Beauty for the Busy
uka Omotesando beauty salon
In a quiet street behind Omotesando Hills, uka Ometesando is a haven for busy urbanites in search of some much-needed pampering.
A unique and modern take on the traditional multi-service beauty salon, uka Omotesando offers nail, eyelash, body and facial treatments in a range of combined packages so that you can experience a full-on pampering without spending all day at the salon.
Located in some of the most fashionable areas in the city, uka salons are designed for women who are “busy, lazy and demanding”.
This description definitely speaks to me (and I’m sure I’m not alone!) and the whole salon experience from booking to after-care has been created to meet the needs of multi-tasking city women living life to the fullest.
The uka brand is the creation of nail care dynamo Kiho Watanabe. The Tokyo-based Watanabe first gained fame as a top manicurist, quickly garnering a celebrity following, and she’s since worked to create an acclaimed beauty range, including the coveted uka nail oil – a true beauty must-have.
There are six uka salons across the city and after some quick research, I found that uka Omotesando had English-speaking staff (along with the Midtown branch). Soon I was chatting on the phone with the softly-spoken Seika who took great care to listen to my questions and explain the treatments available. I opted for the recommended combination of uka treatments; a manicure, spa, pedicure and OxyGeneo facial. With a combined treatment, you also get to choose between a complimentary neck and shoulder massage or ear reflexology treatment.
Arriving at the salon I was warmly greeted by the staff. Modern, relaxed and homely, the unique open-plan treatment room was softly lit, with the outline of leafy trees visible through the gauze curtains. On one side of the room were three leather reclining arm chairs for pedicure and combined treatments. A beautiful, antique wooden table stood nearby – a communal manicure space perfect for manicures with a friend – stocked with a seriously impressive collection of nail polish shades. They have everything from OPI and CND to the latest from Chanel and Dior, as well as Japanese brands Three and RMK. There’s also a private treatment room adjacent for facials and body treatments.
Settling into one of the incredibly comfortable treatment chairs, Seika explains that all of my treatments will take place here at the same time, so no need to move around the salon. I felt like a queen as the uka staff got to work on my manicure, pedicure and facial simultaneously. This is one of the things that makes the combined treatments at uka so amazing. Since the staff work together at the same time you feel totally pampered but the treatment takes so much less time – you can allocate just two hours and have a mani, pedi and facial in one go. Absolute genius.
As expected, the manicure (¥6000 for 60 minutes) was very high quality. Nail care, shaping, cuticle care and polish application are all performed with a fastidious attention to detail. You can also experience the famous uka nail oil and heavenly hand cream. My feet and legs were buffed and massaged, and my toenails painted to perfection during the spa pedicure (¥10,000 for 90 minutes).
I was curious to try the OxyGeneo Facial (¥8000 for 30 minutes), specifically designed to be the ultimate “lunchtime” facial treatment, using the OxyGeneo machine to perform three different skin treatments in one. Firstly the machine gently exfoliates the outer layer of the skin after which it’s infused with a potent serum, all the while oxygenation is stimulated to improve the absorption of active ingredients. The facial finished with a a moisturising mask and relaxing face massage. Pure bliss.
The best results of the facial were visible two to three days after my visit and since then friends have been commenting on my new glow!
The salon is a genuine beauty oasis for the modern woman. Definitely choose the combi-treatment plan so that you can experience the best that uka has to offer, though after one visit you might find it difficult to stay away.
Address: 4-21-10 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 105-0001
Open: 11:00 – 20:00 (Closed on Tuesday)