Feel Good Factor - Gold Standard REST AND RECREATION

ZR4V7689rIf you think that feeling – and looking good – is an important business, then why trust your wellbeing to an establishment that takes it less seriously than you?

Finca Cortesin’s spa consists of an amazing 2,200 square metres of space that includes a 25 metre heated indoor saltwater swimming pool, cold plunge pool, large gymnasium, steam baths, Finnish sauna and a snow cave (the first in Spain) which is maintained at a steady -12°C. With more and more sports professionals discovering the restorative benefits of cryotherapy chambers it’s not surprising that the snow cave is popular with those who are deadly serious about achieving maximum physical fitness.

The gym is a fantastic place, with sixmetre high ceilings and huge windows helping to create a feeling of light and space. There is plenty of equipment to help you attain maximum cardiovascular fitness.

If this all sounds a little bit hardcore for you then Spa Cortesin also offers yoga, pilates and fitness classes, which constitute the perfect excuse to learn a few more skills and meet a few new people.

Of course for many, a spa is a place where you go to be pampered and Spa Cortesin contains some fabulous treatments that range from hair removal to the divine relaxation of different types of massage and stone therapy.

Finca Cortesin is such a five-star address that you would anticipate that its spa would only use the finest products and, of course, this is exactly the case. Biologique Recherché specialises in creating natural treatments that regenerate, moisturise and improve problem skin. Containing ingredients such as seaweed extract and mint, juniper, pine and lavender oils, these wonderful creams, lotions and potions enhance the experience.

Whether you are male or female and are hoping to improve the condition of your face or body, this is the place to come.

The highly trained and experienced staff will be on hand to cater to your every need and will also be able to advise you on the best course of action, depending on what you are hoping to achieve with your visit.

There are a number of ways in which you can access all the fabulous treatments of Spa Cortesin, either by obtaining a day pass or paying a monthly or annual subscription.

Our verdict? Spa Cortesin is worth every penny!


Feel Good Factor - Health Bites

shutterstock 127249997

A Natural Wonder

The Egyptians referred to aloe vera as the ‘plant of immortality’. It wasn’t so long ago that it was a well-kept secret, but these days it can be found as an ingredient in everything from toothpaste to after-sun lotion, from yoghurt to tea. In fact it has been used for therapeutic purposes by many cultures for thousands of years.

Here are some of the reasons it is such a key ingredient in so many skincare products.

Aloe Barbedensis, more commonly referred to simply as aloe vera, is a gelatine-like plant food extracted from the leaves of the aloe plant. It can be applied topically, even in its rawest form, and is effective in stimulating new cell production.

It has been found to block up to 30 per cent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays when applied to skin. Its constituent, aloin, gives it this property. It is not used as a sun block but rather in after-sun lotion to counteract any sunburn.

It has anti-inflammatory effects and can be used to treat minor burns, grazes and to reduce the appearance of scars. Applying aloe vera has been shown to stimulate enzyme action in skin tissue, which encourages the cells that produce collagen.

It is especially effective as a skin cleansing and detoxifying agent and has been shown to penetrate up to seven layers of the skin, so the effects go deep.

It is an extremely beneficial moisturiser, as it increases water retention in the skin.

Around 99 per cent of the aloe vera plant consists of water but the remaining one per cent is extremely powerful, containing close to 200 nutritional elements, including minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, and other nutrients that work in synergy to nourish the skin and body.

Aloe vera has been shown in studies to relieve the symptoms of psoriasis. In one study, 83 per cent of those patients who were treated with aloe vera gel showed significant improvement whilst fewer than six per cent treated with a placebo showed any improvement at all.

It has even been shown that aloe vera successfully treats nappy rash, which demonstrates that it is both gentle and effective.

Although you may think that digestive health is not linked to skin care, aloe vera is one of the best aids to digestion and can also ensure more toxins are removed from the body, improving the skin from within.

Why not try VitaBella’s unique Anti Ageing Face Mask and Face Cream, which has been shown to increase skin hydration naturally, by over 20 per cent from just one mask?

Beat the heat with Ayurveda


Why not try something different to help you cool down?

Ayurveda is an ancient Indian system of holistic health which aims to create harmony between a person’s body and nature through herbal treatments, personalised diet, yoga, breathing and therapeutic massage.

In Ayurveda, summer is Pitta season (no, not the type you eat!) Pitta is one of the three Ayurvedic types of energy we have in our body and the summer is governed by the Pitta Dosha. During this hot period of year, Pitta is easily aggravated due to high temperatures outside, causing a range of negative symptoms in the body. Signs of an aggravated Pitta can include skin irritations, fever, inflammation, as well as such feelings as anger and jealousy.

To help pacify and rebalance your Pitta, here are some simple tips to help you stay cool this season:

Be mindful about food: concentrate mainly on sweet, bitter and astringent tastes.

Up your Greens: there is no better time to indulge in delicious salads than the summer. Fill up your fridge with green leafy vegetables which are packed full of goodness.

Hydrate: keeping well hydrated is important but if water is not your thing why not try some delicious alternatives

like coconut water, aloe vera juice, saffron or cumin flavoured water.

Stimulate your senses: burning oils or using sprays containing refreshing rose, neroli, jasmine and orange will help cool your body instantly - and they smell great too!

Discover herbs: Ayurvedic herbs such as neem and manjistha have a cooling and skin-improving effect.

Stretch it out: practising yoga in the hot weather might seem like the last thing you want to do, but cooling, breathing exercises like Shitali breath and twisted yoga postures can actually help release heat from the body.

Keep your cool: treat your skin to Ayurveda Pura’s organic skincare range, Holistic Essential Re-Fresh Formula,

especially designed for Pitta Doshas and ideal for sensitive skin.

Meditation music as a natural solution for insomnia: Do you have any of these problems? Difficulty in falling asleep? Do you wake up frequently? Wake too early? Fall asleep during the day? Suffer from forgetfulness? These are some of the typical symptoms of insomnia, today’s silent pandemic.

One in three worldwide are being diagnosed as insomniacs. In the United States this means nearly 64 million. In the United Kingdom 7.5 million are said to wrestle with the same problem. The most dreadful thing is that these statistics are rising. Do nothing? Well you’re in good company. It’s totally understandable. In today’s world people are so stressed about losing their jobs or fighting with other work issues that they seem not to care much about what is happening to themselves.

But beware; chronic insomnia can lead to psychological and physiological health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, depression, or even addiction to alcohol. Prescribing medication to prevent or avoid insomnia is considered by some health practitioners as a last resort.

There are, however, other non-invasive methods to solve or reduce the problem. According to The Daily Telegraph’s website meditation is the key factor in treating illnesses such as depression and could be applied to many other health challenges like insomnia.

There are many causes of insomnia, the most common being stress and anxiety. Meditation can help by slowing down the brainwaves. John Levine, Australian composer of alpha brain music called Alphamusic has applied meditation techniques and years of experience of how the human brain works to his music and has made an ingeniously successful tool that already has helped thousands of people worldwide who have suffered from stress, anxiety, depression and, most importantly, insomnia.

Playing Alphamusic in the background allows you to meditate without actually meditating. The music, as the author says, meditates for you and more importantly saves you time; now you can perform other activities whilst the music plays in the background. “You don’t have to sit down close your eyes and do nothing,” adds Levine.

EEG photographs show that Alphamusic has been able to slow the brainwaves down. Danuta Andrzejak, an EEG technician with over 25 years experience, is more than convinced Alphamusic affects brainwave activity. As the brainwaves slow down the hormones in the body may change from the ‘fight or flight’ adrenalins in Beta state to the calm serotonins in the Alpha state to the melatotonins in the Theta state.

Sue Rugg, who tried various methods including homeopathy and sleeping pills in her desperate bid to beat wakefulness already had a collection of what she thought to be similar music but didn’t even manage to hear the end of the Levine’s ‘Orange Grove Siesta’ CD; she’s been falling asleep within the first few minutes every time.

Alphamusic works wonders? Judge for yourself at silenceofmusic.com

Feel Good Factor - A View Into a Patient’s Journey - Cortijo Care

gemma1Gemma Wood, is the Head of Counselling & Psychotherapy at the Medical and Psychological clinic, Cortijo Care, based in San Pedro.

When Claire first arrived at our clinic she appeared a broken hearted young lady with many difficulties; our team at Cortijo Care reviewed her past psychiatric history to gain an idea of what individual treatment we needed to offer. Within her first few weeks here Claire’s internal suffering became clearer, allowing us to offer a more specific and realistic plan and institute goals for her recovery.

Claire’s diagnosis is complex, as she displays symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder, Depression, Anxiety and Bulimia Nervosa. With the support of the team and our leading psychiatrist, who spent many individual assessment sessions with Claire, it became clear that she also suffers with ADHD.

The strength, commitment and willingness of Claire to trust us and believe we could help, was the start of her journey. Claire’s diary entry for this month has been focused on her bulimia, due to it being a major part of learning new tools whilst reintegrating into society. The integration from inpatient therapy to home life I believe to be the hardest part of regaining full recovery, yet I truly believe it is possible.

I’m sitting up in bed watching TV in a lovely room. A normal thing to do, but the difference is I’m not in my own bed and this is not my TV; I’m in my private room at Cortijo Care. A nurse sits in a chair nearby. I’m being supervised after eating my evening meal to ensure that I do what other people do and digest my food. Before I came here I battled every day with everything I ate. I have an eating disorder called Bulimia Nervosa. As a 34 year-old woman, I feel a sense of indignity about being supervised during and after eating, but I know in my heart that if that kindly nurse wasn’t there, I’d be inclined to purge. This horrible illness makes you believe that by secretly binging on food and vomiting, or using laxatives, you gain a sense of control; it tells you that this behaviour will be the antidote to the chaos that your life has seemingly become. It lies and it can be fatal. Depression and anxiety can be fatal too; I have to acknowledge I’m also supervised because I present a high suicide risk. I have started a programme of residential care that I pray will help me get my life back. Suffering with this disorder, depression and acute anxiety climaxed in what you could call a breakdown. The team here say they can help and even though I’ve only be here for a few days, I believe that they can. Here, I have a menu plan that allows me to have manageable portions of food that are both delicious and verified by a nutritionist to make sure I’m getting what my body needs. There are other clients here with whom I’ve started to have group therapy. Some are addicts, others are fighting depression or overcoming a trauma. Talking with strangers about your fears, painful events and their bitter consequences initially feels unnatural, but there is something liberating about it; the sessions are skilfully led by members of the therapy team and I don’t feel so alone anymore. Finally, I’m starting to find a voice.

Courage is not about having the strength to go on, it’s about going on when you don’t have the strength.

Follow Claire’s next stage of her inpatient treatment next month. Cortijo Care Marbella: C/ Joaquin Turina, Cortijo Blanco, San Pedro de Alcantara, Marbella. Tel. 952 780 181 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it cortijocare.com


Please tune in to Talk Radio Europe on the 7th of August 1.15pm to hear more from Gemma and Claire.

They will also be available for any questions or concerns you may have regarding finding support or knowledge or you can also email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it at any time (for yourself or someone you love) regarding addiction, eating disorders and general mental health

Feel Good Factor- Bee Sting Heaven

shutterstock 156646856Courtesy of Deborah Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell has garnered a well-deserved reputation for producing some of the best beauty products in the business, but now she has gone one step further. The amazing Bee Sting Facial At Home kit is a shortcut to perfect skin – and all in the privacy of your living room.

With a client list that includes members of the Royal House of Windsor, an appointment book that would make the most dedicated workaholic feel quite faint and a range of products that have regularly earned plaudits from publications such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle, Deborah Mitchell has won some very high-profile converts to her range of bee venom treatments.

Since its launch, the bee sting range has been flying off the shelves, so this natty new kit is sure to prove popular with existing fans and will doubtless also create even more fanatical followers, seduced by the possibility of rejuvenating their skin at home.

Presented in a sleek and sophisticated black patent leather bag sporting Mitchell’s instantly recognisable logo, the kit includes a Bee Venom Mask, SOS Oil, Bee Venom Eyes, Bee Polish, Orange Flower Cell Renewal, New Edition Cleanser, Divine Cream and Age Defiance Cream. Most importantly, all of these products are infused with Deborah Mitchell’s patented ABEETOXIN® that will help to smooth lines and wrinkles and soften features,  creating younger looking skin.

If you only buy one skin care product this year, then make sure that it is this kit: it is just the thing to get your face in shape for the winter party season!


Feel Good Factor - No Brassiness Guaranteed - Woods Salon

Zoe Woods, Director of Wood Salon, shares her summer hair solutions for fighting everything from frizz to fading.

We slather our skin with sunscreen, we scour the aisles at Sephora for tinted moisturizer with SPF and we spend an excessive amount of dinero on lotions and potions that are meant to protect us from the sun. But the rays don’t only damage skin - our locks also suffer. Between the natural elements and chlorine, summer can take its toll on your mane, but with a few simple steps you can summer-proof your locks.

Sky VolumeR3


“You blondies suffer terribly during the summer,” laughs Zoe. “Anyone with colour-treated hair will experience fading once their hair is exposed to the sun, but with blondes the sun doesn’t just kiss their hair – depending on your shade it can turn yellow, orange tinged or a nuclearexplosion white. This is why I was so keen to get Redken’s new Blonde Idol range into the salon for the summer.

Blonde Glam was a great product, but it was only one product trying to cover every kind of blonde out there. The starting point for the whole new line is that every shade of blonde finds its base in one of two colour tones: a golden, warm blonde or a violet, cool blond. So Redken has been doing its homework and has created a brand new dual-product that targets both kinds of blondes.”

“To give each type of blonde the very best customizable hair-care, Redken came out with a unique product line that offers amazing benefits for blondes,” Zoe explains. “I’ll start with my favourite product of all; the colour-depositing conditioner that lets you deposit the perfect amount of colour in between salon visits. Seriously, the bottle itself lets you dial-up or dial-down the colour so you can maintain or adjust your shade appropriately before your next salon appointment. The violet-based conditioner helps neutralize brassiness, and the gold-based conditioner helps maintain warmth. I am also loving the Blonde Idol BBB Spray, a lightweight, leave-in or rinseout multi-benefit conditioning spray. It’s the first first BBB hair treatment that balances, beautifies and brightens blondes.”


Moisture in the air makes hair prone to frizzing. Even if your locks aren’t normally vulnerable, any damage - whether from the sun or from colouring - roughens the cuticles, enabling water molecules in humid air to penetrate the hair shaft, causing it to swell. So unless you can rock the Diana Ross look, you may want to think about bringing in the professionals. Countless women’s lives have been completely transformed by the revolutionary Brazilian Permanent Blow Dry, especially in countries with hot climates such as Spain. Not only does it banish the frizz, but hair also becomes resistant to humidity.

“The treatment leaves you with more manageable, softer and straighter hair,” explains Zoe. “In fact, it has been known to save women up to three hours a week in styling time.”

L’Jerabelle Xtra is 100 per cent free from any nasties such as formaldehyde, aldehyde and urea. This trusted brand is the ONLY one that Woods Hairdressing Salon will use. It’s not only formaldehyde-free, but the keratinbased formula is kind even to damaged hair, temporarily sealing split ends.


“The best way to retain your locks is to treat them with love,” advises Zoe. “I highly recommend that you feed and nourish your hair by scheduling in-salon deep conditioning treatments, as they are much more powerful than anything that can be done at home. At Wood Salon we cater for all budgets, treating each client as an individual and prescribe a treatment that is suited to their hair’s specific needs.”

One of the most popular treatments is the Colour Extend. Built on a string foundation of protein and moisture, this treatment is enriched with UVA and UVB filters and a ceramide conditioning formula to leave hair feeling protected.

Enjoy the rest of the summer

Love from Zoe and the team at Wood Salon xx

The Beauty Barometer - The Magic of Makeup

LJP 0516_450pxNicola McGeorge travelled to the United Makeup Artists’ Expo in London to bring you tips from Hollywood’s finest make-up artists and the must have products that they carry in their kits.

For a make-up junkie such as myself, the UMAe was like Christmas, birthdays and Easter all rolled into one. Not only was the place crammed wall-to-wall with the latest beauty products but it was heaving with talent - some of the biggest make artists in Hollywood had flown over to share their words of wisdom with us mere mortals. I had died and gone to heaven.

I have to say that even those of you who are not interested in make-up would have found it hard not to be in awe of what was created over the two-day event. Within five minutes of being there I had been greeted by a female vampire, snarled at by a human-sized rat and had the life scared out of me by a gnarly old witch. Welcome to the world of special effects. You see, make-up isn’t just about what lipstick colour is in vogue. It is also about the monsters from your favourite horror movie or the superhero in the latest blockbuster. At the UMAe, talented artists were bringing to life creatures, aliens and probably your worst nightmares in front of your eyes.

The whole experience was amazing, my only regret was that I didn’t clone myself, I needed two, or maybe three, of me as there was so much going on. There were talks and demos from the likes of the award winning makeup artist Mike Smith, think Avatar, Terminator, Salvation, Planet of the Apes and Oscar-winning makeup artist Greg Cannom - Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Titanic and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

I have to say the highlight was meeting Robin Mathews, whose work in Dallas Buyers Club bagged her an Oscar this year. She spent an unbelievable three hours with us, not only showing us how to create her award winning look, but answering all our questions; I asked her so many that, by the end of the session, she was worried she had a stalker on her hands.

Now for the shopping; I went home with a serious dent in my pocket, if my other half hadn’t stopped me when he did, I would have had a nasty call from my bank manager when I got home - and don’t get me started on excess baggage.

Here are some of my best buys:

POINTED COTTON BUDS - a simple thing, but pointed cotton buds dipped in makeup remover are a girl’s best friend for creating feline flicks with eyeliner. www.screenface.co.uk

DERMACOLOR CAMOUFLAGE CREMEas this is an especially highly pigmented make-up designed to correct and cover skin disfigurements, discolourations and tattoos, I had never considered it for everyday use. However, after attending a talk with Sian Richards, who was the incredibly talented artist who turned Halle Berry white in Cloud Atlas using, yes you guessed it, Dermacolor, I completely changed my mind. She explained that she only carries three palettes in her kit, one of them being Dermacolor Camouflage Creme, which she uses for foundation, concealer, contouring and highlighting, blusher, bronzer and lipstick. Yes, I didn’t believe her either, until she started her demo. She created a flawless make-up using only this one product palette, selecting different tones for different needs. I was sold! The only problem was that by the time I made it to the stand, all the Dermacolor had sold out, all because of Sian’s demo. It tells you something though, doesn’t it? www.kryolan.com

BIODERMA SENSIBIO H2O - loved by one of my favourite make-up artists, Lisa Elderidge, this the outstanding solution gently cleanses and removes makeup on sensitive skin. It cleans quickly, but is also extremely gentle, so doesn’t aggravate the skin. As you do not need water to remove it, it’s brilliant for busy girls on the move. www.gurumakeupemporium.com

known to make-up insiders as the “24 Hour Miracle”. When you need a furiously fast flaky face fixer-upper, Lait-Creme Concentre magically transforms scaly, dehydrated skin into a visibly softer, smoother complexion. It’s formulated to soothe and correct by mimicking and reinforcing the natural surface oils and waterproofing barrier of the skin, slowing down moisture evaporation. It’s also a make-up artist lifesaver for quickly correcting peeling, sunburned skin. www.love-makeup.co.uk

LONDON BRUSH COMPANYhow much difference can a make-up brush make? A lot, is the answer, especially if you use the brushes from this company. Founded by celebrity make-up artist Sian Richards, this boutique’s collection of brushes actually had me mouthing “OMG!” when using them for the first time. The lip brush allows such precise application I didn’t need to use lip liner and the angled eye liner brush makes applying top liner a breeze. www.londonbrushcompany.com Beauty Blender Sponge – I have been very loyal to Body Shop’s make-up sponge for over 15 years now, so it needed to be something special to make me switch. Hello to my new BFF, the Beauty Blender Sponge. Unlike traditional sponges, the soft texture and elliptical shape of the Beauty Blender allows foundation to blend into skin with a natural finish and no streaks. When saturated with water, the sponge will expand to twice its size, making it easy to cover your whole face and still get into all the nooks and crannies. www.preciousaboutmakeup.com

SKINDINAVIA MAKEUP FINISHING SPRAYwow, did this product live up to its claims! It holds make-up flawlessly for 16 hours, keeping your look perfect all day and night. The hypo-allergenic spray can be applied in a micro-fine mist over makeup or directly onto a brush or sponge. First used on movie sets to hold makeup under hot lights and to minimize the need for touch-ups, they are still used in Hollywood and on Broadway stages. This great year-round mist keeps makeup from melting in the summer and drying out in winter. www.lovemakeup. co.uk Make Up For Ever Flash Palette – another multitasker. Create an array of looks for eyes, cheeks, and lips with this luxe palette that’s perfect for on-the-go touch-ups. I’ve managed to do 98 per cent of my face using JUST the MUFE Flash Palette (the two per cent is the gloss I used on my lips and a touch of mascara). Yes, that’s right, you can even create your own foundation with this baby. I mixed brown, white, yellow, red and peach to create my own foundation to match my skin tone. www.preciousaboutmakeup.com

For more information on the UMAe go to www.umae.co.uk

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