Tag Archives: me time

My Cure for Stress 

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I am on holiday for 2 weeks. Yay and hooray for me! I have had the most horrific stressful last 2 weeks at work resulting in a migraine last week that I couldn’t shift. It is so so so busy at work every day that I am coming home exhausted and grumpy and with the heat and dirt of the city it has not been kind to my face or mind.

My issue is skin as dry as the Sahara. I went through a very stressful time in my life 2 years ago which resulted in me leaving my job for pastures new. The consequences of not dealing with the stress properly and hiding it from my husband, friends and family is that my body now tells tales on me to the world so everyone knows when I am stressed. I break out in eczema on my neck, eyelids, under eye area, forehead, hairline at the back of my neck, fingers, wrists, elbows and knees. It’s like an eczema had shoulders knees and toes song with a cruel side and the urge to scratch makes it all worse.

I woke up Saturday morning and looked in the mirror and it was sad. I am tired so my face is tired. I am one of those people who cannot hide my emotions or my health problems from my face so I look tired. I had purple eye circles, my sore dry skin, cruel awkward spots at the same time (how?), greasy hair and I looked just so ‘dull’ not holiday ready at all. So to start my holiday in the right frame of mind/face it was time to sort it out. I decided to take bare all selfies to show how I go about becoming me again when this happens so I can conquer the world or just leave my house…

So here is my bare face without my contacts so my huge glasses and with all my poor sore skin.

Step 1 is to break out a Lush facemask what else? Luckily the day before I had brought Lush back 5 pots so I got me a free Brazened Honey Fresh Face mask. This one is exfoliating and full of honey and spices and fruit. It would probably make a nice cake but it is excellent at waking up tired skin and as it is exfoliating it took off a lot of my dull horrid dead skin and left my face clean and refreshed. It’s also very yellow which is a happy colour.

Next I jumped in the shower for a long time. I washed my hair using my Brilliant Brunette shampoo but with my Coco Loco conditioner as I have very dry hair from all the heat and because my skin is dry my hair wanted to join in. I did all the usual stuff you do in the shower making an effort to exfoliate my skin and shave my legs as this immediately makes me feel more together. After getting out the shower I cleansed my skin with my beloved Ultrabland because this can only help the dryness and I did my usual skin care routine as recorded on this earlier post: Current Skincare Routine.

Once out of the shower you guessed I needed moisture. I needed full E45 everywhere, full face moisturiser and E45 Lotion on my face and neck as well as my skin was so so uncomfortably tight. Once this has all soaked in and I hadnt scrached for 10 minutes only then could I start my makeup.

I didn’t want to put too much on as my skin was so sore and it was another hot day. With eczema on the face as well it can make makeup cake on the dry patches and you suddenly look very old so no powder today. Ah the power of brows to make a face look finished! I used a tinted moisturiser and my Porefessional Makeup to create a nice base and to make me look healthy and alive lots of blusher, bronzer and highlighter. I did a very simple eye look with my usual cat eye liner and Mascara and brows galore as I am sparse up there

Once my hair was dried and styled I was a human again and my sore skin was soothed for now. The sad fact is that my face will only last 3-4 hours like this before I have to reapply creams and lotions. The only cure is to calm down and not get stressed. (Yeah right!)

Tadah! It’s like magic. Without products and makeup I would have hidden myself away behind the curtain literally licking my wounds. As sad and probably pathetic that is I cannot change that about myself. I need makeup and I need products that make me feel good to leave the house and I needed to spend this extra time on the first day of my holiday to feel just like myself again. A day spent with my husband wandering around the garden centre in the sun, eating ice cream and knitting in the garden followed by a BBQ with my funny parents was just what I needed.

Stress is part of everyday life and it effects everyone. I am unlucky that mine is shown physically but it also acts as a reminder that I need to slow down and focus on the positives for a while. Making myself feel better with my lotions and potions is just the first thing I do but the main cure for stress is spending some time in peace doing what you enjoy. Spending time with my family is the best cure for my stress as well as knitting and even speaking with a friend on the phone, reading a book or taking a strill in the sunshine. It all helps. Stress is a killer but it won’t get me.

5 Step Spa Routine 

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5 Step Spa Routine 

I am an advocate for me time. I love my busy life but sometimes I just need a break and some space just to be me without my phone, my job, my commute and the other stresses of my life. I like to make myself feel like a ‘human’ and more like myself. Now I am having a baby I feel this is even more important. So my favourite way of doing this is to have a bath and treat myself to a ‘spa-like’ evening and it makes me feel 100 times better. Here is my 5 Step Spa Evening:

1) Run a Bubbly Bath

Ooh I do love a bath. It just makes me relax and feel cosy. I like to light candles, warm towels on the radiator and have a gorgeous bath bomb or cream to soak in. This particular evening I used The Experimenter from Lush. It has popping candy and a sweet vanilla scent and the colours are amazing. It is also full of glitter which makes your bath water sparkle.

2) Remove Makeup, Cleanse and Mask it

I really enjoy putting on makeup but I love taking it off just as much. It just feels good to remove the day and have fresh clean skin. You should always take your makeup off before getting in the bath! (It’s just common sense all the water and steam with nowhere to go will just clog your pores.) I took my makeup off using my Una Brennan Face Oil and cleansed with Lush Ultrabland. I like to use face masks as well to really feel pampered and give my skin a treat or a treatment for problems. This night I had a free sample of an Nspa Mum to Be mask that I was given as a gift. It was a deep cleansing mud mask and it was really lovely and creamy. Once the mask is on get in the bath! (I always put my mask on before I get in the bath so I can see in the mirror. I have had an unfortunate event once with a warming clay mask in the eye….not pleasant!)

3) Hair Care

Once in the tub I like to lie back and relax. I usually have a glass of water to sip to keep hydrated and I read a book. I am practised at holding books now out of the water, I do know this can be bad for the book, but you know, it’s my book and they are all loved. Once the Mask has done it’s work I remove with cool water to refresh my face and start on hair care. I always shampoo twice, simply because my hairdresser told me to. I used John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Moisturising Shampoo. I love the smell and it looks after my coloured hair. To follow, if I am having a spa night I like to use a hair treatment as well. For this night I chose Lee Stafford For Hair That Only Grows to a Certain Length hair treatment. It’s a protein base product that moisturises hair and soothes the scalp to help your hair grow longer. I like the way my hair feels after this very smooth, strong and conditioned.  I left this on for 10 minutes whilst I relaxed again in my bath before the strenuous hair rinsing began. Once I’d rinsed the product out I finished with the John Freida Brilliant Brunette Moisturising conditioner. This locks in the products and makes my hair shiny.

4) The Working Part

Now with every spa evening there is always a working section. This is the part where I have to make the effort. So whilst my hair is conditioning I shave my legs, and other areas and wash using a shower gel and my loofah puff thing. I like to use this to exfoliate and I use my loofah everyday as my skin is so dry. I like to use my favourite shower gel which is the Original Dove Shower Cream. It smells really floral and feminine and leaves your skin very soft. This is the boring but necessary section of any bath it can be dull but once you are out of the bathroom you will be grateful for the effort. This is followed with copious rinsing to get rid of any excess product in my hair. Once I am ready to get out the tub I like to stand under the shower to rinse off any excess oils from the bath as this cleans the skin and is also very refreshing. Then it’s out of the tub and on with one of the nice big towels I’ve been warming on the radiator. 

5) The Finale

After a bath your skin has been sat in water which can be drying. Your pores will have opened as well so now these need to be closed and your skin cared for. To finish my face I used the Garnier Skin Active Soothing Botanicals Rosewater Toner which is very nice and floral. And I put on a large amount of the Nivea Pure and Natural Regenerating Night cream. (Very long titles!) My face felt clean and fresh and plumped up. For the rest of my skin my favourite moisturiser is the E45 Intense Recovery Body Lotion. This is fragrance free, and after all the perfumes in the bath is a relief, this creams soaks in quickly and leaves my skin nice and soft. The final touch was another Mum to Be product from Nspa this a is a Moisturising Bump Butter as I am trying (probably uselessly) to fight any stretch marks from the pregnancy so this went on my bump, lower back and hips. It might not work but it’s a lovely body butter.

6) Bonus Step: nails and digits 

OK ok so I know I said 5 steps and sometimes these alone are enough. But whilst my hair was drying I repainted my finger and toe nails in the Rimmel Gel Effect Nail varnish in Shameless Selfie and moisturised my hands and feet using a gorgeous Roger & Gallet Hand and Nail Balm in Shea Butter and Fig which I got in a set for my birthday. 

So now I feel like me again, calm, relaxed and squeaky clean ready to face the world the next day. I love a spa night and I will do this a few times a month to really feel good about myself. I really believe everyone deserves some time to themsrlves to psmper or to just spend a few hours away ftom the stress of lufe doing what the hell you want. Its food for your soul.