Top 10 beauty treatments

Date

Stephanie Darling

 

  Photo: Frauke Fischer/blaublut-edition.com/Snapper Media

LASH EXTENSIONS
I have been having lash extensions every two weeks for almost three years and I can safely say that I am a complete addict. I love the satisfaction of waking up in the morning and looking pretty okay - no need to apply mascara, often no need to even apply eye make-up. The right person doing the application is key to a great result. 
Where to get it lovethoselashes.com.au. Cost: $240 for a full set; $95 for infills.

LASER HAIR REMOVAL
I am a huge fan of laser hair removal and had my legs, underarms and bikini line done more than 15 years ago with miraculous results. The initial outlay and eight-session commitment was well worth it. About once a year I have a top-up and the latest option I tried was a full-body treatment with the Candela laser: all strays were banished and my arms (which I hadn't had done before) are now virtually hair free.
Where to get it laserclinics.com.au. Cost: $349.

OMNILUX LIGHT THERAPY
Omnilux Light therapy uses red LED lighting to reduce fine lines, increase collagen production, reduce scarring and improve skin texture. I always go hard and have the Omnilux machine as close to my face as possible when having one of Melanie Grant's purpose-built medi-facials, which are finished with a hydrating booster. 
Where to get it Sydney: melaniegrant.com. Cost: from $150. Melbourne: Self Centred Day Spa, selfcentred.com.au. Cost: from $130.

LONGER LASTING MANICURE
I have a tendency to peel off long-lasting polishes, rather than having them professionally soaked off, which is not good news for nails. So imagine my delight when CND came up with the longer-lasting Vinylux Weekly Polish, which is easily cleaned up with nail polish remover. The lovelies at Jocelyn Petroni regularly paint Studio White on my nails with the promise of a week's worth of chip-free longevity. 
Where to get it Sydney: jocelynpetroni.com. Cost: $80. Melbourne: Natskin, (03) 9699 3090. Cost: from $48.

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THE LIQUID FACELIFT 
This is Dr Joseph Hkeik's ultimate facial refresh. First, Botox injections are used to elevate my brows and open up my tired, hooded eyes. Two weeks later elastic dermal fillers are injected into the corners of my lips, around my chin and jawline and into the mid area of my face. Lastly, Dr Hkeik injects my lips with soft filler to make them look plumper. My face looks fresher and more relaxed and the results last up to 18 months.
Where to get it Sydney: allsaints cosmedical.com.au. Cost: from $1200. Melbourne: thevictoriancosmeticinstitute.com.au. Cost: from $1200.

INTENSE PULSED LIGHT (IPL)
This treatment is great for reducing redness in my skin and I tend to have a session every six months. It is also good for targeting pigmentation, sun damage and broken capillaries. A cooling conducting gel is applied and then the IPL head is worked over my face. The sensation is similar to being flicked with a rubber band, particularly on the broken capillary spots around my nose. It's a quickie – only 20 minutes. 
Where to get it Sydney: theclinic.net.au. Cost: $440. Melbourne: advanced-dermatology.com.au. Cost: $320

NECK AND CHIN LIPOSCULPTURE
This procedure is not for the faint-hearted. It is quite invasive and it takes six months to see the final result. A sedative and local anaesthetic are given before Dr Meaghan Heckenberg places a cannula through tiny incisions and targets the fat in my chin and my neck. There is no pain but a feeling of pressure, which is a bit unnerving. I am now at the three-month mark; my chin is perfectly chiselled and my neck is slimmer but still settling down.
Where to get it Sydney: besculptured.com.au. Cost: $4500. Melbourne: Dr Peter Paraskevas, veinhealth.com.au. Cost: $5000.

THE HAIR RITUAL
My coloured and blow-dry-weary hair is always in need of a tonic so the Kerastase Hair Ritual is a godsend. After shampooing, a moisture treatment is misted onto my hair, followed by a protein infusion. Next is a 10-minute head massage with pitch-perfect pressure and then my hair is rinsed. Locks restored, the blow-dry is next. End result, my hair feels well-conditioned for days.
Where to get it Sydney: murphygozzard.com.au. Cost: from $40; plus blow-dry, from $62. Melbourne: rakis.com.au. Cost: from $40; plus blow-dry, from $70. 

FACIAL THREADING 
Suzi Baker is a master of this ancient hair removal technique. First I'm given a thorough facial cleanse, then Suzi works the organic, antibacterial cotton back and forth over the face to remove any facial peach fuzz, using the perfect amount of traction. The finishing touch is a light massage with cooling gel. Post-treatment redness can last for 24 hours but my skin feels unbelievably smooth and my skincare goes on like a dream. 
Where to get it Sydney: suzibaker.com.au. Cost: $110. Melbourne: browtheory.com. Cost: $80.

AYURVEDIC MASSAGE AND SHIRODHARA
I have been lucky enough to have had this treatment three times - and I still want more. It is a combination of Abhyanga (where a herbal oil is worked firmly over my ever-tired muscles), followed by stage two, Udvartana (where an exfoliating herbal paste is rubbed over my body) and the final and most delicious phase, Shirodhara (where a stream of warm oil is poured over my forehead and massaged through my hair). Bliss. Expect tenderised muscles, silky smooth skin and a buoyant psyche.
Where to get it Sydney: ayurvedicwellnesscentre.com.au. Cost: Abhyanga and Shirodhara package, $300; Udvartana, $250. Melbourne: ayurclinic.com.au. Cost: Abhyanga and Shirodhara package, $190; Udvartana, $120.