This spa break was a surprise treat from my husband to celebrate my Birthday and our first wedding anniversary (he’s knows me so well). Not only had he chosen a spa but also a spa located in one of my favourite parts of the UK, the Cotswolds. It’s quaint, serene and laid back nature makes it a perfect calm place to retreat to.
As we turned off the main road and through the hotel gates I instantly knew I was going to like this place. The long sweeping drive up to the historic hotel with beautiful old trees littering the way it was instantly calming. The interior of the hotel, the friendliness of the staff and the landscape was charming.
Once checked in my husband informed me he had already booked me in for a full body massage (I knew there was a reason I married this man!) . We made our way to the spa area to have a quick dip in the hot tub before my treatment.
The spa is not big, but it’s beautifully done. The changing rooms are zen and robes and slippers all included.
The inside of the spa includes a hot tub, sauna, steam room and rain showers surrounded by loungers. Up stairs there is a juice bar and quiet room which has magazines, comfy chairs and flavoured water. Spa music floods the place and it’s very relaxing.
The main pool however is outside… but don’t panic it’s heated! It’s located in the beautiful grounds and on a sunny spring afternoon it was fantastic for an afternoon dip.
My massage was divine, focusing on all my problem areas. The oil however wasn’t scented which was a bit of shame. They use Ishga products, not a brand I had heard of before. In the treatment room however something I did love was the music. Rather then spa music it was Ibiza chill. I am a big fan of Ibiza so I loved this subtle change in music. After my treatment I was shown to the relaxation room, a touch I always love at a spa as it helps you adjust to life again after being so zen.
Overall it’s not the biggest spa and is lovely for an afternoon or two of chilling but not a full day. I think you can do an afternoon tea and spa package which would be a fantastic balance. The food at the hotel was super!
My friends and family know me so well, and you guessed it, I was gifted lots of skincare for my Birthday. Some of these I have tried before but equally lots of them are new products for me to try and then tell you all about. I feel lots of pamper evenings coming on!
Here are some of the treats they kindly gave me.
Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream with SPF
This cream has been on my wish list for years but I have never felt like I could justify the price tag. So when I unwrapped this on my Birthday I was super excited. Every spa I have been to that stocks Elemis products has recommended it to me and I have heard rave reviews. Apparently, you don’t need to use a lot each time so fingers crossed it will last a while.
My dear friend thought of me on her recent trip to Italy and raided Sephora with skincare and haircare treats for me. I have never tried a rubber mask or a hair mask like this so really looking forward to trying these. I have already used the lavender foot masks… they smelt divine and left my feet super soft.
Elemis Cleansing Oil
This cleansing oil is one of my all time favourites. I have only ever had a mini bottle of it, as a little goes a long way, but my sister in law kindly gifted me a new bottle ( a big one yiphee) which has replenished my stock of this cleanser.
Superdrug Brightening Hot Cloth Cleanser
This present from my dear cousin was perfectly timed as I have just finished the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser. I have been keen to try a new drug store priced hot cloth cleanser so I am excited to try this. I will be sure to let you know how it compares!
Elemis Calm Bath and Shower Oil
This is definitely a real treat. A very luxurious shower and bath oil. It is duel purpose product so you can use it in the bath (it does create bubbles!) or directly on your skin in the shower.
It smells incredible!
Charcoal sock pack
I have tried sock packs before but not a charcoal one so I am interested to see how this one compares. Perfect for getting my feet ready for summer shoes.
I have a collection of three masks which all sound really intriguing. All of which I have never tried before, a gold mask, egg white sheet mask and ginseng and eucalyptus under eye masks. Keep an eye out on my Instagram stories as I am sure these will make me smile to try with you.
I was beyond spoilt, a very lucky lady. I can’t wait to try them all with you and let you know what I think.
I haven’t really got on with Micellar waters before so when I tried this one I didn’t have high hopes. I have found them unexciting, dull on the skin, not very refreshing and not highly beneficial for my skin. Negative I know! This particular water I picked up as part of a Nivea skincare package from Boots in the New Year sales. It came alongside lots of other products I knew I would like so it was worth it. I didn’t touch it for a while but when I needed a gentle eye make up remover one day I picked it up out of my skincare storage and gave it ago. Upon first application I loved it. It was light, cooling on the skin, and incredibly effective at removing eye make up. It didn’t sting or make my eyes run… a huge win. It is reasonably priced so if you are on the look out for a new make up remover give it a go!
Loreal Dream Lengths Hair Mask
I got into using hair masks in my weekly routine a few years ago when I wanted to get my hair ready for my wedding. They tend to come in a tub and last for ages. I therefore haven’t chosen a new one for a while. As you know I am a fan of normal Loreal Conditioners so thought I would try one of their hair masks. I picked up this one… Ill be honest I am a sucker for pink packaging. As soon as I untwisted the lid I know this one was for me. The smell is gorgeous! A sweet scent fills the air when you open it and you can’t wait to get it on your hair. My hair has loved this mask and I have definitely noticed an improvement after using it for the past two months.
Nivea Rhubarb and Raspberry Silk Mousse
This shower wash was in the same pack as the Micellair water and was a bargain in the sales. I wouldn’t normally buy shower wash that comes in a mousse can as it can be a bit fiddly when you have wet hands in the shower and they tend to be more expensive than other shower washes. But since I got this one in the pack I thought I’ll give it a go. It is super soft and smells sweet on the skin and I have really enjoyed using it. Warning….. this is not the same as shaving mousse, it won’t give the same results. I always use hair conditioner for shaving (a top tip for you!).
Coconut Dry Shampoo
Coconut scent just seemed so timely as the spring sunshine has started to make an appearance. It refreshes my hair and is perfect or my blonde hair.
This past year has gone by as quick as a fast drying face mask and it has been a great journey of discovery. As you may know I started my blog to share my passion for skincare, wellbeing and spa reviews. It has gifted me with the opportunity to open up conversations with you all which has been incredible.
One of the biggest heart-warming moments of the past year is how welcome I have been made in the skincare community. There are so many likeminded people who have shared their enthusiasm, tips, and product recommendations with me for which I have been so grateful.
Here are some of my favourite posts from the past year:
Snuggled up under a blanket with your comfies on? Ditto! Hibernating this winter with hot chocolate, log fires and Netflix has been dreamy hasn’t it. But not necessarily for our skin.
The mixture of central heating and cold wind can take its toll so here are my top changes to my routine for winter:
As you know I have been using serums in my skincare regime for the past 6 months and I have noticed a big difference in my skins appearance. Normally in the winter if my skin felt dry I would just keep putting on moisturiser on but with the serums it helps lock in the moisture for longer.
I used to be concerned about exfoliating in winter as I thought this would dry my skin out more however it has done the exact opposite. It has reinvigorated my skin and stopped it feeling tight and dry. I find myself having to exfoliate 3 times a week.
We know drinking water is imperative for our skin but I also how we use water on our skin is too. I used to love scorching hot showers in the winter, but this winter ,mainly sparked by a move to a new house where the water doesn’t get as hot, made me realise that wasn’t good for my skin. I now have warm showers and my skin is less itchy, red and dry.
This is obviously a key step in my skincare regime however I try and make sure I do this immediately after a shower or washing my face. Delaying moisturising even for a short time just increases your risk of dry skin.
Our feet hardly get a glimpse of day light in the winter but we still need to look after them. I have been using moisturising sock boots to keep them nourished and soft. You can pick them up for only a couple of pounds and the affects last a good week.
When battling the sniffles I always try and use balm tissues, the difference to normal tissues is very noticeable when you nose doesn’t turn as red.
Are there any skincare routines you change up for Winter?
As you know I am a big fan of Elemis and so is my skin. I have used a number of spray toners in 2018 and have loved how refreshing, easy to use and beneficial they are to my skin. I therefore popped this one on my Christmas list. I was lucky enough to receive the 200ml bottle from a family member so I put it to use straight away. After double cleansing I use this toner twice a day with 3 or 4 pumps across my whole face and neck. You can also use this toner by spraying onto a cotton pad which is then applied to your face if you don’t want it to go in your hair. It is light weight and quick to absorb so you can apply moisturiser straight away. Elemis describe this toner as:
This calming treatment toner effectively tones the skin and helps maintain the pH level, without the use of alcohol or other harsh detergents. Reveal a fresh and radiant complexion.
For sensitive skin.
I completely agree with how it leaves your complexion!
Gucci Bamboo – Around £50
I don’t know if you’re like me but I don’t like to buy the same perfume twice. Perfumes always remind me of a certain event or time in my life therefore they always bring back memories when I smell them again. I therefore love to try new perfumes for new memories. Before Christmas I had just finished Miss Dior and my fabulous husband bought me a new perfume to replace it, Gucci Bamboo. I love it! I have always preferred slightly sweeter perfumes and this is the perfect balance.
Nivea Urban Skin Defence Day Cream- Around £5.00
I was on the look for a new day cream having finished my one from Aldi which I was a big fan of. I was drawn to this Nivea cream because it had SPF 20 and mentions about being suitable for Urban life which suggests its good for polluted areas, not something I have tried before. The cream is bright green and doesn’t have a strong scent. The texture is gel like and cooling, so in the summer this might be quite refreshing but not so much in Winter. On first use I noticed it felt very sticky upon application, something I wasn’t a fan of. This finish makes it hard to apply make up on as it leaves a film on your skin. This film and the residue left behind definitely blocked my pores and I have had an increased number of blackheads since using this cream. Due to this I have had to discard this cream as it has not been suitable for my skin type. I have been a fan of Nivea Skincare but it sadly has put me off trying any other products in the Urban Defence range.
I tried lots of face masks last year and found some real gems. However sadly this wasn’t one of them. I had high hopes are I liked the Hot Cloth Cleanser by Liz Earle so I was keen to try other products from the brand. However this mask didn’t excite me at all after use. The smell didn’t relax me, my skin wasn’t left glowing or particularly nourished and I feel for a small tube it is over priced compared to other masks on the market that really give great results.
Are there any products you are loving or have been disappointed by lately? I would love to know!
Firstly apologies for the silence on the blog and thank you for sticking with me, it has been a crazy few weeks moving house and settling in. We are now all unpacked and I even have a new dressing room which is super exciting, it is great place to store all my skincare.
I also embraced the change and went for the chop. Just before Christmas I had 3 inches cut off my hair and I love it. Shorter hair is definitely more manageable and easier to style. I have even dug out a hair tool which I haven’t used in years, the Babyliss New Big Hair hot roller brush which adds volume and style. I recommend!
It is great to get back to trying new skincare, spa treatments and planning ahead for 2019.
I was lucky enough to receive some skincare from my family for Christmas which I am excited to try with you in 2019. Here is what I have in my box to try:
There are some products which I have never tried before which I am really intrigued to test. I will of course report back. The first being these feet patches:
Have any of you tried these before?
Next up is this Vitamin C serum, it sounds super refreshing:
This Elemis toner my sister recommended. I have really got into spray toners as they help awaken your senses and I find them super invigorating:
Then I got lots of new lotions and creams which all smell and look dreamy:
Champneys Shower Gel and Body Butter, The Sanctuary Body Butter, EOS Lip Balm and Hawaiian Tropic After Sun.
Also a super cute spa gift pack with cosey slippers:
Then last but not least one of my favourite face masks in a mini trio pack. 2019 is going to be a fun with trying all these new products. Did you get any skincare for Christmas that you have tried and recommend?