Last month I wrote a review of my stay at Champneys spa. I mentioned that I’d done a bit of beauty shopping while I was there. I’m a big skin care addict and I love a good pamper, so it was really fun picking out some new products to enjoy as well as stocking up on a couple of old favourites.

The shopping at Champneys is pretty good. They have their own dedicated store, filled with their normal product range as well as a selection of gifts and fitness clothing. They also had a little Elemis shop, which has their full range of luxury skincare. As a couple of months have passed since I made my purchases I thought it was high time, I let you know what I think of them.

They had a special offer in the shop, where you got a discount if you bought the Good as New Hip and Thigh Firming Gel, Skin Firming Shower Scrub and the Exfoliating Mitt together.

The shower scrub is now one of my favourite products, mostly because I love the smell. It’s a really nice product to use and my skin feels great afterwards.

I’ve only used the firming gel a few times, mainly because it’s quite long-winded. The tube comes with a massage applicator, with little roller balls to work the gel into the skin. It feels amazing and really does firm up my skin, but it takes a while and I certainly don’t have time to do it the recommended twice a day! When I do use it though, I’m really happy with the results.

The exfoliating mitt, is super scratchy and great when you want to completely remove all your dead skin. As a massive exfoliator addict, who loves super scrubby products, its unusual for me to find something too coarse, but this really is a bit much. So once a week is just fine for me.

I bought the Detox Hip and Thigh Firming Mud, mostly because I liked the look of it. Plus I’ve always been a fan of mud based products. This is perfect if you want to create a home spa environment and have a proper pamper.

My only misgiving with this is that you have to leave it on for 10-20 and that can get a bit messy! But otherwise I love everything about this. It softens the skin while making it feel firm, it smells lovely and rinses off really easily. My skins feels lovely for days after using this, so I’d definitely recommend it.

I also picked up this Champneys yoga sweater. I love finding stuff I can wear to exercise that appeals to my vintage side. There were a few choices of picture and I absolutely loved this one. The jumper is nice and loose and adds a warmer layer, when working out.

I’ve always really liked Elemis skincare, it works really well with my skin and I like products which lots of natural extracts and ingredients. I’ve used their Papaya Enzyme Peel loads of times, its one of my all time favourite products. I knew I needed to get one of them and when I saw I could get it as part of a set and I saved loads of money I was delighted.

One of the products that was new to me was the Pro-Radiance Cream Cleanser. I’ve been using this most days since I’ve got it. I find it quite similar to my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. It works really well as a hot cloth cleanser and not only melts away make-up effortlessly, it also leaves my skin feeling fabulous.

Another product that I had tried previously is the Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash balm, This lovely cream, gives tired skin the boost it needs. I use this occasionally on tired skin days and find it really soothing and brightening.

I haven’t really got round to using the Cellular Recovery Skin Bliss Capsules, but they look really good, so I’m sure I will soon. It’s always quite fun getting sets like this as it give you the chance to try new products, that you wouldn’t otherwise have tried.

Not only was the Elemis concession packed with lovely products, but the lady who worked there was also fantastic. We had a lot of questions about the products and she answered all of them and was able to help with recommendations.

I was after a really good eye product, to help with fine lines and dark circles and all the other things that tired mums in their 30s get! She recommended the Absolute Eye Mask, which is a super potent eye mask. I absolutely love this product and use it a couple of times a week. You can really see and feel the difference with this one.

I also picked up a pack of cleansing cloths. I always need these, as I use wash off cleansers and use a clean cloth every time I cleanse. These are super soft and have washed brilliantly.

As I’d spent over £80 I got this free gift, which was a lovely little extra. I’ve used all of the miniature products in here and they’re all very good. I particularly like the Sweet orchid Bodycream which smells lovely. Although I liked the other products in the gift, I probably wouldn’t repurchase as I already have products I love.

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Back in March, I had a lovely few days of well earned relaxation, at Champneys Spa Forest Mere. I went for a lovely break with Fay, her mum and a few of her mums friends. It was second visit to the spa as I had visited a few years ago for a day trip. There is nothing nicer than driving into the countryside and just switching off from the daily grind.

I’m going to do a couple of posts about our trip, but today I thought I’d share a review of our experiences and share my thoughts on what to expect when you visit. I’ve broken it down into sections as its a bit of a mixed bag.

Location:

The location just can’t be beaten. About an hour away from London, the resort is situated near Liphook, in the Hampshire countryside. The beautiful building is reached up a winding path through woodland and farmland. The grounds are simply stunning. The main building over looks a tranquil lake and beyond the sprawling lawns you are surrounded by trees. The fresh air is simply wonderful and the gorgeous view fills you with a sensation of instant calm. The surroundings really give you that sense of getting away from it all and it really is the perfect place to relax.

The Hotel and Spa

The building is attractive, very clean and the decoration is comfortable and cosy. There are lots of little rooms to escape to with a book and it was lovely to just sit in a chair with my book or laptop and take in the gorgeous view through the windows. (photos above and below by Fay)

The spa and swimming pool area are fantastic, there are plenty of chairs and beds to put your feet up and relax and recharge. We spent a lot of our time just lying on the heated water beds in the quiet room, reading and napping. This was my favourite part of the stay, as a very busy person, I found doing absolutely nothing to be the most luxurious part.

There are also jacuzzis, hot rooms, steam rooms a refreshing ice room and rain showers to enjoy. We made full use of these and it made us feel great.

There are also plenty of gym, facilities and fitness classes if that’s your thing, for me the trip was all about relaxing and being lazy, so I didn’t actually give these a try.

Rooms:

Our room was everything we could want and need. It was a reasonably good size, with a nice big TV, lots of mirrors and storage and an en suite bathroom with a fabulous shower with some serious water pressure! It had French doors which opened up onto a little patio with seating, this is something I’d definitely make use of in the summer. My only complaint about the room, would be how hard the beds were, those mattresses were beyond firm and would benefit from mattress covers for sure!

When we arrived the wardrobes contained our robes and flip-flops for our stray, we were provided with a very small size and after a quick call to reception we were brought a larger size with no hassle.

The rooms were kept immaculate by the cleaning staff throughout the stay. The housekeeping team were absolutely fantastic and so friendly, they do such a good job. We were sure to leave them a tip and a thank you note at the end of our stay to show our appreciation.

Treatments:

This is the area in which our stay fell short and was a big disappointment. Not long after arriving we headed to the treatment reception to book ourselves in for a massage and facial.Unfortunately we were informed that for the whole 3 day duration of our stay, no treatments were available. We were told that to ensure being seen we should have booked in advance. Unfortunately this was the first we’d heard of it and we were so disappointed. It would have been slightly better if the staff had been at all apologetic, but we actually felt that they were a bit rude and unpleasant. We tried really hard to not let it put a dampener on our break, but unfortunately it did a bit.

Food:

Being a spa and health resort, everything on the menu is super healthy. All our meals were included with our stay. Our first meal was dinner, which is served from an extensive menu, which includes a starter, main and dessert. Breakfast and lunch were both served at buffets, with absolutely loads of choice, we took full advantage and tried absolutely everything! There are a few options which incur a small extra charge. I took lots of pictures of my food on my phone.

Shopping:

If you want to take the pamper experience home with you, there is a fabulous Champneys shop on site, selling clothing, accessories and beauty products as well as a Decleor and Elemis concessions.

Having not spent any money on treatments, I had a little spare cash to treat myself to a few goodies in the shops. The staff were really helpful, especially in Elemis. We asked the assistant lots of questions about our skincare needs and she was just fantastic and really knew her products. I’m going to do a separate post with my haul in the next few weeks.

Overall Experience:

Although the trip wasn’t perfect, it was still a great experience. Much of this was the surroundings and the company. Going to a spa with lovely people is what really makes it perfect. Me and Fay had lots of giggles and it was just so nice to have a little getaway. I will absolutely be back and I will be sure to book my treatments beforehand.

I’m going to write a little guide on what to pack for a spa break and some other useful information, so if you have any questions or anything you’d like to know, please post in the comments and I’ll try to cover everything for you.

Lastly I’d like to say such a big thank you to Fay and her mum for taking this tired mummy somewhere beautiful and for being fabulous company!

Find out more about the spa on the Champneys website.

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When it comes to beauty products, I’m a bit of a creature of habit. Once I find something I like, I will keep re-buying it until I find a new product which I love even more. It’s been a long time since I last wrote a beauty favourites post and so I thought it was high time I shared some of my favourite new editions to my beauty routine, as well as couple of old favourites which I’ve mentioned before.

Beauty Favourites February 2017 - Rituals - Lush - Miller HarrisAt the moment I’m a bit obsessed with Rituals skincare. I’ve been using their bath and shower products for ages, as I love all their beautiful fragrances. I’d never tried any of their facial skincare until recently. I have been into their new Kingston branch quite a few times this year and recently had a skincare consultation. I absolutely loved the products they showed me and decided to take a few home with me.

Rituals Cleanser and TonerFirst up I purchased the Mild Cleansing Milk and Ultra Calming Facial Toner. These lovely products are really light and soothing and make my face feel soft and clean without stripping any moisture or feeling too heavy. They are really gentle and you only need to use a tiny amount of product to get the job done.

Rituals MoisturiserTo complement my new cleanser and toner I picked up an Active Moisture Lotion. I’m completely in love with this lovely moisturiser, again it’s not too heavy on the skin and perfect for applying in the morning before make-up. This really adds a boost to  my skin and absorbs really quickly leaving no stickiness. For my body I’ve been using the Ritual of Sakura Magic Touch Body Cream, which has been my go-to body lotion for the last couple of years. It smells absolutely divine and makes my skin feel amazing. I slather this on before bed and wake up with lovely soft skin, every morning.

Lush Snow Fairy and Dark AngelsMy two favourite Lush products at the moment are Dark Angels, which I’ve bought many times before and Snow Fairy Body Conditioner which I picked up for the first time in the post-Christmas sales and absolutely love. Dark Angels is perfect for when you want a really good cleanse. It’s packed with lots of fab ingredients including essential oils for a thorough clean. Sadly the Snow Fairy body conditioner is only a seasonal product, but it is one of Lush’s nicest scents. This conditioner is used in the shower for supper soft, sweet-smelling skin.

Poirier d'un SoirLasty, I just got a new bottle of my all time favourite perfume, as a gift from my husband. Pourier d’ un Soir by Miller Harris, is a beautiful old-fashioned scent. People always ask me about my perfume when I wear it and I get loads of compliments on it. It’s a little pricey, but each bottle usually lasts me about a year, so I see it as an investment.

What are your favourite beauty products at the moment, I’d love to hear your recommendations.



I use lots of different methods to create my vintage inspired hair styles. From heated rollers and curling tongs to pin curls and wet roller sets. I really enjoy experimenting with different tools to create that perfect vintage look. When I was recently invited to have my hair styled using Curlformers, I couldn’t wait to see how they worked.

Copyright © Tiffany Lin - www.tiffanylinphotography.com

Copyright © Tiffany Lin – www.tiffanylinphotography.com

I’d seen lots of videos and demonstrations online of these easy to use curlers, that appear to do all the hard work for you. My hair was styled at Taylor Taylor, a lovely hair salon on Portobello Road. Not only was I treated to hair styling, but also a lovely glass of bubbly and a manicure. It was definitely a much needed pamper session!

curlformers-1My hair is always quite tricky to curl, as there is just so much of it! It usually takes me around an hour to curl it. Anything that speeds up the process or makes it simpler is always good in my eyes! The idea behind Curlformers, is that they do the hard work for you. All you have to do is take a section of hair, and use the handy tool to pull the hair through the Curlformer. This then coils itself us and you just leave it to work its magic. You can then just pull off the Curlformer, leaving you with even, perfectly formed curls.

Copyright © Tiffany Lin - www.tiffanylinphotography.com

Copyright © Tiffany Lin – www.tiffanylinphotography.com

The Curlformers can be left in overnight or used with a dryer. Because they are made of mesh it is really easy to dry damp hair while it is inside the Curlformer.

Copyright © Tiffany Lin - www.tiffanylinphotography.com

Copyright © Tiffany Lin – www.tiffanylinphotography.com

Obviously I was having my hair done by a stylist, so it was really quick to get all my hair in. My hair was slightly dampened and sprayed with a little product and the curls went in, in no time. After ten minutes sitting under a hood dryer, they were ready to come out and the results were great. Even the next day after the curls had fallen a bit, my hair still had loads of volume and looked great.

Having given them a go at home on my own, they are definitely very easy to use. I got my whole head done in about 30 minutes, if you have less hair then me it would take a lot less time. I also think, as I get used to using them it will speed up a bit.

I would definitely recommend these, as a really easy was to create curls. They come in several different sizes, so suit your requirements.I’m planning to do a tutorial posts on using these very soon and also talking about brushing out the curls into a sleek vintage look.

See the full range of  products on the Curlformers website.

So we’re now well into November and I can’t quite believe how quickly this year has passed. A new month means another exciting delivery from Birchbox. Having had a few slightly disappointing boxes this year, I was quite happy with this months offering.

birchbox-november-2016-reviewThe box itself is another pretty one. With its lovely peacock design, this one is another collaboration with Tatler. As I’ve mentioned before I really like the drawer boxes, as they are great for storing away vintage treasures and most of my jewellery collection is housed in my empty Birchboxes.

birchbox-november-2016-contentsAlthough I generally like a good mix of products in my Birchbox, the products I welcome most are usually skincare. I’m a big skincare addict and I love trying out new products. some of my all time favourite skin saviours were originally discovered through Birchbox samples. My box had some fab skincare products and I really enjoyed giving them a go.

birchbox-november-2016

birchbox-november-2016-whats-insideThere was no bonus product in this months box, so there were only 5 items. However I rarely make much use of the extra product and I still think this box is pretty good value for money, with a great range. Here’s what I thought of all the products:

november-birchbox-lip-tar-primerFirst us was the Lip Tar Primer from Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics. I absolutely love this brand and have used their Lip Tars in several different colours in the past. I don’t really like that they have named themselves after an illness though – not cool. This product is a fab addition to my make up bag. It’s great for keeping my lipstick looking good all day. It contains hemp and peppermint oil, which I’ve found has really stopped my lips feeling dry while wearing lipstick. The RRP for this product is £15.

birchbox-november-2016-marcelle-bb-creamAnother product that I really enjoyed using was the Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow. I’ve used this a few times when I’ve wanted a lighter make-up look without foundation. It really does even out your skin tone and gives a lovely fresh-faced glow. It’s a great product for worn out mums like me, who don’t get nearly enough sleep! The RRP for the full-sized product is £22.50

birchbox-november-2016-nuxe-creme-prodifieuseI am always so happy when I get a moisturiser in my Birchbox, as it stops me needing to buy a new one that month! The Nuxe Creme Prodigieuse, is a really lovely face cream. This really boosted my tired skin. It smells absolutely divine and glides onto the skin really smoothly. The product is light and easily absorbed, while still giving my skin plenty of hydration. I think I will have to purchase a full-sized version of this one, as I was very impressed. The RRP for the full-sized product is £21.

birchbox-november-2016-ecotools-brushI have quite a few brushes from Ecotools, infact I picked up their brow brush kit earlier this week and its amazing. I was really pleased to see the Precision Blush Brush in this months box, as I know it’s something I will use a lot. The brush is made with synthetic bristles and recycled materials, which I think is awesome. I really liked the tightly packed, very soft bristles which made blusher application really easy. This is definitely one I would recommend. This would usually cost £7.99, so not a high-end product, but I don’t mind because its fantastic quality.

birchbox-november-2016-darphin-lumiere-essentielleLastly I tried the Darphin Lumiere Essentielle Serum. This is another excellent hydrating skincare product. It smells lovely too. I liked this product and although it was lovely to use, I don’t think it boosted my skin enough to justify a repurchase. The full-sized product costs £55.

birchbox-november-contentsAll in all this was a really good box and I thought it was excellent value for the £10 plus postage which I pay each month.

If you’d like to receive a monthly Birchbox too, I have a refer a friend link which adds £5 worth of points to your account when you sign up. These can be used to buy full-sized products in the Birchbox shop.

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