Monday, 30 June 2014

My first Glycolic Peel, part 1

This weekend a Pamper Party was held for my boss who is shortly going on maternity leave.

There were plenty of treatments on offer by the mobile beauticians who had been engaged for the evening.

Most people went for manicures, pedicures or eyelash tinting, or a combination of the three.  I opted for the Glycolic Peel.

Having very bad skin I have always wanted to try a peel but had never got round to it so I jumped at the chance last night.  My temporary replacement boss also chose the peel.

Boss no 2 went first, she is very fair with pale skin, she is also nearly twenty years younger than me so her skin is so much better.

The beautician (can we still call them that, or is it not PC anymore?) cleansed and prepared the skin and then applied the peel.  It had to stay on for at least 5 minutes, but no more than 10.  After 5 minutes, boss no 2 was asked if she was OK to keep going, she was, the beautician constantly fanning her face to try and alleviate the itching the peel causes.

The neutralising foam was then applied.

Boss no 2 was then finished, it was then my turn.

Everything was prepared and applied and apart from the beautician smacking me in the face whilst she was fanning me, it all went without incident.

By this time, boss no 2's face was bright red, feeling tight and itchy.  By the time I left 2 hours later, she looked like she had a bad sunburn.  Apart from feeling like I needed to wash my face, I was feeling fine.  I had no redness at all.


Day 2 - I woke up to a bright red face, swollen in patches.  The swollen areas were very shiny, discoloured and weeping.  I gently washed my face which temporarily reduced the redness, but it soon came back.

By lunchtime, the skin was starting to feel tight.  It also looked stretched, highlighting the pores I was hoping to lessen, and also seemingly creating wrinkles where I previously had none, such as on my cheeks.

I washed my face several times over the course of the day, and also applied Bio Oil, this helped briefly with the tightness and soreness, but made no difference to the redness.

I googled to see if what was happening was right and apparently it was, Aloe Vera was suggested as a soother, I remembered that I had bought an Aloe Vera Aftersun last year.  I started applying it every hour or so, the first few applications foamed up as if it was reacting with something which was a bit disconcerting.

By the end of day 2, boss no.2's skin had started to peel off quite badly, badly enough for her to say that she would speak to a doctor.

My skin was still red, but worst of all was the itching.

Day 3 - I woke up expecting to see half my face on the pillow but no.  The redness was going, but the itching was driving me mad!

We called into A&E (one of the perks of working in a hospital) and saw a doctor.  She immediately diagnosed 2nd degree burns, to apply vaseline to keep the skin moist and stay out of the sun.

Boss no.2 has a lovely red stripe right across her chin where several layers of skin fell away when she washed her face.  She also has a very obvious peeled area on her nose.

I have not peeled anywhere yet, however I do have a patch of extremely swollen, discoloured, rough and very sore skin on my chin, just below my lip.  I also have a lovely crop of whiteheaded pimples all over my chin.  I am torn between popping them (I hate going out in public with ripe spots) and leaving them just to see how bad they get.

To be continued...

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Shouldn't it have been an upgrade, not a downgrade?

I am just back from a week on the Costa Brava.  I need another week off to get over it.

I booked the flight, accommodation and transfers back in mid April.  Less than 24 hours before I was due to fly, I had an email from Alpharooms, who I booked the hotel through, telling me that the hotel I had booked and paid for had been overbooked and so I was being moved to another hotel.

I was not happy to say the least as I have been staying at the Maritim for the last 5 years as for me, it is the ideal hotel.

I was assured that it would not spoil the holiday, after all, a 3 star hotel is a 3 star hotel.

Well, lets compare the two.

This is the hotel I booked, the Maritim

This is the hotel I was put in, the Santa Monica

This was last year's view from the Maritim.

And this week's from the Santa Monica

There were other, little, differences too.

At the Maritim, you can sit where you like in the restaurant, the staff remember you after a couple of days so you no longer have to show your dining card.  The tablecloths are linen as are the napkins.

At the Santa Monica, you are told where to sit.  Every day I had to confirm that, yes, I only needed a table for one even though this was clearly stated on my dining card, which I had to show every day.  I was then used as filler in between groups and family parties, which would be fair enough if the restaurant hadn't only ever been about 1/3 full. The tablecloths and serviettes were paper.

The tables were all lined up and very close, it just felt wrong and uncomfortable to the point that although I had paid for half board, I only felt able to suffer through breakfast using an eat and run tactic.

The hotel also offers all-inclusive which the Maritim doesn't.  Now call me a snob if you like, but in my opinion, all-inclusive holidays, in Spain at least, attract a certain type of holidaymaker, watch an episode of Benidorm if you are not sure what I mean, I know that the show is exaggerated, but not necessarily by much.

The Maritim has a roof terrace complete with two jacuzzis.

The Maritim has free wifi, the Santa Monica charges so I refused to pay.

The Maritim has English language tv channels, the Santa Monica has none.

The Santa Monica does have a larger pool, but with the beautiful beach 10 minutes walk away, why would you stay by the pool?  Unless you are all-inclusive and don't want to miss out on the free beer and food of course.

The staff were pleasant, if you ignored the seat allocator in the restaurant.

There were daily activities for the kids, unfortunately all of these took place right under my balcony.

There was evening entertainment, which luckily I couldn't hear from my floor, but it was LOUD when I headed past on my way back from evenings out..

I think that these differences are reflected in the price.  These are two screenshots for a week in July, showing the prices for the Maritim and the Santa Monica.  There is a difference of, on average, £140 per week all year round.  I tend to book a double or twin room for single use as single rooms tend to be on the small size wherever you stay.  I also go for the halfboard option.

I was always under the impression that if you were moved due to no fault of your own, it would be to a better standard of accommodation, not to one that is a downgrade and much cheaper, in every sense.

I have been given £20 compensation.  

I do hope that Alpharooms make the most of the extra profit that they made from my booking as I will not be booking with them again.  Although that can't be guaranteed as it may happen without my knowledge, I booked and paid Alpharooms, the accommodation voucher showed the agency name as SomewhereToStay, and the paperwork at the hotel showed Cosmos as the travel agents.

Today I travelled back.  I had booked and paid for my transfers and received my tickets, stating when and where I would be picked up/dropped off.  To rub salt into the wounds, it was too late to change my transfers and so I was dropped off, and was due to be picked up, at the Maritim.

The airport to resort transfer went smoothly, if a little slow.  However, today I was at the pick up point 30 minutes before the notified time.  Thirty minutes after my pick up time there was no sign of the coach.  I phoned the emergency number, which also appears to be the only telephone number, to be told that I was supposed to re-confirm my pick up 2 days before, it was in the small print.  I hadn't noticed this as having booked and paid for the transfer and received tickets stating the time and place of pick up I didn't read any further.

I had to pay for a taxi to take me to the airport.  It only cost €120.

My ankles swelled up during the flight, which isn't unusual, however I have now been home 4 hours and they are getting worse.  Normally once I start moving around they go down.  I can hardly walk.

Oh well, back to work Monday.  Oh the joys.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Soap & Glory Sit Tight 4D - A Review

I had heard a lot about this product and so when it was on offer in Boots I decided to give it a go.  I like to try new things when they are on offer, if I consider it worthwhile, then I will pay full price.

The tube comes in a nice shiny box, and it feels fairly weighty.  The cream is pale pinky-orange and has a pleasant smell to it.

It is recommended that you apply it twice a day, allowing time for the cream to soak in to your skin before getting dressed.

Within 24 hours I could actually see a difference in my inner thighs, the folds of flab were starting to smooth out.  I am now into my second week of using it and I can now see a difference in the cellulite on my outer thighs.  Whilst my thighs are still very obviously covered in cellulite, they are look a lot, lot smoother.

I do wish I had taken some before photos now, but the sceptic in me was convinced that it wasn't going to work!

The cream is applied with three metal balls on the end of the tube, these have the effect of massaging the cream into the skin.

  • It works!  I am never going to be cellulite free, but my legs do look so much better now.
  • It smells lovely.
  • It heats up.  A lot.  Which would be fab for winter mornings.  I guess this helps with the cream soaking into the cellulite.
  • I could have done with at least 1 more hand to make sure that I covered everywhere, a partner or willing friend could help here!
  • There is a lot of bruising from the metal balls.  I wasn't expecting this I have to say. However it was all on my left side, as I am right handed it may just be that I was pressing too hard with my left hand.
  • Because of the shape of the tube, it is impossible to get all the cream out via the balls, I had to cut the tube open to get the last bits out, and there was probably a good two days cream left.

The cons are minor and can be worked around.  When I have finally emptied this tube I will wash it and keep it so that I can use it to apply the last bits of the next tube.

I am glad that I finally got around to trying this, and I will definitely be buying it again, even at full price.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Exam Week June 2014

Today was the first of my three exams for this sitting.  I won't dwell on the actual exam too much except to say I will be re-sitting it at some point in the future.

It seems that a lot of people did not turn up to sit the exam, there were so many prepped (tiny) desks that remained empty.

It didn't cut down on the disturbances however.

Two people arrived 15 minutes after the exam had started and were allowed admittance disturbing everyone around them.

The candidate to the immediate left of me, muttered to himself for the entire 3 hours of the exam, on occasion loud enough for people 4 or 5 seats away to glare at him.  He also nodded his head, well almost his entire upper body, whenever he felt he was going in the right direction with his answer.

When he wasn't muttering or nodding, he was furiously jamming the end of his pen into his opposite palm, clicking it on and off, on and off in rapid succession.

As well as this, there was the usual constant procession of people to and from the toilet.  Most of the candidates were half my age, so if they can't go three hours without a trip to the toilet at their age, I think a trip to their GP is needed.

About two hours into the exam, I don't know what was going on outside, but it sounded like table tennis was being played with a cannonball and metal paddles.  This went on for the next hour.

As expected, at 1.05 mobile phones started vibrating.  Any phones taken into the exam room SHOULD be switched off, but most people seemed to put them on vibrate only.

Still, only another 2 to go....

Should there be a minimum age for piercings?

I think that there should be.

I was in town earlier today and happened to be in a well known High Street shop that offers ear piercing looking for some hair accessories.

There was a woman sitting on the ear piercing seat with a tiny child on her lap.  The father was trying to distract her with a cuddly toy but she was breaking her heart.  I left the shop, having not bought anything, just as the mother and father swapped position, with him on the chair holding the baby for the assistant to have another go.

I didn't intervene, as obviously neither the parents nor the shop, were breaking any laws.

But surely, in these days of almost everything that those of us who grew up in the 70s and before, accepted as the norm, seems to be viewed as child abuse, why isn't this cosmetic mutilation of a child, which is what it is, acceptable.

There are enough people who complain about children wearing make up, but make up can be washed off, a piercing cannot be removed.  There are always complaints when non-age appropriate clothing is brought out.

Please don't think I am anti-piericng, I am not, I have 5 holes in one ear, 4 in the other, belly button done twice and one nipple pierced.

But my first piercings were not until I was 10.  I was old enough to understand what was going on.  I understood that it would hurt and that I had to take care of them.

Maybe there should be a review.