Sunday, 18 September 2011

My new beauty regime - The Sanctuary's skincare range

I had been using SK-II beauty products for quite a while but, given the price tag and my sheer lack of regularity once baby came, it was becoming too expensive for the result I was getting, so when I ran out I didn't buy anymore and instead I started using some products that Mr Tapas bought me for Christmas last year from The Sanctuary.

I was quite impressed with them so, when I went to The Sanctuary Cambridge for part deux of my birthday gift (more on that later), I mentioned to Francesca that I wanted to stock up. When my treatment finished she brought me some facial skincare products and, to treat my permanent shoulder knots, she showed me a nifty little gadget which, after a quick test, I decided to buy. The cleanser is going to take some getting used to as it comes with a cloth and everything but I shall give it my best try. The best part is that they seem to be some of the cheapest skin products I have ever bought, I was pleasantly surprised by the value for money of their range.

My purchases
Pre-baby I used to be really good about my skincare routine, my mother got me into using creams when I was a teenager, Clinique back then. I have never worn much make-up, only on special occasions but I have always been very good at washing and hydrating my face. During my pregnancy I stopped using SK-II because with all the hormones it didn't seem to be having much effect so I decided not to waste it. Instead I used 100% Aloe Vera Oil, to my surprise that was enough. My skin is a bit of a mixed goodie bag, I do have dry patches in odd places like my wrists and my feet, which disappeared during pregnancy but, once the hormonal revolution was over, they came back with a vengeance.

The nifty little gadget, works wonders (on my shoulders!)
Now I just need to get back into that routine, however tired and busy I am, I am at the near side of 40 after all (doesn't that somehow sound better and more glamourous than "the far side of 30"?).

By the way, The Sanctuary Cambridge is good and much bigger than I thought it would be. For the first part of my birthday gift I had a back and neck massage and wax with Holli and an express manicure and pedicure with Francesca, then for the second part a full-body massage with Francesca. Both Holli and Francesca are lovely and worked very hard to undo the knots I had on my shoulders (I went in thinking I only had a knot on the right shoulder, turns out I had another one on the left!) but I think I wouldn't bother having an express mani-pedi again, the lady next to me was having what must have been the deluxe pedicure, her legs were being massaged up to her knees, for the difference in money I think deluxe is much more worth it.

The relaxation room

One little thing that surprised me on the second day was that, because my full-body massage was over 50 minutes I got use of the changing room (with a very sleek locker facility activated by a rubber bracelet), a bathrobe, flipflops and the lavender relaxation room, where water, juice, a selection of teas and shortbread fingers awaited, bliss! I was there for much longer than 50 minutes on my first visit though, although none of my treatments took that long, altogether I was there for about 2 hours and spent a lot more money on the first day, or rather husband did so he wasn't too happy either to hear that I didn't get that extra pampering.

Goodies to try in the very tidy changing room
Water, juice, teas and biscuits
The use of a fluffy white bathrobe and the lavender room on my second visit were unbelievably welcome, it made my "me time" even more special, real time just for me, something I seldom get nowadays, and time to chat to the lovely lady sitting in the chaise longue next to mine. In the extremely clean changing room there were full-size products to try, I decided to try the eye cream and I only clicked days later that it was rather good, I remember thinking how youthful I looked around the eyes that evening when I got home (I have genetically cursed dark circles, age-defined crow's feet, a 14 month old and a full-time job), but I had forgotten about it. I must go back to check it out.

So, my suggestion to The Sanctuary would be this: if a client has a few treatments booked amounting to over (for example) 60 minutes or over a certain amount of money, they should be allowed to use the relaxation room. In fact I clearly remember waiting sitting on a very nice looking but extremely uncomfortable seat on my first visit because they were running about 15 minutes late, when I could have been in the blissful relaxation room. Again, if a client arrives on time but their appointment is running late, it would be positive to allow them to use the relaxation room (providing it's not too busy).

I do have one other suggestion: regular mummy events. The excuse for mummies to go and be pampered, in fact I already suggested to Miss Sue Flay from The Secluded Tea Party to contact them to hold one of her tea parties there, it would be fantastic and I would be the first one to sign up. 


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