What I tried Bastien's Duo treatment: a 70-minute synchronised manicure and pedicure at the Bastien Gonzalez Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio at the One & Only Royal Mirage, Dubai. Bastien Gonzalez's foot treatments are known as the Rolls-Royce of pedicures.
What I wanted The cooler months had taken their toll on my nails, hands and feet: my nails were uneven in length, with dry and chapped skin around the edges, while the skin on my feet was dry and hard in places. I wanted to be able to show off - or at least show - my hands and feet again.
What happened I lay back in a reclining chair while Maxime, the manager, a French chiropodist trained by Bastien Gonzalez himself, attended to my feet. His assistant Virginie took care of my hands. My fingernails were filed down to the same length and shaped with a glass nail file while my toenails were clipped and filed. A small, dentist-like diamond-dusted drill bit was used to gently slough away dead skin from around the toenails, and a buffer was used on my nails to get rid of dirt and smooth the surface. A thinner drill bit was used to finish off the dry and hard bits of skin in the folds of the nails. On the feet, a small blade was used to gently remove any hard skin on the ball of the foot or the heels before they were lightly buffed with a larger drill bit. All of this was done very gently on the surface and wasn't painful at all. My nails were polished with mother-of-pearl buffing cream and chamois leather. This felt lovely, as if the whole toe, including the nail, was getting a thorough clean and massage. A Bastien Gonzalez unguent containing arnica and apricot oil, which helps to heal any small cuts or dryness, was applied before my arms, hands, legs and feet were massaged in synchrony. I awoke to find my feet dusted with talcum powder and my hands moisturised.
The results I love my hands and feet again. All my nails are as smooth as glass and the dead and dry skin has gone. My nails are shapely and healthy-looking, with a lovely sheen from glossing cream, which will last for up to three weeks. Perfect for the festive season.
Bastien's Duo treatment, Dh650. Bastien's pedicure costs Dh430 and lasts 60 minutes; the manicure is Dh220 and takes 45 minutes. Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio, One & Only Royal Mirage, Al Sufouh Road, Dubai, 04 399 9999
Step by step guide to achieving a glamorous party look: Top tips by Eliano Bou Assi, the training and special events manager for Bobbi Brown Middle East
1. Skin care.Prepare the skin by cleansing to remove make-up and toning to rebalance the skin. Apply hydrating eye cream to the eye area and moisturiser to the face.
2. Corrector. Apply corrector and concealer to the under-eye area. A good concealer can instantly brighten your face and make you look well rested. It works by lightening the dark, thinner skin under your eyes, giving the illusion that the skin is actually the same colour as the rest of your face.
3. Foundation. Always choose foundations that have a slightly yellowish cast to them. This may surprise you, but whether you're pale or dark, we all have some yellow undertones in our complexion. A yellow-based foundation will blend beautifully into your skin tone, making it look fresh and healthy.
4. Apply a neutral shade of blush on the apples of your cheeks.Then blend up towards the hairline, then downwards to soften the colour. For a longer-lasting look, apply a layer of a bright blush (applied just on the apples of cheeks) over the neutral colour. Lip colour. Use the lip brush and apply gloss directly to your lips or on top of a neutral lipstick shade.
5. To draw attention to your eyes this party season, define your eyebrows with an eyeshadow that matches the colour of your natural brows using an eyebrow brush.
6. For the eyes, start by using a light shadow as a base colour all over the eyelid, followed by a medium colour such as Taffeta Metallic Eye Shadow from Bobbi Brown on the upper lid, starting from the lashline and moving out to the crease. Using a matte dark shadow such as the Espresso Eye Shadow, apply close to the upper lash line to define the eyes.
7. Finish your lookwith Bobbi Brown Extreme Party Mascara for thick, luscious lashes. It's the first all-day layerable mascara - apply two coats for a dramatic look.