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Retreat into Wellness

While our economy may be blossoming many of us are withering under the pressure to perform in todays results driven society, which has led to an increase in negative emotional states of stress and anxiety. Our coping mechanisms are stretched and often inadequate to deal with such issues. So how do we recharge and become better equipped to deal with todays encumbrances? Of course there is never a quick fix. However with the increase in Wellness retreats an opportunity to nurture your complete being in mind, body and soul has become accessible to those searching for a fundamental shift towards positivity.

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Wexford based Creacon Wellness Retreat affords those the opportunity to relax, unwind and rejuvenate in a quaint yet luxurious setting. Offering a host of packages including juice detoxing, yoga, tibetan bowl healing and psychotherapy sessions, guests can customise their stay to suit their specific wellness requirements. A more traditional approach to relaxation is also on offer with treatments including massages, facials and acupuncture available. Extending its holistic approach to the kitchen you are guaranteed that you are being nourished from within, where Ayurvedic cooking methods based on the philosophy that ‘Food is medicine’ is on the menu.
So whether it’s the full 360 to wellbeing recovery or just a retreat to reset and reenergise, Creacon’s diverse range of specialised treatments may be your required boost.

*Relaxation Getaway package: 2 nights, 3 days 
€420pps/€480 single occ

Creacon Wellness Retreat
New Ross,
Co. Wexford
Email : info@creaconwellnessretreat.com
Web : www.creaconwellnessretreat.com

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Alternatively if like so many you are time poor, ‘Me Time’ could be all you need to aid in re-centering yourself. Harvesting fresh seaweed daily and using only organic products, Voya seaweed bath house in Salthill, Sligo offers a range of therapeutic treatments. Their luxuriant fifty minute wild organic seaweed bath is recommended for those who are overworked, stressed or simply seeking an effective natural detoxifying process for the skin. If a familiar treatment is more your thing the wonderful creators of Voya have rightly identified the importance of good sleep and how central it is to our wellbeing. Available in selected Spa’s Voya’s latest offering is their Mindful Dreams Sleep ritual, which uses a mixture of Wellness, Hawaiian and Balinese massage techniques to leave you feeling truly rested ready for a peaceful sleep, restoring you to take on whatever life throws your way.
Seaweed bath starting from €28
VOYA Seaweed Baths
Strandhill,
Co. Sligo,
Ireland
Email : reception@voyaseaweedbaths.com
Web : voyaseaweedbaths.com

Mindful Moments Sleep Ritual treatment RRP €120, available at:

Aghadoe Heights Hotel & Spa,
Lakes of Killarney,
Nunstown,
Killarney,
Co. Kerry
Email : info@aghadoeheights.com
Web : www.aghadoeheights.com
Nádúr Spa,
Ballygarry House Hotel and Spa,
Leebrook,
Tralee,
Co. Kerry
Email : info@ballygarryhouse.com
Web : www.ballygarryhouse.com
Galgorm Resort & Spa,
Belfast
BT42 1EA,
Co. Antrim,
N.Ireland
Email : reservations@glagorm.com
Web : www.galgorm.com

VOYA Mindful Moments relaxing body oil €38, Voya.ie

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Venus Viva Skin Rejuvenation Review

I’ve always been a little apprehensive about any treatment that resurfaces your skin. In a way I’m lucky that I don’t have any residual scarring from pubescent acne or major skin issues such as Rosacea to contend with. I do however have a face that has aged rapidly over the last five years for various reasons, not least being the arrival of my three children. So when I heard about Venus Viva Nano Fractional Radio Frequency (RF) treatment I thought I wouldn’t mind trying it out.
Appointment booked, off I went to see Dr. Mukesh Lalloo at Cosmedics Medical and Cosmetics Clinic to which this treatment is exclusively available in Ireland. A promise of reduced signs of ageing, pore size and scar reduction, diminished lines and folds as well as the evening out of textural irregularities for a clearer and healthier complexion had me excited to start my session. A course of four treatments is recommended for optimum results however this varies from patient to patient.
Explained, the Venus Viva is an all-in-one treatment delivering impressive efficacy through NanoFractional Radio Frequency (RF) and one-of-a-kind SmartScan technology. It features a revolutionary new pin design for creating micro dermal wounds. These micro-needles penetrate the skin to the dermis layer encouraging the skin to create new collagen deposits. It’s this increased collagen production that keeps your skin looking plump and youthful. Also, as the wounds are so incredibly tiny, downtime is significantly reduced compared to other traditional fractional treatments which can often take 2-4 weeks recovery time compare to 2-3 days with Venus Viva. It is safe to use on all skin types, which is great news for those who haven’t been able to access fractional treatments before due to their incompatibility with darker skin tones.

Before and just after treatment with Venus Viva

Before and just after treatment with Venus Viva

The procedure itself was surprisingly comfortable and quick. A topical numbing cream was applied to the areas of my face that were to be focused on and left to work for half an hour before starting the treatment. The sensation was peculiar! The best way I can describe it is like tiny insects crawling on you skin with very hot legs that occasionally liked to take a nip. There was however no actual pain involved and Dr. Lalloo checked in with me throughout the treatment to make sure that I felt comfortable. You can see some of the treatment being performed on my FB page Kelliebbeautiful if you’d like to the a look. I left Cosmetics Clinic with a very flushed looking face but was assured this would subside within the next 24-48hours and I would be good to apply my usual skincare and makeup 24 hrs post treatment.

24 post treatment and s promised I was able to apply makeup to cover up any residual redness

24 post treatment and as promised I was able to apply makeup to cover up any residual redness

It’s been a month since I had my treatment and I have noticed some subtle but great changes to my skin. It definitely feels smoother. I had quite rough skin along my cheeks which seems to have disappeared. Some sun damage I had along my forehead has definitely been reduced and my complexion seems brighter overall. Bear in mind I had pretty ok skin to begin with so the subtle changes are great to see after just one session and may be more noticeable on someone with more significant skin issues.
I am definitely going to return to get at least one more treatment as I’ve been impressed so far with the results but am eager to see if the changes will be greater with the second treatment.

I’d like to thank Dr Lalloo Mukesh for allowing me to try this revolutionary new treatment and although I have received this treatment free of charge I have not been paid to endorse it. All opinions are my own and are in not any way influenced by outside parties.

VenusViva NanoFractional Radio Frequency Treatment, €400-600 per session.
Cosmetics Medical and Cosmetics Clinic, Block 3, Second Floor, Blanchardstown Primary Care Centre, Grove Court, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15, 01 8211807, Cosmedics.ie

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Top 5 Tips to Beautiful Skin

Employing a Mind-Body approach  should always be at the forefront of your mind when considering embarking on any new beauty regime. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and should be treated with the respect is deserves.

Revealed are my top 5 tips for perfect glowing skin
Tip 1 Know that great skin starts from within. Your skin reflects the quality of the food that you eat and what you drink. If you’re blocked up on the inside your skin will most certainly have break-outs or other skin conditions such as dehydration or pre-mature ageing. Start your day with a cup of warm water and lemon, this natural antibacterial cleansing ingredient will help cleanse your system and build up your immune system.
Tip 2 Know that your skin may change through the year. It may become more dry and sensitive in Winter due to exposure to harsh weather and indoor heat. Change up your skin care routine in accordance with your skin. Try a Elizabeth Arden superstars Booster Serum (Net-a-porter.com, 30ml €58) to adapt your regular skin care product to suit your skins needs by just adding a few drops.

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Tip 3 Stick to the basics the rest will follow. Although you may change up your skin care routine from time to time you should be consistent with the basic rule of three. Cleanse, Tone and Moisturize. Try Liz Earle Daily Essentials Kits, (€59.00, www.boots.ie).

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Tip 4 Allow yourself time to really take care of your skin. This is not indulging or pampering yourself . Your skin is the body’s largest organ, it deserves your attention. Taking off your makeup with baby-wipes at night or splashing your face in the morning with just water will not cut it if you really want your skin to look and feel beautiful.
Tip 5 Sleep. The restorative power of sleep should never be underestimated. When you sleep your body produces growth hormones which aid in cell and tissue repair. It also makes new collagen which keeps you skin strong and elastic. Many skin disorders have a mind-body connection, they can often flare up when stressed or over-tired. By getting enough sleep your body will feel more relaxed and de-stressed.

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Charlotte Tilbury #Glowmo

Well Hello there,

Straight into it…I’m loving Charlotte Tilbury at the moment. Pretty much everyday for the last couple of months I’ve used at least one of her products. From moisturisers to makeup this Lady has released some superb products of late and so I’m going to run through with you my top four faves.

  1. Instant Magical Facial Dry Sheet Mask (€24.00, Brown Thomas). instant_magic_maskUnlike most other beauty masks which are usually filled with glycerine and water this sheet mask is dry, making it super easy to use. You simply loop the hooks over your ears, smooth it over your skin and massage gently to activate the ingredients, then leave it do its magic for 15 minutes. It has a 5 skin solution IQ – or in other words it reduces wrinkles, smoothes, brightens, lifts and hydrates. Each mask can be used up to 3 times, but is it value for money? I would have to say yes. After using it my skin honestly did feel smoother, and brighter. It may take a few more goes to  reduce the wrinkles but I’m happy with the outcome so far.
  2. Overnight Bronze & Glow Mask (€48.00, Brown Thomas).  overnight_bronze_glow_mask I love not having to wear foundation everyday but often feel I can’t do without a bit of colour on my face so I thought I’d give this overnight facial tan a go. The one thing I love about this product is its hydrating qualities, yes you wake up with a subtle glow but your skin also feels nourished. It has oat kernel extracts known for its soothing properties along with blackurrant seed oil which conditions skin. You can also control the intensity of your desired tan by using it nightly or every other night. If I did have to pick a fault it would be the price point. There are other cheaper gradual facial tanners out there that do a good job however I have yet to use one that leaves my face feeling as cared for as this one does.
  3. Unisex Healthy Glow Moisturiser (€40.00, charlottetilbury.com) unisex_healthy_glow          Love, love, love this product. I have been using this daily and it has pretty much replaced my beloved Armani foundation. The description says it’s an all year hydrating summer tint moisturiser. For me it’s a little bit of magic in a bottle. Using it with the overnight bronze glow mask your skin feels and looks fresh and dewy, it really does give you that perfect post-beach sun-kissed complexion. Unusual in its formula, once dispensed onto the hand the liquid appears white. However as you begin to apply it to your skin tiny little pigment capsules are revealed morphing together to become the perfect natural tan tone as you massage them onto your face. Use your fingers to apply this moisturising face tint as a brush doesn’t seem to break down the pigment capsules properly. As far as price is concerned I think its pretty much on point. Ok it’s on the higher end of the scale but you kind of getting two for one – a moisturiser and a foundation. I will say though if you are looking for, or need a full coverage foundation this is definitely not for you.
  4. Instant Look in a Pallette (€69.00, Brown Thomas)                          instant_look_in_a_palette   If you follow me on snapchat (kellie.billings) you’ll have seen that I use this daily. It has replaced pretty much everything in my makeup bag as of late. Consisting of a bronzer, highlighter, contour and blush along with three shadows to take you from day to night this palette is pretty much perfect. Apparently it’s inspired by the wedding makeup that Charlotte Tilbury created for Poppy Delevingne’s wedding. Well if it’s good enough for her and all that! This one is a must buy, totally worth the money. If I had to throw all the others away and just keep one, this would be it.
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I’ve found my Karora GLOW

Karora tanning rangeOne of THE top selling beauty products in Ireland is self tan. Is it any wonder, what with our summer usually lasting about a day, often in May, before the schools are out and then again maybe for two days just as the kids go back to school (poor kids!). Anyway, I’ve tried and tested a lot of self tanner over the years and have never really found one that I love. There are usually a number of factors that have to come together in order for me to use a self tanner more than once.

  1. There needs to be very little prep needed (I like to be able to whip it on and be ready to go).
  2. If I am going to use a gradual tanner over a few days it has to work like a body moisturiser for me. In other words it has to go on smooth and evenly with little fuss and smell great.
  3. It CANNOT BE ORANGE or too dark. Dark tan looks great on some people, for me it’s a natural glow all the way.
  4. Finally it needs to fade well. There’s nothing worse than a tan that fades terribly and then you’ve to wait nearly two weeks before you can start all over again.

I know, I’m very fussy! I do believe however that I have found my holy grail of self tanner.
Karora tan (who by the way are an Irish brand, yay!) recently sent me out a selection of their self tanners to try out. I wanted to make sure that I could review them properly and so gave myself a month trying and testing all of the following products. But first, before I talk about the tan itself I have to give a little nod to the Karora packaging as it’s quite simply beautiful. It’s not often that you could keep a bottle of self tanner on your dressing table but with its cute gold insignia against a purple background with accents of pinks, blues and orange they definielty brightened up a corner of my ensuite!

Glow Glamster – Instant tan

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The first tan I tried was the instant tan as I could obviously try this straight away and wash it off to get testing some of the other products. It’ called Glow Glamster which is said to give you fuss free flawless colour with superb coverage that washes off. And it did not disappoint. In fact this is the one of all of the tans that I tried that I loved the most. It has ticked all of my boxes. It is fuss free, smells great (probably thanks to its ingredients of grape seed oil, sweet almond and macadamia oil). It also doesn’t dry out my skin which I find other instant tans can do. It has a slight hint of shimmer in it once dispensed but this is not noticeable on application. It’s best applied using a mitt like all tan is. The result is the most natural looking subtle glow I’ve ever seen using an instant tan. It also doesn’t rub off as it’s water resistant but washes off easily in the shower.

Skin Sensation – CC Cream

Skin sensation - CC Cream
Ok so this is not necessarily a tanning product. It is however a multi tasking skin perfecter. Not all of us like to use tan but many of us have uneven skin tone on our legs, arms, face etc. that we would like to even out. In a nutshell this CC cream (colour correcting cream) will allow you to even out any blemishes you have on your skin, such as thread veins, blotchy patches etc without tanning. It can be used on the face and body and will reduce the appearance of hyper-pigmentation. I have to say, I liked this product but wasn’t in love with it. I first used it on my face as an alternative to foundation but found it a little thick, it didn’t settle well on my skin. It did however blur out imperfections and magically adjusted itself to my skin tone which I found incredible. So I gave it a second chance and tried it on my legs. As I’m pregnant I’ve noticed I’m getting more and more little thread veins on my legs which I’m fine with but would rather they weren’t there. And as if by magic they disappeared! The Skin Sensation really did work like makeup for my legs without the tanning effect. One to try depending on your needs.

Supreme Bronzette – Express bronzing mousse

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This promised and exotic colour in just one hour! I was expecting a lot. I was also a little dubious as I dispensed the mousse onto the mitt. It looked a little grey? You have to be quick with this one as the mousse dries quite quickly. You can decide yourself how deep you want your colour to be. Leave for one hour for a light glow, two hours for a deeper colour and three hours for a rich dark bronze. I’m never organised enough to leave a tan developing for more than an hour and so I washed this off within the hour. I was a little dismayed as I saw all my tan rinse off in the shower but pleasantly surprised when I emerged and my tan was 1.even, 2. natural 3. still had the potential to get a little darker as the tan still develops even after rinsing. There was not a hint of grey in sight, my skin was left beautifully glowing with a natural tan I haven’t gotten before with any other tanning product. Thumbs up for the fade too, I barley noticed and wasn’t left with any dirty patches or grubby elbows.

Golden Girl – Gradual tan

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Gradual tans (besides instant) are something I tend to use more often than quickly developing tans. As I said before I use them like a body lotion and so they cannot have an unpleasant tanning smell. As a tanner I really liked this one. I’m not sure what the science behind the tanning colour is but Karora have nailed it with each of these tans. Once developed this tan was again beautifully golden leaving my skin sun kissed with not a hint of orange or muddy brown in sight. This also smelled divine on application. It has extracts of vitamin E, jojoba, coconut oil and orange for a blossoming scent. I do need to point out while it smells great on application there is a slight (very slight) self tanner smell that lingers a few hours after you apply it. I for one can live with that though as the results are the best I’ve come across for a gradual tanner.

So there you have it all four products tried and tested. Thank you Karora for sending them out to me and for allowing me to review them. My legs have been out more then ever since your package arrived and I’m loving feeling all sun kissed and glowy. You can find Karora on Facebook here or check out their website here.

Karora is available buy in McCabes Pharmacy’s, Lloyds Pharmacys, Sam McCauleys and other leading retailers nationwide. RRP start from €15.00

 

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Pinky Pout

Pretty rose, fabulous fuchsia or buggle-gum there is a shade of pink to suit every lip. While we may wax lyrical about the power of a a great red lip, lets show some appreciation to the lip colour that Mother Nature intended. By that I mean pump up your natural lip shade by enhancing and perfecting your natural pout with some of the best pink lipsticks out there in makeup land.

Straight up fuchsia 
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Nothing screams summer like a powerful pink lip and this fun fuchsia colour guarantees to keep a smile on your face. We love Rimmel London Moisture Renew lipstick in Back to Fuchsia (Boots, €7.99). for it’s high intensity colour and super creamy texture.

Get the glosslancomejusicyshaker
The fruitiest way to keep your lips hydrated while giving them a natural pinky hue has to be with Lancome Juicy Shaker in Meli Melon (Debenhams, €22.00). Fun and practical the sponge applicator conforms to your natural lip shade and applies just the right dose of pigment. Enriched with nourishing oils this gloss will give your lips a beautiful glow.

What a stainMACversilipstainMAC’s newest addition to their lipstick family will not disappoint! A hybrid stain-gloss MAC Versi Colour is unbelievably pigmented without drying out your lips like other stains can. It glides on like a gloss but has the staying power of a stain and seriously lasts and lasts. For a real statement lip try MAC Versi Colour in Ceaseless Energy (Brown Thomas, €25.00).

Velvety Smooth

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Craving plump, soft lips natural looking lips then look no further than Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte lipstick in Nude Beige (Debenhams, €33.00). This is the holy grail for perfectly hydrated lips. Your lips will literally kiss you for applying it. The unctuous texture cares for your lips while still providing exceptional colour with the added bonus of protective SPF 15. Pricey it may be but my is it worth it!

Matte

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Need something with a little more staying power? NYX Matte in Audrey (Pharmacies nationwide, €9.25) will be your new makeup bag staple. This long wearing lipstick glides on smoothly with a non-drying matte finish. It’s also the perfect mid-toned blue pink that suits us fair skinned Irish girls. If you haven’t tried NYX products yet get on it they are amazing!