Treatments are something that aren’t talked about enough amongst my group of friends. For some, they are considered a frivolous excess and frankly lazy way to the cut corners of personal admin. Others simply see them as something other people do. I’ve fallen into both these categories in the past. Before writing beauty features for Marie Claire I’d had only the occasional massage (which I didn’t know how to choose, and therefore always found more boring than relaxing), and had never ever had a pedicure. I actually remember Lisa et al’s expressions when I announced this detail – a peculiar mix of sympathy, sadness and just a touch of disgust. Then came my ‘busy person’ time, when I decided that treatments were only justifiable if you saw a specific result afterwards. Which veto’d anything even remotely relaxing, and meant I opted for facials with scary-sounding machines over actual personal touch.
Thankfully, I’m over that now and am at my happiest being poked and proded by a stranger to relieve tension / encourage lymphatic drainage, etc etc. I still like a treatment to be results-driven, but I’ve also learnt the benefit of just having an hour away from my phone, with no-one to answer to. The chance to switch off is just as important, these days.
And for this reason, I want to talk about them. So I’ve collated a few of my favourite treatments that do a bit of relaxation, and a lot of results. Enjoy
Neville Hair & Beauty – Braliz Smoothing
After the warmest Valentine’s Day in 20 years (no idea why I have sucha rogue fact at my finger tips, but let’s go with it), summer feels kind of maybe on the horizon… ish. And if this year is anything like last year, I’m preparing myself for at least a three month spell away from heat styling. Trouble is, my hair is more mane than anything else, and the tamed silk that my bi-weekly blow-outs with Jack, Kelly et al. yield isn’t something that I’m willing to part with. So I’m getting BraLiz, aka speedy straightening in a spray, without formaldehyde. The Brazilian export basically repairs and smoothes hair cuticles so that they all lie flat, which means your hair is more like the hair you want. The treatment also contains antioxidants to improve moisture retention, decrease styling time, and enhance shine.
Labs Clinic – LipoGlaze Fat Freezing
The issue of how to remove stubborn pockets of fat can be a bit of a crowd-divider. Old-school thinking maintains that upping exercise and re-structuring your diet so that you exist within a calorie deficit is the key. And technically it is – but only to a certain extent. I’ve known many peope (myself included) who’ve pushed themselves to an unhealthily low body fat reading purely because they are determind to get rid of one little fat pouch. LipoGlaze is designed to target specific areas using Cryogenic Lyposis, which is a non-invasive fat reduction method that essentially isolates and pushes that target area to a very low temperature, permanently killing the fat cells. A treatment takes up to 45 minutes, has zero down-time, and yields permanent fat reuction up to 59% in the treated area (note: this doesn’t mean you’re invincible to re-growing fat – sorry – it just means those particular fat cells are gone for good). The suction (how they isolate your fat pouch) is a weird sensation but not at all painful
SkinWork – Signature Facial
Hidden away underneath Alex Eagle on Soho’s Lexington Street is an urban haven called SkinWork. The brand came over from LA circa five years ago (I think), and uses galvanic technology to penetrate the skin with potent professional products. The treatments are a blend of traditional techniques (think mask and massage) and industry-leading technology, with simply mega results. I tried the signature facial, which was a monster combo of cleansing, microdermabrasion, extraction, massage, antioxidant & collagen infusions…. I’m gonna avoid all of the basic buzz words like ‘glowing’, ‘dewy’ and ‘radiant’ and just say I didn’t need to apply even a sniff of foundation that day. Oh, and my skin looked all of the above.
White Swan Aesthetics – Facial consultation
Imogen and Dr Adam at White Swan offer all kinds of treatments, from eyelash lengthening and teeth whitening, to prescription skincare and vampire facelifts. Their ethos is holistic and artistic, and rather than address one concern in isolation, they adopt a full face consultation approach, assessing things like skin quality, facial volume, and feature proportion. All treatments are completely bespoke to the individual, and they give basically the best advice out there.
Live True – Massage
I love a good massage, but I very much doubt that many masseuses love me. Because I’m tricky. I like just the right level of firmness, but I’m too British to actually tell a therapist what I want. And I’m a people pleaser. So even if they ask how the pressure is, I’m always going to bleat “perfect, thank you” before getting back to gritting my teeth through the boredom slash pain (depends which way they’ve gone). But the best therapists seem somehow to just know what I want. Probably because they have magic hands or something, dunno. I had a 55 min massage at Live True just before Christmas. The treatment room is within the main salon, which has a cool vibe to it and makes the transition back to the real world a little smoother. There’s not much more to say – everyone knows what a good massage should feel like. But if you don’t, educate yourself at Live True.