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Getting that instant glow

By Danae Mercer

One of my favorite things, my absolutely, hands down, it’s-your-birthday favorite things, is to get a good facial.

Facials are the unsung hero of the salon world. They’re like massages, but without all the faff of changing your outfit three times. They’re like an at-home Korean skincare beauty regime, but without all the work of adding on 15 lotions and potions by yourself over the course of an hour. And when they’re done, they leave you with glowing, refreshed skin that makes it look like you just had a solid 12-hour nap.

So yes, I love facials.

Although I’ve been going to Tips and Toes for years, it wasn’t until recently that I realized the brand offers a whole array of facials: shorter mini-facials that boost your glow; eye-focused facials; blemish-treatment facials; caviar treatments to boost elasticity and oxygenation; destress treatments to whisk away fine lines; and so many, many more.

I booked myself in one stressful Saturday afternoon in Tips and Toes Al Barsha branch. The salon segment is tucked off to the right, hidden down its own private candle-lit hallway. There are relaxation chairs draped in curtains and magazines beside dates and tea. Unlike the upbeat, bustling vibe of the main salon, this section was quiet, serene, soothing — just the way a facial should be.

Once in my private room, the therapist began by talking me through various skin concerns. She explained my options (we went for the Babor Skinnovage Cleansing for enlarged pores) before allowing me to sink into a soft massage bed.

Then the process began: cleaning, more cleaning, a mask, steaming, extractions, and a head massage too. I dozed off for a bit despite my best intentions, which was pretty wonderful. When the whole thing wrapped, my skin felt fresh, moisturized and glowing — all for under Dhs300.

The facial might have been my first Tips and Toes skin treatment, but it hasn’t been my last. I’ve already done several of the smaller in-chair mini-facials while getting my nails all tidied. And I know I’ll be back soon for another proper hour-long session. They are, after all, my favorite.

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