Boudoir Day Spa, Jingumae
It seems that spring is indeed in the air and starting to tease us Tokyoites into shedding our down coats, winter boots and gloves that have been our protective armor for the past few months. As the temperature starts to slowly climb and the plum blossoms appear on the trees, there is a glimmer of hope that we will be soon be peeling off the winter layers for good. It’s time to think about some spring-cleaning for our dry winter skin, and preparing our hands and feet to be revealed to the world once again. With this in mind, I headed to Boudoir beauty salon in Jingumae, which has launched a spring promotion that includes a Guinot Hydra Clean facial, as well as a signature shellac manicure and pedicure. It sounded to me like to perfect way ease into the new season.
Boudoir is a bilingual salon specializing in Guinot facials, waxing (including Brazilian waxing), and nails. Nestled in a quiet lane not far from the buzz of Harajuku, Boudoir is opulently decorated, with spacious treatment rooms and attentive staff. As my Japanese is far from fluent, I was pleased that the reception staff and both of my therapists, Mika and Manami, spoke English very well, making it easy for me to relax and enjoy my afternoon of pampering.
My first treatment for the afternoon was an hour long Guinot Hydra Clean Facial, which is designed to deliver deeply cleansed skin and restore radiance. Mika showed me to the treatment room and then left me for a few minutes to get ready and settle myself onto the comfortable, warm treatment bed. On her return, she and I discussed my skin condition and concerns (dryness, aging, etc.), as well as my current skin care routine. Mika is an experienced facial therapist; throughout the facial treatment she answered all of my questions and gave expert recommendations for my skin concerns.
The Hydra Clean facial begins with a double cleanse to remove all makeup and prepare the skin for the facial. Next is a 20 percent glycolic acid peel, which is carefully brushed all over the face. Mika mentioned in advance that a tingling sensation from the glycolic acid is perfectly normal and to let her know if I had any discomfort. I did experience a slight tingling sensation and perhaps a little warmth as the peel began to work, sloughing off the dead skin cells that had built up on my skin, but it was definitely not uncomfortable. Once the peel had been carefully removed, my skin was ready to be deeply cleansed, at which point Mika moved onto the Hydra Clean, which uses a patented heated electrode to deeply cleanse the skin. First, Mika applied a cool cleansing gel, and then she carefully swiped the heated electrode all over my face, opening the pores and allowing the Guinot gel to do its work, deeply cleansing the pores of all impurities. The ability to consistently control the temperature is key here, ensuring all areas of the face are covered and the pores are soft and open. The Hydra Clean electrode felt quite warm on my face at first, but it quickly became a very pleasant sensation with no discomfort. After the Hydra Clean, it was time to relax with an aromatherapy steam massage. I have to admit this was my favorite part of the treatment, as Mika expertly massaged a carefully selected aromatherapy treatment oil and delivered my facial muscles into a zen-like state.
Once the facial massage was over, it was time for extractions. I was actually pleasantly surprised that extractions were included in the facial, as in all of the facials I have so far experienced in Japan, not one of them included extractions (in my home country of Australia it is extremely common to include extractions as part of the facial). My skin was in desperate need of some help in this area, and Mika expertly got to work. This is not the most pleasant part of the facial, but it does deliver excellent results, especially as your pores have all been perfectly prepared for the extractions with the Hydra Clean, steam and peel.
Finally, once the extractions were complete, Mika selected and applied a serum, moisturizer and eye cream suited to my skin requirements, completing the facial treatment. I was eager to see how my skin looked after the facial, and I must admit I expected my sensitive, pale skin to be a little red after the glycolic peel and extractions. But my fears are unwarranted as my skin looked amazing: deeply cleansed, and with a newfound brightness to my complexion. I highly recommend this facial if you are looking to restore luminosity and softness to your skin after the long, dry winter in Tokyo.
With my facial complete, it was time for the signature shellac manicure and pedicure with Manami. The nail treatment room includes two ornate brocade chairs, each with its own foot spa—perfect if you want to enjoy a salon treatment with a friend. Once I had settled myself into the very comfortable chair, I sipped tea and nibbled on fresh fruit while Manami prepared my toes for the shellac pedicure. My feet were soaked in the foot spa, and then carefully and thoroughly exfoliated, removing all of the dead skin that builds up on the heel and balls of the feet. Then my nails were trimmed and shaped and cuticles removed in preparation for the long wearing shellac nail polish (which lasts up to 14 days). Manami expertly applied the nail color, taking the time to ensure a perfect result. Last but not least, my feet were treated to a paraffin wax treatment. Manami rubbed on a thick layer of paraffin wax infused with jojoba oil and a variety of skin loving vitamins, then wrapped up and warmed my feet to allow the skin to thoroughly absorb the hydrating nutrients. When the paraffin wax treatment is removed the pedicure treatment is complete, and my feet looked incredible. It seemed so wrong to be putting back on my long winter boots; my feet were ready for some beautiful summer sandals! After the amazing results of the pedicure, I was more than happy to have Manami work her magic on my hands, and I was not disappointed. Manami and I discussed color selection, nail shape and shellac color removal, and then she quickly got to work filing, buffing and painting as I mentally prepared myself to leave the sanctuary of Boudoir and head back out into the real world.
It was easy to spend the afternoon being pampered at Boudoir, as the staff offer a high level of service and I was extremely happy with how how clean and glowing my face was, as well as how perfectly polished my fingers and toes were. The Boudoir Xpose Beauty promotion is the perfect way to prepare for the warmer months ahead. And at just ¥15,000 for three hours of treatments, it is an excellent value and very pampering.
Address: 2-25-3 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Open: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 10am to 9pm
Tuesday 10am to 3pm
Saturday 10am to 8pm
Sunday 10am to 6pm