One word. ‘Tantrums! I’m a Mum, I work fulltime for Lush and this is currently what my mornings and evenings consist of, along with drop offs and pickups, copious amounts of coffee and the occasional hiit session - which often involves doing burpees while my daughter jumps on my back.
My lovely little girl, Romily, is two, and very much embracing the ‘terrible’ title that comes with it. Don’t get me wrong, she’s very artistic, she’s upped her ‘drawing on walls’ game, and now it’s Pollock on the carpet.
So, with all the mayhem and, of course, the magic that comes with it, becoming a Mum gave me a newfound respect for mine. It can be a really challenging job, and I’m only at the beginning, so when I was asked if I would like to experience a spa treatment for Mother’s Day - I jumped at the chance.
A double treatment option lets you share the magic of a spa treatment with a loved one - in this case, my Mum. A special treat for both of us, and Mother’s Day in the bag! We plumped for a Validation Facial, a treatment I think can be a little undersung. Whenever I go for this treatment it immediately shoots back to the top of my list and that’s exactly what happened this time around. The word ‘facial’ can be deceiving however, it is so much more…
A warm welcome…
From the moment we were met by our lovely therapists, Amelia and Marta, it was all about us.
Once you enter mummyhood, you soon realise that life is no longer about you, and although I feel truly blessed, you get little or no time to think about yourself. Brushing my teeth this morning was even shared with ‘pink bear the puppet’ on the opposite hand as I desperately tried to get us both ready and off to work/nursery. So when you do get a minute (or in this case a whole HOUR) to take a breath every single moment of that time is bliss.
I sat with my Mum grinning from ear to ear in the cosy spa kitchen as Marta talked us through the treatment. Like all Lush treatments, Validation Facial is not only about how you feel on the outside, but how you feel on the inside too. We were asked to think of two words to describe how we wanted our skin to feel and one word to describe how we wanted to feel following the treatment. Mum chose the words ‘rehydrated, plump and relaxed’, while I chose ‘glowing, lifted, calm and confident’ (ok, that’s four...call me greedy!)
After taking us through the steps of a Validation Facial, and explaining that our treatment would be accompanied by bespoke music by The Handmade Sound Collective, we were invited onto the shop floor for our product consultations. Mum and I were both handed a piece of slate to hold our chosen products.
Amelia began the consultation with Ultrabland cleanser (a favourite of mine and my daily cleanser.) As she scooped a creamy, buttery blob onto each slate she talked about how Ultrabland is based on an ancient Greek formula, containing almond oil, rose water, beeswax and honey.
We also chose a moisturiser, hand cream and lip scrub. Alongside our chosen products, our spa therapist explained that she would use some products designed exclusively for this treatment, including a beautiful solid serum made with anti-oxidising portobello mushrooms.
Each product we chose was tailored to us and how we wanted our skin to feel. The spa therapists are incredibly knowledgeable, and it’s a really interesting way to learn about some of the earth’s natural ingredients and the wonderful benefits and effects they have on the skin.
By the time we had both discussed our chosen products and heard about the beautiful ingredients and their benefits, our slates looked like an artist's palette!
Although optional, we both decided to strip off completely under our towel wraps as the treatment also includes a shoulder, neck, hand, arm and décolleté massage - I told you, so much more than a facial!
The massage began with the sound of lapping waves, followed by calming voices of Lush founders and behavioural therapist Lady Helen. As a full time, working Mum, the meditative words ‘slow down, love your skin and love your mind’ had quite an impact on me. I think this may be my new mantra! While the fresh ingredients in our face masks and cleansers worked their wonders, we had a hand and arm massage. The treatment flows in tune with the music, and the products are applied so gently and with such care that it feels as though there are no hands there at all - it really becomes a multi sensory experience. I think this may have been the moment I escaped to that magical, sweet spot of deep relaxation. All thoughts and worries finally left me and time paused. It’s giving me that tingly, rushy, europhic feeling now just thinking about it.
When our spa therapists asked us to sit up, we were told that our treatment wasn’t quite over. Our shoulders and neck were massaged and Mum and I couldn’t help but drowsily smile and giggle as we lifted our heads and were reminded we weren’t alone, sat opposite one another in our towels and headbands. It was a nice feeling - like two friends sharing a special moment in time.
Sitting back on the bed with fresh fruit cocktails that had been brewed during our treatment, we were told to relax and take our time. ‘I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside’ was playing merrily, and Mum explained that it reminded her of falling asleep on a hot summers day at Weymouth beach, waking up to the chatter of seagulls and the sound of us playing when we were small.
We both felt so relaxed, my body felt looser, especially my shoulders, and my face felt incredible. We chatted calmly, sipping our cocktails and stroking our faces. Mum felt her skin was hydrated, moisturised and plump, like it had had a good drink of youth-giving elixir. This was no doubt partly down to all the essential oils, butters and fresh ingredients that had been applied to our skin.
We continued comparing notes on our experience, Mum likened her feelings to being dismantled, floating around in the air, before gradually coming back down to be put back together again. A favourite part of the treatment was the cold stones and hot towels, and we both agreed that we felt a tingling sensation down the backs of our necks when our spa therapists gently stretched them out - how lovely!
We slowly got dressed and took an obligatory post-facial selfie in the bathroom. Mum got quite emotional when we left, saying it was the most luxurious facial she had ever had. I was sad the treatment was over, but I felt lighter, brighter and ready to face the world and all its challenges with more of a spring in my step and a big smile on my face.
I can’t think of a better way to treat a Mum for Mother’s Day. It’s not the first Lush spa treatment she’s had and it certainly won’t be the last. We both felt like our Validation Facials were far more than a facial - an hour long hug and a whole lot of love for Mum, just for being her. She was so happy, and my goodness she deserves it.
But the most special part of it all was that as I took the time to take a lovely deep breath, I reflected on the experience: we’re not only two generations of Mums, we’re also friends, we are full of appreciation and love for one another and our treatment was yet another wonderful memory to share.