London spa ideas for bride-to-be

M Spa Jacuzzi London

Whether you are on the hunt for the ultimate hen party pampering, or a little RnR time pre-wedding with the other half, I have uncovered a total nugget of loveliness for you and trust me – you will NOT be disappointed. If you depart leaving anything other than fabulous, I’ll massage you myself!

Yes The M SPA by Montcalm really is a rare contemporary haven of relaxation right in the heart of London’s tech city. And it’s super handy to reach too, being only a few minutes walk from Old Street Station. Open to the public since April 2015, I was particularly keen to see what this new spa-on-the-London-scene had to offer and as I am sure you can already gather… all expectations were superseded and then some!

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With interiors by Versace, you can instantly imagine the wow factor on arrival. In fact, the entire hotel has a cool cutting edge feel about it the moment you walk through the door and this sense of innovation follows through the entire experience at the venue. I was greeted by my wonderful therapist Giovanna who kindly showed me around the spa before promptly slipping into my robe. Oh I do love a robe and that transformation from real life into a world of relaxation is simply unbeatable. Anyhoo time for a quick Elemis shower before heading straight-in for the main event… a jacuzzi, swim and iced lemon water poolside. #heaven

And to be fair I really did drift off thanks to the fact this spa is so well thought out in terms of not overcrowding to purposely offer a sense of exclusivity – a very important element I think for both a party with the girls or a time out with your partner. I could have stayed poolside for hours, but a full body massage awaited me and there was no way on Earth I was going to miss out on that!

Full body massage M Spa

Now I must admit, I have road tested quite a few spa’s in my time and often find hotel therapists a little disappointing, or rather light on substance/expertise shall we say. But hands down, this was actually the BEST deep tissue massage I have had to date. And I told Giovanna too! She was very happy I am pleased to say. Using a mix of various disciplines, Giovanna promptly deknotted and detoxed my body leaving me feeling refreshed and revitalised, ready for a night out on the town with some friends. A perfect tonic pre-event that’s for sure!

The carefully selected ranges used at this ultimate urban sanctuary are pretty fabulous too, with meticulously sourced products from both ila-spas organic collection and the results driven Natura Bissé skincare range.

Montcalm Hotel

The facilities are simply sensational and also include a massage room for two! Ideal for you and your partner to enjoy a treatment together. Plus there’s a sauna, steam room and light-experience showers for you to try out. Oh and even a state of the art gym if you fancy a de-stress workout pre-relax!

M SPA LONDON

For full details and to book The M Spa by Montcalm London simply click here!

Skincare tips before the wedding

Holistic-Essentials

Skincare tips before the wedding… a review of Ayurveda Pura London

I can clearly remember turning 30 and my friend Catrina telling me to ‘step away’ from the shelves whilst browsing the aisles of  a well known high street store! Its counters all the way from this point in she proclaimed. Shelves are dead to me – long live the counter I yelled in a sort of liberated slash defeated type way! To be fair, I could never ditch the shelves even if I wanted too, this is where all the hidden treasure lie, but apparently preservation is the name of the game from this point in and the only place any of us stand a chance of achieving this is at the counter of luxury. By this of course she was referring to the super-beauty brands that dominate our high street department store entrances. A shop within a shop tempting us with their bottled delights of anti-wrinkle bliss. And I must confess, I am a bit of an addict. Always at the front of the queue to try ‘the next big thing’ in ‘skin preservation’ as I now like to call it!

So you can imagine my delight when this little box of tricks landed on my doorstep for me to test out (see below). I had been on the lookout to try a completely new range of product and was keen to test an organic collection as this was an area I had not delved into before. Would going natural be better for me and more importantly better for my skin?! Not meaning to sound superficial here, but if we’re focusing on the skin deep I think we can allow ourselves to be a little vain! In keeping with this theme and like a hound hunting out it’s prey, my first port of call was to sniff out the scent of said product and I have to say, this floral burst of deliciousness certainly did not disappoint. Heaven springs to mind. I am a massive fan of a decent scent, if not mildly addicted and Ayurveda Pura ticked every box for me on that count. I am hooked already!

Skincare tips before the wedding

Ayurveda is an Ancient Indian Holistic medical system that has been practiced for over 5000 years, the principles of which are at the heart of the entire collection. 100% natural, the Ayurveda Pura range is totally organic, suitable for vegans, SLS-free, perfume-free, parabens-free and free of animal testing. They are lovingly hand made in the UK and suitable for all skin types. When I said I wanted to go completely natural I really meant it hey! I’ll be hitting the nudist beach next :-) … maybe not just yet!!

Shampoo Ayurveda Pura

So first up, I kicked off with a test of the shampoo and for me this is an important product. As us guys get a little older, our hair tends to dry out and loose its lust for life, so finding a shampoo that would bring a bit of vitality to my follicles turned into a never ending quest. But luckily, this particular product delivered with gusto on the latter and more importantly, felt as though it was doing some good by stripping all the evil chemicals from my head when I used it for the first time. This apparently is down to anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and blood cleansing exotic ingredients including Neem and Brahmi. I was at one with nature if you know what I mean. Lot’s of lovely goodness being rubbed into my head instead of a chemical mix that’s faking it.

organic face cleansing milk

Next up was the daily cleansing milk, which again felt fresh and full of cleansing gorgeousness as I used it, but for me the most notable point was after drying my face. Probably for the first time ever, it felt REALLY clean. Stripped of clogging oils that might have been lingering for some time, the essential Oils of Neroli, Lemon and Frankincense left my skin feeling revitalised, toned and wonderfully scented. Castor oil also helps fight wrinkles and fine lines. I use this cleansing milk everyday now and intend to continue with it when I run out! Happy days.

Decent under eye cream

Moving on to that all important under eye area… I cannot be the only one who has tried a million creams that all promise to anti-puff but never deliver? It’s always so disappointing when you apply and nothing really happens – in some instances the circles get even darker. Never a good look. I know this is always a massive area of concern for brides-to-be when it comes to beauty prep for the big day and as someone who also looks like they have aged 50 years and gone five rounds with Mike Tyson upon waking every morning – I feel your pain. The tired look is never going to be in, so thank goodness for this little tube of kindness, which is enriched with witch hazel and a blend of essential oils including: Mandarin, Borage, Ylang Ylang and Geranium. This unique formula both cools and calms the skin, whilst helping to protect, nourish and repair thanks to it’s antioxidant properties.  It doesn’t just cover-up it fixes too… this ones a keeper ladies!

Cream

And finally, containing a unique blend of aloe vera, almond, peach and essential oils of rose, neroli and orange to moisturise and replenish the skin, this as they say is my icing on the cake! The consistency is gorgeous too – I cannot bear a greasy cream! And for anyone that suffers with skin irritations or light acne, the Manjistha ingredient in this product also helps to cleanse the blood at skin level to reduce rashes and blemishes. Don’t forget to apply onto your lips too as the almond oil also helps with chapped lips and is anti-ageing. This is my go-to product at the end of a busy day. A little pot of gold waiting for me at my bedside…

And here I am about to apply said Ayurveda Pura cream post shampoo ‘n’ face wash! #gorgeousinaleopard !!

Applying night cream to wet skin

Posing selfie moment! Looking serious three weeks into my regime… in all honesty, I actually noticed an immediate difference in my complexion after just one use!

Headshot

And relax! Out and about with my Ayurveda Pura face ‘n’ hair entertaining the parents!

Birthday photo in Bristol

To find out more about the range and get shopping, you can visit the collection here!

Grooming before the big day

GT Logo

GT Logo

Gentlement's Tonic Pre Shave Oil Grooming before the big day

Every man needs one and I am not talking about his dog… I am of course referring to a tonic. And a Gentlemen’s one at that. Yes, the lovely people at Gentlemen’s Tonic HQ, have zipped me over a little box of goodies to sample and I have to say, they certainly did not disappoint. In fact, I am happy to say they seriously delivered and exceeded my expectations on all fronts. Never have I experienced such a silky smooth shave and my housemate agrees too!

Gentlemen’s Tonic offers the modern man a traditional barbershop experience, alongside a whole host of incredible lifestyle and grooming services. I tried out the pre shave oil and traditional shave cream at home and honestly, it was a leagues above anything else I have ever used. Not only is the babassu & bergamot scent seriously addictive, the product range also makes shaving easier too – especially, if like me you hadn’t bothered for a few days!

Gentlemen's Tonic

And here’s the best bit, if you are a groom-to-be, or a bride-in-waiting, that is desperate for her man to rock up to the wedding looking top notch, Gentlemen’s Tonic also offer some incredible pre big day grooming services at their salons in central London too. Stubble rash on a brides big day is so not a good look, so make sure you use the best.

 pre shave oil

Pre Shave Oil 50ml £19

traditional_shave_cream_

 Traditional shave cream 125g £19

To view the entire product collection you can use at home before the big day, or to make an appointment visit: www.gentlemenstonic.com