It’s the party season, but with a sleigh-full of beauty treatments out there, it can be difficult to know what will deliver the best results for you at the beauty salon. We sat down for a chat about all things beautiful with Siobhan Guilfoyle, owner of Central’s newly refurbished Glow Salon and Spa.
1 Crowning Glory
Take it from the top! The festive season is always the busiest time for any salon, so Sioban suggests planning well ahead to ensure your locks are in tip-top condition. “Be sure to make your salon bookings well in advance, and book in for everything you need.”
Pressed for time? Sioban recommends the only type of multitasking you can do with a magazine in hand! “Save time by getting a manicure and pedicure while your colour, smoothing treatment or highlights develop. Shellac is a soft gel that is long-lasting and durable and can be customised with cute Christmas nail art!”
When it comes to what treatments to look for, Sioban takes a practical view. “Having silky-smooth hair that looks great without the need for a salon blowdry before every party makes keratin treatments a popular choice at this time of year.” The most effective way to beat the frizz is with a treatment such as Bhave Smoothe Plus, Goldwell Kerasilk or the ever-popular Brazilian blowout. Your stylist can advise on which treatment is best for your hair concerns and type.
If you’re looking to go longer, then consider hair extensions, which can be taped or bonded into your natural hair to add length and volume. While both varieties last around two to three months, tape extensions can be removed, washed, re-bonded and re-applied, making them good value for money. Again, ask your stylist for advice on the type of extensions that best suit your style.
A fresh new cut and colour livens up your look, and Sioban always recommends that you have a thorough consultation before taking the plunge. “A great stylist takes time to listen to you and learn about your lifestyle and priorities; for example, if you work in an office every day, they’ll advise you on styles that will look groomed all day. Likewise, if you attend a lot of social engagements, they’ll discuss styles that can easily transform from day to night.” Sioban also recommends the tried-and-tested method of bringing a photo into the salon to really help you nail that new look.
2 Eyes Front
Lashes a little patchy? Nowadays it’s possible to flaunt a whole new flutter with eyelash extensions. “Strandby-strand extensions are all the rage at the moment,” says Sioban, “and the impact of full, long lashes is absolutely beautiful – especially for all those party season photos! Lash extensions look great with or without makeup, as they define the eyes and help to make them look bigger.”
So how does it work? “Extensions typically last for three to five weeks – sometimes longer – and fall out painlessly with the natural growth cycle of your lashes. Each strand is added individually, and, when applied correctly, you shouldn’t feel your extensions at all – there should be no extra weight or residual glue. They should feel totally natural, as they’re usually made from synthetic silk or mink fibres that are close in texture to a natural eyelash.”
3 Dare to Bare
One of the easiest ways to feel your best in a strappy party dress is by faking a beautiful tanned glow. “Spray tanning allows you to have that sun-kissed, ‘just back from a beach holiday’ look all year round, without the harmful effects of UV exposure,” Sioban explains. “Skin that is overexposed to UV light is far more prone to sunburn, dangerous skin conditions and the visible signs of premature ageing.”
A million miles away from the dreaded DIY orange knees of old, a salon spray tan is applied by an experienced therapist in the salon to ensure an even, streak-free finish. “Typically, a spray tan will last up to 10 days with good care, and will fade evenly. Prolong your tan with a tan extender, which can be applied like a moisturiser every couple of days.”
4 Smooth Operator
Thinking of a long-lasting gift that doesn’t take up any cupboard space, or simply dreaming of sunnier days ahead? Laser hair removal is an increasingly popular treatment for both men and women, and starting around Christmas means that most people will see significant hair reduction by the summer season.
If you’re considering taking the plunge on high-tech hair removal, Sioban recommends doing thorough research first. “There are minimal regulations in Hong Kong with respect to using lasers, so be very, very careful when selecting a salon to do your treatment. Given the nature of the treatment and risk of serious injury if not performed correctly, it’s highly advisable to select a reputable salon, with qualified staff and the latest technology. You should also look for a fixed course of treatments that have a free follow-up period, rather than focusing on special offers that are just designed to get you through the door.”
With all that in mind, here’s to a glamorous and glowing 2017!
Glow Salon and Spa
1/F, Parker House, 72 Queen’s Road, Central
Want more advice? Check out our Style and Beauty section:
We review top Hong Kong nail salons
How to adapt your beauty routine for Hong Kong
This article first appeared in the Dec/Jan edition of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue!