Friday, 28 September 2012

Teeth Whitening - I get "The Stuff"

It's here, The Stuff....

I've two trays, a de-sensitiser, whitening stuff, full instructions and toothpaste.
Here's what I need to do:

Night One
Put the stuff in the green syringe in the trays (this is the de-sensitiser)

Night Two Onwards
Put the clear stuff in the trays (this is the whitening stuff)

If you feel sensitivity, go back to Vitality (

In truth, it's more caring than that.  The process can make your teeth feel sensitive, which is a real concern as my teeth hate even the air that dentists blow at them.   There are ways of managing this and Vitality were at pains to reinforce how they can support me.  Arvin tells me he's never had a patient fail the process and never had a patient feel on-going sensitivity.  I have absolute faith in him.

I'm nervous, but excited as my teeth will look better in just two weeks time - bring it on.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Makeover Part 2

Last night we had our two lovely ladies back for their makeovers and what stars they were. 

A huge thank you must also go to Rush Horsham, where Huw and his team did a great job on both our ladies to create new looks that they were absolutely thrilled with.  Sue (in the photo above) had her hair styled by Emma Fitzpatrick (also in shot) and Sue tells me they had a great time together.  Jasmin was styled by Marco and loved her soft new look (not shown here as her piece is out on 1st Nov, so you'll have to wait).  Rush has some great offers at so do take a look.

Likewise, both ladies had their make up done by the brilliant Karen Loraine of The Make Up Box Studio (

Karen used airbrush foundation, which is brilliant and gives the best finish, whilst her assistant Claire Cook made a great job of the lips using colours to complement the clothes.

Georgedé fashion looked great and Sue chose from their A/W 2012 Artisan range, with bold colours and beautiful fabrics to complete her new look.

Sue's makeover is unveiled in next week's WSCT so do take a look and I hope that you love it as much as she did!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Teeth Whitening

It was when I got the photos taken for this blog (you know, the one on the rhs in the black and white blouse) that I looked at the shots and realised that my teeth were perhaps not Simon Cowell-esque in their brightness.  The truth is that discoloured teeth are ageing and these days it’s easily fixed.

I went to see Arvin Mirzadeh (hands up, he is also my dentist) who runs the very caring Vitality Dental Practice in Pulborough ( ) .  Arvin is relatively new in Pulborough but he’s built a reputation for kindness, excellence and cleanliness.   Oh yes, he’s also very honest about your dental situation and won’t cut you any slack on the flossing front.  Over past appointments we’ve discussed teeth whitening, the various methods available and why he favours trays rather than blue light treatment which I'll tell you about in a future blog.

Stage one is very fast.  Arvin gets two trays and checks that they fit your mouth after taking some truly hideous before photos, which you can see with the after shots in 2 weeks time.  He then fills the trays with dental "Plasticine" that stars quite runny and firms up around the teeth in order to take a proper impression.  It’s a real mouthful, but he does the bottom first, then the top and checks on comfort throughout.  I thought I might gag but, luckily for both him and me, I managed not.  As the resin hardens Arvin wiggles the mould, off it comes and into the post.   My personalised trays will come back this Thursday when I get told about how to use the gel.

My teeth can be quite sensitive due to thin enamel so I'm really interested to see how I get on.  The last time I attempted this (around 10 years ago) I found it so painful on the outside of my teeth that I didn't get past Day 1, but Arvin assures me it will be fine. 

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Skin Nasties

I had the pleasure last night of meeting Kate Buckman, who runs Essential Beauty up at Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre (

Kate offers all the usual treatments, but she is also one of the few therapists in West Sussex trained in Advanced Electrolysis which treats a range of skin nasties from warts, moles, milia, skin tags, blood spots, red veins etc. which is why I visited her.  I'm writing a piece for October on this amazing treatment which really can change lives.

These before & after shots are of a man who had a wart on his lip (bottom picture).  His wife hadn't kissed him for 15 years because of it yet with a simple course of Electrolysis the result above revolutionised his life. (photos courtesy of Elaine Stoddart, the doyenne of Advanced Electrolysis in the UK ).  Cases such as this and mole removal often require your doctor's assurance that it's safe (and sensible) to proceed, but many cases for other problems can be treated without referral, you just need to ask your therapist what they think is best.

There are many stories like this and Kate was fascinating to talk to and we discussed how Electrolysis has become less fashionable as it's a treatment usually associated with hair removal and is perceived less "high tech" than perhaps lasers are.   I think it's a really interesting subject and if you want to know more check out the piece and Kate's salon review on 25th October 2012 in WSCT and on my website.

(The dreaded needle!)

Monday, 17 September 2012

Last night we took the before photos of our makeover participants for WSCT.  They are very good sports and we're looking forward to the transformation

Our first lady, Sue Jones, summoned up the incredible self discipline to not only get fit, but lost two and a half stone in the process.  Sue's a really lovely lady who worked jolly hard to get her weight down and we had a good chat about the whole process which I'll share when the piece is published.

Our second, Jasmin Martin is just 20 years old from Brighton.  To be blunt, she's so pretty I'm not sure what kind of transformation we can achieve but we'll give it a go!  Sue's story will be out on 4th October and Jasmin's on 1st November - can't wait!

Many thanks to Shirley and Simon Parker-Smith for the photography and to Huw at Rush Horsham who will be seeing our ladies next week for their hair cuts & styling.

Slinfold Golf & Country Club

It's funny isn't it, when you revisit places from your past and they have changed beyond recognition from your memory?  

I hadn’t been to the Slinfold Golf & Country Club for over 10 years, having moved further south in the County which put it out of reach.  However, when I pulled up in the car park the only bit I recognized was the split 9-hole course, which runs either side of the drive.  My husband and I played golf here years ago and while the course was well kept then, the clubhouse was, bluntly,  tired. 

I had asked for a "show-round" (OK, a nose around) so that I could see how the place had come on and I was genuinely surprised.  The reception staff were absolutely lovely and very kind.  Dan (in photo by the pool) gave me the guided tour and did a great job explaining the benefits, what members love and how they make it work.  Slinfold is a completely different place to the one I remember and is a real find if you live close by.  The pool is a fantastic size, a sensible shape, with a steam room and hot tub completing the wet area.  The changing rooms were luxurious, compared to some I see, with wooden lockers that actually return your coin rather than keeping it, a petty, pointless practice which just gets everyone's blood up.  However I did note that they didn't give me a pound coin for my locker but rather a generic coin with no value - very wise.

The gym is more comprehensive than many local authority ones (and certainly knocks Sally-on-the-farm's stable conversion into a cocked riding hat) with a strong mix of equipment that is again, well thought out.  I particularly liked the Power Plate's (except your bum faces everyone else in the gym which is not a good look in my case), the Spinning Room with disco lights (see below) and the studio as I love weigh based exercise classes like Body Combat.

I was very impressed that the gym was non-smelly so that it would appeal to both men and women.  If you like weight training (and I do) this is great, but if you like CV you get the bonus of a fantastic view across the countryside to while away the miles.

The management are nicely proactive; there's a different food night each week, members events at the weekend, a carvery on Sunday and activities a-plenty.  If I had a young family, was on my own or was retired I can see how Slinfold would offer a real chance to socialise in relaxed surroundings, even if you don't play golf.

Like all these clubs, they're only worth it if you use it, but if you do think you want to get fit/get out more/learn golf then I think it's not a bad place to start and no, I'm not being paid to say so!

Spa Review of The Retreat at Slinfold coming up on 27th September 2012 in West Sussex County Times

Friday, 14 September 2012

Cannes Film Festival-The Goddess

At the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year (which, frankly, was chucking it down with rain for 48 hours solid and not the sunshine spring jaunt I was banking on), I got to work with the Olivier award-winning Laura Michelle Kelly (Mary Poppins), who was starring with Ronan Keating in his very first film, The Goddess.

It was my first time at the Festival and it was quite an experience.  Security is tight everywhere and no one wants to look like they're rubber necking, which was good, as without my glasses I can't see anything at all.  Clearly there were lots of stars there but, to be blunt, I couldn't have recognised them in a line up.  The last time I recognised anyone was Jeffery Archer in Le Caprice just before he got sent down, which dates me somewhat.  I accept that I was in the Dorchester Spa in June when Jenson Button was there, but while everyone else saw him, my glasses were off hence I missed him.

I was in Cannes with Mary Kay who were sponsoring the after-show party as well as providing the make up artist for LMK and Ronan throughout their stay.  Ronan is a decent bloke who is pretty low maintenance.  Let me tell you he knows how to work a room and genuinely puts the graft in.  Laura - bless her - agreed to let me do a video interview with her on beauty routines, secrets, Cannes etc and I'll upload it shortly.  

In the meantime, if you're in London and not at London Fashion Week you can see it for real this weekend as part of Film Fest Australia
Take a box of choccies and enjoy.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Hitting the Gym

With the kids back at school Sally-with-the-farm (as opposed to Sally-up-the-road, they're different people) and I have decided to get our derailed fitness programmes back on track and so Monday night saw us in the stable that her husband has converted into a gym.

It's really quite a comprehensive set up and beats my bench with free weights hands down, but there is a big difference that we discovered as we got down to business. Now, not many people know this but my very first job was as a fitness instructor and so I got to boss Sally around and tell her what to do.  I'd created a programme that was quite comprehensive and took a book with pictures and everything.  However, when we got into the bench presses with the barbell we found that we were exceptionally pathetic at it.  We couldn't work out why we could only bench press 1kg at each end of the bar, and then a max of three times.  We should have been able to do at least 12 reps.

It transpires that the gym is set up for men, so all the weights are quite large and the bar of said barbell weighs 20kg on its own, meaning we were pressing 22kg and not the 2kg we thought.  No wonder my shoulders ache today.

Anyway, I left Sally with a programme for a further 2 sessions before next week and I've got a different one to go with my dumbbells, but this morning Sally is moaning about cramp in both feet and so I suspect I'll have to go back to whip her into shape before next time.  It's much more satisfying to order others about than to take ones own medicine.

The point is, with 3 clear months until Christmas, there's a good opportunity to get yourself into shape before the indulgences start (or in my case, restart as Summer was a bit of a disaster).  September is almost as busy for gyms as January so either take up one of their offers, get yourself out into the countryside walking, grab a bike or take up some other activity that you really fancy.  There's a very real truth in that you never feel worse for exercising.  The thought of it is awful, the reality of it is often awful, but you always feel better - go on, let the Olympics inspire you and give it a go.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Welcome to my very first post on the brand new Karen Davis blog!

I'm thrilled to be writing this as my beauty page at West Sussex County Times (WSCT) launches on 13th September 2012 and this blog is to accompany the new website and give a bit more information than the page can.  You may not know that I also write for PQ International, a polo magazine that is kind enough to let me have three pages to rattle on about luxury beauty every month.  Anyway, in the main, my website and blog are going to be extensions of my work for the magazine and paper, mixed in with news from the day job as one of the UK's longest established beauty PR's.  Hopefully, the news should be interesting (you'll be the judge of that) and fun (I'll be the judge of that).

Today, I'm off to the lovely Felbridge Hotel in East Grinstead to meet with Stuart Noble (hotel manager) and Corrine, a friend who is a freelance PR and lives near Midhurst.

Anyway, the Felbridge Hotel underwent a major refurb a few years ago and the inside now looks fantastic with the exterior, as ever, a challenge.  Do go in as they have a great bar, good restaurants and a luxury spa, which is what I'm reviewing for a future page.  Stuart tells me they've just added Guinot products to their listings.  I was a HUGE fan of Guinot around 10 years ago before moving to Environ and others since.  They lost their way a little in the UK for around 6 years, but there must be a new management team as they are popping up everywhere.   We'll come back to Guinot after the review.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of working with Jennifer Lucy ( who did my make up for my profile photo on this blog and the new WSCT page and Graham Franks ( the brilliant photographer that I've worked with for years who took the shots.  I have to say, thanks to them it took perhaps just 30 minutes to take the photos?  It was just how I like to work - in, out, job done.  Thank you both.

Finally, do sign up to follow this blog if you love beauty (and my ramblings mixed in) and I'll see you next time.