hot stone massage
Hydraboost Facial at Sorbet Salon
I took time to visit Sorbet’s newest salon in East Finchley as a Valentine’s Day treat to myself and truthfully had a better time with my eyes closed than many of my friends did with their partners on the day.

The treatment – Environ’s HydraBoost Facial – combines a number of practices to hydrate, plump, and perfect skin in only sixty minutes.

It starts with a deep cleanse and inspection of the skin’s natural state before customizing a round of treatments (many of which combine the powerhouse duo of Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin A) to leave you with flawless, smooth skin.

The entire process entails decongesting pores, lifting dead skin cells with a mask, toning the skin, and applying the most extravagantly thick mask over the entire face (with room for nothing but breathing holes) before probing the mask – using sound waves and electrical pulses – deep into the skin’s epidermis.

Combined with light massage of the head and hands, it is undoubtedly the most luxurious way to seriously indulge your skin. Mine has never looked better.

Balancing Ecosoy Travel Candle by 58 Lifestyle
When it comes to bringing that spa experience home (and away!), very little could beat 58’s Ecosoy travel candle. It is a luggage-friendly size of their ‘Balancing Ecosoy Candle’ which is hand poured using eco-friendly soy wax for a long lasting and clean burn that is free from pesticides and herbicides.

Not only are Ecosoy candles kinder to the environment (as they are produced using renewable resources and do not omit harmful fumes), but also burn a fragrance (woody, comforting) that makes me feel calm and – bizarrely – beautiful within seconds.

(If you really want to indulge – or gift someone special – their Lifestyle set is gorgeous.)

Hot Stone Massage at Marshall Street Spa
As it turns out, I have walked past Marshall Street Spa hundreds of times and had no idea the rather gargantuan business was there until this month. On the edge of Soho, the Spa – managed by Everyone Active – is as convenient as a break from the city gets. It is literally underneath it.

For my first visit, I sweated my stresses out between their steam room and sauna, worked in my robe for an hour under the twinkling lights of the relaxation lounge, and wrapped things up with a hot stone massage.

As London has been keeping me both freezing and tightly wound, the stones worked quickly to heat all of my knots, dissolve every ounce of physical tension, and – at least with my eyes closed – transport me to somewhere with double-digit temperatures. For something that could be done on a City worker’s lunch break, it doesn’t get much better.

Dr Bronner Organic Rose Castile Liquid Soap
This crazy wonderful cult product is one I am sure you’ve seen if you’ve read a magazine in the last twenty years but, if you’re like me, you may not have tried it.

Do so. Immediately. Dr Bronner’s liquid soaps (the Rose, of which, I favour) are paraben-free blends of certified Organic natural essential oils, packaged in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, and they last forever. Whether you’re cleaning your body, hair, baby, makeup brushes, or kitchen (seriously), you simply dilute a couple of drops into water and use the result to your natural beauty-loving heart’s content. With a penchant for a ‘deep clean’ without stripping the skin or “nasties”, I have yet to find anything better.

long blonde hair
This has been such a bizarre month of beauty-related highs and lows for me. While I’ve discovered some absolute gems – especially in spa services (hashtag birthday month!) – I have also been dealing with the literal fallout of going to a hairdresser I didn’t know or trust last-minute while in America.

Thankfully, my poor ravaged baby hairs have found solace (and you’ll see how, below)!

Secret Spa
Before my last trip, I had been so busy and running so low on time to pack that I felt incredibly ill-prepared for all that travel entails. I needed to take a moment out. And found that moment with Secret Spa. The mobile beauty service (both available through their app and online) books appointments with elite beauty therapists in the comfort of your home, at a time that works for you, and takes mere seconds to do so.

I booked in with Charlotte – a hair stylist and nail tech – to give me a blow dry and beach-ready pedicure the second after I knew I would finish packing and was successfully prepped – mentally and physically – less than one hour later. With nail, waxing, massage, hair, makeup, facial, spray tan, and even lash treatments available, Secret Spa is a foolproof Uber for beauty junkies.

ChinUp Mask
Suggesting it would erase a double chin in 30 minutes, this product was simply too bizarre not to try. Essentially, ChinUp asks you to measure around your chin, apply a mask, secure it with a terrifying-looking band, wait 30 minutes of skin-tingles, and remove everything to reveal a 2cm loss in chin fat.

It sounds ridiculous…but it works. The mask’s serum boosts collagen (helping to contour), contains Q10 co-enzyme (a strong antioxidant to relief dry, dehydrated skin & stimulate cell renewal), and utilizes active ingredients to help all of its natural plant extracts to sink in and reduce the appearance of fat.

While I very much doubt this is a long-term solution for those of us with proper (non-water retention) double chins, it would be a dream to use in the lead up to a big event, photoshoot, wedding, or – like me – when you’re feeling sick and can’t face your puffy, dehydrated profile in the mirror.

The Moroccan Spa Limited Edition Detox Ritual in Urban Retreat at Harrods
During this treatment, I could not stop thinking I was living out some sort of Jasmine-in-Aladdin dream life.

I mean, Harrods and Urban Retreat tend to make me feel that way on their own but this was different.

In the spa’s hammam, I was sat down to relax and breathe in steam before being taken to my own hammam area for an incredibly indulgent wash and Kessa scrub by the practitioner. Different to a normal ‘spa scrub’, this process is incredibly meditative and thorough, allowing intense oxygenation of the skin, microcirculation of the blood, and a slough of dry skin that you can see and feel immediately.

Completely prepped, my full body was then wrapped – with a special focus on detoxifying energy points – in Rhassoul mud, organic honey, and peppermint oil. With the wrap hard at work, I was then treated to a short facial with the same products and eventually rinsed clean – top to tail – before taking some time to read and drink fresh mint tea in the relaxation area.

It was unadulterated bliss.

My current hair hero products:
Oh Bee Hive by Tigi –
This dry shampoo is my new (and convincingly all-time) favourite. As well as an adorable name and bottle, Oh Bee Hive soaks up excess oil within seconds, leaves no residue, boosts volume, and – most importantly – feels clean.

K-Pak Deep Penetrating Reconstructor by Joico –
Remember my aforementioned hair woes? This has been a lifesaver. This hair mask (‘Reconstructor’) actually uses a combination of amino acids and Joico’s Quadramine Complex (theirr famous protein-stocked repair formula) to genuinely rebuild and fortify damaged locks in as little as five minutes.

I was skeptical to begin with, especially as it smells like a useless bottle of sweet banana heaven, but the results speak for themselves. The longer it’s left, the less breakage I deal with. The more I use it, the less insane my hair texture becomes. I love it.

Toni & Guy Style Fix Curler
The new TONI&GUY Style Fix Stylers are handbag-sized professional styling tools and – unlike ones I’ve trialled previously – are genuinely as good as their full-sized counterparts.

Best of all? Each product (straightener, waver, and curler) is designed to protect your hair & colour as it smoothes with their Ceramic Tourmaline plates and boasts world-wide voltage (is there anything else more travel blogger friendly?). Whether you fancy a spruce up from your gym bag or carry-on, there will be a Style Fix styler perfect for you.

…and last but not least, Live True London (you can thank them for the hair porn, above)
Long-time readers will remember Gro as the salon that made me blonde over two years ago (how time flies!), but may not have yet to hear of Live True London.

The kicker? They’re the same salon.

After a rebrand, Live True have maintained seven kickass hair salons across London and seemed like the perfect place to fix the ongoing fried-hair disaster I was caused months prior in America. The order of the day? Tackle the roots, drown it in Olaplex, chop off the damage, and add a clip-in Lullabellz hair piece to style (don’t worry, you’ll be seeing much more of those in my upcoming 90s Get Ready With Me vlog).

Long story short, Paco Latorre (of Live True London Vauxhall) is a genius. He colour matched the extensions to perfection, added a tonne of life to my hair with Olaplex’s three-step molecular bond-builders, and chopped off enough hair to keep my extension-free mane in recovery without making me cry.

I could not be happier.

beauty favourites january 2017
coffee and hair

khaleesi hair tutorial
La Sultane de Saba Malaysian Bamboo treatment with Spa Experience
After two months of physically intense travels, my body was feeling a little worse for wear. A bit like a Tamagotchi that accidentally gets put in the washing machine, if you will. I needed some R&R like never before so was thrilled to find Spa Experience had recently launched in Waltham Forest right around the corner from a project I was shooting on my return.

Alongside their aromatherapy steam rooms, saunas and monsoon showers, Spa Experience also offer unique treatments worth double their charge. On this occasion, I opted for the La Sultane de Saba Malaysian Bamboo treatment – a holistic therapy combining an Asian tradition-inspired seashell & sugar cane scrub and warm bamboo massage (stretches, kneads, and all) before a brightening sugar cane facial. Just what the doctor ordered.

Ovvio
Ovvio is likely a brand you’ve never heard of but one you need to pay attention to. Stat. Born simply from a passion for the immense power natural herbs and oils, the brand has created a small line of skin and hair care products which extract the power of Ayurvedic herbs and merge them with pure essential oils to create a luxurious experience that is completely natural, organic and adhere to the highest standards of purity, authenticity and quality.

My first obsession? The Olio Divina Oil – a reparative, lightweight hair oil formulated with ten superpowered ayurvedic herbs and oils; Amla Extract (strengthens hair roots), Arnica Extract (stimulates circulation), Neem Extract (promotes a healthier scalp), Bhringaj Extract (revitalizes damaged hair), Sweet Almond Oil –(adds silkiness and shine), Sesame Oil (improves the richness of coloured hair), Coconut Oil (moisturizes hair), Geranium Oil (calms and relaxes the mind), and Lavender Oil (increases blood circulation), Rosemary Oil (stimulates hair follicles by stimulating cell division and dilating the blood vessels). I have used it for head massage, post shower replenishment and on-the-go moisture boosts with great results.

In fact, my idea of bliss has come to life as a hair oil massage during a Rubino Face Mask pamper. The mask is one of the silkiest I’ve used, is as natural as the hair oil, and is infused with 5% Argantensyl (a high molecular-weight protein that naturally smoothes and tightens skin to the point of wrinkle reduction!). An antioxidant-rich must for anyone with dry, irritated, and ageing skin.

Purelogicol Cellular Renewal Face Wash
As a brand, Purelogicol has perfected the notion of beauty starting from within but also offers a boutique range of intelligent skincare that I adore. Specifically, their Cellular Renewal Face Wash – a natural and scientific feat for healthy skin purification. The thrill? The foaming wash contains a rejuvenating AHA and enzyme complex to help stimulate cell-renewal while decongesting pores and even fixing uneven skin tone/pigmentation (without parabens, alcohol, or anything artificial). It is completely non-abrasive but hard-working. Just how I like it.

LUSH: Music, fragrance, and the combination
ECC100 Records (founded by LUSH cosmetic’s Mark Constatine) recently launched their latest concept album, Set In Stone, and – as a lover of all things Lush and vinyl – I used it as an excuse to binge on all things audible and fragranced.

For the former, legendary composers John Metcalfe (Morrissey, The Pretenders, Catatonia, Blur, Peter Gabriel etc) and Simon Richmond (Neneh Cherry, Virgin Records, REM, Pulp, David McAlmont etc) took inspiration from Dorset’s ancient stone circles (just as Lush’s Gorilla fragrances did), to create a contemporary classical double album that offers a primitive experience marrying the modern and the classical.

For the latter, I fell right back in lust with Hellstone – the sexiest fragrance on Earth (practically made by Earth) and one I will always remember as instinctively making me feel like Buffy The Vampire Slayer. The perfect accent to Set in Stone.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme
I made the mistake of having my hair done by someone I hadn’t vetted while I was travelling and was left with a rather frazzled mane. Which can really test a woman with already temperamental curls. Elasticizer Extreme quite literally saved my hair.

The ‘Extreme’ version of the original cult Elasticizer (created personally for Audrey Hepburn) is specifically formulated for African-Caribbean hair types, but is also suitable for extremely damaged and over-processed Caucasian hair types. Hello, me. Essentially, it is a pre-shampoo treatment you can leave in as long as you like to repair and moisturize with a high concentration of active ingredients, castor oil, olive oil, and elastin (essential for strands on their last legs).

Oral-B GENIUS 9000 in Rose Gold
It has been quite some time since I’ve rated a beauty tool (most, as you probably know, are Gimmick City) but I have fallen in love with the Rose Gold GENIUS 9000.

As well as being the prettiest tooth brush in existence, the 9000 features position detection technology that utilizes motion sensors to give you a dentist-perfect clean every time. It literally connects to your smartphone to guide you through your brushing (that’s as good as having a personal dental hygienist at your disposal every morning and night)! It even comes with a travel case that charges the toothbrush and your phone.

Crazy white and healthy teeth with endless technological perks? It’s like it was made for me.

(You’ll be pleased to know it is also currently £170 off at Boots!)

Lip Products of the Month
MAC Cremesheen Glass in Partial To Pink and lipstick in Matte Royal: These two are the fruits of my latest personal shopping adventure in Heathrow and I am as addicted to the Cremesheen’s non-sticky shine as I am Matte Royal’s electrifying hue.

Ciate Magic Pout Potion: It has been over ten years since I sampled the hyper-stinging lip plumpers of my youth and I have finally found one that doesn’t make me want to cry. Ciate’s Magic Pout Potion is a lip primer that hydrates as it plumps, sting-free, utilizing ‘Portulaca Pilosa’ (a Native American flower which boosts the production of hyaluronic acid). Or, as Ciate likes to call it,’VolulipTM Technology’.

A photo posted by Lela London (@lelalondon) on


I don’t do sleek hair. My hair – much like my personality – is a cacophony of wildness that plays to the beat of its own drum.

I was a tad nervous when Rush and Redken asked if I wanted to create a salon versus home-styling tutorial for their lovely NYC Fashion Week Style Kit. Even more so when their pro gave my the best blow-dry of my life (it lasted for five days of international travel!).

You can watch the beauty (and anxiety!) unfold in our respective videos – enjoy!

beauty favourites august 2016
I am beyond excited to share this month’s beauty favourites; game-changers, skin-savers, and all…

The Perfect 10 Ultimate Connock London Body Treatment
When I realised Perfect 10 delivered everything from blow dries to spray tans straight to your door, it made perfect sense to follow up a few 14-hour work days (the not-so-glamorous dark side of blogging!) with a little something something for myself.

I opted for ‘The Ultimate Connock London Body Treatment’ – a Hawaiian Kukui Oil massage – and it was 90 minutes of pure bliss. The natural oil is the perfect compliment to a Lomi Lomi massage as it offers intense hydration and skin protection. If I wasn’t so busy I could have easily spent the rest of the day soaking in the bath.

Knowing something this relaxing is only a few clicks away when I find myself with a spare 90 minutes makes those 14-hour-plus days fly by.

Embyolisse Micellar Lotion & Radiant Eye Cream Roll-On
For whatever reason, it has taken me ages to try the micellar lotion that kicked off the entire craze, but I am incredibly glad I finally did. Embryolisse’s ‘micellar water’ is the most gentle of its kind that I have used, yet removes every trace of make-up (including my water-resistant mascara).

When I began trialling the aforemtnioned, I also picked up Embryolisee’s roll-on Radiant Eye Cream and have to say it is probably my favourite of the two. Utilising aloe vera and glycerine, the stick is actually cool to the touch (which feels unbelievable on my permanently tired eyes). Though small, the dual-action stick not only brightens and moisturises the eye area but botanically depuffs and boosts circulation around it, as well! Game changer.

Nugg Lip Mask
This tiny little gold ball has not left my bedside table as packs a hydrating, plumping and softening punch. The mask – which I apply at night – is made up of 100% natural and vegan ingredients like circulation-boosting liquorice root (ideal for those looking for Kylie Jenner lips without the surgery). I haven’t managed to get to the end of my first ball yet but can’t wait to do so and build up a little gold ring-holder collection!

Su-Man Facial Glow Rejuvenating Masks
My favourite facialist, Su-Man, recently released her Facial Glow Rejuvenating Masks to the public and I couldn’t get my face in one fast enough. As a celebrity facialist, it will never be as easy to book in with her as it will be to throw on a mask on a flight so I split my pack open and hoped for the time-crunched best.

Thankully, they’re fantastic. Using advanced bio cellulose technology, orchid extract, seawater mineral concentrate, brown algae, peptides and more, the Rejuvenating Masks blend her Asian-influenced skincare know-how and comforting demeanor to hydrate, brighten, soothe, and plump for the youngest and freshest-looking skin imaginable. In 10 minutes. Seriously now.

Boutique Spa Manicure
Though I manage to get away with it here in Internetland, I get called up on my lack of nail care all the time in my daily life. Chipped nail polish and Lela London are practically synonymous. But I’m trying to make a change. Which is why I popped into Boutique Spa for a manicure the day before a photoshoot.

The spas are dotted all over London, have longer operating hours than any of their competitors (10am to 9.30pm), and give you a 10% discount if you book through their app, meaning they are the perfect option for even the most forgetful customer. Ahem.

If a 30 minute Shania Twain singalong with a manicurist is all it takes to take away my forgetful nail anxiety, I’d say a regular appointment is more than worth it.

Veet Sensitive Precision Beauty Styler
Like most women, I feel like I’m always on the brink of perfect eyebrows but never quite there. That was, in fact, until I went to the launch of Veet’s new Sensitive Precision Beauty Styler and learned that a few quick strokes could give me high definition-ready brows. The Styler – designed for use on our most sensitive areas (face, underarms and bikini) – is quick, gentle, and uses a selection of electric blades (there are two different trimming heads) to shape the areas to perfection. As the blades don’t touch the skin, these is also no risk of cuts. My brows couldn’t be happier.

Korres Wild Rose CC Cream SPF 30
Last but not least, my saviour of Boardmasters Festival: the Korres Wild Rose CC Cream. I had been trialling the product in lieu of foundation for a few weeks and loved the finish – even skin that still shows my freckles – but didn’t fall in love with it until its SPF factor got me through a few days in the sun having accidentally packed a dodgy body SPF product.

The cream corrects, smooths, brightens, and protects like no other CC cream in the market. It is everything you could want from ‘no-makeup makeup’ alongside long term skin benefits. I will never be without this in my makeup bag.