cardiff blog

The Marine Spa At St. David’s Hotel

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So a few weeks ago I turned 27 and not only was I stressing about getting old but also that I didn’t have any plans. I had booked some time off, but as it was a Tuesday I was pretty sure everyone else would be at work. So it was the luckiest coincidence that St. David’s Hotel reached out about reviewing their Marine Spa and totally saved me from a boring birthday.

The spa has been ranked one of the top 5 in the UK by Condé Nast Traveller, so I knew it was going to be amazing. I was also excited because I really love the hotel, the decor is beautiful and it has some of the best views over Cardiff Bay. I highly recommend grabbing a drink at the bar and sitting on the balcony if you don’t believe me!

As part of my day the team booked me in for a facial at 2pm so I decided to head to the pool for a few hours before, to make the most of my day pass. When I got to the front desk the girls gave me a key for my locker which was stocked up with my robe, towels, flip flops and some skincare goodies from the spa. How amazing is that? It was such a nice touch and it made me feel really welcome right from the get-go. It’s that insane attention to detail, from the moment you get there that makes the whole experience really special.

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You need to try the hydrotherapy pools…

Once I was ready and feeling super glam in my spa dressing gown, I hit the pool. It’s in the most gorgeous location, right on the top of the hotel and overlooking the bay. There are two hydrotherapy pools, as well as an exercise pool and a sauna, alongside loads of lounge chairs for ultimate relaxation. I decided to head to the hydrotherapy pool with the fountains first as it had the best views. The water in these pools has been treated to replicate seawater so it’s rich in minerals and sea salts. These are really beneficial to your skin and help to plump, hydrate and detoxify while you relax. So not only do you feel better when you get out but you look amazing too.

You can literally lay in the hydrotherapy pool and watch the boats sail by, it’s like a movie and so relaxing. The way the two pools are laid out there’s loads of room too and plenty of privacy, so you don’t feel like you have to wait for a space. My favourite spot was in the main pool at the end as the seats are way bigger, you can lay down and totally relax. It was so peaceful and it was lovely to have a swim or just sit in the bubbles for a few hours and think about nothing.

After I was feeling totally zen, I decided to hit the sauna to give my skin a boost. There was loads of room which is perfect as I love laying down and letting the dry heat work its magic. It’s great for rejuvenating your skin and perfect if you’ve been to the gym as it’ll relax your muscles, ease joint pain and improve blood flow.

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What treatment did you go for?

They have 10 treatment rooms upstairs, a relaxation room and spots to get your nails done for a total body pamper. I was booked in for the Ishga facial with a super relaxing neck and shoulder massage followed by a facial using their organic seaweed based products. The Ishga brand was actually founded in Scotland by a husband and wife team. They use organic seaweed to make skincare products which harness the anti-oxidant and healing powers of the seaweed. I was so excited to try this as I love discovering new brands and it was a great introduction.

My facial was amazing, the products were really gentle on my skin and it even included the mask where they pour the product onto your face. The products were mainly oil based and as my skin was quite dry it was a total godsend. My favourites in particular were the Regenerating Organic Face Serum and the Nourishing Facial Oil which you could easily work into your skincare routine. 

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I need to go back…

This day was such a nice treat and it made me realise how important it is to take a break from reality. I’m actually thinking of becoming a member, as it’s really close to the office and would be a great way to unwind after a long day. If you’re feeling the same and would love a pamper then you can check out their spa menu here for a full list of treatments. It was a great experience and I’m so grateful, what a birthday to remember!

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Lulu & Boo Organics Aloe & Eyebright Eye Gel

I love to support local, home grown companies and when I first heard about Lulu & Boo I was really excited to try their skincare. Created by makeup artist Claire Edmunds, the brand is organic, cruelty free and caters to people with sensitive skin. The idea came after Claire began reacting to the everyday products she was using and decided to start experimenting with aromatherapy and herbal remedies.

As a skincare junkie I was very excited to receive the Aloe and Eyebright Eye Gel to test, which I’ve been using for about a month now. The eye gel claims to moisturise the under eye area while reducing dark circles, fine lines and puffiness. This is perfect for me as I don’t get much sleep! It’s main ingredients are Aloe Vera, Apricot Oil, Organic Witch Hazel and Arnica and it’s 98% organic.

I’ve got on so well with this product and it’s fitted in really well with my skincare routine. The gel instantly refreshes my eye area and helps to cool and soothe any puffiness, which is one of my main skin concerns. It doesn’t feel heavy at all and when I apply it before bed I definitely notice a difference around my eyes in the morning. It does feel a bit tacky as it dries, so if you want to use this before applying makeup I would suggest leaving it to dry for about 10 minutes but that’s really my only hang up. I absolutely love the smell, it’s fresh and you can tell it’s organic as it doesn’t have that artificial, perfumed scent that a lot of other skincare products have. Something else which is worth mentioning is how gentle the formula is, my eyes sting after applying certain creams but this is so delicate and calming.

If you have sensitive or troublesome skin or are looking to switch to organic or cruelty free products I would definitely recommend looking at the rest of the Lulu & Boo range. The Aloe and EyeBright Eye Gel is £22 and available here.

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Pixi MakeUp Haul

IMG_3472So recently, I was lucky enough to be invited to chat with Amanda Bell from Pixi, about all things makeup and skincare. She gave me some seriously good advice about what products I should and shouldn’t be using and the main beauty trends for this season.

Pixi is a very natural brand and some of the products are vegan, so it’s perfect for sensitive or troublesome skin. As a brand they celebrate natural beauty and all the products are packed with botanicals and nutrients to enhance your skin.

Starting from the top, the Natural Brow Duo is a 2-in-1 one gel and pencil, which makes sculpting the perfect brows easy. The angled pencil helps you to get amazing definition and the tinted gel holds all your hard work in place. It’s a great makeup bag staple, that would work for anyone, especially if you haven’t used anything for your brows before.

Moving onto the Brow Brightener, this gel is essentially a highlighter for your eyebrows. The expert tip is to sweep this on when you’ve overdrawn them to redefine the hairs, creating a more natural finish.

This last one I’ve been using everyday and I’m in love with it. The Brow Tamer is a lightweight gel that really works to hold your eyebrows in place. It has a lightweight, natural finish and it doesn’t feel drying or crispy like some of the other’s I’ve tried.

This Endless Silky Eye Pen is serious holy grail territory. The formula is beyond incredible. It’s soft, creamy and easy to blend but it’s also really long-lasting. It has amazing colour payoff to, so you don’t have to work at it back and for to get a good result.

A gorgeous finishing touch, the Lengthy Fiber Mascara is perfect for super long and defined lashes. It’s fragrance and paraben free so if, like me, you have sensitive eyes, it’s a perfect choice. You can see the stretch fibers really building your lashes and the brush is gorgeously delicate too.

A bit of a buzz product right now, the Black Lacquer Lash Primer is your first step for building amazing lashes. It plumps protects and strengthens for a perfect base to build your mascara on. I also love that it’s black, white eyelash primers can be such a nightmare and it means you don’t have to worry about covering anything.

How cute is this packaging! I’m in love with the Shea Butter Lip Balm. It’s such a soft, creamy formula and it keeps my lips moisturised long after I’ve used it. Amanda suggested blending this on my cheeks as a blusher too and it works really well.

Lastly the Lip Contour Liner in soft nude. I love that this is twist up as I go through lip liner so quickly and this makes my life so much easier. It’s a really lovely, light weight formula and it’s not heavy or drying on your lips at all. You can use this as a filler for fine lines around the lips too, so it does have a really nourishing, plumping quality that works perfectly under lipstick.

So many beautiful products! I’ve really loved trying these.

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