Aphrodite's already blogged about our lovely trip to Nu Essence on Saturday, located on Dublin's South Anne St, and now for the details!I love South Anne St. Not only does it house the Gotham Cafe, home to Peking Duck Pizza, but it was also the scene for me of many a music related event in McGonagles, an (in)famous Dublin venue that shut its doors an awful long while ago now, and where I spent many a happy n' drunken evening during my student days. So South Anne St holds fond memories for me, oh yes.
But memories aside, this is a great location for a salon - right bang smack in the centre of the city, and right off Grafton St, beside and above the Chili Club restaurant - it's perfect really. It used to be part of the L'Avenue chain - there's one in Phibsboro and others around the city too, but it's now under new management and has a new name to go with that change. Proper order.
First things first, the place is gorgeous. I do judge books by their covers and a salon that's grubby or shabby most likely won't get a second visit from me. It's long been a McDermott family joke that as a child, whenever we were taken out to eat, the first thing I did was check out the bathroom. I'd then come back and make my pronouncement about the 'felicities'. So I'm pleased to say that the felicities at Nu Essence are top notch. The salon is housed over a couple of floors in a gorgeous old building, so this means high ceilings, panneling, swooping staircases and big Georgian windows. Lovely. God is very definitely in the details for me.
The staff are really welcoming and that makes a huge difference too. I was taken up to a treatment room and the procedure I was to have was explained fully to me. I was booked in for a microdermabrasion, and while I wasn't worried about it, I was a little concerned I might be red and sore afterwards. I need not have worried, as you'll find out.
To start with, my face was cleansed and then the main event began. It's done using a machine to which a wand type device is attached - it looks like a bit like an airbrush, in that there's a tip and a reservoir housing the aluminum oxide crystals, which are used to resurface the skin. They are indeed micro-fine - way finer than sand, and the treatment is done by moving the wand firmly over your face, area by area. While the procedure doesn't hurt, it's a weird sensation if you're used to getting facials where everything is done incredibly softly softly. But it's not unpleasant at all, and also not in the slightest bit painful.
So why get it done? It's great for reducing the appearance of pigmentation, acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles, and it can also be used on the body to reduce stretch marks, for example. It's also perfect for someone my age who is working at fighting the signs of aging as they are starting to appear - prevention being better than cure and all that. If you go in for microdermabrasion with a face full of wrinkles after a 40 a day fag habit, be prepared to not be particularly wowed. But if you have dull skin, the beginnings of wrinkles or old scarring, it will make a marked improvement on your skin. In addition, the removal of the top layer of skin enables your regular skincare routine to work even better, as absorption of the products will be even more efficient. And there are even more benefits - the wand has a vacuum effect too, which helps bring the blood supply up close to the surface of the skin, bringing an increased circulation to the face, and helping to regenerate fresh new skin.
The microdermabrasion part of the treatment was actually pretty quick, perhaps 20 - 25 minutes all told (I have a bad habit of relaxing utterly when I'm having something done and loosing track of time) and then hydrating masques were applied to my face, lips and eyes, and I was left alone to relax in a darkened room, soothed by gentle music and flickering candlelight. Ah, bliss. I like nothing more than a bit of pampering, me. After 10 or so minutes, the masques were removed, my face was moisturised and I was also given an eyebrow tidy too. Now, that's what I call service!
While my face felt warm, when I was shown it in the mirror it wasn't remotely red. In fact, I looked glowing and fresh faced - and I was genuinely delighted. I hadn't expected to see results for a few days and to see them immediately was a huge plus. There have been no after effects at all - no redness, weeping or sores. In general terms, my skin feels no more sensitized than had I exfoliated at home myself, but the results are far more dramatic. My skin is clear, smooth and blemish free. A few days later, my skin still feels and looks fresh and smooth and there have been absolutely no problems.
So if you're thinking of having a microdermabrasion done, and you're worried that it'll have undesirable side effects, allow me to bust another beauty myth - it won't! I'd personally highly recommend it and I'd definitely have it done again. Microdermabrasion at Nu Essence costs â‚¬70 per session, or a course of five treatments (which is recommended for optimum results) is â‚¬300.
Nu Essence are located at South Anne Street, Dublin 2.Tel: 01 6716443 or e-mail them at [email protected]. They also have a huge range of other treatments available, using the most gorgeous products - Decleor, Carita and Gatineau feature heavily - yum! And men - you're very welcome at Nu Essence too.