Mask, cleanse your face with warm water. Then you apply it evenly all over your face and neck with your fingertips. Take care to avoid your eyes and mouth. Then relax for 15 or so minutes while the mask dries, you might feel it crack when you move your face.

Dead Sea Mud Mask

Once it’s dry and cracking, wash the mask off. I found it easiest to hop in the shower to rinse it off. Your skin should feel soft and really clean.

Dead Sea Mud Mask – My Verdict:

I am a big fan of Dead Sea Mud Masks and I’ve tried lots of different mud mask brands over the years. I found the Montagne Jeunesse Dead Sea Mud Mask gave a really thorough cleanse and my skin did indeed feel squeaky clean afterwards.

The mask smelt good, there was a nice gentle lavender scent but without it being overpowering. The mask felt thick and was easy to apply. I did feel that it dried my skin out a little; but I don’t have the kind of oily skin the mask is designed to treat. It’s perhaps more appropriate for teenage skin. Having said that, I’m pleased with the results and I would use this mask again.

The Dead Sea Mud Mask comes in a 20g sachet and I usually find if you’re frugal with the masks there is just about enough for two applications. I bought the mask from Boots and it cost me £1. The Montagne Jeunesse range of masks is widely available in chemists and supermarkets.

Dead Sea Mud Mask

No make up, no filters. My skin is fresh and glowing!

Skincare: A Little Lift Serum from Angela Langford

I’m constantly searching for a miracle lotion or potion that will whisk away my wrinkles and leave me with the dewy skin of a 20 year old. I’m also a realist and I know nothing like that exists this side of a surgeon’s knife, and that’s a road I don’t want to go down. I will happily settle for good skincare products. No, great skincare products. Which is why I found myself trying a firming face serum from Angela Langford.

Angela Langford is a former Masterchef finalist who has branched out into making organic skincare products. The range is extensive and I think pretty much all skin types and needs are covered. If you’re not sure what you need, you are encouraged to contact them for a chat, which is nice.

Skincare: A Little Lift Serum from Angela Langford

I put the ‘A Little Lift Serum’ (£31) to the test. It is described as a plumping and lifting serum for when your skin is losing elasticity or tone. The pump-action bottle contains 30mls of the serum, is made in Britain and is 99% natural.

The ‘A Little Lift Serum’ from Angela Langford contains a range of “botanical super ingredients”, specifically spilanthes acmelia flowers, otherwise known as electric daisies. These are mixed with frankincense, pumpkin seed, argan and hyaluronic acid to nourish, refine and hydrate your skin.

I have the most sensitive skin on my face. Even products marketed for people with sensitive skin often make the skin on my face tight, red and rashy. I have to be really careful with what I use and because my skin flares up so easily I tend to stick with one or two basic brands. My sensitivity means I’m less likely to splash out on an all singing, all dancing serum or cream without trying it for a few days first.

To use the ‘A Little Lift Serum’, I used two pumps of the serum and smoothed it onto my clean face and neck, let it sink in for a few moments and then moisturised normally afterwards. You can use it morning and night.

Skincare: A Little Lift Serum from Angela Langford

I was worried that the ‘A Little Lift Serum’ would leave me red faced and itchy, even organic and natural products are a risk. I had nothing to worry about. The serum and my skin got on fine, really well in fact. The serum was soaked up by my thirsty skin each time I used it. My face felt tighter, but the good kind of tight and it looked brighter.

One of the nicest things for me was the smell. It smelt like the very high-end products they use in good spas. Every time I smoothed it on it felt like I was giving myself a little pamper. The scent of the serum lingered for a while afterwards and it’s quite a nice calming aroma.

I was really very impressed with this serum from Angela Langford. It’s a good product that makes my skin feel great and the smell is gorgeous too. I’m already compiling an Angela Langford wish list for Christmas!

For more information about skincare products from Angela Langford visit her website.

Note: I was sent this serum for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Skincare Review: DermaSalve Hand Cream

Winter is hell on your hands. I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t struggle with dry hands over the winter months, it’s really uncomfortable. I have eczema on my hands, I always have done, so I’m forever moisturising them. I’m not sure how this is possible, but I find that some moisturisers make my skin feel even drier. It’s hard for me to find a brand I get on with, which won’t cause flare-ups and one which will deliver the level of moisturisation I need.

This month I’ve been trying DermaSalve Hand Cream for dry and sensitive hands. It’s formulated to help keep skin looking and feeling healthy and contains no known irritants. It’s been designed to be used for dry skin conditions including eczema and is gentle enough to be used every day.

Skincare Review: DermaSalve Hand Cream

I tried the 200ml hand pump version of the DermaSalve Hand Cream. I think moisturisers in hand pumps are so much easier to use than a tube that you’ve got to try and screw the lid back on with slippery fingers. The pump dispenses just enough for my hands and has a slight foaming action when you pump some out.

The hand cream is white and not too thick and cloying which some creams can be. It is smooth and is easy to rub into your skin, and for me it sinks in well leaving my skin feeling silky smooth to the touch.

There is no fragrance added to it, I think it has a smell which reminds me slightly of oats, but it’s only noticeable if you give your hand a good sniff.

The DermaSalve hand cream costs around £8.99 and does not contain alcohol, fragrances, parabens, lanolin, steroids or other harmful irritants. Instead it uses natural wheat germ, jojoba in combination with aloe vera and vitamins to moisturise your skin.

It’s not greasy and your hands feel like they’ve been well moisturised for a good while after. I know sometimes I moisturise my hands and I need to moisturise them again and again as the moisturiser I’m using doesn’t deliver. 

My hands are working hard at the moment, looking after my family and cleaning up after the new puppy. I’m washing my hands more, going from a central heated house to the chill outside and back again. My hands get dry, the skin on my fingers split and they need a lot of TLC. 

Skincare Review: DermaSalve Hand Cream

I’ve been using this for about a week now. I use it after my morning shower and again in the evening. I’m really pleased with how my hands feel after I’ve used the DermaSalve Hand Cream.

I think when it comes to moisturisers, and especially if you’ve got dry or sensitive skin, or eczema; you have to try a lot of moisturisers to find the ones which work for you. I thought that the DermaSalve Hand Cream delivered the extra moisturising boost my hands needed at a time when they needed it the most.

DermaSalve also make face cream, body cream, baby & infant cream and foot & heel cream. I’m especially interested in trying the foot cream as I have eczema there too. I wonder if DermaSalve can solve my eczema problem for good. 

For more information about DermaSalve Hand Cream and other products, visit their website.

Note: I was sent the DermaSalve Hand Cream for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.

Skincare: Experiencing Fractional Mesotherapy

If you’ve never heard of Fractional Mesotherapy before, don’t worry, neither had I. That was until a few weeks ago when I was invited along to the Rejuvenate Skin Clinic in Manchester to try one of their treatments.

I could have played it safe and had a nice pampering facial, but as I’d turned 40 a couple of months ago, I was happy to step out of my comfort zone and try something which could make a real difference to my appearance.

Fractional Mesotherapy is where a tailored cocktail of active ingredients including vitamins, peptides, hyaluronic acid and collagen are microinjected into the skin to plump out and smooth areas of concern.

If you cut through the big words, basically they take a dermapen with several sterile fine needles inside and then stamp and circle your skin with it. This makes fine channels in the skin so they can push the vitamins directly into the dermal layer. Yes, it does sound a bit odd, but I was prepared to give it a go.

Fractional Mesotherapy

I arrived at the Rejuvenate Skin Clinic on Swan Street, just on the outer fringes of Manchester’s Northern Quarter and was greeted by Leena, the Clinic Manager. She gave me a tour of the clinic and then we settled in the Fractional Mesotherapy treatment room where she talked me through what the treatment would involve.

I’d seen lots of before and after photos in the clinic (and there a lots on the internet too, looking at them has become a bit of an addiction). I was excited to see how I would look after the treatment. Leena explained that the treatment had “minimal downtime” which means that my face should look a bit pink for a few hours afterwards but look normal within a day or so.

Fractional Mesotherapy

My treatment began with Leena having a really good look at my skin to see where my problem areas were. I told her where I was most concerned about and she focused her attention on the parts of my face which needed it.

She then cleansed my skin and began the stamping process on my forehead. It wasn’t that bad and not painful. It was a little uncomfortable in parts, more so across my forehead, but I guess there’s not much fat and muscle underneath my skin there. Leena would stamp or circle an area with the needles and then gently massage in a vitamin serum she’d mixed up for me based on my needs. The idea is that this helps to stimulate the natural production of collagen, making the skin look and feel fresher and tighter.

Just before and just after my Fractional Mesotherapy treatment.

Just before and just after my Fractional Mesotherapy treatment.

The micro-needling lasted around 45 minutes and whilst I was glad it was over, I would be happy to have it done again, so it really wasn’t too bad. It was never painful, just a bit strange feeling. To calm my skin after the treatment I relaxed for ten minutes with a cooling saline mask which did feel very soothing.

For the rest of the day my skin was quite pink. The next day it was a lot better, and it was only pink in the areas where Leena had focused her attentions on. You’re not really allowed to use soap, make up, moisturisers or other products on your skin for a day or two afterwards. I was given some of the serum to take home and rub in, which again was very soothing. At no point was my skin sore or bothering me in any way. It just looked a little bit pink in places for a few hours.

Fractional Mesotherapy is good for dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles as well as scars and stretchmarks. It is very much a non-surgical treatment which you can use to give your skin a boost a few days before an occasion. They recommend a course of several treatments for you to be able to see real results in the long term.

Fractional Mesotherapy

Two days after my Fractional Mesotherapy treatment

I had one treatment, but I was delighted with the results. After 48 hours my skin looked tighter, it glowed and my fine lines were less noticeable. My skin wasn’t dry, but it was perhaps a little thirstier than usual. I followed the aftercare instructions to the letter and I’m very, very happy with the results.

Would I have Fractional Mesotherapy again? Yes I would. It’s not a pampering treatment, and not something I’d choose if I wanted a relaxing treat; but it is a real alternative to botox, fillers and other surgical options. Several of my friends have commented on how good my skin looks since my visit to the clinic too.

Fractional Mesotherapy

I thought that the staff at Rejuvenate Skin Clinic in Manchester were friendly and professional. They were knowledgeable about the treatments and they prepared me well for something that was a little out of my usual comfort zone. The clinic was scrupulously clean, everything was sterile and Leena made sure to wear gloves throughout my treatment.

Rejuvenate Skin Clinic in Manchester offers a range of treatments and therapies for a range of skin conditions for both men and women. It’s a comfortable, discrete clinic, 5 minutes walk from Market Street. It’s somewhere I would very happily go again for further treatments.

For more information about Fractional Mesotherapy or the Rejuvenate Skin Clinic in Manchester, visit their website.

Rejuvenate Skin Clinic, 11 Swan Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M4 5JJ Tel: 0161 819 5555

I was an invited guest of the Rejuvenate Skin Clinic in Manchester. I received this treatment in exchange for this blog post. All images and opinions are my own.

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 different 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 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!

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.


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.


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.


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!


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.

Review: Babyblooms gifts for new parents

When a new baby is born it’s usually a time for celebration. Friends and family rush round for a cuddle and often bring gifts for the new arrival. It’s a kind and thoughtful thing to do, but often it’s not always possible to visit or bring gifts straight away. Babyblooms are a company who have a lovely selection of original, beautiful and practical gifts online for delivery all over the world.

Although I’ve not got a new baby, I do like receiving presents. Babyblooms got in touch and wondered if I’d try out some of their pampering skincare products for Mums. They sent me the following items…

  • Replenishing hand cream
  • Soothing body lotion
  • Rejuvenating facial moisturiser
  • Lip rescue
  • Baby care cream


My pampering presents came in a lovely keepsake box designed by Amanda Bradley and inside was a sachet of lavender and rose buds which was a nice touch.

Over a few days I tried all of the products out. It’s worth noting at this point that I have quite sensitive skin, especially on my face, so any products I use need to be as kind as gentle as can be. All of the Babyblooms products I received were made in the UK, are 100% natural and are cruelty free.

I’ve had a cold so my lips were dry and chapped, and my skin generally dehydrated and drab. The first product I tried was the lip rescue. A little pot of lip balm, an essential for your hospital bag, and something I use every day. Made from a blend of beeswax, calendula, olive oil, sweet almond oil and cardamom, this is a lovely lip balm which moisturises, soothes and really helped my dried, chapped lips.

Next up was the baby care cream, which is like aqueous cream. I used this every day on my dry elbows. I also used it on my five year old who is prone to dry skin, when his eczema patches are very bad I used this cream to wash him with too. It’s all natural, it smelt quite neutral and was easily absorbed.

One of my favourite products was the rejuvenating facial moisturiser. Described as a rich, restorative and detoxifying night time moisturiser, it was reasonably thick but was absorbed beautifully by my hungry skin. The skin on my face is so sensitive I was worried that this would make my skin red and itchy, but it didn’t and I was very impressed. It’s hard enough to find a high street moisturiser that my face can tolerate, so I was very impressed with this find. I’m definitely adding this to my Christmas list!

The replenishing hand cream contains refreshing lemongrass and moisturising jojoba. The cream had a soft lemon fragrance and was non-greasy. It’s a lovely light hand cream you could use every day. I found it nicely moisturising and I enjoyed the uplifting fragrance. You can never have too much hand cream when you’re a mum, constantly washing your hands after changing nappies, wiping bottoms and cooking and cleaning all takes it’s toll on your hands. I go through so much hand cream it doesn’t bear thinking about and it’s lovely to use one with such a refreshing fragrance.

Last but by no means least was the soothing body lotion. This was one of my very favourite products in the box. The lotion contains calendula, lavender and evening primrose. It smells absolutely beautiful and not too heavily of lavender which can be overpowering, this is just enough to help you wind down after a long hard day. Another one for my Christmas list!

The Babyblooms pampering products for mums are lovely, really well thought out and even now, as a veteran mum I would be delighted to receive a box of these treats through the post. There are so many gorgeous gifts for new parents and their babies on the Babyblooms website, and I love that you can send gifts all over the world, which is a helpful thing to know, especially as we have friends and family all over the world now.

For the full range of pampering products, or to view their gift range visit the Babyblooms website.

Note: I was sent the Babyblooms products for review. All images and opinions are our own.