My Blog Posts

Why I have started Double cleansing

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Double cleansing?! I hear you cry, you hardly have time in the day to cleanse once. I was the same! However once you try it you won’t go back. I was guilty of first using cotton pads with cleansing milk to remove make up and clean my skin followed by a toner to finish removing what the cleanser hadn’t. A big no no according to the Espa Team at Luton Hoo spa (if you didn’t read my blog about the facial workshop I attended you can here https://whiterobeandslippers.com/2018/07/23/espa-facial-workshop-what-i-learnt/ )

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The cotton pad with toner on should always come away from your skin clean, the cleanser should do all the removing. They suggested that although cleansing milks are good I should use a cleansing wash first followed my the milk and finished with the toner.

How right they were. I am now a double cleanse addict. My skin feels so much cleaner and fresher. It’s appearance emulates that of just having had a facial and the glow I get is addictive. It doesn’t have to take long and if you have all your products to hand and a clean muslin or flannel you can get it done in no time.

My favourite cleansers at the moment to double cleanse alongside my cleansing milk are:

The Espa Pro cleanser which is also a mild exfoliate and can be used as a mask

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The Elemis oil cleanser

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A new one I have to try is the Liz Earle hot cloth cleanser. I have never heard a bad word said about this cleanser so I am super excited to try it for myself. I will be sure to let you know what I think!

If you give double cleansing a go let me know how it goes.

Until next time breath in and relax
Victoria
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Wellbeing Series- Work Life Balance

Wellbeing: the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.

The awareness of the topic of wellbeing and its importance is on the increase and I couldn’t be happier. It is an area where I suspect we are probably all guilty of pushing our own priorities into the background when life stresses take over. But being conscious of our own wellbeing needs to be on our agenda. Wellbeing affects us all, what impacts one person will differ from the person next to them and will be relative to their current situation to different degrees, but it is prevalent in all our lives.

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Sometimes we have to take responsibility for our own wellbeing and my own personal experience of doing this is something I wanted to share.

5 years ago I was working in London and commuting for 3 hours a day. It was the sacrifice I had to make to buy a house in an affordable area, an opportunity I know I was lucky to have. But after 2 years of repetitive commuting and what felt like my whole free time on Metropolitan line tired, hungry and often sweaty I knew something had to give. I resented London and spending time up there, a place I used to enjoy hanging out in. The monotonous travel route was also emphasised by the fact I was bored in my job. The same desk, with the same background music, the same spot for lunch, I began to feel like I was just existing.

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It would have been easy to stay still, I was working for a cool company and had some non monterary perks but there came a point when that just wasn’t enough to keep me going on with this draining routine.

Knowing what I had to change I actively searched for a job that would give me more flexibility and drastically change work life balance. Jobs which involved mobile working were top of my wish list.

Mobile working provides the freedom, flexibility and most importantly increased control of your own wellbeing.  When I achieved the mobile working job I aspired for it did not disappoint. Managing my own diary, minimising my commute and increasing my changes of scenery were all breaths of fresh air. I instantly felt happier, more relaxed and more aware of what benefited my state of wellbeing.

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I appreciate mobile working isn’t for everyone or even possible for everyone. But the lesson here is about making a change that can have a positive impact on your wellbeing, whatever that change may be. Whether that is something as small as walking a different route every lunch to changing profession, whatever you do  every decision should  be made with asking yourself question; “will this increase my level of wellbeing?”

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It is important to note that the change to go mobile wasn’t, and still isn’t, all unicorns and roses, it can be hard. The self discipline, constant IT issues and your home being your work place all has it challenges but for me these are still outweighed by the impact the flexibility has brought on my wellbeing. I still have to be present and review my wellbeing level daily, and constantly make small changes but on the whole my overall wellbeing and work life balance is a good as it was 5 years ago when I made the leap.

Watch this space as I continue my series on wellbeing.

Until next time breath in and relax
Victoria

St Tropez Self Tan Purity Face Mist- my review

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I am always on the hunt for a fake tan that can give me a bronzed glow, especially one I can use over night on my face. Each morning when I wake up with a bit of colour on my face I instantly feel more energised , positive and ready to start the day. The colour gives me confidence and even if I am still a bit tired I feel it helps to disguise that fact.

When I saw this tan appear on Instagram by other beauty bloggers I was intrigued. I have tried St Tropez body tans before and have been a fan but have been put off my the price tag. However I felt the risk of turning into an orange faced fake tan disaster was lessened by entrusting their brand and their new fake tan face mists, plus it was on offer in Boots!

The first thing I fell in love with was the scent of this product. Light, fruity and not what you would expect from fake tan. When you spray it across your face you are not only tanning but also giving yourself a sensual well being moment with the uplifting and vitalising scent.
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On first use I must admit I wasn’t too impressed. I ended up with big brown patches on my neck and my arm. I was confused by how this had happened as the spray was light and comes out evenly, or so I thought. It did put me off so I stopped using it until the patches lightened. On second attempt it happened again and I was disheartened and confused since so many other beauty bloggers were raving about it being even.

Determined not to be defeated I re-looked at my technique. Before spraying I decided to shake the product even more than I had been and then sprayed immediately all over my face. I did take precautions too by covering my arms in a towel. This new technique was a success! I awoke to a natural looking tan with no dodgy patches. Hooray I cried, as I really wanted to like it because of the scent and the fact it doesn’t transfer and discolour your bed sheets.

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Upon a few more applications I no longer need to cover my arms with a towel and I get a natural even glow on my face every time.

Would I buy it again, yes, but probably only when it’s on offer. It is £22.00 but at Boots at the minute it is 1/3 off at £14.67

https://www.boots.com/st-tropez-self-tan-purity-bronzing-water-face-mist-80ml-10249071

Do you have any facial fake tans you recommend that I try?

Until next time breath in and relax
Victoria

 

ESPA FACIAL WORKSHOP – WHAT I LEARNT

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When looking for new spa days I came across a workshop that excited me, the ESPA Summer Skin Facial Workshop at Luton Hoo spa.

Since facials are my favourite treatment at a spa I was keen to learn some techniques that I could use at home. It was great value at £20 per person and was from 7pm-8.30pm with around 20 people in attendance.

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The workshop was hosted in a room next to the spa which had a relaxed ambienance. ESPA candles were burning and soothing spa music playing. Every guest was treated to a glass of champagne on arrival and some canapés.

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The itinerary for the evening involved having a skin care consultation, choosing your favourite scents, followed by performing our own bespoke express facial whilst learning facial massage techniques including a guided demonstration of yoga facial massage.

We each had a place around the table with a towel, mirror, takeaway information sheets and a pen for making notes.

The workshop was hosted by a really lovely lady from ESPA and two beauticians from the Luton Hoo spa. They were super friendly and very informative. I learnt that 98% of ESPA products are 100% natural and they are all produced in the UK. ESPA has only been making skincare for around 15years.  All products are produced with the impact that scents can have on wellbeing in mind.

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CLEANSE

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First step of the facial was to cleanse. We used the Optimal Skin Procleanser, a 3 in 1 cleanser, exfoliator and mask. We applied the cleanser onto damp skin and were taught how to make sure we applied in circular motions to ensure the Jojoba Spheres melted onto the skin. These are little beads that help exfoliate before melting. It was good to hear that they dont contain any microplastics. We rinsed with a damp flannel but were informed that you could leave this cleanser on for 15 minutes to allow the mask aspect of it to activate. This cleanser smells sweet but refreshing. The spheres did feel a bit strange at first but once they melted my skin lapped up the moisture. The cleanser is sensitive enough to use every day which surprised me because of the beads but I could see how it would be a great everyday cleanser because it is so thorough. We all had glowing faces after the application and my Mum and Sister loved it so much they both purchased it at the end of the workshop. A 100ml bottle costs £32.00 (we also got an additional 20% off discount from the workshop)

TONE

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Next up was the Spafresh spritzing toner. We were asked to smell two different toners and whichever one we were first drawn to we should use. It was between Balancing Herbal and Hydrating Floral (which I chose). You didn’t have to spray the toner directly onto your face you could use it on a cotton pad instead. But since it has been so hot in the UK right now the spray was beautifully cooling. They explained toners should be seen as a second cleanse and are very important to include in your routine. The toner is £20 for 100ml.

 

 

SERUM

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Next up was the Optimal Skin Proserum Facial oil. I have never included oils in my routine before and have always been nervous to use them in case I break out in spots. I was reassured by the ESPA representative that the oil compliments the natural oils on my face already and just helps to moisturise rather than clog.

With the oil on our hands we were taken through the 17 facial pressure points we all have on our faces. A pressure point is an area on the face that when pressure is applied , helps to release stored tension in the corresponding organ or system. On each point we had to use our index fingers to press down firm for 3 seconds on a exhale breath then pulse three times. Starting at pressure point 1 and working towards 17. It felt strange but once I relaxed into it I could understand the benefits.

After the pressure points we learnt about facial lymphatic drainage. Lymphatic drainage should be done with feather light, slow strokes towards the lymph nodes. This helps to drain toxins and reduce puffiness. You can see the movements below that should be performed three times each. I found this stage very calming and helped me be mindful of my body.

The oil is £59.00 for 30ml.

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MOISTURISE

We used the Pro Moisturiser which I already own. You can see my post on it in my evening routine blog: https://whiterobeandslippers.com/2018/05/16/my-evening-skincare-routine/

55ml £37.00

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Finally was the Pro Defence SPF 15 which should be gently patted over your face and all the way down to your nipples to ensure ultimate sun protection. I also learnt that you should always apply your SPF after your moisturiser and before make up.  25ml is £38.00

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Apologies for the length of this post but I learnt so much and wanted to share it all with you.

They aren’t currently holding any more ESPA facial workshops at Luton Hoo, but if I spot any more I will be sure to let you know.

Until next time breath in and relax
Victoria

My husband reviews skincare

I already have him hooked on silk pillow cases so I thought why not get him to join in the fun of reviewing skincare.

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The product in question for his review is the Childs Farm Moisturiser for sensitive and eczema prone skin. Having had eczema from a young age he is thoroughly in the flow of having to moisturise every day. His usual creams are pretty clinical and are non scented but every day usage is vital for his skin. We saw rave reviews of the Childs Farm cream, which is available in Waitrose, and thought it was worth a try. It was described as being a miracle cream with many of reports of people claiming it had completely cleared their eczema.  Did it achieve this expectation?

Sadly the best thing about this cream was the scent, grapefruit and organic green tea. After having to use non scented creams this was a refreshing change for him. Specifically for the summer months the smell was refreshing and uplifting. The ability to improve eczema however sadly didn’t come to fruition. The texture wasn’t thick enough to have an impact and even with frequent use it didn’t reduce or clear the eczema.  He has had eczema since a child so it could be that his eczema is too severe for this type of cream to have an impact and therefore it may work on more mild cases. It is at a price point of £3.99 that means you could give this product a try. However for my husband this isn’t sadly a life changing product.

Are there any eczema products you recommend?

Until next time breath in and relax
Victoria

Haybarn Spa- Daylesford Farm

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Average outdoor spa morning: £260 for 2

Slipper rating:
Value for money – 3/5 slippers
Facilities – 3/5 slippers
Ambience – 5/5 slippers
Treatments – 4/5 slippers

This spa caught my eye because it was advertised as a pop up spa, something that I have never experienced before and was eager to try. I had heard of the Daylesford Farm shop and café before so the idea of a spa at the same location also excited me. Booking was a bit complicated as online it said it was always sold out. I therefore had to contact the spa directly via email to book, and it turned out they did have availability. The pop up spa is only available from May to September. We visited in July and booked it about a month in advance.

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The morning started a bit stressful as we got stuck in traffic and only just made it to the spa in time. But the minute we entered the spa the staff and beautifully scented ambience instantly made us relax.  We were welcomed with a carrot juice and ice cold water which was very much needed after a sweaty car journey.

 

 

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We were escorted to our own relaxation tent in the wild country garden. This little haven was ours for the next three hours. It was full of fresh flowers, candles and high end furnishings to make us relaxed and comfortable. There were two treatments areas to the right of the main chilling area and a shower and toilet to the left. Hanging up were crisp white robes for us to wear and slippers for our feet. Outside we had our own private decking area with table and chairs and sun loungers. The decking was also full of stunning potted roses and lavenders which filled the air with a sweet scent. Burning outside was also a citronella candle which I later bought from the farm shop.

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I opted for the 55 minute massage and my sister for the 55 facial. For the massage I was asked by the therapist to smell three different oils. She explained whichever one I chose it would signal to her what my body needed in terms of relaxing, balancing or energising. I selected the lavender and peppermint oil which meant I needed balancing.  The full body massage was divine, from head to toe was relaxed.  It did make me laugh though that the therapist had to wear sun glasses as the tent was so bright inside.

My sisters facial I quote ‘was one of the best she has ever experienced’. The facial began with burning of a fragrant South American wood to cleanse the air and relax. The treatment itself used a variety of Bamford Spa products, the nicest being a facial oil from strawberry seeds which smelt divine. The therapist also used a mixture of hot and cold stones to massage the face and whilst the brush applied face mask was setting gave a wonderful foot massage.

After our sensual treatments we had a further 2 hours to relax in our own little countryside sanctuary. They brought us rose tea and we ordered fresh pressed juices, read magazines and chilled in the sunshine.

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Once our time was up we weren’t rushed or made to leave the staff were super friendly. Since it was 28 degrees we were ready to sit in some air con. Had we wished we could have spent longer relaxing in their indoor “lavender room” which had a bubbling waterfeature and comfy recliners.

We visited the farm shop café for some shade and ate the most morish salmon salad we have ever tasted. After a potter around the shop and bakery (yes we treated ourselves to some pastries) we headed back to the car to make our way home.

This spa was definitely a new experience and different from your conventional spa but as enjoyable none the less. It was private, intimate and high end. There are no hot tubs or swimming pools but lots of areas to unwind and relax. The treatments were high quality and well thought through with lots of attention to detail. The location of the spa next to Daylesford Farm shop (a local haunt for David Beckham apparently) and café is a massive bonus as you could be a bit lost of what to do after your 3 hour experience.  At the farm shop they run lots of courses like floristry etc so you could combine a course with a trip to the spa.

Why I like this spa:
Perfect for a summers day
Private
Unique experience
Location proximity to other facilities

You can see all about the spa here:

https://daylesford.com/bamford-haybarn/

Do you know of any pop up spas? If so let me know I would love to give another one a go.

Until next time breath in and relax
Victoria

Silk pillowcase review

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I have always loved silk pyjamas. They make me feel super feminine, luxurious and they are more popular with my husband than my cotton nighties! So when I saw beauty enthusiasts talking about sleeping on a silk pillowcase for skin and hair benefits I was intrigued.

We have Egyptian cotton pillow cases which are pretty soft but, boy, they have nothing on the silk number I bought. I purchased a white silk pillow case from Amazon for £8.99.

For your hair the silk is supposed to help control your scalp sebum (oil). Cotton pillow cases soak up the oil making your sebum glands over compensate to replace it unlike silk which doesn’t absorb this oil. The silk texture also helps prevent fiction which can enhance split ends.

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Your skin is supposed to benefit from the reduced friction and pillow marks (we have all woken with awkward lines on our face).  In addition to this the supersoft fibres stop the absorption of your facial oils which can lead to dry skin.

They are also naturally hypoallergenic which is a massive bonus!

SILK 7I have only been using the pillowcase for a week but I couldn’t wait to tell you about it. It is a game changer. Not only is it super luxurious to lay on but it is a beauty win. The biggest benefit was being able to go to bed with freshly washed hair, something I normally dreaded.  I used to wake up looking like a crimped lion but not now. The pillow case tames my hair and I wake up looking more groomed.

My skin has loved the texture which no longer leaves me with crease marks. It is also cool to the touch which is great in this hot weather.

I have just taken it off my bed to wash, I’m praying it washes well and stays as silky. I will be sure to let you know!

I loved my bed before having this pillow case and all it has done is make me love it even more. I have slept so soundly since using it and will definitely invest in some more. My next guinea pig for it is my husband to see what he thinks.

Let me know if you give it a go!

Until next time breath in and relax
Victoria