The cold, dark winter nights are definitely closing in. I drive to work at 6.30am and don't get home until 8.30pm, so leaving and returning home when it's still dark outside can make for a serious case of the winter blues. I did question my sanity one evening upon leaving the office at 7pm and rather than embarking on my Penicuik to Glasgow commute home, I popped over to the other side of Edinburgh for some late night pampering at Yuu Beauty.
It was dark outside when I arrived and didn't make for the best photograph, even though the salon was lit so nicely and very atmospheric. So these two photos belong to Yuu Beauty! Exhausted after work I was welcomed with a cup of tea and introduction to the facial I would be getting, which was the Super Skin Smoothie (£50 for 60 minutes) Before we began, the therapist completed a skin scan under UV light to highlight my problem areas she should work on, and identify any imperfections such as sun damage, pigmentation and where my skin was uneven. I have combination skin, with dry patches but a rather oily t-zone!
The treatment room was absolutely lovely, and at this point I would be keen to tell you what happened during the treatment... but I actually fell asleep for almost the WHOLE hour! Apart from waking myself up snoring a few times haha. Absolutely mortifying but I was just so relaxed :) The head neck and shoulder massage as part of the facial definitely helped too. I was awake for a little bit at the very start when my therapist carried out the diamond peel microdermabrasion, which was like an exfoliating roller attached to a little hoover to suck up any of the dead skin (how yummy) It was totally safe and painless, and this exfoliation procedure promotes collagen and elastin production in the skin. The results are immediate and the title skin smoothie is no lie - as soon as I touched my face I was shocked because it was actually the smoothest and softest I'd felt it in a very long time.
It's always the same with me after a treatment like this and I say to myself "I NEED to do this more often!" Not only has my skin benefited from the trip, but it was actually nice to take a little bit of time to myself as midweek my pattern is normally work, sleep, cats, repeat. A salon which is open until 9pm and 10pm during the week is right up my street at the moment because it means that I could go for a bit of pampering after work one night, or go and get a spray tan and my nails done for the weekend without having to worry about doing it myself at home. They have a salon in Glasgow as well as Edinburgh so I'll definitely be back. It's nice to find such a great wee place like this near to work, as I don't really know my way around Edinburgh at all.
Since the facial I have been trying not to overload my face with makeup at the weekend, and I wear literally no makeup during the week in an attempt to let my skin breathe a bit. I did go for a makeover at Bare Minerals Boutique at Buchanan Galleries in Glasgow at the weekend just there to try out their new pure brightening serum foundation, which felt weightless on the skin and still had great coverage as you can see above (no filter!) So I'll be interested to get my hands on a bottle of my own soon and see if I can perfect their brush technique at home. Picture above is of me and my Uncle Greig (who is actually 6 months younger than me - confusing family trees for the win!)
I am getting much better at the work/play balance despite my long hours during the week. I have two months left on this TV show so if I've had a tough day I just try to think of the money boost and time off I'll be able to take once I'm finished. Rosie's recent post really struck a chord with me, 'trying to find some peace', as I have felt very overwhelmed with life recently and was never living in the present moment. But I have turned a corner and I'm getting better at prioritising, and making time for myself. Sounds simple, but it really does work wonders. Here's a list of things I have been doing which help relax and let me recalibrate my thoughts:
1. Pampering - Whether it's at a salon like I've done above, or at home, I like to spend a bit of time at the end of the week for my nails, deep condition treatment on my hair, skin routine, eyebrows and maybe some tanning! It's good to feel nice in time for the weekend.
2. Cleaning the flat - I know some people find tidying a chore but for me a clutter free house makes for a clutter free mind :)
3. Watching a favourite tv programme - I tend to not watch many films on my own, but I try to make time for a half hour here or there to completely switch off and watch something on tv or my laptop. This week it's been Cat Watch: The new horizon experiment, Tattoos After Dark, and Suits (cannot wait for the walking dead to start back)
4. Retail therapy - I actually really enjoy going shopping on my own (sad or what, eh?) and have not bought much for myself recently but it's nice to have a wander with a coffee in hand and see what's in the shops. Managed to get a few ideas for christmas presents already.
5. Music to boost your mood - I constantly have music playing when I'm at home (spotify has brilliant playlists tailored to any mood or activity - tidying, cooking and generally chilling out etc) I recently dug out a pile of old cd's to play in the car on the way to work, which has uncovered some absolute gems which I'll have a shameless sing along to! Definitely makes my journey go in much quicker.
Remember, we are only human and can physically only get so much done in the one day. So when life starts to get overwhelming, take an hour to sit with a cuppa and write a list for the week, splitting it into achievable daily goals. It's good to be productive but an over ambitious list that never gets completed will just stress you out even more. Also, don't ever be afraid to ask for help. I used to be absolutely rubbish at this but I am getting a lot better recently. Your friends and family might not know if you are struggling until you tell them, and I'm sure they would be happy to lighten your load even in the slightest - just as you would for them ♥