Let’s be honest, who doesn’t enjoy the opportunity to spend the afternoon visiting the spa? I for one, wasn’t about to start complaining when my Mum offered to book me in for a treatment at The Secret Day Spa on Belmont Road.
Given the choice of which treatment I would like I decided to go for a facial. Being only 20, I can’t say that I’m a regular visitor of spas, much as I might wish I could be, so it comes as no surprise that until last week I had never actually had a facial before. Recently, I really felt as though my skin looked tired and dull and I had had quite a few breakouts, something that doesn’t usually happen to me so feeling that my skin was in desperate need of a proper cleanse, a facial seemed like the obvious option. Time to step into spring fresh faced!
The Secret Day Spa is located in a prime spot on the Belmont Road among an array of restaurants and cafes, perfect for a bite to eat after you’ve had to drag yourself away from being pampered for the afternoon. With the front of the spa made up of windows the atmosphere is open and welcoming from the outset and as you enter through the door you feel a real sense of calm wash over you.
I was met by the lovely Leah, one of the two sisters that own The Secret Day Spa, and as she started to take me upstairs to get ready for my treatment, it was at this point that the spa’s name really took full meaning. I had only ever been downstairs before to have my nails done but as Leah led me through a door towards the back of the room and upstairs to the treatment rooms, it was as if a whole secret world opened up as I entered into pampering heaven.
One of the things that I really love about The Secret Day Spa is the interior decor. Downstairs is kept really bright with the prettiest of wallpaper while upstairs has much softer lighting with beautiful birds all over the wallpaper. It may seem a little silly and irrelevant to some to be talking about interior design and patterned wallpaper in a post about a facial but, on a spa day, it’s all part of the experience.
Anyone who knows me knows that when it comes to certain things I can be a little lazy and unfortunately for my face, maintaining a skincare regime is one of these things. Once I’ve come home from a long day I tend to take my make up off straight as soon as possible and cleanse and tone my face then instead of before bed. I know myself pretty well by this stage and I know that if I don’t take my make up off straight away, chances are that by the time bed time comes around my skin has absolutely no chance of being looked after even half-decently. I also have pretty sensitive skin so I’m always very wary about the products that I use on my face and end up getting stuck in a rut and using all of the wrong products instead of paying attention to what my skin really needs.
This became apparent once I started chatting with Emma, who carried out my facial for me. After confessing my skincare laziness to Emma and we chatted about what I hoped to get out of my treatment that day, she had a look at my skin and talked me through the different methods that she would be using to help bring back a little life to my skin and shake off the dullness. This included the use of hot steam misted over my face for the majority of the treatment, a clay mask used on my T-Zone and extraction of blackheads.
Initially I really struggled to keep my eyes closed and I was dying to see what was going on and which products were being used where and for what purpose but before I knew it, I was fully relaxed, almost asleep and praying that the treatment wouldn’t end anytime soon. Thrown in to the treatment was a head massage (hence the oily hair in the after photos) along with an arm massage which truthfully, was probably the tipping point in the fight against trying not to fall asleep.
An hour later and sadly the treatment was over. Off I went to the gorgeous relaxation room where a selection of herbal teas, juice and some cookies were waiting for me. Not to mention, that much to m delight I found a copy of my favourite magazine Elle, lurking in the corner. By this stage I was really dreading having to leave…
I can honestly say that my skin felt truly refreshed and glowing, just as I had asked. The best part was that Emma provided me with a face mapping skin analysis of my face which very clearly explains the condition of your skin in each area of your face, showing where my skin was dehydrated and where any scarring lay along with a list of product recommendations and skincare advice. Even better, there were a few Dermalogica samples thrown in for me to try.
I’m now determined to look after my skin properly, especially since I now have all of the necessary tools to do so.
A massive thank you to Emma for looking after me so well and helping me out by taking a few before and after shots of my skin.
Check out The Secret Day Spa and the treat yourself to an afternoon of being pampered. I promise they won’t disappoint!
Niamh Serena xo