In Riyadh, a woman can surely do three things: 1) Shop. 2) Eat. And 3) Go to the salon. The first two is something The Pink Tarha is always fond of doing. The third is something we did last week when we visited Maison De Joelle – a beauty salon under the name of the same woman who brought us Aurora Spa, Ms. Joelle Mardinian.
Located along Olaya St., Maison De Joelle is a relatively known beauty salon amongst Saudis and expats alike. It has been in business for over five years now and offers a variety of beauty services from haircuts, color treatments, facials, handspa/footspa including, eyebrow embroidery. Now that sounds interesting!
We were welcomed by their assistant branch manager, Ms. Rose Flores who took care of us during our visit and even let go of her day off just to accommodate us. (Thanks again Ms. Rose!) She led us to the VIP room of the beauty salon to let us get settled and then offered to give us a tour of the entire salon. Later on during the day, we also met with their branch manager, Ms. Nouf.
Their space is larger than most stand-alone salons I have seen and they can accommodate a lot of guests with the number of seats and beauty dressers that I saw. The salon is also brimming with staff and I take it as a good sign because it means that they have enough manpower to attend to every customer present, which means less waiting time for others.
The décor has a theme of white, gold and red, with wallpapers of stamped stencil flowers adding a feminine touch to the entire salon. There are TV sets in most stations, mostly playing clips of Ms. Joelle and her shows and makeup tips. It kept us entertained a bit while our treatments were underway.
Speaking of treatments, Janelle and I shared a combination of hair and beauty treatments. We both had our hair colored to the extreme kind of extent and we also scheduled ourselves for a facial (for Janelle), eyelash extensions (for me) and we both got a hand and foot spa.
If I’m not mistaken, the lady who was assigned to the treatment of my hair was one of their senior stylists, named Ms. Lima. She was from Jordan and was able to communicate well with me with regards to what she could do with my hair. I told her that I would prefer a more summer-light-look and that I’ve been needing a trim for a some time now. She recommended a violet ombre style for me and a layered haircut after. Throwing my caution to the wind, I said yes to purple hair!
She started foiling my hair by sets for the bleach and left it to sit for several minutes. During this time, Ms. Rose talked to me about the level of quality that they maintain at Maison De Joelle. All of the staff get regular training to update their skills according to the latest trends in the industry and they constantly acquire new equipment that makes them stand out from other hair salons.
She also highlighted their use of authentic Kerastase/L’Oreal products; qualified and certified facial experts; and the spirit of teamwork within the salon staff wherein they treat each other like family. How lovely to hear that spirit of camaraderie!
It was finally time to apply the color to the strands of my already bleached hair. Ms. Lima applied the purple color to my hair and afterwards, left it to sit once again for about 20 minutes.
At this point, I was already seated next to Janelle and I looked at her and her “red-hair” in the works and told her: This is hashtag-what-are-we-doing-with-our-lives. This is in reference to the super red color bursting from her scalp from that point on…but she tells her tale in the latter part of this post.;)
As they washed and dried my hair, I could already see how “purple” my hair was and I was like, whoah! This is so awesome. Who knew I could don purple hair? The stylist said that the color may fade off after I wash it on my own but I said worst case scenario is that it will fade into a light purple or pink, which I don’t find to be a negative thing at all. They blowdried and trimmed my hair and voila! Here’s the result:
Now that took a solid 2 hours at least and I still had my eyelash extensions and hand and foot spa on the to-do list! I looked for the eyelash expert and lo and behold, she is another kababayan (countryman) of ours. Her name was Lora and she gave me a briefing about applying eyelash extensions. Apparently there are short and not-so curly ones and then there are the really elaborate and peacock-like eyelashes. For the Asian type, she recommended the J lash. She said this would stick more to the kind of eyelash that we naturally have and that choosing the uber curly ones won’t sit well with my short and straight eyelashes.
I had to lie down and still on the bed as Lora prepped my eyelids for the task ahead. She noted that the glue they use is specially stored in the fridge to retain its adhesive powers. Then, one by one she started applying the eyelash extensions that took almost an hour to finish. The application part wasn’t painful but you could feel a bit disoriented after having them on because you’re not used to it yet. I was told to be careful about washing my face and making sure that I don’t rub my eyes unconsciously.
At this point, I followed Janelle in the footspa area where she was already seated and we both had our hands and foot massaged with cream and wrapped in cling film for several minutes. We weren’t able to take any photos during this procedures since our hands were preoccupied with all the wrapping and manicure, but we were generally satisfied with their work on us. We were just so hungry at this point because we were already reaching a total of six hours inside the salon! They do have a small café corner in the salon that served sandwiches, coffee and water, but J and I were starving for a hearty meal.
I usually have hair treatments when I go home to the Philippines. I usually get a rebond or a digiperm because they’re cheaper there. However, last vacation, I wasn’t able to get any treatment done because my wedding hair stylist said he had to work with the hair I have or else, it will be harder to set during my wedding day. So a few days ago, I still have my half wavy hair. Half of my hair had a dark brown color while the hair that wasn’t treated was jet black. I didn’t like the two-toned look of my hair especially that they were divided by a “bend” in my straight hair, the proof that my hair has grown out its rebonded part. And so walking into Maison De Joelle, I knew I wanted a change of color with dimension and highlights. I went for RED. Yes, red. It has always been a dream of mine to have red hair. This was my peg:
Maya was assigned to work on my medium length hair. She was very meticulous in the whole process. She and her assistant wrapped a towel around my shoulders and proceeded to divide my hair into sections and coat some of the strands with a bleach-like substance that stripped my hair of its natural color. It was a tedious process but I can see that the colorists were really experienced and they know what they were doing. I am mostly afraid of this bleach process because it was my first time. Some of the color I did on my hair was just placed on my black hair like shampoo and didn’t take a lot of time. This one though was a process of patience and hard work. I appreciate Maya’s work.
Done with coating my hair, I was whisked to their shampoo station were they rinsed my hair off the bleach and placed the hair color. There was a stinging sensation when the color was already well-immersend in my scalp and my eyes got a bit teary from the slight dye but it went away after a few minutes. I couldn’t see what was happening and I wasn’t using my phone to take photos of me because I wanted to be surprised. It was only when Reina said that it’s red followed by Maya’s “yes, it’s CRAZY RED!” that I began to get nervous. I didn’t want to have a crazy red hair color because it might not be allowed in the workplace haha! I finally got the courage to take a peep at what they were doing by taking a photo and I was shocked at the redness of my hair.
I wasn’t panicking but I was already nagging Maya to make it a bit darker. Even though she said the crazy red looked great on my skin tone and face, she relented on making it darker. After shampoo, conditioner, and blow dry, this is the result:
I LOVE IT!!! She got the right color of my peg photo. I wish I still had big curls and voluminous hair so I can totally copy my peg (wishful thinking haha) but my straight hair is good enough for me. Even now, a week after I got my hair colored, the red still looks vibrant. I love the effect of the highlights. It’s red one minute then dark red or black the next. The color changes depending on the lighting of the place where I am. And the best part: it looks chocolatey red when I’m at work so no crazy red at the workplace haha!
I also had their hand and foot spa and again, the service was impeccable! I was really impressed with the service and attention to detail that my attendant lavished me with. She was delicate during the scrubbing and washing of my feet and vigorous during the massage. I love foot massages! The pedicure and manicure was painless and she did everything carefully.
Overall, I like Maison De Joelle because of the tender loving care they give their clients. I like how they have a database of their customers so they have a record of what have been done to your hair, face, feet and hands and they can follow up on the next treatments for you. Their attendants from the receptionist to the colorist to the manicurist were all friendly and professional. I also like how their prices are affordable. We all know that salon treatments in Riyadh are expensive so if you’re shelling out money for beauty, then might as well trust yourself and money with the expert right?
We enjoyed our visit to Maison De Joelle, meeting their staff and getting our girl power on with the treatments they offered. It’s not every day that we get glammed up to our hearts content and we left their salon feeling more beautiful, fierce and ready to conquer a dining table! Err, we mean the world! Haha. We were just hungry for a big fat dinner after. Cheers!
Maison De Joelle
Serkon Building 4
Olaya St., Riyadh (Behind the Splash and New Look stores)
Tel: +966 11 2933222
Mobile: +966 5 66881700
Youtube: Maison De Joelle Channel