The Stylist: Armand Beasley

So Spa, So Good

Give yourself the pampering you deserve, says our style expert Armand Beasley 

January is the perfect time to catch your breath after the craziness of Christmas. A time when you can pause and gather yourself before the year begins to pick up pace again.

There are easy ways for you to relax that won’t cost you a penny. When I wake up I always take a couple of minutes to be thankful for the warm bed and the restful night’s sleep I have had. Then I do some deep breathing – in through the nose for four counts, hold for two, then breathe out for six counts. Close your eyes and visualise the journey of your breath, as this will stop your mind wandering. Start by doing this cycle three times and build up to longer periods if you wish – this is my form of meditation and really sets me up for the day ahead.

Of course, for total relaxation you could treat yourself to some spa time. Whether you splash some cash on an overnight stay, opt for a single treatment or give yourself some me-time at home, here are five ways to enjoy the pampering you deserve!

Take a break

There are some great deals on UK spa breaks this month. Whether you decide to share the experience with a loved one or keep it all to yourself , a spa hotel break can combine good food, activities, fitness classes as well as hands-on pampering.

I recently had a wonderful overnight experience at the award-winning Carden Park hotel and spa near Chester. It is set in 1,000 acres of lush grounds, complete with a golf course and outdoor pursuits centre. The food in the à la carte restaurant is exquisite, and I loved wandering around the sculpture garden.

The range of treatments is also impressive, and I especially liked the Touch Therapy (£90). It’s a 45-minute session that has been created by Made for Life Organics and incorporates sequences of touch and scalp massage to encourage deep relaxation. Overnight packages start from £260 per person and include a 50-minute treatment plus the use of the spa area and leisure club.

Hit the huts

If you don’t fancy an overnight stay at a spa then why not just book a treatment? These can range from a full-body massage to reiki, but there are plenty of others you can try.

Fletcher’s Cottage Spa is a beautiful rustic haven in North Berwick, about 18 miles from Edinburgh. It offers an extensive selection of massages, facials and body treatments, butthe cute little bath huts set in a walled garden, where you can enjoy an indulgent yet therapeutic soak, are a highlight.

There are three bath treatments on offer, including the VOYA Bath (£65/30 minutes). This uses organic hand-harvested seaweed to detoxify and deeply moisturise your skin, increase circulation and promote healing. The treatment will relax the muscles, plump up and add definition to your skin, and support skin regeneration and renewal while combating the effects of ageing.

Facial recognition

We store a lot of tension in our faces, so its 43 muscles can really benefit from some hands-on attention. You can have a look on YouTube for some facial exercises to help you – they can be very entertaining, especially if you’re doing them with a friend. I also recently did a face yoga course, and it really helped to revitalise and soothe my face.

There is a plethora of techniques and brands to choose from. It’s easy to get a facial by your favourite skincare brand at your local department store or a beauty salon, where prices can of course fluctuate. You can look online and see what offers are available from discount companies like Wowcher ( or Treatwell (

If you want to be really indulgent then try the Cellcosmet Swiss Relaxing Anti-Stress facial (£210/60 minutes) at White Room Beauty, 46 Walton Street, Knightsbridge, London (

This intimate salon behind Harrods offers a luxurious pamper using the Cellcosmet skincare range. These products blend cellular, botanical and marine ingredients to help revitalise and support the skin’s microbiome. The treatment is designed to hydrate and soothe the skin, signs of fatigue are visibly lessened and your complexion will be freshened and radiant.

There is also a facial aimed at men. Cellmen Swiss Executive Revitalising Cells is a 90-minute treatment (£250) that incorporates a collagen face mask and neck or hand massage to ease away the stresses of the day.

Happy hair

I’ve got into the habit of giving my skin and scalp a quick blast of cold water after my hot shower in the morning. Cold water can help with the circulation and close the cuticle shafts down so they stay smooth, which is especially handy if you suffer with frizzy hair. If you have a dry flaky scalp, a cold blast could help alleviate that too.

Anyone who has had a head massage at their hairdresser knows how calming and soothing it can be, but why limit yourself to the salon? Try massaging in your shampoo while you are in the shower, or invest in a mask if your hair really needs some TLC!

Take your hair to its happy place with Faith in Nature Hair Masks (£7.99/300ml, which can be used as a regular three-minute conditioner for quick morning showers or a more intensive 20-minute treatment for when you’re having some me-time. From Shea & Argan to Rose & Chamomile, these 99% natural hair masks are packaged in recycled and recyclable packaging and are Vegan Society approved. Apply to the hair, lie back in a warm bath and relax.

Home improvements

If you’re not able to go to a spa, you can create your own retreat at home with the many pampering products that are available, from revitalising facials to self-heating eye masks. Even some brands that you would normally only find in spas are now making their products available for home use, such as VOYA’s Lazy Days Detoxifying Seaweed Bath £22/ – the same product that is used at Fletcher’s Cottage spa in North Berwick.

While you may miss the spa’s serene walled garden and bath huts, you can create your very own bath experience. Light a couple of candles, pop on your favourite music and add the organic hand-harvested seaweed to a hot bath. It will help to detoxify and deeply moisturise your skin, increase circulation and promote healing.

The dried seaweed naturally rehydrates and springs back to life, releasing its soothing and moisturising properties. It can be used for two baths, plus when you’ve finished with it you can use it in your garden as an organic fertiliser!