I am a slave to beauty, or, more accurately, anti-ageing.
I find that my weeks are peppered with appointments at beauty salons around town in my campaign to stay (relatively) young looking.
Last week was a busy week, even by my high standards. I went for teeth whitening, a painful process in more ways than one. First it means your teeth are sore for two whole days, a kind of horrible, twangy pain that goes right through them. It also means you can't drink tea or coffee or eat anything dark such as a tomato soup or chocolate for four days. Last week was also the week I had permanent eye make-up applied, as well as Botox and, obviously, a manicure/pedicure.
At one stage I wondered how I manage to spend so much time in and out of beauty salons and still have a social life, until I realised that I really don't have one. Is it because I look too old?
I remember once reading some wisdom from the supermodel Inès de la Fressange, one of the most beautiful and stylish women on the planet who recently made a comeback to the catwalk at the age of 53. She thinks the most advantageous thing about salon visits is the fact that you sleep for the hour you lie there. To a certain extent I agree. So that's another reason to keep up my hectic beauty treatment schedule.
I suppose once I max out my credit card I'll have to start to limit myself to a must-do list. Meanwhile, if you need some advice on how to prioritise among all the millions of things on offer out there, here it is:
Don't fret too much about going for bread and butter facials - you can actually do a lot of what they do at home, such as exfoliating and putting on a face pack. You can even have a kip on your bed as the mask dries. Job done.
But do go for things you shouldn't try at home such as a good microdermabrasion once every six weeks or so. I like the Diamond Peel at the Eternel MedSpa in Dubai (Dh700). If you are of a certain age (that is, over 35) you might want to think about Botox as well. In my view you can put on all the creams you want but nothing will remove wrinkles on your forehead and around your eyes like Dr Marian's needle at the Kaya Skin Clinic (Dh1,800). There is no substitute.
I warn you though: these treatments do not come cheap, and I defy you to sleep through either of them. But they will at least help you in your fight against time.
Aura by Swarovski
We can't deny that there was almost a scuffle when these new Swarovski products arrived in the M office. Was it the beautiful packaging adorned with crystals or the glamorous result produced by the body shimmers that caused such a stir? In one of the best collaborations since milk and chocolate, Swarovski has partnered with the experts of Clarins Fragrance Group to produce a glistening line of perfumes, body lotions, shower gels and make-up. You, too, will go head over stilettos to get your hands on these sparkling numbers.
Dh150-Dh5,500, Swarovski boutique, Dubai Mall, 04 339 8256
Three of the best
Be fuzz-free without the pain with these hair removal treatments
KAYA PAIN-LESS LASER, FROM DH325 A hair removal treatment you can sleep through. The worst bit is the cold gel they put on beforehand. But once that is over you can relax and snooze as your stray hairs are zapped away forever by this revolutionary machine. The post-treatment cream feels lovely, too. Kaya Skin Clinic, www.kayaskinclinic.me
LYCON WAX, FROM DH80 The wax choice of red carpet royalty (Victoria Beckham apparently swears by it), this fragrant sticky goo removes hair as short as 1mm and is gentle enough for sensitive areas. White-knuckled wincing as hot wax looms towards you will be a distant memory as this treatment is virtually pain-free. Sisters Beauty Lounge, www.sistersbeautylounge.com
PHILIPS LUMEA, DH2,499 This small hand-held device uses Intense Pulsed Light, which when applied to the hair results in the follicle shedding naturally (which goes some way in justifying the high price tag). Job done then. Smooth skin all year round. Available at Galeries Lafayette and Bin Sina Pharmacy, Dubai Mall, www.thedubaimall.com