x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

The beauty spy: Bizarre beauty treatments

How snakes, leeches and bird poo can be good for you.

I have tried some pretty wacky treatments in the name of beauty. There was the vampire facial - in which my own blood was suctioned out and then re-injected into my face; the laughter yoga in California (don't you know how anti-ageing laughing is? There are whole books about it); the placenta facial (Russian apparently, they don't eat them over there) and the Rodial snake mask, to name but a few.

Just as I would, most women I know would go through just about anything on offer if they thought it would make them look younger or more beautiful. Even just a day younger would inspire most of us to the most stupid things.

I have rarely questioned my own judgement when it comes to beauty treatments, although there was a moment during the vampire facial as the facialist was sticking needles of blood into my face when I thought:"Oh, maybe this was a just a tiny bit mad. I will feel silly if I come out looking like a pincushion."

A brief look around at what's on offer out there, though, makes me feel smugly sane.

My favourite is the Aberdeen Organic Bull Semen Treatment at a salon in London. Don't panic, it's for your hair, the idea being that, as hair is made up of protein, some proteins can help form a protective layer around the strands and increase its health and lustre. Yeah, right, so why not just crack an egg on your head?

Moving on to the body, the weirdest thing I have ever heard of has got to be the snake massage. Call me old-fashioned, but I thought the point of a massage was to relax. How on earth can you relax with a load of snakes slithering around on your back? Apparently the larger snakes work out your tough knots. I'd rather have a hunky massage-man do that job.

Staying with the theme of hideous creatures, a tank of tiny carp is, they say, the most effective way to get rid of dead skin on your feet. My sources tell me it doesn't hurt, it just "tickles". And as for the snake massage, well I don't know anyone that stupid.

There are many more, such as leech therapy and snail slime cream, which I will leave you to discover yourselves. Meanwhile I am going to try Victoria Beckham's favourite wacky treatment, the Japanese nightingale poo facial at a spa in New York. Why the nightingales have to be Japanese I do not know, but I am told this is a treatment that "unlocks the secrets of geisha beauty".

Watch this space, dear reader; your Beauty Spy will soon be as unblemished as a camelia blossom, according to the blurb. Either that or I will just look like I had a bad aviary day.


3 of the best

Latest innovations in beauty hit the UAE shelves

RODIAL ARM SCULPT, DH340 The most exciting product launch since Rodial's awarding-winning Boob Job cream, this sculpting lotion, new this month, is packed with fruit acids, caffeine and coenzyme A. Upper arms as toned as Michelle Obama's may be just a slather away.

SKINCEUTICALS PHLORETIN CF, DH710 Forget creams: the new thing for anti-ageing is serums. This natural extract is one of the latest topical antioxidants available. The serum defends against lines, brown spots and the start of some skin cancers.

3LAB SUPER EYE TREATMENT DH1,375 The latest eye treatment to trickle over from New York, 3Lab promises to conceal wrinkles, bags and puffiness while lifting and firming the eye area.


M Loves

Honour from the House of Amouage

Since we've been wearing Honour, people keep asking us who it's  by. Inspired by Puccini's Madame Butterfly, it features florals symbolising the progress of unrequited love such as jasmine, tuberose, gardenia, lily of the valley and carnation. It's a beautiful, summery scent but with base notes of frankincense, amber and pepper to prevent it from being too sweet. The packaging screams decadence with its crystal bottle adorned with a delicate butterfly motif and white Swarovski crystal. Delicious.

Honour from the House of Amouage, Dh662, Amouage, Dubai Mall, 04 330 8184, and Paris Gallery branches across the UAE