How can you have younger and healthy looking skin? Guest blog: Colette Ogle owns East Norwich Acupuncture

How can you have younger and healthy looking skin?

We know there are many good face creams out there and having regular cleansing facials have a beneficial effect on the skin, we also know that eating a sensible diet with fresh fruit, veg and fish, avoiding too much sun and getting plenty of sleep will help to ensure your skin looks younger for longer.  But what other options are there if you want to try something more permanent to change the way you look now and to retain that youthful appearance?

Chemical Peels – chemicals such as gycolic acid, salicylic acid or carbolic acid (phenol), are applied to small areas on the skin. This is said to reduce fine lines, treat wrinkles caused by sun damage, certain types of acne and reduce age spots.

After the treatment you may experience swelling and blisters. The skin will peel and regenerate itself in 7 – 14 days.  It is advisable to have a program of superficial peels using alpha hydroxyacids, this would be 4 to 6 peels at monthly intervals.  The effect can last up to a year, as long as adequate sun protection is used.

Cost from approx. £60 - £300

 peels

Botox Injections – use botulinum toxin to paralyze the facial muscles. This gives the appearance of reducing wrinkles and smoothing out frown lines etc. Good for deep lines and wrinkles. However the effects are temporary and will need topping up regularly.

After the treatment you may have some bruising, swelling or discomfort. The general advise given to clients is not to lay down for 4 hours after treatment (no bending forward either), no vigorous activity/exercise for 12 hours, and no rubbing, massaging or pressure on the treated areas for the first day. Lasts approx. 3 – 4 months.

Cost from approx. £150 per area

botox

 

One Stitch Face Lift – your consultant will begin by discussing with you the problem areas of excess skin which you feel need addressing.  Once marked out on the face some local anaesthetic is then injected to make the procedure a pain free experience. The stitches themselves contain small cones along their length and are inserted using long needles. After the stitches are in place they are then pulled back to re-suspend the skin and soft tissues, whilst the small cones along their length anchor the tissues in their new position. Good for those that may feel they need a full face lift but are restricted by cost or put off by surgery. Beneficial for lifting the jowl area and for general sagging.

Costs from approx.. £800 - £1500 per stich

When considering any type of plastic surgery or intervention, it is important you take every care to ensure your health & safety. The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons offer some good advice.

 

OK, if none of these appeal to you then what’s the more natural alternative?

Did you know acupuncture is recorded to have been used to enhance beauty as early as the days of the royal court of the Emperor in ancient China. With no chemicals or artificial substances being introduced into the body, Acupuncture is growing as an alternative to potentially harmful fillers and injections.

At EAST Norwich Acupuncture I offer a unique Facial Rejuvenation program, comprising of three elements;

  • Cosmetic Acupuncture
  • Facial Gua Sha
  • Facial Cupping

These three elements together give the best overall results.

Cosmetic Acupuncture

Many studies have confirmed acupuncture as a proven method of collagen induction and regeneration of the superficial levels to the skin, without the risk of some of the other modern treatments

Needles are placed around problem areas, such as along scar or wrinkle lines and underneath the jaw line, depending on the individual’s needs. In addition at EAST Norwich Acupuncture I use traditional established acupuncture points on the face and body to further benefit the final result by increasing well-being from the inside.

facialacu

Facial Gua Sha

First, organic oils are applied using facial massage strokes and techniques, I use Botanicals Organic Facial Serum. Then using the specialised Gua sha tool, sweeping motions are used over the entire face in either a linear or circular motion.  The tool is swept along specific channels, collateral’s and acupuncture points on face.

The benefits of Facial Gua sha are many but include increased blood circulation, reducing the look of wrinkles or baggy eyes, removing blood stagnation and promoting normal circulation which in turn helps the body to eliminate toxins.

Facial Cupping

Facial cupping is a very relaxing and enjoyable experience, they is no dragging or pressure, it is a gentle massage. This helps to tone your facial muscles, ‘fill’ and tighten your skin, and reduce the amount of puffiness you may have under your eyes.

Small, specialised suction cups are used in the procedure to lift your facial tissue. It is completely painless and leaves no marks.

This Facial Rejuvenation acupuncture program is unique in the world of beauty, as it not only works on the external appearance of the skin, by improving wrinkles, scars and acne for example, but by using needles on specific points around the body it can improve general health too!  Clients often report reduced stress and improved sleep.

Cost £55 per session -  it is recommended that a course of least 6 sessions are completed to ensure the best results, but improvements can be seen after only 1 or 2 sessions

So how good is it really?   I wanted to test it out for myself so that I felt confident in recommending to my clients, I have treated myself once a week for the last 6 weeks and here’s some before and after selfies I took! (excuse the quality and the fact that selfies always make you look a bit weird?!)  The areas I was particularly interested in improving were the jowl area, but also though nasal area and under my eyes could be improved!

Both these pics were taken in my bathroom when I was wearing make up,.

 

Before
Before
After
After

What Difference has it made?

Well, I think at the very least my skin looks better, it looks smoother and feels firmer/plumper.  What do you think?  I’m pleased with the jowl area which is the bit I really hate the most!!

Before
Before
After
After

But therein lies the real answer to all these ‘beauty’ treatments, its about how you feel, not necessarily what someone else is going to notice!  I feel more confident and that makes me happy, and therefore I feel more attractive ☺

This is an important point and I think the first thing to think about before embarking on any beauty treatment which will require a financial commitment, is that you need to set expectations and goals. Do you want to reduce wrinkles, improve skin texture or just gain an overall younger look? You need to then judge where you are starting from, if you have very deep wrinkles or have badly sun damaged skin, it maybe that you wont be able to fully realise your goals!  But if you understand this and set your expectation accordingly you won’t be disappointed.

I’m 50 this year by the way and I’m feeling ok about this !

nightout

Pic (not a selfie) taken on a recent night out (06/03/15)

 

Author Bio: Colette Ogle owns East Norwich Acupuncture which operates from Oasis Sports & Leisure Club.  Colette opened her acupuncture clinic in January 2015 after qualifying from The College of Chinese Medicine, London.  She is passionate about bringing the benefits of acupuncture and Chinese medicinal therapies to Norwich and the surrounding area.

 


Make up Artist Show London 2015

Make up Artist Show London 2015

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Makeup lovers, artists, craftsmen and students: save the date! From July 10th to 12th the 2015 International Make-up Artists Trade Show (IMATS) is back in London. So check out those train times before you go, for example on www.Virail.co.uk, because it is an event not to miss. You should probably book your hotel well ahead of time, because the IMATS is the best international makeup trade show in the UK! Always well attended, this year IMATS returns to the London Olympia for another weekend of education, beauty, inspiration, and the greatest new innovations in the beauty industry.

 

IMATS gains popularity every year and has quickly become the cornerstone for international make-up education. The 2015 trade show is sure to be attended by the top international beauty experts, brands, and make-up artists. Students, this is a great place to learn and be inspired by the masters!

 

Brand reps from Bobbi Brown, NARS, Make Up For Ever and MAC will all be in attendance at the IMATS 2015. They will showcase everything from lipstick to nail polish to blush, and everything in between. Once again, the Make-Up Museum will be open to all guests! Due to the great audience response last year, exhibits like strange creatures from Harry Potter and special effects from The Dark Knight will be back to awe and inspire spectators.

 

IMATS always has a fantastic guest lineup, filled with the most famous and inspiring artists in the beauty industry. In the past, keynote speakers have been Bill Corso (John Carter and Lemony Snicket’s a Series of Unfortunate Events, Mark Coulier (Oscar-winning artist of The Grand Budapest Hotel and Iron Lady), and Allan Apone (CEO of Make-up and Effects Laboratories and the make-up artist behind The Avengers and Iron Man).  The keynote speeches address many diverse topics, from industry trends to the hottest new products. If you’re wondering about how to perfect the art of prosthetic application or create the perfect Drag Queen, you might just learn how from the IMATS keynote speech!

 

So let’s talk about prices: tickets cost 45 £ and are definitely worth every cent. You can buy IMATS London tickets online, which I recommend as the show is very highly attended. You must be 17 or older to attend, and July 10th is open to Pro-card holders. The public is welcome from Saturday, May 11th (8:30am to 5pm) until Sunday (10am to 5pm). So what are you waiting for? Whether you are a budding makeup artist or an established pro, the 2015 IMATS will inspire, excite and educate you. Grab your brushes, get that hotel booked, and get yourself to London for a weekend of innovation and inspiration in the world of beauty.

 

This post is written by Hanna J., mom of 2 kids, who lives in Rome. She is graduated in Business and before moving to Italy, she has also lived in London for almost 3 years where she worked as a freelance writer. Now she explores new events in the world to share with everyone.


Guest Blog - Honeymoon in Vietnam - Week 2

Sunset over Whale Island
Sunset over Whale Island

Guest blog by Andy Dane Photography

 

Our second week in Vietnam started on the night train to Nha Trang, it was comfortable and left Saigon station on time, although it was around an hour late by the time we got to Nha Trang (they'd told us this would be the case when we bought the tickets). The rooms in the soft sleeper had 4 soft beds in, and were air conditioned, they were a little cramped but comfortable enough to get some sleep in and the views when I woke up were beautiful. Shame the windows didn't open, as I'd have liked to have got some decent photographs from there, but there was no way to avoid the reflection in the windows.

Nha Trang was the first really commercial place we'd seen in Vietnam. The hotels along the beach were all big international brands. Best Western, Intercontinental and the like. They controlled all of the sun loungers and the price of them reflected as much! The beach also had quite a lot of discarded bottle tops and plastic wrappers laying around, which was a little disappointing.

So, we didn't spend much time on the beach, instead we went for a walk through the city, had some amazing street food and then headed to the Long Son Pagoda. The pagoda is beautiful, and there are monks resident there, so you get to see them going about their daily business.

Read more


Guest Blog - Honeymoon in Vietnam - Week 1

Cai Rang Floating Market
Cai Rang Floating Market

Original post my husband, Andy Smith-Dane at Andy Dane Photography

Andy-Dane-(vector)

We got married on 8th June and then jetted off to Vietnam for three weeks. We flew into Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and then out of Hanoi, so we got to see a lot of the country.

We saw so much, and I took so many photos, that putting it all in one blog just seemed a bit silly. So I'll be splitting it up into three blogs covering each week.

Vietnam is amazing, the people are incredibly friendly and the scenery is just stunning. Although parts of it are slightly insane, crossing the road will never be the same again!

We spent the first couple of days just wandering around Ho Chi Minh City and getting acclimatised to the weather, it was *hot*, high 30's degree C, combined with a humidity of around 90% and there was just no escape from it unless you were in an air-conditioned room. The streets were constantly buzzing with life, from street sellers and motorbike-taxi's to just people going about their everyday business, the streets just hummed.

Crossing the road was interesting, nobody stops, you just have to walk through the sea of motorbikes as they dodge and weave around you. You soon get the hang of it though, and by the second day, we were hardly hesitating at all.

We found a lovely little playground for Jessica to have some fun in and burn off some energy, and she quickly made friends with some of the Vietnamese kids. Language barriers just don't exist when you're 3.

DSC_6824 DSC_6830 DSC_6885 DSC_6925 DSC_6931

 

Then after a couple of nights in the city, we were picked up by our tour guide for a 3 day tour of the Mekong Delta.

The Mekong Delta covers a huge area of southern Vietnam, there are masses of paddy fields between the rivers and a thriving fishing community. We spent a couple of days alternating between buses and river boats to explore the area. We saw them making sweets from coconuts, husking rice and making rice cakes and several fishing farms (which are just under people's houses!)

Cai Rang Floating Market
Cai Rang Floating Market
Rowing down the Mekong
Rowing down the Mekong
Elizabeth in her Vietnamese hat
Elizabeth in her Vietnamese hat

The Cai Rang Floating Market was amazing, mainly wholesalers selling on to shopkeepers and the like, all of the big boats gather together in the river and the smaller vessels approach you with their wares as you circle around them. Loads of fresh fruit, hot noodles soup and cold drinks on offer, be prepared to haggle though, as the initial price you're offered is probably far over the market value. While it might still seem cheap to us, paying over the odds damages the economy of Vietnam. It was a great experience seeing all of the different generations of people working together on the floating markets, and the fruit they were selling was all lovely.

Fresh Coconut at the Cai Rang Floating Market
Fresh Coconut at the Cai Rang Floating Market

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Jessica coped with it all remarkably well considering the heat and change in diet. She made a few friends on the tour of the Mekong Delta and I think she was a little sad when we went our separate ways.

After the tour, we had a few hours to grab some dinner in Ho Chi Minh before we got our first train of the honeymoon. An overnight soft-sleeper train from Saigon to Nha Trang. Booking the tickets was simple enough and the train was really comfortable, nice soft beds and air conditioning.

But that was the end of our first week, so I'll leave it there and continue in another blog for the second week of the honeymoon - Nha Trang, Whale Island, Hoi An and Hue.

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Getting a haircut

Guest Blog - Tools and Equipment To Cut Your Hair At Home

Tools and Equipment You Need To Cut Hair At Home

Getting a haircut

Image credit: avye, license Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/avye/1683836870

 

Although many hairdressers work out of stylish salons, there's also a demand for independent hair stylists who can offer a mobile service, or even cut hair in their own home. It's becoming a popular option for professionals to run their own business in their spare time, and if you have the skills and qualifications to cut hair then this can be a lucrative side line. As long as you know the health and safety rules and have permission to use your home for this kind of work, it's easy to set up your own part-time business, and here are a few of the items you will need.

 

Salon chairs

You can use an ordinary chair to cut hair, but this can be uncomfortable for the client, as well as yourself. Using a professional salon chair offers you features such as:

 

  • Upholstered, padded seating
  • Adjustable and lockable heights
  • Easy manoeuvring
  • Gas lift
  • Hardwearing and safe for clients

 

Therefore it's an important investment when you are cutting hair, and a good way to show clients that you are a professional who has the right equipment and knowledge.

 

Beauty case

If you only have limited space, or will need to take your equipment around with you, then a beauty case can be ideal to suit your needs. Look for advice on the equipment that mobile hairdressers need, and then get a case on wheels that suits your needs. This makes it easy to store your scissors, razors, chemicals, and other important items safely and securely, so you are ready to go to appointments on a moment's notice.

 

Shampoo units

Being able to easily wash hair is essential, and if you are traveling to people's homes then you will need to have an easy set up that you can use. You can take a shampoo chair with you and use the client's own basin, and there are plenty of gadgets to help turn any bathroom into an easy to use temporary salon.

Mobile hairdressing is an interesting way for skilled hairdressers to earn some extra cash, and it can also be a full time undertaking for those who have built up a loyal client base. With just a few bits of equipment you can offer people a full service in their own home, allowing for anyone to get the haircut that they want.

Author Bio:

Thomas Smith is a writer who loves reading about business and lifestyle. He is also an amateur photographer and loves taking images depicting life as he sees it on the streets. His hobbies include playing golf and riding his motorcycle. He also owns a 5-yr old Golden Retriever named Sam. He is working on his first book, with a tentative book title, “People You Meet on the Street” - a funny illustration of different types of people.  Currently, he is writing on a freelance basis for Salon Supply Australia, a company providing beauty salon furniture and equipment to business owners.

 


Guest Blog by James Patrick - Live Long, Live Beautiful! – Beauty Treatments for Cancer Patients

Live Long, Live Beautiful!  – Beauty Treatments for Cancer Patients

When anyone is under cancer treatment, you generally think that pampering the patient with beauty treatment is the last resort. However, the fact is just the reverse. Proper beauty care of the cancer patient will give him/her a real boosting.

Keep Things Normal As Usual

Generally what happens during a cancer treatment is a patient undergoing the treatment feels like everything has changed completely in his life and nothing will come back to its normal flow. Therefore, to make the cancer patient feel normal like before, some semblance should be maintained to normal routine of life in places where it is possible. When the patient finds that he is treated in the same way as the normal human beings, his spirits are automatically boosted.

You can apply a deep moisturizing treatment on the patient’s skin or can go for a full body scrub. After all, they are also worth of getting such a soothing treatment like the normal humans.

aromatherapy

Aromatherapy Massage is Good for Cancer Patients

Take Care of the Skin

You can choose to give a cancer sufferer a facial, a soft creamy cleansing facial that will not be harsh for her skin. Make sure the therapist is fully aware of the fact that he is treating a cancer patient. You must look for some treatment that can revitalize the skin of your patient because skins of such patients dry out at the time of radiotherapy or chemotherapy.

You must ask the therapist to use some alcohol-free, non-stimulating toner together with some gentle and rich moisture. Exfoliating treatments are not applied to cancer patients because they might be insensitive reaction on their delicate skin. Apart from drying up, skins of these patients often become sensitized to certain treatments. In beauty treatment, make sure you remain kind enough towards the skin of your cancer patient.

Beauty treatment with alcohol-free, fragrant, hypoallergenic products creates the best healing effect for such patients. While treating your cancer patient with some beauty regime, hygiene should be your prime concern. The therapist must make use of neat and clean and disposable brushes, sponges and applicators each time he treats the patient. Cancer patients taking radiotherapy or chemotherapy have a greater risk of infection because of such treatment; the immunity system of their body reduces to a considerable extent. So, it is necessary that proper hygienic condition is maintained while giving them beauty treatment.

Keep Looking Beautiful as Before

As you all know, cancer treatment results in a substantial amount of hair loss – the eyebrow hair can completely be wiped off or might thin up. There are trained therapists who can skillfully recreate the entire eyebrow or can fill up the thin ones. In case the nails look unhealthy or have discolored, do a manicure by taking a funky looking opaque polish. Make your patient use one acetone-free nail polish remover.

Research has proved that cancer patients are benefitted by aromatherapy massage. This massage has helped in improving the quality of their skin and life and also lessened their symptoms. So, what are you waiting for? Give your patient a soothing aromatherapy massage. Spa therapists of different places like Lighthouse Point,are specially trained to satisfy the specific needs of the cancer patients.

Get a trained therapist and change the life of the patient. Be normal during upheaval and feel relaxed!

Summary: Beauty treatment is not only meant for normal human beings. There are special treatments for cancer patients as well to make them feel and look normal.


7 Effective Ways to Lose Weight by Walking - guest blog by James Patrick

7 Effective Ways to Lose Weight by Walking

The numbers of people, who use vehicles to travel smaller distance, are increasing. As the overall body activity is decreasing, the chances of people getting affected with several diseases are increasing. Walking on a regular basis can help people tackle most of these problems in an effective way. However, people, who are walking since a long time ago, but are not achieving much result, can bring about following changes in their routine.

1.       Increase the Walking Distance by 500 Meters a Week

This can help avoid stagnancy in the daily routine and can help people thrive for more. Moreover, this technique makes it easy to keep track of improvement, which was not possible otherwise. Therefore, start walking an extra 500 meters each week to lose weight in an effective manner.

2.       Appropriate Limb Movement Can Be Effective

Many people forget to keep track of their limb movement. However, without proper movement of limb, it is impossible to enjoy the advantages of walking. As this activity includes the whole body, people should know about appropriate limb movement while walking to shed those extra pounds in an easier way than before.

3.       Try To Put Stress on the Heart

Pumping of heart is important while walking to keep pressure on the heart. This results in appropriate circulation of blood throughout the body. It is important to maintain great pace while walking to get effective weight loss results. Feel the heart pumping while walking to stay fit for a long time.

walking

 

Walking – One of the Most Effective Ways to Lose Weight

4.       Music – A Great Way to Enhance Daily Walk

Music can effectively boost the daily walking experience. Listen to the latest tracks to enjoy the daily walk, and let that extra enthusiasm work within. This can help people achieve new height, and, as a result, lose weight efficiently.

5.       The Shoe Matters

Not all shoes are appropriate for walking. Most people visit a store and buy an average running shoe. However, a running shoe is not a walking shoe, and it can damage the feet in an adverse manner. Opt for shoes that have been designed for walking to experience the least amount of pressure on feet.

6.       Healthy Food after Walking

A bowl of salad or a fruit might be the perfect thing after a long walk. A human body needs something to eat after an intense workout. However, people, who are planning to lose weight by walking, should not munch on anything heavy after a walk. Instead, a bowl full of salad, or a fruit rich in fiber can do the job.

7.       Jogging Is a Great Idea

Jogging in between walking is a great way to tackle the feeling of consistency during your daily walk. Little jogs during a walk will not only help a person rejuvenate for the next round of walk, but also help lose weight in a more effective way than before.

These are some of the most effective modifications, which, if implemented in the daily walking routine can help people lose weight in an efficient way, and live a healthy life.

Summary: Minute modifications in the daily walking routine can help people lose weight without even enrolling their names for any fitness program, or maintaining any hard and fast diet rules. Bring about the above modifications as soon as possible and take a step ahead towards staying fit without those extra pounds.

Author’s Bio: James Patrick is a renowned fitness writer, who provides effective training of Muay Thai in Thailand. He suggests people to walk more, and drive less to own a healthy body, and ban those extra pounds.


Facial Massage and Its Anti Aging Benefits - Guest Blog by James Patrick

Facial Massage and Its Anti Aging Benefits

The secrets of getting a young and wrinkle free skin is not confined in cosmetics and surgery. A regular course of facial massage can add natural glow and radiance to the face besides taking care of the unwanted wrinkles. Unlike cosmetic surgeries, facial massage using natural substances reduces the risks of side effects to a great extent.

Reasons of Premature Skin Aging

Increasing stress and work load in everyday life has a lot of effect on the skin. This is a major reason because of which the skin starts to look older and wrinkles starts coming in at a very young age. Use of anti aging creams and cosmetics are seldom effective. The actual reason behind the premature aging of the skin is due to poor circulation of the blood. The fact that makes facial massage important is that the signs of premature aging first starts to show up on the face of an individual.

Importance of Facial Massage

  • Facial massage is a natural therapy which enhances natural beauty of the skin. It helps to improve the skin tone and glow. The face has got various minute pressure points which get stimulated during a facial massage. This helps in better blood circulation all around the face. Increased blood flow in the vital regions of the face helps to relax the facial tissue.
  •  Facial massage helps to balance the natural moisture of the skin. A majority of people worldwide suffer from dry skin. There is a natural growth of dead cells if dry skin stays untreated for a long time. Regular facial massage helps in increment of the natural skin moisturizers.
  •  There are many people who come across issues like puffed face. This actually happens due to over application of cosmetics and lack of sleep. The inner face muscles regain flexibility after a course of facial massage. This helps to fix the issues related to puffed face.
  • Many beauticians believe that regular facial massage helps to lighten the complexion to a great extent. Massage helps to open up the blocked lymph nodes which gradually help to add a natural shine to the face.
  • Facial massage is particularly essential for sensitive skin. Massage helps to remove the blockades form the pores and sheds off the black heads.

      Facial massage relaxes the face muscles and tissues

Facial Massage And Anti Aging Benefits

Facial massage has got numerous anti aging benefits where it actually relieves an individual from the primary signs of aging that is wrinkles. Facial massage treatments using circular massage method and patting method helps immensely to reduce wrinkles from the face. Regular facial toning exercises attached with facial massage can bring in surprising beauty results for an individual. The best time for wrinkle relieving massage is early in the morning because after sleep the blood circulation stays low, and massage increases the blood flow, helping to reduce puffiness. Circular motions of massage can help to reduce wrinkles that appear on the forehead.

Looking at the numerous benefits that facial massage provides it can be easily said that this massage is a much more secure option than cosmetic surgery if the anti aging solutions are taken into concern.

Author’s Bio: James is a professional freelancer and blogger who specializes in skin treatments and beauty secrets. His blogs and articles are extremely helpful for people who are looking for effective anti aging solutions for the skin. He suggests his readers to try out Tantric massage from the massage parlors of Orange Country in order to get a young and beautiful skin.

Summary- Facial massage is the most natural and effective way to get a young and wrinkle free skin. Regular course of this massage using natural ingredients is highly beneficial for the skin.


garden are The Pigs

Lizzie's Birthday at The Pigs - Guest Blog

As it was Lizzie's birthday on the 2nd January, I thought I'd treat her to a night away somewhere nice, where we could both chill out, eat good food and just generally relax.

We didn't want to go far, as we only wanted to leave Jessica with the grandparents for one night, so we did a bit of research and in the end, settled on The Pigs in Edgefield, near Holt. The rooms looked amazing, massive bath, huge bed, our own personal sauna and an enclosed garden complete with fire pit. The Pigs looked perfect for what we wanted.

So I booked the room at The Pigs for 2nd Jan, complete with a bottle of Taittinger Brut Reserve to celebrate with and off we went.

The rooms at The Pigs

First impressions of The Pigs were amazing, the room was glorious, champagne waiting for us in an ice bucket, the bed was enormous, lovely deep bath, a cafetiere instead of the usual instant coffee in hotels, and as promised, our own personal Sauna. The outside garden area was different than in the photos, but still lovely, opening out onto fields to the back of the hotel. The enclosed gardens at The Pigs appear to face the car-park, and I think in future, we might request one of those. The roads around The Pigs are quiet enough for it to not be an issue, especially at night. I also think that it would feel a little more "private" and we wouldn't feel the need to wear a swim suit if the rear blinds were open and we wanted a bath, which is what we did this time, just in case someone else that was staying wandered in front of the doors. The little outside area we had opened out to where there were some picnic tables, but other guests staying at The Pigs could wander in front of the patio doors into your sauna room. Although, I'm not sure that they actually would.

The fire-pit was nice, and the chairs comfortable, but, fire-wood wasn't included and seemed quite pricey at £15 a basket, something which wasn't mentioned on The Pigs' website. If the weather had been nicer, we may well have been tempted, but as it was, we decided to just chill out in the room and make use of the sauna and bath rather than spend the extra on firewood. Included, though, were fire starters, marshmallows and scented oils for the sauna water. So all in all, still a good experience, and it may well be in the small print somewhere that firewood isn't included, and we'll know in advance if we do visit The Pigs again.

After a few hours flitting between the bath, drench shower, and sauna, we got ready and headed down for dinner. We both got dressed up for it, but more because we don't very often, rather than that we felt the need to. The atmosphere in The Pigs's restaurant is very relaxed, I think anyone would feel welcome there, kids are well catered for as well, I imagine we'll make a return visit to The Pigs with Jessica at some point in the future.

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Food at The Pigs

The food was, as I'd hoped, amazing. We had Binham Blue, celeriac and hazelnut croquettes with plum chutney as one Iffit (think Norfolk Tapas) as a starter, along with cauliflower fritters served with colonial spiced dip. Both were very light, full of flavour and great to whet the appetite for the main courses.

starter at The Pigs

 

I had the Venison, served with peppered sprouts, roast squash and garlic mash, with a port and red wine reduction to finish it off. It was all cooked to perfection, the venison just melted in your mouth, couldn't have asked for anything better.

Venison at The Pigs
Andy's Venison

 

Although, I have to say I was equally tempted by what Lizzie had chosen, the skirt steak, slow roast tomato, watercress, Binham Blue butter and chips cooked in beef dripping. It looked amazing, and we swapped a bit of meat with each other and the steak tasted as good as it looked! I've never tried skirt steak before, but I think it had more flavour in it than any steak I've tried before, I think I might have already decided what I'm having next time I go there :)

Skirt steak at the pigs
Lizzie's Skirt Steak

Afterwards, we shared three cheeses, although you'll have to forgive me as I have no idea what they were! I assume that the blue cheese was the Binham Blue, and I'm reasonably sure one of them was Smoked Dapple, but I'm not sure what the white cheese was. But they all went together brilliantly, the cheese biscuits they came with added to the flavour, along with apple, grapes and celery, which is usual with a cheeseboard. But the addition of a sweet scone set it off perfectly.

Cheeseboard at the pigs

After the meal we trotted off back to our room with what was left in our bottle of wine and got a well needed good nights sleep, although the huge bed turned out to be two beds and two mattresses pushed together, so while still massive and still very comfortable, not quite "perfect" and the only other thing I could possibly pick the place up on was that a lot of the glasses in the restaurant seemed to be water-stained. But the champagne flutes that were in our room were pristine. It might seem picky, and we might not have noticed it if everything else at The Pigs hadn't been so perfect.

The food at breakfast was equally as good, I went for the "The Pigs 15 Mile Breakfast on Toast" which was probably more food than I needed, but I still ate it all, it was too good not to! Bacon, black budding, double yolk egg, smoked bbq beans and a sausage served on a piece of toast. With a buffet of fruit, croissants, fruit juices and coffee to finish it all off. Lizzie went for the Norfolk Rarebit and seemed to enjoy that just as much as I'd enjoyed mine.

Final thoughts on our stay at The Pigs

So if you want a luxurious night away somewhere in Norfolk, or just a fantastic meal, I can now definitely recommend The Pigs.

Apologies for the quality of the food photos, but I only had my phone camera to hand!

We're now seriously thinking about booking a night at The Pigs, Edgefield, Norfolk for the first night of our honeymoon in June, before jetting off somewhere as a family.

If you are visiting with kids, then there's plenty at The Pigs to keep them entertained. Not only do The Pigs have a great kids menu, they also have an outside play area, built by the creators of Be WILDerwood to keep the little ones entertained.

Written by Andy Dane of Andy Dane Photography, originally blogged here.

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eyebrow threading

Over plucked eyebrows before and after photo

Over plucking eyebrows is extremely common. Shaping eyebrows is not easy when doing your own, so it's always best to have a trained beautician do them for you.

It is very easy to get carried away and you can end up with very thin eyebrows in no time at all. It also used to be very fashionable to have thin eyebrows, however the HD brows look is extremely popular at the moment and everyone is after fuller, thicker looking eyebrows.

This lady came to me after years of over plucking her eyebrows and wanted a fuller look. I told her to not touch them at all and leave the shaping completely up to me. She had never had eyebrow threading before and always had them waxed, but I managed to persuade her to try threading.

She works in the beauty field herself, so instead of leaving them completely we very slowly threaded them less each time she came into my beauty salon for eyebrow threading. It didn't happen overnight, it took a few appointments to create the HD look and give her natural hairs time to grow back. We tinted the fair hairs on her eyebrows to give them volume and used eye shadow powder to fill them in. We also threaded above her eyebrows to define them and give them shape, but not too much as she has a lovely natural arch to her eyebrows.

The defined eyebrows I do are every similar to the HD brows, however I prefer threading to waxing the eyebrows and I don't tint the skin. As waxing is naturally exfoliating it can cause the skin to age. This look was created with tint, eyebrow threading and make-up. Also a lot of patience and will power not to pluck her eyebrows at home in between appointments.

Over plucking eyebrows is sometimes referred to as trichotillomina, which is a compulsive urge to pull out your own hair. My advice is not to have your tweezers near your bathroom mirror as you will find yourself plucking one or two hairs everyday and get carried away.

 

before hd brows norwich
Thin eyebrows Norwich

 

hd brows look norwich
Eyebrow threading, eyebrow tint and make-up to create this look. Less make-up applied gives a subtler look.