Pre-wedding pampering at the Ark Health & Beauty

In July this year Ark Health & Beauty celebrated their 10th Anniversary so I decided to go and see what made this health and beauty center thrive for 10 long years and see what they had to offer all of us brides-to-be!

I arrived at 2pm for my pedicure and was greeted by a warm and friendly receptionist. After offering me a cup of tea and a bit of chit chat I was taken through to the manicure/pedicure area, offered a selection of magazines and my feet were then soaked in nice warm water. She then proceeded to remove all hard and dry skin, shape my nails the way I like them and smother my feet in lovely cream finishing off with a heavenly foot massage. She then dried off my nails and polished them with a perfect french manicure. This was 9 days ago and not a chip in sight!!

Now for the interesting part, I had always been a bit weary of fake tans, as much as I love the sun-kissed look, I really do hate the ‘orange’ look and this has always been enough to put me off! But I had bravely booked in my Saint Tropez tan for my second treatment as, like most brides, the thought of walking down the aisle in that white gown looking all golden and tanned is just too hard to resist. So in I went to the tan room where I was told to strip down completely and handed a paper thong!! So much for wearing the good underwear!! The therapist left me alone for a few minutes and off came the clothes and on went the attractive paper panties!! Once I was undressed and safely lying down on the padded table under a towel, the therapist returned. Immediately she put me at ease and made me forget I was lying there fully naked with just a towel between me and my modesty.

With dimmed lights and scented candles it was a lovely and relaxing environment as she began to use salt scrub on my entire body to smooth everything out. As she began to apply the tan to the back of my legs my eyes almost started drifting off and after about thirty minutes she had fully applied the tan to the back side of my body. I was left alone to doze for about 10 minutes while the tan dried before turning over and starting again on the other side. Another thirty minutes I was fully covered from head to toe in Saint Tropez. Once I was fully dry, the therapist explained to me that, yes, I will look a mess tonight (the tan is like a thin layer of mud that is left on your body until you wash it off the next morning) but tomorrow morning I will look sun-kissed and radiant! Well I suppose it was lucky my h2b was away on business and I was going straight home to an empty house and didn’t have to contend with his jokes all night, although I did get quite a few looks as I popped in to Sainsbury’s to grab some food!

The verdict:

The overall look was really great, when I woke up and showered the next day I emerged from the bathroom looking like I had just stepped off a plane from a 2 week holiday in the Caribbean. I couldn’t help but pick out a bright pink top from my wardrobe and I proceeded to admire my tan every time I walked past a mirror! A week later and my top half of my body still looks pretty good. Unfortunately the bottom half is a different story. I had a few stubborn dry patches on my legs and ankles which looked a little streaky from the beginning and now a week later they look really bad!! It would not be a good look on your honeymoon!!

Things to think about before you go for your tan:

I wish I had worn a loose t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms and preferably nothing with tight straps around my shoulders. When you leave the salon the tan is semi dry but trying to squeeze back in to your skinny jeans with saint tropez all over your legs is not the best idea (I do have slight strange lines on my legs where the seam of my jeans was).

Also keep in mind the dye will come off on to your clothes (it’s vegetable dye so comes out in the wash) so don’t wear your good undies!!

I wish I had exfoliated first, I think it is probably a good idea to exfoliate a few times in the week leading up to your tan to avoid the streaky/patchy look

Keep in mind that your face will be a couple of shades darker, so remember to tell your makeup artist in advance that you are having a tan.

I think that this treatment could vary quite a lot depending on the condition of your skin. For anyone considering doing this for their wedding who has not yet done it before, I would definitely recommend doing a trial run a couple of weeks before so you know what to expect and can judge the results and decide if this is going to heighten or hinder your wedding day look!

Find out more about Ark Health & Beauty on their website