Healthy, Beautiful Skin? It’s just a (Liz Earle) facial away!

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 29 - 2011

Far, far away in a land renowned for pampering treats and coveted skincare, there is a treatment room and in this treatment room sits the bed of dreams.  With the push of a button, it warms your bum, lifts your legs and reclines your shoulders, cocooning you in a world of comfort.

After a long, hot day in early July, I was more than ready to sample this comfort courtesy of the brand new Healthy Beautiful Skin Facial at Liz Earle’s flagship store just off Sloane Square.  The treatment rooms are situated downstairs in the softly-lit basement away from the hustle and bustle of the retail floor.

The Healthy Beautiful Skin Facial has been designed to pamper both body and spirit and in true Liz Earle style achieves this with a holistic approach involving no machinery or external apparatus.  Beginning with a mini-consultation, we discussed my skin concerns (not many at the moment thankfully) and decided that I’d be suited to some general TLC and uber relaxation.  I’m always up for some uber relaxation, any time, any place.

I climbed into the treatment bed in just my knickers and because it is literally a bed (with blankies and everything) it does feel like you’re waiting for your kindly therapist to come along and tuck you in.  Which actually, she did, thanks to me not knowing where to put my hands.  Once comfortably relaxed (and waiting for my bedtime story), it was ready to begin the facial.

Of course, no Liz Earle facial would be complete without a Cleanse & Polish, it would be like eating chips without egg or watching Crimewatch without recognising a family member.  So with that in mind (and my eyes firmly shut), I pinpointed the telltale earthy aroma of the iconic product and let my shoulders loosen as the daily grime was massaged from my face and decolletage.

Cleansed, toned and gently exfoliated… I felt myself drifting off, infact I fell asleep more than once but was re-assured by my therapist that not only was this perfectly normal (after I let out an embarrassed giggle) but that it was most definitely a sign that she was doing her job well.  I had to agree with this the next time I woke myself up with what I wished at the time had been a much more ladylike snort.  Snooze aside, the best was yet to come…

Massage.  Oh Em Gee and all that shiz… it was like a troop of fairies alternating the waltz, frogmarch and cha cha cha across my face, neck and shoulders.  And just when you got to the point where you knew you NEVER wanted this to stop…. it didn’t!!  30 full minutes of gloriously choreographed face sculpting was mine.

Alas, all good things have to come to an eventual end and after 60 minutes, it was time to return upstairs to the real world.  I was given plenty of time to gather my clothes, thoughts and memories of how my leg muscles had previously operated before listening to a quick ‘de-brief’ from my therapist who had rightly deduced that I do not drink enough water.  Busted.

I have never considered Liz Earle facials to be particularly hard-working.  Relaxing?  Yes.  Great-smelling?  Naturally.  But peeking in the mirror displayed a pair of eyes that had been completely de-puffed and a jawline that looked positively defined.  Sure, I had the post-facial glow that ensured my makeup-less face still looked human but I wasn’t expecting to see such a tangible difference in something I hadn’t even previously considered.  I guess that’s what a good lymphatic drainage massage will do for you and the ‘sculpting’ effects from this one lasted at least a week.

The Liz Earle Healthy Beautiful Skin Facial* is priced at £65 for 60 minutes and is a thoroughly lovely way to wind down after a long day.

* I was invited for a complimentary facial as a guest of the brand.


Review: Louise James Health & Beauty in Ewell, Surrey

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 2 - 2011

I was recently invited to spend a few hours at Louise James Health & Beauty, a well-placed beauty salon just a short hop from Epsom in Surrey.  I sent Mr. L off to spend the afternoon at nearby Chessington with Leila whilst I got down to the serious business of relaxation.

The salon offers a range of treatments from the more traditional facials, massages and manicures to the latest Ultra Plus VPL (stop smirking, that stands for Variable Pulsed Light) laser machines that zap unwanted hair, thread veins, age spots, pigmentation and even pores!  Throw in some tanning, waxing and Pamper Parties for little ones and you’re looking at a complete one-stop beauty shop.

I settled in for one of Louise’s Exclusive Facials which incorporates a back massage (bliss), a cleanse (squeak squeak), a steam (sweaty), an extraction (oh yes!), the most incredible face massage in the world (fact) and a mask that in my case, smelt like weetabix.  The ambiance in the room was good with mostly dimmed lighting and the gentle sound of waves lapping at the shore… my solitary niggle was being able to hear the conversations on the other side of the door as clients came in to book appointments but in limited salon space, that’s a tricky one to address.

I emerged from my facial with not only the most incredible glow (proof coming up) but also some seriously impressive bed hair!  It was like having a 12 hour sleep condensed into 90 minutes!

check out the glow AND the bed hair! (excuse the phone photo quality)

The Salon uses Dermalogica and Louise was happy to talk me through the products she was using on me, why she was using them and the specific benefits I could expect.  All this followed an indepth discussion about my skin, how it was behaving and a bit of close inspection!  Aside from clearly knowing her stuff, it was a breath of fresh air to have the info relayed in a non-patronising manner.  Hair Stylists, take note.

Before heading back into the real world, I opted for a Jessica Cosmetics pepto-bismol pink on my nails which finally got to see the benefits of some expert shaping without the manicurist trying to insist on completely squaring off my nails… now that’s a rare occurence.

All in all, it was an experience that needs repeating.  I’ve had a few treatments over the years and for me, these things are as personal as a visit to the doctor.  I’m the kind of client who values her privacy, likes to know what’s going on during a treatment (but is sometimes afraid to ask) and appreciates simple warmth and friendliness.

Salon facilities, products and everything else aside, it’s Louise herself that makes Louise James Health & Beauty a must-visit.  Not only an experienced therapist but clearly an experienced people person who will ensure that time spent in her salon is time spent wholly tailored to you.  Through chatting with her for just a short while, it became apparent very quickly just how much pleasure she takes from her job.  It’s not rocket science, a happy, qualified therapist with good people skills will make for a very happy customer.  And I’m certainly one of those.

For more information on Louise James Health & Beauty near Epsom in Surrey, please visit the website www.louisekjames.com – prices start from £25 for a mini facial.

* I was invited for a complimentary facial and manicure as a guest of the salon.

Oskia Signature Glow Facials: 12th-15th June at Liberty!

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 25 - 2011

I shouldn’t really run with a post on a late-night whim but I was totally sucked in by the pretty visual in this newsletter mail out from British skincare brand, Oskia.  Look!

The 45 minute facial costs £45 but is fully redeemable against any Oskia products purchased on the day.

I thought it might be of interest to some of you London ladies!

Have you tried any Oskia products?

Prep your party skin with Sisley!

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 13 - 2010

We all want great skin throughout the year but we all want it that little bit more when we have a slew of parties to attend!

This Christmas, Sisley are offering 2 new Express Facials at Selfridges, a great excuse to include some pampering whilst doing your Christmas shopping!

The two new facials available are described as…

[stextbox id=”custom” caption=”Pre Party Preparation Express Facial” ccolor=”ffffff” bcolor=”b0c4de” bgcolor=”e6e6fa” cbgcolor=”a9a9a9″]

Sisley’s new Pre Party Preparation Facial works to deep cleanse the skin and combines a gentle buffing cream to boost skin circulation whilst removing dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. This is followed be an intensely hydrating mask which plumps, firms and smoothes the skin. To solve the problem of dry, chapped winter lips, the facial combines nourishing lip treatments to leave lips soft and plump.

Skin is left glowing, hydrated and smooth providing a perfect base to apply your party makeup.

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[stextbox id=”custom” caption=”Post Party Recovery Facial” ccolor=”ffffff” bcolor=”b0c4de” bgcolor=”e6e6fa” cbgcolor=”a9a9a9″]

Sisley’s new Post Party Recovery Facial begins with a deep cleanse to ensure that every trace of dirt and makeup is removed allowing pores to breathe again.  This is followed by a revitalising exfoliation to remove impurities.  Next, one of Sisley’s award winning skin saving masks is applied to help regain optimal condition of the skin.

To solve the problem of puffy, tired eyes the facial combines a soothing eye treatment to awaken tired eyes and eliminate dark circles.  Your skin is left looking bright, radiant and rested.

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A £35 booking fee applies, which is redeemable against 2 or more Sisley skincare products purchased on the day of the treatment.

Guest Post! Winter Skin Tips from Jo Givens at Liz Earle

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 8 - 2010

Happy Monday morning you lovely lot!

Stop dragging your knuckles on the floor.  I know you’ve only had time for 8 mugs of double espresso so far but look lively ‘cos I’ve got a treat for you today!

Jo Givens, the infinitely wise Treatments Development Manager at Liz Earle’s London flagship store has agreed to share some of her best tips to prepare your skin for whatever Winter has to throw at it!

L-R: Jo Givens -Treatments Development Manager at Liz Earle, Liz Earle Flagship London Store

Dear Lipglossiping readers!

I’m so honoured that I have been invited to share my seasonal skin tips with you all!

As the summer has sadly come to an end, I begrudgingly pack away my summer wardrobe as my ‘tan’ starts to fade along with the sunshine.  Autumn is here and winter is on its way.  The air feels cooler and the leaves on the trees have started to transform into a beautiful sea of orange and gold.  I find that this is the time my skin starts to feel in need of hydration, as the central heating resumes once more and sucks away skin moisture, and signs of damage from the harsh UV rays of the summer start to be revealed.

It is important to remember that we need to adapt our skincare routine during these coming months, along with good nutrition to keep skin looking and feeling its best whilst maintaining flagging energy levels.

.

Problem: Skin breakouts during changing seasons

Solution: Plummeting temperatures and central heating can wreak havoc with your skin- symptoms of this can be breakouts (spots or pimples), due to inflammation, bacteria and a build up of dead skin cells and excess oils.  Use a clay mask which is rich in minerals to absorb excess oils.  I would recommend using this 2-3 x a week all over your face, or just on specific areas as a spot treatment overnight.  I firmly believe in supplements for the skin and garlic tablets are perfect as an anti-inflammatory treatment for the skin – always consult your doctor before taking anything internal.

.

Problem: Dull and tired skin

Solution: Exfoliate skin as once stubborn skin cells are removed your skin will instantly look clearer and brighter. Also, I always recommend exoliating your skin before using a facial mask, as this can literally double the effects of any mask.  Try to do at least 10 minutes of exercise a day – this will boost the circulation to the skin and keep it looking fresh and hydrated.

.

Problem: Parched, dry skin

Solution: As your skin can feel drier in the winter months, double up with a hydrating facial oil at night underneath your existing moisturiser.  Try a facial oil that is made up of 100% plant oils packed with skin loving ingredients such as argan oil and organic rosehip oil.  Also, try using a richer moisturiser at night that will provide super hydration whilst you sleep.  Focus on massaging your skin with gentle caring sweeps for at least 2 minutes every night as this will boost circulation and keep skin supple.

.

Problem: How to Survive the Christmas Preparations?

Solution: After a warm bath, pat skin dry and lavish skin with a rich luxurious body cream.  Burn a natural Lavender soy candle for 10 minutes in your bedroom before you sleep to scent the room-this will aid relaxation

.

Problem: Low Energy Levels during Dark Mornings and Evenings

Solution: I would always advise to start your day with a dry skin body brush. On dry skin, brush upwards using long sweeping strokes towards the heart – this boosts a sluggish system.  Once you have body brushed, massage a body scrub over damp skin – this will remove dead skin cells and bring oxygen and nutrients to your skin cells.

Banish tiredness by not eating sugary foods at night- these energy foods can disturb sleep.  A daily supplement of milk thistle is great during the winter months to boost the liver energy which will help the body to eliminate waste and maintain vitality.  Also keep up your daily water intake as dehydration can have a negative effect on the skin and body.

Interior of Liz Earle’s flagship London store

Thanks so much to Jo for taking the time to share your great tips and solutions with us!

I’ve already contemplated introducing some dry skin body brushing into my daily routine and I love treating my skin to Superskin Concentrate as an overnight dry-skin quencher whenever I feel it rebelling against the elements.  It’s a bit heavy for daytime use… but my goodness does it sort me out while I sleep!

Also, one of my favourite bath-time relaxers comes in the form of the Vital Oils for the Bath… the site recommends 1/2 capfuls per bath but this stuff is SO potent that a couple of drops does it for me!

However, if you really want to get your skin Winter-ready, you can’t beat a visit to The Treatment Rooms in the London store to indulge in one of Liz Earle facials or skin tutorials with an expert therapist like Jo.

What are your main skincare concerns for the upcoming Winter?  Dryness?  Dullness? Something else?

Liz Earle guest blogs…

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 16 - 2010

I’m very excited!  We’ve only bloomin’ got Liz Earle guest blogging on Lipglossiping today innit!

It’s an exciting week for everyone at Liz Earle who are currently celebrating the 15th anniversary of their multi-award winning Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser.

Liz agreed to share her tips on how to save some pennies and treat ourselves to a well-deserved uber facial whilst in the comfort of our own pig stys homes.  Read on for her fabulous how-to…

Dear Lipglossiping Friends,

It’s lovely to share with you my personal tips on how to pamper your skin in the comfort of your own home! Plus, if you are looking to curb the expense of a full salon treatment, this technique could be for you.

As summer is approaching, this at home facial is exactly what your skin needs – a fresh, new beginning! Simple, fuss- free and pampering, this facial will leave you with a complexion ready for summer.

Here are the quick and easy steps of what to do:

~ Cleanse
~ Exfoliate
~ Steam
~ Extracts (if any)
~ Tone
~ Mask and rest
~ Moisturise

Cleanse

The cornerstone of fabulous looking skin is cleansing.  Cleansing is integral to achieve a clear complexion by getting rid of daily grime and impurities to keep your skin clean and prevent blemishes.  Look for a gentle cleanser that is free from mineral oil, has a rich and creamy texture and swiftly removes all traces of face and eye make-up.

Apply a small amount of your cleanser of choice to the fingertips of one hand and dot on forehead, cheeks, chin and neck.  Massage the cleanser into your skin in small circular movements – always work down the neck, and up from jaw line to your forehead, going outwards from the centre of the face.  Work around the nostrils to help shift blackheads, especially if you’re spot-prone.

Wash off the cleanser using a pure muslin cloth wrung out in warm water to help gently dislodge dead skin cells and help reveal clean, soft and radiant skin.  Finish by splashing your face with cold water for a final refresh.

Exfoliate

Exfoliating is a vital step to buff away dead skin cells and impurities, in order to reveal fresh radiant skin.  To give yourself the equivalent of a salon treatment at home, you can use a very gentle face exfoliator.  Look for one containing spherical beads such as jojoba and avoid anything with jagged particles such as nut kernels.

Gently massage your exfoliator over your face, neck and décolleté, for one to three minutes, using the whole length of your fingers and working in little circles, out from the centre.  Avoid your eye area.

Rinse off with warm water.  To remove any last traces, sprinkle toner on cotton-wool pads and sweep them over your face.

Steam

After you have prepped your skin by cleansing and exfoliating, start the steaming process!  Avoid this step, however, if you have very high colour on your cheeks, or rosacea.  You can buy fancy gadgets for the steaming process but I get the best results by steaming my face over a basin of hot water for five minutes.   Here’s how you do it:

~ Fill a bowl with just-boiled water and allow it to cool for a minute or two.

~ Tie back your hair, or use a soft stretchy hair band.

~ You can get skin softened and prepped from plain steam, with nothing added to the water, although adding a few drops of essential oil will help blemish or spot-prone skin.  All pure essential oils are volatile oil compounds and therefore have antiseptic and antibacterial properties.  My favorites for facial steaming are lavender (good for all skin types), rosemary (for oilier skin) and tea tree (highly antibacterial and thus excellent for helping to purify spots and breakouts).  Add three to four drops to the water just before you put your face over it, and swoosh round with a toothbrush handle or similar.  Essential oils are broken down by heat, so drop in at the last moment to retain maximum potency and aroma.

~ With the towel over your head, take six deep slow breaths (through your mouth may be more comfortable). Move your head a little so every part of your face benefits from the cleansing steam.

~ Remove the towel after about five minutes and use it to pat the skin dry.

Extracts

The easiest time to remove any small spots or blackheads is just after steaming when skin is softer.  Apply a small dab of plant oil (i.e. grapeseed or almond) or balm to the affected area.

Wrap both index fingers in a tissue (pull it in half, so you have two thin sheets) and gently press the blemish to unclog the plugs of sebum.  Wipe clean and follow with a sweep of skin tonic.  If the spot is deep, don’t push or poke too hard; it may not be ready to be extracted.

A good tip: good light is essential and if you don’t have 20/20 vision, a magnifying mirror is very useful.

Tone

A toner is essential for closing pores and preparing your skin for your favorite moisturiser, so follow extractions with a sweep of skin toner sprinkled onto a cotton wool pad to cool the skin.  This will help to keep your complexion cool and calm.  Look for an alcohol free toner that will not dry or irritate your skin.

Mask & Rest

Some women don’t usually use a mask, but I believe it’s an essential part of the process to leave skin balanced, calm and clear.  Apply a generous layer of your favorite mask to both face and neck, but avoid the immediate eye area.  Clay-based masks are useful for spot-prone congested skin.  If you have dry skin I recommend using a creamy, oil-based mask as these are more nourishing.

It’s fine to mix and match masks and use a clay-based mask on your T-zone and then a richer, hydrating formula on drier cheeks.  Apply with your fingertips or – a little insider secret – use a blusher brush to paint the mask over your face!

To help you fall into a haven of rest and wake up with eyes that sparkle, dampen two cotton wool pads with an eye lotion.  Look for one that’s gentle, soothing and will revitalize your delicate eye area.  If you have the time, chill the pads in an ice tray for 10 minutes before applying for a refreshing treat.

I encourage you to lie down for 15 to 20 minutes with your feet propped up – raising your ankles above the level of your heart helps circulation.  Once you start feeling re-freshed, remove the eye pads and thoroughly wipe away the mask with a damp muslin cloth, flannel or facial sponge.

Moisturise

Finish your pampering treat by applying a moisturiser.  Dot over your face, neck and décolleté before massaging in.

I recommend you look for a moisturiser containing natural plant oils which will work in harmony with your skin’s natural oils to give it just the right amount of moisturisation, leaving your skin radiant with a healthy-looking glow.

Follow with your selected eye cream.

I hope you’ve found my personal tips helpful and just in time for summer.  If you have any questions regarding this at-home facial treatment, please feel free to ask any questions to Charlotte and the Liz Earle team and I will be happy to answer them.

Best regards,

Liz

So there you have it, tips from a bonafide skincare queen!  I’m going to give it a go this weekend, I’m in need of some serious pampering and have my Instant Boost Skin Tonic and Deep Cleansing Mask at the ready!

I never get round to making time to do this kind of thing despite ALWAYS promising myself that I will, so I’m pledging…. right here, right now.  Next week, my skin will GLOW from a proper DIY facial thanks to these tips.  Anyone else gonna make the pledge with me?  And no cheating… you have to do the lot… the steaming and the feet up bit included!

Also, as Liz mentioned… if you have any questions about DIY pampering, please leave a comment below!

RANDOM

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