Sunday, December 14

Christmas Nails!! - Snowman and Santa Claus

It's Christmas time and for an easy-to-wear Christmas manicure, just wear these cheeky little chappies on your right and left thumbnail. Christmas nail art that doesn't scream but nevertheless smiles and adds a touch of festive cheer to your manicure.

If your nails are very stained you may want to begin with a creamy base coat but to be honest my nails were quite stained today and they look fine. Use a dotting tool or kirby grip for the white trim of Santa's hat if you find the brush tricky. For the finishing details a toothpick does the trick or again use a dotting tool or kirby grip - if you don't have black polish any dark colour will do; I used burgundy. Finish the snowman's hat with a swipe of glitter and of course you'll want to seal it all with a topcoat. 

I love these little guys, they make me smile over Christmas and everyone wants a closer look - especially kids! 

I usually paint the nails on my Santa hand red and on my Snowman hand blue. It's more subtle than a lot of nail art out there but nonetheless is cheerful and attention-grabbing - without screaming!

I hope you're all having a lovely festive period - I'm just watching a bit of Disney's Christmas carol with Jim Carey; my favourite Christmas Carol adaptation.

Merry Christmas for now,

Saturday, December 13

Promising Yellow: Gorgeous Vintage Fashion at the Manchester Gallery

The waists were even teenier in real-life!
Whilst in Manchester for the wonderful Christmas market (and delicious mulled wine!!) we stumbled upon the 'cotton couture' exhibition! A gorgeous collection of catwalk pieces from the 1950s made entirely of cotton!

Dear reader, I was drooling. I was in heaven! I felt like Doris Day, Audrey Hepburn and Rita Hayworth were suddenly in the room with me. I have a deep deep love for that time period - the movies, music, singers, celebrity personalities and of course the style!

For those of you who don't know, Manchester is more than just the hometown of Daphne from Frasier, it's probably England's second biggest city and has a rich past in cotton manufacturing. While the American South was busy growing the cotton the merchants in Manchester were busy dyeing it, spinning it, weaving it and making all sorts of beautiful fabrics to drape over our sometimes grey-day world. At one point Manchester manufactured nearly 50% of the world's cotton! 

But you didn't come here for history you came to gaze in wonder at these beautiful pieces.

The exhibition runs until 14th June 2015. The outfits were all designed to challenge the image of cotton as simply for summer dresses, kidswear and underwear;

"The Cotton Board deliberately challenged these established views by commissioning ball gowns, cocktail dresses and tailored suits, all in a striking range of different cottons." (from the Manchester Galleries website)

The details on this white gown are B-E-A-utiful!! and it's hard to believe it's not the finest lace or brocade! This is definitely my favourite <3

Would you wear this walking around town to keep warm? It's a coat! Can you imagine buying a coat with a 3 foot train?

What really struck me was how teeny the waists were! We always think of our models today representing dangerously thin and unhealthy ideals whereas the women of yesteryear were curvy and healthy and had hips etc. . . but looking at these pieces the models of the 1950s were just as small as our size zeros today, if not quite so tall. I suppose we look at movies where sirens like Jane Russell and Rita Hayworth sashay around with dangerous curves and happily put on our rose-coloured glasses!

My favourites - just gorgeous!

Each dress has a little info board showing a model wearing the dress and the year and designer.

You'll have to excuse the blurriness, my little point-and-shoot doesn't do well in dim lighting!

It's a beautiful exhibition so if you happen to be in Manchester over the next 6 months or so pop in and have a look, it's free gallery with lots of different exhibition rooms. For more information about the exhibition and how the dresses came about click here to go to the Manchester City Galleries website.

Which is your favourite? What can you see yourself wearing?

Ciao for now

Wednesday, December 10

Know your blackheads, KILL your blackheads!!

nose strip, bentonite clay, deep cleanse pore mask and innisfree blackhead out balm
You've Googled and clicked and masked and exfoliated to get rid of your blackheads. Masks and nose strips are supposed to 'draw out the impurities, lift out the blackhead,' but none of them work and you're wondering what's wrong with you. 'Why does it work for everybody else but not me?'

Simple! - We all think we know what a blackhead is but in reality we're only halfway right!

I recently wrote this post about a DIY clay mask to deep clean your pores. It's a great mask and will improve the appearance of your blackheads (or comedones) - but, just like a nose strip, it cannot remove them completely. When it comes to blackheads, nose-strips and facemasks will only remove the gunk at the very top of the blackhead, the clog that's closest to the surface. That's good because blackheads won't protrude or seem as big.

But the real problem, the 'root' of the blackhead (comedone) is much deeper in your pore; where the oil gland meets the pore (learn more about pores here) and mixes with dead skin cells that have not been properly 'shed' a hard 'plug' forms. It is not a simple case of a bit of oil, old make-up and dead skin cells just under the surface, there is actually a 'plug' in the pore. It is hard and deep and cannot be simply 'drawn out' by a mask or pulled out by a nose-strip.

I'm not too sure if I've experienced this but it's said that when you get a blackhead plug out of your pore the oil that's built up behind it will suddenly be free-flowing (a good thing); sounds disgusting but strangely satisfying right?

The only way I know of for sure is physical removal (dun dun dunnnnn!)  - but removal of blackheads is another post for another day! (a day that will come soon!). In the meantime 'buyer beware'! Just because it says the product removes blackheads, doesn't mean it can and the phrase 'improve the appearance of blackheads' does not mean 'removes blackheads'.

Blackheads are an absolute pain in the backside and will not just go away on their own so be strict with yourself!! Follow the anti-acne rules and routine to keep your face clear, stick on a bentonite clay mask every week and most of all remember - blackheads are very small, although you may see them each time you look in the mirror, they will not be that noticeable to other people so please don't them take over your life or make you feel self-conscious.

I'm pretty sure everybody - and I do mean everybody - has a few blackheads tucked away down the sides of their nose or over their forehead or on their chin, somewhere. We're all on the quest for clear pores together!

See you soon for some removal tips!

Ciao for now

Sunday, November 23

Promising Yellow: Winter is mini-skirt season with super-cosy fleecy tights!!

I write to you today in a state of excitement at delivering the good news!! "Super-cosy" tights are back at Primark -- in different colours!! HOORAY!! 

 Anybody else this excited??? You should be!

Primark super cosy tights fleece lined burgundy, navy and grey marl
Don't skimp on the size! I am 5"9 and a UK size 10 so I always go for large/extra large - the label means nothing as long as they fit you, don't be put off by XL!!
My go-to wardrobe for Winter is tweed/woollen/heavy fabric mini-skirts with thick, coloured tights - usually navy. I find them so versatile and they suit me much better than trousers. They're also great with boots. Plus, I want to show off my legs while I can.

3 years ago (or maybe 4) I stocked up on the Super-cosy tights from Primark - at just £2.50 a pair I got navy, black, burgundy and grey. But since that first year they've only been available in black. Booooo! However imagine my joy this Autumn when I made the wonderful discovery that navy and burgundy have returned along with a new colour 'grey marl'.

Primark super cosy tights fleece lined grey marl

If you've never tried fleece-lined tights you're missing out! They keep my legs toasty throughout the cold UK winter making Autumn and Winter my mini-skirt season. They are much thicker than normal tights and genuinely opaque. I am still wearing the tights I bought 3 years ago and although they have lost a little of their softness they're still superior to any of the non-fleece lined tights on the market. 

My advice is to go grab yourself some now!! Get 2 of every colour!! Go go go!!!

Dresses, mini-skirts, calf-length boots -- inject some variation into your wardrobe with a simple addition.

Ciao for now


Thursday, November 20

DIY - Deep clean those pores with a Bentonite Bi-carb mask!

Hi all!

I'm back with another acne-killing DIY! This clay mask has deep cleaning bicarbonate of soda, pore-cleansing bentonite clay, antibacterial tea tree oil and, of course, acne-killing apple cider vinegar! And if you've already made the Apple cider vinegar toner this is even quicker to whip up!

bentonite clay acne pore cleansing face mask

You've spent the whole day wearing make-up, you've been out in city pollution, your skin is oily and you can almost feel your pores clogging as brand new blackheads and spots are formed under the surface -- say STOP! And attack that acne-causing bacteria!

The Magic Ingredients;

Bentonite Clay - (also called fullers earth) literally dirt-cheap (heehee) on Ebay; 100g costs less than a coffee and lasts me for at least 5 months. It's no coincidence that deep cleaning/acne masks contain clay; it soaks up oil, gets down into your pores and Bentonite clay even produces an electrical charge to attract all that bacteria and dirt and hold onto it until it's all washed away.

Bicarbonate of soda - used in all sorts of cleaning products from whitening toothpaste to oven cleaner as well as giving a lovely rise to gingerbread and brownies! It fizzes and whizzes the dirt from your pores. However, if you have sensitive skin you may want to give this a miss.

Apple Cider Vinegar - is anti-bacterial and restores the natural PH of the skin. Don't underestimate the damage an unbalanced PH level can do! Step away from the skincare wipes. . . .

Tea Tree oil - again, antibacterial, a long-time hero acne product, one of the only essential oils you can apply to your skin undiluted.

Honey - used in this recipe to soothe sensitive skin; deep cleaning can be a scary thing if you're prone to redness and irritation, the addition of honey should help.

Apple Cider Vinegar Toner - if you made this wonderful toner from this post, you can skip the apple cider vinegar and tea tree and just use this instead. Meaning you can whip up this mask in no time with your toner, clay and bi-carb! Who says deep pore cleansing is a chore?

ingredients for acne cleanring pore cleansing mask, bentonite clay, honey tea tree oil


If you're using this straight away use warm water/warm up your toner so it'll open your pores before you apply.

In a little tub (I usually re-purpose an old Lush skincare tub despite our recent break-up!) put 2 teaspoons of the Bentonite clay.

If you're worried about your sensitive skin, add 1tsp of honey now, warm it so it's easier to mix. Add 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar, 2 tsp of water and 6-10 drops of tea tree oil or just add your toner instead! Then just grab a mini whisk or fork and mix mix mix.

Bentonite clay mask, pore cleansing

Keep adding liquid until you've got a thick but smooth mixture; it should stand up in peaks just like meringue or whipped cream.

Now for the fun part! Add 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda, give it a quick mix and watch. This mixture will start to puff up and lots of little bubbles will snap, crackle and pop. Loads of fun! 

Bentonite clay and Bicarbonate of soda facemask

Aaaaaaand, that's it! You're done! Smooth it over your face however you like; old foundation brush, fingers, back of a teaspoon, big lollipop stick. I like to let the tub sit in hot water first so that it'll be warm when I apply.

Bentonite clay acne clearing, pore cleansing facemask

Leave it on for up to 20 minutes or until it dries. If you've only got 5 minutes spare 5 minutes will do. Beware, it tightens up a lot! You should see the blackheads in the clay as it dries. When I use it on my nose I can see all little black dots in the dry clay - weird!

Rinse with water and a muslin cloth/flannel. Your skin may be red but this is usual after a deep cleansing mask. Your pores will be clean and open, allowing your skincare to work better. Needless to say, do not apply make-up afterwards, it'll slide right into your clean pores. Best done at night-time before bed.

I hope you enjoy this one! I usually follow with a hydrating mask or some rose-hip oil as a nice treat after all that deep cleaning.

Have a look at the acne rules and routine at the top of this blog if you're battling acne.
Good luck! Stay clean

Tuesday, November 18

The Perfect Plum lipstick - Revolution 'Rebel with a cause'

When the weather turns dimmer our make-up gets bolder and no make-up trend is more loved for Autumn/Winter than a juicy plum lip. That lovely blackberry, mulled wine shade that get's us in the mood for Christmas and catches our eye every time we pass a mirror. 

But where to start? You see intimidating piccies of Tanya Burr and think 'aah, that would look horrible on me!!'
Great for 'Guy friendly make-up', plum lipstick is a classic look that flatters us all.  

Tanya burr, deep plum lipstick, autumn make-up
Photo found here. From Tanya's Autumn make-up tutorial on Youtube
More sophisticated than pink and more mysterious than red, plum has its own agenda!

Revolution deep plum lipstick, rebel with a cause, superdrug

This lipstick is by Revolution - 'Rebel with a cause' and far from the hefty Nars pricetag it will cost you £1 --- yes £1 !! And I gotta say I love it! It's got a lovely neutral undertone of pink which flatters most skin tones. (even my ghostly-white skin!) 

Revolution deep plum lipstick, rebel with a cause, superdrug, swatch
Blotted for a subtle beginning
Amped up for a bold pout
  It's looks great blotted for a subtle look and when you've worn this for a few days you won't be able to resist amping it up to it's full plum glory! 

Revolution deep plum lipstick, rebel with a cause, superdrug

For £1 can you really go wrong? And bonus, they do not test on animals so no little animals have suffered for my plum lips. 
If you're looking for an easy re-vamp for your make-up this winter, give this a go. I love wearing it with a pale peach eye, a touch of copper in the crease and a swish of black liquid liner.

How do you wear plum lips?

Ciao for now,

Monday, November 10

Promising Yellow: Ambition is over-rated!

What do you want to achieve in life? A high-paying job? A big house or fancy car? Status and power? Lots of promotions? Why?

Throughout university I had a lot of 'just for now' jobs that I knew weren't going anywhere; theme park, theatre usher, waitress. But once I started walking my chosen career path I missed those 'going nowhere' jobs and realised that they were the happiest memories I have of the workplace.

Tell someone you're waitress or run fairground games at a theme park and they carry no status; you "can't" be a 35 year old waitress or ticket taker can you? You have to keep up with your friends! You need to have a big house and fancy car!


I've realised that my life is here to be lived not worked. What will it matter to earn loads of money if I never have the time to enjoy it? Who cares how expensive my suit is when I'll have to spend 10 hours a day wearing it and yawning?

TV/movies constantly show people prancing about in high powered jobs wearing expensive watches in New York or London. But in real life who wants sit in a dark office, alone, reading through spreadsheets at 6, 7, 8 o clock in the evening?  I've lived that life and in reality you're tired, lonely, uncomfortable, sitting in the dark with stress- mountain on your shoulders. Even at home it's still there - do I really want to spend my evening making handouts?

Hell, no.

I loved waitressing big parties and weddings. I loved working in the theme park, I loved taking tickets at the theatre. These jobs had no responsibility or stress. I had loads of work colleagues who were always ready to laugh, customers who were there to relax and at the end of the day, when my shift was over, I went home and work disappeared.

There's a great little anecdote from John Lennon's schooldays; the teacher asked Lennon what he wanted to be when he grew up, he said "to be happy," She said "you've misunderstood the assignment" He replied "you've misunderstood life."

My ambitions are not work-related; earn enough money to take care of myself with enough free hours to enjoy myself. I want to be relaxed, worry-free, volunteer, travel, take photographs, take a class, write, draw, bake, walk, play with my dog and enjoy being in love.

If your job makes you happy, no matter what it is, who cares about the social status? Whether you're working on conservation in Africa, writing a best-seller or simply getting ready for an evening of waitressing then going home to write a blog post about fashion.
Different things make different people happy and I'm not telling you you're wrong for having high career-related ambitions. You may love the hustle and bustle of a city job or you may just love the social status, be sure. Don't pursue a career that makes you unhappy just because it sounds more impressive when you tell people. You have to live that life, not them.

It's hard to know what you want to do, or where to start, but this quote from some random movie on a Sunday afternoon changed my life;

Nobody ever lay on their death-bed and said "I wish I'd spent more time at the office."

Stay happy and strong
Ciao for now

Saturday, November 8

The Oil Cleansing method

The fabulous oil cleansing method!

Acne? Bumps under the skin? Congested skin? Dehydrated or dry skin? It's time to try the oil cleansing method. So easy to try and much cheaper than you think! Read my acne story to find how the oil cleansing method saved my skin, scroll down for what's what on the 'OCM'.
Hazelnut oil, castor oil, sweet almond oil, oil cleansing method
Hazelnut oil, Sweet Almond oil and Castor oil, all bought from the Naissance website
If you've read Cleansing - What,Why, How? Part 1 and Part 2 you'll know that effective cleansing goes as follows;

1. Open your pores
2. Let the cleanser dissolve the dirt/oil/product build-up in your pores
3. Wipe it all away and rinse with water.
...this is the routine of the Oil Cleansing Method!

It may sound strange to 'wash' with oil (and it feels strange at first!) but remember, our skin makes oil to protect itself and keep clean. Oil is not bad for our skin read this guide to pores to find out how blockages cause acne not the oil itself.

Let's get to the how-to!

Hazelnut oil, face cloth and muslin cloth. Oil Cleansing method

You need a cleansing oil and a moisturising oil, (Sweet Almond oil is both) a facecloth and a muslin cloth.

1. Open your pores - Fill your sink with hot water and soak your face cloth, wring out the water and lay it over your face until it cools. Repeat 2 or 3 more times.

2. Oil up! - Now your face is warm and pores are open, take a generous amount of the oil (about a tablespoon) in your palm and take some time to massage it all over your face. You'll love how easily your eye make-up comes off.

3. Let it work - Soak your facecloth again and lay it over your face another 2 or 3 times to let the oils do their work dissolving all that nastiness deep down in your pores.

4. Reveal clean skin - soak your muslin cloth in the, now slightly cooled water (add some cold if you need to) and gently wipe away all the oil, dirt and make-up. Rinse it and wipe again. For daily cleansing a facecloth is too harsh; the muslin cloth is thinner, gentler and gets into the contours of your face better than a thick cloth.

5. Rinse and finish - rinse your face and follow with toner and your normal skincare regime. You can follow it with a couple of drops of oil as a moisturiser; at night-time I use rosehip oil.

Pink face cloth, face flannel and muslin cloth

You'll find your skin will feel soft and supple. You can pick and choose different oils according to your skin needs. You can do this every day if you like (and if you wear face make-up you absolutely should!) or just 2-3 times a week. Work with your skin and your needs.

Some people use steam to open their pores which can be too hot and cause broken capillaries. Using hot water instead, once you've wrung out the flannel the hot water itself doesn't touch your skin, just the heat from the flannel so it will not damage or hurt your skin.

Castor oil and Sweet almond oil, the oil cleansing method
Classic combination; cleansing castor oil (£2.89 for 250ml) and soothing Sweet Almond oil (£2.99 for 250ml) from Naissance, both are available in bigger and smaller sizes
Choose your oils; (check out this website or Naissance for more info about different oils)

First, don't use olive oil, just don't. It's probably the only oil which people regularly have negative experiences with.

Choose your cleansing oil;
Castor oil for oily skin
Hazelnut oil for acne and combination skin (my favourite)
Sweet almond oil for sensitive or dry skin.

Choose your moisturising oil;
Jojoba is usually recommended, I tried it, it was okay, give it a go if you like
Sweet almond oil for oily or acne prone ski
Apricot kernel oil for dry/dehydrated skin
Avocado oil for aging skin.
Rosehip oil for dehydrated/scarred skin

These are just the ones I've tried; the hazelnut oil is by far my favourite! When I finally gave it a try I noticed a glow about my skin as well as the absence of spots. Yay!

Some sites will give you ratios and percentages to mix your oils but it's fine to mix them in your palm; make sure you have slightly more of your moisturising oil. So pour out blueberry-sized blob of castor oil and around a teaspoon of sweet almond oil.

As far as skincare trends go this is so easy to try - just one bottle of oil and a facecloth is all you need to get started. The skincare industry is of course catching up and launching their own high-priced facial oils - Marketing nonsense.

Let me know how it works for you! Remember even though these are natural ingredients it's still possible to have allergic reactions to them so if one oil has a negative effect on your skin don't be disheartened, try another! I have sensitive skin and I haven't had any allergies to any of the oils.

Good luck!
Ciao for now

Friday, November 7

Fiery coppery nails for Autumn!


I always love the idea of fiery oranges and reds on my nails but never quite found the right colour for my very pale skin. After a girly shopping trip I picked out this glittery, shimmery orange nail polish that I thought I would probably never wear . . . and was seduced!

Glitter nail polish. Orange, copper manicure, Miss sporty 3D nail varnish
The final 'dancing fire' look

This one is part of the 'Miss Sporty Crush on you; 3D texture' range and dries virtually instantly to a strange, rough texture. Before applying topcoat, I tried it with a few different glitters and found this wonderful combination. It's given me fireworks on my nails that glint and sparkle without that loud I'M WEARING GLITTER!!!! effect.

Autumn copper, fiery manicure nail polish. Miss Sporty 3D
2 coats of the Miss Sport 3D texture nail polish alone, with no topcoats by candle light and daylight.
  Even before topcoat this nail polish shimmers, especially in low light like candlelight - I wore this on Guy Fawkes night and felt like I was wearing the bonfire on my nails.

Miss sport 3D nail polih, orange copper glitter, beauty UK
The beautiful Miss Sporty 3D nail polsih on the left and the golden coppery glitter topcoat by beauty UK on the right.
I added this glitter which added a warm rainbow of gold. I always find it hard to find a glittery topcoat that isn't too blue. This one is by Beauty UK and I'm afraid I've no idea how long ago I bought it. I sealed it all with my trusty Barry M topcoat and I'm good to go!

Orange, copper, glittery autumn nails, by candlelight
The finished look with Barry M topcoat in both daylight and candlelight

Fiery, warm, shimmery, sparkly, coppery, glittery; I'm loving this look! It's just so damn shimmery and my nails are catching the light in the most satisfying way. A top coat really does make all the difference.

Miss sporty 3D nail polish, orange glitter, barry m topcoat

Anyway, hope you liked this one. It's always worth having a look in the cheap shops like home bargains, pound stretcher, beautycare etc to find great glittery polishes and then experiment with them over different colours.

I can't stop wiggling my fingers, they're like dancing flames!

Ciao for now

Friday, October 31

The 'me time' tag

I recently watched Essie Button's "me time" tag video with Amelia and thought it seemed fun! So here I go;

What do you watch or read during me-time?
I love watching the Gilmore Girls! It makes me happy, everything is lovely there and the townspeople are just so warm and fuzzy. It's like watching a hug. 
Also - Cool Runnings. I have so much love for that movie. So so so so so much love <3

Cool runnings Disney movie

What do you wear during me-time?
I wear warm things, I hate being cold. I'll quite often wear a big woolly scarf. I'll either wear my thick, stretchy burgundy leggings (glimpsed in this post) or the only pair of 33 inch jersey jogging bottoms (sweatpants) I've ever found -EVER! With one of my university hoodies or a rather fetching skiing jumper I found in the men's section of Asda last year.

What are your me-time beauty products?
Nails nails nails. I don't consider facemasks etc as me time, I consider them essential maintenance! So when I'm having my me-time I spend an hour or so removing my cuticle, painting and decorating my nails.

Current favourite nail polish?
A gold Barry M glitter nail polish, it looks great over a burgundy nail polish (in this post) and I've been wearing this look all the time lately!

BArry M gold glitter top coat nail polish

What do you eat/drink during me-time?
Tea or hot-chocolate with loads of squirty cream. . . .then I usually eat all the cream and go and get some more!! to eat I like to dunk custard creams into tea. If you're American and hence never tried this, you're missing out!

Hot chocolate with whipped cream, hot cocoa

Do you ever have outdoor me-time?
Yes I do. Usually with a little cute doggie running around me and camera in my hand to capture anything beautiful I spot. In summer I like to sit outside with a book and some random pineapple mocktail I make up.

Current favourite candle?
The little tea-light inside my carved pumpkin. Only the 2nd time I've ever carved one and it looks so cool!

Would you ever go see a movie alone?
I would and I have! When I was at university I had a 4 hour gap in the afternoon/early evening one day a week. It was always quiet and I loved it. If you've never done it give it a try, I promise nobody looks at you like you're a weirdo.

Favourite online shop?
Matalan. Honestly I'd be naked if it weren't for Matalan.

Anything to add? What else do you do during me-time? 
I bake, I put silly things on facebook and of course watch lots of youtube videos. 

It may be self-indulgent of me, but hey, this is a blog after all! Please leave me a link if you decide to do the me-time tag, I hope I'm not the only blogger out there doing this! Or maybe I do, would that make me a trailblazer??? ooh.

Anyway, I'm off for custard creams and a big mug of tea 
Ciao for now

Thursday, October 30

Exploring the Alton Towers Spa


For our anniversary this month we headed off to celebrate with a day at the Alton Towers spa! With the echoes of screaming coming from the Smiler, Oblivion and Rita (Alton Towers is a major UK theme Park in case you're confused!!) we enjoyed a couple's mud treatment and a day in the relaxation rooms.

Our first stop was to slip into our robes and fluffy slippers for the day then it was off to the tea station for some free fruity/herbal teas! There's something so decadent about spending your day sitting around in a robe and slippers drinking tea - if you did that at home you'd be called a waster but here you pay for it and it's called luxury!

Alton Towers spa, main swimming pool

For most treatments at the Alton Towers spa you get to spend 3 hours in the aqua relaxation rooms so we scheduled ours for 1 hour before the treatment and 2 hours afterwards. It worked for us!

The aqua relaxation rooms have a variety of steam rooms, (including a red hot shed outside which I didn't dare try!) jacuzzi, pool, whirlpool, sensory shower and reflexology foot-baths. The conservatory, pool and rooms are open plan in a large room full of windows so I could relax with some trashy glossy mags while watching boyfriend splash around in the pool.

Alton Towers spa herbal fruit teaAlton Towers spa, herbal, fruit tea and swimming pool

The rooms were so warm! I've never experienced anything like it, even when I just climbed out of the jacuzzi I never felt a shiver. I am a nesh girl so I have to say the humble jacuzzi was by far my favourite. I love sitting back in the hot bubbles fizzing around me.

Alton Towers spa, relaxing, grazia magazine, candles and blue towel

When time rolled around for our treatment up we went for the blood orange rasul mud treatment. The 'blood orange' flavour changes depending on the season; spiced apple for November, mulled wine for December etc.

Alton Towers spa, clay, rasul mud

The mud treatment is a DIY treatment - you have your own room and steam room and you basically cover each other in mud! Great fun! We climbed into the dim, warm steam room which was decorated in a beautiful Moroccan style and began with a salt scrub. Then it was onto the mud; one for the face, one for the upper body and one for the legs. 

Alton Towers spa, rasul mud treatment room

It was at this point the circle of little lights in the ceiling turned misty and steam drifted in. Once the mud is all on, you have a seat in one of the shower alcoves and talk about whatever nonsense pops into your head! And after a while you can start drawing moustaches on your face with the left over dark mud.

Once we were all clean again there were Elemis moisturisers for the face and body to help us smell delicious. The therapist returned with a 'mocktail' which was where the 'blood orange' came in, and we sipped it sitting on the squashy chairs looking at our filthy steam room which was now covered in splashes of mud! 

Alton Towers spa, treatment, elemis lotion, face flannels

I'm not sure if it did anything apart from scrub the dead skin off, but it was definitely fun to get all covered in dirt and steamed. The whole treatment takes an hour.

After the treatment it started getting dark quite quickly and we soon found that all the other guests had left! So we explored the steam rooms, stole kisses in the whirlpool, drank more tea and generally enjoyed ourselves. 

Alton Towers spa, face cleansing station, ice water, oranges, face flannels
'Facial Cleansing station' - iced water with oranges and lemons and fluffy mitts. Very refreshing!
As the Sun went down we could see the warm glow of the lights from the hotel across the lake, with its decorative little bridges and lights all around the patio. The spa was open until 8.30pm and we've no idea why the place was empty by 6pm - those people missed out! Once the bright daylight turned to night the atmosphere was completely different.

Alton Towers Spa, conservatory by night

The treatment was quite expensive at £60 but 3 hours in the relaxation rooms is only £18 each which isn't much more than a trip to the cinema nowadays!! So I'm sure we'll be back. 

Quick tip - if you plan on doing the mud and the rooms take 2 sets of swimwear. 

The robes are not as fluffy as they used to be and the only fruit on offer were oranges but nevertheless we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and recommend it to anyone! 

A week before this we spent a day on the theme park! Explore the hidden gardens with us and 19th century conservatory here. (click!)

Ciao for now