Ulster Life’s Spa Sleuth by Cathy Martin. Summer 2015

by • August 3, 2015 • Beauty, UL Salons, WeddingsComments (0)3221


In preparation for the dehydrating effects of the summer sunshine, I sought out the country’s most hydrating facials and body treatments this month, as well as trialling some new hair removing methods for smooth bikini lines.

To kick start the month, I visited the Deborah Harper salon in Helen’s Bay, where I had the Hydralessence facial and body treatments, both ‘hero’ treatments by skin experts Yon-Ka.  The facial began with an aromatic compress, then a warm mist with 5 essential oils followed by a fragrant vegetal exfoliation using the ‘Gommage 305’ product (£32.50). The therapist followed this with a hydrating peel-off mask and an amazingly relaxing massage for face, neck and neckline using Yonka’s ‘Phyto 58’ (£43) and Hydralia booster serum (£44). Another double hydrating mask for the face and neck followed and the treatment was topped off with Lotion PS hydration spray (£28), Phyto Contour eye cream (which specifically targets puffiness and dark circles) (£35) and day cream Elastine Jour (£47).

The high-performance treatment really helped to restore my skin’s balance, suppleness, and texture. The powerfully softening action of seaweed and fruit extracts, as well as the use of two refreshing masks (one including a massage with a fine aromatic mist) plus the application of a repairing, hydration-reactivating duo using Yon-Ka techniques means that this is right up there with the bomb-diggedy of facials. It lasts an hour and costs £60.00. Worth every penny in my opinion.

The ‘sister’ treatment I had that day was the Hydralessence Body treatment which left my skin divinely soft, smooth, and velvety. It lasts almost 2 hours and costs £80, but in that time my body was pampered from head to toe, kicking off with a hydrating aromatic compress for my feet as well as an all over body scrub and seaweed body mask followed by a luxurious hydrating and regenerating massage using the Huile Corps (£37) which is super  rich and nourishing. I felt super relaxed and my previously parched skin felt supple and soft. From the non-abrasive, hydrating botanical exfoliation with its delectable citrus aroma and the mineral-restoring, softening body mask with seaweed from Brittany to the final relaxing,
repairing massage, everything comes together to eliminate the faintest trace of roughness, dryness, or discomfort in this treatment. 10/10!

To smooth out my bikini line in preparation for swimwear, I also tried Lycon waxing at Lekker beauty in Holywood. This new Australian wax system is half beeswax, half resin so it has a lower melting point (no burns ladies!) and it works on hair as short as 1mm. Yes, 1mm(!) so no weeks of waiting with that ugly in-between stage, especially if you’re at the coast all summer.

Also, very importantly, it doesn’t hurt. OK so, yes, I felt a slight tug as  the hair came away, but not that burning strip wax feeling of heat and pulling and then a hot tingling afterwards. I used to think the pain was more to do with the therapist and her technique rather than the wax itself, but the wax is definitely a huge factor because Lycon shrink-wraps the hair and tugs only on it and not the skin (mind you, my therapist was also super professional too!). All in all a great experience, especially for the uninitiated or those who are squeamish about waxing but wanting the results.

Next up, I tried Sugaring with Pamela Kennedy at Posh in Lisburn. Pamela is Ireland’s leading trainer in Sugaring, so I was happy to be going to the expert with such delicate cargo in my precious parts.

My bikini line had been lasered ten years ago, so there wasn’t as much hair as some people might have, but I have to say that Sugaring definitely proved much, much less painful than strip waxing, which can cause burns, infections, ingrown hairs and rashes due to the delicate skin in the area.

It’s an ancient Arabic method of hair removal where the sugaring paste is made from natural ingredients – sugar, water and lemon juice. It’s applied at body temperature and will not burn the skin. Also, because the sugar paste is water soluble, sugaring products don’t adhere to live skin cells like wax does, so they don’t cause any unnecessary pain.

The Sugaring removes dead skin cells, exfoliating your skin at the same time as hair is being removed and leaves a smooth finish. One thing to note is that after a number of Sugaring treatments, Pamela tells me the hair follicle begins to deplete – there is definitely a much slower re-growth in the area. The only downside is that Sugaring can be a slightly lengthier process than waxing, however Pamela was super speedy and I was really pleased with the result.

Beach Body Ready? Well, I’m certainly smooth and hydrated anyway… Now, about that diet…


Deborah Harper 028 9185 2859 or info@deborahharperbeauty.co.uk

Posh Beauty 028 9266 1617

Lekker Beauty 028 9042 3962  info@lekkerbeauty.co.uk



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