Thursday, 28 June 2012

How To Get The Best Out of Spray Tans and Self Tans

As promised here is the addition to my article Spray Tans and Self Tans - The Safer Option. Thanks for bearing with me while I re-wrote this section of the article I mysteriously lost! Hope you enjoy...

Great spray tan
Image via Snazzy Biz

This isn't just a Do and Don't list - I think it helps to explain the how’s and whys to emphasise why these tips are so important. This is may end up reading like 'War and Peace' - but believe me - it's so worth it!

A Professional Treatment
You should ALWAYS be asked to complete a 'Consultation Form' the first time you have a Spray Tan in a salon and be given thorough 'After Care Advice'. Sadly not all therapists do - a major bug bear with me; hence why I write articles like this. Read my article Beauty Consultations - a Must!

spray tan

Preparing Your Skin For Spray or Self Tanning

Any Hair Removal MUST be Done at Least 24 hours in Advance of Your Tanning Treatment
This gives the pores time to close and the skin to calm down after any irritation. Nobody wants a spotty tan! If you use hair removal cream - ensure the waxy residue is completely washed away - as this can prevent your tan from developing.

Exfoliate the Night Before Your Tan 
This will remove as many dead skin cells as possible leaving newer fresher ones allowing your tan to fade evenly.

body exfoliation
OOO lovely! Why not treat yourself to a pre tan exfoliating treatment.
Image via Gayshott Spa Life

AVOID Dove or Imperial Leather Shower Gels and Moisturisers 
These products are well known in the industry to strip and tan and even stop it taking if used before hand. So avoid using them on the day or your tan and whilst your is tan on.

products that strip a self tan
Images via Dove and Imperial Leather

No Body Lotion, Oil or Deodorant on the Day of Your Tan
Body lotion may act as a barrier and prevent the tan from taking. Deodorant tends to react with tan and can turn your under arms green – no one wants to look like the Hulk! Using a salt deodorant helps. 

Great salt deodorant from Holland And Barrett

Take Loose Dark Clothing and Open Toed Shoes
Tight clothing and close fitting shoes can rub on your new tan and stop it developing as well.

Leave Your Posh Undies At Home
We would hate to be responsible for ruining your gorgeous La Perla thong and matching bra! The tan can stain light elastic – best take your basic comfort knickers - black preferably. I give every client a disposable thong, some regulars even have their own tanning pants!

Take A Brolly
It’s sods law it will rain! Streaks and polka dot tan – not a good look!

Rain and fake tan
Oh dear! Image via Brollies Galore

For Self Tan Use a Tanning Mitt
If you are using a self tan you get the best results using a tan applicator mitt – don’t rub, use upward sweeping motions.

These inexpensive beauties mean don’t get any product on your palms, make your tan super quick and easy to apply, streak free and you can even do your own back! I love them. Just wash them out the next day with a little shower gel and leave to dry.
Tanning mitt
Great applicator mitt. Image via Boots

Looking After Your Tan

I always say to my clients "Don't panic if you think you are going too dark; remember your tan is underneath the 'guide colour', you will see your true tan when you wash it off the next day."

Avoid Getting Wet on the Day of Your Tan
I recommend my clients use baby wipes on their palms when they have been to the loo. If you get wet, you risk removing the tan before it’s fully developed or streaks if it runs down your arm! The same goes for avoiding anything that may make you perspire. So no to exercise and no cleaning – lovely jubbly!

Leave Your Tan on Overnight
Even though my tanning company Nouvatan says leave for 6-8 hours, I find a tan always develops better when I sleep with it; I don’t know why - maybe the tan fairy visits you!

Wear PJs in Bed That Evening
The Nouvatan tanning products I use hardly leaves a mark on your sheets and what does, washes out so you don’t need to bother. However other companies may not be the same. I’ve heard tan doesn’t come out of satin and silk bedding.

Use a Mild Shower Gel Daily
Anything harsh may strip your tan prematurely. Again AVOID Dove and Imperial Leather shower gels. Something like E45, Aveeno or Simple works well.

Daily Body Lotion – A MUST
Please do not under estimate the effectiveness of this! Body lotion will keep your skin hydrated helping your tan last longer and fade evenly. Body butters are the best as they are very nourishing but whatever you use must be oil free as oily products will strip your tan. If like myself, your skin is dry use it twice a day. Again AVOID Dove and Imperial Leather body lotions.

So what Body Lotion do my Customers and I use?...
Nouvatan's After Tan “Oil Free”Toning Moisturiser
Not only will it help to prolong your spray or self tan but it will also help banish those dimples and restore a more toned appearance with our new wonderful, multi-tasking product - OH MY know how much I love a multi tasking product! With Aloe Vera to soothe, Co-enzyme Q10 and Juniper Berry to tighten and tone, Horse Chestnut to improve sluggish circulation, Grapefruit extract and Butchers Broom to help guard against fluid retention and swelling.
What a tub full of fabulousness Available from Rituals Beauty for £11.95 (200ml tub) - it just flies off the shelves!

Image via Nouvatan 

AVOID Exfoliating 
You WILL rub your tan off. Unless you need to remove a bit that has clung  – if so use a tiny bit of exfoliating cream on the area or even better use some Dove – hee hee!

bad fake tan
Not a good look!
Image via Cakes And Shakes

NO Hair Removal 
As your tan lies on the outer layers of the skin, you will remove the tan and leave it looking patchy. This goes for all types of hair removal – waxing, shaving, epilating, creams etc. Waxing is your best option before hand as you get the longest results.

ALWAYS Shower Off After Swimming
The chemicals in the pool and salt water can eat into the tan. Believe me – I always stress this to people; but I got... shall we say a little ‘merry’ towards the end of my hols recently and went for a very late night swim – my still perfect tan was no more – it looked like snake skin!!

Top Up With A Gradual Tan
I like to top my spray tan up with a gradual tan as the bottom of my legs hardly tan at all. I suffer from very dry skin on my lower legs. INTERESTING FACT - our natural oils attract UV rays; this is why I like many people find it hard to tan my dry legs! Another great reason to keep your skin well moisturised.

I love Nouvatan’s Nouvaglow Gradual Tan or Vanity Tan’s Bronzing Custard

Nouvaglow 200ml
Image via Nouvatan

And there you go! I really hope this helps you to achieve a happier, prettier, longer lasting tan. Sorry it's so long but it really is worth it!

To see how spray and self tans work and what I use in the salon, read my article Spray Tans and SelfTans - The Safer Option.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Why Does a Beauty And Health Blog Feature Cupcakes?

My husband asked me this question the other day...

Question mark cupcake


My 'Beautiful Cupcake Gallery' started off with a 'Beauty' theme and was such a success it grew from there. As the weeks went by I discovered other cupcakes I thought were equally beautiful and I just had to share - sharing is healthy

Not only are my Galleries fun to do, but little boy gets involved as he loves scanning the web for inspiration with me; so quality family time is involved - very healthy and incredibly important to me and my family.

Family time

To me a healthy life isn't just about looking after your body with products and food; it's also about an all round balance and a huge extra portion of enjoyment.

I love to feed my family and friends, so I share my recipes.
I adore reading, so I share my favourite books.
I love visiting beautiful places, so I share these too.

My blog is about helping you to live a healthier happier life and...

I truly believe that you should...

Healthy living


Everything in moderation

because we are on this planet to....

Love life


Live life

ENJOY SOME CAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
preferably made with excellent quality ingredients and home baked hee hee!

Images via:
Question cupcake - Flickr
Precious moments - My Fun Cards
Take care of your body - Healthy Life Tool Kit
Everything in Moderation - Etsy
Live Laugh Love Yours Truly Was Here
Baby eating cake - Jen P Photo

Sunday, 24 June 2012

My Homemade Alioli (Garlic Mayonnaise)

This is a year round staple in our house, but given its the start of the holiday season and with lots of people off to ‘Sunny Spain’, then what better time to bring a bit of sunshine into your home? Well the darn English weather doesn’t seem capable!!

Frigiliana Spain
Frigiliana  - one of my favourite places in Spain. Yes I know it's a funny name but so gorgeous, so many happy memories. 
Image via Trip Advisor

3-4 tbsp Mayonnaise (jarred or homemade if you can be bothered!)
1-2 cloves of garlic* (depending on how brave you are!)
Lots and lots of freshly chopped or dried parsley
Lemon juice to taste (fresh or concentrated)
Salt to taste

* I find bashing and finely chopping rather than crushing helps prevent that awful taste in your mouth the next day. Sorry no cures for garlic breath here!

Homemade Alioli

Homemade Alioli

1. Throw everything in a pretty dish and stir. Easy peasy!
2. For best results leave covered in the fridge for at least an hour – tastes even better the next day!
3. If I am in a rush, I substitute the fresh garlic for dried garlic.

Homemade Alioli

Homemade Alioli

Serving Suggestions
  • A must with paella – one day I may reveal that recipe too!
  • Goes perfectly with fingers of toasted pitta, drizzled in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt – mouth watering heaven! 
  • My twist on Patatas Alioli – roast some diced potatoes with olive oil, rosemary and sea salt and pour/dollop the Alioli over the top! Yum yum!
  • Amazing in sandwiches or wraps instead of butter or plain mayo.
  • Gorgeous stirred into homemade soups and pasta dishes.
  • Try this for a simple but delicious lunch: serve with fresh bread, olives, cheese, chorizo and sliced tomatoes sprinkled with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and a glug of extra virgin olive oil or even better truffle oil! All washed down with a nice cool glass of sangria!
  • Add some chopped fresh chilli for a spicy kick.
  • Use roasted garlic instead. You may need more cloves depending taste. A lovely recipe is at The Hungry Mouse - Roasted Garlic Three Ways
  • My son’s favourite has 1-2 tsp Paprika added to it. 
  • Goes great with hot paprika too.
Homemade Alioli
My son's favourite - Alioli with paprika

Interesting - Alioli actually means garlic and olive oil – I may try this recipe this weekend! Spanish Food - Alioli - Olive Oil and Garlic Sauce

Oh There Are Plenty Health Benefits Too:

Garlic has a vast array of health benefits; its anti bacterial - so great for fighting coughs, colds and candida, warts and toothache. It increases antioxidant levels so a great anti-ager. It has antibiotic properties so good for acne. Great for high blood pressure, cardiovascular health and high cholesterol. It is also believed to regulate blood sugar levels by increasing the levels of insulin so good for diabetics.

Parsley is rich in vitamin C, A and beta-carotene. It can help reduce the risk of diabetes, is cancer fighting, great for cardiovascular health and a healthy immune system. Great for reducing the symptoms of asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. And with antioxidant properties it helps protect against those darn free radicals in the environment stressing and trying to damage our precious skin - what more could you want?!

Lemon - an antioxidant so great for the skin, rich in vitamin C - great for colds and aids digestion. It's high in Potassium so good for high blood pressure and is a diuretic so helps rheumatism and arthritis.

The mayo is... well the naughty bit!

Enjoy – I’m off to make some now - can’t resist!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Beautiful Cupcake Gallery - I'm Searching for Cakes

Calling all clever, artisitc Cupcake Makers...

Image via My Wey Of Life

If would like to see your work of art featured on one of my 'Beautiful Cupcake Galleries', please email me your images and I'll save the best to go into my future posts.

Oh and I am always happy to receive image of beautiful artistic biscuits/cookies and cakes as these often get featured too.

Bibi's Bakery in Edinburgh
The elegant Bibi's Bakery in Edinburgh. 

It doesn't matter where in the world you are; you can own a cupcake store, have a home baking business or simply love baking; it really doesn't matter as long as they are fab!

Home baking kitchen

Your images MUST be high quality, in focus and beautifully/cleverly presented - i.e. no dirty dishes in the background!

The theme needs to fall into one or more of these categories. Your cupcakes can be simple or extravagant, they must be unique and most of all excellent - something you are very proud of!

Beauty - could be skin, hair, beautifying, beauty products
Natural Beauty
Beautiful places
Film and TV

If you have a gorgeous cupcake you think is worthy, but doesn't fall into these categories but fits in with the theme of this blog, then drop me an email and I'll have a peek.

Cupcake Voyage Exhibition
Cupcake Voyage Exhibition
Cupcake Voyage Exhibition at Harbor City, Kowloon
Images via Wahbiang

Take a look and see what themes I have already posted: Rituals Beauty - Beautiful Cupcake Galleries 

Email your images to
Please make sure you include your website, blog and facebook/twitter/flickr or other social network pages links so I can link them back you. I never feature an image without a link back. I look forward to seeing them!

A little polite note on respect
I will never publish anything offensive, unprofessional, bad quality or insensitive.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Spray Tans and Self Tans - The Safer Option

We are all aware of the dangers of sun beds and over exposure to harmful UV rays. Research shows the main cause of premature ageing is UV (ultraviolet) radiation from either sun beds or the sun itself. AND let's NEVER forget the potential risk of skin cancer. When it comes to Vanity vs. Health - health wins hands down every time for me.

Bad tan
 WOW - it's really not worth it! Image via Pop Give

So the best way to look like a bronzed goddess, retain a youthful and healthy skin is to go for a Spray Tan or use one of the fantastic Self Tan products out there. There are many products available, but I prefer to go for the Organic ones that are free from nasty and potentially harmful chemicals - I don't see the point in having a UVA free tan if the ingredients aren't safe.

Nouvatan Spray Tan
Image via Nouvatan

So What Do I Use In The Salon?
I use the fabulous Nouvatan Organic Spray Tan. Nouvatan is fast becoming one of the nation's most loved tans, with a great selection of spray tans and self tans. Nouvatan is fantastic British family run business, who developed this amazing tan from a wish list for the perfect tan.

NouvatanLeaping Bunny symbol

100% active organic ingredients, dermatologically tested, free from harmful parabens, alcohol and oils and isn't tested on animals - fabulous! There are no bad smells, no orange or mud splattered look. You can even go shopping in it - you just look like you've been on your hols! Perfect and incredibly natural. Their tans leave the faintest of marks on your bedding and this washes off.

My clients can decide how dark they want to be, as I customise every tan using special booster drops.

I really can't rave enough about this company, their support and their products. My clients absolutely love it; I have many tan phobics converted. I have many clients with Eczema and Psoriasis who get great results time and time again. I have sensitive skin and have no problems.

In fact a well known film company In Hollywood California is now purchasing Nouvatan Spray Tanning 20% (dark solution) for use by their make up Dept... they cant say who because of customer confidentiality. But Nouvatan's reputation as being the best spray tan solution available has now crossed the pond !! I can't tell you how proud to be part of their team!

You can't buy Nouvatan on the high street, ensuring us therapists get a fair share of the pie! However you can buy them from my salon Rituals Beauty or email their friendly team to find your nearest stockist or therapist. The really are the highest quality products at reasonable prices.

Nouvaglow Gradual Tan 200ml £12.95
Self Tan Mousse Large 200ml £16.50
Self Tan Mousse Small 50ml £6.95
Applicator Mitt £3.50

A Brief Biology Lesson on Self Tanning!
The main ingredient in both Spray Tan and Self Tan is a sugar derivative called DHA (DiHydroxyAcetone). This lies on the top layers of your skin called the stratum corneum which is made up of dead skin cells. The tan reacts with the amino acids in these dead layers of your skin. Every day you shed millions of dead skin cells, which is why your sunless tan fades gradually.

Layers of the skin

When you have Spray Tan you will leave with a "guide colour" on your skin, not your actual tan. The guide colour is so the therapist can see she/he has covered your entire body with the tanning solution. Over a number of hours your tan will develop.

Most spray tanning companies nowadays offer a variety of intensities (% of DHA in the tanning solution), so you can have a number of choices on how dark you want to be. Some even have colour selections.

 Image via Nouvatan Liverpool

I always say to my clients "Don't panic if you think you are going too dark; remember your tan is underneath the 'guide colour', you will see your true tan when you wash it off the next day."

You should ALWAYS be asked to complete a 'Consultation Form' the first time you have a Spray Tan  in a salon and be given thorough 'After Care Advice'. Sadly not all therapists do - a major bug bear with me; hence why I write articles like this. Read my article Beauty Consultations - a Must!

For lots of great tips and advice on Spray Tans and Self Tans read my article on: How To Get The Best Out of Spray Tans and Self Tans 

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.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Happy Fathers Day

These quotes are for my Daddies (yes I have more than one!) and my hubby on their special day today.

Fathers Day
Image via Holiday Snobs

Image via Summer Snow

Image via Pinterest

Image via Etsy

Love you all lots and lots xxxxxxx

Saturday, 16 June 2012

100% Support for Martha Payne School Dinners Blogger and Charity Superstar

No doubt you have seen 9 year old Martha Payne from Argyll in the news recently, this inspirational young lady has proved how powerful social media can be regardless of age or location.

Martha Payne
Future UNICEF ambassador? Image via Digital Spy

Martha is the author of NeverSeconds blog where she takes pictures of her school dinners, gives each one a ‘food-o-meter’, in depth description, health rating, how many mouthfuls it took her to eat it and I love this one – how many pieces of hair! Jamie Oliver our school dinner’s revolutionist has endorsed this site – not bad for a 9 year old!

Martha Payne Jamie Oliver
Image via Telegraph

This Thursday Martha posted her head teacher had told her not post any more photographs for the blog and the council had imposed the ban. This caused an absolute outrage, she now has had over 4 million hits (and growing by the second) on her blog and made the headlines worldwide.

NeverSeconds meal
10/10 for this one. 
Image via NeverSeconds

Roddy McCuish council leader for Argyll and Bute Council instructed an immediate lift on the ban – and rightly so – what happened to freedom of speech?! What she is doing is positive NOT negative, she even rated one meal 10/10!

Her blog is also a platform to raise money for a Mary’s Meal kitchen in Malawi. Mary's Meals is:
“an international movement that sets up school feeding projects in communities where poverty and hunger prevent children from gaining an education.” 
Is this the work of a troublesome youth? Err I think NOT!

I’m ecstatic to say due to the coverage she has had, she has managed to raise a WHOPPING £45,889.46!!!!!! NA NA NA NA NA!

Marys Meals

If you would like to help Mary’s Meals visit Just NeverSeconds to donate to this incredibly worthy cause.

As you know I am passionate about what we eat and what goes into our family’s tummies is right near the top of the priority list – loving each other to bits comes first!

It’s so reassuring that our future mummies and daddies are taking a keen interest on their health. Keep up the good work sweetie you have my 100% support - oh and when reading this out to my 6 year old son - he said you have his too!


Friday, 15 June 2012

Home Made Beauty Rituals - Natural PMT and Menstrual Pain Remedy

If like myself you suffer from that monster called "PMT" taking over your body every month or have a daughter going through puberty or approaching it; then this easy peasy recipe could help. 

Image via Toon Pool

1 drop of good quality Roman Chamomile Essential Oil in your body lotion every day throughout out the month regulates the hormones and can help reduce or alleviate symptoms of PMT and menstrual pains. For pre-teen and teenagers add 1 drop to 20ml of body lotion.

Roman Chamomile

Interesting Fact:
Girls start hormonal changes approximately 3 years before their period's
 start - WOW am I glad I have a son?!!

Take a look at my other articles on Essential oils including some great companies to buy from:
Amazing Essential Oils - Not Just a Pretty Smell
Tips on Using Essential Oils & Diffuser Blends

PLEASE ALWAYS take note of the contraindications (condition or factor in which the use of a particular product or treatment is not advised) of the various oils. Always do the patch test before applying the oils to detect the reaction of your skin. For use on pregnant women (or trying), babies & children, or if you have any medical condition, please refer to a qualified Aromatherapist first. 

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Why I'm Happy For My Hubby to Watch Euro 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey  EL James

Everywhere I look and go women are discussing Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James - I am starting to see those fellow mummies in the school yard in a whole new light! It's certainly broken down some barriers hee hee! 

I bought this for my Kindle a couple of months ago but didn't want to read it on holiday; I like a good 'Starting a New Life Abroad' book when I'm lazing by the pool.

So many mums are getting to our school early and sitting in the car with their heads buried in this 'Posh Mummy's Porn'! And I am not ashamed to say I've joined the cult. Well it would be rude not to!

Fifty Shades of Grey  EL James
Image via Amazon

I'm half way through A Watermelon, a Fish and a Bible" by Christy Lefteri, but couldn't resist any longer, so started reading "Fifty Shades" alongside it!

Euro 2012 is certainly welcome in our house when I have this as a distraction!

I'll report back when I'm finished!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Beautiful Cupcake Gallery - BBQ and Picnics

It doesn't look likely us Brits are going to be enjoying countless BBQs and picnics during this so called 'Summer’...

Summer rain
Image via

Well I'm going to politely stick the 'Vs' up to the weather and dedicate a post to some amazing BBQ and Picnic cupcakes instead!

BBQ cupcake
OMG how cute is this ickle Kettle BBQ?
Image via 
For full instructions on how to make visit Zen Cupcake

BBQ cupcake corn on the cob
Mmmm corn on the cob, so much tastier on the barbie!
Image via Half Baked The Cake Blog

BBQ cupcake
So realistic yum yum! By Smiley's Sweets And Creations

BBQ cupcake
Who needs the real thing hey?

Teddy Bears Picnic cupcakes
So sweet -Teddy Bears Picnic via Victoria's Kitchen's on Flickr

Mind the downside of eating alfresco is the blinkin ants...
Picnic cupcakes
Pretty but yak me no like ants on my food! By Autumn Carpenter

Picnic cupcakes
I love the presentation on these cupcakes by The Icing On The Cake

Picnic cupcakes
Ah balmy summer days - dream on Sara!!
Image via PurthePoohBear's at Flickr

Campfire cupcake
I hate camping - no good for the hair or the back! But I do love tea round the campfire, especially toasted marshmallows!

Finally please please please bring us some good weather! Pretty please with bells on top!

Image via

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