My love for pampering myself has dragged me out of bed early once again. But after the initial grogginess, I have absolutely no reason to complain. I am in the luxurious brown, gold and cream Magnifique, an ‘avant-garde couture salon’ in the capital.
I am greeted by Wonwon, senior manager, who shows me around her fiefdom with much pride and a strut in her step. I can see why. The shelves are stocked high with products from Thalgo, La Prairie, Kérastase and L’Oréal, the work areas are well defined and immaculate, and the therapists – I soon discover – are a dedicated, experienced and friendly bunch.
I decide to start my day with a facial, and that’s when I meet Tiffany, to whom I take an instant liking. After a quick analysis of my skin, she decides that I must try the ‘Thalgo Source Marine Facial’, which, she says, will be gentle on my sensitive skin and have long-term benefits. I’m in, I say, and am led down to a dimly-lit and fragrant massage/facial room on the second deck of the salon. The hour-long facial is an eye opener. The products feel amazing, but what really fascinates me is the massage technique. Tiffany uses her fingers to ease every muscle on my face – a technique she learned when she trained with Thalgo in France. My skin feels alive.
I reluctantly drag myself off the table and into the brightly-lit mani-pedi area – cabanas, if you please. Here, Sunita and Nazir are waiting to invigorate my tired limbs with a Cuccio manicure and pedicure. I grab a quick lunch as they regale me with stories about celebrities they’ve met over the years. A few laughs later, I daintily take my wet nails up to M.K., hair maestro, who promises a transformation as he washes my hair. We talk shampoos, serums and hair fall as he slathers my hair with the cream and booster that make up the ‘Kérastase Experience Ritual’.
An hour and a rinse later, it’s time for me to leave. I see Wonwon again, who like any good host asks me what I think of the salon. And as clichéd as it may sound, all I can say is: “C’est magnifique!”
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