Beauty In-Flight Favourites

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Money, tickets, Passports? Check. Way too many liquid luxuries in your carry on… check! Watching security staff dismembering the contents of our handbags at the airport is a major travel buzz killer for us ladies. I’ve waved goodbye to many of my favourite (expensive) beauty products at the hands of the stingy 100ml restriction. Well, this year I’m determined to get travel savvy. Tons of beauty brands now do mini-me versions of our favourite goodies, making it easier for us to stroll smugly through security. Whether it’s a weekend away, a city break or a long holiday abroad, here are my top picks for in-flight travel essentials that keep me feeling fresh on the flip side…

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Soap & Glory Hand Maid hand cleansing gel £2.50 for 50ml

A good hand sanitizer is way more convenient than queuing for the loo to feel fresher.

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L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream £8 for 30ml

Super creamy and instantly moisturising, this hand cream keeps my hand soft even on long haul flights.

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This Works Deep Sleep Stress Less Roller Ball £12 for 10ml

If, like me, you’re a bit of a nervous flyer, simply roll this onto wrists and behind ears. The aromatherapy scents help to calm and relax. Great for fighting the urge to give the chair kicker behind you a belt with your rolled up copy of Vogue.

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Ren Vita Mineral Lip Balm £9 for 15ml

With Shea butter and vitamin E this deeply replenishing balm protects from UV damage and the annoying air-con systems.

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Neal’s Yard White Tea Facial Mist £11 for 45ml

A gentle mist full of white tea antioxidants to rehydrate and refresh our plain-drained skin before landing.

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Let me know what your travel saviours are!

MBT xx

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Why Try Thai? My First REAL Massage

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For years I’ve enjoyed treating myself to to the occasional stress reliving aromatherapy massage. We all love a good shoulder rub after a long week. But, since my first visit to an authentic Thai massage parlour recently, I will NEVER book a regular massage again. Ever! With the delicate looks of a beautiful Asian doll, and the moves of a relaxation ninja, a Bangkok born beauty took my Thai massage virginity. And, there’s no going back…

What to have?

Looking at the price list, I’m torn. It seems the Thai Massage (the one commonly associated with pain) and the Oil Massage (the one your partner used to give you half-arsedly while you were dating) are two separate treatments. Hmmm. Obviously when money’s involved I want to go for something I know I’m going to enjoy – like choosing from a fancy restaurant menu – but I’m determined to try Thai. The smily receptionist suggests TWO hours. Apparently so my masseur can combine both experiences. Indulgent I know, but to quote Carrie Bradshaw… “Once your in the door, you may as well shop”. My two hour maximum stay parking ticket is now ticking across the street.

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Leaving shoes (and daylight) at the foot of a candlelit staircase, I’m ushered into my single room and left to undress. Moments later, another much younger petite Thai woman (named Anji, as I discover later during the awkward initial face down convo) entered to find me stood in my bra & pants checking my phone. “Bra off too please.” Oops.

The Massage

The wave of embarrassment quickly dissolves as my naked chest finds the bed, and my whole body gets hidden under a massive soft towel. This is the point where it gets a little weird. Why is she massaging me through a towel?? For the next ten minutes (a rough guess) she kneads my legs – ankles to thighs. Then, to my shock, I realise this stranger is now ON the bed with me! I hadn’t even felt her clamber up. Swiftly done. Knees positioned between my thighs, her little hands started massaging my ass, full weight behind them. This chic payed more attention to my butt than my fella has in years… and he’s an ass man! It surprises me just how normal AND great it actually feels. I didn’t realise our asses could be so stressed! Hence the towel to start with. I get it. Now I’m starting to relax.

But not for long…

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Her foot finds it’s way to my lower back and she’s tugging both my wrists back into the air. While in some kind of two person yoga pose, she tells me I’m ‘flexible’. Though I’m flattered, inflexibility didn’t seem to be an option at this point. For nearly two hours Anji maps my entire body with a series of unfamiliar stretching (limbs all over the place!) mixed with oily deep tissue massaging. The session is repeatedly alternated like this, while she teleports up and down (and on) the table. Unlike massages I’m used to, I couldn’t predict where my body would be targeted next. Just when I think she’s all done with my legs and has moved on to tackle the knots in my shoulders, before long, she’s down at my feet again, rubbing and pulling at my toes. My body friggin loves the unexpected joy of it!

My only wince of anxiety since arriving nearly two hours ago, came the moment Anji went to wash her hands before the grand finale, a head massage. Darting my eyes around the room I spotted a tiny clock. 17:05. “Shit!” My parking time was up, NOW. I slam my eyes shut again as I hear the door swing. Without saying a word she unravels my hair from its band and with the tiny woman’s freakish strength, she lifts my shoulders. Giving them one last kneading before firmly circling her fingertips around my face and scalp. I feel myself giving in. This is immense. They could of towed my car away at this point, I wouldn’t of give a fuck.

The Verdict

Instead of leaving with the usual dozy content feeling I get after a massage, my body feels relaxed and free, yet energised. The combination of the Oil and the Thai have relaxed my muscles and got my blood flow going. Driving away I try and decide what to do with the rest of my afternoon. There were only two options equally appealing. Take a nap, or go to the gym. I feel like a new woman…

And, no, I didn’t get a parking ticket! Hurrah! : )

I’ve never been to Thailand, but would encourage anyone thinking of trying a Thai massage to book one now! I’m genuinely converted. Some people might be put off by the idea of a ‘painful massage’, but from my experience, it wasn’t painful at all. Just body challenging at times (in a good way). They stretch & twist you to get at all the kinks and loosen you up while using the oil to soothe muscles you. What a great way to spend an afternoon.

I’m sure there are tons of amazing Thai massage shops nationwide. I went to Nuad Thai Massage, Ruislip.

Special thanks to Jack & Lisa (my lovely brother-in-law and his girlfriend) for my birthday gift voucher!

Main image credit: asian-escapes.com

Brow Arch March

So March is quickly disappearing, but it’s not too late to get involved…

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Become an official Arch Angel by getting your eyebrows waxed and shaped, while supporting wonderful cancer charity Look Good Feel Better. This March, Benefit cosmetics have teamed up with Debenhams to offer the whole nation a chance to become Arch Angels for Brow Arch March. Benefit’s experienced beauty therapist promise to wax, tweeze, primp and de-fuzz brows with their specialist treatment (worth £11.50) for a suggested £5 donation.

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The Benefit Cosmetics beauty team tackled my unsightly brows at the Debenhams Oxford Street store in London this week – Where (shock horror!) they took my brow wax virginity. Even though the brave Benefit beautician was very friendly and sweet, I felt a heavy wave of shame wash over me as I confessed to being a long-term plucker. (Apparently, one mistake with the tweezers and we could lose our brows forever).

Benefit Cosmetics will be offering the Brow Arch March treatment every year (our answer to Movember) in support of Look Good Feel Better campaign- The only international cancer support charity represented in 26 countries, which focuses on the visual side effects of cancer treatments.

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While at the Brow Bar, Benefit can also offer treatments like brow tinting, fake bake tanning and their signature Lash Lovelies strip lashes, on top of an extensive range of makeup and skin care treats.

For more information on Brow Arch March and how to get involved visit www.browarchmarch.com

To book an appointment at Debenhams Oxford Street call 0207 518 7552

Available until March 31 in over 50 Debenhams stores nationwide