Apr 19, 2012|
Down-and-dirty Wellington Street is really starting to kick off as an alternative to SoHo’s pricey shops and restaurants. I took a stroll down there the other day and was surprised to see the latest crop of cool cafes and boutiques just begging to be explored. Clearly, the Toni & Guy people are also up on the trend, as they’ve just opened a brand-new Essensuals salon there in partnership with Pacific Coffee Company. Essensuals is a little sister to the Toni & Guy brand and is priced lower for younger, more fickle customers (ladies’ haircuts start at $380, so not exactly dirt-cheap, but still significantly less than your usual Toni & Guy cut). Clearly, the street-level coffee shop (the salon is upstairs) is a big part of making the spot a hangout in its own right, and the groovy, industrial-chic space is a world away from the identikit squashy red chairs and decorative-lamp-stacked-on-fake-books look of the usual PCC outlets. In addition to having big open windows so you can sit and watch the world go by, it also serves wine and is open until 10pm. From now until the end of May, the Essensuals salon is offering HK Magazine readers $100 off all its haircut and chemical services—just rock on down there and tell them HK sent you. I’d definitely like to see more co-branded projects like this in Hong Kong. Anyone up for setting up a cha chaan teng nail salon? I’d be there like a shot.
86 Wellington St., Central, 2254-6088. Find the salon on Facebook at www.facebook.com/esshk.
I have discovered—quite by accident, may I add—an awesome, all-natural salve for horrendously itchy sandfly bites. After being very silly and forgetting to spray myself, I was bitten alive after spending all night in a field. Back at work on Monday, I desperately cast my eyes over my huge cache of beauty products for something that might take the itch away and found French organic skincare brand Huiles & Baume’s Alpine SOS balm that I was sent a few months ago. Made with arnica, anti-inflammatory peppermint, healing rosehip, and a bunch of other soothing medicinal oils that I can’t pronounce, it’s designed to calm irritated skin, relax muscles, soothe bruises and generally address all manner of complaints. I rubbed the delicately scented balm on and amazingly, the itching immediately abated and didn’t return for several hours. Bliss. If you’re big into natural and organic products and don’t like the chemicals used in traditional mosquito and insect bite salves—personally I have no such compunction and would happily secrete 100 percent Deet from my pores if it’d keep the blighters away—then you’ll probably love this stuff. I for one plan to throw a jar in my suitcase when I go traveling from now on. $299 for a very long-lasting 50ml pot.
Available from Nest Beauty, Shop 125B, 1/F, Windsor House, 311 Gloucester Rd., Causeway Bay, 3162-8638.
The Pure wellness juggernaut is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, offering free 10-day passes to allow you to try out your nearest Pure gym and yoga studio for free, no strings attached. Log onto www.pure-10.com before the end of April to register.