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  My only overseas trip this month is not until the last weekend of March, which is just as well with so many events and meetings in London these last few weeks – plus a totally unexpected and highly emotional surprise…         My working month began...

March 2014


Ruby, Esme and Kitty in BA's new social media campaign

Ruby, Esme and Kitty in BA’s new social media campaign

My only overseas trip this month is not until the last weekend of March, which is just as well with so many events and meetings in London these last few weeks – plus a totally unexpected and highly emotional surprise…






My working month began on the 3rd, with the TravMedia International Media Marketplace (IMM) held in the ballroom of the Dorchester Hotel on Park Lane. With more travel brands exhibiting than last year, the stands filled two large rooms. IMM offers an opportunity to meet travel companies from around the world in a more intimate setting than at World Travel Market (WTM) and also to network with media colleagues. It provides an important  link between the media and the travel trade and is a useful source of feature ideas. Less exhausting and stressful than Excel, you actually sit down for your appointments! The easy online advanced booking system means you can book essential exhibitor appointments and take a chance on filling up free slots with those you haven’t reserved time with.  All appointments are 15 minutes, with a buzzer sounding to indicate the end of the session. I’d pre-booked several appointments online but also managed to meet several exhibitors without a prior appointment. Complimentary coffee and tea was provided throughout the day, plus a tasty hot lunch that was much appreciated, even if it did have to be eaten standing up! All in all, a useful day with a stack of useful new contacts for my address book.




The Marks & Spencer summer beauty preview was another media event staged in an elegant ballroom – this time the ballroom of the smart new Rosewood Hotel in High Holborn, which had been specially laid out for the occasion. The all day event showcased M&S Beauty’s  latest products and new brands for summer 2014 . With its growing number of top beauty brands from around the world as well as its own label products, M&S Beauty is a dedicated beauty department in over 100 stores all with trained advisers.

Product house staff were on hand to show their new 2014 ranges and a selection of pampering experiences were available – refreshing blow-dries from Josh Wood and Swell Hair,  spray tanning, makeovers with Stila and instant-lift mini facials with Crystal Clear. I was very taken with boutique perfumery Shay & Blue’s collection of beautifully packaged fragrances inspired by the great classic perfumes of old and developed by Dom De Vetta, formerly of Chanel and Jo Malone London. Manicures were also on offer, so I sat down for 15 minutes and my nails were transformed with one of Leighton Denny’s fantastic new nail colours. I’m now a convert to M&S Beauty, but must confess I was disappointed when homeware was superseded by beauty in my nearest store. But the summer showcase has opened my eyes to what a major player M&S Beauty has become since the concept was first launched in 2012. It’s convenient being able to buy gifts of favourite luxury brands like Ren, L’Occitane and Jurlique locally. What’s more, there are rumours that demand for homeware products may well mean they will be sold again in my local Brooklands store! Homeware AND Beauty – that would be amazing!




My smartly painted nails barely dry, I left the Rosewood and walked down High Holborn to the Aveda Institute where I was booked in to experience the new Dual Exfoliation Power Peel Facial. Aveda has been one of my favourite brands for years, but this was my first visit to the Aveda Lifestyle Salon and Spa with its imposing frontage and huge glass windows. The salon on the ground floor was buzzing but the spa area downstairs where I had the facial was dark and quiet.

I changed into the provided gown and sat with my feet soaking in a warm footbath as therapist Georgia explained about the facial. Designed to renew and restore balance to tired skin and dull-looking skin, it comprises a series of gentle but deeply cleansing exfoliation techniques using minerals, high-tech plant and flower ingredients and high-touch facial therapy. The one hour treatment promises results on a par with a medi-spa microdermabrasion and glycolic peel combined, but without the redness and inflammation.

The treatment begins with a personal choice of essential oils. There are three to choose from, all very different. The one that appealed to me was Jasmine. After this, the Tourmaline Charged Radiant Skin Refiner was applied, a clay-based scrub containing the ionic mineral tourmaline. This was expertly buffed off, leaving my skin feeling warm and clean. A facial massage with Outer Peace Exfoliating Pads followed, to dissolve dead cells and the proteins that bond them to the skin. After this, Perfecting Plant Peel Activating Spray was applied – Aveda’s gentle alternative to a 30% glycolic peel. Georgia energised my skin with a cold smooth stone massage before applying the Outer Peace Cooling Masque with aloe and alfalfa to calm and hydrate the skin.

The Dual Exfoliation Power Peel Facial was one of the most enjoyable and effective skincare treatments I’ve ever experienced. Not only is it blissfully relaxing, but it also gives instant results – my stressed out skin definitely looked brighter, fresher and younger and felt incredibly soft.

The Dual Exfoliation Power Peel Facial costs £86 and is available at selected spas and salons nationwide

The Aveda Lifestyle Salon and Spa

174-177 High Holborn, London WC1V 7AA

Tel: 020 7759 7355

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