Whether you have ten minutes, a lunch break or just a few hours before a big night out, we’ve rounded up some of the fastest beauty fixes in the city.
Here at Time Out we love a lazy spa day as much as the next person, but sometimes what we’re really searching for is something that little bit faster, something that will give us results in an instant – a ‘beauty shot’ if you like. With Dubai’s fast-paced way of life, it’s no wonder that quick-fix beauty remedies aren’t in short supply. Whether you’re trying to transform yourself into a tanned goddess over lunch, have you hair looking fabulous before a big night out or get your body bikini-ready in a flash, there’s sure to be a quick-fix beauty solution for you.
You want: Perfectly primped eyebrows.
Fast-track fix: Eyebrow threading at Tips and Toes.
The process: Threading can either be done sitting upright on one of the manicure chairs or lying flat on the massage bed, depending on how busy the salon is. A therapist will use a doubled-up strand of cotton thread and twist it around individual hairs, pulling them out from the roots. Although this sounds quite painful, it’s really not too bad when compared to tweezing or waxing. The therapist may ask you to hold the skin on your eyelid taught or she may even enlist the help of another therapist to do this for you.
The results: Perfectly primped eyebrows in a jiffy and not a chemical or artificial fragrance in sight. If you have sensitive skin you should expect a bit of redness, but you’ll be offered a soothing cream to reduce this.
Time taken: About seven minutes.
Dhs35. Tips and Toes, various locations including Al Barsha 2, Umm Suqeim Road, www.tipsandtoes.com (04 341 2020).
You want: To be fuzz free for an impromptu trip to the beach.
Fast-track fix: Bikini Wax at Tips and Toes.
The process: Waxing is never going to be relaxing – stripping down to your underwear in front of a stranger is definitely not our favourite hobby. That being said, the professional manner of the therapist and the quick application of the wax at Tips and Toes ensured the whole process was over in about ten minutes.
The results: While we wouldn’t say it’s a pain-free experience, it’s a lot less painful than other waxes we’ve experienced and the fact that it’s over so quickly means it’s definitely bearable. We all know there’s no gain without pain, but Tips and Toes gets you bikini ready without too much of the latter.
Time Taken: Ten minutes.
Dhs45. Tips and Toes, various locations including Al Barsha 2, Umm Suqeim Road, www.tipsandtoes.com (04 341 2020).
You want: Neatly manicured nails for your afternoon meeting.
Fast-track fix: Essential mani/pedi at N.Bar.
The process: There’s a good choice of regular Essie polish and so-called ‘weekly’ polish, which is meant to last seven days chip-free on your nails. After choosing your colour, one therapist will tackle your hands while another takes on your feet. Scrubbing, shaping, filing and painting is performed quickly, but without feeling rushed. If it’s been a tough day, you can treat yourself to a 15-minute head and neck massage, too.
The results: Neatly manicured nails, gorgeous colour and soft skin. However, we’d stick with the regular polishes, as our ‘weekly’ polish had chipped after just a few days.
Time taken: 50 minutes.
Dhs140. N.Bar, various locations including Emirates Towers Boulevard, www.thegroomingcompany.com (04 330 1001).
You want: Fabulous hair for a last-minute dinner date.
Fast-track fix: Short Haul at Jet Set.
The process: Enter this airline- themed venue via the push-button sliding door and you’ll be shown straight to the washbasin. Then it’s a quick shampoo and condition, with a bonus scalp massage, before being whisked over to the styling chair. This is where the ‘jet’ in jet set really kicks in: even with very thick hair, you’ll be in and out of the salon in around 30 minutes with your hair styled to your liking.
The results: Zip to Jet Set after a busy day at work for fabulous-looking hair in a flash. In just half an hour, you’ll be all set for your date, and with results this fast you’ll even have time to squeeze in a pre-dinner drink.
Time taken: 30 minutes.
Dhs105. Palm Strip Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road, www.thegroomingcompany.com (04 386 8604). Other locations: Emirates Towers Boulevard (04 399 5005), Grosvenor House Hotel (04 399 5005).
You want: A golden glow without hitting the beach.
Fast-track fix: Xen-Tan spray tan at BodySmart.
The process: When booking, staff encourage clients to exfoliate, moisturise and shave before the treatment. On arrival, disposable underwear is supplied and the therapist gives the option of three available shades of ‘bronze’ as well as advice on which of these is best suited to the client’s natural colour. Standing almost nude with a stranger is made slightly easier thanks to the friendly manner of the welcoming therapists.
The results: You’ll leave the salon with a very natural-looking colour that has a not-too-overpowering scent and should last for five to eight days.
TIP: Make sure you take time to moisturise your hands and feet properly before the bronzing treatment or you could be left with excess tan marks.
Time taken: About 20 minutes.
Dhs150. BodySmart, Meadows Town Centre, www.bodysmart.ae (04 363 8318).
You want: A quick de-stress at the end of the working week.
Fast-track fix: Head, neck and shoulder massage at Tips and Toes.
The process: Arriving at the salon, clients are seated in super-comfortable chairs and offered refreshments. There’s no need to undress for this treatment; simply drop down the straps of your top and allow the therapist to drape a towel around your shoulders before closing your eyes and enjoying the strong, smoothing strokes of the masseuse’s magic hands. Working on your neck and shoulders completely removes all that hunched-over-a-computer stress from work, and the divine head massage that follows eases any lingering mental stress you may have. For double-results, you can combine this treatment with a pedicure. This way you’ll get to enjoy a lovely foot bath and leave the salon with gleaming tootsies to boot.
The results: After a busy week, a quick stop at Tips and Toes is one of the fastest ways to get rid of stress, leaving you ready to relax and make the most of your well-earned downtime.
Time taken: 20 minutes.
Dhs70. Tips and Toes, various locations including Al Barsha 2, Umm Suqeim Road, www.tipsandtoes.com (04 341 2020).
We live in an age where a man, when asked what his plans are for the evening, can confidently proclaim: ‘I’m going for a facial,’ and not feel in the least bit compromised regarding his masculinity. Here at Time Out, we think that’s a good thing and are happy to see so many spas offering dedicated treatments or facilities for guys.
The Sculpturing Facial at Amara Spa, Park Hyatt
The setting: Set within the grounds of the Park Hyatt Dubai, Amara Spa is wonderfully quiet and feels a lifetime away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The treatment rooms are spacious, and ours even had a secluded garden attached.
The experience: The treatment began with a short foot massage in the garden, before heading indoors for the facial. Having already selected our choice of music, all that was left to do was lie back and enjoy. From the warm, scented towels, to the refreshing exfoliants and relaxing arm and leg massage, this treatment left us feeling completely rejuvenated. There was also the bonus of either a head or hand massage to finish off with.
Service: The staff were very welcoming, putting us instantly at ease. The whole process was explained clearly, both before and after the treatment. The only negative was the product presentation at the end, which we could really have done without.
Sculpturing Facial for Men Dhs450 (45 minutes). Amara Spa, Park Hyatt, Deira, www.dubai.park.hyatt.com (04 602 1234).
The Cut and Shave at 1847, Rimal JBR
There’s nothing quite as routine for men as having a shave, so we headed over to 1847 to try out their signature shave. With friendly staff and big screens to watch the match on, we felt so at home lounging in our ultra-luxurious barber chairs, that we decided to go for a haircut, too.
The setting: Located on The Walk in Jumeirah Beach Residence, 1847 is tucked away behind a rather nondescript sliding door. Once inside, it’s a different story with a stylish reception, hand-made Italian barber chairs, cream and brown soft furnishings and dark wood panelling evoking the feel of a traditional barbershop, with a few modern twists.
The experience: We opted for the ‘1847 Shave’ followed by ‘The Finish’ haircut. The shave was very thorough, beginning with a hot towel treatment to open the pores before soothing pre-shave oil and a hair softening cream were applied to our skin. Finishing with a cleansing mask to reduce irritation, the result was incredibly smooth skin. The Finish was a swift, standard wash, cut and dry and took only 20 minutes or so to complete.
Service: It was a very slick operation on the day we visited, with the friendly staff quickly getting us into the barber’s chair and the barber being more than happy to explain the process. Refreshments are freely available before and during the treatment and there’s a good selection of magazines to keep clients entertained.
1847 Shave Dhs125; The Finish Dhs110. 1847, various locations including Rimal, The Walk JBR, www.thegroomingcompany.com (04 437 0252).
More options for him
Cleopatra’sMale Spa at Wafi
A spa for men only, Cleopatra’s Male Spa is a good place to take a break from busy work schedules and a hectic lifestyle. With a good selection of treatments on offer, this Egyptology-themed spa also boasts knowledgeable staff and excellent facilities including a sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and plunge pool.
Cleopatra Male Spa, Wafi, www.cleopatrasspaandwellness.com (04 324 7700).
The Talise Ottoman Spa at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray
This palatial spa has a huge gentleman-only section that boasts a good-sized salt water pool, sundeck, Jacuzzi, steam room and a grand hammam.
The black pebble floors, dim lighting and dark furnishings evoke a very manly feel and it’s a great place to while away a few hours relaxing and treating yourself, especially after a big night out.
The Talise Ottoman Spa, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Palm Jumeirah, www.jumeirah.com (04 453 0456).