This time she let me keep my underwear…

Originally published on Karen Cheng’s Fashion and Life.

The other day I went to a “Full Body Massage and Signature Facial (by Ella Bache)” courtesy of RedBalloon.

I chose this experience over something like “Racing V8 Supercars on a Race Track” (to my husband’s disappointment) because, well… 1) I’m a girl and 2) I was very keen to test out a reputable salon that does massages and facials, with the possibility of me going for a regular pamper. And by regular, I mean once a year. Ok maybe twice.

The last time I had a massage and facial, it was awkward. The woman wanted me to wear some paper panties. I was running late, so I was stressed and tense. We used the wrong type of cleansers for my skin – my fault, I think. I had to wolf down the lunch provided. It was not great.

Anyway, facials (and spas) are a bit too expensive for me to do on a regular basis, so when I DO go to one, I want to know that it’s a really good one.

What am I looking for in a salon? Firstly I don’t like home salons. And I don’t like pretentiously superior salons with staff that are so trendy and glamorous that it makes me feel butt ugly just BEING there!

I just want a highly regarded and established salon that’s clean, modern and inviting, where the employees are happy and friendly… and where they give a damn good massage and facial.

Bring on Ella Bache Beauty Salons. These guys have been around for ages and I’ve heard good things about their “Signature Facials”. Admittedly I don’t see them advertised in the glossy mags or media. There doesn’t seem to be any big name celebrities endorsing their products. Or any reviews about them by trendy beauty bloggers. Nonetheless, I was really keen to give them a go.

I booked in for a 10am appointment, which turned out to be perfect. I dropped my 2 kids off at school in the morning, I dropped my other kid at my mother’s home… and I drove over to the salon in good time.

I met my massage therapist who was a lovely, young lady.

She was very warm, friendly… and OH MY, she was gave me the BEST MASSAGE I’VE EVER HAD! It was AMAZING. It was out of this world! It was possibly better than the occasional hot oil massages my husband gives me in front of the fire place (haha, hmm hang on, I might have to think about that).

It was a Swedish Relaxation Massage, starting from my back, to my shoulders, both arms, legs, feet, neck and head. In that order I think. I wasn’t really concentrating, because my brain was wonderfully spaced out.

Best hour ever.

After the massage, she went outside to get some things for my facial.

I rolled over like a sleepy animal, reached down to my handbag, propped myself up on my elbows and took a snap of my very content smile – haha.

Oh and check out this little baby here – a towel warmer.

If you’ve ever had a beauty treatment, you’ll know the magic that lies within.

Next up.

The facial was just as fantastic as the massage.

It also lasted an hour. I think.

All the while she was cleansing and exfoliating my face, I was thinking – how can I make this last for ever.

And – how can I convince my husband that a massage and facial is most definitely better than racing a V8 Super car? Could I convince him to take a professional course in facial massage and skin care, so I can get this at home?

These thoughts are probably a good indication that I was very happy with my treatment.

The result? My skin felt soooo soft and plump. She used a gentle exfoliating gel which had rose petals as it’s exfoliating medium. ROSE PETALS! It was lovely!.

Overall, I was very happy with the experience. I’d do it again in an instant.

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