We might be preaching to the converted but Icon Beauty pedicures are something else… Words by Amanda Nicholls
Considering my feet have carried my great hulk around without complaint for three decades, it would probably be judged a crying injustice in some (Sex and the City-esque) circles that I’d never in my life treated them to anything anywhere near a proper pedicure.
With an Italian wedding to attend in a few days’ time, and having recently got over my long-standing discomfort at the idea of having my toes touched by another human being, it felt like high time to celebrate with a foot-themed treat and Icon Beauty at the top end of Gloucester Road was the place picked out for the job – specialising in luxury beauty and wellbeing treatments.
Having been furnished with a giant mug of coffee in the waiting lounge – all chic floor spotlighting and Swedish sauna wood to match the rest of the space – I was met by hardworking, dedicated salon owner Lucy Bamber and soon hopping up onto her super-comfy treatment couch to soak my feet in a bowl of warm, bubbly water.
While I perused the nail colours available, Lucy got to work on my cuticles, and quickly and efficiently filed my nails to my preferred length, explaining the various elements to the process ahead. I’d had no idea there were so many and so, pleased it wouldn’t be a flying visit, settled back with a magazine and started sinking all that hot coffee.
The next step was an assault on any hard skin to be found on my soles. Lucy was as surprised as I was to find there wasn’t much to deal with but nevertheless worked with a larger file to ensure they were super smooth – a lovely sensation only bettered by the next step to come. I’m a fan of a vigorous exfoliation – none of your namby-pamby little grains for me – so the foot and lower leg massage using large crystals to buff away any remaining old skin cells was something of a dream.Lucy has had the salon for around nine years now, having converted it from the town house that the building was previously. It’s a great space, with a calm, chic feel and plenty of treatment rooms to cater for the large and loyal customer base – many of whom are coming in at the moment for the new CACI Synergy facial machine that’s unique to Icon in Bristol. It’s a non-invasive anti-ageing facial technology using light therapy to combat everything from eye bags to acne and jowls, and is one of those red-carpet treatments all the celebs seem to be raving about. It’s clear to see Lucy is committed to offering her clients the most advanced services available just from our brief chat, and how proud she is to be part of Gloucester Road and among the fantastic businesses that make up this part of Bristol.
The team is seven-strong now that she has expanded the salon – it’s doubled in size over the last few years – and over the next six months she has further plans to develop the upstairs area into more treatment rooms for pregnancy therapies, deep tissue massage and the like.
While we chatted, Lucy applied a cream masque to my quickly softening hooves, popped a plastic bag around each and left the masque to work its magic while she dug out the deep teal shade I’d chosen for my nails.After the best foot massage (why had I denied myself experiences like this for so long?), Lucy rinsed and dried my feet and set about painting my toes and applying different sprays to seal in all the products and help my nails dry as quickly as possible – by the time she’d finished I’d never seen my long-neglected trotters look so well-groomed and cared for.
Toes matching my also-green fingernails, feet feeling lighter than air, I was 99% Tuscan wedding-ready. Now all there was to do was track down a dress to match…
• The Pamper Pedicure is priced at £42.50 (book online at iconbeauty.co.uk or phone 0117 924 5566 and be sure to bring some flip-flops or open-toed sandals along to head back home in)