I can't pretend to be an expert on beauty treatments. Whenever I've been lucky enough to have been treated to a massage or facial I've always loved it (waxes are to be tolerated as a necessary evil, I suppose), but they're just not one of those things I feel I can justify splurging on. The results are ephemeral, that blissful feeling of being preened and pampered over within the hour. Nonetheless, when I escaped from the practically baltic streets of SW6 last week into the steamy, scented halls of Moroccan Beauty (with a Groupon voucher, no less!) I felt I'd struck onto a winner.
Based around the concept of the Moroccan hammam, this ladies only spa makes for a delightfully different spin on beauty. Whilst they offer the usual waxing, facials, massages, the atmosphere is different from the usual bundles of mini luxury: it felt exotic, yet unpretentious, super friendly and welcoming. My voucher entitled me to the hammam ritual, a full body mask and an express facial - 2 hours worth of warm, pampered sanctuary from the freezing cold. As part of the hammam ritual I was shown into a traditional Moroccan steam room, amazingly humid (I was pouring with sweat within minutes) but I was kept comfortable with frequent cups of water and the showers at one end. After my first rinse, a thick eucalyptus soapy wax was applied to my whole body, and the steam came back on to allow it to absorb right into my skin leaving me slick and incredibly smooth. After rinsing again, I was thoroughly ex-foliated (as it turns out, winter skin is INCREDIBLY dry - I felt like a snake shedding what seemed like an entire layer) and a full body mask applied.
You can spend as much time in the steam room as you like, so after another blissfully sweaty 15 minutes, and yet another hot shower, I donned my fluffy slippers and padded my way into the treatment room for my facial. After a quick skin analysis (still dry, a compound of winter weather and perhaps a little sweaty hammam over-enthusiasm) I settled into an amazingly relaxing facial. With two applications of organic cleansers (all their products are 100% natural), toner, an amazing mini facial massage, finishing off with an intense moisturising mask, this facial may have been 'express' but it felt incredibly thorough, whilst being gentle enough to send me almost to sleep.
After a cup of traditional Moroccan mint tea, it was time to drag myself back into the cold again. My little sojourn at Moroccan Beauty truly felt like a mini-holiday - and definitely a different and welcome addition to the Fulham beauty scene. With these arctic conditions set to stick around for the next few weeks at least, it might be worth booking yourself a micro-break sometime soon.
780 Fulham Road
London SW6 5SL
All photos taken from the Moroccan Beauty website