Facial with Su-Man Hsu

This year I have read many great reviews and mentions of facialist Su-Man Hsu in the British press, as this wonderful woman with a tiny dancer’s body has one of the most nimble fingers and gives the most amazing facials. What makes me smile is how many journalists call her ‘strict’ or ‘reserved’ when it actual fact she is a hard-working & focussed professional, who cares deeply about her clients and making sure her facials and skincare products deliver lasting results.

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I have been already using Su-Man’s skincare and have seen her work at the Anti-Ageing Show in Olympia earlier this year, so when I drove to Su-Man’s home to have a facial with her I had a vague notion what to expect. When Su-Man opened the door & let me in my first thought was ‘my goodness, I want to have a lithe body like hers and such a perfect face as well’. She truly looked like a young girl that day, her long hair in high pigtails, the way the mischievous Pippy Longstocking would wear them and yet she has tremendous wisdom, seriousness and experience radiating from her eyes. Su-Man led me into the tranquil garden, at the back of her house, where her treatment room is located, in a glamorous shed like cabin. Inside you are greeted by a light, airy space that is modern yet old-fashioned, in a comforting way.

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We talked about my skin or possible concerns that I had and Su-Man did a computer analysis of my skin with a device attached to it, which transmitted reading straight to the screen. I was told that my skin was normal but had inflammation underneath and with that I was told to get undressed and zoom under the warm blanket on the treatment table – no time lost here!

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Su-Man is curt and to the point but is in no way aloof as some reviews would suggest. There is a military precision to her but it is more to do with her dancer training and discipline. She put a rolled up blanket under my knees, to make sure I was aligned ( my spine was very grateful ) and comfortable and started her work.

The rest of the facial is a bit of a blur of the most wonderful kind. I had a firm neck and shoulder massage, while my face was steamed and then cleansed and extractions done. Su-Man’s massage technique is hard to describe, her fingers move all over the face, zig zagging, rolling, circling, digging deep deep into your muscle tissues. She massaged my ears and rolled them like a cigarillo – it is heavenly albeit unusual. Within seconds relaxation and warming sensation spread on to the rest of my body.

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A seaweed mask was hand-wisked and applied to my already re-energised complexion, while Su-Man proceeded to give me a vigorous foot massage-the best I ever had. She massaged my calves and thighs, truly working her knuckles in the dormant muscles tissues. My feet were cleansed with warm towels and then Su-Man linked her fingers throughout my toes and rolled them back to front – after it, for the first time, I truly understood the meaning of the phrase like ‘walking weightlessly on clouds’ when I got off the treatment table. Astonishingly, that feeling lasted all day ! That is the magic of Su-Man’s shiatsu massage technique for you ( a while back it helped her to get over a very painful back injury – one of the negatives which goes alongside being a professional dancer ).

Throughout the facial Su-Man dispenses her wisdom, if you ask her questions. My personal Su-Man wisdom quote that truly stuck from that day onwards was ‘your face is like a sheet, it needs to be ironed’. Beware, no place on your face will be left untouched, your scalp and nostrils included and it will leave you with the most wonderful  ‘awake’ feeling’ and a sense of awareness of facial muscles.

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You know what was most unusual and touching during my treatment that day? When the foot massage was finished Su-Man took my socks and put them on my feet, before tucking them under a blanket. When I expressed my gentle surprise the reply that came back touched me and told me a lot about the type of person Su-Man is: ‘let me be your mother in this moment in time, as only a mother would nurture in moments like this’.

Before I knew it, a lavender compress was applied to my face, my shoulders and my neck were stretched upwards, making me feel a few inches taller instantly. My face flushed and plump, my bone structure more prominent – and I so wished the treatment just went on and on but like all good things it just came to an end.

I had a facial in June and now that the end of the year is almost upon us I can honestly tell you that it was one of the best combined body treatment and facial I ever had. You will certainly never forget, noticing the difference it makes to your complexion and muscle tone in the simple, yet very effective way. Just bare in mind that you don’t go to see Su-Man if you want superficial pampering, you go to see her to pamper the mind, while vigoriously exercising the muscles.

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For more information about Su-Man, her treatments and skincare visit her website here

Festive make-up: Glow Up from ELLIS FAAS

Festivities demand some updates for your make-up arsenal, so a new launch from ELLIS FAAS is very timely and it has an apt title – GLOW UP!

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Playing with light is one of the best tricks in make-up, as light emphasises shape and glow. Attracting light to certain parts of your face will illuminate it and bring it to life and Glow UP achieves it due to reflective pearls and its soft focus properties.  These finely milled particles provide radiance with a soft subtle shimmer & leave you with a delicate glow that helps to mask any imperfections, while also adding a satin-soft and porcelain finish.IMG_4434Apply the luminous powder to parts of the skin on which light falls first: your upper cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, the Cupid bow of your lip and collarbone. Playing with light creates a seductive emphasis on bone structure and enhances your healthy and youthful appearance.IMG_4435Glow Up’s glide-on application gives a velvety feeling due to its micronisation technology. It also helps to protect the skin from the environment because it contains vitamin E. No parabens. No oils. No animal testing. Available in three shades.

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You can apply it with a sponge that the Glow Up comes with ( I really like Ellis’s compact with a screw on lid that is modern and practical, as you don’t have to worry about the powder covering your clutch’s or bag’s insides in case of the break of the regular plastic compact that many powders come in ) or wish a brush ( my favourite brushes come from Armani, Bobbi Brown or EcoTools ). There is also a handy mirror in the top of the lid so you can easily refresh your make-up on the go. You only need a tiny bit to see the difference but can build it up if you want a more ‘glory’ look, depending on the occasion.

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For more information go to ELLIS FAAS website here

Xmas Gift Ideas: Organic Pharmacy Beauty drops

If you are a natural beauty or your friend for whom you are a choosing a gift is, then consider this latest addition to the Organic Pharmacy range, their aptly named Beauty Drops which can be used in several ways.

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Organic Pharmacy is a port of call for a multitude of things like lovely skincare, wellbeing consultations, as well as homeopathic advice and clever tinctures for health issues like flu, colds, problems with hormones or skin but this product takes it further – who doesn’t want to be energetic, as well as beautiful? Add five drops daily to your drinking water to fortify body and skin from inside or add two to three drops to your current serum, moisturiser in order to give your skin an almost instant energetic boost, adding a pretty glow to the skin when it needs it the most.

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 Beauty Drops contain the following ingredients:

Aqua

Glycerin

Alcohol

Centella Asiatica Extract

Panax Ginseng Extract

Vaccinium Myrtillus Extract

When Beauty Drops are added to read more

Xmas Gift series: Bathing Beauty treasure chest for hands

I think it is always wonderful to receive a Christmas gift that is both practical, as well as beautiful and this duo from a Welsh model beauty is exactly what your manicurist would recommend for you. Bathing Beauty products will nourish & sooth the hands, as well as cuticles, leaving you with perfect hands to submit for a manicure or dip into gloves when you ventures for long walks outside, wherever your holidays or life take you.

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Reveal Hand polish & salve is made from fair-trade white sugar ( don’t eat it but use it to your skin’s advantage on the outside instead ) and rose petals. Take a wooden spatula or dip your finger into the glass jar ( don’t forget to breath deeply, as the smell of rose petals will remind you of the summer blooms) , stir it and then whisk a teaspoon sized dollop over your dry hands, then sit back and soak your hands in a bowl of warm water until the sugar has dissolved. Pat your hands dry and follow it up with the application of Glove.

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Avocado oil: contains vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B & squalene. Nurtures the skin, even the sensitive kind.

Borage Oil: helps skin regeneration process. Particularly beneficial for dry or ageing skin and helps to improve the condition of the epidermal layer.

Peach Kernel Oil: helps to slow down the ageing process, which is particularly noticeable on the hands and helps to delay appearance of wrinkles.

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Xmas Gift Ideas: something old, something new from Aromatherapy Associates

When it comes to choosing a gift I try to look for things that I know will appeal to the recipient, considering their interests or preferences but some gifts are easy to choose because they are not just beautiful but they carry a deeper meaning. With that in mind can I draw your attention to a couple of things from a cult favourite British brand Aromatherapy Associates ?

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In Russia candles are part of our culture, we use them at home, like everyone else but we also light them when we go to church. We light them for the ones we love, as well as those that we have sadly lost, while silently saying our prayers & drawing comfort & strength from the burning flame.

One of Aromatherapy Associates founding partners, Geraldine Howard, is a cancer survivor and when battling the disease she tried to focus on creating something that will not just help her fight the disease, but draw comfort and strength from as well. That was how Inner Strength Bath and Shower Oil, followed by Inner Strength Body Oil and this year the range got a new addition, an Inner Strength Candle.

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When you lift the purple lid you get an instant uplifting smell that somehow makes your feel happy & inspired within seconds – such is the power of aromatherapy ! As you light the candle the space around you starts infusing with the fortifying combination of frankincense and spicy cardamom creating the special ambiance in which you will luxuriate like a cat lying on a sunny patch.

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The candle’s simple white glass case design embossed with a golden ‘A’ will appeal not just for Christmas but throughout the year. There are a lot of candles on the market that have petroleum residue so it is always worth it to scan the list of ingredients to make sure that your choice is made from soy, beeswax or natural vegetable-based wax.

Whether you choose to buy this candle for yourself or gift it to your party hostess or a friend, know that you will bring calmness and strength to them. We never know what is around the corner and when each one of us will need a protective invisible armour of comfort, strength and serenity, so do share this beautiful gift of positivity & calm.

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Aromatherapy Associates Inner Strength candles are hand-poured in the UK and made from the high quality soy wax with unbleached cotton wicks. 100% GM free. 10% of read more

Xmas Gift Ideas: Kale magic trio from Nourish Skincare

=&0=&Throughout this year kale has been hailed as the magic ingredient in your diet but Nourish skincare was one of the first to introduce kale extract it into skincare.

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Their Xmas special ‘Kale Trio’ is a wonderful introduction to the power of kale and features the following three of best-sellers:

Kale Biomimetic Eye Cream

Argan & Kale Hand Cream and

the new Kale Enzymatic Exfoliating Cleanser.

In addition to the unique Kale extract with its array of skin enhancing read more

Xmas Gift Ideas: festive sets from Aurelia Probiotic skincare

December is a busy time, as we all rush to have all the work commitments done alongside getting ready for parties and spending time with our loved ones. On top of that there are Christmas cards to be sent & gifts to be bought. So to inspire you here are two special gift sets from one of my favourite British beauty brands Aurelia Probiotic skincare.

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Aurelia Probiotic skincare was only launched in 2013 but already has an impressive worldwide fan base & many awards, the most recent one being from CEW UK. Their products not only deliver lasting results & appeal to women of various ages but each has a unique smell as well, each formula inspiring our inner beauty and femininity. Just in time for Christmas Aurelia launched two limited editions of their Award-Winning products: a Complete Collection and an Indulgence Collection.

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Aurelia Complete Collection

is a comprehensive set that includes an Eye Revitalising Duo alongside luxury miniatures of the whole range that will transform your skin with regular use and proper skincare routine (daily cleansing is a must is you want your skincare to work effectively).

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INCLUDED IN THE SET are:

Eye Revitalising Duo (full size)

Miracle Cleanser (15ml)

Refine & Polish Miracle Balm (15ml)

Revitalise & Glow Serum (5ml)

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