Grooming fix: Bruneblonde's De-Stress Express Face

Pavan Shamdasani

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 May, 2013, 10:12pm

Most men wouldn't be caught dead getting a facial. It's not that the majority couldn't benefit from a strong exfoliating scrub - lord knows, many of us could - it's the embarrassment of it all. This has led many a beauty centre and barbershop to rejig the traditional idea of a "facial".

That is exactly what Bruneblonde - The Grand Hyatt's latest spa and salon - has done. It looks like an updated, retro-leather-fitted barber shop.

I'm here to experience the men's exfoliation facial: an hour-long affair marketed as a "post-shave" treatment, which is really just a good old massage and scrub. As I enter, I'm ushered into a private room before the specialist wheels in an airplane-like cart of Australian brand VitaMan products.

She begins with a 15-minute chest and upper back massage. With a gentle oil and some deep pressure, she targets sore back areas then moves to my arms and the back of my head. This allows her to almost effortlessly segue into the facial, kicking off with a mild wash to remove any surface impurities before using a deeper exfoliator to ensure a proper clean. Other products are applied in quick succession, including a moisturiser to soothe the skin, followed by hair products accompanied by a scalp massage.

Then a gelatinous mask is placed on my face - with holes for my eyes, nostrils and mouth. As it is applied, I drift off into one of those slightly asleep situations where whatever is happening to you physically manifests itself in bizarre dreams.

I won't scare you with what a gooey face mask translates to in my mind, but the half-nap does add to the relaxation, especially as the specialist gently wakes me up for a post-treatment round of ice-cold water and tasty cookies.

I leave the salon in high spirits, and while the humidity quickly ruined any "cleaning" involved, at least I can tell people I look so relaxed because of a manly post-shave job down at the local barber.

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De-Stress Express Face treatment costs HK$550 for 45 minutes at Bruneblonde, Grand Hyatt, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai