London's best value beauty treatments
Get more pampering for your pound with these top treatments
The idea of value for money is pretty subjective, especially when it come to beauty, so here are our personal picks from both ends of the price spectrum.
The bowels of a Virgin Active gym may not be the most glamorous location for a spa, but this one offers an array of affordable treatments from budget manicures, waxing and massage to more specialist reflexology and colonic sessions. We tried the hour-long Green Tea and Ginger Detox, currently available at the promotional price of £49 until March 31, which kicks off with a quick scrub before your body is wrapped in a warm squelchy mud parcel and you’re given a calming facial as the detox takes hold. Emerge glowing, relaxed, and less than £50 lighter.
0844 800 2142
- 59-61 Turnham Green Terrace, W4 1RP
Cucumba charge by time slots, which you can fill with anything from a foot peel to, as they put it, ‘fanny art’. We chose a pedicure, a facial and a massage for our 45-minute Cucumba Deluxe package and, of course, it did feel a little rushed. For really fleeting visits, the tenminute Quick Fix (£13.50) offers two treatments of your choice including emergency make-up, threading or lash extensions.
- 12 Poland Street, W1F 8QB
£40: Jimmy Campbell aromatherapy massage
With aromatherapy, the cheaper oils and treatments can be a bit headache-inducing. Not so here – the level of luxury far exceeded our expectations of a local hairdresser. Treatment took place in a candelit room with discreet music to relax, and a musky warm oil was used to massage the whole body, including the feet. Legs got so much attention you’d think they belonged to Angelina Jolie, and a facial massage was also offered as part of the service.
Jimmy Campbell, 32 Parson’s Green Lane, SW6 4HS
£20+: CACI Hydratone Facial
108 Bond Street might be Mayfair’s best-kept salon secret: an oasis of calm located in the building where Vidal Sassoon first set up shop. The salon offers the latest firming facial on the market – the CACI (‘Computer Aided Cosmetology Instrument’) Hydratone. After the application of a cooling gel mask, small rollers charged with microcurrents massage the mask’s collagen and rose water anti-ageing solution deep into the skin. Afterwards you emerge plumped, hydrated and relaxed, taking just 20 minutes: the perfect on-the-go pick me up. Plus you’re packed off with a bag of the mask and remaining solution to keep in the fridge to top up.
108 New Bond St, W1S 1EF
- Critics choice
At Topshop’s Powder Lounge, treatments take place in chairs out on the lower-level shop floor, but while you get what you pay for in terms of surroundings, this bargain treatment does promise stunning, dramatic falsies that last two weeks. Choose your look (from a natural shape to ones like those of a Dalston tranny) and then sit tight while squelchy pads separate your eyelids and strips of tape to pull back your eyebrows in full view of shoppers.
Powder Lounge, Level 2, Topshop
084 5224 4179
- 214 Oxford Street, W1W 8LG
Go to Harrods, and eyebrow tweakers trained by Shavata Singh will thread your wayward arches into submission for £22. Book into House of Fraser, and the Shavata therapists will swiftly tidy you up for £17. The surroundings might not be as plush (no golden escalators here) but the service isn’t any different – Shavata Singh has developed a unique browshaping technique that combines threading, waxing and tweezing, and it’s consistently good no matter which of her salons you visit.
House of Fraser
0844 800 3752
- 318 Oxford Street, W1C 1HF
£17: Pamper Rooms file and French
The Pamper Rooms caters for its East End clientele expertly, with a great-value standard menu and frequent special offers. Treatments make use of elite products (such as Lycon wax for pain-free hair removal and Gelish lacquer for long-lasting nail colour) at lower-than-average prices; our simple file and French used Opi polish, was executed superbly, with warm, professional service.
The Pamper Rooms, 24 Curtain Rd, EC2A 2NG
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