“Go with your gut. Women are great with their gut and we should listen to it more.”
In honour of the owner of Chamomile Sanctuary, Justine Mitchell’s, 50th birthday this week, we put together this interview of Justine by renewed broadcast journalist Rachel McTavish.
Rachel interviews Justine on how she feels about turning 50; her beauty and skincare regime; and the one thing that makes her happy everyday.
Check out the video below.
Happy Birthday, Justine!
What do you love about your job? I love meeting new people every day. The best bit is just helping people feel better about their bodies or simply seeing their smiles when their nails look beautiful.
What is your recommended product? I always tell clients about CND Solar Oil because it will make their Shellac treatment last so much longer. It really strengthens nails because it moisturises, strengthens and prevents cracking.
What are your current favourite colours? Field Fox, Peacock Plume and Indigo Frock although a current client favourite is Dark Dahlia.
What’s your favourite treatment? I love the whole idea of LVL lashes. I love them. I love knowing I don’t need to wear mascara and my lashes still look incredible.
What are your top tips for clients post treatment? It’s simple always use Solar Oil on fingers and toes to keep them moisturised and hydrated, even when you don’t have Shellac or Vinylux products on them!
What are your favourite parts of your job? I love providing aromatherapy massage. I adore finding out what clients aims are and making them happen. Also, I enjoy the calm of setting up for each unique treatment with the candles, music and oils.
What’s your favourite product? Aromatherapy Associates Support Lavender & Peppermint Bath & Shower Gel. Its key ingredients are eucalyptus, peppermint, pine, tea-tree and lavender so the smell is amazingly fresh and clean. It’s great for treating colds and flu as well as sinusitis. This product is designed to improve respiratory ailments as well as seasonal allergies. Clients love its smell, its quick effect at decongesting respiratory passages and that it helps to ease muscle pain and headaches.
How does aromatherapy work? Aromatherapy is an old practice that uses your olfactory sense. The tiny molecules are taken in through your nose and skin to stimulate part of your brain which is connected to memory and mood. So aromatherapy treats the mind, body and spirit.
What would be your treatment of the week if you were able to enjoy one right now? A lovely massage.
Oh and what is your best beauty tip you’ve learned at the spa that you’d love to pass on to your clients? Use a body brush every two to three days. Its amazing at detoxing the body – it improves cellulite, creates smooth, plump and bright skin and is a real beauty treat. Also, dry brushing every day, always towards the heart, has wonderful health benefits – smoother skin, better circulation, improved immunity/detox, better muscle tone and improves cellulite also.
Where is your dream summer holiday destination? Anywhere with a jaw dropping coastline view. I love to see the sea and I love a beautiful, clean, not too busy beach. Top of my bucket list is Amalfi Coast.
Where are you heading for this year and what are the challenges on your to-do list before you go? I will spend most of the summer holidays in Elie, Fife which is my happy place and I can work from there too as long as the wifi is up and running! I was lucky enough to spend all my childhood school holidays there so it’s great to be doing the same with my children. We are also heading off to Tuscany for some guaranteed sunshine and a proper break. My biggest challenge is packing for four for Scottish summer, the car is jam-packed!
What’s your packing personality – a ‘bung it all in and hope for the best type” or are you ‘super-organised and edited down to the last tee’ type? Years of overpacking have taught me to streamline my holiday suitcase! I am much better at editing now and I always leave room for a cheeky clothing purchase or two on holiday!
What beauty essentials do you pack in your suitcase? Factor 50 sun cream and fake tan are my absolute essentials! I have pale freckly skin which burns easily so skin protection is my absolute priority and a tan to give me a healthy glow is a must! I will also be packing my moisturising faves by Kiehl’s – I love the Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Masque as well as the Serum Concentrate and Clearly Corrective Moisture Treatment.
And what do you keep for your hand luggage? My summer handbag is a straw tote by Kate Spade. When travelling it is mostly filled with magazines, notepads, colouring pens and iPads to entertain the kids! And my go-to fragrance Coco Chanel Mademoiselle.
What is on your beauty treatment must-do list before you go on a summer holiday? First a holiday haircut! Then LVL lashes and HD eyebrows followed by a moisturising face mask. Next exfoliate, wax and tan! And finally Shellac fingers and toes with Electric Orange.
And finally what ill you be reading poolisde? Getting time to read a book with a six-year-old and eight-year-old is a challenge! I will have a few David Walliams books for the kids, which I read to them at bedtime, they especially like Gangsta Granny! This summer the books I’ll be reading are Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters (I loved Fingersmith by Sarah Waters), Ordinary People by Diana Evans, Eleanor Elephant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman and Russian Doll by (my friend) Lucy Lloyd (her first book).
Where is your dream summer holiday destination (and have you ever been)? Crazy dream holiday some kind of Wild West, Texan ranch-type fantasy with my husband, where we learn to ride side-saddle, round-up cattle, drink cold beers on hay bales, wear giant cowboy hats and watch dusty sunsets. The key word here is FANTASY. Cowgirl dream aside, take me to pretty much anywhere in Italy and I’m in holiday heaven. The food, the language, the food, the wine, the food…. I’ve been lucky enough to holiday in several different parts of the country and loved them all. Whether it was a villa in Tuscany, surrounded by rolling hills, shady trees and with days spent taking long lazy strolls around little hilltop villages. Or Sicily and Sardinia, with their dramatic views, zesty lemony scents everywhere, and buzzing town squares filled with local families chattering and socialising into the night. But the ultimate Italian destination has to be Capri. I think the Capri Palace hotel is as fabulous as they come.
Where are you heading for this year and what are the challenges on your to-do list before you go? We’re heading back to Sardinia! It’s so beautiful, unspoilt and authentic. And did I mention the food?! The challenges before any holiday are trying to get organised before heading off, especially where the kids are concerned. I’d always like to leave for the airport calm, unflustered and smiling from ear to ear, but the reality is I’m usually barking instructions at everyone, doing a lot of eye-rolling and huffing and emptying the fridge while the taxi waits outside. We sometimes have family or friends staying in the house while we’re away, so making sure everything is ready for people while we’re gone is often what keeps me busy.
What’s your packing personality – a ‘bung it all in and hope for the best type” or are you ‘super organised and edited down to the last tee’ type? I can’t travel light. But I’m getting better at organising and editing my holiday wardrobes. I do try to plan outfits for the evenings and always take lots of accessories so that I can make the same outfit look a bit different if I wear it more than once. When it comes to packing for the kids, I’m a machine. Focussed, no faffing about, nothing surplus to requirements. There’s a system. And when we arrive at our destination, woe betide the child who first opens the suitcase to get something out and starts to RUMMAGE. I have been known to go berserk about this.
What beauty essentials do you pack in your suitcase? About from the obvious SPF, I always take dry shampoo on holiday and a leave-in conditioner for my hair, otherwise it goes very dry and frizzy in the heat. I like to take a gentle exfoliator for my face & body, plus a moisturising mask to use at least once while I’m away. I don’t wear any make up during the day in the heat because I’ll generally be splashing and jumping around with my kids. But I do like to wear make-up and get a bit glammed up in the evenings on holiday. Eyelash curlers are essential. And I’ll always pack a good tinted moisturiser in two shades, one for my arriving skin tone and one for my departing skin tone!
And what do you keep for your hand luggage? Lip balm, lipstick, mascara, and a CC cream with SPF. Instant face!
What is on your beauty treatment must-do list before you go on a summer holiday? I’m quite fair and, in the sun, my eyelashes go a bit ‘Boris Becker’ as I call it, so I always get an eyelash tint and eyebrow tint. Plus, the usual maintenance – waxing and a manicure and pedicure. If I’m feeling shockingly pasty I’ll get a spray tan, too, but I’ve had a few disasters on that front in the past, so I’m giving that a miss this year and trying to get outside in the lovely Scottish Sun instead before we jet off!
Oh and what will you be reading poolside? I’ve just ordered all these from Amazon – Warlight by Michael Ondaatje, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, How To Stop Time by Matt Haig, Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple and Old Baggage by Lissa Evans.
Where is your dream summer holiday destination? I would love to go to one of those far flung islands where the houses are on stilts above the ocean. I loved Vietnam but you can’t beat the West of Scotland for keeping it real. Always pack a rain poncho and wellies thoug
Where are you heading for this year and what are the challenges on your to-do list before you go? This year we are off to the South of France and Mallorca. It’s always a challenge getting away! Four suitcases to pack and a business to organise….plus two guinea pigs to home!
What’s your packing personality – a ‘bung it all in and hope for the best type” or are you ‘super-organised and edited down to the last tee’ type? As I demonstrated recently at the Chamomile summer party I roll my clothes instead of folding them. This created more room and cuts down on creasing. When I get to my destination a quick steam in the shower sorts any remaining creases…. the key thing for me is to travel lightly, particularly with footwear. Three pairs is always enough!
What beauty essentials do you pack in your suitcase? Cleansers/ toner moisturiser and face oil. Sun cream…..I burn easily and fake tan to top up with. Tom Ford shimmering body oil (a pressie from my sister-in-law)
And what do you keep for your hand luggage? The kids’ iPads and my Kindle. My new hand luggage this year comes from Rae Feather. Oh and I always carry a mini fan that plugs into my phone (from Amazon)
What is on your beauty treatment must-do list before you go on a summer holiday? Loads of things….all planned with military precision! Shellac nails and toes probably with lobster roll, brows and lashes tinted. Waxing and a spray tan.
Oh and what will you be reading poolside? Inside Vogue by Alexandra Schulman, This is going to hurt by Adam Kay and At Liberty: From rehab to front row by Ed Burstell.
Where is your dream summer holiday destination? I’ve always wanted to go to Fiji. I have no idea why but it just seems so idyllic.
Where are you heading for this year and what are the challenges on your to-do list before you go? – I’m off to Nerja in Spain with my boy, Monty. My mum has a house there and we’ve been going for years. My challenges are making sure I’m up to speed with work at the spa so I can go knowing everything is up-to-date and in safe hands while I’m away.
What’s your packing personality – a ‘bung it all in and hope for the best’ type or are you ‘super-organised and edited down to the last tee’ type? – Neither!! I leave it to the day before, pull out everything I like and want to take then spend the next hour trying to reduce the amount of clothes! Sorting out my toiletries are left to last as I hate that. In fact, I think it’s safe to say I do not enjoy packing one little bit!
What beauty essentials do you pack in your suitcase? – All my Guinot products including moisturiser, eye cream and cleansers plus my hair products to protect my hair against the sun. I also can’t forget my Amber Solaire Lip Block plus my sun screen and after sun lotion. Last but not least Vinylux Mambo Beat plus top coat for my feet on holiday to freshen them up.
And what do you keep for your hand luggage? Book, magazines, jewellery, my make-up and contact lenses in case my main bag goes missing. Oh, I also take some Guinot samples in case I get dehydrated en route plus my Rose Lip Baum by By Terry from Space NK, which I swear by!
What is on your beauty treatment must-do list before you go on a summer holiday? Well, I have to make sure my hands and tootsies look the business so a shellac mini manicure plus a Vinylux pedicure, leg and bikini wax and not forgetting an eyebrow shape! If I have time a St Tropez Tan so I don’t look like a milk bottle in that bikini!
Oh and what will you be reading poolside? Anything by Christopher Brookmyre. I absolutely love his books. I also normally take some John Grisham books as they are easy reading on holiday but keep my attention.
What are your favourite parts of your job? Meeting new people, seeing that big smile when they see their new look, exceeding peoples’ expectations and when a client feels so relaxed and comfy during a lashes treatment that they take a little ‘lash nap’, as I call it. As a therapist you are not only there to do treatments but you are a friendly face for each client. What really makes my job so special is that the clients really can open up and talk to me about a lot of things – not just your usual ‘how’s the weather?’ or ‘you have any holidays planned?’. Clients have really trusted me with a lot of personal things going on in their lives, some very intense and some not so but I love this aspect of my job. Also, I love just really making someone feel so special and cared for.
The beauty product I love is…The lash and brow conditioning serum from Nouveau. It’s a lovely product that really compliments a lash treatment. Just like you would apply cuticle oil once you’ve had your nails done, you should use a lash conditioner. Even clients that only wear mascara should 100% be using it as it is a great primer before mascara.
How does it work? It contains multi-vitamins and conditioning that provide an instantly conditioned look while powerful anti-oxidants help protect lashes and brows from everyday environmental pollutants. Use twice a day – morning and night. Clients, even those with sensitive eyes as it is hypoallergenic, love it.
As for nails, what are your three favourite nail colours right now…Oxblood, Romantique and Tartan Punk
What would be your treatment of the week be if you were able to enjoy one right now? It would have to be the LVL at the moment as it’s really amazing and the results speak for themselves.
Finally, what’s the best beauty tip you’ve learned and would like to pass onto your clients? Firstly, to all of my lovely lash ladies (alliteration intended), you may think this is rather strange (and it does sound it) blow-dry your lashes on a low heat. This fluffs out your fans/false lashes and makes them look lovely. The natural oils from your skin can make your fans close so washing and blow-drying them helps. Second, always use cuticle oil, twice a day if you can. It keeps them hydrated and healthy. If you feel your nails aren’t looking the best it’s not because the nail can’t breathe. The nail is made of of dead cells – they don’t need to breathe. You don’t need a break from being ‘done’ just look after them. If they do begin to feel thin due to over-filing/buffing then have two weeks with no polish and apply RX Rescue Rememdy by CND. Oh and when applying cuticle oil make sure to rub it all around the nail not just at the end.
What has been your anti-ageing beauty routine up to now? I have always looked after my face with good, quality products and I think that makes a difference. At the moment I am using Guinot and have been doing so for many years now. I am currently using Hydra Cellulaire Serum, Longue Vie Cellulaire Moisturiser and Age Logic Yeux (Eye Cream). In the mornings I cleanse my face in the shower with a foaming cleanser, with Mousse Nettoyante Bioxygene. Then I apply my serum in the colder weather followed by the eye cream and moisturiser. In the warmer weather I do not use the serum which helps with dehydration. At night time I follow the same skin routine but instead of the foaming cleanser I use a cream cleanser, Lait Hydra Confort. I also drink lots of water every day and that definitely makes a difference too to your skin.
Why CACI now? I have noticed over the last year or so more fine lines and wrinkles appearing around my eyes, it’s not been particularly bad but noticeable to me. I think though what has really prompted me is the fact that I shall be 50 next year and I am now noticing that my jowl is starting to drop slightly and I have some lines around my mouth appearing too. I’m not at all happy about that and decided that I had to do something about this to slow down the ageing process. Effectively what CACI does is it directs a micro current onto the skin via probes. This in turn starts re-educating the muscles by getting them to move properly again thus firming and tightening the muscles and lifting. This helps with the jowl area and lines and wrinkles on your face. It’s not going to get rid of them but it softens them substantially and also slows down the ageing process. A 55mins CACI facial is the equivalent of doing 300 sit ups but on your face. How good does that sound??
What differences are you noticing? I have definitely noticed that my skin is firmer around the jowl area. My lines around my mouth are less pronounced too. I think If I didn’t have a good skin routine with my products then my skin would probably feel softer too.
What have you learned? Like everything in life, you have to put effort in to make something happen. In this case, it has been pretty difficult to make the time to fit the treatments in as they are 1 hour and 15 minutes long and you need to have two per week for five weeks before you go onto a monthly maintenance course. While I own Chamomile, it’s the usual story as with any person working or leading a busy life – it’s very difficult to find the time. In fact it’s all about making the time because if you really want something you will make the time. I would also add that the CACI definitely works. I have seen the difference and would highly recommend it to anyone who has ageing concerns if they don’t want to go down the botox and fillers route. The CACI was created to treat those suffering from Bells Palsy where your facial muscles drop and can “freeze”.
What advice have you been given your facialist for optimising results after each treatment? Drink lots of water and follow my skincare routine.
Post course – what is the plan you’ve been advised about? Iga, my skincare expert in the Spa, has also recommended that I start having the Crystal Clear COMCIT to help with the texture and colour of my skin as well as plumping it up. Once the CACI initial course of 10 has finished I am going to have one CACI per week as opposed to the recommended 1 per month as I really want to keep tackling those jowls!! I am probably going to do that for a month then go onto the monthly maintenance. As Iga’s has said it’s like going to the gym, “you get what you put in”.
Your big day – it’s the one day of your life when you want your skin to be immaculate, plumped up and glowing. The answer? A pre-wedding facial or an individually created program of facials is exactly what you need. Not only will you be investing in beautiful wedding day skin but it also gives busy brides that time to switch off from the stress of it all. Chamomile expert facialist Iga says: “Brides-to-be, of all ages, come in and the thing they after most is radiance. They also want to tackle issues such as dehydration or sagginess. They dream of firm, tight and radiant skin for their wedding.”
Six weeks before the event or even a month is the perfect amount of time, Iga believes, for giving brides what they want in her carefully created bespoke treatment plans: “With sagginess a woman really needs a course of CACI treatments, as these facials make the facial muscles do the equivalent of 300 sit-ups. And with Crystal Clear COMCIT facials I can bring in the radiance. I believe in tailoring a uniquely prescribed plan for every client.”
In the last seven days before the big day Iga suggests that it’s also the mind that needs a lift: “In that last week, when there is so much going on, a bride should come in for a lovely hydrating facial that won’t irritate skin. I can bring a little CACI or COMCIT into it for little extra lift but that needs to be at least five days before. That last facial is all about calming, radiance and hydration. I really don’t recommend trying anything new or harsh.”
It’s not all about the facials. At home Iga says brides can be enhancing the treatment plan with lots of water and sleep. Her biggest tip though” “Don’t be tempted by anything new on a trip to the pharmacy in that last week. If your skin reacts seven days is just not long enough to counteract that. But by all means use trusted masks and serums at home to boost what has been achieved through the treatments.”
So I started this business nearly eight years ago. It’s unbelievable. I look back to the time that I came up with this almost crazy idea of creating a luxury boutique day spa in Edinburgh and I can’t quite believe how far I’ve come and also, how important the growth and the loyal following Chamomile Spa has attracted over the years have been in my personal journey through the toughest of times.
The idea of Chamomile Sanctuary came to me because I felt there was a need to create a small oasis of beauty and tranquillity in Edinburgh. There were big hotel spas and high street drop-in beauty salons but there was nowhere that offered people a chance to step off the world even for a small beauty fix/treat or a more indulgent me-time moment.
However, when this lightbulb moment came, I was newly widowed and now a single mother to my beautiful boy. Could I do it? I am not sure I even stopped to think.
In fact, I’m not sure how I did it as that first couple of years of grief are a blur. Through the mist I acquired the amazing Alva Street property with my former business partner, designed a space that brought my vision of a tranquil city escape into reality and found a team of experts that would offer the city of Edinburgh a handpicked selection of luxury wellbeing and beauty treatments .
My background is law. I’d never been involved in beauty but over these years I’ve learnt so much from the experts we have at Chamomile. I recently reflected on the achievements of building this business which I love, a love that is borne out of the amazing feedback we get through the clients who have come to adore the spa for its gentle escapism and personal service. It has been hard but rewarding work making the spa what it is today. However, the irony of it is that here was my business, which is all about indulging busy women and men in some time away from the hectic humdrum of city life, yet I had not given myself the same luxury.
Last week I celebrated my 49th birthday and I made a promise to myself to slot some time for me into my diary. I’ve never worried about looking in the mirror but recently I have noticed some signs of ageing that I am not happy with. So part of my promise is to not have haphazard CACI facials but to listen to Chamomile Sanctuary’s facialist expert instead and commit to a plan for improving and reversing those problem areas. So here is my first step into my own me-time. I will share my journey over the weeks as I start my 50th year as I mean to go on, making time for me as well. Here is the first installment:
So some of you may remember I was looking at waxing a few weeks ago in my Blog and was raising the question – To wax or not to wax? I was essentially looking at the fact that more women nowadays are choosing to keep their body hair. Which leads me nicely to my topic this week – If you do want to be defuzzed what is the best method?
There are so many methods to choose from. You can take your pick from waxing, threading, IPL, Laser, plucking, shaving, depilatories and no doubt there are many more I don’t know about! I used to use depilatories when I hit my late teens and into my early twenties and it was fine apart from the smell. Remember girls that was a long time ago and science has moved on considerably! However, I decided to move into waxing in my early twenties and life was never the same again.
I can still remember that day when I had my bikini line waxed for the first time. There was no hot wax then or if there was I didn’t know about it! It was strip waxing with warm wax and I would have thought that if you’re like me once you’ve had hot wax on that area there is no turning back to warm wax with strips!!
Anyway, as I said I can still remember that first time. It was at a little beauty boutique on Thistle Street called Camargue run by a lovely lady called Bobby. Sadly Bobby is no longer with us but I remember her fondly. She was a real character and because of that I kept on going back. She also made it as painless as possible! The bizarre thing was though that on that first time all I did was laugh!! Yup, laugh. I think it was probably a nervous laugh but I definitely remember that.
Fast forward over 20 years and we now have the choice of hot wax which is definitely a lot less painful than warm wax. We use Lycon Wax and I think it’s the best on the market. It’s applied easily and you barely feel anything. The only downside though with waxing is that you need to repeat this every 6-8 weeks. Your body hair can reduce over the years if you do this on a regular basis but there’s no guarantee so you’ve got the upkeep going forward.
A more long term solution is IPL Therapy which stands for Intense Pulse Light. We’ve just invested in a new IPL machine so the girls were training on this this week. You need to do a course of this every 5-6 weeks and probably have about 6 to 12 sessions. The beauty about IPL is that it does actually reduce your body hair. It doesn’t remove forever but it certainly reduces the growth of the hair significantly. It is known for being safe, painless and an effective permanent hair reduction method.
You can also choose to have threading. This is used normally on the face and especially the eyebrows. This method is becoming more and more popular as it’s very precise. Threading comes from Asia and involves cotton thread being doubled, twisted and rolled across unwanted hairs to swiftly remove them at the follicle. No heat or chemicals are used so it is seen as being more gentle on your skin. However, like waxing this is not a permanent solution and you need to have this regularly. Threading your eyebrows can however have a beautiful and striking look. We have a client who comes into the Spa regularly and who is also a friend of mine and several years ago she had been going somewhere else for her eyebrow shaping. I can’t remember what she was getting done but they looked like caterpillars! So one day we had a chat because I couldn’t bear it any more and I managed to persuade her to come into the spa and we would help her grow her eyebrows and shape them. She’s now a regular for eyebrow threading and I am so jealous of her brows. They look amazing! You don’t get that with waxing. They’ll still look great with waxing but threading beats it in my opinion.
There’s other methods too such as shaving but this doesn’t reduce growth at all and doesn’t take the hairs out like waxing. You can also pluck the stray hairs which I do with my brows from time to time. So what’s best? Well I guess that comes down to you and what you feel most comfortable with. And of course you may decide that you like your hair and fuzz free is not for you!
I read an Article this week in Vogue by contributing beauty editor, Kathleen Baird-Murray and it resonated with me on various levels. It was about turning 50! Now I’m not yet 50 and have a little way to go until I get there but hey it’s in my head and sadly I’m closer to that than I am to 40!!
The Article, bizarrely, started with Kathleen saying that as this time of the year she normally talks about resolutions such as get fit, lose weight, spend less etc but this year as she is about to turn 50 it’s different. I say “bizarrely” because in my Blog last week I said I wasn’t going to make any resolutions this year either but I would have the mantra ”don’t look back” and I guess the reason for this mantra is for similar reasons to Kathleen. We are reflecting on where we are in our lives and looking forward.
What I loved in Kathleen’s article is that she talked about how at a female-only 50th birthday party she noticed that everyone looked amazing, not so much “for their age” but they just looked “good”. I think we all get a comment at some point about how we are looking great for our age. Why do people have to add that “for our age”?? Why can’t they say we look great, full stop?!
The lovely thing about Kathleen’s article was that she was talking about how her friends were off learning new things such as how to tango, how to surf, becoming experts on IPL, lifted boobs (if that’s your thing) but more importantly they were becoming wiser and more wonderful every day that passes. I like that. That’s the way it should be. I think as we get older, yes, we may have more worries, or we may not, but we are more comfortable in our skin, how we feel, how we look and more comfortable with life. I’ve been through a lot in my life, and many of us have, but I think that I am also getting to that place where I am finally getting into my stride, relishing what’s important and doing things because I want to do them, not because I think I should. So that’s why I am setting myself goals this year. I’m going to run my second ever half marathon, go to hot yoga classes and start that CACI Facial Course – all because I want to, not because I should. And I know I am not talking in this Blog about beauty trends this week but if you feel good, you generally look good and beauty starts from the inside so it really is about beauty.
I will leave you with the final paragraph from Kathleen’s article which made me smile: “Fired up with enthusiasm, I book myself into a fancy Swiss spa for later this month, a place where I can get a full medical check-up. Best to be informed about an potential ailments before I embark on such a serious course of self-improvement. And I tell my 18-year-old son that I’m off to Switzerland so I can write a column about turning 50.
“Switzerland,” he says, glued to a screen as he researches different crypto-currencies to invest in. (#millennials). “The home of tax havens and euthanasia. Just what every 50-year- old needs.””
It’s all about health for me this month. I’m off skiing soon and I haven’t skied for over 20 years!!!! Yup, I must be mad. I’ve not even had 1 ski lesson before disappearing off to the slopes. In a moment of madness my best buddy suggested last year that we go on a skiing break with our 2 boys who have been learning to ski. It sounded a great idea at the time but as it now looms I’m thinking I’m 46, getting old, the joints are creaking, I’ve not skied for over 20 years and can I fit into those ski pants?!!
So I thought I had better do something about this or I will be hobbling off the slopes and not able to move the next morning!! Step up my good friend, Lynn, who is also a personal trainer! So Lynn has been helping me over the past few weeks to get fit or at least a little bit fitter so I don’t collapse after a day on the slopes. She’s had me pummelling the pavements with 5 milers (Lynn will say it’s only 4 miles J) as well as getting those abs and thighs going. And boy is it hard work but I tell you one thing I certainly feel better after the exercise. There’s something about running with fresh air and those endorphins buzzing around your body. It’s great for the mind and soul. It’s actually got me thinking about doing another half marathon. I ran my one and only half marathon in 2014 and I think it’s about time I set myself another challenge!! Although the skiing is a challenge in itself!
Then there’s the juices. I’ve started drinking cold pressed juices and it seems to be the way to go at the moment for fresh nutrients. I have tried various things such as the Nutri Bullet but I am now convinced that cold pressed juices is the way forward. Without going into the actual process, basically the blades which compress the fruit/vegetables move a lot slower, create less heat and retain most of the nutri goodness. It means that you don’t get the fruit turning into sugar and losing its’ goodness once it becomes a juice. Even Grazia gave this method of juice making a great write up last week.
I have been so impressed that I invited Health & Beauty Juicery to join us at Chamomile yesterday. This company is from Edinburgh and I love the juices because they are free from sugar and is all natural. Each 500ml bottle has over 1 kilo of organic produce and the juices are free from refined sugar, preservatives and additives. Some of the benefits of consuming cold-pressed juices include glowing skin, bright eyes, strong hair & nails and a resilient immune system. So as you can imagine I am hooked with these sort of benefits!!!
And the underlying thought for me when I’m drinking these fab juices and pummelling the pavements is that it’s all about health and
So I wrote a Blog about a year ago on looking after your neck. Yes, that area which we forget about but which we shouldn’t as it is just as important as your face! Well this subject seems to keep rearing its head time and time again.
I don’t know about you but I spend a lot of time on my face, well, perhaps not as much as I should but I always follow my routine every morning and night: cleanse, serum, moisturiser and eye cream. You’re probably wondering where the toning is? Well despite being nagged by my therapists on a weekly basis to tone I never quite get round to that!
So I look after my face and hate wrinkles with a vengeance but what about my neck and décolletage? That’s where I fall down badly and need to rectify.
According to Grazia this week you’re doing yourself no favours if your skincare stops at your chin. Our neck and décolletage are super vulnerable to ageing as the skin there is very thin. It also has fewer oil glands than your face and is almost constantly exposed to the environment.
So what did Grazia recommend to help with this? Well for starters they suggest that we use an SPF religiously, then slather on neck cream/serum and lastly sleep on your back. Now I can vouch for why you should do this. Sleeping on your side does cause creasing – I know!! The problem is that as much as I try I just can’t sleep on my back.
So these are the preventative measures recommended by my coveted Grazia, but what else can we do to stop this ageing process??
Well first up is stretch your neck! Specialists are now recommending that we stretch our necks every day. It sounds maybe a bit mad but, if you think about it, it makes sense. The specialists recommend that every day we turn our head to one side as far as possible and look up to the ceiling, hold for 10 seconds and then do the other side. Now I have a 74 year old Aunt who has, since I can remember, done stretch exercises with her face. Every morning she repeatedly moves her jawline, mouth, eyes and neck and I can tell you she looks amazing for her age. She looks about 60 and that’s not just down to genes! So I think this works!
The specialists have also recommended botox in the bands of the muscles of the neck to relax them and stop them becoming rigid. Now we don’t do botox but we do have Dr Connolly who visits us every week from the Harley Street Private Clinic so if you fancied it you could do it at Chamomile. Personally I have never tried botox and am not really inclined. I prefer my CACI Non-surgical facelift and jowl lift! It works wonders on the neckline and I think it’s fab. This treatment is non-invasive and is a favourite with our clients. Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Aniston are fans of this treatment. I know botox is still favoured by the stars as well as neck cosmetic surgery procedures but there is now a big movement away from this towards the more non-invasive procedures such as the CACI. If you haven’t tried this then you should pop in for a complimentary trial. You will see the difference.
And if you’re feeling flush you should try the Luxury CACI Treatment. It comprises the non-surgical facelift, microdermabrasion, hydratone mask and wrinkle comb. The latter does what it says it does. I know as I have had this treatment. The therapist applies the comb to individual wrinkles and I can tell you it works. I have fine line/wrinkles now appearing at the side of my mouth and for days after this treatment I couldn’t see them. As for the hydratone mask….well…..I cannot praise it enough. This is applied to the face and décolletage. It was like a miracle the morning after this mask. No wrinkles. All gone!! My upper chest was glowing and so, so smooth. I felt like I had gone back 10 years in time. Now this effect may have lasted for a week so I will have to get it done on a regular basis but I am a convert!!!
So there you go ladies, some tips for looking after that neck.