Cool little beauty room
Ready steady glow? Calmingales os rural beauty salon offering state-of-the-art facials.
Gemma Waller, beauty therapist and owner of Calmingales is clearly a woman doing something very right. Her therapy space is in the chocolate box village of Yattendon in West Berkshire, above a hair salon, next to a country pub and entirely hidden from the world. How the hell does anyone know she’s even here? As with all great little businesses, all it takes just a few super-satisfied clients to tell their mates and, boom, you’re booked up to your eyeballs.
… a steady stream of clients now come for her anti-ageing CACI facials (much-loved by many a fresh-faced celeb), Decleor skincare treatments and massages, nails and waxing services. Gemma, has worked at various Berkshire spas and salons and the best of those worlds have been put into Calmingales. She uses Decleor skincare products, used in spas like Champney’s, that are packed of essential oils and science.
But first the workspace. Well, you’re heading into a gorgeous old Victorian red-brick cottage, home to Adam & Eve Hair in Yattendon, which is 10-15 minutes from Pangbourne and Newbury. From there, you climb the original wonky staircase to the front room on the first floor. It’s a calming blend of whites and greys with a soft wooden floor. It feels a lot like a spa. The treatment room is not dark and poky but light and spacious. It’s feminine and smells devine – well-appointed and with no real design surprises but there are nice touches like a linen button back chair and faux rococo mirror.
Usually therapists quietly tutt as they have to slather on more products to counteract my thirsty skin, but Gemma was very kind about my too-much-wine-not-enough-water skin. Maybe she could be nice, knowing how effective her Decleor facial and massage was going to be! The Discovery Facial included a full cleanse and nutritional serum, a massage and moisturiser to improve smoothness and for my face to get its glow on. The Aromatherapy back, neck and shoulder massage was the the stress buster I needed. Seriously lush and there was no need to grit my teeth when the pressure go too painful. Yes there were knots to deal with, but Gemma’s magic hands managed to iron them right out. She is a real talent.
Gemma herself, has the skin of someone just starting university (grrrrrr) – the woman clearly takes her own advice and slathers on the creams, drinks the water and lives the dermis dream which is always a great sign in a therapist don’t you think? I liked her a lot and I did feel that she believed strongly in her products and the service she was offering her clients. There was no trying to encourage me to buy anything (pretty rare these days), But she talks passionately about products that she thought would work and sent me off with some samples to give them a go…
So what I am saying? Well it’s definitely worth putting Calmingales on your list and the rural location is a plus – I mean, hello, FREE parking. I know it’s dull, but there’s nothing more stressful than fearing a parking ticket if you’re appointment is running over. Plus you’re surrounded by Muddy award-winning places to eat. Next door is the Royal Oak and opposite is 2016 Best cafe winner, The Pantry. Gemma’s prices are reasonable – my facial was £30 and the massage £35, £14 for bikini wax and CACI treatments range from £15-£120. She’s also very discreet and professional.
As ever, let me know if you try it out Gemma and her treatments.
Calmingales, Adam & Eve Hair, The Square, Yattendon, Berkshire RG18 9XQ. Open: Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri – 8.30am-5.30pm; Thurs 8.30am-8pm; Sat 8.30am-5pm. Tel: 01635 201132.