When I'm not hobnobbing with Graham Norton and his Josephs at film premieres or knee deep in beauty samples (HA!) I can generally be found face down at a desk, hunched over a thousand movie stills with a thousand minute differences with a look of complete terror in my eyes, fist-sized knots in my shoulders and forehead furrows deep enough to grow a fine crop of of hay.
Somone saw this.
Someone took pity on me.
Someone sent me to Ark Health and Beauty in Wimbledon Village.
For almost two blissful hours, I was pampered, preened, pulled and pummelled into squidgy submission by the most lovely therapist I've ever had the pleasure to meet. First we talked about my skin goals (to not look like I've been crying at my desk, mainly) and then said lovely therapist took me downstairs into a lovely, relaxing little room where she cleansed, steamed, massaged and (ouch) squeezed my skin, shoulders and scalp until I was absolutely floating.
Afterwards, we went through my face map to discuss my skin problems and lovely therapist recommended some products to decongest my skin but there was absolutely no pressure. And given that I felt so good, it had crossed my mind that the steamer had included something less legally 'herbal' than eucalyptus*, she probably could have sold me anything.
We ladies often give ourselves a hard time, we have so many commitments, so many things we have to put in front of ourselves that sometimes we forget to stop, slow down and remember that we exist as people too. It doesn't matter how many anti-wrinkle creams you put on your skin, if you're uber stressed, over tired or not looking after yourself, it's going to show.
This experience was such an education. Everything I thought I knew about my skin, everything I'd ever been told was old news. Totally out of date. Now I feel like I've got a much better understanding of how to keep my skin looking lovely and I even have a healthy glow.
The next time I find myself hidden under my desk, making a small fort out of Spider-Man 3 movie tie-in books, I will not hyperventilate and buy a brownie, I will reach for my phone, call Lindsay at Ark and book a facial.
Or maybe a massage...
Or a mani-pedi might be nice...
You can do the same on 020 8944 8099 for Wimbledon Village, 020 8788 8888 for Putney, 020 7243 8889 for Holland Park and 020 7731 8890 for Wandsworth Bridge Road.
*It didn't by the way, they're just really good at Ark, they don't actually get you stoned.