Regular readers of my beauty columns and blogs will know how much I preach good skincare from within as a first step – drinking plenty of water and eating a heavily plant-based diet come first and foremost for me; but we’re all human and we can all fall off the healthy wagon even with the best intentions. In fact, the month of November has pretty much been a constant water catch-up with a diet of the richest, heaviest food so far for me, so any help I can get is appreciated.


With this ‘help’ in mind I took a trip to Radiance Day Spa on the Upper Lisburn Road. The salon, which is owned by Beauty Power House Christine Mackin, recently re-launched with a fresh interior design and a brand new skincare range designed by Christine in conjunction with some of the best cosmetic chemists and biologists around.  The range, also called Radiance, is a targeted, results-driven capsule collection of products which uses clinically proven, highly-active ingredients to target different skin concerns and I was relishing my treatment a fortnight before I got it. 

My appointment began with a consultation where I was talked through the process and I voiced any concerns I had skin-wise. My facial goals are always the same – keep the hydration high and the lacklustre look low. But this time I also asked for a bit of extraction on the clogged pores on my nose. More on that later…

Using a machine, my skin was then scanned using black UV light  before my lovely therapist produced some (slightly scary) images of my face showing areas of dehydration, enlarged pores, hyperpigmentation and sun damage. To my delight, I am not as wrinkly as I had feared (yay) and my skin is generally in quite good condition (double yay). Using this analysis she then picked some products that were targeted specifically to my own skin’s needs.

I then snuggled under a blanket and once I was comfortable (I was so comfortable throughout the treatment I almost feel asleep…twice!) we began the treatment, using  the Radiance cleanse product - a soothing, natural daily cleanser which removes any traces of make up. This luxurious gloop of goodness removes toxins from the skin and prepares the skin for treatment. I then had a glycolic wash to gently exfoliate the skin and remove any dead skin cells, encouraging cell replenishment (aka new, fresh skin). Even though I am lucky to have been blessed with my mother’s good skin genes, the wear and tear of daily living is unavoidable so anything that promises anti-ageing has my attention!

After the blackheads and clogged pores on the end of my nose were cleared with a good old squeeze to extract dirt and sebaceous build-up (ouch – but totally worth it – I could not believe the difference) it was time for the massage – my favourite part of the facial!

Any parent with young children will agree that just having 10 mins to lie back and relax is amazing, and probably one of the greatest luxuries to (wo)man – albeit a very rare one! (For me, any chance to even sit down usually involves going through 200+ emails or sorting out paper work, so this was total bliss!) Some facialists also say that the movements of the hands in massaging motion are as important as the products used in the treatment, and I can honestly say I am a believer of this when you have the right facialist working on you.

After the massage, I had not one but two serums applied onto my skin to stimulate collagen, soften lines and improve elasticity while increasing hydration and boosting radiance. First up, Professional Strength Vitamin C Serum was rubbed onto my skin; this is packed with antioxidants and protects DNA. Next, a Hyaluronic Acid serum was massaged in. This can hold up to 1000 x its weight in water and works by attracting moisture from the atmosphere and binding it into the skin for a hydrating and anti-ageing effect. Genius, eh?

After the facial my face looked radiant and I upgraded to have a full body massage with the most fantastic masseuse Siubhan – 2 hours later I left the salon feeling very relaxed and happy and was able to meet clients with a glowing and fresh face that afternoon.

That night at home I was sitting on the sofa beside Mr Cathy and, after staring at me for a few moments (he’s not weird, we just like each other!), he finally asked “What happened to your face?”  And, before he finished,  I immediately began worrying that I had taken some sort of reaction to an active facial product (it has happened before and believe me when I say it ain’t pretty), so of course I had a mildly panicked look on my face and started touching my cheeks and forehead to feel for any heat or redness, but he finally finished his sentence smiling and said “you’re glowing”. So I quickly made a mental note to book another appointment at Radiance – and maybe even book in for a double session with yer man in tow.