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The spa is great, with helpful staff and a refreshments area filled with a variety of teas, and a calming ambience. The manicure was really relaxing and lasted a couple of weeks before chipping, though cuticles looked rough within a couple of days, despite oiling. The voucher was really good value, but they didn't seem to know about it, despite booking the appointment through Wahanda. Also, my manicurist seemed slightly disinterested as soon as I mentioned it to her, and shooed me out of my seat as soon as the top coat was applied, despite there being a few extra empty manicure tables available, and promptly forgot about me. The paraffin wrap was the best part!
Really friendly, conversational staff, given full hour despite arriving late, paid attention to with regards to pre-existing injuries, thorough full-body massage.
Friendly staff, seen to promptly, easy to find (gym guys very helpful) though the waiting area is really humid. Good pressure in deep-tissue massage, knots really worked out. Easy to book a time slot even if last minute.
Ambiance: in a sports club, so not a luxurious environment, however the treatment rooms are very spacious and nicely presented on ground level. The waiting area was nicely arranged in seating areas with tvs showing the olympics.
Staff/Therapist: receptionist not overly friendly, but once I'd filled in a form and waited about 10 mins past my appointment time, my therapist apologised for the delay and was generally quite chatty.
Treatment/Value: took about 12 mins for the underarm and Hollywood wax, using a simple yellow Lycon (non-scented). It wasn't very painful at all, though not the least painful wax I've had. It was done very quickly, though wasn't a full Hollywood and there was no tweezing of strays. So although the voucher made it good value, I wouldn't have been impressed if paying the full amount and it looking messy. Also, the same spatula was reused for the whole treatment and they ask you to wear the disposable underwear provided.
I like the location on Marylebone High Street: nice environment, plenty of shops and food places, though a 10 min walk from any tube station so maybe not a place for a lunch break treatment unless you're local. The Tony & Guy has a sign outside clearly indicating the presence of Lulu's downstairs, and the T&G staff were helpful in pointing me downstairs, though understandably don't make much effort with non T&G customers.
The reception area is bright and airy, staffed by a really lovely receptionist/therapist who was my waxer. I can't recall being offered a drink, just use of the bathroom. The treatment room I was in had a giant tree poster on wall which was a nice distraction from the wax, but the overhead light was a bit blinding, however, good for effective waxing. They seem to have a lot of treatments on offer as there were various machines, surgical-looking tools in barbicide and a shower in the same room as me.
For the treatment, they used these bulk wax pots (much larger than any I've ever seen before, almost tabletop vats!), which made me wonder a little about how good quality their products are, and there was double (etc) dipping and dropped spatulas, so maybe not the most hygenic of places. The waxing not very thorough in that although all areas that should be waxed for a Hollywood were (which is a definite plus for this place over many others which don't understand what a Brazilian/Hollywood entails), it wasn't done very efficiently so many hairs were missed. My bikini area was waxed really gingerly without any skin stretching and it seemed that the waxer was not very confident in this skill, so maybe she was newer or hadn't been trained to a high standard? Not all areas waxed had post-wax lotion applied, so I stuck to the papered bed quite a bit more than normal. Strip wax was used on my legs and a combo of hot and strip wax on my bikini line. It was as painful as a normal wax (I compare waxing with that had at Ministry of Waxing and Strip, as the least painful places I've been waxed at), with no measures taken to prevent it (e.g. talc/oil on the skin prior to waxing, pressing palm on just-waxed area).
The things that made all this worth it: the really nice therapist who was very conversational and had a relaxing manner; the environment, Marylebone High Street being filled with interesting shops; the Wahanda promotion, of which my therapist was fully aware, accepting the voucher with no issues or trying to sell anything else whatsoever. I left happy because of these factors, but would have been very annoyed if paying full price (an outrageous £52 for a Hollywood at this standard - compare this to the £45 the brilliant Ministry of Waxing charges, or the equal £52 at the celebrity-populated Strip.)
Went back recently with my (understandably skeptical) brother who needed his brows neatened for a corporate photo. Usually I go to a local salon for this (as I don't live in London and it's 1/7 the price of Blink) but the last time I went there they made my eyebrows horribly uneven, one was thick, the other thin, and they destroyed the arches to give me rainbow brows. So I bought Blink's Brows Back On The Road package which is basically 3 brow threadings for £45 instead of £17 each. No idea whether they can be used interchangeably across their branches, but I assume so. I was told that there's no expiry date on the unused threading sessions, so I'll save the other two for when the local place ruins my brows again, no doubt! The only downside to this package is that you have to keep the receipt safe to claim the prepaid threading! They can be used in conjunction with the loyalty card, however :) This time was really busy, so we made appointments for a bit later and killed time elsewhere in London. Though the corner of Harvey Nick's Blink is in looks really cramped, it's not noticeable when in the seats. Also, unlike last time, there was more of a face/head massage after the threading with the cooling gel they produce. The staff are really friendly when they're not being too rushed by people, so I would recommend booking like we did or turning up during the day, and the sales girls working in the brands around Blink were really nice too. Also, this branch is open until 8pm (most days - I googled!).
Well-located in the West End near Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus tube stations, and easy to find as the turquoise building stood out from its neighbours. The receptionist was friendly, even when declining to purchase the products that the therapist had pushed onto me (literally, when she left the treatment room for me to change after the wax, she said "I'll leave your products on the counter for you", even though I hadn't asked nor expressed interest in anything she'd recommended. It reminded me of when Phones4U tried to trick me into getting phone insurance.) No one was particularly chatty and other customers were constantly distracting the receptionist when she were serving me, which was a little annoying as I had to wait unnecessarily. As for information provided, I had to ask quite a few questions, though I was informed that they were opening a place in the big Topshop without having to ask, though it wasn't mentioned when this would be, nor was I given any post-wax care tips. I arrived early, so I was seen to on time and offered a glass of water, however there was no indication whether I should change before receiving my water, so my therapist seemed a little curt when she returned with the water and I'd been waiting for it to avoid being walked in on, even when I apologised and explained my confusion! I was in the chocolate room which, and I assume the photos on Wahanda are of a different branch, was very small and not so tastefully decorated. It was sort of cute, with a brown towel under paper on the bed, walls and gold-framed photos with the exact same picture of an unwrapped block of chocolate with gold foil, but it wasn't what I was expecting from a place which charges £52 for a wax and has such a nice website, and it didn't look like much thought had been put into its design. I much prefered the decor of Ministry of Waxing's Mayfair branch which, although was not how I'd decorate my house at all, looked actually classier and like they'd put some effort into its conception. And I thought that salon smelled nicer, as did its wax! The wax here was very good, chocolate-hazelnut Lycon, goes on thickly and dries to resemble a shiny flexible plastic! It was very similar to the chocolate wax in MoW in consistency, though I think the therapist in MoW was possibly more skilled as it didn't hurt there whereas in Strip I felt it noticeably more. Regardless, it was still much less uncomfortable than cheap places that use regular strip wax, and here, as in MoW, they don't double dip. They provided a big pack of baby wipes and a bottle of alcohol hand gel to sanitise, and prepped the area to be waxed with oil instead of powder. Chocolate wax was just automatically used, maybe because I hadn't checked any of the boxes on their health screening form, however there was lavender wax in the room for sensitive skin. The chocolate wax literally looked like roughly broken thick chunks of chocolate sinking in a pool of melted chocolate. The TV was the second best thing about this place after the Lycon, as it was wonderfully distracting, despite the movie being Step Up 2 (more painful than a Brazilian wax). The therapist asked about four times whether the wax was ok and I was comfortable, which I found a bit unnecessary, not just because she was competent enough to keep the wax from overheating, but after the first two times, you'd get the general idea to speak up if the wax was burning you, right? She happily tweezed out strays which didn't hurt after the skin had been relaxed by the hot wax, and overall did a very thorough job, the best I've had, and in just 20 minutes. The weird thing is, there was nowhere to leave my stuff, except for on an armchair in the corner. Why was there a chair in there? For spectators? I used a Wahanda gift voucher to pay, which they accepted with no issues, and paid the difference by card. The underwear in the shop is nice, with affordable brands such as Elle Macpherson included, as well as a sales section and a curtain to dress behind, but the range of sizes and types isn't that good, the shop being very small, so I would recommend going to the John Lewis/Selfridges lingerie sections or Coco de Mer on Monmouth St instead if you're really looking for nice lingerie. As for me, if I'm going to spend that kind of money on a wax again, I'd choose to go to Ministry of Waxing instead for the better ambiance and treatment. (It's less pretentious and more quirky than Strip, I find!)
Situated in the Eden Centre, surrounded by various phone shops, this hair salon is very accessible in the centre of High Wycombe. I was seated immediately after my reservation was found and my stylist, Lauren, who had been recommended by my mother, came over to greet me and inform me that she'd be with me as soon as she'd finished a fringe trim for another customer. I was offered a drink and chose the coffee service (they have tea and juices also) which was brought out promptly and on a tray consisting of an individual cafetiere of coffee, milk, sugars and a Lindor chocolate. I had booked a Shu Uemura 25 minute ceremony before my haircut which was with Lauren too, and it consisted of a cleansing treatment, which was applied in dots over my scalp, then the matching Shu Uemura Moisture Velvet conditioner (these products smelled amazing, my hair smelled really good after), applied in the same manner as the cleanser and massaged in for a good while, using some acupressure, then finished with paddle brushing to invigorate the scalp. The vial of cleanser was selected based on my hair type and any problems with it. Reading about the treatment elsewhere on the internet, I had expected the room to be curtained as opposed to in the general hairwashing alcove that staff walk by and stare at you in, and for there to be an ipod provided with Shu Uemura music on it, but these weren't included, so all the noise of hairdryers pierced my relaxation! However, the lights were dimmed and the head massage was really very good: my hair felt amazingly soft afterwards (it normally is ridiculously soft, but when I washed my hair after the treatment, I could tell that the conditioner I used maybe wasn't quite as good!) Lauren really listened to my requests and made her own suggestions so that the haircut would be more flattering to my face and lighter for curling. She also made completely sure we had the same idea of how much length to take off, which was great as I've left hairdressers before with what I'd call drastically shorter hair and been miserable about losing so much of my painstakingly-grown lengths. She applied heat protection gel and blow-dried my hair well, then demonstrated the curling technique with GHDs whilst giving my tips of how to get curls to hold, though my hair is still too stubborn to be curled (it's super straight naturally). My hair was finished with shine spray, which is the only part of the cut that I disliked as it ended up making my hair look unwashed, so I'd only recommend it for people who don't have very shiny hair already. The receptionists were all really friendly, as was my stylist who was chatty but not in a pushy way where you feel like you'd rather nap than converse with them. The only small quibbles I have were that no one took my coat to hang up, and the general vibe I got from the assistants was a very slightly lazy/unprofessional/gossipy one. My 50% 'recommend a friend' went through nicely, so I paid the full £25 for the Shu Uemura ceremony and only £28 for the cut. I normally don't spend more than that on a cut anyway, but the one I got was really well done and about an hour was spent on a relatively simple style because it was done so carefully and made to look natural, so I feel it was really good value, and I'd definitely recommend Lauren.
Location - right next to Bond Street, just a little way down a relaxed pedestrian street filled with pretty shops.
Ambience - I liked the decor and funky chairs in both the waiting area and treatment room, and appreciated the attention to detail, with a menu showing the price list and cupboards in the treatment room(s) to hang stuff up in.
Staff and therapist - they were really friendly and conversational without being overly so, explained anything I needed to know and were generally pretty easy-going. I wasn't offered a drink or anything, but they do ask whether you need the bathroom first. My appointment was the first of the day and actually started a little late, but I was out by the end of my personally presumed 30 minutes time slot. It was also really easy to book, and they called me the day before my appointment to confirm it.
Waxing - this is what makes the experience worth the money. I have never had a wax so comparatively painless. I actually enjoyed the experience, because I'd been bracing myself for the worst! I barely felt the tweezing of strays. They even give you a squeezy toy (mine was the chimp) to cope with any pain, but there really was no need for this... a nice touch for people more vulnerable to pain though! They first let you change, using the cupboard in the treatment room, and provide you with a hygenic wipe. There's a curtain across the door for privacy, but the therapist gave me more than enough time to change. Chocolate wax was used, which smelled great, but then again the whole venue was nicely scented. Lights are dimmed for when you're getting (un)dressed, and brought on to provide accurate waxing. I actually went to this place because I'd been looking for somewhere in London that did a proper Brazilian (all the way to the back...) and every place I'd tried didn't bother, plus the waxing was generally inefficient and patchy. This wax was ridiculously thorough, I couldn't find any missed hairs even after leaving, and they didn't leave wax all over me, like every other place I've tried had. Plus, you lie on towels, not paper sheets, so no turning over and the paper coming with you! The therapists wear gloves and face masks, and, though I didn't watch to confirm, don't double dip, so hygiene is key here. The wax was of good consistency and temperature, and when they pull it away they take the time to press a hand to the waxed area to stop any smarting. They advertise a 30 minute Brazilian on their site, but mine took only 13 minutes, excluding changing and waiting time.
Great aftercare - provided with a credit-card sized card full of information.
Optional products to purchase - no idea what these are like, and I wasn't pushed into buying anything, it was just mentioned to me. I imagine they must be pretty good though, as the company is devoted to waxing!
Value - although £45 is quite high for waxing, it's pretty standard for London, and for the service here it's a fantastic price. They also offer a 6-month deal where XXXX works out to £38 each time, including the one you have on the day if you purchase it when you're paying for your treatment. I'd probably invest in a package if I were working and living in London.
Great central location just off the high street, quite relaxed and comfortably decorated (lots of natural light!) inside, and the staff are willing to accommodate you when late if they can. The manicurist Rachel was really friendly and great to chat to, as well as doing a nice job on my nails, including soak, cuticle moisturising, push-back and trimming, massage, file and paint. The range of colours was adequate, a lot of pinks, a few reds, creams, dark purples, blues and browns. They use Jessica nail polishes which have a very shiny finish, and sell them in a wider range of colours. The salon looks quite large, so I imagine there are tons of treatments available here. My manicure lasted about a week before chipping.