The lovely folks over at Shiseido Day Spa located in the heart of Ashrafieh really know how to pamper a girl. I felt like a queen for a day as I was greeted by the professional and courteous staff who treated me like I was the most important person in the world as soon as I set foot in the ultra-zen space that imposes this profound peacefulness and tranquility. I knew right then I was in good hands (literally.)
I was surprised to know Shiseido Spa has been open in Lebanon for 14 years with a long list of regular clientele who visit on a weekly basis to get away from it all if only for an hour or two. And though I’ve had my fair share of massage and facial sessions both in Lebanon and abroad, this experience was hands down one of my top 3 favorites. Let me tell you why.
My session began with a choice of 3 aromas that I later learned would become part of my facial. I chose Jasmine. But first my beauty therapist Perla, whom I highly recommend, soaked my feet in a rose petal-infused tub of water for a couple of minutes. I was a little curious why my feet were getting the class-A treatment even though I was scheduled for a facial. She eloquently explained that relaxation began with the feet. And I can’t tell you how much that works.
As I lay on the massage table in my big fluffy robe with the serene music playing in the background, I fought the urge to doze off instantly. The therapist began gently removing all my makeup with Shiseido makeup removers and creams and guided me through some deep aroma breathing exercise using the Jasmine scent I had chosen that put me in a deep rhythmical state of relaxation.
And that’s when all the magic happened. I signed up for the Hydro-Nourishing Facial, an intensive hour and fifteen minute long incredibly soothing treatment for dry/sensitive skin. This facial uses a Shiseido line of products with ingredients containing the Chinese Yuzu fruit to accelerate skin’s moisture production and Trehalose plant sugar to plump the skin. What I loved about this facial is that it didn’t include any of those painful extraction techniques to remove blackheads but rather a rotating small machine that works its way on the skin’s surface to massage and clean. Next, the therapist began a specialized Japanese mask technique covering my entire face with a combo of cold and hot towels intended to liven up skin cells.
The session concluded with a head, shoulder and hand massage that put me in a state of trance.
I felt like I had just woken up from one of the most peaceful comas as I was invited to relax on a long chair in a room with herbal tea and an assortment of dried apricots, raisins and almonds.
I touched my face which felt like it had formed a unfamiliarly smooth plump layer and I looked in the mirror only to notice that it was radiant. I was hooked. I knew I had to come back. And though this treatment costs about $120 it is one of the best quick fix relaxing sessions you will get in a country as crazy as Beirut.
I had one of the most peaceful drives back home, not because traffic had ceased, on the contrary, it was rush hour, but I felt as though I have popped some cryptic pill that made me immune to all annoyances and stress surrounding me on the roads, while everyone else was too busy trying to cut through each other, there I was with a big silly smile and magnificent glow on my face.