REDSTAR’s highly dedicated beauty investigators, Vittoria Pesenti and Olivia Ryan, head out into the intrepid world of massages and beauty treatments to recommend some tried and tested self-love projects.

SPLURGE ON A PERFECT MASSAGE
The Hyatt Regency’s Qing Spa
The Hyatt Hotel spa, located on the bottom floor of the hotel at Shilaoren, has a beautifully chic and modern interior. Pretreatment, managers ask questions about your physical health and preferences so your specific needs can be catered for. After a few sips of homemade tea, my masseuse, LiLi, led me to one of six impeccably clean rooms, which had a couch, a massage table, and a private bathroom with a shower.

The massage itself was lovely – an hour long, with a light oil that did not feel greasy at all. The headrest was adjustable and the lighting and piano music were nothing short of perfect. LiLi perfectly tailored the massage to the points I had raised, focusing on my tight shoulders and lower back. The service at the Hyatt Spa leaves you wanting for nothing. The huge stone-floored shower was the cherry on top of a deliciously relaxing and totally stress-free experience.It’s pricey, but you get what you pay for. The Hyatt has six single massage rooms, two double massage rooms, a pool and a gym, with beautiful sea views. Oil massage – 880 yuan + 15% service charge and tax.

Address: Hyatt Regency Qingdao, 88 Donghai
East Road 东海东路88 号鲁商凯悦酒店
Phone: 8612-1234 ext. 转6732
Email: qingdao.regency@hyatt.com

 

GET A MANICURE
Nicole Nail and Beauty
Located in the back part of a bar and café on Minjiang Er Lu, Nicole’s provides great service for nails, waxing and eyelashes, if a little on the pricier side. Choose your colour and watch T.V. while enjoying a manicure or pedicure. The space is small, but cozy, and the staff are kind. Perhaps my only
complaint is that my manicure was solely focused on my nails – in the U.S. or England it usually includes some kind of hand massage or moisturising, which I sorely needed in this dry weather!

Price includes a beverage from the adjoining café. Gel manicure – 150 yuan.

Address: 26 Minjiang Er Road 闽江二路26 号

 

EXPERIENCE A TRULY BOUTIQUE ACIAL
HUI’s Beauty
It might not be a sophisticated atmosphere at Hui’s place, but as soon as she starts working on your skin you will barely notice the difference between her and a beauty therapist with years of experience. She is just a student working from her apartment in Qingdao, but this impresses rather than discourages me: she has clearly invested in her huge range of beauty products, and has transformed a room of her apartment into a treatment room. She already counts many happy and loyal customers.

I chose a facial cleaning treatment followed by a Chinese-style facial massage. To make me see the difference the beauty treatment made, Hui does one side at a time; I was surprised to see a real difference. Hui explains that key to skincare is good quality products and constancy. “If you take good care of your skin, you can look twenty when you’re sixty.”

I would recommend Hui’s treatments especially to those who aren’t particularly willing to spend half a month’s pay on a beauty treatment, but want quality beauty brands and a skilled therapist. Hui’s place is located in Fuzhou Nan Lu, few meters from the bus stop 福州南路. Hui’s small place is always busy so don’t forget to make an appointment! (Chinese required.)

Cleansing facial – 180 yuan.

Address: Apt 706, Building 2, Zhengfa
Apartments, 75 Fuzhou South Road 福州南路
政法公寓75 号一期2 号楼706
Phone: 156 1562-5385

 

GET A TONING MASSAGE WITH UNBELIEVABLE RESULTS
Shangri-La’s VENUS Swan Experience
Who hasn’t wondered whether those instruments that claim to be able to reshape your body in minutes can really do anything? Is it possible? My initial thoughts… “no way”. Nevertheless, I followed Shangri-La’s Spa Director with curiosity. “You won’t believe your eyes,” was the phrase she used.

I took a shower and then drank herbal tea while my feet were massaged to loosen up the nerves there and maximise the relaxation effect of the treatment. The main treatment, the Venus Swan, looked hi-tech and somewhat out of place in the soft surroundings of the spa. It uses radiofrequency
technology, and is totally pain-free (and actually very pleasant) to use almost everywhere on your body and face. I fell asleep during my facial treatment. The rotating applicators give a heating sensation for relaxation, while an energy matrix penetrates layers of skin.

The measuring tape showed that I lost 7 centimetres from my belly, and looking in the mirror, my face genuinely looked much more toned. I couldn’t believe it. The manager explained that the best way to do the treatment is once a week, which the Shangri-La offers a special deal for.

“With Venus Swan you don’t need to diet anymore!” says the enthusiastic manager. I’m not sure I’ll renounce sport just yet, but at least after this beauty afternoon I feel motivated and ready for the summer bikini season!

Venus Swan Experience – 600 yuan/visit.

Address: 9 Hong Kong Middle Road 香港中路
9 号 Phone: 8388-3838
www.shangri-la.com/qingdao

 

GET A TRIM
ZhuoYue LingXiu
Getting your first haircut in China can be a nerve-racking experience, but not at ZhuoYue LingXiu. Located on Dong Hai Dong Lu in a swanky compound, my stylist Jacky was well worth the price (~160) as he managed my fine, western hair without a hitch. When he blow-dried my hair, I was happy to note that he did not use any products – no styling gel or hairspray. The whole experience took about an hour (including washing). A locker was provided for my bag and coat, as well as a cup of coffee that was too sweet but a nice gesture nonetheless.

Haircut – 160 yuan.

Address: 5 Donghai East Road 东海东路5 号
Phone: 6600-6666

 

OTHER TIPS:
TAIDONG Night Market
has multiple hole-in-the-wall manicure places where you can compare prices and relax after shopping.
QINGDAO UNIVERSITY
has a beauty store with a cheap and cheerful nail service. The surroundings are modest to say the least but you can get a good colour, well done for 30 yuan. Go in the West Gate and ask a passerby for directions, or follow the paths up to your right.
TONI&GUY HAIRDRESSING
Qingdao’s branch of Toni & Guy is fully equipped and immaculately clean, though staff don’t speak English. Head here to spoil yourself for a massaging wash and cut.
Address: 6th floor of no 12 Xinhui Road, by Marina City 新会路12 号6 层 Phone: 5897-5222 G Hair, Rock City
A SMALLJAPANESE PLACE in LICANG’S ROCK CITY,
that specialises in funky colours and long-term straightening.
Address: 2F, Rock City, 1 Xiazhuang Road 夏庄路1 号乐客城2 楼 Phone:189 9929-8119