Here’s what the Spa Spies have been nourished and inspired by in the wet, windy – and briefly sunny – month of April.
April was an incredible month for me as I was invited to review a luxury spa in Zanzibar of all places. That’s right… I jetted off to this tropical island off the coast of Tanzania, in The Indian Ocean, for a blissful five-night stay at the multi-award-winning Bazara Resort & Spa. Set on its own stretch of private beach, this all-inclusive, five-star, all-villa resort has paradise written all over it. I loved the blend of Arabian, Swahili and Indian influences in the décor; the outdoor pool, the private beach – with its clear blue water – my villa, with its own plunge pool; the incredible seafood; and the Frangipani Spa where I had the most incredible massage and facial, performed by Balinese therapists using Thai products. Not to turn you all completely into green eyed monsters but flying Business Class with Kenya Airways wasn’t too shabby, either.
This month I also discovered Scentered’s range of De-stress Therapy Balms. These 100% natural, pocket-sized, non-spill balms contain a blend of essential oils including chamomile, Neroil and mandarin to act as a natural sedative for the nervous system. When I’m feeling stressed or anxious, I slide the balm across my pulse points, take a deep breath and - within just 60 seconds - feel instantly more relaxed. There are six different balms to choose from according to whether you want to: Escape, De-Stress, Sleep, Focus, Love or Be Happy.
April has been a whirlwind of new discoveries for me. I was lucky enough to head to London and experience a Dermalogica ProSkin 60 facial at their flagship store in Duke of York Square. Since then my oily spot prone skin has never looked so calm and clear. It was refreshing to see how simple their treatment menu was, how passionate the therapists were about the brand and how bespoke the facial was to my skin.
I was also pleased to discover a new spa brand targeted at Millennials. Skin Regimen is a sister brand to Comfort Zone - they’re all about fast living and slow age-ing, and the products are designed to combat the effects of stress and pollution on the skin. The range includes a cleansing cream, targeted boosters and a day and night cream. There’s a brand new urban longevity facial to complement the products which I can’t wait to experience in the spa.
Finally, I got to spend a Day at The Bulgari Spa in Knightsbridge; their holistic approach to Wellness was both positive and life-enhancing. The facilities, personal trainers, treatments and service are seriously special and like nothing I’ve experienced in the UK.
Outside of my travels, I’ve been loving listening to beauty podcasts and heading outside to make the most of the sunshine… Here’s to hoping the good weather returns soon.
I don’t want to brag – oh, okay then, I do, I love bragging - but my Elemis Skin Lab test at Kingsford Park Spa (pictured) put my skin age at 32 (my real age is 49). This was probably THE highlight of my month, if not year, if not lifetime. I suppose as a Spa Spy having millions of facials I should have great skin. If this was a marketing ploy, it kind of backfired; I clearly don’t need to buy any of their products, I’m so perfect. The Skin Lab facial is free if you book a spa day at a Bannatyne spa.
One area I seriously need to pay attention to is my eyes. They are looking parched and wrinkly and show up as purple cross-hatching on skin tests. Which is why I’m hooked on Natura Bissé’s The Cure Sheer Eye Cream. It’s tinted, it does clever things with your bags, makes your eyes all shiny, and you can use any left-over as a concealer. At £102 it’s not cheap, but it is miraculous.
Another highlight was my spa trip to Cheshire. The countryside was beautiful (so going back for a staycation), the treatments blissful, and the staff at all the spas I visited (Mottram Hall, Rookery Hall and Carden Park) were charming and nurturing, I felt so well taken care of. I came away feeling as though I had been on a de-stress retreat rather than a work trip. Thoroughly recommend.
I loved my Elemis Superfood Facial at Hoar Cross Hall this month. It felt amazing on my sensitive skin and results afterwards were noticeable. I also had the pleasure of visiting St Brides Spa (pictured) – a hidden gem in west Wales. The location and views are simply stunning, and I can’t wait to go back. This month I’m also trying Comfort Zone’s Tranquillity Body Cream (180ml, £40). After using it every day for two weeks my skin feels incredibly soft. It’s light and easy to apply and has a soft coconut fragrance. My first spinning class was this month too and it wasn’t as scary as I thought, although I now understand why it is done in the dark…. I came out a rather rosy shade of red.