Getting (not so) nkd at Leicester's newest Beauty Salon! | AD-Gifted

9 December 2017

Feeling like a new woman after my first wax, HD Brows & LVL Lash Lift treatments...

nkd waxing leicester outside
- The following post features treatments (*) which were kindly gifted by nkd Waxing -

Recently I was kindly invited to nkd Waxing, the newest arrival to Leicester's St Martin's Square, which has seen a bit of a revival with a number of new bars popping up in the last couple of months. The nkd team, lead by owner Rebecca Dowdeswell, are really passionate about building a brand that their customers trust, and they have occupied their award-winning Nottingham store since 2009. The Leicester branch, which opened its doors in early October, is the next step in their plans to expand the brand to a national level. The salon offers a range of waxing, threading and lash treatments, with intimate waxes being the most popular.

When I was asked if I would like to experience a Lash Lift, HD Brows and waxing treatment, I was really excited as I had been considering getting a lash lift and HD Brows for a while now. I'd also never had a wax, so what better time to get it over and done with. So many of my friends have had LVL Lash Lifts with incredible results, so I was really keen to see what difference it could make to my lashes!

Let me tell you a secret: I'd actually never been to a beauty salon before. There's something about any kind of salon (including hairdressers) that makes me feel a bit uneasy, from phoning in to book (nkd actually have an ace online booking service for those with phone-phobia, winner!), to having to make small talk. Despite stalking a lot of local salons online, I'd not found one that I really liked the look of, that offered all the treatments I wanted and being at an affordable price. There's something about nkd that isn't scary in the slightest for first-timers!

nkd waxing leicester light feature

I got my treatments booked in, so there was no backing out, and I popped in a couple of days before (it must be at least 24 hours before) for my patch tests. I was instantly put at ease by the relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff and gorgeous decor of the salon. As much of a faff it felt making the trip to town just to get a patch test, it was so nice to be able to scope out your surroundings before your treatment so you have a bit of an idea of what to expect.

A lot of thought has gone into the interior of the salon, having hired a profesisonal designer which has definitely paid off. Think lots of light features, soft woods and a relaxing colour palette, topped off with nkd's signature cute branding. The signage is a bit tongue in cheek, and the treatment rooms are named fittingly, with the waxing room being called the Beaver room (LOL). This again helps to take the fear out of waxing. Being split over 3 floors, it gives it a feeling of intimacy, despite there being a total of 5 treatment rooms and 2 brow stations.

nkd waxing leicester leg wax

We were greeted by the friendly staff and I was instantly put at ease. My first two treatments were to be done by Charlotte, so we were shown to one of the treatment rooms. The half leg wax* was up first (which was the one I was least looking forward to as I knew some degree of pain was to be involved). I had my mum there (to take pictures), so among chatting with her and Charlotte, I didn't even really notice that Charlotte was putting the wax on my legs and was about to do the first rip. It really wasn't as bad as I expected, and I felt a bit silly for getting myself into a bit of a tizzy about it as there was nothing to be worried about. I had previously epilated my legs, and it was a similar level of pain, just a lot quicker. The worst part for me was the backs of my calves, but even then it wasn't too uncomfortable. It was over pretty quickly, and before I knew it Charlotte was applying some gorgeous jasmine scented oil onto my legs to soothe and moisturise them.

nkd waxing leicester lvl lash lift

Then it was on to the Lash Lift* which involves curling and tinting your lashes with various bonding gels to give you the best lashes of your life! The first step was to remove any makeup left on my lashes and eyelids using a Protein Remover Pad, although for ease I skipped eye makeup on the day. Then, a soft protective pad was applied over the lower lashes, to stop them getting caught in the curling treatment - you don't want your lower lashes curled straight up, just imagine! This just felt like one of those gel eye masks, nothing uncomfortable. Next, there was a curling shield glued (it's not as scary as it sounds!) to the top of the eyelid. I believe there are different sizes according to the length of your lashes and the degree of curl that is needed. Once everything is on, you can relax with your eyes closed and the treatment will begin.

nkd waxing leicester lvl lash lift

The first solution that is used is a bonding gel, applied to the shield, and then a small metal tool is used to press your eyelashes back onto the shield and into the gel, which allows the lash to take on the curve of the shield. Next there is a lifting balm, which breaks down the bonds in the hair in order to give them that curl. It is left for between 10 and 15 minutes to work its magic. The bonds then need to be repaired, so a fixing solution is applied. This fixes the lashes into the desired shape, and is left for 7 minutes.

Once these steps are done, it is time for the semi-permanent mascara which is optional. There is a choice of black or blue-black, the latter of which I opted for. Blue-black contains blue and purple pigments which make the lashes look more of an intense black! This was a tricky part for me as it requires you to keep your eyes open and not blink too much, and my eyes were quite watery. The most difficult part for me was keeping my eyes open in certain places, which can be tricky when the overhead lights are quite bright (something to be aware of if you are a migraine sufferer or are photosenstive).

nkd waxing leicester lvl lash lift after

Overall the treatment takes around 45 minutes to an hour, and the Lash Lift can last between 6 and 8 weeks (depending on your lash cycle) with the semi-permanent mascara lasting 2-3 weeks. Charlotte was great, having the perfect balance of being chatty and generally super lovely, as well as being professional and explaining all the steps. I felt really comfortable in her hands, and I think with something that can potentially be quite uncomfortable you really need to have that trust in your therapist. She did a wonderful job and I couldn't quite believe the results! I'd seen others have great outcomes with their lash lifts, but I didn't think it would turn out quite so well on me. Turns out I have quite long lashes, so they really did look great having that extra curl. Even my left side, which is my dud lash side, looked great!

nkd waxing leicester lvl lash lift before after

Already feeling like a new woman, I moved onto the brow station for my HD Brows treatment* with Yass. She was equally as lovely, and soon we were chatting about everything from brows to makeup to cakes! As well as HD Brows, nkd also offer standard brow waxing, threading and tinting. Well what's the difference? HD Brows includes a variety of these techniques to create your desired brow look. The appointment length is longer so instead of just ending up with any old thing, your therapist will really take the time to chat through what result you are looking for. Sometimes it will take a course of treatments to get your desired look, including tinting your faint hairs and regrowth.

I told Yass that I liked the overall thickness and look of my brows, and that I wanted them to look more defined. My left brow's arch isn't as defined as the right, and I wanted to even out the underside of my brows to make them easier to fill in as I find the shape isn't quite right at the moment. I don't take a huge amount off my brows when I pluck them, so I'm not sure how much regrowth I will actually get, but tinting the lighter hairs has made a huge difference. Seeing as I have just dyed my hair a darker burgundy tone, we went quite a bit darker with the brow tint, mixing dark brown and an ashy tone together, with a darker shade on the tail. My brows overall look more full and I really like the darker shade. I was surprised that it didn't tint the skin, only the brow hairs, but luckily that meant no dodgy warm-toned fading that I got when I used the Maybelline Tattoo Brow, which I reviewed here.

I would have preferred to have seen the result of my brows before they were filled in with the HD brow powder, as it is a little hard to see exactly what areas might need more work. It's also quite hard to visualise how your brows will look when you do your makeup day to day with your own products and everyone fills in their brows in different ways. I felt like I really knew which areas I wanted to change after filling in my own brows as usual the next day.

nkd waxing leicester hd brows before after

Would I go back and purchase any of the treatments with my own money?

Yes, in fact I would have all of them again! As a single gal I don't have any need to constantly shave my legs in the winter, but an occasional wax will be nice to keep them in check. I'd also really like to try waxing my underarms as I really have come to dislike shaving them. I find it grows back super itchy within a day so I'm intrigued as to whether waxing would help with that. I'm a little torn though as I know you need to have a good few weeks of regrowth so in the summer when I'm wanting to wear sleeveless tops everyday, I'm not sure how that would work - let me know if you get your underarms waxed!

After seeing the results, I would definitely consider getting another Lash Lift, although I'd like to see how long it lasts, along with the tint. I think next time I wills skip the semi-permanent mascara, although I think it looks great and it's something I will definitely get before going on holiday, it's a bit uncomfortable for day to day. It's fine in the day when I have makeup on as I don't need to bother with mascara, but it's the night time (and especially waking up) where I find it a little uncomfortable, as it feels like you're sleeping in your makeup (something I've not done in a good few years!). And then lastly there's HD Brows. I would like to have this done again to see what progress we can make with my brows. I love the extra level of care that is taken with the HD treatment, although of course it is more expensive than simply having a thread or wax and brow tint.

Overall I've been so pleased with my treatments at nkd waxing. I felt so comfortable at the salon, and the staff really made the experience for me, being super lovely but also really professional. I would definitely recommend trying it out if you are looking to have any lash, brow or wax treatments, and they have a ton of offers, including a loyalty scheme and a discount if you return within 6 weeks for the same treatment. nkd are currently running some special Christmas offers over on their Facebook and Twitter, so keep an eye out! If you want to see more of my visit to nkd waxing, check out my vlog below!

Have you ever had HD Brows or an LVL Lash Lift?

- Disclaimer: this post features treatments which were very kindly gifted by nkd Waxing. This does not affect my opinion and all thoughts are my own -

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