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.
This 75-minute experience goes well beyond any simple cleansing, toning and moisturising routine. California’s Dr Perricone – a pioneering doctor and specialist in anti-ageing treatments – focuses on the topical for this indulgent session, which involves deep-steam cleansing, a gentle lymphatic massage, face mask and application of two of the doc’s ‘most potent’ therapies for radiance and firming. Plumping and a healthy blush were short-term benefits, but a huge plus was the expert neck and shoulders massage with oils, leaving this tester knot-free and spaced out.
- Old Park Lane, W1K 1LB
If you’re looking for the ultimate in luxurious relaxation treatments but wouldn’t mind a body-improving result as well, this detoxifying wrap is a real winner. Thalgo source natural marine ingredients to relieve muscular fatigue and boost circulation. A scrub is applied to remove dead skin cells, then a gel is slathered on to encourage the algae wrap to take effect. Following a relaxing head massage, you’re asked to wash the solution off in the shower before a rich moisturiser is applied. Skin stayed silky soft for over a week and generally looked brighter and tighter.
Chuan Spa at The Langham
- Portland Place, W1B 1JA
£60: Kyoku back preparation
Whether you’re sitting, standing, playing sport, lying down – doing pretty much anything, in fact – your back is putting in a shift, so it pays to show it a bit of love from time to time. The Refinery – a Mayfair grooming salon with a fine line in he-tments for the busy man – offers a solution in the shape of its new Kyoku back preparation. The 45-minute procedure takes place in a sleek, dimly lit relaxation grotto and involves exfoliation, deep-cleansing and massage of the upper posterior. Intensely relaxed, you’ll be aware of various applications of nourishing Kyoku lotions (a top men’s Japanese skincare line using ingredients such as green tea, ginseng and avocado) as well as your muscles being manipulated. The treatment leaves your back looking and feeling better than ever.
The Refinery, 60 Brook St, W1K 5DU
If you’re the scrappy type whose nails seem to chip faster than you can paint them – and you find the whole manicure process as dull as, well, watching paint dry – you need to try Shellac at the W Hotel. After an incredibly meticulous cuticle and nail makeover, a colour gel is applied and hardened under UV light. After a couple of coats,which take two minutes to dry, you have bullet-proof nails which will last until you have them soaked off with acetone. Otherwise they won’t budge, no matter how much biking, washing up or general muckiness you subject them to.
Away Spa at the W Hotel
- 10 Wardour Street, W1D 6QF
If you’re lazy about your lashes, and can’t put mascara on your eyes without half of it ending up on your cheeks, this is a completely transformative treatment that lasts for months. You lie down while a perming solution is applied to your lashes, then pressed into place with eyeguards. It smells a bit funny, and it’s not particularly comfortable– especially as it takes about half an hour for your lashes to ‘set’. But when the solution is removed, you are guaranteed the curliest, most doll-like lashes imaginable. It’s not an extension – so you won’t look like a Wag or Miss Piggy – but the difference is noticeable and promises two months of mascara-free mornings.
Groom at Selfridges
- 400 Oxford Street, W1U 1AT
Anyone who fears the undercarriage wax (and you’d have good reason to) needs to book into hair removal specialist Strip pronto. This small London chain deals almost exclusively in waxing, and they are extremely good at their specialist subject. There’s a fancy shop selling smalls up front and waxing rooms have the feel of a boutique hotel, complete with a widescreen TV which shows films to distract you from the job in hand. Therapists use only expensive Lycon wax, which quickly goes solid on the skin and is then lifted away without the use of strips. And, crucially, it does not hurt. Honestly. We opted for a chocolate wax, but were informed that olive and lavendar versions were equally effective. Expensive, but worth every painless penny.
- 69 Berwick St, W1F 8SZ
£35-£50: Nail Art by The Illustrated Nail
Having been given the essential stamp of hipness by Dalston’s Wah Nails, nail art is now ubiquitous across the capital’s talon salons. But mobile artist Sophie Harris- Greenslade is the best in the business. Her nail blog, which documents her incredibly intricate designs, has seen her invited to illustrate the fingertips of the great and good, with her densely patterned tribal designs favoured by MIA and Nicole Scherzinger among others. So it’s worth booking Harris- Greenslade to come to your home (she will travel anywhere in London) and spend up to two hours on a bespoke design painted directly on to your nails. If you look after your fingers and replenish the nails with a top coat every couple of days, the art will last up to a fortnight.
See www.theillustratednail.tumblr.com for more info
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