Sheer Indulgence in The Scotsman

Published Date: 26 July 2008

By GABY SOUTAR

IF YOU’RE EVER DOING your weekly grocery shop at Edinburgh’s Cameron Toll shopping centre, factor in a break for a spa treatment. Just across the road from this concrete mall is a little retreat, by the name of Aspen. It’s rather difficult to find, as there’s no obvious shopfront. However, once you’ve discovered the brass door plaque and pressed the buzzer, you’re welcomed into a boutique-style salon that’s all about luxury.
I visited to try the Sheer Indulgence treatment, which incorporates a 90-minute back massage and facial. The owner, Caristiona MacLellan, leaves plenty of time at either end of your visit, so you never feel harassed. She’s not affiliated to any product range either, so she uses her own selection (and you don’t get the hard sell). She tried Liz Earle’s celebrated skincare range and Neal’s Yard massage oils on me.
The treatment started with a back, neck and shoulder massage, and MacLellan used an infrared heat lamp to relax stubborn muscles. Then it was time for the aromatherapy facial and I was prescribed something to bring the radiance back into my puffy, hay-feverish complexion. After cleansing, exfoliating and buffing my skin with Liz Earle’s botanical creams, MacLellan layered a mask on to my skin and proceeded to give me wonderful scalp, hand and arm massages. Afterwards, she left me to recover, and sort out my mussed-up hair, before bringing in a glass of water.
The attention to detail in Aspen is excellent. MacLellan has a totally professional manner, there are Molton Brown products in the bathroom, and my discarded hair bobble was even placed carefully to one side for me, for when the time came for me to prise myself off the heated massage table.
This is one place I really need to add to my regular shopping list – filed under luxury items”

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