Aveda aim to be London’s top grooming destination with mix ‘n’ match treatment menu

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Aveda is a brand that’s already exceptionally good for men thanks to a superb male grooming range and top-notch hair care products. But things just got a whole lot better thanks to the launch of the Aveda Men Grooming Destination.

Aveda Men Grooming Destination Picture 02Based at the Aveda Lifestyle Salon & Spa in London’s Covent Garden, it offers 11 male grooming services – from a basic Trim and Tidy to a Detoxifying Scalp Cleanse, Barber’s Cut-Throat Shave and a Beard Perfection treatment (which I’m itching to try). Especially good, though, is the express menu which features a range of treatments that you can easily squeeze into a lunch hour or just before an all-important date. At just £15 a pop their Express Refresh Facial and Express Men’s Manicures are especially good. What’s more, you can mix ‘n’ match treatments to create your own ‘super treatment’, depending on how much time you have to spare and how high maintenance you are.

Those that know me well know I’m generally treatment averse (which is rather annoying given my job) but looking through the menu I’m struck by how many of these treatments I’d actually  have. What impresses me most about them, however, is that they’re fast, fuss-free and affordable. So if you live in London, or are just visiting, make sure you swing by. Trust me, your face, hair and beard will thank you for it.

For more information and to book an appointment call 0207 7597355. Or got to avedainstitute.co.uk

The Grooming Guru links up with Spa InterContinental at The InterContinental Hotel, Park Lane

A few months ago I began talking to the people at The InterContinental Hotel in London’s exclusive Park Lane about working with them to devise some specially-tailored spa treatments for men.

The epitome of modern elegance, it’s a hotel that manages to combine luxury with uncluttered, airy fuctionaility – qualities I personally love in a hotel. It also happens to have one of the best (and least intimidating) spas in London with state-of-the art facilities, some beautifully designed treatment rooms and a fantastic VIP treatment suite for couples. And then there’s the dry flotation bed. But more about that anon.

The project was quite an interesting one for me for one simple reason: I’m actually no fan of spa treatments. You may think this a disadvantage, given the nature of the link up. To me, though, it was the very reason I wanted to get involved. The challenge, as I saw it, wasn’t just to help devise treatments that InterContinental customers would like, but ones that I would too. No mean feat, given how fussy I am, trust me.

My starting point was to contextualise the treatments so that guys would actually know why they were having them. I’m fantastically practical and don’t do “pampering” per se. If I have a treatment I want it to be results-driven and for a reason. I also want it to fit into whatever I happen to be doing at the time. If I’m jetlagged but have a meeting or a function to attend, for example, I want something to perk me up. Equally, if I had a presentation to give or a job interview to attend I’d want a treatment that would ensure I looked my absolute best by leaving no stone unturned!

So as well as featuring traditional male favouries such as a Deep Tissue Massage and an Invigorating Back Scrub the spa now offers a series of special ‘Pit-Stop’ treatments to prepare you for the day ahead, whether that’s for business or pleasure (or both!). The Pre-Business Pit-Stop treatment, for example, focuses on detail and is designed to ensure men with important meetings or presentations look their absolute best (it even attends to stray ear, nose and eyebrow hairs). There’s even a Post-Business Pit-Stop that helps you unwind after you’ve sealed the deal.

The Pre-Date Perfection treatment, meanwhile, is a one-stop, top-to-toe treatment including a perfection facial, lip treatment, manicure, pedicure, full body scrub, spot wax for unwanted hair and an ear, nose and brow tidy.

There are also two special treatments for travellers – The Instant Energizer (the ultimate wake-up call if you’re jet lagged but need to get on with things) and The Instant Relaxer. Both include specially-tailored facials but also utilize the spa’s unmissable dry floation bed. Providing the ultimate power nap, lying in it for 20 minutes feels like getting a full two hours hours sleep and the moment I tried it I wanted to have one installed in my own home.

One of the main attractions about working with the InterContinental and Spa Manager Radhika has been the fact that all the treatments use Elemis skincare products. One of my all-time favourite brands it’s a total joy to have had the chance to incorporate their high-performance products into the ‘Pit-Stops’ and travel treatments.

The treatments launch officially on 15th August and range in price between £65 and £180 but you can give any of them a whirl right now, whether you’re a hotel guest or not. For more information click here.

insider interview – Noella Gabriel

noella-gabriel-smallThe other week I was lucky enough to share an afternoon tea with Noella Gabriel, Director of Product & Treatment Development at Elemis (left). Quite often at these industry catch-ups I find my mind idly wandering to thoughts of McCain’s luxury oven chips, the Retail Price Index or (when things are really bad) the state of Britney’s thighs. But not with Noella. As well as being one of the funniest people in the business, she’s also one of the most passionate and inspiring. And, frankly, in an industry where genuine passion is thin on the ground and inspiration is even thinner, her enthusiasm is a delight to behold. So thanks for that unwasted hour and a half Noella. And thanks, too, for agreeing to share a few words of wisdom for this week’s Insider Interview.

GG: Men’s biggest grooming mistake?
Using cheap and cheerful shaving foam…lads, you do pay the price!

GG: What’s the most popular men’s treatment at the moment?

NG: At the Elemis day-spa and at retail the boys love the Urban Cleanse Facial.

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GG: Best skincare tip for men?

NG:Put an oil under the shaving foam for a super-smooth, close, clean shave.

GG: Next big thing?

NG: Well, the good news is that men are spending a little more time on daily grooming and experimenting with textures – oils, serums and balms. The awareness is growing around the use of these different textures to help skin respond more quickly.

For more info on Elemis and the Time For Men range go to nivenandjoshua.com

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