Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Review: Dermalogica facial and hot stone massage at Kameleon

On Saturday afternoon, after I woke up at 12pm – yes, 12pm midday, to my shame – and did some work before heading off to Kameleon for a facial and hot stone massage, courtesy of a deal I picked up …

Mon, Aug 15, 2011, 10:30


On Saturday afternoon, after I woke up at 12pm – yes, 12pm midday, to my shame – and did some work before heading off to Kameleon for a facial and hot stone massage, courtesy of a deal I picked up on LivingSocial. I swear, at least 50 per cent of my every activity is thanks to some kind of online deal; yesterday I purchased a four-hour make-up course with Make-Up Forever, for instance; I’ve also bought a session of Outdoor Yoga, a Shellac manicure with The Art Team, a spa day at Oceana Spa . . . it goes on.

The thing is, I’m not sure I’d bother with any of these things at full price; I prefer regular manicures to Shellac, for instance, and I’ve already done a make-up course, not to mention the fact that I’d rather do yoga in a studio and I think spas are a bit of a waste of time. But somehow, when presented with that happy “70% off” tag line, they become must-do activities.

In any case, off to Kameleon I toddled, for the bonus price of €44. How did I get on? See after the jump!

Kameleon is located at 3 Gardiner Place, in an out-of-the-way location by Parnell Square. When I arrived it had just started to spit rain, and it was quite a dull day – add to that the fact that it’s a slightly dull street, and Kameleon is located in the basement, and I had some iffy feelings about the whole lark, until, that is, I went in and was greeted by soft lighting, mood music and all the bells and whistles we’ve come to expect from our beauty salons.

I’d never had a hot stone massage before, but I am a huge fan of back treatments. The most recent one I tried was a back facial at the spa in Carton House, which I loved more than anything in the world because it involved a really heavy-duty scrub. And back-scratching is my number one thing to have done to me. Honestly. So my hopes were high, and I wasn’t disappointed.

My lovely therapist, whose name I didn’t get as I was in a bit of a daze – and am I the only one who fears asking for names will lead to dreaded non-relaxing conversation? – started by draping a towel over my lower back, and on to that towel placing three, um, hot stones. You can probably see where this is going. Then she gave me a thorough massage on my upper back using oils, before then using hot stones to massage my back. It sounds kind of bizarre, and in a way it was, but also really relaxing, and she really got to work into my achy bits – that’s what running’ll do to you – with the stones. I even may have, I confess, fallen asleep once or twice.

The facial was an entirely different experience – no falling asleep here. Using Dermalogica products, I was talked through my skin and told, in no uncertain terms, that I should exfoliate (oops!) before being cleansed and massaged and scrubbed. And then: the dreaded extraction. A friend of mine goes to Kameleon for Yon-Ka facials and had told me that they were really relaxing, and that no extractions were involved, so this kind of took me by surprise and, though I’d always thought extractions an essential part of facials, since visiting Voya in Sligo I’ve realised I really prefer relaxing facials.

In any case, the extraction was thorough. And I’m sure my skin feels 10,000 times better for it – but it just wasn’t a comfortable, relaxing experience.

I did, however, visit a friend yesterday who remarked that my skin was “glowing”, and asked where I’d had my facial done, so that’s a good recommendation! And I would definitely go back; perhaps this time for a Yon-Ka facial, which was recommended and sounds that wee bit more relaxing.