Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Book Your Lifestyle for Christmas

Book Your Lifestyle

There is nothing more I hate than booking appointments for beauty treatments by phone which is why I was more than happy to test and review the newest online booking site Book Your Lifestyle* and see whether they met my 'high' standards.

You can start searching by location or treatment; perhaps you've been looking to try a Brazilian Blow Dry for some time or simply need to fit in a manicure between meetings and need to find somewhere nearby then Book Your Lifestyle will have options for you. I think this would be so helpful as I've attended weddings and decided I want a blow dry and I'm hunting for a reputable salon or simply one with an available appointment. With Christmas Party Season and the chance you're upping the ante with your beauty treatments and often away from home, Book Your Lifestyle can be an invaluable tool in ensuring you're disco ready.

Book Your Lifestyle

Book Your Lifestyle

The booking system is so easy to use and it's perfect for night owls like me who often decide to tick things off the to do list way after a salons business hours. Once you have selected your treatment at your chosen salon hit book and you'll be taken to a screen showing all the available appointment dates and times available. This was fantastic for me as I was running through the process unsure of what date would work best for me so I was able to skip through options available and chose the best one for me without back and forth in conversation with someone over the phone.

Book Your Lifestyle

Payments are required at booking which I liked, there can be nothing more frustrating at the end of a treatment, especially if it's a relaxing one. So the booking of my appointment was simple but how was my treatment itself?

Cucumba, The Urban Pit Stop

Having received emails and texts confirming my appointment at booking I was slightly surprised that there was no further confirmations or reminder. I appreciate this is slight niggle but it did cross my mind by way of a worry when I was en route, what if it has been cancelled or something went wrong. I can confirm that my fears were unjustified when I arrived at Cucumba a few minutes walk from London's Liberty's.

Cucumba calls itself 'the urban pitstop' and it definitely is not your swanky or luxurious type of salon. The decor is nice but does meet the urban name in shades of cream and green and the treatment 'rooms', which are downstairs, are in fact only tables separated by curtains. This is slightly problematic as I could hear the conversation in the treatment room next door and even heard someone enjoying their lunch break from the microwave cooking the meal to the cutlery clattering on the plate and then being washed up. If you were looking to forget the world during your treatment and are sensitive to the slightest noise this might be an issue.

I didn't find entertain the salon was the warmest of welcomes. A therapist looked up from her nail treatment and told me to simply take a seat and my biggest pet peeve was later when time for my appointment arrived and two therapist stood a couple of feet away discussing 'me' and whether my therapist was ready and should I have been taken down for my treatment.

Thankfully Julie, my therapist was lovely. She was very warm, chatty and called me 'my dear' throughout my treatment which was a 90 minute Prescriptive Dermalogica Facial with extraction* for an eye watering £99. I choose this treatment for a number of reasons; I'm not a fan of your traditional facial which I find boring and little I can achieve myself at home, would a £99 facial be worth the money and as a regular user of Dermalogica products I was keen to see how their in house treatments would fair.

After Julie had introduced herself I was told to remove my clothes and climb under the bed - please tell me I'm not alone in finding this moment the worse of any beauty treatment. Have I removed enough, too much, will the therapist walk in mid unrobing and then that excruciating time you're just laying on the bed waiting for them to return.

My first surprise on Julie's return that there was no discussion about my skin concerns, what I expected from the treatment and only that she would be conducting the 90 minute facial with extraction.

The first stage I am only able to presume was cleansing and exfoliating the skin before steam was applied to soften and aid the extraction process which in short, and much to my friends disgust when I was explaining it later is to remove blackheads and whiteheads. This was the bit I was really interested in. Despite my 'beauty blogger status' and my abundance of skincare products I'm still not always the most diligent of maintaining my routine and whilst my skin is far better than it once was as a smoker especially I need a bit more assistance with blackheads.

The steam was not unpleasant although it is strange and if you've been in a steam room when it hits your lungs it is akin to that. Julie chatted to me throughout this process and asked if I'd used Dermalogica products before, discussed that I should exfoliate more and the more surprising suggestion that I should use lemon juice to tighten my pores.

If you've ever wondered about extraction let me tell you it is not a pleasant experience by any means. Julie was great at stopping and starting on different areas, reapplying steam when needed but nonetheless you know how painful it can be squeezing a blackhead on the surface, imagine tackling the ones deeper down. I winced, eyes watered and wondered why I was putting myself through this but I survived and can't deny I've ever seen my skin look so clean.

Julie was very apologetic throughout the extraction process and once complete she reassured me as such and then said now she would get into the relaxation portion of the massage, which I surmise was around 20-30 mins of the actual treatment. Julie was firm rather than the type of facial I hate which feels like my skin is just being pawed at. It's a shame I didn't find out during or after the treatment what products had been used and there was no hard sell at the end for me to purchase any products used so both positives and negatives there.

The facial massage went down to my shoulders and chest and did feel almost invasive on occasion, if you've had a back massage and squirmed at the therapist reaching the buttocks then imagine when you're conscious hands are in the breast area.

A clay mask was applied which surprised as when I'd mentioned using the Dermalogica Clay and Hydrating masks Julie queried why I needed to use the Clay one. The mask was applied and I was told I would be left for 10 minutes whilst this 'went to work'. It's a shame that the time wasn't used to provide a hand or foot massage instead of just laying on a bed alone for 10 mins, especially as at this stage I wondered why I'd needed to remove all my clothing (by that I mean my jeans, I of course left my underwear on).

Once time was up Julie cleaned my face, applied some moisturiser and I was told I could dress and she would meet me upstairs at the counter. I was surprised at this point how quickly time had gone as usually I'm willing the time to end.

Having used Book Your Lifestyle and paid in advance I was able to simply hand over a tip and be on my way. In conclusion was the facial worth it, I think so. Yes I would have liked a few extra touches to make it more of a pampering experience but as a functional facial service my skin looks amazing and I didn't leave more tense then on arriving is often the case due to boredom.

As for Book Your Lifestyle I am a big fan of the site and have already told friends and family about it and used since to book hair appointments when heading for nights out in London. If you have a Christmas party to prepare you'll need them to hand.

Would you find this service useful?

*My treatment costs were reimbursed in exchange for today's blog post

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  1. I used to have extraction treatments quite often in the past and it was always so satisfying to see how clean and smoother the skin was afterwards.
    I'm surprised the therapist suggested using lemon juice to shrink your pores????
    I like the idea of the booking site, so convenient and helpful, will definitely check it out! x

    Mummy's Beauty Corner

    1. I know, it was strange, no sell on the Dermalogica products but recommended lemon juice!!!

  2. The site sounds really convenient! I live in a small town and when looking for a salon or hairdresser really struggle. I've found a hairdresser I like now (after 6 years living here) but I wouldn't know where to start to find a salon. This site would take the work out of finding a local service.

    It's great that there was no hard sell after your treatment, but I do wonder why you weren't told which products were being used on you. Surely lots of people like to pick up these products so that they can maintain their skin, if not straight after the treatment then a little after. Xx

    Tania | When Tania Talks

    1. Finding the right salon can be so difficult can't it - I can definitely see the value in these sites too.

      Yes was definitely a shame there was no discussion about the products used x


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