Friday, May 14, 2010
Murad Center @ Rustan's Makati (A Spa Connoiser's Review)
November 05, 2010- After several sessions since my first visit in May here at Murad Makati and the results that I had since then was "hiyang" to my skin and noticed that I had less comedones (white heads), I bought a package for AHA Intensive worth 3,900 which is good for 4 facial treatments and a facial diamond peel session worth 1,700 Pesos. Today, I get to finish all my package. Salamat naman as I have to travel two hours before getting here in Makati everytime I would have a facial. As always, I was in the able hands of Tess and here is what I like about Tess:
1. She executes the best European type of facial I have ever had. (For those of you wondering what a European facial is read my blog below.)
2. She doesn't forget any facial technique. After going under the same facial treatments over and over again, I get to memorize the steps already. This is the advantage of having to work on one product only. In this case, products of Dr. Murad. When I was working as a spa and facial therapist, we get to be bombarded with a host of product brands with different techniques and different applications, hindi mo na tuloy alam kung yung techniques na ginagamit mo eh tama pa ba dun sa produkto. You get confused because of the different techniques: one brand will have more than twenty techniques for a specific product line. Example a spa carries two brands (some spas even carry as much as five or more brands): Brand A has a product line for anti-aging which has a set of techniques for facial massage. Brand A also has a product line naman for pimple treatments again, having similar facial techniques for anti-aging but also has some differences. While Brand B carries five (or more) product lines: for men, for anti-aging, for pimple and problematic skin, for bleaching/whitening and for body treatments. All these have different facial techniques and applications. If you are a novice and you only have a short span to memorize, marami kang makakalimutan or maida-dagdag not Tess, she knows what to do and does it with flair.
3. Tess gives me samples of products for me to try. Today, I bought several products to take home with me for maintenance. I will edit this blog so I can get to review them as well.
4. She discusses the purpose of each product she applies which is already a given since they carry only Murad products.
5. She gives my lip a boost with the application of lip care product after every facial which I love because it tastes and smells like strawberries. It also instantly moisturizes a chapped lip like mine.
So there you go my latest blog about Murad in Rustan's, Makati.
May 16, 2010- After my two-hour long spa time at Island spa (yes, and I am still held hostage --happily---hehehe--- in this beauty and relaxation level of Rustan's) still at the 5th level of Rustan's) I still have an hour more to spare (1 hour and fifteen minutes to be exact) since Island spa does not have any facial and beauty treatments on their menu, the staff told me that I can hop off to the Murad Center just right in front of them. So, off I went. Facial therapies are a NEED for me not some want or just my bling-bling thing. I will tell you why in a bit.
Location and Ambiance
Again if you are coming from the Greenbelt area, the location is quite difficult to find (no wonder I can only see a few people coming upstairs). It's just right in front of the coffee shop. Upon entering, on your left will be the reception area and to the right is the lounge area. The whole facade of the place befits a medical spa facility (good for branding and the type of client they want to attract) with most of their retail products available for sale displayed at the lounge area which has a small sala/receiving area. No distinct smell or any background sound at all. This place is not a full service spa but a skin, face and beauty center.
Hygiene, Cleanliness and Sanitation
Upon first glance, you will notice that the place is impeccably clean but the room which was where I have been given my facial, was dimly lit so I have not way of telling if the place was the same. Their changing area was also clean. My locker has a big robe and slippers.
Menu of Services
They have facial and body treatment services. Sorry for those wanting to have a massage and a facial therapy in just one roof, this is a beauty center not a full service spa. So here are some of their services:
For facial treatments they have the following:
The least expensive which is 900 pesos (approximately $18) is Classical Facial-30 minutes- a customized cleansing treatment with mask and moisturizing treatment.
The staff assessed my skin/face and recommended an AHA Intensive facial (60 minutes)- so I obliged- this facial uses AHA in this case, it's glycolic acid, very good choice for my skin type because even if I do not have pimples or acne, I have white heads (comedones) and this really bothers me and the primary reason I have to make facial therapies one of my regimen. This costs 1,900 Pesos (approximately U$D38).
Vitamin C infusion Facial- 60 minutes- this costs 1,700 pesos (approximtely U$D 34) -to restore elasticity, firmness and hydration and even skin tone using pure Vitamin C.
Resurgence Renewal Facial- 60 minutes- costs 2,400 pesos (approximately U$D 48)- for hormonal aging skin, menopausal and peri-menopausal skin.
Clarifying enzyme facial- 60 minutes- costs 1,700 Pesos (approximately U$D 34)- ideal for oily and acne prone skin using papaya and pineapple natural fruit enzymes to dissolve these impurities.
Diamond Peel starts at 1,700 Pesos for the face (approximately U$D34) and 1,700 Pesos (approximately U$D 34) for full neck and decollete.
For "bacne" beakouts they have a clarifying enzyme back treatment- 60 minutes- for 1,800 pesos (approximately 35U$D). So if you plan to go backless in one of the formal occasions that you will go to, visit Murad for this treatment at least several days or months before the ocassion depending on the severity of your "bacne" breakouts.
For those wanting to firm and tone their body, they have Vitamin C Firm and Tone Half body treatment- 60 minutes- for 2,200 pesos (approximately U$D 44)
If I were near, I would avail of their packages:
3 Facial treatments for just 3,800 Pesos giving you a savings of 2,100 pesos from the regular price of 5,700 pesos and they have other treatment packages which you can inquire about when you call.
Price-wise, the Murad Center has reasonable price figures (as compared with US-price standards) but for others it might be ridiculously expensive, but Murad is a huge name so I suppose that's a given. If you can afford the price tag, or just want an occasional treat, I think as my first impression, they are doing a service more than average. I think you do have to make the decision if you want quality at a price. Murad offers quality products and a more than average service, but you have to be willing to pay for them.
They accept credit cards for payment which is a good thing.
Retail and Products
Dr. Murad believes in an inclusive approach and following the 3-step Murad method, I would be incorporating topical, internal and emotional care into my lifestyle. So, if I were to take home products, I would take home the following and try them out:
Topical- AHA cream- which has to be left on the face for 10 minutes- but as unique as my face is- I think I need more than 20 minutes for this....hehehe...maybe one of these days I will experiment with their products. Later will tell you why I need 20 minutes to start with.
Internal- Youth Builder dietary supplement- costs around 4,500 pesos (U$D 90) good for 30 days already.
Staff and Decorum
When I arrived, the reception was manned by a male but when he greeted me and I asked him about the facial he excused himself and disappeared into the back door and a lady entertained me instead. The lady staff (sorry as related earlier I chose to lay my pen and just rest and enjoy my spa-ing time without having to think about writing a consumer's review through my blog so I was not able to get the name of the esthetician) was accommodating naman and I tried to converse with her during my session and asked questions. She is not pushy with products and well-versed when it comes to what the products are for.
Session and Techniques
The staff ushered me to a changing/locker area and since I am (again) the only one inside the spa, I get to enjoy the facility all by myself. The changing facility has at least 8-14 lockers with keys. There is a facial tube dress inside, so you have to change because the facial therapy includes the shoulders and chest area. There are also toiletries inside like a hair gel, a comb/hair brush and a hair spray.
The AHA intensive facial I tried is a type of European facial. You might wonder what is a European facial? This is a type of facial treatment which begins with deep cleansing, steam, exfoliation, and facial massage of the face, shoulders, and chest area, followed by special mask that hydrates the skin. One thing I like about this facial is that she also applied lip balm on my lips at the end of the facial. Aside from the skin treatments, you get soothing massages on your temples, scalp, neck and shoulders.
My skin was noticeably smooth, even-toned and radiant for days until now - and it's been more than 7 days!. Actually, I think I will be trying some of their products when I come back. This is the main reason why I need to have regular facials because I have to maintain a smooth complexion (not the usual smooth complexion) and I am bothered whenever I can feel that I already have rough skin because of white heads (comedones). I tried glycolic acid peels- but it works only temporarily. I have a lot of these white heads or comedones that its like having mustache on my skin.... and I still am on the hunt for the right product for me. So far, have found none as effective as the products were at Murad.
The products (not the facial techniques or the spa ritual) has exceeded all the other places I have gone for my facials- both relatively cheap and super expensive. Not that the spa or the staff is average, it's just that the facial techniques used and the ritual is common and a given. I hope the spa or facial owners will learn from these types of establishments and get some ideas from them. Although I have to say that it's kinda weird because during the steam and application of the AHA, I expected the facialist (or aesthetician) to use this time to give me a back, neck, and shoulder massage, or a hand massage- but in this case, it did not happen. Maybe, it's not part of the ritual?
I also highly recommend this AHA Intensive facial for those who have the same skin problems that I have. I love the scents of their products- not overly scented but has a nice smelling scent for the AHA and for the cleansers.
I was also in a hurry so this might be the reason why the staff did not ask me for any hot tea or any herbal tea at all....or since they are a medical spa facility, they also do not include that?
Overall rating, because of the superb products, I will give Murad Center @ Rustan's an 85%. I will definitely try out other services and take home some products when I come back
Address/Contact Numbers/Other Information
Location: Murad Center
5th Level Rustan's Ayala Center
Phone Number 8161806
Rustan Cosmetics Division
2nd Floor, OPPEN Building
349 Senator Gil Puyat Avenue
Makati City 1225, Philippines
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