Lunch in Paris is my current read and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Elizabeth Bardis an American journalist and author, who moved to Paris when she met the love of her life. Her writing style is both eloquent and witty.
Its part love story, with Elizabeth adjusting to the French way of living and part culinary journey. Complete with recipes of all the mouth-watering dishes she makes for her friends and new family. All this set in one of my favourite cities on the planet.
Elizabeth also writes a blog - yippee more recipes!!
"Discovering Paris (and now Provence!) one meal at a time".
A few weeks ago, I popped over to Cupcakes and Corsets Blog after finding these pretty handmade water colour cookies she makes.
One thing led to another and she asked me to be her first ever Guest blogger! You can imagine how thrilled I was to be asked so soon after starting to blog.
We thought an article on makeup would be a good choice - and as I am not one of the beauty bloggers who does product reviews i.e. look at this product, it does this and looks like this etc - which are great; but not what I write about, I decided to delve deeper into the "History of Makeup".
I would love you to pop over and have a look at my Guest Post. It is a lovely blog, she has a great variation of posts and if you are lucky enough to live is the US, you can buy her stunning biscuits from Etsy shop - The Fancy Lady Gourmet. She is very clever lady... I can see a Beautiful Handmade Biscuits Gallery starting!
Facials are very relaxing and a lovely treat but they are actually meant to TREAT your skin not just your soul - not just a deep clean and a nice massage. It is lovely compliment when someone falls asleep on the bed as they are so relaxed, but that’s a tiny part of my job – the main part it’s about getting results for my customers. To get maximum results a consultation is a MUST!
It drives me mad when I go into a salon and they don’t take the time to do a proper consultation. This applies to any beauty treatment from a simple eyebrow wax, spray tan, pedicure and right through to full body aromatherapy massage or facial.
Consultations are an important ongoing record and are there for a very good reason. Every single therapist should ask you to complete one tailored to the individual treatment. They should include any medical problems, recent medical treatment, allergies and give a picture of your lifestyle. Also any changes to these should be highlighted at future appointments.
There are certain conditions which may mean your treatment needs to be adapted or could actually prevent treatment (contraindicate) or you may need a doctor's note to give your therapist the go ahead. So it’s really important that your therapist is aware of these conditions.
For instance if you were booked in for a massage and you were trying to conceive, could be or were pregnant; I would avoid using products that contain essential oils which can stimulate the womb or regulate periods including Clary Sage and Peppermint. I would choose products which contain what we call the ‘safe oils’. I would also avoid certain trigger points that stimulate the uterus.
If you have a nut allergy – we would need to avoid products that contain nuts. If you are a diabetic, firstly I would need a note from your doctor and as your skin could be thinner than normal, I would ensure I used a lighter pressure in any massage, including manicure and pedicures.
I always ask my clients when they book, if they have any medical conditions or are on any medication – it saves disappointment and allows me to research conditions I am not familiar with in advance.
If you are on certain medications such as Acutane (for acne), you would need to be off the medication for at least a year before any waxing could be done, as your skin could be more prone to sensitivity and lifting.
Your lifestyle gives me a picture on your fluid intake, diet, exercise and job. This helps me in treatments such as facials – if you only drink a couple of glasses of water a day and your skin is flaky and tight, then you need to increase your water intake as your skin is suffering from dehydration.
This is a brief picture of what Beauty Therapists can pick up from a thorough consultation – it doesn’t have to be formal, but provides us with an ongoing picture of you and helps us treat you much more effectively, professionally and gives our clients confidence that they have chosen a therapist who is professional, thorough and cares about the well being of her/his client.
I've had a fabulously busy week in the salon, but that hasn't left me with much time to blog. I'm off for a girlie weekend, but to celebrate the start of spring; I couldn't resist doing a little Spring Cupcake searching first!
The pink and green are my favourite colour combination, so pretty!
Avocado is actually a fruit as it has a seed. It is one of the best beautifying ingredients Mother Nature has given us; feeding the skin from inside and out. It has unbelievable benefits containing everything we need to keep our skin cells healthy and smooth and helps the skin cells regenerate. It is jam packed with Essential Fatty Acids (EFA), B Vitamins (maintains healthy skin), Vitamin E (antioxidant), Beta Carotene (anti-ageing), Potassium (helps the growth of new skin cells) and the pulp nearest to the skin holds the most vitamins.
It contains rich oil which penetrates deeply into the epidermis. It is one of the best oils for soothing dry or dehydrated skins - look for darker oils as they have gone through the least processing. Studies have shown avocado oil increases collagen in the skin significantly, helping our skin stay younger for longer - I'm hooked!
It is also fantastic for relieving the dryness and itching of psoriasis, eczema and is great for nourishing and softening mature, dry, dehydrated or sun damaged skin. All that in a big green testicle - who'd have thought it hey?!
Here are some ideas for including Avocado in your beauty rituals at home:
Amazing and Cheap Body Exfoliator Rub the inside of the avocado skin all over your body to remove the dead skin cells. Do this just before you take a shower, otherwise you'll look like The Incredible Hulk! Your body will be left feeling super smooth!
Nourishing and Smoothing Avocado and Honey Face Mask
1. Mash up half an avocado
2. Add 2 teaspoons of honey*, mix well.
3. Spread over your face, neck and decollate (chest area).
4. Lie back, relax and leave for 15-20 minutes.
5. Why not pop a couple of slices from the other half under your eyes - great for reducing puffiness (lie still mind!)
6. Result - a face as smooth as a baby's bot! *Honey is soothing and also a mild antiseptic so pesky bacterium can't survive in it! If you are allergic to honey, just leave it out.
One my top favourite places in the world is New York and my favourite film Breakfast at Tiffany's is set there. Oh and of course I adore Tiffany's dahling!
There is a timeless sophistication about Tiffany's blue packaging, my heart did a double salto when my now husband presented me with a stunning necklace for our first Valentine's Day ahhh! And did you know The Tiffany Blue color is protected as a colour trademark by Tiffany & Co?! In fact Tiffany was part of my mood board brief to my designer for the salon's logo and identity. So what's more fitting for my next Beautiful Cupcake Gallery than an ode to Tiffany's and Holy Golightly?
Not cupcakes as such but the timeless Tiffany box - a girls dream gift by Cakes Haute Couture - Barcelona. Tiffany & Co. held a breakfast celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the film "Breakfast at Tiffany's" in Barcelona. Cakes Haute Couture designed 100 mini cakes reproducing the famous Tiffany Blue Box.
Stunning, imagine being presented with these complete with real diamonds - dream on Sara!
From London, Ontario's Petit Cupcakes
I trained in Aromatherapy massage with pre-blended oils; this included studying the benefits and uses of many amazing essential oils. I was very lucky to have an amazing lecturer, who thrived on taking us that step further; encouraging us to blend our own products at home and telling us fascinating stories of her time working in Health Spas in France.
I will never forget her and feel very fortunate to have had such a passionate and enthusiastic mentor. She inspired me and gave me the confidence to delve deeper into nature's powerful and medicinal essential oils. Now they are a part of my family's daily skincare, body care, health and even cleaning, I just can't get enough of them, I love mixing up potions and lotions and always have my books to hand when anyone has health or emotional concerns. I have also been lucky enough to train with Decleor, Aromatherapy Associates and Eve Taylor.
Here's the science bit! Essential oils are not actually oil; they are a concentrated liquid/essence which comes from plants, flowers, grasses, fruits, leaves, roots, seeds and barks. The oil is extracted through a process of either steam distillation, maceration (soaked in vegetable oil, heated and strained) or cold pressing.
They are the life force of the plant and are incredibly versatile. Each oil has array of benefits, healing properties and uses and best of all they are natural! The therapeutic effects have been recognised for over 5,000 years. Egyptians embalmed their dead with aromatic essences using frankincense, myrrh and cedar wood to embalm and galbanum, cinnamon and clove to mummify. The Greeks used essences as perfumes, to cure illnesses and for massage.
I love this story: In the early 20th Century a French Chemist named Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, was working in his lab when he burnt himself badly with a Bunsen burner. He plunged his hand into the nearest thing to hand - a vat of lavender oil and discovered how quickly the burn healed, leaving no scar or subsequent infection. WOW! After this he did a lot more research into essential oils and published his first book on aromatherapy in 1928.
Most essential oils are antiseptics and bactericides meaning they inhibit the growth of bacteria. They have affinities with different organs of the body, are absorbed into the bloodstream, are mood enhancing and have many beauty and well being uses including stimulating or toning, healing or decongesting, relaxing or soothing.
I will be doing lots of posts with recipes for Homemade Beauty and Homemaking Rituals and many of these will include this powerful and natural beauties!
If you would like to learn more about essential oils here are some great books: The Fragrant Pharmacy by Valerie Ann Worwood - a classic and my favourite New Vital Oils by Liz Earle
Or even better take a course - you'll love it! And involve your family too, my son loves making products and they make a gorgeous, personalised gift.
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.