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.

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.

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.