Hartwell House Hotel and Aromatherapy Associates – Anti-Bucket List 2015 Update

Health & Beauty, The Anti-Bucket List, What's Happening?

One of the best things about putting ‘visiting Spa’s’ on my Anti-Bucket List is getting to do one of my favourite things…. visit spa’s!

Last weekend I had the complete joy of visiting a new spa near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, at Hartwell House Hotel with my lovely friend L.J. Ross.

Our rather stunning room

Our rather stunning room

The old manor house has been turned into a hotel in the most beautiful way.  It has retained the feel of a house, keeping four large drawing rooms with fire places for guests to relax in (or read and write within as was the case with us – what can I say, it’s all rock n’ roll when two writers go away).  With such a number of drawing rooms and a library available to use, it never feels crowded.  There was more than one moment when I felt like I was in Downton Abbey, especially when walking down the engraved, ornate staircase.

The Spa is in the old stables and has been wonderfully converted, again very sympathetically, complete with the required beige stone and soothing music.  The Spa uses Aromatherapy Associates a product that surprisingly, I hadn’t tried before.  The smell was delicious, not as fragrant as other products but I think that is a good sign.  It shows that there aren’t high levels of chemical perfumes added.

Unknown-3I had the Aromatherapy Associates Essential Rose Facial with Back Massage.  Starting with the back massage the therapist focused on my shoulders after I told her it was my area of concern and then went into the facial, complete with an amazing head massage.  I honestly felt like a new woman and my skin looked so clean and radiant, wonderful.  My wonderful co-assistant reviewer had an Indian Head Massage which she enjoyed but would have liked more time spent on her head and less on her shoulders as her back is so ticklish.  Thank God I don’t have that problem, couldn’t imagine not liking back massages!

I was very impressed by the products and went on to buy the Rose Face Mask and Rose Facial Tonic, which I am enjoying using.

Overall, I loved Hartwell House Hotel and Spa.  So much so that I am planning on taking husband there and it is high on my list of favourite hotel.  An amazing big tick of the Anti-Bucket List 2015, but I think I will happily add it again and again! 🙂

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Spring Health & Beauty Tip 24 – Super Smoothie

Delicious Healthy Recipes, Health & Beauty, Health and Beauty Tips

Love a Super Smoothie

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 24 – Super Smoothies

I love a smoothie.  I just love imagining my cells being flooded with goodness as I drink them.  So yummy and the fruit helps settle my sweet-tooth as well.

My real tip though is use Coconut Water in place of Milk.  Great if you want to cut down on lactose and Coconut water is fantastic and rehydrating your body naturally.  And the Coconut flavour goes great with fruit.


My Favourite Smoothie Recipe

  • 250ml of Coconut Water
  • 10 Strawberries
  • Handful of Blueberries
  • 1 Banana
  • Tablespoon of Oats (keeps you fuller for longer)

Also, hoping the summer weather stays, you can chuck a lot of ice cubes in to make it seriously refreshing.

Happy smoothing x

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 17 – Eyebrows

Beauty Treatment, Health & Beauty, Health and Beauty Tips

Tame the Brow

UnknownSpring Health & Beauty Tip 17 – Eyebrows

Use a tiny touch of vaseline to sculpt your eyebrows into shape.  Particularly useful if you have an eyebrow hair that won’t go the way you want it to!  The more you do it, you maybe able train the hair to grow a certain way.

Personally I often use mascara instead, I find the brush helps me move the eyebrow hairs to exactly where I want them and saves using an eyebrow pencil.

Happy brushing x


Spring Health & Beauty Tip 13 – Extra Fabulous Curls

Beauty Treatment, Health & Beauty, Health and Beauty Tips

Another fabulous tip from Essex

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 13 – Extra Fabulous Curls

This tip was given to me by Joel, one of the hair stylists at Chloe’s Beauty Bar (as in Chloe from TOWIE).

Firstly – Spray your hair with hairspray just before you curl it, that way the heat from the straighteners will dry and stiffen the hairspray, helping you to keep those lovely curls.

Secondly – Joel recommends using straighteners for the best curls, wrap the hair around and pull through the hair.  The big tip is to pull the straighteners really slowly to get the best curl.  Pull to quickly and it will just pull it out.

Happy curling x

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Bring on the TOWIE – Chloe’s Beauty Bar Opening

Beauty Treatment, Cancer & Me, Health & Beauty

Last week I was invited to Essex for the opening of Chloe Sims Beauty Bar and meet the lady behind the venture.

Chloe came across as a sweet, genuine woman with a real passion for what she is embarking on.  Years of personal experience have brought her to a place where she is able to open something that, even in an area surrounded by beauty salons and hairdressers, stands out as something unique.

So what makes Chloe’s Beauty Bar unique?

It’s a one stop shop to look completely fabulous.  Chloe has deliberately and successfully pulled together chic and glamour to let men & women look their best.  There are no lengthy treatments lists and detailed price structures.  Easy, affordable fabulousness is all you will have to worry about at Chloe’s.

Achieved with a Look Book of 5 different Make-Up looks and 5 different Hair Styles for you to choose from.  Such a fabulous idea, because sometimes you know what you want but can’t explain it, this way you can just look at the book and choose, perfect.  And they are all one price, none of this starting at…. and you have no idea what you are going to end up paying, it’s upfront, nice and easy.  Obviously Chloe’s skilled stylists and make-Up artists can do different looks if you want but its a great starting point.  And the Hair Stylers don’t just have to work with your own hair, they have a whole host of extensions and pieces to get the look just right for you, no matter what the length or thickness of your hair is.

It doesn’t stop at Hair & Make-Up…  

The theme of looking gorgeous continues with Nails including Gel Treatments, 1 hour Spray Tans (yes one hour, no more waiting overnight and all that drama – Godsend), which are both available from Chloe’s own brand Starship. Eyelashes & Brows and the necessary evil; Waxing!

The Beauty Bar itself…

This feeling of chic glamour is not just in her treatments and products but within the space itself.  With its beautiful white drapes and subtle gold sparkle  and even a bar Chloe has achieved a beautiful space that anyone will feel decadent within.  Chloe told me that she did have an Interior Designer to create the look but it was her vision and ideas that were brought to life.

One the day, we were treated to a treatment…  

I had a VIP hairstyle and even my straight as a ruler hair was transferred into beautiful curls.  My lovely friend Emma tried the 1 Hour Spray Tan using the product from Chloe’s Starship range and we were so impressed with the results.  I took this picture of her tan line about 30 minutes after her spray and I think anyone who has had a spray tan will think that’s amazing.  The Spray tan has been especially designed to work with your skin to bring out your natural skin tone in the tan, avoiding that awful orange look that can put many of us off spray tanning.

One of my favourite things about Chloe’s Beauty Bar…

Is the ‘reveal’.  I’m sure we all know that feeling.  Sat in front of the hairdressers mirror for however long under unforgiving light and uninterrupted scrutiny meaning that even the most vain and confident amounts us will start to pull themselves apart and see faults that no one else will notice including every tiny spot or wrinkle.  I seriously hate that but none of that at Chloe’s.  The mirrors are covered with beautiful white curtains and then at the end you get a real ta-da moment when they pull the curtain back.  As Chloe explained;

photo 3 copy“It can feel a bit uncomfortable staring the mirror, I do it all the time, sit there thinking ‘I wish I had put my make-up on’, but once all your hair and make-up is on, then we reveal it at the end, everyone should feel really good.  You never see what you look like until the end.”

Talking about her inspiration Chloe said…

“I visited a ‘Blow Bar’ in Los Angeles and I liked the way it was all clear with accent colours, here I have gone for gold.  I liked how they had clear price lists with a menu, because sometimes in Beauty Salons they have so many treatments with al different prices, your not sure what it is.  I wanted to keep it simple, 5 hair styles, 1 price that’s that. So that is what I have tried to bring to Essex.

Obviously a blow bar just does hair but I wanted to incorporate my hair, tanning, nail and make-up ranges to make it a one-stop-shop. I wanted it to be very relaxing so that when people come here they feel like they’ve had an experience and  a nice luxury treatment done.”

For my Cancer Chemo Superstars…

As well as just generally feeling better for having a bit of pampering I sussed out some specific treatments for all my Cancer and Chemo Superstars.

  • Eyelash extensions are in strips, perfect for if you’ve lost your natural eyelashes as they are attached to the eyelids.  You can have them applied in Chloe’s or you can purchase just the stripes and apply them at home.
  • Hair Pieces that cover a little over half the head, so when hair is starting to grow back they can do fabulous styles, using your natural hair at the front and a piece at the back.
  • Home Tanning because when you are feeling a little washed out a bit of colour can make you feel a thousand times better.  Chloe sells her 1 hour tan for home use – instant pick me up!

A few extra things from Chloe…

If she could have anyone visit it would be Rhianna or Kim Kardashian.

Her outfit was all high street (girl after my own heart) – Shoes & Skirt from Zara, Top from Rover Island, Choker from Top Shop and Handbag from New Look – but she still looked a million dollars.

If you love the sounds of Starship products but can’t get to Essex…

I have fab news.  A lot of Chloe’s products and hair pieces can be bought for use at home.  Very generously Chloe is giving me discount codes and links, to pass on to you lovely readers so keep your eyes peeled and I should have them up in the next couple of days.

I do have one very big complaint about Chloe’s Beauty Bar…

It’s not in Hertfordshire (where I live)!  This is honestly the sort of place that I have dreamed of.  Somewhere you can go before a big event and night out, walk in looking normal and come out a Goddess.  Chloe I gently urge you to start a chain and down right beg you to make the next one in St Albans!

I want to hear from you…

What’s your favourite thing about visiting a beauty salon or what do you wish yours had?  Leave a comment in the box below xx


Spring Health & Beauty Tip 11 – Sugar Scrub

Beauty Treatment, Health & Beauty, Health and Beauty Tips

Exfoliate your skin in the sweetest way

Spring health & Beauty Tip 12 – Make Your Own Sugar Scrub

Exfoliating is great for your body as well as your face.  The fantastic news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune on fancy products, you can make delicious products at home.  I personally LOVE this recipe.

Mix some Sugar with a little Olive Oil into a stiffish paste.  Add a drop of Geranium essential oil (Lavender will work well too if that’s what you have).  And that’s it, a delicious Sugar Scrub.


In the shower, scrub, rinse, done!  You are all exfoliated and soft, no trouble!

If you prefer a Salt scrub, swap the sugar for Salt.  I personally find that Himalayan Salt has the best result and makes the skin feel best.  But I am assuming that you already have Sugar in the cupboard so may be best?!

Happy Scrubbing x

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Spring Health & Beauty Tip 8 – From Chloe Sims

Beauty Treatment, Health and Beauty Tips

Today’s tip actually comes from the gorgeous Chloe Sims one of the stars of The Only Way In Essex who I had the absolute pleasure of meeting today at the launch of her Beauty Bar in Brentwood, Essex – obvs!

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 8 – From Chloe Sims – Use Sticky Tape to Remove Glitter from your Skin

Chloe told me that the night before she had amazing Glitter eyes but make-up remover can’t get glitter off.

Chloe Sims at the launch of her Beauty Bar - CHLOE

Chloe Sims at the launch of her Beauty Bar – CHLOE

So her tip was sticky tape.  Wrap it around your fingers and dab onto the glitter & it will stick to the tape.  Chloe also said, if the tape is to sticky and pulling on your skin, just dab it on the back of your hand a couple of times to take off the residue then begin.

So there you have it… true to life TOWIE advice for a very TOWIE problem.

Happy sticking! x

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 3

Health and Beauty Tips

Eyes Bright x

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 3 – Don’t Overload the Eyes

The skin around the eyes is incredible sensitive and very thin, meaning that it is unable to absorb cream and moisturisers in the same way as the rest of the skin on the face.  When the skin just under the eyes doesn’t absorb it can create those little white spots that women sometimes get.


To avoid it, don’t put any cream above the your eye socket bone under the eye. The skin directly under the eye will then act as a blotting paper, slowly absorbing what it needs and making sure it only takes just the right amount – such a clever thing the body!

Easy Quick Healthy Tip 5

Beauty Treatment, Complementary Therapies, Health and Beauty Tips

Give yourself a good Scrub down!

Easy Quick Healthy Tip 5 – Scrub Away with an Exfoliator

Basically your skin consists of cells moving from the bottom layer to the top layer of skin.  At the bottom they are beautiful big plump cells, by the end they are slightly dried and tired looking…. if you think opf a grape turning into a prune…. you get the idea!

What exfoliating does is remove those dried up tired cells by gentley taking off the very top cells and exposing the lovely plumper one’s underneath.

You have to be careful not to scrub too hard or you can damage the underneath cells or even expose ones baby ones that aren’t ready to exposed to the harsh world at the moment and cause even more damage making them look worse (really don’t want this) and not to often.  2 or 3 times a week is plenty.

Exfoliating will also help rid the skin of any toxins that have built up from environmental factors that you skin is exposed to all of the time and give the skin a really good clean.

You can even make your own Exfoliating Masks at Home using everday products, this is also great as it ensures you aren’t putting any nasties on your skin!  For more information check out…. http://http://www.ehow.com/way_5426317_homemade-exfoliating-scrubs.html

TOP TIP:  A common misconception with exfoliators is that you should exfoliate all the time if you have oily skin to remove all the oil but the reality is this can cause the opposite to be true.  If you keep completly stripping the skin of oil your skin thinks ‘oh!  There’s no oil, better produce a load more’.  Keep it balanced by exfoliating 2 or 3 times a week.