The nails: N Style
The setup: While this treatment would be great for those with a luxurious living room, we were staying in a hotel room, meaning we were perched on the edge of the bed while the therapist sat on the floor.
Experience: The new at-home service is in its teething stage, although the therapist was professional and extremely pleasant. This is super-convenient if you need a quick spruce (the mani/pedi took about an hour), and the therapist brought everything she needed with her and left no mess. The only downside? In place of relaxing hot water, the medical-looking foot bath was filled with cold water.
Verdict: Personally, we like the whole ritual and pampering of a beauty salon. But for those who can’t leave the house, or have no spare time – mothers or busy businesswomen – this is a fantastic option.
Dhs140 for a regular mani/pedi (04 340 1564)
The facial: Sallyann Simmons
The setup: Sallyann lugged a foldable treatment table and all her equipment to our apartment. As she was setting up, we were asked to bring two towels and a large bowl of warm water. She set up her iPod to play relaxing spa-like music and we lay on the table with our eyes closed, making us forget we were at home.
Experience: In just a few minutes, she’d analysed our skin – dry, dehydrated (not uncommon in this part of the world) and sensitive, but reassuringly she mentioned that we have young skin. There was a round of cleansing before the scrub, with natural ingredients including diamonds, quartz and ruby. But then came the unpleasant bit – removing whiteheads and other face gunk. As everyone knows, this can be painful, but we also had dead skin around our eye area, which extended the pain factor. The next step was the application of high-frequency ozone on our skin, which was protected by gauze, to help speed the healing process and ensure there’d be no breakouts after the facial. Then came a face massage to address skin sensitivity (apparently caused by poor circulation). A quick cleanse and moisturise and we were done.
Verdict: Areas on our face remained red and inflamed hours afterwards, and three days later there were still visible marks, but only where the dead skin was treated. Sallyann said this was because our sensitive skin still needed time to heal. Overall, though, our complexion was brighter and otherwise blemish-free.
Facials start from Dhs350. email@example.com (050 462 4329)
The massage: Azur Spa
The setup: Ilene, our friendly, skilled masseuse, set up her massage bed in our bedroom. She didn’t disturb anything and began to heat up the hot stones in her own personal microwave. She then chose some chillout music, dimmed the lights and asked us to get comfortable.
Experience: The treatment started with a relaxing full-body massage, which made us feel completely at ease – by the time she added the stones to our relaxed body, we were nearly asleep. After placing them carefully on pressure points on our legs, arms and back, she then used them to massage our head and body and work out knots. The theory is that while she was working one area, the hot stones in the other areas kept the muscles loose, meaning they were ready to go when that area of the massage came around.
Verdict: The combination of relaxation and practical results loosened our muscles for days.
From Dhs240 up to 90 minutes. www.azurspa.com (04 447 5284)
Other at-home options
A loofah scrub is followed by a head-oil massage. Good for anyone who wants to glow at a big event.
Dhs220 for one hour. Nails at Home (04 282 8385)
This marine mud wrap incorporates manual massage techniques to flush out toxins.
Dhs385 for one hour. Chez Toi (04 339 7117)
Get your barnet prepped without leaving your boudoir.
From Dhs85. Brush & Co (04 430 8252)