Suncoast Spa experience and my first feel of Babor

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As part of the Rubybox and Nokia VIP experience I got to visit Suncoast Hotel spa for the first time. The Spa is situated on the 9th floor of the Suncoast Hotel & Towers. Décor is contemporary and because the spa encompasses the entire 9th floor with only 7 treatment rooms it does feel very private.

I had a double room to share with my friend Amy; all rooms have an en suite adding to that privacy and comfort. The room also has a spectacular view of the ocean creating a feeling of calm. What I loved was how well trained and knowledgeable our therapists were and work in such harmony. The Spa offers treatments with either Babor or Phytomer and both product ranges and their key ingredients were explained to us so that we could make an informed choice.

this was the view from our treatment room

this was the view from our treatment room

I have always loved the idea of Babor and wanted to experience the products. And so, we were treated to Rhythms of the Back massage and a Babor System Gold facial. Rhythms of the Back is a 45min massage (R530) with the oil of your choice, the one I ended up choosing purely based on scent was ‘stimulating’. As the name suggests, Rhythms of the Back focuses on the back and neck, but also spares some attention to the feet and head. I absolutely loved everything about the massage and my therapist, I have to say again that they are extremely well trained, can answer questions with ease and every effort in made to ensure that you feel completely relaxed and at ease with zero disturbance.

The Babor System Gold facial is a 30 minute treatment (R400) and products are adapted based on your skin type. The following products were used on me (I have combination skin):

- Hy Oil
- Phyto Active combination
These two products are meant to be used together as part of Babor’s bi-phase cleansing method. The Phyto Active is specified according to your skin type.

- Rose Toning Lotion
I am in love. This contains natural rose extract and Babor’s signature detoxifying exract of Agrimonia eupatoria. The scent of this is beautiful and lingers on your skin and I find it to be very skin calming.

- Revitalizing mask (in salon mask and not available to purchase)

- Mild peeling
This exfoliator is intended for all skin types and even though I’m used to abrasive scrubs I found this surprisingly rough. It makes use of rounded peach kernels so im not the biggest fan.

- Daily Mattifying Cream
This is specifically for oily/combination skin types. It is also a great anti aging cream since it contains Alpine Stem Cells. It is a light gel like cream that leaves you matte and definitely kept my T-zone oil slick free.

I honestly can’t wait to go back to the Spa, perhaps for their signature Sea Whisperer massage (R600 for an hour) and I quite like the sound of the Cleopatra Milk Wrap, which is a full body treatment (R480). It is a complete cleansing, exfoliating and moisturising treatment that sounds heavenly.

Mani Monday: Essence Hey Mister Sandman

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Its Mani(c) Monday time again. I love the texture of this sparkling sugar polish from Essence. It is from their new Effect nail polish range.

Essence Hey Mister Sandman is a beautiful bright pink, that looks and feels like coloured sugar plus has glitter thrown into the mix.

This is two coats of Hey Mister Sandman and nothing else.

Wishing you all a pretty pink Monday!

Tasty Proudly KZN Treats

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We got lots of yummy things to eat and enjoy at #DBNBloggerMeet and these are some of the things I have eaten my way through already (I was ashamed… for like 5 seconds then I ate more chocolate).

Smith’s Bakeshop

Let me just say, I am a cupcake snob. I rarely enjoy cupcakes from coffee shops, fairs or bakeries. They are just never quite right, especially where red velvet is concerned. This is why I was so impressed with this Red Velvet from Smith’s Bakeshop. It had all the elements of red velvet I look for and enjoy, a moist soft rich red inside and creamy just sweet enough cream cheese topping. Delicious.

My first encounter with Taryn from Smith’s Bakeshop was at the Alternative Wedding show. She had thee most decadent looking chocolate fudge divineness on display. A cake you want to just dive into. You can find Smith’s bakeshop goodies at the I Heart Market and Shongweni Market. Go and check them out on Facebook, Taryn makes beautiful things and I’m glad to know they taste as good.

Madame Macaron

Viveshni is the lady behind Madame macaron, she does macarons, cakes, cake pops and more! They are available at Upmarket Umhlanga. I tried three of the macarons in banana milkshake with dark choc, raspberry and white chocolate. The white chocolate was my favourite and had a super creamy filling. There were cake pops to try as well but unfortunately they evaded me. You can follow Viveshni on twitter @madamemacaronsa.

Tasha’s Fudge

I know Tasha’s Fudge well; they supply Wakaberry with some crumbled fudge for toppings. I have also purchased their delicious creamy fudge at many markets and expos. Their fudge is available in 12 flavours in stores and 50 flavours in their store in Hillcrest. I am obsessed with their ginger and espresso fudge.

They have an online store now as well! (www.tashasfudge.co.za) Check them out on twitter @TashasFudgeSays.

Chocolate Memories

Chocolate Memories is created by a husband and wife team in Champagne Valley in Central Drakensberg. They perfected the art of chocolate making and now create beautiful slabs etched with the image of the mountains. The chocolate is made using only the finest ingredients, pure cocoa butter and natural vanilla. The available flavours are milk, white chocolate, dark 40%, dark 70% and sugar free.

I got to try out the plain milk and it is absolutely creamy, rich and smooth. The taste lingers on in your mouth long after that gold wrapping has been squashed. It is quite decadent and a tasty little indulgence I am looking forward to purchasing myself. You will find Chocolate Memories stocked at Chateau Gateaux (Yes!) or you can check out their website for a whole bunch of stockists all over the country http://www.chocolatememories.co.za.

Gateway VIP Games: get your game face on

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If you are looking for a little bit of fun and excitement why not pick your partner and enter the Gateway VIP Games. Always wanted to participate in The Amazing Race? This will be great practice.

Clues will be given from a virtual reality screen and one team member will have to guide the other through the challenges using a radio. Participants will be timed, and those with the best time in each segment wins a prize.

There are some amazing prizes up for grabs, such as Gateway shopping vouchers, a Sony Action Cam and many dining and entertainment vouchers. The total value of prizes to be given away is R120 000.

I believe the games have already begun! You need to be signed up to Gateway VIP to enter. I think this will be such fun for a little healthy competition and team work. If you’re not already a Gateway VIP member, sign up and get ready to get in the game.

Follow them on twitter @GatewayUmhlanga and check out the website http://www.gatewayworld.co.za

Rain Africa Tree Mist and Kalahari Melon body polish reviews

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I received these products at the Rain Durban Blogger Meet mid March and have been using them both since. The tree mists are new to the range and are available in 8 variants, I got Umvumvu.

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The ingredients for the Tree Mists are sourced from the Platbos Forest. The forest survives hot, dry summers by drawing moisture from the morning mist alone. Melissa Krige is a custodian of the forest and creator of these African Tree mists.

The idea behind the mists is that there is a correlation between humans and the trees and forests, and that nature has a positive effect on both the mind and body. The Japanese conducted trials where stressed out individuals spent 3 days in a forest to see what effect nature had on their immune system. Basically after the three day period they had found a significant decrease in their stress hormone (cortisol) levels, blood pressure and heart rate while their natural killer (NK) immune cells, which are a type of white blood cell that fend off the bad guys, had increased by 40%.

So, this is all quite clever especially since most of us are now city dwelling, almost drowning in pollution and don’t have the luxury of kicking back in a nearby forest every weekend. The African Tree Mist in Umvumvu contains wild harvested and organic wild rosemary, petigrain, cypress and vetivert essential oils.

The 10ml tube is the perfect handbag size, and I use the Tree Mist whenever I am feeling a little stressed or just want to take a time out and relax for a few minutes. I spray it onto my face; however you could use it as a room mist or on different parts of your body. Umvumvu Tree Mist has an earthy, natural and very woody scent to it.

As for the scrub, I was previously using the Rain Manketti and Starflower scrub which is quite grainy and course, the Kalahari Melon and honeybush polish scrub is a lot finer and I find that I prefer this. The Kalahari melon oil and honeybush are chock full of anti oxidants and good at keeping skin hydrated making this ideal for dry skin. I love using this once a week, rinsing off and patting dry to leave the oils to linger on my skin. This saves time as well because I don’t need a lotion/cream, my skin is perfectly moisturised the entire day. I will probably increase to twice a week when we really get into the depths of winter.

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