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Your Life daily: Salon-style pampering without leaving home.

SOMETIMES a lack of money or time means you just can't visit a salon for that specialist treament.

But what if you could get the same effects at home?

We have tried out a range of products to see if it's worth splashing your cash.


Body Boutique Wrap Factor Inch Loss Price: pounds 39.99,

THIS simple box contains four 15ml sachets of detoxifying clay, two bandages, a tape measure and an instruction booklet.

The clay herbal solution is supposed to trim inches off your waistline, or anywhere else you apply it, by drawing out toxins in your skin.

It is easy enough to use - you simply mix a sachet of clay with the bandages in hot water, or alternatively you massage the clay into your skin first, then bind the area up in pre-heated bandages.

You then wait for an hour and unravel!

The clay smells pleasantly minty, and the skin on my thighs was noticeably softened, but the slimming effects were disappointing. I did not notice any inch loss despite measuring carefully before and after use.

Verdict: Nice idea but it didn't work for me.

Katy Stirland


Avon Anew Advanced Dermabrasion System/Laser Serum

Price: pounds 15.50 each

THIS is an affordable dermabrasion system that really works. It is designed in different levels, starting with level 1 every two to three days days for two weeks before proceeding to the next stage.

The three levels are increasing amounts of exfoliater (the grey stuff), with the last being quite harsh - but it did really work on my tired dull skin leaving my face polished and smooth.

The serum is designed to reduce the look of broken capillaries, dark spot and skin discolouration. It is applied every evening to clean skin. This roller ball pen has a really strong smell of chemicals that made me scared of its effects!

I used it once, very sparingly with no visible effects but I must admit I felt anxious about using it in any great quantity - so probably failed to really test it properly.

Verdict: The dermabrasion system is very easy to use and I even had comments on good my skin looked. But the serum was a bit of a no-no.

Suzanne Jackson


Facial-Flex Ultra

Price: pounds 39.99,

THIS pint-sized mouth exerciser looks like one of those resistance bars used as home gym equipment in the 70s.

I felt a bit scared about putting something that shape in my mouth even though I am up for most things.

Maybe I was worried about swallowing it.

After a couple of days I did get used to it.

I found the little bits of band that you have to replace around the mouthpiece to make it work a real faff, although it is important it is done for hygiene reasons.

Verdict: After a few weeks use my face/jaw/muscles didn't seem to be much different. I think I would rather invest in some pamper time having something like a CACI facial instead - also good for mentally unwinding rather than getting frustrated with this difficult-to-use mouthpiece that offers little results.

Elizabeth Warner


Slendertone Flex

Price: pounds 69.95

APPARENTLY this was going to give me toned abs without the inconvenience of having to actually exercise.

The lightweight belt fits comfortably around your waist and fastens with a giant Velcro strap at the back (a bit like a body-building belt).

The technology works by exercising all of the targeted muscles around your abdomen by stimulating them through an electronic current.

On the inside of the belt you stick on three pads, which sit over the silver conduction nodes. And it does feel rather strange on (and when you have to peel it off once your programme is finished).

Then you just switch on, relax and feel your muscles toning themselves.

It doesn't hurt or feel uncomfortable, just a strange tickling sensation.

You are supposed to use it for 30 minutes a day, five times a week, but you need to be pretty disciplined to do that.

It has several functions, levels and programmes so is suitable from beginner to advanced.

Verdict: I'm not actually sure that it does what it promises as it's just a bit of a faff to use.

Once it's on you can go about your business, make a cup of tea, feed the cat, hang the washing out, although it does say for maximum results you should use it while exercising.

But I just found it too much of a chore.

Tara Cain


Nuress Home Spray Tanning System

Price: pounds 69.79,

THE kit includes a soft spray system and applicator, two 200ml tanning solutions, smooth polish, moisturising lotion, barrier balm, goggles, nose plug and an instruction manual and DVD.

My daughter and I watched the DVD to make sure we were fully informed and ensured the bathroom was well covered with sheets.

I opted for the light shade which takes up 50ml of liquid (medium takes 100ml and dark 150ml).

You need to prepare your skin before tanning starts, then you switch on the motor (which sounds like a vacuum cleaner) and go.

The spray gun is very easy to use and the density from the gun can be adjusted. Warm air dries the solution which means you feel instantly dried and tanned and not wet and sticky when the 10-minute process is over.

So is it worth all the effort? I had a natural, even tan - although there were parts my daughter missed but that was down to experience.

My daughter, who already had a tan, used it to enhance her colour and was delighted.

Afterwards you have to clean the gun and rinse the solution container but it doesn't take long.

Verdict: A big hit. The only downside is you need some to help.

Bev Monkman


Babyliss Simply Smooth Wax System

Price: pounds 39.99

THIS easy-to-use gadget claims to give salon results at home, cleverly adapting the same technology for instant effect.

There is a hand-held heat 'wand' which has a flat plate at one end that heats up and comes with its own stand. You also get a pack of hard wax strips with the wax impregnated into the surface.

So you basically put the wax strip on your hairy bits, smooth the hot wand over it to activate the wax and then whip off like a regular wax strip. One strip can be reused several times too.

It's really easy to use, but I didn't think the larger strips were big enough (they come with two different sizes) so it almost felt like a chore doing my legs.

The set also comes with cleansing wipes (though not very many), a post-wax soothing treatment and tweezers.

Verdict: It does what it promises, but it does get a bit fiddly when trying to do the backs of your legs and I didn't even attempt my bikini line! It's not too expensive so it's good to have for emergencies, but you would have to keep buying top-up strips.

Joanne Forster


THE RIGHT TREATMENT... You can enjoy the luxury of pampering without leaving home with some of the products we've tested here.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Aug 27, 2008
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