For weeks now I've been craving a little TLC. Dissertation and assignment stress is really taking its toll and balancing that with my blog, my part time job, working out five times a week and trying to see friends and loved ones and you have a big ball of stress which is trying to be stretched between too many people. I had been constantly telling my mother I fancied a relaxing spa day and we just hadn't got round to booking it yet, so imagine my delight when I received and e-mail from the lovely India at The Jewel Beauty inviting me along to a spa evening at The Celtic Manor!
We were invited for an evening of facials and mini massages at the Forum Spa, which is an Elemis spa, and I was super excited to go along. I'd never actually tried Elemis before so that was something to look forward to, and as Obama had stayed in the Celtic Manor for the NATO Summit in Cardiff last year I had high expectations.
I met the lovely Ffion and Dina and we took a hilarious road trip to the Celtic Manor, getting lost three times on the way, but we finally made it in one piece and it's safe to say we were all impressed of the location and it's beautiful surroundings. The Celtic Manor is absolutely huge and we were soon snapping away and taking some outfit photos (of course!).
I wore a checked shirt I snapped up in New Look last year on the sale, my white Joni Jeans from Topshop, my new, shiny flatform shoes from River Island and my leather jacket from Miss Selfridge as it was still quite cold despite the sunshine.
We made our way down to the Forum Spa and were met by India who showed us to our individual lockers ready to get changed into our robes. Our lockers had been personalised for our usage and I absolutely loved this touch; in fact, all of us bloggers did. Inside there were robes, a towel, some slippers and also some Elemis goodies including shower gels, hair care and some skin care too.
Once we were all ready we went into the reception area of the spa which has a really relaxed atmosphere and were greeted with champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries, which were absolutely delicious. I could have probably had eaten the whole board full if I was the only one there.
We all sat down for a talk by the head of the spa and she told us what would be happening that evening. We would be having facials, mini manicures and even neck, back and arm massages, which was really exciting, as well as full use of the facilities. It was a complete spa day rolled into just over two hours and I honestly couldn't believe our luck! Myself and Alice were the first bloggers to have our facials and I was super excited, although in hindsight I shouldn't have turned up with a face full of makeup! (Panda Eyes!!)
We were going to be receiving an Elemis BIOTEC Facial, something I hadn't actually heard of before. The basis is as well as Elemis being hands on with their facials and products, they had now incorporated technology into their regime as well. They would use hand massages and products on the skin but also a machine called the Skin Lift Touch which had seven functions that could convert and cater to each specific skin type. Using different activators, or techniques, that range from LED light therapy to steam therapy and even oxygen fusion therapy, the machines could penetrate the skin in different ways to give a thorough cleanse and deal specifically with any particular skin concerns.
The room was really nice with calming, dim lighting and a comfy bed as well as a heap of products and the Skin Lift Touch machine. I received a facial from Rhi, who was absolutely lovely, and firstly she gave me a little skin consultation where I explained that my issue was blemishes and that I suffered with oily skin. From here she gave me the Blemish Control Facial which catered to my specific skin type.
The facial itself felt absolutely amazing. She removed my makeup and massaged the skin and temples which felt gorgeous. I was seriously so relaxed and melted into the bed. The products she used also smelled fabulous but what was most interesting was the use of the Skin Lift Touch machine to cater to my needs. She firstly used a Skin Peel which almost felt like a lawn mower on the skin. Rhi explained that while I had oily skin this may be caused by a build up of dead skin cells (*gross*) on the top layer of the skin which is causing excess oil that is trapped beneath the layer. Using the peel across the whole face it felt like a lawn mower getting rid of any flaky skin cells and, while you would think this would be painful, it didn't hurt at all. In fact, it was quite rejuvenating and relaxing.
After this she got down to grips with my blemish problems and placed a skin mask all over my face. Then, using the Anti Blemish Activator which is essentially an LED light, she moved this laser all over my face to thoroughly replenish and deep cleanse the skin. It was really cool and something that I had never experienced before. It's a difficult feeling to describe but it wasn't painful in the slightest, although it did make a high pitched squeak in places. Rhi told me what was happening and how it was working throughout the process so that I knew exactly what was happening to my face and how.
The facial was brilliant and I can't believe the change I have seen in my skin since having it. Almost instantly my face was glowing and I instantly felt so relaxed afterwards. My skin was soft and smooth and had a gorgeous shine without a horrible feeling of excess oil. The products sunk deep into the skin to leave me feeling incredibly relaxed.
After the facial it was onto the nails. The nail bar was really cute, decorated in brilliant white and pink and there was even F.R.I.E.N.D.S playing on the TV! I sat down to have a manicure and opted for this gorgeous sunset orange which a deep shimmer. I loved it and the ladies doing our nails were really lovely. They chatted and asked us about our blogs and lives and topics ranged from Joey Tribbiani to the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge. They really were so friendly my manicure lasted me almost the whole week before chipping - very impressed!
Then it was onto the back massage which was equally good, albeit a little painful. I didn't realise how much tension there was in my shoulders, particularly under the shoulder blades but my masseuse worked to get rid of those pesky knots and I felt a lot calmer afterwards. And with that we were free to use the rest of the spa facilities which included a jacuzzi, sauna and steam room, plunge pool and an absolutely stunning swimming pool. I do wish I had taken a photograph of it as it was gorgeous with French doors overlooking the green fields outside and a jacuzzi area as well as an amazing night sky. So relaxing!
After three hours or so of getting pampered it was time to head home. I was so impressed with the absolutely amazing night we had received and how well the ladies at the Forum Spa looked after us. Without a doubt it is the best event I have ever been to and a huge thank you to India and Jessica who made us feel so relaxed and special. The spa was essentially closed just for our private use that night and what was even better was that the ladies didn't refer to us as "bloggers" or didn't tell us what to write and how to post about the event, which I find a lot of event organisers do. For them it was all about our enjoyment and making us feel completely relaxed. I loved it!
To top off an absolutely fantastic night we were gifted with some gorgeous goodie bags that contained an Elemis Travel Essentials Kit and a voucher for our next visit to the spa. Honestly, I cannot wait to go again and I have roped my mother into joining me. If anyone has the chance to check out the Forum Spa, I really do urge you to go. You will not be left disappointed!
Have you been on a spa day recently?
Lots of love,