This week we're joined by Marion Kapella, spa director at Adare Manor hotel in Ireland...
Can you imagine a career where facials and massages aren’t a perk but are mandatory? Rock climbing-enthusiast and beauty world geek Marion Kapella oversees the UK’s only La Mer spa (one of just 11 worldwide) where her work days aren’t your typical. Set inside the 5-star Adare Manor hotel in Limerick, this spa is the definition of luxury and she is the cog that keeps its wheels turning. Kapella spends her work-life running day-to-day operations, spearheading marketing strategies, training staff and ensuring every treatment offered is fit to her demanding standards. How does she do this? Testing them out on a routine basis, of course. Though you think this would be enough to stave off an expensive cosmetic habit, if anything its fuelled it. We meet Kapella on a week she has to take a trip to London and trial a massage and a pedicure – poor her!
7:30am The first thing I do when I wake up is refresh my face with Avene Extremely Gentle Cleansing Lotion (£10.50), I then apply a drop of La Mer Renewal Oil (£170) mixing it with La Mer Soft Cream (£120). As Adare Manor, where I am Spa Director, is home to the only La Mer spa in the UK and Ireland I luckily have a constant supply of their products.
7.45am Time to get the faced prepped to meet clients, I like using 111 Skin's Celestial Diamond eye contour gel (£54), which has a great texture. I then start my make-up application while drinking a very long Americano. As I am so visible in my job and need to look elegant at all times, I prefer a fresh, natural look. Nars concealer (£24) and Armani foundation (£42) are my go-to products. I also use Mac mineralise powder (£25) when I want a lighter application. If I had one make-up product to take with me to a desert island, it will be the Dior Show Iconic Mascara (£27) as eyes are everything. I also apply La Mer lip balm (£50) as a finishing touch to nourish my lips.
8:30am Running late, so it's breakfast on-the-go today of a peanut butter brown bread sandwich and one softgel CLA supplements (£4.99) from My Protein, which has a naturally occurring omega-6 fatty acid.
8:40am Quickly feed my dog before heading out.
9:30am The number one perk of my job is auditing the therapists team. Sure, it doesn't sound glamorous but it means I get a routine a facial at work as I have to make sure that the treatments are following standards and protocols. It's a hard life, I know. Today I picked The La Mer Miracle Broth, it's 90 minutes of pure luxury. This treatment uses a pure infusion of the Miracle Broth that has restorative properties and empowers the fives facets of renewal: moisture, regeneration, soothing- smoothing and radiance. The application of the La Mer Hydrating Facial mask works really well on my complexion, plus I love the addition of ice on the top of it.
7pm After work I hit the gym, but first I remove my makeup with a cleansing lotion and I put on a super eyes mask sheet that I bought in Korea (£6). I am obsessed with Korean cosmetics…It is actually surprising how it took so long to arrive in Europe !? Then I do an intense work out with my PT followed by a protein shake and light dinner.
8pm While I shower I apply my favourite body cream after, which is Palmers Cocoa Butter (£3.99).
11pm I am quite ashamed to admit that I got very badly sunburnt on my chest while climbing Kilimanjaro last month. Yes sometimes a spa manager can forget her sunscreen… As a result, I have to apply a brightening serum to remove the sunspots. I use the Brilliance Brightening Intense Serum from La Mer (£260). Great improvement so far!
11.15pm Sat on my bed watching Netflix while I apply my night creams. I like La Mer Eye concentrate's (£155) for my eyes and Murad City Skin Overnight Detox (£65) for my face.
8am After snoozing five times in a row, I force myself out of bed and relive yesterday's routine.
10am Today I'm auditing the Margaret Dabbs Pedicure, as I said, it's tough being me. I love their feet scrubs as those grains might be tiny but are very strong.
1pm Lunchtime...I have a cigarette (I am French...sorry)
1.05pm I take a sip of collagen as my skin needs a little boost (Pure Gold Collagen 10 x bottles, £35.99) and keep on having my usual supplements.
6pm I avoid the gym, but the guilt sets in so I work out at home with my barbell and my new exercise bands (£7.90 on eBay)
7pm I receive so many gifts so when I get a free evening I like to try my new products, today I'm putting to the test a mask from spa finder that you mix yourself. It smells seafood :/
7.10pm Ten minutes later and my skin is glowing – seafood obviously works.
10pm It's been a long day so I cheated and used a make-up removal wipe from Simple (£1.59), I know it's bad but I'm exhausted! I make up for it by applying a layer of La Mer Renewal Oil.
8.30am Despite having the day off I am awake early
10am I go for a run in the field near my house and have a late breakfast of Greek yoghurt with berries, bananas and oats. Delicious.
11.30am I have decided to climb the Mont Blanc this winter – pray for me! – so I take my fitness routine seriously. I spend time looking up at my new challenge and checking what I need to prepare as it will be snowy (I'll definitely need sun protection).
6pm I think it's time to tackle my hair care. I personally like using the Tresemme Silk Salon's shampoo and conditioner (£6.05) as I have very long and thick hair that needs those giant shampoo containers. I have Greek hair, which is hard work so this pretty much takes up my whole evening. While I leave the conditioner on I do my weekly body scrub (Decleor body scrub, £29) and facial scrub (AHA Murad Scrub, £35). Over the years I've collected so many hairsprays, serums and oils but I don't use any of these anymore as I found they leave my hair greasy afterwards.
6.30am I woke up an hour early so I have time for a home workout. I am so proud right now.
8am I make a protein shake to-go (whey protein diet by My Protein, £17.99) and I run to work.
1pm We are redesigning the ingredients of our Signature Massage (Sleep Sound, 50minutes) as we have created our own body oils. It's a great massage if you need to rebalance your nervous system and reset your body clock.
3pm I have my afternoon off so I head to the Altitude gym to work out with low oxygen. It's the best preparation before a climb! I can report, my new aluminium free deodorant is working well (Crystal, £5.15)
6pm My skin is thirsty for oxygen now, so I use a Charcoal and Hydrating sheet mask (€20 or £17.56) that I bought in France.
6.20pm I'm going out for dinner tonight so I top up my normal beauty routine with the Eyes palette from Urban Decay (£26), a sweep of Chanel blusher (£35) and eyebrows pomade from Anastasia Beverly Hills (£19). I finish with Armani lipstick (£30). It's a 10-minute job that looks like it took an hour.
8pm After dinner I'm drained. I take off my make-up at speed and then dab on Elemis' Night Cream Peptide4 Night Recovery (£49).
8am My arms are sore today, I need to be stretched out.
10am My next auditing session is with Aromatherapy Associates Deep Tissue treatment, which relieves all my arm pain. If you ask me, we should all be having one or two massages a week as it makes a real difference and avoids the build-up of tensions.
6pm I am starting a replacement program to replace dinner for two weeks to give my diet a jumpstart and get more results from my workouts. (Active woman meals replacement from My Protein, £20.99)
6am I wake up early as I'm excited to be heading to London later!
7am I don't really wear make-up on my days off so today I am making an extra bit of effort with a touch of eyeliner from Laura Mercier (£19.50)
1pm I have booked myself a medical peel (£140) with my favourite Doctor on Harley Street. Ouch, but the good kind.
3pm Have you even been to London if you don't go shopping? I love Selfridges and Harrods and it would be sacrilege not to just have a quick look around.
4pm Opps, I bought myself a lipstick from Huda Beauty (£18) and a pair of shoes.
7pm Time ran away from me and I'm now running late to meet friends so I spritz a little of my favourite perfume Coco Mademoiselle Chanel (£55) so they can't smell the stress.
9am For once my flight isn't at the crack of dawn so I have time to grab a green juice from Wholefoods before I leave.
1pm I made it back to Ireland in one piece, but can't say my skin loved that flight!
2pm No longer able to keep up with my past go-go-go London life, I need a nap! My partying days are 100 per cent behind me.
6pm Still sleeping. At least I didn't put any make-up on today - small blessings.