My Blog Posts

Beauty routines I have got back into recently

 

With my skincare cupboard clear out the other week I discovered some skincare items which I have been neglecting. They had got pushed to the back and forgotten about. I therefore made a conscious effort to get them back into my routine and start feeling the benefits again. They include:

Body Brush

I remember when I was younger I always used to use a body brush in the shower on wet skin only to learn years later their magic lay in using them on dry skin. It is great to help exfoliate, reduce in growing hairs, help with circulation and apparently even help tone. Always use it in stroking motions towards your heart and start from your toes and work upwards. I leave mine by the shower now to remind me to do it before each one.

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Bio oil

I used bio oil religiously twice a day after I had my appendix out at the end of last year. I was so scared of my scars looking prominent so I smoothed it on day and night. Whilst I had it on my hands I also massaged it into my thighs and bum. My skin responded well to it and I loved using it in my routine. But for some reason, probably wedding distraction I stopped using it. But since finding it in my cupboard I have got it back out and use it at least once a day after a shower. It especially feels nice if I have body brushed before the shower, my skin is left super soft.

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Under eye masks

I am fortunate that I have never really suffered from severe eye bags, I think I love sleep to much. But if I have had a disturbed sleep or lack of sleep I do notice them creep in. They tend to be more puffy than dark. I got back out my eye masks that I bought in champneys earlier this year. They were £6 for 3 pairs. They are super refreshing when left on for 20 mins and definitely do the trick to reduce puffiness. Also a top tip is that you can reuse them (if you first applied onto clean skin) by popping them pack onto the plastic packaging and popping them in the fridge.

Top tip 1

 

Have you rediscovered any skincare or beauty routines lately? I would love to hear your stories.

Until next time breath in and relax

Victoria

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Life Update

45478368_250740998953261_5516271642101153792_nFirstly I wanted to apologise about the lack of posts lately it has been a busy few months and life  has got in the way of blogging. However it isn’t all doom and gloom as we are moving house (fingers crossed) , hopefully by the end of the year.  It is super exciting but with every move there is lots of disruption, anxiety and stress. I have been trying to remain calm and focus on my wellbeing to ensure I don’t get overwhelmed.

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I therefore wanted to share a few things I have been doing recently  to manage the  that wanted to share with you:

– Running again. The thing I find about running is that you can fall out of love with it as quickly as you fall in love with it which is why I stopped 2 years ago until now. I had been struggling to fit in gym sessions alongside keeping the house super tidy for viewings, walking the dog, working and general life. I love to exercise to help me unwind and keep up my motivation when  working from home.   I therefore found myself looking for an alternative to the gym session that would give me the same benefits whilst helping me maintain all the other demands on my time. Hence back to running. I do however now run with my dog, its great for him and me and kills two birds with one stone. Obviously my fitness was not as good as when I was running previously but I am slowly getting it back which feels great.

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– Getting organised. As you may have seen over on my instagram stories last week I am trying to get ahead of the game and get organised. I don’t want to leave everything to the last minute therefore I am trying to have a clear out before we start packing. I started this off with my skincare cupboards in the bathroom which was actually quite therapeutic and I even found some skincare I am yet to try.

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– Blocking out time. I am used to booking myself up with social events weekends in advance and am a bit guilty of saying yes to everything. However with the move looming I have decided to take back some control and have blocked out whole weekends in our diary to allow time to sort and get organised. Just having this breathing space blocked out has made me feel calmer and more in control.

– Looking after myself. I have been breaking out in a lot more spots recently and I think that has been down to stress and not drinking enough water. With being a busy bee I totally forgot to keep my H20 levels up and stopped drinking the normal 3 litres I drink a day. I am now making a conscious effort to revert back to before even if it does mean I have to pop to the ladies every hour!

With this exciting new chapter however I hope to be able to get back into my spas, wellbeing and skincare updates. I have a spa treatment booked for next Friday which I am very much looking forward to, I am having Elemis Superfood facial, anyone tried it?

Until next time breath in and relax

Victoria

 

Wellness Wednesday – My top tips for working from home

 

Working from home can always seem like a great perk and most of the time it really is, however over the past 5 years of doing it myself I have learned that is can also have its challenges. I wanted to share some of my routines, tips and advice to ensure you enjoy it as much as I do.

Set you alarm earlier then you want to.

My husband has to 41454261_237201623634160_8941169552813719552_nget up earlier then I do for work but rather then lie in I get up with him and start my day over 1.5hours before I am due to start work. This time is crucial for getting me ready for the day ahead. I head out with the dog every morning for an hour. Not only is this good for the dog but it helps me wake up, get vitamin D and fresh air. I also meet a group of fellow doggy walkers so I get personal interaction which sometimes working from home can restrict.

 

Workspace

Having a proper dedicated work space is really important. In my first house I didn’t have the luxury of space to be able to do this so I worked from my sofa. It wasn’t ideal it gave me back ache, make me feel lethargic and challenged my motivation. In hindsight I should have bought a fold up desk and chair which I could hide away each day. I also worked from my lounge which meant at the end of the day when I wanted to relax I was still sat in my work space. Fast forward 2 years and I now have two work stations. One in the second bedroom for the cold winter months which consists of a fold up chair and desk facing the window so I can enjoy the view of the garden and one in my summer house for the sunnier months. I love both of them as I can close the door at the end of the day and not be surrounded by my work things when I want to relax of an evening.

Treats

You may think this is bad for the diet but not all my treats are edible. I use treats as rewards to break up the day and to help motivate me. I set myself a time I want to achieve a task by and if I do it I get a treat. Whenever I tell people I work from home they nearly always say I don’t know if I could be that motivated. I can see why people struggle, I am lucky in that I like my job and that gives me the motivation, but at the end of the day I am only human and I do get demotivated. The treats I use could be a nice coffee from my coffee machine, a play with the dog in the garden, plucking my eyebrows, using a nice hand cream, watering my plants or prepping dinner. I also use treats to break up my day and get me away from the screen, I try and take a 10 minute break every 1.5 hours to give my eyes a rest.

Lunch time

Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you can’t have a nice lunch. Make sure you stock your fridge up so you look forward to lunch. I have got into homemade soups lately, spicy cauliflower is currently my favourite. I also try and get out the house at lunch time, hit the gym, do the food shop or walk the dog. This also helps motivate me as I am achieving jobs which are on my personal to do list.

Natter

You Mal 19may not see your colleagues as much as you would if you worked in an office but pick up the phone and have a catch up. It doesn’t have to be long but it helps with team morale and if you are like me and like nattering to people about your holiday plans or what you did at the weekend you will find it helps with the loneliness home working can bring.

 

 

 

Silence

 

 

I used to work for a radio station and the office was always busy and noisy. The radio played everywhere even in the toilets! Since working there I have struggled to work in silence, I find myself much more motivated with background noise. I therefore have the radio or TV on it the background. This obviously doesn’t suit everyone but for me it works!

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Do you work from home? Any top tips? I would love to hear them.

Until next time breath in and relax.
Victoria

Before Bedtime Products

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I thought I would share some of the skincare I have been using lately which helps me to unwind and relax before I head to bed.

As many of you know I am obsessed with anything that smells like a spa, so products which help stimulate that relaxing spa vibe are a winner for me and are guaranteed to help me nod off.

First up is the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish in the lavender scent. It is light weight, creamy and smells divine. It is a beautiful cleanser to use before bedtime to help the start of the unwinding process.

40259647_1835860853164422_7977213689969246208_nFor the rest of my body I have been enjoying the Champneys Good as New Body Butter. It is ultra thick and luxurious. It does take a while to sink in though so always best to do it a little while before you try get your pyjama bottoms on. The scent is spa like and smothering it on is super calming.

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I am prone to dry lips so I always ensure I have my latest lip salve favourite next to my bed. At present it is the L’Occitane Ultra Rich Lip Balm. The texture is air soft and the smell reminds me of baby products, something I guess not everyone would like but I find it comforting.

Finally is the L’Occitane pillow spray which I use on my silk pillow case (still a huge fan of the silk pillowcase, here is my blog post about it) .

It helps to slow down and relax my breathing as I breath it in before closing my eyes to drift off.

All of these combined work their magic in ensuring I drift right off. What products do you use to unwind?

Until next time breath in and relax
Victoria

New Skincare Reviews

New Skincare I have been trying If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen some of the new products I have picked up recently and been trying. My guilty raids of Boots are to blame! Here is what I have been putting to the test:

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish

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I am embarrassed to say I had never tried this cult skincare product before even though it is well renowned. But better late than never! My sister gave me it to try along with a muslin cloth (my new favourite skincare accessory!). It comes out like a body cream, very soft and super thick. It is white in colour and applies easily to dry skin. I have the Lavender scented polish which was very relaxing and made the product feel luxurious. It wasn’t invigorating and didn’t reveal dramatic results after application but it was kind to the skin and I can see how people use it everyday as their trusted cleanser.

No 7 Face Mask

This hydration mask claims to be an intense moisture boost for soft and healthy looking skin. I must be honest I was first drawn to this product by the eye catching packaging. I have never tried a No 7 Skin product before so thought it was worth a go. You apply to clean skin and can leave it on from 3 to 10 minutes before removing with warm water. It is very soft to apply and smells like sun cream, not the most relaxing of smells but is comforting. It didn’t dry or peel it stayed wet and nourishing for the duration of the time I had it on. I especially liked this product when it came to wiping it off as it is pale in colour so doesn’t stain your muslin cloths. My skin did feel moisturised afterwards and I didn’t feel like I needed to apply any moisture following it. I could definitely see myself using it 3 times as week as recommended as it was gentle and easy to use. It was fairly expensive at £15 but I think for the size it is good value.

Lo’real Sugar Scrub

This sugar scrub is kiwi scented and made to be gentle enough that you can use it 3 times a week. It claims to purify the skin and help with blackheads. I have always struggled with black heads on my nose, they are very stubborn, so I was keen to give it a go. You put it onto dry skin and then once applied wet your fingers with warm water and massage it in. It is super sticky when you first apply and you definitely wouldn’t want to head outside on a warm summers day with it on, bees would love you. But it is super gentle and refreshing, it is a good pick me up first thing in the morning. It is good value as I think the pot would last you a while. Words of warning however don’t use when you have just had a fresh blow dry as if you get any on your hair around your face it could make it greasy, also don’t use in the shower unless you are careful because if you get splashes of water in the pot it will ruin it.

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Gel Wash

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I haven’t tried a micellar cleanser before so thought this looked like a good one to try. To say I was under whelmed was an under statement. It could be a personal preference but the wash doesn’t have any scent and its texture is too watery for me. It struggles to cling to your face and I always feel like I need to use another cleansing wash straight after to get a proper clean. It wasn’t very good experience and I think I bought it when it was on offer, but my recommendation would be go for other cleansing washes on the market rather than this one. If you have any skin care products you love do let me know your recommendations.

Until next time breath in and relax
Victoria

 

Evening spa review- Champneys Henlow

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Average spa evening: £39 per person
Slipper rating:
Value for money – 4/5 slippers
Facilities – 3/5 slippers
Ambience – 4/5 slippers
Treatments – N/A

 

What better way to unwind after a long day then an evening spent relaxing at a spa. I had never been to a spa just for the evening before so wanted to give one a go. I used the website Spa Seekers to search offers local to me. Champneys spas have always been favourites of mine so when I saw they did evening packages I was keen. However rather then attend the closest one to me Tring, which I have visited before, I decided to try out Champneys Henlow, about an hours drive away. The deal was valid on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and includes; a three course evening meal, use of facilities, complimentary robe hire and flip flops and the chance to attend one class. All of this for just £39!

 

Myself and two girl friends attended on a Thursday for an evening of calm, chatting and relaxing in a robe and slippers. The outside of the spa is grand and inviting with a large fountain out the front which provided the calm sound of running water. We could arrive from 5pm and were greeted with a refreshing elderflower drink by the reception staff. The décor is highly decorative and gives a high quality feel to the place. We were given our robes and a full tour of the facilities. The changing rooms looked recently refurbished and even had Dyson hair dryers!

We relaxed by the pool, used the sauna and steam and then the hot tub. It wasn’t too busy so we had plenty of space to relax and chat. Around the pool are large soft loungers which you can all chill on.

After a few hours of putting the world to rights we headed to the changing rooms to change before dinner. One down side was that the evening guest changing rooms were tiny and because everyone is given same time for dinner they get busy 30 mins before. We used the day guest changing rooms which we had been shown before, but we were told off limits due to the cleaners after showering, which was a bit off putting.

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The dinner however was fantastic! I had expected a buffet but it was a sit down meal with lots to choose from. The restaurant was beautifully done and had a lovely atmosphere.

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This spa deal was great value for money. Although you didn’t get any treatments it was a lovely treat on a Thursday and helped us all unwind after a busy week. The spa facilities are basic there aren’t any ice rooms or aromatic rooms but if you go with good company you will fill the time no problem.

https://www.spaseekers.com/group/champneys/spa-evening?spa=champneys-henlow-grange-health-spa-bedfordshire

Until next time breath in and relax
Victoria

New favourite beauty treatment- LVL Lashes

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If you follow my instagram you will know how much I love this beauty treatment. I have tried many different eye lash treatments before but I think I have found my new favourite.

“The LVL Lash Lift is the revolutionary lash phenomenon that reveals your natural lashes in all their glory. Exclusive to Nouveau Lashes, the LVL effect is about freedom. It’s about knowing your eyes will be the centre of attention. Without you having to do a thing. Make the most of what nature gave you. With the length, volume and lift effect of LVL.”

Unlike traditional eyelash perming, which I have tried before, this has had a greater impact because it lifts the lashes rather than curling. I have fairly long lashes so the lift was maximised and even without mascara they are impactful.  I did have a tint popped on them as well to enhance the length.

Before
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After

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They cost £55, took around 45minutes and will last up to 6 weeks. Unlike eye lash extensions which I had for my wedding the maintenance is minimal. No more worries about sleeping on them awkwardly or accidently using oil based skincare which would loosen the extensions, they are so simple. I am not discounting having extensions again as for special occasions like weddings they were perfect. But for every day the LVL is a dream.

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I had mine done by the incredible Laura Carroll who is based in Aylesbury

http://lauracarroll.co.uk/

I love how much they lift your face making you look more awake and enhancing your eyes (they also help mask a hangover if you have one!).

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You have to use a LVL trained beautician, you can read all about LVL and locate your nearest salon:

https://nouveaulashes.com/treatment/lvl-lash-lift/

Until next time breath in and relax
Victoria