Who needs a husband, a boyfriend or a life partner this Valentine's Day when you have our Get The Gloss guide to self love. Here are our all-time favourite ways to treat yourself - just you - no need to share the following with anyone...
1. Get Atelier’d
Going to the Josh Wood Atelier in West London is a little like being in a very stylish episode of Mr Ben (Google it). You go in the doors feeling a big meh and leave a very different person. With a recently opened beauty floor, everything you book in for at the Atelier (as it is known in the industry) is absolutely top notch, but if you really want to feel a million dollars, in my experience I would book in for the following:
The Atelier house some of the best colourists in the land (Josh is with no exception the best colourist in the world), and his team is first class. Whether you are after a whole new look or just want to look like you’ve been to the Caribbean when you’ve never left W10, this is the place to go. It’s not easy to get in to see the man himself, so instead ask for Melanie Jane-Smith who is a Creative Master Colourist (prices start at £180), or Mads-Sune Lund who is an advocate colourist (prices start at £100).
The keratin blow-dry
If, like me, your hair doesn’t agree with the Great British weather i.e. it goes into a frizzy mass every time you walk out the front door, then you need a keratin blow-dry and I promise it will change your life. It knocks out all fluff and frizz from your hair leaving it more manageable and just easier to blow-dry for about 3 months. Go see Miguel or Gary. (Note: this needs to be booked a few weeks apart from colour.)
Eyebrows with Jenna
There is a lot of love for Jenna Treat at the Atelier. Many women I know won’t let anyone else touch their eyebrows apart from her. She won’t ever take away too many hairs and is a master in creating the perfect, full frames for your face. She is also spectacularly smiley and nice.
2. Cowshed pedi
There is nothing like the Cowshed manis and pedis. Part of the Soho House group, it’s something to do with the environment of the Cowsheds themselves which feel like a very chic log cabin with lots of pampering thrown in. Sitting in the comfiest arm chairs known to man, awesome manicurists (I have never had a bad one) will buff and polish your extremities to perfection whilst you sink into your seat, read magazines, order hot chocolates and try not to fall asleep. There are a few nationwide but my faves are the one in Notting Hill, or if you are out in Oxfordshire go to the one at Soho Farmhouse. But enter at your peril - you may never want to leave.
3. Lace your bath with loveliness
My favourite way to relax and give myself a bit of self-love is to have a bath. That’s not just any old bath mind you - I lace mine with a cocktail of feel good products. My favourite bath product though of all time is Inner Strength from Aromatherapy Associates, £45 which was created by the founder Geraldine Howard who recently, very sadly lost her battle with cancer. At a time when Geraldine felt particularly low, she created this oil, which contains rosemary, rose and geranium oils, making it both comforting and deeply reassuring at the same time. Every time I use this oil I think of the wonderful and inspiring Geraldine - it also never fails to pick me up when I feel down.
4. Buy some PJs
There’s something about wearing a lovely pair of pyjamas that makes you feel particularly warm and fuzzy inside. Some of my favourite PJ buys of all time have been from Hush which is a lifestyle and clothing brand that puts comfort-with-style at the top of it’s agenda . There is currently a sale on, on their brushed cotton PJs which are now a total bargain - £20 down from £49.50. Always in beautiful prints, I never get tired of putting them on. Now all you need is a good book and bed.
5. Go with the Low Blow
One way to feel a million dollars fast is to have a blow-dry (it works for me every time). However the big bouncy, flicky, power blow-dry has definitely had its day. The best blowdries now look like naturally better versions of your own hair. Andreas Wilde at John Frieda does one of the best in London town - no volume at the roots and tousled ‘I-woke-up-like-this’ ends but with a bit more polish. It’s the hair you wish you were born with, only way better, for £30.
6. Fall in Love with Burberry
Who needs a man on Valentine's Day when you have the Burberry Love palette. This limited edition ‘London with Love’ palette is a bronzing and highlighting powder duo which is the next best thing to being whisked off to sunnier climes for the weekend. We were made for each other.
7. Hold a flame (for yourself)
Who needs company when you have a good book or magazine, a blanket and a candle flickering away in the background? One of my favourite candle brands is Neom , an aromatherapy based brand guaranteed to enhance your mood. My favourite is their Happiness Scented candle, £30. Another favourite are Diptyque candles who have just teamed up with French fashion designer Olympia De Tan to create the Rosa Viola collection which is a celebration of the mystery and allure of a woman’s handbag with scents of lipstick, leather and rose. Recently I have also fallen for fellow ELLE journalist Sophie Beresiner’s No.22 candle brand which was born out of her obsession with interesting scents. Fragrances include names like BookstoLove, Centrepiece and my favourite - Bookshelf - a warm, leathery scent guaranteed to spread love, familiarity and reassurance throughout your home.