After yet another stressful week balancing a day job in the city centre with running a busy blog, learning Spanish, and trying to keep on top of my (occasional) social life, I decided it was high time I treated myself. So, I booked myself in for a massage and facial at the gorgeous Anesis Spa, just down the road from me in Clapham.
The salon and spa are on The Pavement in Clapham, amongst a strip of local shops, bakeries and bars facing the common which have a fairly European feel, and with the sun shining I was already in holiday mode. On my arrival at the super trendy salon – all black, silver and glass – I was made to feel instantly welcome by the charming staff. Emma, the manager, booked me in and was really friendly, but all around I could see the stylists were really making their clients feel at home. I even saw one satisfied customer – who’s hair was looking fabulous – hug her two stylists in gratitude before she left.
At six o’ clock on a Friday, the salon was a flurry of motion and filled with customers, but it still felt really calm in spite of the rush. The décor is ultra modern and really sleek; brown tile floors, brown and black leather sofas with silver faux-snakeskin cushions, glass panels and silver trimmings. I thought the orchids dotted around made a nice touch, and I was really impressed by how well kept everything was.
I didn’t have long to wait before my stylist, Theresa, led me upstairs to the spa, which was strikingly more tranquil than the salon; quiet, dimly lit and smelling deliciously of coconut and cleansing products. Theresa showed me to my treatment room, small and decorated in rich, chocolatey browns, and pretty soon I was lying face down on the comfortable massage table while Theresa worked her magic. The only sounds were from the fan – which Theresa had considerately adjusted to point directly at my over-heated legs – and the chill-out cd playing quietly in the background, and I felt myself beginning to drift away.
A professional massage is incredible, so relaxing and genuinely beneficial. I cannot remember the last time I felt this pampered, I found myself thinking, as the muscles in my back slowly softened to a marshmallow consistency under Theresa’s expert strokes. My shoulders often feel really stiff and achey, since – as Theresa put it – “us ladies carry the weight of the world on our shoulders” (although it may have something more to do with my bad posture), so she was particularly firm with my upper back, and I could really feel her working out a few kinks and knots. In fact, I’m still feeling the benefits almost a week later!
After thirty minutes of back massage, I rolled over to start the Anesis Skincare Superboost Facial, a 75 minute treatment using Anesis’ own products. Before we got started, Theresa checked a few details like my skin sensitivity, and also gave me a few great skin-care tips – like the fact that you should avoid face wipes for removing make up, since they’re cold and can cause pores to close up and trap the dirt. She began with a rose hip seed cleanser, which smelled gorgeously floral and clean and which foamed up with water to really deep cleanse my face and neck, After a gentle hot towel rinse, Theresa moved on to a fruit acid gel exfoliator, which smelled (unsurprisingly) fruity and felt incredibly tingly on my face. Theresa explained that this acts similarly to an enzyme peel to strip the face of dead skin cells ready for some repairing moisturisation. While the scrub was tingling away, zapping the dead skin, Theresa unwound me even more with an arm and hand massage using a warm oil.
Once the scrub had worked its magic and was rinsed away, it was time for a corrective oxygen plasma mask to rejuvenate the skin by drenching it with oxygen and other important ingredients. While the mask was on, Theresa gave me an extra long, extra soothing Indian head massage. By this point I was really drifting off; my mind had melted into an incoherent, dreamlike thought process, and if anyone had asked me to remember any vital information (a password, my bank details, two plus two, my boyfriend’s name…) I would have probably gurgled sleepy nonsense at them and passed out from the effort. I was so utterly relaxed and drowsy that I was barely conscious for the next two stages of the facial: an oxygen plasma serum and a super boost serum – both of which come in high-tech looking plastic dispensers which look like syringes – the first of which regenerates skin with even more oxygen. The super boost serum is essentially a miracle serum, and a fab alternative to injections; it uses a peptide to relax muscles in the face and minimize fine lines and wrinkles. Theresa explained that it should plump up my skin and relax away any muscles that might have gotten stuck in a certain expression (for instance, from frowning at my computer much too much throughout the course of my working day).
We finished off with my favourite product, the deliciously sweet and fruity smelling All in One cream, with avocado. Theresa worked this in over my face, neck and shoulders with a soft, massaging motion that was really relaxing, as well as being good for the skin!
The great thing about the Anesis Superboost facial is that the spa uses all their own products, so you know you can really trust what they’re using and that the products have been developed with this specific treatment in mind. The products really are fantastic, as is the entire treatment, and I left Anesis with my skin feeling fresh, firm and plumped up, unable to resist looking into every reflective surface on my way home at just how much I was glowing! In fact, my skin has been feeling so clear and refreshed since Friday that I haven’t put on any foundation, because I simply haven’t needed to, and because I don’t want to risk clogging my pores back up so soon. Luckily, I bought myself some of their fantastic rose hip seed cleanser so I can keep my skin looking clear and fresh until I can go back for another treatment.
For some of the best spa treatments in South London, not to mention a fantastic experience with really friendly, considerate and genuinely lovely staff, get yourself down to Clapham and visit the Anesis Spa as soon as you can!
14 The Pavement, Clapham Common, SW4 0HY
anesis.uk.com ~ 0207 6271500 ~ You can book your salon appointment with lastminute.com now.