Take the time to unwind…
Banner Image Credit: iStock.com/mythja
The Perfect Pitstop
Image Credit: The Garage Spa
Who: The Garage Spa
Where: County Durham
Cost: A Moonlit Drive Half Day Spa Package from £35
Gift idea: Vouchers available online from £25
The Garage is a quirky spa and beauty haven with, as the name suggests, a car theme, giving booking in for an MOT a whole new spin. There’s a Rolls Royce couples suite where you can luxuriate in your own private rainfall shower, outdoor hot tub before flopping by an open fire.
The spa’s own range of products are worth checking out too, particularly the multitasking massage candle scented with cacao flower. Let your room fill with its luxuriously rich sweet scent then pour and smooth over your skin. Really refuel by booking a room at adjoining Morritt Country House Hotel and stay the night.
Classic Time Out
Image Credit: Clarins BeautyBAR
Who: Clarins BeautyBAR
Where: John Lewis Oxford Street, John Lewis Liverpool, Debenhams Bradford
Cost: £25 for 30 minutes
Gift idea: Pay over the phone and your store of choice will mail out a gift voucher
Clarins BeautyBAR is super value in terms of both time and money. A 10 minute consultation followed by a 30 minute treatment (stealthily shortened versions of their longer spa treatments) is just £25 using their divine, potent plant based products. Try the Get Glowing, a made to measure self-tan and circulation boosting facial that gives instant feel good factor. Another favourite is the SOS Facial that treats emergency skin dramas from blemishes to dryness – the perfect pre party pick-me-up.
If you’re more in need of a wind down, go for the DeStress Express, a spot on neck and shoulder massage with muscle and mind melting essential oils, ideal for loosening tight shoulders and a busy brain. Inhale deeply and let calm be steadily, beautifully restored.
The Brighton Bodyworkers
Image Credit: The Treatment Rooms
Who: The Treatment Rooms
Cost: Treatments from £39
Gift idea: Gift vouchers from £25
This tranquil day spa is a short drive from London and offers a vast choice of the sort of beauty treatments that create a loyal following (a glance at the often ruthless TripAdvisor will confirm this). From a classic body massage to Hot Stone and Lava Shell massage which penetrate deeper into the muscle tissue for more effective, longer lasting results; deep cleansing to anti-ageing facials and pre-wedding perfecting, they have it covered.
They also excel at pregnancy treatments, with customised cushions and massage beds to ensure mum and bump are super comfortable and relaxed.
Image Credit: Beauty Bazaar, Harvey Nichols
Who: Beauty Bazaar, Harvey Nichols
Where: Harvey Nichols Liverpool ONE
Cost: Classic Beauty Package from £40
Gift idea: Daycation Package, £135 for a full day including Champagne
The Beauty Bazaar in Liverpool’s Harvey Nics is a three floor beauty extravaganza packed with everything you could possibly need (and a whole load more you didn’t even know you needed!). First things first – head straight to the first floor where you’ll find the Nails Inc. Champagne nail bar before getting lost in a sea of products.
The Beyond MediSpa is where the treatments take place with top spa brands like soothing, effective ESPA (Radiance Facial is a popular one) to more cosmeticbrands offering more invasive procedures from lip enhancers to cellulite busters.
The Safe House
Image Credit: Aromatherapy Associates Treatment Rooms
Who: Aromatherapy Associates Treatment Rooms
Where: Knightsbridge, London
Cost: From £90 for a body treatment or massage
Gift idea: Boutique gift cards available online from £20
Christmas shopping done, escape and recover from the Knightsbridge crowds and traffic by high tailing it to the Aromatherapy Associates treatment rooms, tucked away off the Brompton Road. The calming music in the waiting rooms immediately brings blood pressure and cortisol levels down, preparing you for first class treatments with specialist therapists, techniques and therapeutic essential oils.
Plus, this isn’t just for festive season related stress – the experienced therapists that dwell here can adeptly deal with serious trauma including much needed nurturing for those suffering illnesses like cancer.
The Candle Maker
Image Credit: Jo Loves
Who: Jo Loves
Where: Belgravia London
Cost: £75 for the Shot Candle including creative consultation and picking your own fragrances
Gift idea: Pay in advance online or over the phone.
The location of the Jo Loves fragrance shop lies close to owner Jo Malone’s heart. It was the same street where her first job at a florist was, when she was just 16. To open her own shop on the same street, where memories of her first whiff of tuberoses and lilies were born, is something quite special. What’s even more unique is the store itself.
The candles and fragrances inside the shop are inspired by Jo’s favourite memories, but here’s the best bit – you can go on your own trip down memory lane and create your own candle in the Candle Shot studio. Aromatic genius wouldn’t you say? Your Shot Candle is made from one base fragrance and one shot fragrance – the exotic flavours you get to have a play around with include Salted Caramel and Mint Mojito.
The Brow Bar
Image Credit: Blink
Cost: Eyebrow shaping from £17
Gift idea: Gift vouchers from £5
It may be down to the Cara effect but bushy brows are back – but not unruly, unkempt ones. More, immaculate, topiary for the eyes effect. But that’s an art form so it’s a good job Blink brow experts are in stores across the UK.
The Brow Bar brow building service uses tiny faux hairs to take you from zero to Brooke or Cara within the hour, they even sell nourishing oils to massage in and stimulate growth giving your brows even more wow. Also on offer are eyelash services, such as tinting and extensions.
The Natural Beauty Boutique
Image Credit: Content Beauty & Wellbeing
Who: Content Beauty & Wellbeing
Where: Marylebone London
Cost: Products from £5
Gift idea: Gifts galore, in particular, the pretty, delicate metal Mantraband bangles made from silver, gold or rose gold and inscribed with inspirational phrases like Enjoy the journey, Do it anyway and Live what you love.
This is the number one destination for natural, organic, wellbeing fans as it has a stunning, tempting selection of niche beauty brands in this genre. A great place to come and smell, touch and play with beautiful ranges that shun chemicals and additives that are found so freely in many products.
They also stock healthy snacks, supplements, and because they truly believe that beauty is more than skin deep, there’s even a nutritionist on hand. They have just one bijou treatment room but it offers a wonderful range of fabulous treatments from facials and a mani/pedis to Reiki healing and acupuncture.
The Treatment At Home Or Office
Image Credit: Blossom & Jasmine
Who: Blossom & Jasmine
Where: Home, office, events.
Cost: Pamper Package from £15
Gift idea: The Ultimate Relaxation Gift Voucher is £75 for 60 minutes
Your mobile salon for spa-ing from home, Blossom & Jasmine is your one-stop beauty saviour for any kind of pamper party from a wedding to corporate event. They’ll even tend to a quick deskside pit-stop painting your nails during your lunch break.
Founder Gintare Lisauskiene is a celebrity beauty therapist and nail expert who has worked at both Harrods and Selfridges. The Pamper Parties are the perfect group therapy. Depending on your needs (pampering? Hen party? Christmas makeovers? De-stress?), your personal fleet of therapists will arrive and work their multi-tasking magic.
The Pop-Up Beauty Shop
Image Credit: MyShowcase
Where: From the comfort of your own home and online
Cost: Products from £3
Gift idea: Gift vouchers from £20
Another great combo of bricks and mortar and digital beauty shopping is MyShowcase. You can host your own Beauty Showcase, where your local Stylist comes over with a bunch of products for you and your girlfriends to discover and buy. All you have to bring is the cocktails.
Brands sold include fabulous, unusual ranges, many of which are British including Antonia Burrell (who also does treatments in Urban Bliss on Portobello Road) and Mitchell & Peach (some products for example are made from lavender that’s been farmed on home soil in Kent).
Co-founded by renowned Beauty Editor Kate Shapland, it’s safe to say that everything on MyShowcase has been immaculately curated and each product has secured a worthy place. And you can top-up purchases online. Brilliant!