Every woman is different and each has her own beauty routine. I have girlfriends who are high-maintenance and girlfriends who hardly keep up with beauty news. While I don’t consider myself high-maintenance, I do pay attention to what is happening in the beauty industry and find advice given by professionals invaluable at times.
Having been very lucky to have treatments with such wonderful facialists like Vaishaly, Anastasia Achilleos and Sarah Chapman, to name a few, I do enjoy meeting new people and trying new treatments, so I booked a facial with Vanda Serrador about whom I have been hearing quite a bit in the last few months.
Vanda has her treatment room at Neville Hair & Beauty Salon in Pont street, next to the shops like Pretty Ballerinas,Carine Gilson, Anya Hindmarch and Emilia Wickstead. The salon itself is very airy and has beautiful black and white photographs that add a slightly bohemian feel. Vanda’s peaceful treatment room is on the second floor, away from the busyness and loudness, but while waiting for Vanda to come out, I did overhear a young woman on the first floor, talking loudly to her stylists about her ‘woes’-she hardly looked like she was out of the school uniform, yet was putting on airs and graces of a 30 year old .)
The door opened and out came a beautiful woman, with incredibly big, kind eyes and beautiful wavy hair. She beckoned me in and almost instantly, I felt at ease in her presence. Vanda has the serene presence of a nurturing mother mixed with a very naughty chuckle and a glint in her eye. She asked me about my skin concerns, whether I had any medical conditions that she should be aware off and pulled the cosy blanket off the treatment bed for me to get in. I slid in under the heavenly comfortable covers and Vanda set out to do the facial.
During the facial you have an option of a foot massage and I urge you to have it, because mine was so relaxing, combined with Vanda’s magical hands fluttering over my face, that only my willpower and the need to try to remember at least some details of the treatment, prevented me from falling asleep-next time I would give in to this sublime experience completely .)
Vanda cleansed my face and for the first time ever I also got an ear massage as part of the treatment. It is incredibly relaxing and really gets you to calm down. My face was steamed and then Vanda’s small, but strong fingers got on to the unpleasant bit-the extraction. Vanda is very skillful, so that slightly unpleasant part of the facial passes quickly-after all, beauty demands effort and pores need to be cleaned, as they get congested by the products that we use on our skin, pollution and other factors of modern life, as Vanda explained to me.
Since my last pregnancy I occasionally get some redness on the apples of my cheeks but Vanda didn’t think it was rosacea, so she suggested laser but I decided to leave it until next time and instead I got a wonderful treat of lymphatic drainage-now, imagine the sensation of a dolphin giving you loud, slouchy kisses-well, that’s what it felt like to me and made me giggle.
As Vanda felt that my skin was dehydrated-very true, as I veer between either drinking a lot of water or hardly any, when I am particularly busy-beware of the fact that lack of enough sleep and not drinking enough fluid will show its effects on your face pretty quickly-Vanda used a machine to mist my face with something incredibly nice and massaged my face, followed by a very sensual application of a face mask with a brush-I loved this sensation so much I can’t even out it into words .) All the while my area around the eye was massaged too and so was my neck, jawline, shoulders and the area around my upper chest-combined with a foot massage it is absolutely heavenly and I was very glad that I booked my facial for the late afternoon slot, as I felt so relaxed after the treatment, I had to pull my thoughts back into this world and breath a little before starting a drive back home.
Vanda comes from Angola, but has been living and working in London for the last 17 years. She uses a variety of products, including Yon-ka (my skin loved them !), Dr. Haushka, Rodin, MV Organics (for the purist devotees) You feel nurtured and pampered by someone who is very experienced and who gives you a confidence boost with her infectious smile and soothing voice. She will give you beauty advice, whatever your needs (I asked her how she achieves her beautifully luminous and smooth complexion, to which Vanda told me that she juices and swears by wheat-grass shots in the morning. I walked away with a juice recipe that is a combination of celery, apples, kale, pineapple and spinach-giving you sweetness and green goodness to nurture not only the skin, but also hair & nails)-some of us go under the knife or have invasive treatments, while others choose to look beautiful natural, only with the help of the right products, lifestyle and a good facialist, so Vanda will be perfect for you whatever your preference. You will float off the couch with the most beautiful complexion and the softest possible skin-I compared mine to a baby’s bottom, it was so incredibly soft and plump after only one hour in Vanda’s hands.
Vanda doesn’t work on weekends, but she works longer hours on Mondays and Thursdays, so you can have a window of opportunity there, if you are busy during the day and in any case, I would recommend to go to Vanda when you don’t have any business meetings or serious commitments because you leave her treatment room serene and mellow and I prefer to keep that feeling until the day ends.
Vanda Serrador facial £130 for 1 hour, foot massage £30
at Urban Skin, Neville Salon, 5 Pont street, Knightsbridge, London SW1X
tel. 0207 235 3654