Sashmara Beauty: The Kim Kardashian inspired Carbon Laser Facial
Words by Priya Joshi
In a charming London street near St Paul’s you’ll find Sashmara Beauty salon, tucked away in a corner of Toni and Guys. The prime location a stone’s throw from St. Paul’s Cathedral, gives it an air of exclusivity, while its position in the basement of the reputed hair salon renders it akin to a secret haven for those seeking a luxury pampering session and a moment’s respite from the bustling city.
Tamara Hutton-Brown is the charming owner of the salon and with a flawless visage herself, she’s a good advocate for her treatments. Hailing from South Africa she trained as a beauty therapist receiving the Top Aesthetician award in 1996. She quickly progressed to own her first salon in the affluent and upmarket Bryanston district of Sandton, Johannesburg.
In 2001 Tamara moved to London, where she established a string of salons in key locations across the capital. Today, at her base in Bow Lane she has a clientele that includes city workers looking to fit in a treatment during their lunchbreak. I’m here to try out the carbon laser facial that gained popularity thanks to Kim Kardashian who is reportedly a fan of the procedure.
With A lists stars such as Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston undergoing the treatment before hitting the red carpet it’s even become known as the Hollywood peel, being favoured by the most beautiful women in the world, thanks to the convenience and immediate results. The treatment promises to even out skin tone, reduce fine lines and create a glowing complexion. All this in the space of a half hour and requiring zero recovery time.
While I have pretty good skin, I wonder whether I might walk out of the salon with the implausibly perfect skin tone that the internet breaking reality TV star regularly flaunts on social media. Tamara, is quick to dispel any illusions I may have that the treatment might yield such an airbrushed quality, crediting Kim K’s flawless visage to any number of products and procedures including the very effective use of filters.
Nevertheless, the treatment will cause large pores to shrink, smooth skin tone and will hopefully result in a brighter complexion. While it’s one of the more expensive treatments available, Tamara’s clients travel across the UK and even from Switzerland for the specialist treatment, as she offers a competitive price.
I lie down on the bench as Tamara, in her reassuring lilting tone expertly explains the procedure. I’m told it’s a bit like the kind of treatment people undergo for tattoo removal, but in this instance the laser uses a smaller head. A charcoal mask is applied to my face. I then put on the protective eye glasses as Tamara warns me to expect a burning smell as the mask is lasered off my face taking the impurities with it.
Covers are also placed over my eyebrows to ensure there’s no risk of burning them off. Tamara suffered the ordeal of losing her eyebrows while getting a carbon facial at another salon and having clearly learned from the experience, she ensures her customers don’t suffer the same fate.
As the laser is applied to the skin it’s barely noticeable. The sensation is a bit like the heat from a two bar electric heater as the skin warms slightly. The smell is much like the smoke from a barbecue, but I’m reassured that it’s not me that’s cooking, just the charcoal.
While Tamara regales me with stories of her global travels and adventures that have taken her from South Africa to India, within a matter of mere minutes the laser treatment is over. She applies a vitamin serum and a mask as well as some SPF to protect the skin and reduce any sensitivity and she treats me to an arm and hand massage while the mask takes effect.
Once the products have soaked in I remove the protective glasses to scrutinise what feels like new skin, and immediately there’s a noticeable glow to my complexion and a freshness that leaves me feeling instantly re-invigorated.
Even a few days later I’m told by observant friends that my skin looks noticeably clearer and glowing and I’m satisfied that the effects are long-lasting. With no recovery time, no uncomfortable sensations and immediately perceptible results, I’m sold, and would definitely try the carbon laser facial again.
While it might not give me the picture-perfect, selfie-ready visage of Kim Kardashian, it’s a good start and an experience I would definitely repeat for a special occasion, if only to hear more of Tamara’s fascinating stories.
Find more information about treatments at: tamarabeauty.co.uk.
Address: 41 Bow Lane, Toni&Guy (Basement), London EC4M 9DT
Phone: 020 7248 3305