I've had a stressful few weeks...months...years. In short, any opportunity for a moment of relaxation or pampering, of any degree, is always needed and welcomed. When I found out that I had been invited, along with fellow YouTubers Becca Lammin and Amber Doig Thorne. to have a girly day at the iconic Corinthia Hotel, and attend the premiere of Fifty Shades Darker, I was simply ecstatic.
What a treat!
Since the email came through I've been wishing the days away, so this lovely day could finally take place and I could leave work/life/health stresses behind for a few hours.
As I write this it's sunday and I'm working non stop from bed, soundtracked to the screams of my boyrfriend shouting at Liverpool FC.... Take me back to Thursday the 9th and my suite at the Corinthia... please!!
The Corinthia's position is ideal for those coming into London from out of town. Visiting from Weybridge in Surrey, it was a rare treat only having to take one stop on the Tube to reach my final destination. If the weather has been more favourable I would have been able to walk from Waterloo with ease. Just a short distance from Trafalgar and Leicester Square it is a location for tourists and those likely to be busy in the centre of our great capital.
While impressive a building it is, it is nestled in rather subtly amongst the other historic building on Whitehall. The friednly but finely dressed doorman being the giveaway to it's entrance.
As soon as you step into the reception, the staff are on hand to help guide you to where you need to be, and to help you carry your overpacked bags if needed. As we were walked round the seating/tea area to get the lift to our room on the first floor, we could't help but be bewitched by the elegant surroundings. The space is decorated with beautiful roses in varies hues of pink and red, there's a stunning modern chandelier which is contemporary but sympathetic to the architecture of the room nestles into the circular gap in the ceiling. It's instant'y obvious why this is considered one of the world's best hotels, and favoured by many visiting celebrities.
I haven't posted many pictures of the room as there is a full room tour on the vlog that I'd like you to go and watch (pretty please), but here's a few hightlights.
As a big fan of soaking in buggles and an avid TV watcher, the fact that the humungus bath was elevated to an even higher level of showbiz ridiculousness by this TV, made my day. This is quite literally 'living the dream' in my eyes.
There were so many details in the room that served as a reminder that you were in a very luxurious and prestiguous hotel. There were these button lighting systems, the touch phone that allowed you to reach the consierge, book a haircut, and order pretty much anything you could ever want. Amber hadn't brought her swimwear so I called down to ask if they had any spares, and they said we'd be able to guy some swimwear, no problem!
Like the spa, the products in the room were also ESPA, a brand I have loved for many years. I used to review Spa's for Stylebible and I was always particularly fond of ESPA products and treatments.
The bathroom was perfect for the purposes of getting ready for a night out with the girls.
It had the incredibly deep bath, but also a very roomy shower too so two could start their regime at one time. There was also a toilet in a separate compartment so one doesn'tt have to waste time waiting for someone to finish washing, beautifying or bathing, if nature happens to call.....
One day I hope I'll be able to return and spend a night at The Corinthia, The girly day relaxing in our suite was special enough, so I can only imagine the bed with its crisp white bedding would deliver a dreamy night's rest. All commnual areas of the hotel looked similarly spectacular in design and quality, so I'd love to experience all the luxury it offers it's guests. I think the fact it has a in house florist says it all really....Imagine how great it would be for Valentines day, with your girls, or your other half (or potential other half).
The SPA (ESPA)
Becca and I had bee messaging eachother about our Fifty Shades Darker girly day and we were both unified in her excitement about visiting the ESPA spa. I know it's not brain surgery, and we're not saving the world, but what we do can be awfully tiring and taxing on the body and mind, particularly if juggling it with other careers. I was very much in need of some remedy via hot water and steam, so was in a hurry to get down to the spa reception once we were settled into our room and robed up.
You want people to be relaxed in a spa setting, so quite rightly you shoudn't film/take pictures, but as we were there to vlog our day at the Corinthia, we got a few snapshots to share with that we managed to get when there was no one else in the spa.
A bit of info about the spa... ESPA Life has brought together a globally acclaimed team of naturopaths, traditional Chinese Medicine acupuncturists and herbalists, osteopaths, personal trainers and spa professionals to tailor Lifestyle Programmes to promote optimal health and wellbeing. Spread over four floors, the spa features 17 treatment rooms, a private spa suite, nail studio, indoor swimming pool, vitality pool, amphitheatre sauna, ice fountain, marble heated loungers and private sleep pods. The spa café complements the overall offering by serving light, nutritious refreshments.
Situated above the dramatic thermal suite floor, leading edge equipment features in an impeccable fitness and rehabilitation offerings, within our 24 hour gym.
The reception staff were extremely helpful. Not only were they able to give Becca a hair tie, having forgotton she'd need to keep her hair dry ahead of our makeover unless she wanted to eat up spa time utlising the room's hair dryer that was in our walk-in wardrobe. I only said that sentence so I could let you know we had a walk-in wardrobe.
They were also extremely proficient at hiding the fact that they must have thought we were a bit sill, when we got lost trying to make our way out of the spa at the end of our visit. I blamed the sauna heat for my temporary memory failure.
The extensive facilities at ESPA Life are situated over 4 elegant floors and consist of exclusive separate sex Spa Changing and Heat Experiences; Dramatic Sauna, Steam Room and Lifestyle Showers are situated in the Female Spa Changing and Sauna, Tepidarium and Power Showers
in the Male.
This is where we spent all of our time. i find Saunas hard to deal with, I always end up coughing for some reason, but if I were a fan of them their Amphitheatre Sauna would be a favourite - I love how you can see out of it, it feels less claustrophobic than the normal wooden cupboard. There is also a Steam Room, feature showers, Ice Fountain, Pool, and my favourite element, the Vitality Pool which had various air and water massage jets. Some of these were extremely powerful and at least felt like they were doing some good whether it was bashing the stress out of me, or breaking down that cellulite.
Of course we chose to ignore this particilar area of the spa area of the horel, but I have numerous fitness fanatic friends who would have made the most of this state-of-the-art gym equipped with cardio vascular and strength machines, Powerplate, free weights area and private personal training pods. They also have ESPA Life personal trainers are on hand to help you prepare for sporting events, specific goals or assistance with the creation of a life-changing fitness routine.
A glam studio dedicated to manicures and pedicures, with a refreshment menu including freshly squeezed juices, tisanes, Champagne or beer.
THE SPA LOUNGE
Offering nutritious cuisine for breakfast, lunch and tea focusing on a ‘Taste of Health’.
Freshly squeezed juices, smoothies, tisanes, Champagne and fine wines are also available.
DANIEL GALVIN HAIR SALON
A team of dedicated colour specialists and stylists are on hand to cater to your every hair request. I can imagine this is an extremely helpful addition to hotel for people that travel or use the hotel as a base ahead of glam events.
The feature ceiling in the seated area within the spa
My boyfriend always get jealous when I do these spa trips as he is a big fan of a pamper sessions and a natural water baby. I've already promised him we'd visit this spa together, as I feel like he'sd appreciate the decor. It's unique in that it manages to be both girly and masculine.
It is one of the most stunning spa's I have visited and I've reviewered numerous 4/5 star spa's during my career. What makes a space relaxing isn't a universal thing, but the dark decor and dim lighting really helped me to switch off from the outside world and zone into relaxation territory. The twinkly lights, fire paired with the dark aesthetic also evoked a mood which I believe would be condusive to romantic behaviour. You know what I'm getting at....
GET READY WITH ME
It's been so long since I've had a girly get ready together session. At uni it was something I experienced a few times a week. We'd try on different outfits and ask for opinons, borrow from eachothers wardrobes, and enjoy some drinkies, music and gossip while doing so. But a decade after uni, with all my girlies living in different areas, and with us all having very different schedules, this is something that never happens anymore. How lovely it was to get ready for the night's premiere with Beccca, and Amber once she was awake from her much needed sleep (she was feeling very unwell).
This is the Babyliss tong that was used to create my waves. We tried the tong on the right first, and it gave lovely relaxed waves, but we could see that in time they would drop and the hair would likely look a bit flat by the time we were due to leave for Leicester Square. Instead we went for a tighter wave that would still be present even with a bit of drop out. If you're hair is looking a bit dull or lifeless I would thoroughly reccommend using this tong to create some shape and body to your hair. I couldn't believe how shiny and healthy it looked as the light reflected on the wavy strands. This tong is now on my wish list - thanks to Erica Schlegel for introducing me!
I know my eyes tell a different story but I really wasn't drunk, promise. In fact I didn't have anything to drink!
Amber with her make up done - doesn't she look beautiful, like a pre raphaelite babe.
The finished look....
To fit in with the theme of the night's movie I went for a smokey grey eye look. I'm always more about enhancing the eyes than the lips (because I've always had thin granny lips), so we went for a neautral lip to allow the eyes to be the focus. I usually put liner on my lower lash line, so when I first saw the finished look I felt slightly bare, but my wise make up artist told me that adding it would make my eyes (which are small) look smaller. So to find a middle ground we did a bit of liner on the outer edge below the lash line.
When I was asked what look I wanted for the evening, I pointed out that I'd like my bags disguised as much as possible, alongside this sexy smokey eye. As you guys know I've been struggling with my M.E and the resulting effects on the body in recent months, so I really wanted to put an effort into looking less tired and haggard. These shots don't show it off great, because hotel lighting is downwards facing and very unflattering, but she did a great job at neautralising the dark circles.
I saw that she had Inika make up in her kit - a cruelty-free brand that I have reviewed on this blog in the last year. I asked if we could use Inika foundation because I hadn't tried their liquid foundation yet, and where possible I'd like to be 'cruelty free'. We weren't sure it would be a perfect match, but it turned out to be fine. I was so impressed with the coverage and how it lasted, and it was all perfectly in place by the time I got home...even after a hefty dashing of mizzly rain.
Finally ready to go!
A car was scheduled to arrive at the hotel at 6 to take us all the premiere taking place at The Odeon Leicester Square. It arrived a little late, and we also had a poorly Amber wavering about whether or not she should come with us, so everything got a bit stressful and delayed. Sadly Amber was too unwell to risk walking the carpet, so Becca and I rushed to get in the car and make our way to the final destination before the Fifty Shades Darker red carpet festivites climaxed.
I can't tell you what a treat it was to get a car to an event, how lovely to turn up to an event without blisters, an injury caused by a calamity, or lookng drenched/sweaty. I'm so used to having to travel on various trains and tubes to get to these glamorous events, I always feel like all my hard work to attempt to oom glam and carpet ready ends up being a waste! Not this time (thank you Universal UK).
There were huge crowds of fans surrounding he fenced off area, so it took a bit of argy bargy to get through and find the entrance point. If you are a regular viewer of my film premiere vlogs you'll know how hectic and rushed a premiere is, and just how hard it is to get a good picture or slick or lengthy vlog content. Due to the fact we arrived on the carpet the same time that Jamie and Dakota were posing in front of the press, it meant the security was heightened and it was even more manic. You may remember my camera got broken at a past premiere when I was trying to get footage while being hurried in by security, so I'm always thankful if i manage to get on useable instagram and even a few seconds of footage that prove I was there without an accident of some sort!
As Becca and I were both trying to get our snapchats and vlog footage done, and we didn't have our manager to help carry all of our GIRLY, gubbins or help us nail that instagram shot, we didn't come away with pics we loved of our premiere outfits. I think Becca looks like a superstar, but you know what us girls are like, we can always pinpoint about hundred things we hate about our appearances in pictures!
You can gauge how the film's gone down quite easily at a premiere. This was a very animated audience who let you know what bits made them laugh, swoon, feel embarrassed....or feel a bit/very sexy. A man in front of me clapped loudly during Jamie's workout scene and he was sitting there with his family!
Existing fans of the franchise seemed extremely satisfied with Fifty Shades Darker (in more ways than one) and relished that we got to see a more relateable and endearing side of Christian. I'd say that everything went up a notch since the last movie...more mystery, more bitchiness, more romance, more sex, more cheeky one liners. The film has been in cinemas since 10th February,
If you've seen the film let me know what you thought.
A huge thank you to Universal Pictures UK and the Corinthia Hotel for such a lovely day to celebrate the premiere of Fifty Shades Darker. This is NOT a sposored post.
The film is out now and stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan.
The film is out now and stars Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan.