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Health and beauty


The Rose Otto facial was easily the best I’ve ever had


The beautiful new Bare Beauty space at The Shed


LAID BARE S


o you sort of cleanse, don’t tone and then moisturise?,” asks Helen Mulloy Reid, checking she’s got the right end of the stick on my less


than successful skincare regime. Having worked as a senior therapist everywhere from Homewood Park, to the Bath Spa Hotel, and most recently at Lucknam Park, Helen knows a thing or two about the perfect beauty regime, and is of the opinion that if we invest in skin care now, and drink lots of water, then we will reap the benefits later. Normally I simply smile and nod at


this sort advice, before bulk buying the lazy-option cleansing wipes, but Helen’s skin is so good and her new Bare Beauty salon upstairs at The Shed on Box Road so beautiful – think lashings of stripped wood, chaise longues and vintage dressers crammed with exciting-looking niche products from candles to nail varnishes, self-tans and even a men’s range – that I find myself resolving to try much, much harder.


Face time My induction to the new me starts with a brief health questionnaire before I’m ushered in into the soothing Farrow & Ball hued treatment room for a Rose Otto Facial with the brilliant Swedish organic skincare range, Estelle & Thild. Once wrapped up in a fluffy towel, the treatment starts, not as you’d expect, with a firm back massage – “a way of getting clients into relax mode” –


Need a pre-holiday – or just-because – pick-me-up? KATE AUTHERS gets the head-to-toe treatment at an exciting new beauty salon at The Shed


before I’m turned over so that the facial bombarding can begin. There’s an arsenal of products – cleanser, toner, gentle exfoliator, a creamy mask, moisturiser, serum, finishing products – glorious smells and temperatures, with the likes of a lavender- infused steam to soften the facial tissue, hot mitts to remove products and, unlike most facials I’ve had, a stippling brush and vigorous upward massage to aid lymphatic drainage and stimulate your circulatory system. This is definitely a treatment you can feel – all the better for it in my book – and with everything from arms to fingers, legs and toes getting massage attention, it’s every bit a top-to-toe experience. Checking my face in the mirror, my


face looks plumped, rejuvenated and feels thoroughly moisturised, and, importantly, considering the tension I walked in with, relaxed. It’s easily the best facial I’ve ever had. As I float out to rejoin Helen, stage two


of operation pick-me-up is an express mani/pedi. I’ve never seen so many shades of Essie nail varnish to choose between, and flit between low-key shades of nude, buff and pink before changing my mind completely and opting for vibrant shades of orange – an orangey red for my toes and a sheer tangerine hue for my finger nails. As Helen gets to work with a foot


file, she tells me she’s approaching this venture by looking at things from a mature woman’s angle, so she focuses on products and systems which are soft, gentle and enhancing. You won’t find Botox – “it


thins the skin” – and while she does have the option to provide gel manicures if the customer wants one, she suggests it’s actually much better for your nails to get a decent manicure – base coat, two coats of colour, a top coat, followed by a few drops of finishing oil – and then buy the polish to touch them up when you need to. The finished vibrant results on fingers and toes are perfectly colour popping and professional, and the best bit about padding around in slippers waiting for them to dry is that you can explore the rest of The Shed and everything it has to offer; deli, lovely café/restaurant, gift shops, children’s clothing boutique, gorgeous bag shop, picture framers and more. If you haven’t been out there yet it’s a real little community and great for the kids. As for Bare Beauty, I need to make an


excuse to revisit as often as possible, to try the rest of the treatment list and to make sure I’m keeping on the straight and narrow with my skincare regime. I can only encourage beauty junkies – and anyone in need of pampering – to do the same.


Treatment details


A 60-minute Rose Otto Facial costs £50, a 30-minute express manicure costs £20 and a 30-minute express pedicure costs £25 • Bare Beauty The Shed, Box Road, Bath BA1 7LR 07986 863797 www.barebeautytherapy.co.uk


www.mediaclash.co.uk Bath Life 69


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