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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

The Winter Paradise Luxury Manicure - Paul Edmonds

I am an fervent lover of Christmas. I adore how this time of year is full of excuses to pamper one's self to merry oblivion, as well as being a perfectly acceptable time to gorge on fine foods and sip bubbly beverages.

Since pampering and noming are two of my favourite activities, I jumped at the chance to review the Winter Paradise Luxury Manicure at one of my most beloved hair and beauty salons - Paul Edmonds.

When I arrived at the stylish Knightsbridge salon it was buzzing as usual, brimming with fashionable London socialites preparing for glamorous nights out and middle eastern yummy mummies cradling their Birkins as their highlighted locks were blow dried to voluminous glory.

I was led downstairs to a cozy special manicure area, complete with mini TVs and comfy padded chairs. After my previous gel nails were removed, the indulgent treatment began with an enticing taste of luxury as I was offered a glass of champagne and seasonal chocolate truffles to accompany my hand preening procedure.

Ah! What to nom and what to pamper with?! Tis confusing.


Being the natural product lover that I am, I rejoiced that an indulgent array of products from the chemical-free Eminence range were to be used on my dehydrated mitts - pitifully traumatized from winter's wrath.

First a divinely scented coconut scrub was massaged into my hands to slough away dull, dead skin before a decadant chocolate mask was lavishly applied.

Resisting the temptation to lick my coco-smothered fingers, I then placed my hands into special heated gloves to aid the nourishing effects of the mask.

As I lay back and failed at resisting the urge to devour all the chocolate truffles, I was treated to a relaxing hand massage with the silky Eminence Mimosa Champagne oil - an antioxidant loaded, free radical busting concoction of jojoba, pomegranate and grape seed oil.

Again!!

With the (very charming) main man Paul Edmonds himself who kindly treated me to a mini blow dry!

The most luxurious manicure of my life, perfect for Christmas and New Years Eve parties, finished with a file and polish in a jubilantly festive ruby red shade...and a cheeky extra glass of champagne.

Well, it tis the season to be jolly and all that malarkey...


The Winter Paradise Luxury Manicure at Paul Edmonds costs £100 and takes 75 minutes 






Thursday, 19 December 2013

Review - Elchim 3900 Healthy Ionic Hair Dryer

Being a proud eco princess with a limited patience for prolonged hair drying I eagerly accepted the invitation to try the new Elchim 3900 Healthy Ionic Hairdryer - which supposedly cuts drying time by 30% and nourishes hair for a catwalk-esque, shimmering result.

A firm favourite of Lana Del Ray's stylist, Anna Cofone, this stylish dryer was developed by the expertly coiffed hair experts of Milan to offer a plethora of pleasing barnet beautifying benefits to busy folk with no time for tedious follicle-related faffing.

Christmas has cometh!


I was promised mesmerizingly silky hair due to the ergonomically designed dryer's ionic and ceramic systems which help to seal the cuticles of the hair, effectively moisturizing them for a glossy, salon-style finish.

Unlike many naughty hair drying devices, this nifty dressing table essential has significantly lower electromagnetic emissions - low level radiation which can cause tissue damage by releasing electrons in the skin. Although risks are low, excessive expose to such menacing rays can lead to health issues such as digestive problems, constipation, abdominal pain and even mutated DNA - so why not opt for the less risky option?

The Elchim. One serious hair blasting badboy

When I took the Elchim 3900 out of its box I marveled at its chic design (and I don't marvel lightly). Black and white with a detachable nozzle and an easy to grip design, it dried my hair quickly, leaving me with shiny, smooth locks worthy of a cheesy shampoo advert involving plentiful hair swishing.

Another notable observation was that the Elchim was a lot quieter than my usual hairdryer of choice due to its clever built-in silencer - meaning my noisy hairdryer loathing kitteh was significantly less disturbed. Which is always a plus. 

Peace-loving kitteh used to wait outside to avoid noisy hairdryers. Not any more.


Shiny-haired at dinner with my two blonde buddies after a slinky blowdry with the Elchim

The Elchim 3900 Healthy Ionic Dryer comes in seven shades and costs £99, except the swanky titanium edition which is £119.

Buy one from ere!




Thursday, 12 December 2013

Review - Organic Hair Colour Transformation with Karine Jackson



Golden-hued, shimmering highlights can brighten the complexion and compliment a tan - perfect for the summer months. But come winter, it's always a good idea to opt for a darker, sultrier mane.

This was why I decided to book an appointment at my favourite organic colour salon owned by the renowned Karine Jackson - reoccurring winner of colourist of the year and beloved by many an organic hair dye devotee London-wide.

Chemical-based hair dye has been proven to cause carcinogenic effects. This isn't airy fairy speculation or exaggerated scare-mongering. A report from the National Cancer Institute in 1994 clearly states that long term users of dark synthetic hair dyes have an increased risk of cancers, such as multiple melanoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In 2001, a study in the International Journal of Cancer discovered that those who regularly use chemical-based permanent hair dye to colour their hair are twice as likely to develop bladder cancer as those who don't use such toxic colouring products.

Many of us are now thankfully shunning the dreadful risk of potentially developing cancer in the quest for the perfect colour or to cover those pesky gray stragglers. We are actively seeking non-toxic alternatives.

For me, the organic hair dye used at Karine Jackson is the safer way forward...

I had highlighted my hair for the first time this summer with Karine and was impressed with the flattering, non-brassy effect. Weeks after my initial appointment, my hair continued to get lighter and attracted an array of compliments (and a few blond jokes).

After enjoying my summer dalliance with the lighter side, I decided it was the time to go for a richer, darker shade, so I submitted my locks to the talented tress-transforming hands of Claudia - a senior stylist at Karine's Covent Garden salon.

A dark, gloopy organic dye smelling rather festivity of pine was expertly smothered all over my hair as I sat back and flicked through some gossip-ridden glossies.

After 30 minutes or so it was washed off in a deliriously relaxing manner before my striking new dark brown locks were blow dried  to a gloriously glossy finish.


Before - a week after stunning highlights by Karine


2 months after highlights
After - glossy dark colour by Claudia at Karine Jackson


As you can see from the photos (yeah, I have a 'side') the colour transformation is striking yet still quite warm in tone to suit my olive skin - as expertly recommended by Karine.

Merry Christmas!

Organic all-over hair colour at Karine Jackson starts from £60.



Thursday, 5 December 2013

Review - Ruby Red's Reviving Body Cleanser and Renewal Shea Skin Cream


Oh Winter, how I welcome your icy arrival. Crisp, frosty mornings, the re-emergence of woolen gloves and fluffy ear muffs, crackling log fires and fine pies. My skin on the other hand, sadly does not share this merry sentiment and tends to suffer pitifully during this time of year, appearing less radiant than usual and mournfully parched.

Cold, windy weather and central heating dehydrate our skin during this chilly season meaning that a richer body moisturizer and a non-drying, chemical-free shower gel is required.

My latest natural bodycare buddies come in the form of Ruby Red's Reviving Body Cleanser (£16.00) and Renewal Shea Skin Cream (£18.00) - 100% natural, evocatively-scented products that leave your skin comfortable and glowing, perfect for flaunting in fancy festive frocks...

These botanical babies are brimming with skin-nourishing antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and are free from SLS, parabens, petrochemicals and artificial fragrances.

Being the type to get all giddy over a new natural skincare brand, I jumped into the shower with glee at the prospect of trying them out.

The body cleanser foamed ever so nicely (due to its clever natural foaming agent derived from coconut) and permeated my bathroom with the zesty scent of lime, red mandarin and cederwood - extracts which are also known to stimulate circulation and tone the skin.

Let meh make your shower a happy place

After what seemed like a five hour shower, I finally tore myself away from my steamy place of joy and patted myself dry with a fluffy towel (I like em fluffy I do).

I noticed my skin felt softer and less 'tight' - which is usually the case after I (occasionally) use a shower gel of the evil, SLS-ridden variety (at friend's houses of course...). I discovered later that Ruby Red's Reviving Shower Gel also contains aloe vera, which is rather excellent for softening the skin and helping to keep moisture levels intact.

The Renewal Shea Skin Cream is thick, creamy and decadently rich. An almost good enough to eat (please don't), skin-soothing concoction of shea butter, lemon oil and honey, it deeply moisturises and locks in moisture, leaving skin lusciously hydrated, gleaming and smelling like a sumptuous citrus-flavoured pudding.

Due to its gloriously indulgent texture, I must admit that it was rather time consuming applying this product all over my body - especially before a pressing social engagement, whilst two of my girlfriends were also trying to pry themselves into the bathroom to get ready.

To nom or not to nom? That is the question.

mmm creamy lemony goodness...

Regardless, I must say that I adore this natural skin-smoothing savior and have since been using it as an extremely nourishing hand cream, keeping it in my handbag at all times. I also use it wherever my skin feels very dry and slather it on my decolletage and shins before a night out for a sultry sheen.

Thank you Ruby Red!

















Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Review - Wakeman Road - London's artisan members wellbeing club

London is awash with private members clubs, restaurants and bars - all promising an air of exclusivity and the delightful feeling of pure unadulterated pomp.

I must confess that I'm rather partial to frequenting the odd members establishment or two. Although being the well-rounded London socialite that I am, I can also rough it in a mosh pit in Camden or rub shoulders with Hoxton hipsters living in dingy shared accommodations - who retreat to palatial family country piles come Christmas.

OK so I lied about the mosh pit...

When I heard about the opening of Wakeman Road - London's first private artisan wellbeing members club based in Kensal Green, I was intrigued and eagerly accepted an invitation to visit and submit my disheveled, overworked self to a spot of ardent unwinding.

Wakeman Road is the brainchild of founders Richard Lamballe and Emma Sinclair who felt London was lacking a suitable health and beauty haven for those in search of private pampering in luxurious yet homely surroundings.

Once granted membership to this exclusive beauty and wellbeing portal, you can nominate up to five prospective members a year and bring a lucky guest along on each visit.

Membership fees are £29 a month and can be redeemed on the health and beauty treatments on offer which include acupuncture, reflexology, facials, massage, NLP, homeopathy, manicures and even a naturopathic doctor consultation. If like me, you're a beauty addict who will probably book a treatment every month, your membership wont cost you a penny.

With my nutritionist buddy Mel in tow,  I arrived outside the understated, chic entrance to what looked like a well heeled individual's home before being welcomed into a cobbled front yard and led up a winding steel staircase.

By Jove I think I found it!
Upon entering the stylish interior we were impressed by the elegant furnishings and exceptional beauty and health products adorning the finely varnished shelves. I gasped in adoration as I spotted my favourite natural skincare brands including Spiezia, Oskia, ila and the highly coveted Antonia Burrell - the talented founder of which is a practising facialist at Wakeman Road.


Oh Oskia. How I loveth thee...

Mel was treated to Antonia's signature facial which uses her plant-based products along with her expert massage technique to plump up lackluster complexions and brighten sallow skin tones.

I indulged in a relaxing reiki massage treatment by reiki guru Katie Light. After getting comfortable on a heated treatment bed Katie explained how reiki is performed to re-balance energy levels or chakras - which become affected when we go through trying times. The practice is recommended for people with busy schedules and constantly buzzing minds who seek a calmer, more balanced outlook on life.

After my back and shoulders were satisfyingly pummeled, Katie hovered her palms over each of my seven chakras to feel for any 'blockages' caused by stress. I must admit to feeling quite skeptical at first but as the treatment ebbed on, I started to feel a substantial release of tension and was able to bid goodbye to the melodious medley of thoughts in my mind.

Come. Let me refresh  you with my bountiful organic wares
Om nom nom
Pass the remote mate.


Thank you Richard and Emma!
Can we live here now pls?

As Mel and I eased ourselves away from this cozy hidden sanctuary and stepped out into drizzly north west London streets, we felt that familiar mournful tinge typically felt when leaving a hospitable friend's house - only a lot more blissed out...








Friday, 15 November 2013

Review - Estelle & Thild Bergamot Body Oil


I have always been somewhat addicted to body oils. After a long, hot shower, I revel in the moment when I smooth a silky, evocatively scented body oil all over my skin, leaving a sultry sheen - and my bathroom smelling like a plush hotel spa....

My latest oily love affair is currently taking place with Estelle & Thild's Bergamot Body Oil (£25.80 from Urban Retreat) - a delightful skin-hydrating concoction of organic sunflower, almond and avocado oils - infused with the heady scents of neroli, sandalwood and bergamot essential oils.

I have been slathering it on my skin for over a month now and have noticed a significant improvement in its condition. My limbs now boast a seductively-smooth appearance and naughty dry patches have been banished to merry oblivion.

So natural, you can pluck it from the earth...

Estelle and Thild is one of my favourite high end organic skincare ranges due to their nourishing 100% natural and EcoCert certified organic products. I am also an avid user of their bestselling raspberry-hued lip balm, £14.00, - a kissable combination of organic shea butter, bilberry seed oil and beeswax.



The founder of this effortlessly chic Stockholm-based company, Pernilla Ronnberg, actually decided to start the brand after pondering the detrimental effects chemical-loaded mainstream skincare would have on the delicate peachy skins of her two daughters.

The bergamot body oil in particular, is a luxurious pampering addition to your bathroom routine. Pour a few drops in the bath for a deeply relaxing evening soak or apply over damp, post-shower skin to lock in moisture and leave you glowing - and smelling like a gaggle of giggling angels partial to rolling around a flower-strewn meadow.





Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Thai Energy Line Massage - Oolong Holistic


There are certain times in our haphazard, erratic city lives when our emotions get the better of us. We feel drained by punishing schedules, grueling relationship difficulties and pressing work issues. It is during such trying times that I book myself in for a good, chakra-balancing massage - and the healing hands of Abi Adams from Oolong Holistic always leave me feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the naughty niggles of life. 

Abi's Thai energy line massage can be carried out in the comfort of your own home (with the tantalizing addition of homemade cakes and herbal teals) or in Abi's gloriously zen-like treatment room within her tastefully decorated Essex home.


Massage by candlelight? Oh yeeeeeah....


Being a norrrf west Londoner and Essex virgin, I arrived at Abi's abode in leafy Woodford slightly flustered and prone to uttering expletives after a stressful journey on the central line.Yet within seconds of entering the twinkling candlelit treatment room with its opulent, white chandeliers and glistening golden Buddha, I felt a sense of encompassing calm wash over my frazzled self.

As I lay down on a warm padded blanket and gazed  at the meditative dance of the candlelight, Abi (trained by the renowned Thai massage teacher Felicity Keebaugh) expertly applied gentle pressure along my feet, calves and thighs before focusing on my stomach, chest, arms, back and neck.





The effect was instantly soothing and induced an almost dream-like state of mind. Abi's Thai massage is refreshingly different to the limb-stretching, back-cracking techniques most Westerners are used to. Before Abi starts her treatments, she intuitively feels your energy and aims to work with an intention - an essential element of any massage. 

Depending on the type of energy she senses, her intention could be to soothe a troubled mind, balance erratic emotions, detoxify the skin or alleviate troubling back and shoulder pain. These problems are eased by concentrating on the seven major energy lines within the body - also known as chakras.




With me, Abi focused on the Sen Sumana, which helped balance all of my chakras - to help evoke confidence and courage. I felt a sudden release of emotion in particular when my arms were massaged and later learned that as they are connected to the heart chakra, this is quite a common experience.

Abi explained post-treatment that such emotion-releasing Thai massage is useful for people suffering from depression (including post natal) and anxiety disorders - conditions she treats on a regular basis. 

After my whole body was blissfully manipulated and all seven of my energy lines invigorated, I was roused from my trace-like, sleepy state with a cup of fragrant hibiscus and cinnamon herbal tea from Organic Life  - a four generation Indian tea company based in London's eclectic Borough Market. 

As I stepped out into the inky black night with a tranquil mind and a positive outlook, I felt serene, happy and smug in the knowledge that my chakras had been adequately pampered. 

What more could a girl want?






Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Supergreens Facelift Diet - The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible


Alas! I have neglected my beloved beauty blog due to the hectic hubbub that is London's erratic working/social scene.

But here I am again, nested on my beloved sofa with a turmeric-infused green tea in hand ready to blog away  to reckless abandon after a rampant copywriting stint at Wowcher - the gloriously cheesy daily deals site.

I feel a strong urge to blog to about a rejuvenating three day beauty diet I have recently been following which has made quite a difference on my previously parched complexion.

I came across this skin-enhancing diet in The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible by my beloved beauty gurus, Jo Fairley and Sarah Stacey (£19.99, Kyle Cathie Limited - beautybible.com).

The diet consists primarily of the consumption of green leafy vegetables. These anti-ageing superfoods contain skin-loving vitamins A and E which protect cells from free radical damage, minimize the production of sebum to prevent acne and strengthen protective tissue to help eliminate toxins - resulting in enviously luminous skin.

Chlorophyll-rich greens have been known for years to nourish the skin from within and reverse the pitiful signs of aging. Since its availability in the UK five years ago, a Japanese food supplement called Sun Chlorella (£21.95 for a 30 day supply), containing the highest known concentration of chlorophyll, has evoked considerable attention in holistic circles and gained a cult following among natural beauty junkies and health conscious folk.

Chlorella is a freshwater single-celled green algae which promotes growth and repair of cells and tissues as well as stimulating the immune system, maintaining a healthy gut and detoxifying the body – resulting in a healthy, 'plumped-up' complexion.

This ‘natural multivitamin’ is composed of 60% plant protein, amino acids, vitamins A, D, B12 and B6, folic acid, fibre and iron. I was impressed to discover that a daily dose of Sun Chlorella contains the equivalent iron content of nine cups of spinach.

The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible coaxes us to incorporate five of these emerald pills into their Supergreens Facelift Diet daily via a refreshing anti-ageing Supergreen Smoothie - which also consists of the following wondrously wholesome ingredients;

600ml mineral water
½ chopped cucumber
¼ peeled avocado
1 chopped celery stick
juice of half a lemon or lime
¼ teaspoon unrefined salt

Plus two small handfuls of mixed green leaves (60 – 80g) from the following : spinach, rocket, kale, watercress, chard, bok choy, mint, basil, parsley, coriander.

When making this comely concoction I usually add a generous teaspoon of Fushi's The Best Superfood Green Blend (containing skin-beautifying chia, spirulina and wheatgrass) to the mix for optimum antioxidant benefits.

Come to my wholesome bosom.


Roguish red meat, dairy and foods which accelerate skin ageing such as caffeine, alcohol, refined carbohydrates and sugars are also eliminated from this ethereal diet - which ideally should be 100% organic.

Whilst I was in the throes of ardent smoothie making, my favourite beauty therapist and buddy Sara Sedaghat popped in for a coffee. Sadly for her, coffee was not permitted in my innocent detoxing abode that day - so she was offered a wholesome drink of vitamin-rich green gloop instead.

Eye say!

Here she is drinking this potent beauty potion with surprising vigor. As you can see from her vibrant green eyes, the effects were rather instant... (OK I lie. Those are coloured contact lenses and we were on our way to a Halloween party).

Anyway, if you want to have nails and eyebrows as ravishing as Sara's look in this photo, book yourself in for a preening session at her idyllic beauty lodge here.

The daily diet plan

Breakfast

·Half of freshly made Supergreen Smoothie

Mid-morning snack

· A few sips of remaining smoothie
· 50g soaked almonds and 100g white grapes OR raw peas, carrots/cucumber sticks

Lunch

· 100-175g steamed or grilled fresh fish OR 100 – 175g fresh tofu OR half an avocado
· 200-400g mixed salad with some or all of the following: lettuce, rocket, watercress, basil, spinach, broccoli, red/green pepper, cucumber, carrot, beetroot, radishes, spring onion, living sprouting seeds – eg alfalfa, pulses, mung bean shoots, 1 teaspoon pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Dress this ridiculously healthy salad with a sprightly squeeze of lemon, one tablespoon of olive oil and a light dusting of salt and pepper.

Pudding – 200g mixed berries OR 100g papaya/apple/pear/grapes

·Sip 350ml natural spring or filtered water (more if desired)


Mid-afternoon snack

· Drink remainder of smoothie
· Apple or Pear or 100g grapes
· 350ml spring or filtered water (more if wished)


Evening Meal

·100 – 175 fresh organic chicken OR tofu OR avocado OR roasted/steamed vegetables seasoned with fresh  herbs
·Mixed salad and pudding as above
·350ml spring or filtered water (or more if you wish)

Give meh some!


A day from my Supergreens Facelift Diet Diary...

On waking, I drink a large glass of water with lemon to stimulate my metabolism and kick start my liver’s detoxification process.

I partake in a spot of Hatha yoga and mind clearing, guided meditation – which admittedly doesn't quite go to plan due to the random conglomeration of screaming children outside my window.

I enjoy the 'garden-fresh' taste of the Supergreen Smoothie which I readily drink for my breakfast. Not a single fried egg fantasy crosses my mind. Oh no.

After my humble healthy snack of almonds and grapes I am feeling full of energy and almost euphoric in mood for some reason. Put it down to sudden consumption of copious amounts of superfoods.

Lunch is a large salad with pomegranate and mackerel. I decide to choose an oily fish full of skin-beneficial omega 3’s.

Big Mac? I'll Big Mac you mate.

Pudding is a seriously sweet mango (Pakistani of course). I am not used to the absence of carbs but feel comfortably full after my meal, rather than bloated.

After lunch I feel slightly lethargic and fall into slight food coma. Have mini semi-snooze before being awoken by same screaming school children. What the...?

I go for a brisk walk before returning home for my eagerly awaited afternoon snack. Feel proud of self for not submitting to naughty carb craving and avoiding evil crisp shelf at newsagent.

After snack of smoothie, apple and water I start to feel considerably more alert so decide to get down to some long overdue writing.

For dinner I make a curry by sauteing (using vegetable broth instead of oil) onion, garlic and ginger and adding cumin, chili powder, coriander seeds, paprika and turmeric. I then add diced fresh tofu and cook for 10 minutes before adding coconut milk, lime juice, bok choy, spinach and kale - which I leave to simmer for 20 minutes.

I eat this nom-worthy dish (bizarre at first without rice) with another massive salad and follow with some antioxidant-packed blueberries.

The result

After three days my skin definitely looks a lot brighter and clearer than usual. My energy levels appear to have increased too -so no more excuses for avoiding that energetic Vinyasa yoga class...

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The House of Rush - Salon Review

Every girl needs an urban pamper sanctuary where they can escape the chaos of city life.

The House of Rush is one of my sanctuaries of choice due to its convenient central location in London's buzzing Piccadilly and the array of skin-beautifying treatments it merrily offers.

I am also rather partial to their insanely glamorous, bouncy blow dry's that make you feel like a cross between a well paid glamour model and a tabloid-hungry WAG....but a much classier, less golddiggery version. If that makes sense...

On my first visit I was immediately impressed with the chic monocrome decor and the welcoming staff mincing about, offering steaming herbal teas and fragrant ginger biscuits to ladies who lunch and career girls with a penchant for lunchbreak grooming.

City Chic


I was there to try the Venus Freeze facial - a skin smoothing and plumping treatment beloved by many a fresh-faced celebrity including Yasmin le Bon and Lisa Snowdon.

Known as the 'non surgical facelift' I wasn't quite sure if it was suitable for my young(ish) skin but after being told it gives an instant brightening effect and therefore ideal before a night out, and I had a fancy dinner planned that evening at The Sanderson, I thought I may as well give it a go.

The Venus Freeze is said to tighten pores and firm the skin using a combination of Pulse Magnetic Fields (MP2) and Radio Frequency (RF) to raise the temperature of the skin.

This causes controlled thermal damage, which sounds rather scary, but it is in fact a clever way of 'tricking' the skin into repairing itself - thus promoting healthier, younger skin cells.

Melanie, my therapist, started the treatment by applying glycerin to my face before gently rolling the Venus Freeze hand piece in a continuous motion all over, paying particular attention to smile lines and facial contours.

My face felt comfortably warm during the facial as my mind gradually drifted off to a happy abundance of slumber-some thoughts.

After I peeled myself off the very comfortable treatment bed, I made my way to the main salon area where I was met by top stylist Tina who expertly transformed my frazzled mane into a bouncing array of glossy waves with a much needed shampoo and blow dry.

Blowdrys. Gotta love em!
Here I am (on the left) frolicking on a Chelsea rooftop post blowdry with my glam buddy Anseh, bursting with the kind of joy you only get when you saunter out of a damn good London hair salon.

Fabulous (yes I said fabulous) blow dries and Venus Freeze Facials at The House of Rush can be booked here.






Monday, 19 August 2013

Drink your way to beautiful Skin - SaVse Smoothies

Beauty comes from within - I am a firm believer in this wise statement.

One of the primary causes of skin aging is the naughty wrath of free radicals which attack DNA, causing damage to skin cells. 

Free radicals are unfortunately all around us and generated within the body due to a number of factors including smoking, illness, pollution, radiation and most disturbingly, the antibiotic residues found in non-organic meat and milk.

Fortunately, the happy saviour to the barrage of these toxic, skin-sullying scavengers comes in the form of antioxidants - which are present in a plethora of brightly coloured fruits and vegetables.

Ideally we should be at our desks smugly chomping away on spinach leaves and broccoli stalks five times a day in front of bemused colleagues, but sadly fast-paced urban life does not stand for such holistic pomp and frivolity.

When I heard about the launch of cold-pressed SaVse Smoothies at London's Selfridges - now their fastest selling drink, I was rather excited (I tend to get excited over such vegan/non-processed, raw, gloopy health foody things).

Unlike many high-sugar, pasteurized smoothies on the market today, these vitamin-packed bottles of raw  goodness intrigued me due to their antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetable content.

SaVse Smoothies are full of vital nutrients and go through HPP (high pressure processing) so do not require traditional pasteurization methods which decrease nutritional value.

They come in five flavours - each brimming with various skin-plumping antioxidants and include two new varieties with a base of probiotic-laden yoghurt.

As we know, probiotics help to keep the gut healthy which is essential for clear, glowing skin and although not an antioxidant itself, yoghurt compliments the antioxidant gluthathione in the body's cells therefore fighting the detrimental skin aging effects of free radicals.

My favourite of the smoothies is the Super Green - a nutritious yet delicious fruit and veg combination for optimum skin-health.

I couldnt think of a better skin-beautifying concoction....

Kiwi - full of vitamin C
Kale - packed with free radical-busting antioxidants - carotenoids and flavanoids
Broccoli - loaded with vitamin C and calcium
Pear - rich in antioxidant, anti-inflammatory flavonoids
Lemon - vitamin C-rich and detoxifying
Banana - a powerhouse of potassium, vitamin C and B for healthy skin cells

The other flavours in the SaVse range include the following bottles of fruity joy...

Super Purple

Beetroot
Apple 
Mango
Avocado
Lime
Lemon

Super Red

Strawberry
Celery
Spinach
Kale
Spinach
Orange

Super Yellow

Mango
Passionfruit
Pineapple
Yoghurt 

Super Pink

Rhubarb
Carrot
Strawberry
Apple 
Yoghurt 

SaVse Smoothies cost £2.49 and can be purchased from Selfridges, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Whole Foods and many other fine hearty health food establishments.

You can find out more info here.

SaVse. Anti-ageing badboys






Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Review - Potters Herbals Clear Skin Lotion

I have always been a fan of Potters herbals, the UK's oldest herbal remedy brand. The philosophy of the company is refreshingly simple - treat ailments with medicinal herbs rather than mask symptoms with toxic chemicals.

Their Elixir of Echinacea Plus is a godsend upon the first dreaded inklings of a cold or flu and their aptly named Nodoff, containing calming Valerian, helps you...well, nod off.

For those of you suffering from the odd hissy fit and uncalled for madam-like behavior when city life gets a bit too crazy, their New Relax herbal tablets will help calm your troubled minds.

These non-addictive pills contain soothing anti-spasmodic ingredients such as vervain, scullcap and hops. They merrily eradicate symptoms of nervous tension when the stress of modern life gets too much and you develop random urges to down a pint of Ben and Jerry's brownie laden ice cream.....with a side of fried chicken.

So after pleasing results from such effective products in the Potters range, I decided to try their new Skin Clear Lotion - containing a purifying concoction of witch hazel, lavender, pine and tea tree.

Tea tree oil and witch hazel in particular are noted for their antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and astringent properties so if you are acne-prone or have oily skin, this product would be an ideal addition to your skincare routine.

I applied this pale blue lotion every morning and night with cotton wool (organic of course darlings) and found it thoroughly cleansed my skin, removing all traces of make up (although the eye area is to be avoided).

After five weeks of use I noticed my skin was clearer, pores appeared finer and troublesome acne spots were no more.

I would definitely recommend this product as an ideal summer cleanser - perfect to refresh, purify and invigorate oily to combination skins.

You can find out where to purchase the splendid Potters Herbals products here.


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Review - Puro Beach Club and Hotel, Mallorca

Oh London Town. I have missed you.

After frivolously (and rather naughtily) deciding to take two back to back holidays, I have returned to you with a darker hue and a mournfully lighter bank balance.

After the glamour and pomp of New York and glitzy giddiness of Mallorca, I have bizarrely developed a sudden yearning for the simple pleasures of London. 

I want to joyfully frolic on Hampstead Heath with a borrowed dog, lazily lounge about on the top of Primrose Hill with good people and pie and sit all day in a beer garden where people applaud the brief appearance of the sun. 

You'll do!


This actually happened yesterday at a pub in Belsize Park. The sun came out for 8 seconds. Everyone cheered. Did this depress me? No. It made me happy. Because I am a true Londoner. It's how we roll.

In spite of all this patriotic malarky, I must say there are two places I visited during my travels that have etched themselves into my mind - Puro Beach Club and Puro Hotel and Spa in Mallorca.

My uber glamorous chum Anseh and I were invited to sample the delights of this ecclectic boutique hotel and trendy St Tropez-style beach club whilst we were holidaying on the scenic Spanish isle.

Our joyous day of luxury sun worship began on the achingly trendy yet tiny rooftop of Puro Hotel in Palma as we sipped zesty cocktails on a sun-drenched four poster bed adorned with billowing white linen curtains.

Model-esque Russian girls in designer sunglasses lounged about, flicking through fashion magazines and a pair of German couples chatted away in a slate grey hot tub behind us - probably reveling in tales of the previous evening's frivolities.

After plentiful girly chatter and taking a ludicrous number of photos (whilst being eyed suspiciously by the Jacuzzi-loving/hogging Germans) we went downstairs where a car was waiting to take us to Puro Beach - the hotel's cooler beach-side sister.




As our lovely driver, Vladimir dropped us outside the entrance and escorted us inside, we were in awe of the stylish beauty of this unique seaside gem.



The decor of the indoor seating area was elegant yet relaxed and led out onto a large azure swimming pool surrounded by mahogany sunbeds padded with crisp white upholstery amidst a bejeweled backdrop of dark, shimmering blue sea.

Ambient house music echoed from the many speakers dotted around and pristinely dressed waiters strutted down the catwalk-style walkway, offering relaxed sun-baskers free fruit juice in cups carved from bamboo sticks.















After a few hours of epic sun loungery we decided to sample the culinary wares of this divinely sun-drenched place. We were rather impressed by the flavorsome offerings which included an exquisite wagu beef carpaccio with rocket and porchini mushrooms and possibly the best chicken quesadillias I have ever had the pleasure of noming.

Do I?!!
After falling into a deep seaside slumber induced by a serious food coma, we woke to the sound of funky house and happy people. A few gloriously tanned models were mincing about, holding various poses for a photoshoot, excitable London girls inspected a golden Buddha swathed in jewels and a man dressed as a Buddhist monk perched himself by the pool, in what appeared to be a deep meditative state.


No beach club is complete without an orb holding Buddha
I felt an urge to ask questions but this quickly dissipated as my laziness took over before dozing off again to a trendy house rendition of Prince's When Doves Cry.

Later, as we watched the sunset, Cafe del Mar style, surrounded by new friends and exotic iced beverages, Anseh and I agreed that we had experienced the best day of our week-long holiday.



Rarrrr!
That evening we made our way to Puro Hotel in Palma, a restored 18th century palace, where we indulged in some much needed pampering in the stylish spa.

Conde Nast Traveller describes this stylish home from home as 'an intoxicating cocktail of modern Marrakech meets Miami meets South East Asia.' Intoxicating it certainly was....

Tastefuly decorated with both modern and ancient artworks, Puro Hotel looked like the ideal venue for a Vouge shoot.











The spa was quaint and minimalist in design with welcoming therapists ready to pummel and preen guests to their jet-setting heart's desire.

I opted for the Purifying Facial which deep cleansed and hydrated my sun-parched skin and left me with a gorgeous, dewy glow.

Anseh, being the tantalizingly hard-abbed, gym bunny that she is, chose the Classic Swedish Massage to relax and revive her weary muscles.

Bed time finally beckoned our weary selves to our luxurious, fashionably decorated suite for the night where we fell into a happy slumber and dreams of laughter, sunshine and bejeweled Buddhas.

purohotel.com