Following my blog article at the end of May suggesting you all go out and pretty yourselves for summer, I then challenged a group of friends to go out and do just that. Using Tunbridge Well's best beauty salons and beauty professionals, we got dialing, booked a plethora of appointments and readied ourselves for primping. Yes, primping.
The secret identities of my team of crack Uglies shall remain, er, secret, so we shall call them Julia, Vic, Anne, Georgia and Tammy (the dog - although she's not, she's beautiful!) in a tribute to the Famous five. Plus me, the ranked outsider. That makes six guinea pigs to try out six of thebest of Tunbridge Wells' favourite local businesses.
Firstly, Julia booked in to Scott & Co on Calverley Road for a treatment of Minx nails and a nice aromatherapy massage. We picked Julia for the nail treatment as she's a nail-virgin and not particularly girlie in that department. She declared afterwards she loved her new "fabulous summer toes", and promised to make more of an effort in future! As for her Scott & Co massage, she's pretty sure it was wonderful, although is struggling to remember the middle part as it was so relaxing she drifted off into a blissful trance. Julia did, however, say that afterwards she felt the most de-stressed she ever had, and carried that feeling around for days afterwards.
Next, Vic was posted off to the Mirror Beauty Company for cellulite treatment. Not that she suffers terribly, but she is self-conscious when it comes to stripping down in the summer, and this year she's determined to be bikini-ready. Vic was also assigned to getting a tan treatment at Mirror Beauty, again so she feels confident enough to dare-to-bare. We inspected her new tan closely (poor girl), and yes it was very post-holiday natural looking. We also decided her legs were looking decidedly trim and firm too!
Anne, bless her, was instructed to book a hair cut at The Chapel near The Pantiles, somewhere she'd not been before. Outside of her usual comfort zone of a familiar hairdresser, she said she actually felt immediately reassured and welcomed on arrival at The Chapel. The salon itself is very plush but not intimidating, and she was spoilt rotten during her highlights and restyle. Anne has difficult hair to tame usually, but the stylists at The Chapel "must have magic hands" according to Anne, as her hair behaved itself for days afterwards, even after washing. And her highlights look great too.
Georgia was meanwhile off to The Comfort Zone on Lime Hill Road for a treatment of hot stone massages and a manicure, so get her in the exotic holiday mood. The treatment rooms at The Comfort Zone are tranquil and appropriately dimly lit for a relaxing massage. George afterwards also claimed partial memory loss through a blissed-out state, but said while an unusual sensation, the hot stone massage was "dreamy".
Tammy was dispatched to the Royal Tunbridge Wells Skin and Laser Clinic, for a deep facial cleanse and facial. Specialists in laser hair removal, thread vein removal, advanced facials and other non-surgical anti-ageing treatments, the Royal Tunbridge Wells Skin and Laser Clinic are the place to go apparently to recapture and rejuvenate. Tammy came out feeling like she'd had about 10 years stripped from her appearance, which technically makes her now too young to worry about anti-ageing treatments - a success then.
Me, I plumped for the Hair Fairy, for a natural boost to my lashes in the comfort of my own home. Taking hairdressing to new levels, The Hair Fairy is an ideal way of getting beauty treatments done at your own convenience, and she comes in, waves her magic wand, and leaves without any fuss at all. Specialising in wedding and special occasion hair, I've also booked an appointment with her to have my hair done (highlights and a trim), and may just have found my new regular hairdresser!
Conclusion: this was an interesting, edifying and pampering experiment, and Tunbridge Wells has some of the best beauty professionals in the business. In fact, we've pledged to continue it and swap beauty salons and hairdressers within the group - we do like to be thorough after all.
All in the name of research, of course.
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Natelie Fitzroy is a freelance writer and photographer with The Little White Studio.