Feeling more slummy mummy than yummy mummy? Put yourself first for a change and get some pampering. Whether you splash the cash at the salon or do it yourself, here are some of my favourites.
Salon: Thai Square Spa offers an extensive range of treatments, and after some deliberation I opted for the Thai Herbal Healer. From the moment I arrived, at their new location just off Trafalgar Square, I felt whisked into another world. One that was calm and serene with clean shiny floors and surfaces. A welcome change from the clutter of children and their sticky fingerprints.
The treatment started with a foot soak in warm water while I sipped on a delicious herbal tea. Then it was time to hop on the bed for the application of a warm Thai herb poultice followed by a full body massage using uplifting jasmine oil. In true Thai style the masseuse even climbs on top of you to properly soothe tense, stiff muscles. All the aches and pains from carrying a tired (and rather heavy) 3-year-old melted away and I practically floated home.
Home: Not quite as successful as my husband and I argue over whose turn it is to get rather than give the massage. And then there are the demands for 'extras'...
Salon: Heaven’s Bee Sting facial is a celebrity favourite, with the skincare brand’s founder Deborah Mitchell calling it a natural face lift. But you might struggle to get an appointment with Deborah, who has a client list that includes the Duchess of Cornwall, Gwyneth Paltrow and Victoria Beckham. There are claims Deborah has psychic powers, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it were true, given how much she could tell about my mental and physical health before the facial even started!
The facial uses products infused with bee venom that work on signs of tiredness and ageing including lines, puffy eyes, pigmentation and loose tissue. And in case you’re worried, no bees are harmed in the process of extracting the venom. Deborah massaged the pressure points around my face, neck, scalp and jaw, relaxing the facial muscles and me. I certainly looked relaxed and fresh faced afterwards.
Home: Heaven does offer home kits, but without Deborah’s magical hands, I thought I’d try something else. Time for the Tria Age-Defying Laser, which offers a more youthful, radiant and refreshed look by rebuilding the collagen beneath the skin’s surface. It can also reduce discolouration, improve skin texture and smooth wrinkles - all in the comfort of your own home and with results visible in a couple of weeks.
I must admit I found it hard to do this daily, which you need to do to see the full benefit. Mainly as my children took turns being poorly and having chickenpox and demanding mummy all the time. It’s best to do this treatment before bedtime so any redness dies down overnight. But it is quick, simple and painless to use and the serum to apply afterwards is very soothing. By all accounts it’s worth using for at least 8 weeks to see a real difference so I’m going to stick with it and hopefully my pesky kids won’t get in the way!
Salon: As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been trying out the Ellipse hair removal treatment at The London Cosmetic Clinic in Knightsbridge. Mieke, my lovely therapist, tells me my hair is responding well in the few sessions I’ve had so far. It also means if I decide to take the kids swimming at the last minute I don’t need to worry if my bikini line is ‘swimsuit ready’. The treatment is relatively painless, I can feel it but I’d say waxing is worse. Plus the results from laser hair removal will last a lot longer too with just the odd session required in the future.
Home: Of course, body or facial hair removal is something you might prefer to do in the privacy of your own home. Tria offers a Hair Removal Laser that is the first and only clinically-proven cordless laser available for home use. It uses the same technology as dermatologists to target and permanently disable the hair follicle. But just as in the salon, the results will depend on your skin tone and hair colour, with pale skin and dark hair the best combination.
It’s best for treating smaller areas and it does take quite a few sessions on each area before you’ll notice any difference. I didn’t find it painful, even on the higher settings, but my husband found it sore enough to squeal. As you might expect, the home laser option doesn’t give as quick or obvious a result as the salon option, but it is cheaper.
Kirsty McCabe writes her weekly column here on www.juniormagazine.co.uk. Follow us on Twitter: @juniormagazine to keep up with the latest news
"And, if you are in need of a little friendly, advice, have a read of some of my other columns..." Kirsty McCabe