All quiet streets, huge towering houses (the type that haven’t been split into flats yet) and a village feel that’s sheltered from the highly strung buzz of zone one – even though you can get pretty much anywhere within London in 20 minutes on the tube – St John’s Wood is one of the most coveted parts of town.
Even more so now that Rihanna lives there (yes, you heard that right, the one and only Rihanna), which elevates its status to *the* best place to live in London. No contest.
St John’s Wood also has plenty of beauty spots that might just come in handy for Rhi-Rhi pre-video shoot. But which are the best to help you tame those talons and give your skin an instant sunkissed, plump dewiness? Beauty lover Rachel Mantock endeavors to find out…
1 Face Gym
They themselves call their offering a ‘non-invasive workout for your face’. It’s the treatment you didn’t know your face needed. A faceout, if you will, that’s a combination of both a facial and a workout that doesn’t quite meet the criteria to be classed as one or the other, but delivers something innovative and totally invigorating that’ll leave you with impressive results after one session.
Take Face Gym’s Training Sticks for example – skincare that works when you are working out, so instead of breaking out the next day, your skin looks like you spent the evening at the spa. They’re activated by heat and moisture, plus packed full of nutrients that our skin will absorb like a sponge, becoming plump and dewy in the process — your pores will near enough disappear.
Inside their St John’s Wood studio, you can whip your skin into its optimum form with the Face Gym signature electrical, cryo oxygen or yoga workout treatments, which all aim to lift, sculpt and make your skin pop like HD TV.
41 St John’s Wood High Street, St John’s Wood NW8 7NJ; facegym.com
2 EF Medispa
It would probably be more apt to ask what EF Medispa can’t do for you in the beauty department. They have experts that can utilise the latest technology for pretty much anything. During my consultation, we ran through my morning and evening skincare routines, which I was told were just as important as the facial I was about to have, for amplifying and maintaining results.
Their expertise shone through in what they told me my skin didn’t need, as well as what they told me it did. The best facialists know how to exercise restraint — less is really sometimes more. Plus, we’d figured out beforehand that I had too many acid-based products in my regime, which was worsening my dry-yet-oily skin, causing my skin to overproduce oil to combat the moisture-stripping products.
The treatment itself was so relaxing I almost couldn’t tell you what happened because I fell asleep at certain points, which is an ode to the facialist’s gentle yet soothing touch. My skin went through a series of cooling, tingling and heating sensations, but nothing too extreme, and I left with poreless, bright and hydrated skin, plus no soreness at all. Five stars for sure.
69 St John’s Wood High Street NW8 7NL; efmedispa.com
3 ViVi Nail Spa
Nestled away on the corner of Chalbert Street, you are greeted by a huge foliage wall filled with greenery and flowers once you step inside, making it one of the more Instagramable beauty spots in St John’s Wood.
Their super comfortable massage chairs get to work on all the stress points in your back while one of their nail technicians, files, buffs and polishes your toes into holiday-ready mode with a flawlessly shiny coat of shellac or OPI gel. Vivi’s collection of gel and shellac colours is extensive, meaning that I spent an annoyingly long time picking out the colour I wanted. Once I had whittled it down to my four favourites, I settled on a pastel yellow, because yellow is having a moment.
The spa itself has a calm and relaxing vibe about it, even when busy. It wasn’t the longest lasting shellac pedicure I’d ever had, but any premature lifting or chips were quickly fixed after popping back in with no fuss.
49 Charlbert Street, St John’s Wood NW8 6JN; vivinailspa.mytreatwell.co.uk
4 Shakti Veda Spa
You’ll find these magical masseuses, experts in Ayurvedic practices, along the famous Abbey Road. The spa itself was specially built to promote ‘healing’ from the second you step inside, with a comprehensive range of detox, wellness and organic treatments on offer to help you switch off when the city has you in the grip of its 24/7 digital presence.
The waiting area is a pre-treatment in itself, lulling you into a state of relaxation that will only be built upon once you enter one of the treatment rooms. Shakti Veda Spa therapists use sumptuous herbal infused oils when performing their full body massages, designed to ‘relieve tension’ and ‘release stagnant energy’.
For shorter treatments that are perfect if you’re pushed for time, or treatments that focus on one isolated area, an Indian head massage or foot exfoliation and massage treatment is absolutely worth booking in for. Hard work is ageing, so take some ‘you time’, you’ve probably earned it (even if you haven’t, book the massage anyway!).
75 Abbey Road, St John’s Wood NW8 0AE; shaktivedaspa.co.uk