Let’s Face It! at SM Fairview Branch
Today, I will be reviewing Let’s Face It! Salon located at the lower ground floor of
SM City Fairview, Quezon City. I have tried other braches but this branch is the one I frequently visit because it’s near my place and I already feel at home here. I started coming to this facial salon more than seven years ago when they were still located at the UG/F level of SM City Fairview and their area was smaller compared to the bigger area they have today. I tried almost all their facial therapies before including the anti-aging, whitening/bleaching, pimple treatment, etc. Today they condensed their facial therapy menu choices to only one where you can choose only facial therapy. This comes with vacuum and the commonly termed LASER but is in fact a high frequency machine. You will also be entitled to two FREE facial massages and pricking within ten days afterwards. After the ten days is up, you are no longer entitled to a free facial massage and pricking. For today’s visit, July 22, 2009, I will have facial cleaning and massage.
Let us first talk about their services and prices. I will also add some of the experiences I’ve had through the years with the services mentioned. The cost of a facial cleaning is only Php 245.00 (Approximately $4.90). Again, this comes with the commonly termed LASER but is in fact a high frequency machine and a vacuum. Plus, two FREE facial massage and pricking within ten days afterwards. After the ten days is up, you are no longer entitled to a free facial massage and pricking. If you want an additional mask, they have several types: the powdered mask which is diluted in water and applied on your face, starts at Php 125.00 (Approximately $2.50); Soft mask starts at Php 225.00 (Approximately $4.50) the Moor facial mask is Php 900.00 (Approximately $18.00) Moor facial mask is a black odorless mask also diluted with a special Moor dilution procedure and liquid not with an ordinary distilled water, this is generally sourced out in Hungary and is not available in Supermarkets but available for in-house use of facial salons and spas, it is imported thus the higher price; Gel Masks are all priced at Php 620.00 (Approximately $12.40) I am not an avid gel mask (or paper mask) client because I do not like the feeling na malagkit (goo-ey feeling); Peel Off mask starts at Php 650.00 ($13.00).
Other service price and offerings: They also have advanced laser which is the real LASER starting at Php 620.00 (Approximately $13.00) where the facialist or facial therapist would literally cover her eyes with a dark colored eye protector glass and an emitted light wave will come out of a tiny little hole. You can request to adjust it for your preference like in my case, I would often ask it to be adjusted to anti-aging; Eyebag treatment starts at Php 225.00 (Approximately $4.50); Diamond Peel/ Microdermabrasions starts at Php 900.00 (Approximately $18.00) what I like about their Diamond Peel is that only a supervisor would perform it and the Supervisor who performs it does it meticulously. I also like that my skin really feels smooth and soft to touch right after. But be forewarned that microdermabrasion, although not invasive is not advisable for everyone especially if you have sensitive skin or your occupation is in the field and you will be exposed to the sun afterwards as these conditions are contraindicated; Herbal Whitening Body Scrub prices depends on what part of the body will be treated lowest priced is the Underarm which is Php 485.00 (Approximately $9.70) and the highest priced is Php 1,680.00 (Approximately $33.60) per session but they do offer a package good for eight (8) sessions costing only Php 11,650.00 (Approximately $233.00); Body scrubs starts at Php 510.00 (Approximately $10.20) for a sea salt scrub and all the others like coffee, milk and honey, whitening Spirulina scrub costs Php 560.00 (Approximately $11.20); There are only two Body Wraps available the Seaweed wrap costing only Php 510.00 (Approximately $10.20) and Spirulina costs Php 560.00 (Approximately $11.20). For body scrubs and wraps- there is nothing fancy about their services here just the standard but both are a great treat for moisturizing your skin all over. I do not mind being scrubbed and wrapped as all their staff are professional and have been trained on how to cover private areas, but be forewarned that its kinda cold inside the room and gets colder as you get yourself wet; Chest and Back Cleaning are also available starting at a price of Php 510.00 (Approximately $10.20); Body Massage is also available starts at Php 450.00 (Approximately $9.00) for an hour. There is only one type of Body Massage that they offer, which is a combination of Swedish and Shiatsu Massage which we will talk more about later; Hand Care services like Manicure starts at Php 120.00 (Approximately $2.40), hand spa at Php 280.00 (Approximately $5.60) they also offer hand spa, hand paraffin, etc. while foot care like pedicure starts at Php 130.00 (Approximately $2.60), they also offer foot spa, foot massage (30 minutes including a dry massage of the head and back) which is priced at Php 280.00 (Approximately $5.60), foot and leg paraffin, etc.; Other dermatological services (which I have not tried) includes Botox, Sclerotherapy, Mole Excision, Glutathione Injections, etc. Their Cosmetic surgery services include: Tumescent Liposuction, Tummy Tuck or Abdominoplasty, Breast Augmentation, etc. Unfortunately you will not be able to see any description of their services in the menu only a price list is available so you will have to call or ask the receptionist on-site who is well-versed with their services. I have not tried any of their Cosmetic surgery services kasi nga ang prinsipiyo ko eh bakit ko pa babaguhin ang binigay ng Diyos? (why will I change what God has given me?) I-enhance ko na lang by non-invasive and non-surgical procedure. Uso pa naman ngayon yung nag kaka-infection yung kanilang mga retokadong parts ng katawan kaya nakakatakot. Eto nga sa TV, may nagrereklamo sa mga patients ni Dr. Vicky Belo atbp. So, as much as possible, iwas na iwas ako sa anything that is surgical in nature. Anyway, setting that topic aside basta takot ako mga ganyang types ng pagpapaganda. (Recently there has been a surge of patients who have experienced infection due to cosmetic surgery. Even on TV there has been a complaint from one of the patients of Dr. Vicky Belo, etc. So, as much as possible, I avoid anything that is surgical in nature)
Let’s Face It! used to have a beauty Card for loyal clients but it was phased out. I wonder why.
Through the years, while seeking for the right facial therapist for me, every time I visit Let’s Face It! I would try different staff. A handful of them are lousy, a few are just a so-so but I found these three staff very good in what they do. Although of course, they still have differences in touch, personality and technique execution. Let us talk about these three exemplary staff: Connie Parilla Callanza or Connie for short, Lovella Mangahan or Love for short and Cherry Pie de Leon or Pie for short. I started trying out numerous staff as well when they used to be located upstairs before I settled with Connie. The first and foremost thing I like about Connie is that she is friendly and the first thing I noticed about Connie was she did not forget my shoulder massage while I was waiting for my mask to dry up. During the first few years that I was trying almost all of their services, deep in my heart, I would always look for someone who does the shoulder and back massage- someone who has the hands for it. And, I found that in Connie. Besides, she is the first one who really took the time to ask me questions relevant to my skin’s needs without being too pushy as they are also promoting their retail product line. I also liked Cherry Pie or Pie for short because she is sweet-voiced, she also has the touch similar to Connie. I also like Love (short for Lovella) because all three of them are friendly and that they do not forget the massage portion after the pricking is over. This is very important for me because pricking time is painful so I am looking forward for the relaxing part. So, as you can notice, I know the staff by name, if one is not available I can choose another- by request. You can request someone to do the service for you, if they are available at the time of your visit. The three of them will also take the time to really clean your face- not that my face is “needy” but I felt that the three of them will take the time to clean and relax at the same time without hurriedly finishing the session up unless (in some occasions) I told them to as I am the one who is in a hurry.
Let us delve into talking about the general feel and ambiance of the place. I love the reception area because it’s not too cramped up. At the side are retail display and what I love about their counter top is that it has white stones on the bottom making the reception area look relaxing and inviting. I also like that behind the counter is a running water on a transparent glass of Let’s Face It! Salon Model and Logo. The towels used by clients are not disposable but you will get a clean and laundered towel. There were times when laundry was not able to deliver on time so they would make me use tissue instead. They will ask you first to wash your face in the sink area. This area has three sinks available which has an inviting atmosphere but I noticed that one of the three sinks is almost always out of order every time I visit. There are also hair brushes and comb available in the corner, just in case. But of course, I bring my own. The area is brightly lit which is good for people who wanted to inspect their face before and after a facial session so you will be able to notice the difference, the “before” and “after” session. You will also get to ready yourself once you finish your session because this area is right outside the toilet.
This branch has three different areas inside, they have the general facial salon area, the body treatment and massage area and the pedicure and manicure area. Music is okay. Some people prefer background music of birds tweeting in the air, waterfalls, sea shore but I prefer instrumental romantic music although there are times that some forest music is a-okay for a change. During this visit, relaxing flutes and instrumental romantic music were being played. Because I love these types of music I personally have a collection of the same music at home. Toilet is a common toilet for male and female, its clean and dry and colored peach just like their uniform. The shower area also is okay. Only massage and body treatment clients will have access to the shower area because it’s in another part of the facial spa. There is only one massage room located at the farthermost right side room (this is the only room that does not have any network signal for mobile phones). Other rooms are allocated for body treatments, microdermabrasion, etc. The general facial salon area has facial beds that are dikit-dikit (placed directly beside each other). With seven beds on each side for this branch they have 28 facial beds all in all. If you do not mind getting beside a total stranger, then this facial salon might be for you but if you value privacy over all the other services, then this facial salon is not for you. Some facial lights are working and some are not. The general ambiance is Asian with tapestries of Thai. There are large mirrors on each side and little busts of Buddha framed in one corner. There are four large white chandeliers on top which are turned off to set a relaxing tone. The Thai-inspired massage room although cozy is very small (in my estimate the working/ massage area is just 3-4 square meters which is less than the required minimum size required by law because at least 5 square meters should be allocated for the massage space) The room has a corner where you can see some decors like the elephant framed décor, several small plastic plants in glass, stones and their selection of oil. Unfortunately for my visit, Edna (my massage therapist) has only two types of oil available, I chose the one with a peppermint smell. We will talk more about my massage session afterwards.
Let is first talk about my facial session. Here is my secret, there are three parts in a facial that I am most excited about: the shoulder and back massage is the first (or any type of massage during the facial session, if there is one), the second is the facial massage (how they execute the techniques in a facial therapy) and the third is the application of a high frequency machine or what is commonly termed as laser. For this session, I have had a facial and a body massage afterwards. For my facial, I was taken cared of by Love because Connie was not yet on duty and Pie already has a client. As usual, I was ushered to a corner and instructed to lie down after I washed my face. Then came the first part of this facial therapy and second among my favorite part of a facial: the facial massage. The 5-10 minute facial massage consists of applying a facial cleanser on your face and massaging it with strokes and techniques that will enhance the tonicity of facial muscles as well as set the client in a mood for a relaxing facial. The only thing I do not like is that they do not include neck cleaning. Love’s pace and movements are very similar to Connie but Love is a lot faster than Connie. It should be slower because when facial massage is executed fast, it is less relaxing than that of slower movements. Then came the steam time, the part which I am not really very excited about— okay, okay, I am being “kinder” with my words but as I have always stressed, I do not like the steam portion even though I know that it will open my pores and help in releasing toxins….but with all these benefits….hindi ko talaga gusto ang steam time. I hate this part. Then, they will apply vacuum to take away the debris of the facial cleanser as well as some dirt which is still lodged on the skin. They will wipe the remaining cleanser and start with the extraction part. Ito yung pinaka masakit (most painful) na portion and the longest one at that. What I love about this portion is that they take the time para isa-isahin ang pag-alis ng zits and zats ng aking mukha (they take the time to remove the dirt, white heads, and black heads on my face). In my experience, the length of extraction will depend on the severity of your skin condition and the tolerance to pain of the client. Most of the time they spend 45 minutes to an hour to clean my face. What I also like about this branch is that when I am in a hurry, they will also adjust the time and shorten the treatment session. Then came the hot compress where they will apply a hot towel and then the high frequency machine (commonly termed as LASER) applied on top of a cloth.
Let us now talk about the massage proper, I like that Edna (the massage therapist assigned to me that time) started with a slow and steady movement of her hands but her hands were cold (mainly because the area is air conditioned. When I was still a practicing massage therapist when this happens what I normally do was wash my hands with hot water or wipe hot compress to or place my hands on top of the sauna coals whichever is possible to make my hands warm before my massage session with a client ). I also noticed that her tapping for both legs lasted for more than two minutes which is longer than usual. I told her to focus on the knots on my shoulder and luckily she did. I like that she focused on my shoulders too because those are my sore spots. There are only two things I did not like about my massage session, she served me with cold water right after my massage (which I think she should not have because she should have served me a warm or hot beverage instead) and she was not able to finish her massage on my legs (in a supine position) because we ran out of time. When the timer alarmed she immediately stopped the session. The thing that I watch the most on how they perform is the back massage. In my personal opinion, if you have done a good back rub/ massage, you will get a satisfied client.
As usual, I left both Edna and Love a Php 100.00 ($2.00) each as gratuity for their service.
For this visit, I would give 85% for my facial and 81% for my massage. Clearly, the forte of Let’s Face It! is facial therapies not massage therapies but there were several times that Connie mentioned to me that I should try their sister company which offers more on massage and bodyworks, it’s called Relaxasi. Unfortunately, the nearest branch is located at SM City North EDSA. Maybe one of these days, I will.
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