Saturday, 23 August 2014

Laser Hair Removal - DestinationSkin Knightsbridge

I had my hair removal test patch a few weeks ago, which all went fine. The consultation process was quite in depth, first of all I met the clinician who was to perform the test patch for me, she explained the process to me (that today we would be doing a small test patch on the areas I was having lasered, my legs and my armpits) and if my skin did not react after 24 hours we could go ahead with the laser removal treatment. I then had to fill in some medical forms, and we looked at my skin type and hair colour to see if I was suitable for the treatment, and what laser should be used.

The test patch itself wasn’t too scary, we started with the lowest setting, and worked our way up until I could feel a heat sensation and a, what I can only describe as, a feeling of being pinged by an elastic band. 

After 24 hours, my test patch was absolutely fine - so I booked in for my first full treatment. It's cheaper to book in bulk treatments, and as you tend to need 6-8 sessions for the best results I've booked myself in for 6 treatments.

The first thing that was done was my legs were marked up into patches, I looked a bit like a joint of gammon in the butchers! This marking up was so that no area was missed, and so that no area was lasered twice. 

These photos are from before and during the treatment, you’ll notice my legs don’t look very hairy. That’s because you actually shave the day before your treatment, you only need a really tiny bit of growth for the laser to pick up the hairs - which makes this treatment great, much better than with waxing where you have to allow the hair to grow a fair bit!

This photo is probably the weirdest I've ever put on my blog, and my apologies if it's just quite gross! This is my armpit after 4 days of not shaving, which after just 1 laser session I think is really quite good!

There are a few things to note in terms of aftercare post-treatment, you should avoid any strong antiperspirants for at least 24 hours as your follicles will be very sensitive. It's also important not to exercise for a day or two post treatment also, as again, your follicles are sensitive and open so you don't want to get sweat in them or heat them up.

To read more about laser hair removal, click here to read my last post.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Italy by Rail - Day One: Turin

I've always wanted to do a full Europe by rail trip - but having a full time job rather limits the amount of time I can go away for. On the other hand, no job... no money to travel! The answer seemed to be to take one country at a time. 

Italy first! I booked my flights a few months in advance for myself and my friend Grace. We would fly into Turin and 9 days later fly out from Rome. The rest of the trip from taxis to trains, accommodation and where we would visit were all up in the air until 24hrs before we left! 
I'd never particularly wanted to visit Turin before, but the flights were cheap, so decision made. I'd already been to Rome, but it's so spectacular I was happy to visit the city again!

Day One: Turin

We arrived in Turin pretty exhausted as our flight left from Stansted at 7am, which meant waking up at about 4am!! I get quite anxious before I travel, so I didn't sleep particularly well the night before anyway.

Turin airport to our hotel was a bit of a trek; firstly we had to navigate the confusing train ticket machines at the station. Note: if you're using these, don't think oh what a great way to break a note, the ticket machine doesn’t give you change in the cash sense, instead you are printed a receipt with the value of your change on it. I later found out that you can exchange this for cash if you can find a ticket office. After 20 minutes of scrambling around with maps, and our Italian phrase book, we successfully negotiated the ticket machine and made it all the way to the platform. We had missed our train by just a few minutes… Ughhh! So we waited for the next train, I think it was around a 40 minute wait, though it was a Sunday so perhaps trains are usually a little more frequent.

Success - on the train, and made it to our stop, now to figure out the bus we needed to be on. In hindsight, a taxi would have been a better option. The bus ride was 20 minutes or so, I had checked the timetable so knew to count 8 stops along in my head to arrive at the correct destination.

The hotel was just a few minutes’ walk from the bus stop. Our room was pleasant enough; we decided to make the first night as cheap as possible. Another thing to note in Italy, don’t arrive on a Sunday – everything is closed!!! Perhaps not in the bigger cities, but Turin was a little bit of a ghost town. We really needed to buy some bottles of water, wandering around, we stumbled upon some ‘vending machine shops’, which we later realised were ubiquitous across Italy. Sorted!!

Time for braided hair thanks to my travel companion Grace, take in the sunset, and sleep… Genoa tomorrow afternoon!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Spectacular Views of Florence | Grand Hotel Minerva Rooftop

If you want sensational views of Florence, including the Duomo, I'd recommend heading over to the newly refurbished bar on the rooftop of Grand Hotel Minerva.

Offering uninterrupted views of the city (in terms of other buildings - there's always restoration work going on around the city) you'd be hard pushed to find a better place for an evening cocktail.I sampled some prosecco which went down an absolute treat as it toasted my last night in the city.

I didn't stay in this hotel; however, the rooftop also has a pool so I think I might be booking myself in there if I visit Florence again during a sunny month.
Despite heavy downpours, 10 years on from my first visit, this City still has my heart. 

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