Five fashion treatments for summer put to the test – find out how to keep looking cool and fresh in the heat and humidity
Tired-looking eyes, damaged hair or oily skin? Fear not. We have you covered on treatments to get you ready for Hong Kong’s summer heat
Eyelash designing service
To wake up looking flawless every day, try getting eyelash extensions, in which individual lashes are carefully glued to your real ones strand by strand. Kesalan Patharan provides a signature designing service, where lashes of varying lengths are lined along the eye to give the most natural effect. The meticulous process takes up to two hours. Prices start at HK$880 for 120 strands and go up to HK$1,800 for 180 – the maximum number of lashes they can attach.
I ended up with around 160 and was pleased with the way it looks – instantly brightening my eyes without being too dramatic. Unlike our previous lash extension experience, the chemicals used did not irritate my eyes and the beautician was so skilful that I barely felt a thing.
The extensions were also surprisingly comfortable to wear. I chose the thinnest one and they were so light that they did not weigh down the lids or real lashes as some would. Though it was supposed to last only for three weeks, they stayed for more than five.
They do need some maintenance every now and then. Comb through them with a special brush that can be bought at Kesalan Patharan – or use any clean mascara wand – to keep them neat.
Kesalan Patharan, various locations. Tel: 3607 9500
Perfect hairstyles for the heat
Shhh, a boutique hair salon on Hollywood Road, pays great attention to its clients, down to the smallest details – a mug cover to keep your tea warm, soft towels and the most relaxing head massage.
While most salon stylists blow-dry your hair nicely so you can walk away looking smooth and sleek, the keratin restructuring treatment (HK$1,880/45 mins) offered at Shhh is one with lasting effect. Whether your hair is damaged from perming, colouring or bleaching, Marvin Lin – founder of the salon and a well-known stylist in Hong Kong – has a way to fix it.
The treatment restores keratin, amino acids and collagen to dry hair using products from OMG, a hair care line developed by Lin over five years and made in Japan. The ingredients are able to penetrate deeply into the cortex layer. The argan plant stem cells, for example, strengthen the hair and make it more elastic.
The process is deceptively simple: a hair wash, 10 minutes under the heater for the hair to absorb the minerals, then another wash followed by a quick blow dry. But it yields impressive results. I left with a shiny mane that was silky and bouncy, even in the humid weather.
Shhh, 94 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan. Tel: 2915 1001
Custom-blended re-white treatment
Instead of piling on foundation, which is likely to melt in the summer heat, improve your skin so you can skip the product altogether. This treatment (HK$1,880/90 mins) offered by Japanese brand MTM will do the job.
The company does not reveal details of the equipment it uses, but what it essentially does is inject nutrients into your skin cells through an innovative penetration and electroporation solution.
During a pre-treatment consultation, the beautician finds out what my concerns are and selects specific extracts that are later blended with the re-white essence to address my skin problems. For instance, bio-sacc gum essence and mulberry roots extracts are added to moisturise my dehydrated skin as well as to lighten dark spots and acne scars.
After cleansing my face, the beautician starts by running a warm tool across my face – essentially a lymphatic massage to stimulate blood circulation and dilate the pores. The personalised formula is subsequently added to the face and the nutrients are locked in with the help of a cooling tool, which closes the pores and calms the skin. The treatment ends with a mask and a soothing massage.
It brightened the complexion so significantly that the foundation I usually use was one shade too dark. But that is not a problem, as the treatment also cleared my skin, so I am good to go with just sunscreen and a bit of concealer.
MTM, various locations. Tel: 2811 5885
Anti-ageing & radiance facial
Beauticians at Nude Beautique work with their clients to find treatments best suited to their skin type during pre-treatment consultations. I’m prone to having oily skin, so the beautician suggested I try the Anti-Ageing & Radiance Facial from the Resulttime by Collin Paris range (HK$1,280/90 mins), as it uses vitamin C and collagen to brighten, hydrate and firm the skin.
After an exfoliation with a delightful bamboo scrub to remove dead skin cells, the beautician massages in a collagen micro-gel to boost the absorption properties of the skin. She then applies an active 20 per cent Vitamin C serum, which helps to even out your skin tone and reduce hyperpigmentation.
Next, she carefully layers a paper collagen firming and hydrating mask over my face. While the ingredients are doing their magic, you are treated to a relaxing head and shoulders massage to round out the facial.
When it comes to “brightening” facials, I can be quite sceptical, not wanting to come out looking a whole shade lighter. But I was pleasantly surprised to find my skin tone had evened out completely after the facial, while my skin was also much softer and felt more plump.
Nude Beautique, various locations. Inquiries: 2868 9100
Body: detox and anti-cellulite massage
If your shoulders and neck are stiff from long hours in front of the computer, go for a massage at Beyorg. The body: detox and anti-cellulite (HK$1,600/90 minutes) massage promises to help your body quickly rid itself of toxins.
Tell the masseur of your pressure preferences and, if you like, which areas you would like her to pay extra attention to.
Using a wide range of massaging techniques such as kneading, longitudinal gliding and effleurage strokes, the therapist works away, relieving the tension in my muscles and removing muscle knots.
Two products are used in the process. Made in Spain, the Primavera Sweet Almond Oil is especially effective in moisturising dry and rough skin, while the Amala Detoxify Body Oil from Germany is a blend of eucalyptus oils with antibacterial properties.
It is also possible to purchase add-on treatments, such as the Amala Purifying Back Facial (HK$1,800/60 mins), which gets rid of breakouts and diminishes blemishes on your back, getting you ready for your bikini or backless top.
Beyorg, various locations. Inquiries: 2866 8238