If I belonged to any monarchy, my title by birthright would be Queen of awkwardness. When I say I’m awkward, I don’t mean a bit socially introverted and shy. I mean keeping my shoes and socks on during a massage awkward. SO you can probably imagine my reluctance to make beauty and spa treatments, as much as I enjoy fresh skin and manicured nails. If only a spa existed that made me as comfortable as when I’m watching Drag Race sans pants avec takeaway.
That’s when Urban Calm step in. They got in contact with me to receive a spa treatment which I was feeling grateful and bourgeois about. I should have been looking forward to my facial but the anxiety of being ridiculously awkward still existed.
I visited the city centre spa (based in The Metquarter) for my morning appointment and the spa was stunning. behind the glass doors was a pristine salon stocked with beauty products, welcoming staff and atmosphere. After being greeted I had to fill out a form before my treatment and for good reason. On the form, I got to address of course, and allergies I may have but what I particularly liked was I had a chance to talk about skin concerns, what causes breakouts and areas of my face that I had problems with. One of my problems being what I can only describe as fossilised blackheads on my chin – how would I put this eloquently on the form’ ’embedded blackheads’. Mortified. But when I met my beauty therapist she completely understood what I meant and there was no shame about it. I finished the form off, including what products I was currently using (aka, where I could be going wrong) and skin goals (Markle Sparkle I believe is what they are calling the Duchess of Sussex’s complexion), I followed my therapist up the candle clad spa stairs and into a closed treatment room.
The room was dimly lit with mood music playing. It was really nice music actually. I’ve been to cringe-worthy spas that play Sam Smith instrumentals but Urban Calm really considered the effect music has on atmosphere, and it was a positive one. My therapist made sure I was at ease, adjusting the room temperature, lighting and offering me any refreshments before my treatment. She talked me through the treatment I would be receiving (the one-hour Dermologica facial) and instructed me to, once she had left the room, to remove my shoes, shirt (hanger ready) and bra straps, and to get under the towel on the treatment bed. She would then come back in when I was ready. I felt quite awkward as I am modest when it comes to my body, but honestly, I was so cosy under the towel blanket I felt completely at ease.
The treatment itself was thorough and very well tailored to my concerns, beginning with a skin analysis under light. My 20-year-old skin doesn’t need anti-ageing treatment just yet but a deep exfoliation was needed to rid my stressed out mid-exam season skin. My combination skin needed hydration in different places. My therapist, whilst talking me through each step and its importance, chatted away to me about things like my blog, food places in town and celebrities; a true girl talk rather than small talk. It made such a difference. My absolute FAVOURITE part of my facial was the steam and blackhead extraction. THAT IS WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF. We can all be guilty of a little pick and squeeze (sorry, Urban Calm if you’re reading this) but there would be no face scrunching or cursing here. The therapist with the help of the steamer (which was not too overwhelming and balanced) was so gentle that every extraction felt like a little massage, a little squeeze to clearer skin.
After a mask to finish, my treatment came to an end. Whilst I was relaxing with my face mask setting, my therapist, after analysing my skin and considering what I wrote in my form before the treatment, gave me my ‘skin fitness plan’ and ‘prescription’ to match. This personalised plan included a map of my face, labelled with areas I am keen to work on (insert photo here). For example, I have a lot of comedones on my face (that’s what you call those lil’ ugly bumps btw) which will be helped by the daily resurfacer I’ve been prescribed. I’ve been adviced for my skin type, to use this of an evening three times a week. This incredible service from Urban Calm taught how essential it is to have your skin care regime tailored especially for you. We might get caught up in the hype of products with glycolic acid or rosehip oil which are amazing, but do they work on our skin? Could our favourite products be doing more harm than good and how do we have any idea? After my treatment at Urban Calm, I can rest assured that my Dermologica skin care regime is simply an extension of the treatment, expertise and knowledge of Urban Calm itself.
To book in with Urban Calm you can call 0151 236 0537. Follow them on Instagram @urbancalmuk and be sure to catch the student sale before it ends 31st May. NUS discount upto 20% off using code ‘STUDENTSQUAD’.