Tried & Tested: Pre-Flight Beauty Rituals

Travel and beauty

You’ve booked the trip, you’ve upped your fitness regime and refreshed your beach wardrobe. In the last few weeks before you jet off, let the fun begin as you pamper yourself in preparation. No need to feel guilty – this is just part and parcel of the holiday experience. So sit back and enjoy while expert practitioners and products help you channel your inner Gisele. Here are some treatments we’ve tested recently.

Shona tests Le Salon

Whipping around my flat clearing away the detritus of the week, I was questioning the ease of my Le Salon at-home manicure appointment. Le Salon nail therapists come directly to you, booked via their free app. Operating in London Zones 1 and 2, the slick service lets you squeeze in a lunchtime manicure at work or book in some evening pampering at home. I opted for the latter before jetting off on holiday the next morning.

Bang on time at 8.30pm, my nail therapist arrived. Victoria came armed with plenty of Shellac shades to choose from, allowing me to ‘hmm’ and ‘ahh’ with absolute patience, until I finally opted for a beach-friendly candyfloss pink.

Over the next 45 minutes, I was treated to careful filing and cuticle treatment, meticulous colour application and soothing hand cream as a finishing touch. All this, in the comfort of my own living room, with a glass of wine and my own Spotify playlist humming away in the background. You could easily catch up on a box set, flip through a magazine or just enjoy some dedicated quiet time during your appointment.

For slipping in some quick pampering before heading off on holiday, Le Salon is a godsend. “Mani, pedi, tickets, passport” could easily become your new pre-travel mantra with this oh-so-‘handy’ service. Excuse the pun.

Oonagh tests The Health Club, One Aldwych

For the ultimate beach body prep – and a seriously indulgent 90 minutes – I was tasked with trialling the Citrus Experience at The Health Club. What better way to get into holiday mode than a top-to-toe treatment that leaves your mind clear and your body buffed?

Through the grand hotel lobby of One Aldwych and down to the tranquillity of the Health Club below, after wrapping up in a spa robe, I was given a water infusion as my therapist established how to tailor the treatment to me. With neglected limbs after months in hiding, and an exhausted face from the general juggle of work with motherhood, a selection of Natura Bisse products were chosen to restore order. From the deeply nourishing facial, to a purifying body scrub, and sumptuous massages along the way, every minute of the 90 pushed me further away from the daily grind. I emerged feeling more relaxed, looking more radiant and smelling delicious. If only this could be a weekly ritual…

Nicole tests Aveda Lifestyle Salon & Spa, Holborn

I wax lyrical to anyone who’ll listen about the importance of self-care, but I admit that I don’t really give my feet the care and attention they justly deserve for ferrying me around a busy city all the time. So I jumped at the chance to try out a pedi at Aveda’s Holborn outpost.

Clad in floor-to-ceiling glass and spanning three floors, Aveda clearly designed their Holborn salon and spa with the city-chic woman in mind, but behind the high gloss lies a wellness ethos (think chakra balancing body mists and botanical hair treatments) – so basically, if you care about what goes in or onto your body, this is the salon for you.

I was a bit nervous at the thought of someone tasked with the job of buffing my neglected feet into holiday-worthy health, but the lovely nail technician made me feel at complete ease, helping me choose the perfect aromas and nail colour to bring my tired toes back to life. She brought over my Turmeric Latte (ordered from the on-site café and restaurant) and we were soon chatting away about Love Island (my guilty pleasure) and summer beach plans. It’s worth noting that the restaurant, Le Pain Quotidien, had plenty on the menu including Vegan Detox Bowls, Spelt and Quinoa Scones and Raw Chocolate Cakes—if I’d had my girlfriends with me I’d have been happy swapping a night out for a pampering treat together followed by a bite and a glass of organic vino.

60 minutes of soaking, buffing and soothing later, I looked down at my perfectly polished lilac nails and baby soft heels and felt instantly more chic, cared-for and itching to show off my beach-ready toes – clearly the confidence boost you get after giving your feet the pampering they merit cannot be underestimated. I’ll be adding ‘happy feet’ to my holiday prepping self-care routine from now on.

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