Nothing run-of-the-mill about this magic facial
Treat of the week: Serenity Spa
I arrived at the Serenity Spa in Dublin's Glasthule and immediately felt a wave of calmness wash over me. The vibe was relaxed, soothing and competent as I was welcomed, ushered into the relaxation room, encouraged to change into a towelling robe (a simple act that chills me out) and given a glass of tasty goji berry juice in the space of a minute. It set the scene as did the numerous books on health and nutrition beside the loungers, rather than the usual gossip mags. Together, they were a clear sign that this was no ordinary spa.
That impression was solidified when I met Nuala Woulfe, the owner of the spa and a neighbouring beauty salon. She is very open about her interest in health and nutrition – I was amazed by her diagnosis of my digestive difficulties within a minute of meeting me – and she is keen to treat the whole person. So as I enjoyed my bespoke Vitamin C Firming Facial (€90 for a 60-minute treatment), I also got some tips on healthy living, such as the need for magnesium in my diet and the benefit of freeze-dried Vitamin C. Nuala used the SkinCeuticals brand for this facial, the aim of which is to tighten skin and promote cell renewal. She is happy to go the extra mile for her clients, including a quick brow tidy in between the skin analysis, double cleansing, exfoliation, muscle-lifting massage and mask. Afterwards she applied a mix of serum, moisturiser and sun protection. My complexion was glowing, and the benefits lasted – even weeks later.
Top class – there was nothing perfunctory or run-of-the-mill about this. Nuala is extremely professional and very positive. Within minutes, I was happy to confide in her, and I felt as if she really wanted me to benefit from her ministrations.
The feelgood factor
Normally after a facial, I want to hide from the world, but, this time thanks to a light application of a little Bare Minerals make-up (over a specific SPF cream), I felt confident enough to go straight from the spa to a café.
The Serenity Day Spa, 55b Glasthule Rd, Co Dublin, tel: (01) 2300255. See www.serenityspa.ie
This week. . .
I'm vowing to stop talking about it and actually get my runners on and start hitting the streets. My feet are bound to deserve pampering afterwards so I'm slathering them in Lush's Fair Trade Foot Lotion (€13.65) which is full of rich cocoa butter, softening almond oil and moisturising glycerine. And while I'm treating my tootsies, I should also look after my hands with Yes! Nurse Protect Your Lovely Hands Cream (€6.99), which manages to be nourishing and easily absorbed yet not greasy. And really I don't want to neglect the rest of my body so I'm applying Avene's rich and very nourishing Cold Cream Body Lotion (€12) all over.
If you only buy one thing this week, make it Tom Ford Lip Color Shine in Ravenous (€46). It's expensive but worth it for this long-wearing and luxurious dose of hot pink. Yes, the retro colour is slightly intimidating (and highly pigmented), but be brave. It boasts a slight shimmer and goes on smoothly, drying to a fuchsia stain with a satin finish.
She has wowed on the red carpet lately but Jennifer Lawrence has an old-fashioned secret to staying svelte – bathing in Epsom Salts. Her personal trainer Dalton Wong says: "Epsom Salts help to get rid of any bloating in the body before slipping into a red carpet dress. It's a great trick that anyone can use if they're working up to wearing a particularly clingy dress." Our spies tell us that Gwyneth Paltrow uses the same trick.