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posted by on Beauty, In Praise Of..., Malika


When it comes to eyebrow threading, I always believe you shouldn’t have to pay more than a £6 for the pleasure. A lot of beauty bloggers have discussed the price of threading on Twitter and on their blogs with a challenge to find the cheapest who does the job best. (I think £2 was the best find somewhere in east London but don’t quote me on that…)

I’ve been having my brows shaped since my mid-teens. You name it, I’ve been there – swanky beauty salons, tiny cubicles, even the ubiquous chair in the middle of a shopping centre or department store (Fenwicks in Brent Cross, you’re one of the offenders). And not just in this country as well.

It’s a ritual I undergo every 2-3 weeks to ensure I do not look like one half of Bert and Ernie. A couple of weeks ago I was invited to try a treatment at luxurious boutique Malika. It was an honour but also I felt like  a bit of a hypocrite because I agree to visit a salon which charges £15 for eyebrow shaping – a sentiment that goes against my beliefs!

You may recognise the name Malika. It is a chain of salons in the south east of England (mostly in London) offering a wide range of pampering beauty treatments including facials, eyelash and eyebrow tinting, eyelash extensions, manicures and pedicures and a number of male grooming treatments. 

All staff are trained by head therapists Ritu Patel and Sejal Bhudia, who each have decades of experience with high-profiled clients, so with that in mind, I headed to their branch in Shepherd’s Bush’s Westfield.

Westfield’s Malika

In all honestly I was just expecting a tidy-up, not a rude awakening (in the nicest, possible way). Westfield’s branch is quite of a squeeze when it’s busy (as it was on my visit) but the salon is equipped with bright lighting and large chairs which can be adjusted at a touch of a button to give total comfort and your threadist the best possible angle to work on you.

I was greeted by a lovely lady called Sejal but before this, completed a consultation card which Sejal then went through carefully. Once in the hot seat, the first thing I was offered was some hand sanitizing gel. This was news to me but made sense because I don’t know how many different surfaces I had come into contact with just before arriving at the salon.  Hygiene is very important in beauty and skincare and to be honest, it hadn’t occurred to me until this moment that my own hands should be clean too when I’m touching my face during threading. I’m amazed many other salons do not offer this before a treatment.

Sejal then talked me through my treatment and immediately spotted a problem. I had a problem with my regularly threaded eyebrows? Surely not!

From Sejal’s sharp eyes and expert knowledge, it would appear my brows had been threaded unevenly and she was absolutely right. I’m horrified but also I am relieved I don’t have deformed eyebrows.  I knew something wasn’t right when I attempted to shade them and they looked odd.

Sejal left one of my brows almost unfinished and advised me to allow them to grow back for a new, thicker look, which is the current fashion trend. I must admit I am keen on thick eyebrows but had never given it further thought nor had it been suggested to me by previous threadists. She also suggested re-shaping the arch of my brows from a particular point for a younger appearance. So it would seem even for a threading veteran like myself I learned something new.

I also had my upper lip (£10) and chin (£10) seen to and noticed Sejal threaded with absolute precision for a flawless finish. The entire process took 45 minutes ending with a neck massage.  The girls in Malika were all deeply polite, professional and lovely and I left the salon relaxed and satisifed.

My experience at Malika has given me some food for thought and as a result, I have had to re-assess my opinion on eyebrow threading. Perhaps I have been rather haste in just running to a walk-in place. I take great care in who colours and cuts my hair and who I trust for bikini waxes (and I pay good money for these treatments), then who maintains my eyebrows should be another important area I should not scrimp on.

If you are going to venture down the path of threading, go to an Asian threadist. No ifs, no buts, just go. These ladies understand the Asian ancient hair removal technique better than anyone.

By the way threading isn’t just limited to the eyebrows. It can also remove unwanted hair from sensitive areas of the face such as the upper lip and chin. I would strongly advise against waxing because there is a risk of stretching and damaging the skin. There is no risk of allergic reactions with threading either and uou do get a beautiful precise finish from threading.

A full list of treatments, prices and salon locations is available on  You can also follow Malika on Twitter @MalikaBeauty and Facebook

posted by on 111SKIN, In Praise Of..., Skincare

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There’s a skincare line that has recently launched in(to) Harrods and I am going to tell you about it.  Do try to stay with me on this one even if it highly science-techy.

111SKIN is 20 years in the making by Dr Yannis Alexandrides, a renowned Harley Street plastic surgeon who’s collaborated with space scientists – yes, you read that correctly – space scientists.

The key formula in this product range is NAC Y² (eh?), which has been tested in the extremes of space where the lack of oxygen and ultra violet radiation can be detrimental on the skin. If such a formula can withstand the extreme conditions of outer space, then it’s likely to effectively reduce environmental effects on the skin on ground level. Who’d have thought, eh?

This is Dr Yannis Alexandrides. There. Formalities over and done with. Onto the exciting part. I was sent one of 111SKIN’s products to try – the Lift Off 111 NAC Y² Facewash Essential Cleanser, a non-foaming cleanser which I’ve been using for more than six weeks.

My first concerns were, this is going to be expensive. It’s exclusively sold in Harrods, it’s by someone who practises on Harley Street and it’s been tested in outer space! Well, I’m not far off from that assumption…

The range of eight products are very ultra-glam space-age looking with the choice of packaging and labelling – even the logo has a ring around it. I know what you’re thinking…OK, OK, I’ll get onto that next.

At £35, the facewash cleanser is the least expensive. After which, prices rocket up to £190 (incidentally this is the price tag for a facelift repair serum, and facelifting is clearly what this doctor knows best about).

So as I said, I have been using this product religiously for over six weeks. It’s a pump action cleanser and only a few pumps are required for an adequate amount to cover the face and neck. The liquid is clear, odourless and paraben and paraffin free. It also contains Rosemary and Copper Chlorophyll to cleanse the skin and restore the skin’s PH levels.

To remove the cleanser, I wipe my face with a hot, damp face towel (a la Lady Hirons school of cleansing routine). I don’t trust the method advised by the doctor and scientists on the packaging which is to simply “rinse thoroughly with warm water”. Prfffft!  Rinse with water?! Lady Hirons’ eyebrow would probably extend to her hairline if she saw that.

Any way. I’ve got to say there is still plenty of product left in the 130ml bottle so that’s pleasing but how does it measure up as a cleanser? Very good. Possibly excellent. No dryness or dry patches, and clean, clear and soft skin. I’m happy to report I’ve not experienced any irritations or bad reactions. Does it make me look younger? Difficult to say as I’m still asked for I.D (I know, what a bitch!) but I like the product very much and would be inclined to purchase it because £35 to me is a reasonable amount to pay. My bank balance, however, couldn’t cope with the rest of the collection. Fancy giving this cosmic cleanser a go?

Lift Off 111 NAC Y2 Facewash Essential Cleanser retails for £35 and is available from Harrods or online at For more information on 111SKIN, you can visit

*PR sample*