I recently returned from a dreamy three day escape to the cosy town of Rock in Cornwall. I was lucky enough to be taken there by Balance Me, a natural skincare brand with a beautiful team that wholly embody the companies mission of achieving healthy and radiant skin whilst leading a busy lifestyle. All the women that I sat around the dinner table with over the two evenings were practically glowing, despite the common juggle of running a business that never sleeps. Their mission like mine is all about loving the skin you’re in – and after an eye opening city escape, I have an even stronger sense of why.
Whilst all the girls travelled from Gatwick, I chose a slightly longer route and hopped on an early 7am train from Paddington – my moving office for the morning. There really is nothing like being trapped in the same seat for 4 hours to motivate some major work admin. I must admit before this trip my stress levels were through the roof, as much as I should have been fully excited for the break, I was incredibly anxious about leaving my desk and to-do list. The train route from London to Bodmin Parkway is one of the most beautiful coastline tracks I’ve travelled through and despite the work distractions was truly captivating and set the tone for a peaceful few days to come.
A forty minute drive from the station I arrived at the the luxury seaside retreat CK Rock, where we stayed in the beautiful walls of Shalamar Hollow. The home is located up a country track and while only a short walk from Porthilly Cove it felt completely secluded from all else. The house itself was rather dreamy with hints of the ocean town in the decor. The open plan kitchen was the room I lusted over, naturally imagining all the recipes I could only dream of cooking in the space. The bright red Aga has now officially been added to my kitchen wish list! In my room I found a feast of Balance Me products on the bed with a selection for both my morning and evening routine, along with their incredible new Hyaluronic Plumping Mist. This sat alongside the cosiest jumper and PJ set from Hush, that I’m considering wearing for every future cleanse and moisturise.
Once I’d settled in we all sat down with Balance Me for a veggie lunch. The kind of dangerously good pick and mix salads that could have seen me repeatedly fill up my plate if it wasn’t for the three course dinner to come. The rest of the afternoon was spent between cups of tea and walks to explore our surroundings. After a divine dinner with Clare and Rebecca Hopkins, sisters and co-founders of Balance Me I experienced my first Yoga Nidra class taught by Clare. This half an hour meditation was almost hypnotic, and later gave me one of the deepest sleeps I’ve experienced. Clare’s background as a Yoga teacher has obviously influenced many elements of Balance Me and their objective for creating products that enhance a sense of balance and wellness. Learning about the women behind the brand, gave me an insight into the journey and labour of love that has gone into perfecting every formulation. It’s so much more satisfying knowing the story behind a company, it gives the products life and always makes me love using them that much more.
The next full day in Cornwall started with an energising yoga flow, a berry bircher muesli and a car journey to the beach. We went surfing! When Balance Me invited me surfing, I knew I had to say yes despite being extremely apprehensive my ballerina balance would leave me at the beach side. George from Georges Surfing School took it slow, and gave me all the confidence to give it a go. Like most sports, once I got into the groove, I absolutely loved it. I’m definitely going to surf again in the future and next time try to avoid swallowing my weeks worth of salt in one wave!
After the surf, and a quick soy cappuccino/ hot chocolate with the girls (Natalie Glaze, Lottie Murphy, Bonnie Rakhit and Kimberly Parsons ) at the beaches hot drinks hut it was my turn to have a Balance Me facial, the highlight of my time away. I’d seen the others have theirs in the morning, and was rather eager to experience it myself. Mandy Oxley-Swan, Balance Me’s Head Facialist came to give us each her one hour signature facial. It was so nice to have the opportunity to put an hours attention into my skin, something I would never usually have the chance to do.
Something I’m eager to tell you about here is the amount of problems I’ve had with my skin up to now. From day one I suffered with eczema, which as I entered my early teens became a really significant part of my day-to-day life. As a dancer, in only a leotard and in front of a mirror for hours every day, it certainly wasn’t easy to hide from! I remember my mum trying cream after cream, and taking me to all the best dermatologists, nothing ever seemed to work. It was incredibly sore and a huge insecurity. One of the reasons I started Naturally Sassy was as a result of finding a solution, a change to my diet. Despite this being a revelation that truly changed my life, my skin problems didn’t completely disappear. My dairy and sugar intake was the main source of inflammation, but many beauty products also caused irritation to my skin. Because of this, my Balance Me facial was also my first facial, with Mandy hand picking the products that were best suited to my sensitive skin.
The first of four products she chose was the Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm which is made of a unique blend of essential oils and virgin coconut oil to hydrate the skin. The Rose Otto Face Oil, which smells like a dream was the second product Mandy used; It’s made fusing a few essential oils that help to strengthen delicate skin and reduce the sensitivity. Next was the Restore and Replenish Face Cream which uses Aloe Vera and Rosehip Oil to soothe irritated skin. The final product Mandy used was what we were all away to celebrate, the launch of their Hyaluronic Plumping Mist. The Mist contains a natural form of Hyaluronic Acid, Hyacare 50 which is 100% natural and vegan. Hyaluronic Acid is something I’d heard floating around recently when talking about natural beauty care, but until this facial I didn’t truly understand how effective it is by penetrating all layers of the skin to plump and instantly hydrate from within. It was the last product Mandy used and gave my skin a real tightness to it, along with feeling incredibly smooth and reinvigorated.
I’d entered the few days as a bundle of stress and Mandy’s magical hands sent me into the deepest relaxation. This trip although short felt like a lifetime; I fell in love with Cornwall, had a wonderful time learning from and chatting to some very inspiring and driven women, experienced the surf, ate all the food and created a new calming skincare routine I’ll be taking back to busy London.
Links you may love:
- Hyaluronic Plumping Mist
- Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm
- The Rose Otto Face Oil
- Restore and Replenish Face Cream