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It started with a Shellac Luxury Gel Manicure. Actually it started with a little pack of Love Hearts, from a very lovely bowlful sitting on the side as you walk in off Northcote Road to be surrounded by all sorts of gorgeous goodies, from Cowshed lotions and potions (their Knackered Cow range was winking at me knowingly) to Bumble & Bumble hair products, Stila make-up and more. A lady was just having her blow-dry finished, the lights gave out a warm glow and I was shown to the nail station tucked away behind the reception area.
It was decision time as I was faced with a wonderful array of colours. Tempted by the glittery ones, I reined myself in promising a return visit a bit closer to Christmas for that bit of added sparkle. I chose ‘Rubble’, a slightly unfortunate name for any of us scarred by building works, but in reality it’s a ‘latte’ colour, or ‘greige’ if you like. In fact the lady in the phone shop this week said she’d have called it ‘Stone’.
The manicure was great. Swift and gentle with a good result on the cuticles and shape, and then the process began. For those uninitiated in the art of a gel manicure (like me) it’s a multi-layered application, and after each layer of colour you put that hand in a little machine to harden. By the time your other hand is painted, the timer is up and you swap hands. It was surprisingly fast and my manicurist Rachel is obviously a perfectionist, so re-did my little nail which I had inadvertently knocked. I was delighted with the result. They were (and still are, almost two weeks later) so shiny, smooth and – contrary to my previous opinion of gel manicure – not thick at all. I’ll be back for those glittery ones before the year is out.
Then it was on to the Paraffin Wax treatment. A small bath of lilac coloured liquid wax was produced and Rachel dipped gauze into it which, once soaked in the wax, was wrapped around my hands, bandage style. Warm, soft, slightly strange. Then, over the top of my bandaged hands went white towelling mittens. I now felt redundant. No hands. Unable to flick through a magazine or scroll through my phone, all I could do was sit and be mindful. A rarely achieved state. Perhaps I should bind my hands up more often.
The warmth of the wax ebbed away as I felt it harden around my hand like a shell. After ten minutes Rachel, gently removed the wrapping from my hands and they really did feel oh so smooth and deeply moisturised. From fingertips to wrists, my hands were glowing. I resolved to treat myself to a manicure and paraffin wax treatment every so often, especially during the harsh-on-the-hands winter months.
A week later I returned to the sanctuary of All about the girl. First up was the Technispa Anti-Cellulite Slimming Treatment. I was shown to one of the toasty warm treatment rooms; fresh, spacious, light grey with white metro tiles. A lovely place in which to spend some ‘me-time’.
Kayleigh explained that a hand-held roller attached to the Guinot machine would be run across my thighs, bottom, stomach and lower back, to get to work on breaking down the cellulite that lurks within. She explained the different levels it could be set to, 1 being the gentlest and 10 being the toughest. I bravely opted for 2. And then quickly decided to go down to 1. The sensation takes a little getting used to and I would liken it to a long, slow pinch running around your thigh. Setting 1 I liked and got quite used to, so that by the time Kayleigh was working on my lower back I was really enjoying the relaxing element of the treatment while barely noticing the slightly less enjoyable firming aspects. The idea is to book a series of these treatments, perhaps weekly or maybe more often, and to also use a special cream as an extension of the work being done. There is no doubt my skin felt toned and buffed later that day, so I can imagine that a complete programme would produce good results. One for the hardy and dedicated. Also a great one to bear in mind to bring your legs back down to earth after a long-haul flight.
Then it was on to the Age Summum Facial, well timed, coming as it did so soon after my 40-something birthday. This was just sublime. Not one to book facials ever (if we’re away with the option of a spa treatment I would always choose a body massage), I am now a total convert. It was bliss. The idea is that the lotions used contain active ingredients to rejuvenate and firm the skin and at one point I did feel a little tingling sensation, but it was good-tingling, not bad-tingling. There was some gentle exfoliation, warm flannels and massage which included my neck, shoulders, chest and scalp. There was probably more but I wouldn’t know as I drifted off for a while. Divine. To put simply, book it now! Either treat yourself or add it to your Christmas wish list. I emerged refreshed, relaxed and glowing. Christmas, here I come.
Managing editor, Charlotte, visited
All about the girl,
141 Northcote Road,
Tel: 020 7135 3577
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