Archive of ‘Beauty’ category

Adventures in Beauty

You know how when life is busy, you go about your daily business and don’t really think past the routine of what you do everyday? And then you get to the holidays and you rush from one thing to the next? Well, after to be honest a busy few years, this holiday we decided, rather than trying to fill it with too many trips, too many meet ups and rushing from one place to the next, to slow down the pace and see where the days and weeks take us around our own home and our little country.

But even though we are taking it easy, we are still busy, and trying out some new adventures – it’s the simple experiences that sometimes get forgotten. The 7 year old built a sandcastle in the sunshine for the first time! And the other day ruined his favourite shorts by climbing about 100 trees!

And sometimes, that is what these new experiences help to do – they make you look at things differently, be a little braver the next time and push you to try something new. The trees are getting higher for the 7 year old and meanwhile, the lipsticks are getting brighter for me…

I had the absolute pleasure of working with Katrina Doran from The Make up Dept in Belfast. Her day job involves transforming a human into a zombie or monster, so she was looking for opportunities to create a normal beauty look and I happily signed up to the challenge! I styled some fashion looks, she worked her beauty magic! And here are the results…

So I’ve now signed up to a Dior make up masterclass on Wednesday to try out some new lipsticks and find the colour that best works for me but more importantly, that I will actually wear. It may not be the bravest thing I’ve ever done, but sometimes we have to remember to push those boundaries – it’s always good to see where a new challenge will take you!


Afternoon Tea with Benefits


When the girls get together, there is often little time for silence.  It’s my favourite thing about friends – the constant chat, generally with food in hand, catching up on all life’s trials and new opportunities.  I don’t know about you but unless I set aside time, life gets busy and my friendships end up a text chat.

So of course I have the perfect t remedy for that;). In fact, it’s the perfect place for you to have that much needed catch up (over some delicious snacks) and get a little bonus make up session thrown in too!

Admittedly, I don’t love Afternoon Tea.  I love the idea of it, and of course, as mentioned, the get together, but the actual food doesn’t really appeal to me.  I am a lover of savoury food so the sweet layer is wasted on me, I’m not even interested in the take home box!  So for me to recommend an Afternoon Tea is a big ask…and I’m recommending this one!  From the milkshake to begin, to the perfect chocolate brownie at the end (and a bonus glass of champagne in the middle!), this Afternoon Tea provided balance – you came away feeling full but not too full, and even though I only had the one sweet thing…well, that’s what friends are for;)

We made our booking for 1.30pm, just enough time to enjoy each part of the Afternoon Tea with lots of coffee refills, a quick refresh at the ladies in between, and then off to claim a seat at the make up masterclass.

The first class required two volunteers – one day and one night.  The girls took us through step by step, introducing us to new products each time.  The second class had one volunteer and while one make up artist chatted his way through the products, bringing them around to demonstrate, the other applied to the model.  Personal preference – I liked the first method as I feel I learned more strategies for application and could ask the MUA’s questions in between. My mum, who was with me the second time, liked how she got to chat about the products as they came around and explore them a little more independently.  The make up artists are all from the beauty department In House of Fraser, so you can and speak to them individually at any time too.











Of course there is no obligation to buy any products (not that you can do this at the session anyway), but both times, we went to the counters in House of Fraser for a browse and finally, a shop!  Within the package offered this time, you receive a £10 voucher to spend with Benefit.

Looking to get together with the girls, or a much needed catch up with your mum? This Saturday (22 July) from 1pm-5pm, Malmaison is having another afternoon tea – forget the texts and the social media and get together for a catch up with friends – I would definitely recommend!





My Spa Experience

I’m not sure I know anyone who wouldn’t jump at the chance for a little bit of TLC…and when the pampering location is right on your doorstep, well, there’s definitely no reason not to!

With an ethos of making day spas accessible and affordable for everyone, Spa Experience offers a relaxing thermal spa area, complete with sauna, sanarium, ice room and plunge pool as well as a relaxing area to chill on hot beds and a range of treatments available to book.

The new spa is located within the Olympia Leisure Complex, meaning a handy location and easy parking.  However, as you step through the spa doors, it is a world away from a leisure centre feel!  Being in this location, although convenient, I was unsure of what to expect, but it both looked and felt high quality.

On arrival I was welcomed with a gown, flip flops and towel and given a quick tour of the changing area and thermal spa which I was to further explore at my leisure.  I helped myself to a complimentary apple and glass of water to relax on the heated lounge chairs before deciding my next move.  Of course you have to try each area out but needless to say, the ice areas and cold showers, although being fully aware of their theraputic values, weren’t given much time!  The sanarium (which just feels like being on a beach – the perfect amount of heat!) was my favourite and where I ended up spending most of my time.

I signed up to the Total Spa Experience treatment and was guided through to the individual rooms when my time came.  A quick run down of how many layers to remove (is it just me who feels uncomfortable with knowing whether or not under garments should be removed?!), comfortably positioned on my heated bed (optional), music selected, scents decided upon and we were good to go!

The Total Spa Experience (£48 for 50mins) was just what my body needed on coming out of hibernation from winter layers and heating systems!  It began with a full body exfoliation, after which I was cocooned in blankets to allow the product to fully do it’s work.  At this stage I had my face and scalp massaged – top to toe relaxation.  The exfoliant was then removed before hot stones were placed on key areas, ah, even the thought of it now is making me feel relaxed!

Thank you to Spa Experience (and in particular, Isabelle) for my afternoon of relaxation, I plan to be back, even just for an afternoon in the sanarium;)  Here’s your chance to check it out…!


The Mummy Makeover

Okay, before we begin, this is a long one!  But if you are in need of a push in the right direction of regaining a positive mindset to build a body shape you feel content with, read on!

Six weeks before Christmas, I thought it would be a really good idea to begin a new exercise and eating program that lasted twelve weeks – yes, that means that week six fell right on Boxing Day – great idea!

But I had had enough.  I had had enough of my eating, enough of watching my body sag a little more every day, enough of saying I plan to do something (anything!) and ultimately enough of doing nothing. I am not overweight, I am not unfit but I am a normal person with a busy schedule who actually just needs to prioritise her body and her health for once.

I kept seeing The Mummy Makeover flashing up on Facebook and after clicking in a few times, I decided to start the ball rolling and finally do something.  So I filled in the interest form, and made an arrangement with Gary (the man with the inspiration behind the program) for a phonecall to get an overview of what was ahead if I signed up.

After watching his wife struggle with her changing body after having their two boys, Gary (already a gym owner and personal trainer) decided to put together a program that would assist other mummies in the same position, that they could complete at home, in their own time frame but with a support group running in the background, ultimately helping them to gain control of their own body again.  My little boy is now 7.  It’s taken me this length of time to make excuses, to sit on the sofa, to eat as much cheese as is humanly possible but finally, in The Mummy Makeover Program I had found something that motivated me enough to take the first step.  Result!

During the initial call, Gary chatted about not only what I should expect to be doing over the course of twelve weeks, but he also laid out what would be expected of me – an opportunity for him to see how serious I really was.  Apparently I was ready, and so I began The Mummy Makeover!  12 weeks of clean eating, exercise 3 times a week, a new body (hopefully!) and possibly most importantly, changing my mindset.  Obviously there is a cost with the program (£297 or as I looked at it, £25/week) but again, to me and for what the program was offering me, it was worth it.

The perks of the program?

  • You measure yourself (hips, bust and stomach) rather than solely looking at weight – the idea is to focus on your new body shape that changes with both eating habits and exercise (I also wish I’d measured my around my bum and my thighs to see the difference there!)
  • You are given a link to a page that contains all the information you need – your menu plans (to use as you wish), an exercise program (word document and videos to follow step by step) and motivational videos created by Gary
  • You are always accountable (via Gary and the other girls in the group!)
  • You have access to a private  Facebook group to share stories/food ideas/stresses with other mummies on the program
  • You have a group call once a week to discuss successes and any issues you are having
  • The call is followed up by Gary adding a challenge to the Facebook page, one to keep you on track and motivated
  • Challenges are also added randomly e.g. the first person to drink 2l of water
  • If Gary knows you have been struggling, he checks in on you and keeps you motivated
  • If you are local, Gary owns a gym in Portadown so you can arrange to see him if necessary
  • There is a Graduate Program which allows you to continue for another 12 weeks, or as I did, you have the opportunity to sign up for some personal training sessions with Gary to continue on your next phase

What I have learned on the program

  • I have an understanding of food – admittedly understanding what I was eating had never really crossed my mind before, but it was explained in a way that made it easy to build into my lifestyle
  • Sticking to the 90% clean and 10% treat rule is easy (most days) and is now how I continue to eat
  • I need to drink at least 2 litres of water a day – I have felt the difference and now know from experience how important it is
  • I don’t love exercise so I just need to make myself do it
  • In order to achieve what you want, you need to change your mindset

Mummy Makeover

Would I recommend this program?

Yes, Yes, Yes!  For the first time in my life I have taken responsibility for my body – my eating habits and my exercise regime (although this has definitely been my biggest challenge).  I am still on this journey, and admittedly since finishing my twelve weeks I have really struggled to continue with the exercise but my mindset is transformed which is making me think about myself and my goals, thus keeping me on track.  I will get back to it properly!

So, feeling ready?  It’s time to take that first step and get your body back!  Click here or here to find out more…


Starting 2017 with Bliss and Dermalogica

Is it too late to say Happy New Year?!

I’ve never been one for new year’s resolutions but this year I tried to set myself a few goals (inspired by The Mummy Makeover, more to follow!) and taking time for myself to do the things I enjoy was at the top of the list.  We all know how the daily routine, the job, the home, everyone else’s needs but our own take priority!

So of course it was essential I kicked off this new year goal properly.  And just in time, Michelle from Bliss contacted me to see if I would like to try out a new product and enjoy a facial to help get my skin routine sorted.

Michelle at Bliss, Dromore

So first up, let me tell you about Dermalogica’s latest product, Daily Superfoliant. Designed to fight biochemical and environmental factors which lead to skin ageing, while giving you your smoothest skin ever.  I cleansed my skin before pouring a little of the Superfoliant onto my hand.  Expecting a lotion, it came out in little tiny particles with charcoal as one of the key ingredients.  As I moistened it and rubbed it on my skin, it was definitely not the time for the postman to arrive at the door;)  It is called ‘Daily’ Superfoliant but Michelle recommends it’s use every 2-3 days (but this also depends on skin type so seek advice!).

And of course, most importantly you want to know how my skin looked and felt the next day?  Well, I was up bright and early so it was hard to see if I looked perkier but it most definitely felt better.  That dry feeling that lingers over the winter, gone…and gone for a few days, ready for my next use!

The bonus of buying this product before the end of January is that you can also choose a free treat – and who doesn’t need something for free in January?!  Choose either a three piece Age Smart Set for a home treatment, or head in to Bliss for a Post Party Peel.

Dermalogica Superfoliant

In the relaxing surroundings of Bliss Skin and Beauty, with hassle free parking, and a knowledgeable beautician who makes you feel like you are her number one priority, I enjoyed the Post Party Peel.  Michelle tested my skin for moisture and then began the treatment.  The products used are designed to give intense hydration to your skin – at points you feel like you have pins and needles on your face, not really in an uncomfortable way but more a way that it really feels the product is working!  This is an express treatment but you don’t feel rushed and your skin gets the boost of hydration it needs.

Go check out Bliss Skin and Beauty and get your orders in before the end of the month to enjoy this treat:)  Now, I’m off again to rushing around, doing all those jobs, until that next slot when I can take a little time to myself!


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