Hot town, summer in the city... In years to come when we look in the mirror and see the haunted shell that stares back out at us, we will blame these summers, these hot, dirty, damp Shanghai summers for the damage that they did to our precious skin.
If ever there's a time to give our bods some TLC, this is it. With the days alternating between the raw heat of the sun and the dank fug of this beastly humidity, we called in the professionals for a top-to-toe consultation. Here are the results...
Getting ready for summer means getting your skin prepped for tanning – which means exfoliating. We tried out Skin City’s facial and splurged on the diamond microdermabrasion, which is a good way to get your skin ready for sun exposure and summer elements.
The process started with a cleansing face massage and toner to get rid of dirt and oil on the skin’s surface. Then they plugged in the microdermabrasion machine – which is a small wand with varying sized tips coated in small diamonds and attached to a pump to create suction. They systematically graze the wand against your face and neck to slough off a layer of dead skin.
At first it feels like getting little kisses from octopus tentacles, but as they go over the skin for a second and third time you begin to feel the exfoliation and the texture of the wand. For those with sensitive skin, this can cause slight irritation, but for most of us it’s a pleasant experience that leaves you with a freshly smooth layer of skin.
They wisely sandwich the exfoliation between a relaxing facial massage, some cooling oxygen mist (to add nutrients to your skin) and, most notably, a facial mask and head massage. The results were smoother, more supple skin. Moisturizing and exfoliation… these are the core of any summer routine.
75-min diamond microdemabrasion facial from SkinCity 5.5
The PuLi’s Anantara Spa offers full body scrubs to buff out your skin and provide a good base for any tan. If you’re going for a more natural experience, the avocado scrub is a good choice, with the fruit’s moisturizing characteristics combined with apricot beads for exfoliation.
At Anantara they leave no appropriate inch un-pampered as they massage the messy substance into your skin with gentle motions. The therapists even address any tension or knots they encounter. It’s as much a massage as a scrub. They follow the treatment with a warm shower and the application of a vitamin-enriched lotion – leaving the skin soft and hydrated. The PuLi also outdoes itself on service and ambiance. This is a relaxing oasis if you need a place to hide from the city heat.
60-min avocado scrub at Anantara Spa
Coloring at Salon ABC offers hair coloring for affordable prices if you can get past the language barrier. We decided to re-embrace our grown-out ombre brown-to-blonde locks, and throw in some light pink tips.
We took a picture down to show the stylist exactly what we wanted. Even so, it took a couple of tries to get it right. However, ombres can be tricky, blending three colors, plus an accent hue. In the end they did a great job, even accommodating some adjustments the following day (we wanted the pink bits more pink and a more ashy blonde color). And they didn’t complain when we came back for tweaks. Cheers to our stylist Ricky. At this price, it’s a steal for this kind of color treatment.
Three-color ombres at Salon ABC
Gossip Nail in Surpass Court has all the newest hues to get your toes on trend for each season. They have almost any color your could dream of, and a great selection of imported foreign brands, not to mention an impressive collection of soft gels, ready to jump on your nails. We suggest going for brighter hues in the summer that complement any tanned skin tone. We went for pink, the obvious choice to matches our newly dyed hair.
OPI Pedicure at Gossip Nail
We have been scrubbed, polished, dyed and color-coordinated from head to toe for summer perfection, now all we’re missing is a beach…