Express action to get you in shape for the celebratory season
As the chaos of Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations set in and the end of the year creeps up, we’ve scoured town for good quality, fast and efficient treatments that will save you precious time, come party season. From 30-minute eyelash extensions to mini-facials to mani-pedis done in under an hour, see if you can cram them into your lunch break.
Blow-dry at Blo Out Beauty Bar The promise: This blow-dry promises perfectly styled hair, whether you want straight, wavy, curly or volumised strands. The whole process should take less than 40 minutes, depending on hair length. The experience: Blo Out Bar is a lovely salon, furnished with big mirrors, funky lights and lots of pink accents. The stylist was super- experienced, having worked in the hair industry for over 25 years. She washed hair quickly, and followed it up with a vigorous head massage before setting to work on the blow-dry. There was no time for small talk, which was welcome after a busy day. The results: A super speedy blow-dry that achieves the promise: straight hair without volume. 4/5 Dhs80-120, 30 minutes, Blo Out Beauty Bar, i-Rise building, TECOM, www.blooutbeauty.com (04 362 9930). Tip: The i-rise building has no name on it yet, but it’s the giant silver building opposite the Saudi German Hospital at the top of TECOM.
Head, neck and shoulder massage at Tips & Toes The promise: Since this is only a 20-minute treatment, it’s easy to pop in for a quick stress-busting massage in the middle of an otherwise hectic day. If you want to use oil, the therapist will cover your modesty with a towel, meaning you can attend dressed in your normal office attire. The experience: After being seated in a comfortable chair and offered some water, we were wrapped in a fluffy white towel before closing our eyes and allowing our therapist to deliver strong, smoothing stokes over our neck and shoulders. We opted not to have our head massaged as we had to go back to the office, but if you have the afternoon free then go all out. The results: After a busy week, this Thursday lunchtime treat definitely put a dent in our stress levels. 4/5 Dhs70, 20 minutes, Tips & Toes, various locations including Al Barsha 2, Umm Suqeim Road, www.tipsandtoes.com (04 341 2020).
Express mani-pedi at Tips & Toes The promise: Perfect for saving dirhams between manicures when you just need a quick file and polish, Tips & Toes nail technicians will overhaul your hands and feet in 30 minutes or less. The experience: Quick, efficient and surprisingly, also relaxing. Current polish was removed, nails were filed, dry skin was buffed away and cuticles were pushed back and tidied before two new coats of polish were applied. The results: The treatment took 28 minutes with impressive results; beautifully manicured nails with a shiny new nail colour to boot. 5/5 Dhs90 for hands and nails or Dhs45 for just one, 30 minutes. Tips & Toes, Media City (04 437 0874).
Head, neck and shoulder massage at N.Bar The promise: A 30-minute quick stress buster. The experience: Following a particularly manic day, our therapist set to work with a head massage. We felt the strains of the day ebbing away as she rubbed and pressed pressure points, slowly working towards the neck and shoulders. She then focused on the lower back, working her way up the spine for a decent, not-too manic 15 minutes. The highlight was the arm massage; she pulled and pushed, then rubbed and stroked with such efficiency it was hard to stay awake. The results: A decent bet for anyone who loves their regular mani-pedi, but could also do with a quick stress-relief fix in the form of an upper body massage at the same time. 4/5 Dh90, 30 minutes. N.Bar, Emirates Towers Boulevard (04 330 1001).
Express eyelash extensions at Sisters Beauty Lounge The promise: These lashes take 30 minutes to apply – a quarter of the time it normally takes in order to do a full set. The experience: Service is quick but thorough, the reason the lashes take so little time is not because the technicians are slapdash – actually, far from it. Instead of being glued individually, these sets of lashes are stuck directly on top. The downside to all of this is it means you can’t get refills and you will need to revisit the salon approximately every two weeks to have them removed and a whole new set applied. The results: We’re certainly converted – not only are they convenient, the results are amazing and the price is far more agreeable as opposed to the method we’re normally used to. 5/5 Dhs300 for full set, Dhs200 for natural set. Sisters Beauty Lounge, The Dubai Mall (04 339 8500).