Friday, 14 December 2012

Hello Stranger!

Hello there, long time no speak!
Image source

Sorry I've not been blogging lately, it's my busiest time of year in the salon and I've just not had a chance to write any blogs. What with organising and running stalls at Christmas Fairs, helping my wonderful clients looking gorgeous for their Christmas parties, soothing winter harassed skin, easing aching muscles; not to mention organising our family Christmas and the demands of our little boys school Christmas events (special thanks to his school for making his classes monthly cake stall this week!!!) But eeek it is getting exciting here!!

So until next year I'm afraid all my time is taking up with all things Christmassy!!

Arnold Schwarzenegger i will be back - I'll be back
Image source

Until then I'd just like to say a big THANK YOU to all of my wonderful readers for all your support and encouragement this year. 

Image source

Hope you have a magical Christmas and amazing New Year.

Sara x

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Tiffany's Do It Again

Oh my! I adore Tiffany's windows and this year's Christmas windows certainly do not disappoint.

This year they are celebrating the magical feeling of Christmas spent at home (wish my home looked like this mind!)

Tiffany Christmas Window 2012
There's even a game to play - can you spot the miniature iconic blue box inside each of their windows?

Tiffany Christmas Window 2012
With a chic, elegant and understated dollop of romance as only Tiffany can do...

Tiffany Christmas Window 2012
Gives Downton Abbey a run for it's money!

Tiffany Christmas Window 2012
Wow what a tree!
All pictures via Tiffany - Facebook

Thursday, 8 November 2012

It's A Special Someone's Birthday

7 years ago today I met the most amazing little boy for the very first time - our son! And I can tell you it was so worth the long, hard and very stressful labour! I was induced as the little tinker still wasn't budging 17 days after his due date.

So this post is dedicated to the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me and my husband...

To Our Gorgeous Boy...

As you love Harry Potter and adore cake, here is your very own Harry Potter Cake blog in honour of you; our special, handsome, bright, incredibly caring and well rounded boy on your special day. 

Image via The Cupcake Blog

Image via Hip Pop Cakes

Light up Gingerbread Hogwarts by Making of the Hogwarts Gingerbread Castle

Now two awesome cakes by your favourite cake maker Duff Goldman from the Ace Of Cakes TV show!

Image via The Short Line

Images via Shelf Talker

By Artcake in Russia

Image via Yelp

Hope you have a wonderful birthday little man - love you more than the last number in the world!!

Mum xxxxxxx

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Hero Product - Lush's 'Helping Hands' Hand Cream

I would like to introduce you to another of my 'Hero Products' drum roll drrrrrrrrr... my wonderful caring friend 'Helping Hands' Hand Cream.

Lush Helping Hands

This generous tub of miracles is from Lush - formerlly 'Cosmetics To Go'.

I discovered this little gem when chatting to one of their incredibly knowledgeable and enthusiastic sales assistants about another product and she gave me a sample of this gorgeous cream (they are so generous with their samples so you get to have a good number of applications of the product to see the benefits).

I just happened to mention I suffer from very dry cracked knuckles. Washing your hands constantly goes with the territory when your a therapist, and even though I had stopped using harsh antibacterial washes; I was still having the problem and no hand cream I had tried had helped. To top it all off I was developing sore itchy contact dermatitis from the gloves we are required to wear for treatments such as waxing and nails; exacerbated by (sorry to say it) erm sweating like a pig inside them!

This gorgeous concoction contains nourishing Almond and Coca Butter, conditioning and healing Shea Butter, healing and antithetic Honey, soothing Chamomile and anti-inflammatory African Marigold. All natural and incredibly effective. It's rich in Vitamin A so it's great for keeping the hands looking youthful.

It was invented for nurses and people like myself who have really dry over-washed hands. I would personally like to thank Mark the aforementioned inventor. No I don't know him personally but it says so on the pot!!

Lush Helping Hands
Instructions on how to use - it does make me chuckle!

The scent is beautifully understated and mild, so it doesn't over power your other delicious smelling lotions and potions like some hand creams can. The texture isn't greasy but is rich enough to sink in whilst leavings your skin feeling softer, nourished and protected.

Lush Helping Hands

AND as with all my favourite products it doesn't contain paraffin - so no leaching your skin of moisture...

Mineral oil or Paraffin (cheap by-products of petroleum) based products draw moisture away from your skin making the area dry out further when the product wears off. Read more about this in my article Are you using the right Lip Balm?

I urge you to try this product, it's frankly ruddy marvelous! I know the smell of the shop can smack you in the face like a 'sweet smelling but not fishy smelling wet fish' from 100 yards away!! BUT their products are fabulous, natural, ethical, not to mention down right clever and deliver amazing results.

Oh and if you take back clean 5 pots you get a free fresh face mask and they will recyle the pots to make new pots!
It’s as simple as scrubbing them clean and popping them to your local store where they are whisked back to the factory at Poole. Once there our supplier helpfully grinds them up and makes them into brand new pots again, it doesn't get much more closed loop than that. Via Lush
One last thing I simply must mention is that Lush make their pretty Knot Wraps (alternative eco-friendly, re useable gift wrap) out of their recycled bottles; heaven knows how and believe it or not they are super soft! See I said they were a clever bunch!
Lush Knot Wrap

Helping Hands is available in 100g tub for £7.15 - believe me a little goes a long way so it lasts for ages.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Beautiful Cupcake Gallery - Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone! I've been very busy lately and haven't had a chance to do some cupcake searching, but I couldn't let Halloween pass by without a exhibit in my Beautiful Cupcake Gallery...

Halloween cupcakes
Pretty girly gothic cupcakes by Mama Doreen's Cupcake in Yorkshire

Monster cupcakes
Cute monsters from Yummy Cakes By Lynn

Halloween cupcakes
Cupcake Graveyard from It's My Treat By Janice

Halloween cupcakes
Haunting but stunning! Via Blush Paperie

Halloween cake pops
Frankenweenie Cake Pops - so sweet! Via Flickr - Bakerella

Halloween cupcakes
I love these decorative Boo Frame Cupcakes by Petit Cali Cupcakes

Now for some Halloween recipes - great to do with the kids ...

Halloween cupcakes
Great idea - Pull Apart Graveyard Cupcakes via Food Network

Halloween cupcakes
Simple but very effective ghosts -jumbo and mini cupcakes, held together by marshmallows and cloaked with fondant, by Martha Stewart

Halloween cupcakes
Great twist - Broomstick Ghost cupcake via First For Women

Halloween cupcakes
From the Sunshines - how cute are the picket fence cases?! If you can read Bulgarian you can even make them yourself!

Cauldron cupcake
Bubble bubble toil and trouble. Cute cauldron via Good To Know

Now this isn't made out of cakes or sugar paste, but it's so cute and so clever I had to include it!

Halloween table
Halloween Candy Scene by the very clever Mamas Minis

Have a great Halloween hope you get lots of treats xx

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Having skin problems?

One question I always ask my clients is...  'Do you eat after 7pm?'

Image via Flickr

Your digestion slows right down after 7pm as your body prepares for sleep; when cells are renewed and our bodies repair. Also this is when growth happens hence why children, teenagers and pregnant women need more sleep.

Eating after 7pm means the food stays in your gut longer, in fact if you eat after 10pm the food stays in the gut until the next day - yew! 

Image via The Food Cops

Skin breakouts and skin health, sleep and general well being will be improved by changing your lifestyle a tad! 

So sorry 'midnight snacks' are not a good for your skin or tummy!

I've tried it and it really does help.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

My Must Have Product - Eve Taylor's Facial Oils

Do you use a facial oil?

shocked face

Now before some of you shy away, I promise you THEY ARE NOT OILY- facial oils are a specific treatment containing a specific blend of essential oils* and a tiny bit of cold pressed carrier oil to allow you to slide it over your face as you can't put an essential oils directly onto your skin.
Eve Taylor Facial Oil

*Essential oils are not actually an oil; they are a concentrated liquid/essence which comes from plants, flowers, grasses, fruits, leaves, roots, seeds and barks. 

Eve Taylor Pre Blended Facial Oils are truly amazing! They are my MUST HAVE product - I would never go without my facial oil and here is the reason why:

These magnificent facial oils give the skin an intensive boost whilst increasing the productivity of your moisturiser by up to 30%! Caught your attention? Then read on...

All of the Eve Taylor facial oils include Vitamin A (maintains and repairs the skin), Vitamin D (cell growth and repair) and Vitamin E (antioxidant) rich Soya**. It also contains nourishing and protective Hazelnut oil**, softening Avocado and Vitamin E rich Wheatgerm which is also a natural preservative - very clever! And a big plus for me and my clients, the Eve Taylor range does not contain Lanolin, Mineral Oil, Artificial fragrance, or SD alcohol.

Dried pasta cooked
Image via Stefan Rusek

Soya is my best friend as it increases the thickness and elasticity of the skin. Imagine if you will a piece of dried pasta, then imagine what it looks like when it's cooked - nice and plump - well Soya has the same effect on your skin - WOW!

Essential oils are loaded with oxygen and detoxinate, hydrate and oxygenate the skin. Oxygen kills bacteria regulating sebum (oil) production and in turn switching off the immune system response and healing the skin. Pretty clever stuff and all from nature!

So which one do I use?

No 1 Facial Oil for Sensitive Skin - Sooth and Hydrate
This gorgeous smelling oil is specifically designed for a sensitive or itchy or touch sensitive skin. Includes balancing Lavender, cleansing Geranium, cooling, antiseptic and antibacterial Eucalyptus, oxygenating Cypress and hydrating Sandalwood. Divine!

itchy skin

This oil is fantastic for allergy sufferers, smokers, long haul travellers, asthmatics and those who work in poor air quality (i.e. hospitals big offices) as it not only soothes but hydrates the skin. Also it's what we call a safety blend so it's safe for pregnant women, those who are trying to get pregnant or those on medication.

Even though I have combination skin, I changed over to this oil after being diagnosed with Asthma last year as it helps ease my asthmatic symptoms as it is vaso-dilating; so it helps to keep my airways open - again another WOW! It still balances my oily and dry areas and helps prevent breakouts.

Meet the Rest of the Eve Taylor Facial Oil Family:

No 2 for Delicate, Thin Skin - Calm and Firm
This very clever treatment blend is specifically designed for couperose conditions (redness) and is super effective on delicate thin skin. Includes balancing Lavender, antiseptic Eucalyptus, stimulating Basil, Niaouli to increase the circulation and hydrating Sandalwood.

couperose skin
Image via Dr Hilton

It's perfectly suited to skins with broken capillaries, visible red veins, Acne Rosacea, skins that are very red and with poor circulation as it strengthens the capillary walls. It also acts as a buffer against environmental stresses including free radicals, pollution, humidity, central heating and air conditioning. Great for thread veins on puffy knees too! One more thing it's great to reduce redness after hair removal - I use it in my facial waxing treatments.

No 3 Problem Skin - Clear and Tone
This blend is designed specifically for skins that produce excess sebum (oil) and suffer from breakouts and eruptions with a non-stimulating effect on skin. Includes anti-seborrehoeic Ylang-Ylang (in other words prevents excess oil), antiseptic Cedarwood, cleansing Lemongrass, balancing Lavender and softening Sandalwood.

Perfect for inflammation due to unusually high oil levels, open pores, excess oil or blackheads and spots and acne sufferers. It's great on the back too! It hydrates preventing the skin from being stripped which means even oily but sensitive skins can use this blend.

No 4 Normal Skin - Maintain and Balance 
This blend is designed specifically for normal skins to keep them stable and free from blemishes or breakouts. It has an antioxidant action to increase the skin’s resistance to environmental change and/or free radicals. Includes Basil to increase the skins resistance, cell stimulating Rosewood, balancing Lavender and antiseptic Geranium.

Normal skin - the ideal skin type. Image via AGQ Grapho

No 4 oil is also great for temporary instability of the skin i.e. minor irritations, texture change and loss of elasticity or age spots.

No 5 Mature Skin - Revive and Firm 
This amazing oil is perfect for dry, dehydrated or mature skins unable to absorb nourishing creams or heavier products. It's a great anti ageing oil for prematurely ageing and naturally ageing skin.

Skin ageing is caused by environmental damage including the sun, poor lifestyle and diet, natural ageing or where the underlying muscle has been subject to stress or tension. The skin becomes thinner, starts to sag and the skin is less supple and firm.

mature skin
Wearing it well, the lovely Helen Mirren. Image via Collider

No 5 oil is also great for any scarring including acne and stretch marks - the oil
should be used around the scar on healthy tissue ONLY, not actually on the scar. It helps to minimise scarring, help it to heal and keep the area subtle.

Please remember ONLY No 1 oil can be used on those who are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or on medication. 

It's So Easy To Use These Gorgeous Oils
  • Your simply use one small pump twice a day over your face, neck and décolleté. Warm gently in your hand first.
  • You apply this after cleansing and under your toner (spritz toner over to lock in the facial oil - remember oil and water don't mix)
  • Then apply your moisturiser - easy peasy!

All Eve Taylor Facial Oils can be used anywhere on the body to treat conditions. They are £11.49 for 30ml bringing fantastic results without breaking the bank.

To order any product from Rituals Beauty, call 0789 4120073 or email If you aren't local, I offer a postal service for a little extra cost. Now taking PayPal.

** Please note allergy sufferers these products contains Hazelnut oil and Soya.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Skin Gone Crazy After Change in Skin Care?

Have you ever changed your skin care products and your skin has gone bonkers?

Skin breakout
Image via Skincare News

Most of my clients who change over to the fabulous Eve Taylor's Aromatherapy skin care range give me nothing but glowing reports; however I have had some clients almost go into a state of panic when they have moved over as their skin has reacted either by the way of some sharp tingling, the appearance of extreme dehydration or breakouts when the first start to use it.  

"Panic not!" I say, here is an explanation of what is happening...

don't panic
Image via Kick Panic Away

If you moved to range like Eve Taylor that does not use mineral oils or other ingredients that suppress the skin and its ability to excrete toxins, you may temporarily experience an 'Acid Mantle Reaction' as your skin readjusts and begins to function effectively, any toxins that were there will come out. In fact the same happened to me only last year when I developed Asthma and had to change to the Soothing range.

Persevere and you will find after a few days and your skin will start to re balance itself and the sensation will subside.

Acid Mantle Explained

acid mantle
Image via Health Mango

The 'acid mantle' is a slightly acidic film on the surface of the skin which protects it from bacteria and infection and maintains the ph balance (4.5 - 5.5). It is made up of a combination of secretions of sebum (skin oil) and sweat. Bacteria thrive on alkalinity so this acidity keeps them at bay.

skins ph
Image via Buzz on Beauty

Many people with oily skin or acne who use astringent and high alkaline products in hope they will strip their skin of the perceived evil that is 'oil', end up in a vicious circle. This is because the skins protective oils and water have been stripped away, disrupting the acid mantle, making the skin more prone to infection, damage, premature ageing and those nasty bacteria can thrive merrily away. The immune system then responds in producing more sebum which is further stripped and eventually ANGRY SPOTS occur and even DEHYDRATION!

Aromatherapy based ranges such as Eve Taylor contain oxygen loaded essential oils which detoxinate, hydrate and oxygenate the skin. Oxygen kills bacteria regulating sebum production and in turn switching off the immune system response and healing the skin. Pretty clever stuff and all from nature!

Oxygen via Robert Tisserand

Of course water, diet, lifestyle, medication and health all have a massive part to play in the health of your skin, but that's a whole host of other articles!

Ask The Experts
I truly believe the importance of seeking advice from a professional before changing your skincare if you want to maximise the results, after all your skin is your body's biggest organ - it's pretty darn important and we do love to help!

It's been said Beauty Therapists know more about the skin than a GP - need I say more to convince you we know our stuff? (Imagine a big cheeky smile!)

Image via KCM Blog

I know there are many products out there available on the shelves, but nothing beats getting advice from an expert who can spend time assessing your skins needs and your lifestyle. Otherwise it could be a whole waste of money.

Feel free to leave comments below and any questions you have and I'll try my hardest to help!
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