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I'm a beauty journalist blogging about what really works from cosmetics to cosmetic surgery.

This week I have been...

This week I have been...

Trying 'extreme spa' in Denmark

A busy old week. It started out in Copenhagen, where I was on a press trip to look around the wonderful Kurhotel Skodsborg which has just had a revamp, and check out the treatments on offer at its award-winning spa. 

 

At the Kurhotel Skodsborg, Copenhagen

At the Kurhotel Skodsborg, Copenhagen

It's the leading Nordic spa and the standout special among the many treats and treatments on offer is something called the SaunaGus, which translates as 'Mist Sauna'. In brief, this is run like a meditation class in the sauna by a remarkable instructor called Tina R Andersen, and comprises two 'rounds' in the sauna (with Tina talking you through breathing deeply and staying calm even as she flaps great gusts of scalding aromatherapy-scented air at you), after which you grab a dressing gown and nip down the jetty to the Oresund - the strip of sea that separates Denmark and Sweden - and jump in and yes it's very, very cold. But you feel just amazing afterwards. The endorphin rush is a 10/10 on the WhatReallyWorks scale.  

With Tina R Andersen after our dip in the Oresund. It was 2 degrees but the air seemed warm after that freezing water. 

With Tina R Andersen after our dip in the Oresund. It was 2 degrees but the air seemed warm after that freezing water. 

Learning Chanel's Coco Codes

The Coco Code palette - use the colours singly, or swirl together as blusher

The Coco Code palette - use the colours singly, or swirl together as blusher

Chanel's spring make-up collection from Lucia Pica is called Coco Codes - which plays on the idea of the 'codes' that governed the colours that Gabrielle Chanel used, and reimagines ways of using them. The standout piece is surely this palette, above, a real beauty. 

with ace make-up maestro Kay Montano at Chanel

with ace make-up maestro Kay Montano at Chanel

Make-up goddess Kay Montano was on hand to demonstrate the new colours - she pointed out to me one unusual colour that really works with blue eyes - a mossy green. 

Couldn't resist playing around with the giant Chanel checkerboard at the launch

Couldn't resist playing around with the giant Chanel checkerboard at the launch

 

Loving Nars new offerings 

New eye shadows and blusher from Nars

New eye shadows and blusher from Nars

These eye shadows are just gorgeous, with all the depth of pigment and colour payoff that you would expect from Nars. What I loved even more, though, were the three new primers - one radiance boosting, one mattifying and one just super-smoothing, and a rusty-orangey-brown lipstick called Kiss Me Stupid that looks intriguing but not too startling - and which is going to get a lot of use in the near future. 

 

Discovering the Bioeffect Eyglo 'Fire and Ice' Facial 

Clinically proved to rejuvenate the skin: Bioeffect EGF serum 

Clinically proved to rejuvenate the skin: Bioeffect EGF serum 

I went to the Urban Retreat at Harrods yesterday for a bit of luxury pampering - the new 'Fire and Ice' facial from Bioeffect which has been created by beauty and spa expert Cheryl Cagiola (that's her with me, below). 

If you don't know Bioeffect, it's an extraordinarily effective Icelandic skin serum containing Epidermal Growth Factor -  see the website here for details - and the facial involves fabulous massage, some of it done with smooth pieces of hot and cold crystal (that's the Fire and Ice bit - not to be confused with iS Clinical's more medical Fire and Ice facial which involves a 'fiery' glycolic peel and a soothing cold mask). 

It's a long time since I had a treatment with crystals - tbh it rather took me back to the Nineties when beauty writers would chase around trying whatever treatments Cherie Blair was said to be doing, and there were a good deal of crystals involved with those. So I could have done without them, but the combination of a gentle exfoliation, loads of massage from Cheryl's firm, expert fingers and a good dose of EGF serum worked wonders - just see how much my face is glowing, below. 

With Cheryl Cagiola at the Urban Retreat, after trying the Bioeffect Fire and Ice Facial 

With Cheryl Cagiola at the Urban Retreat, after trying the Bioeffect Fire and Ice Facial 

Spray on sunscreen, double cleansing + high tech beauty

Spray on sunscreen, double cleansing + high tech beauty

Beauty box offer: Winter Game Changers

Beauty box offer: Winter Game Changers