Tammy gets a facial

After having, in recent weeks, amply looked after her insides, Tammy Facey decides it’s time to maintain her outsides for a change.

I think everyone deserves to be pampered, and when a friend had booked me a surprise treatment at Benjamin Ryan hair and beauty salon (BR) in the Great Western Arcade I couldn’t have been happier – I’d been itching to go, and it always looks so inviting from the outside.

So in I went, feeling rather guilty and like I shouldn’t be there, but as soon as you walk in the staff at BR make you feel welcome by proffering a plush seat and getting you a drink.

Benjamin Ryan is the bustling hairdressers with achingly cool members of staff who all welcome you with a smile. Clipped Birmingham accents mingled with the confidence of being experts in their field, BR are a charming bunch. The gold and nude tones, married with a scent of fresh laundry made me feel at ease straight away. I felt like I could have sat in the reception area and chatted all afternoon, but I had a treatment to get on with.

I was guided upstairs to the (surprisingly large) upper treatment rooms with their resident beauty therapist – Natasha – by my side who was explaining that they use Decléor products at BR, whilst carrying my cuppa for me.

The treatment room felt like a secluded retreat compared to the hustle and bustle of the downstairs salon. The carefully-chosen décor with mink and muted tones coupled with flickering candles and ‘om’ relaxation music makes for a truly decadent experience. It was also quiet and calm, which is what I’m desperate for when I want to relax: that elusive golden silence. Not deafeningly quiet, but quiet enough to hear your own thoughts and the squidge of more of the product being smoothed over your face.

A healthy dose of professionalism and good products usually makes for a grand experience, and Natasha, the friendly, knowledgeable and funny therapist at BR was like a polished air hostess. She has expert product knowledge but also explained what certain ingredients ‘do’ and how they benefit the skin. Details aside, I fell in love in love with her hands. Her gentle, but firm fingers smoothed, stroked, pressed and plumped my skin until I felt like I was drifting off.

I had a mini facial (not that they scrimped at all), and I always find you can tell the different between a mini and full, but Natasha put every effort in to ensure I felt like a queen. It was an indulgent thirty minutes of a bespoke treatment; based on my skin concerns Natasha completed a thorough cleanse, scrub and moisturise, spa style. She started with my eyes, which I welcomed because they were aching after looking at my laptop all morning, and pressed cool cotton pads onto them and began my deep cleanse. She asked whether the pressure was okay and then let me lie there as her expert hands did what they were doing.

Only after my 30 minute treatment – even though it felt longer – did I realise how much I needed to relax – and my skin looked fantastic.

BR offer a number of other beauty offers such as the Jessica nail treatments which start from £18, eyelash and eyebrow treatments which start from £10, and the anti-aging Alpha + treatment, which is a purse-friendly £20. Student discounts are also available where you’ll receive 10% off on Monday and Wednesday. Check out their website and see what takes your fancy.

A week on my skin feels like velvet, and I’ve got that new-born skin look. It feels healthy and rejuvenated; as though Natasha’s warm fingers have got the blood pumping in my face again, and woken my circulation. Unsurprisingly I’m planning another treatment, I don’t want to lose my glow, and God knows we all need a break sometimes, even if it is a precious thirty minutes.

Ben Ryan


Benjamin Ryan Hair
28-29 Great Western Arcade
B2 5HU