I've updated this list a little for 2011. I'm still getting requests/recommendations and that's great - I'll keep adding. Please feel free to write to me to tell me more.
“Ask and ye shall receive”. I LOVE requests – especially when I have downtime at work and am getting bored being evil to my colleagues. Thanks, Josephine, for asking for this one!
Ashlee at Strands, Fanar, is still my all-time favorite colorist in Kuwait. After all these years, she is the best. I don't mind the prices because after searching around/trying other salons, I know that Ashlee will give me the best quality color that will last the longest. (I even tried Tony & Guy; the color faded. I also felt like the stylists were more concerned with their own appearance in the mirror than working on mine.) Ashlee is very good at color/highlights and does quality extensions (CHA CHING at 500 kd to begin and 250 KD for after-care). Strands Fanar: 25711237.
Doree at Pineapple Salon in Shaab (off 30 – Fahaheel Expressway) does amazing cuts and did Slapperellas bob (bobs are hard to do) for several years. I don't trust her with color, however. [Why do these ladies think it is ok to put color on hair on roots on hair that has been highlighted for years? It is SO WRONG and messes up your hair bigtime.] Pineapple: 22622100.
People have been asking me about Eden. I used to go to Danielle at Images waaaaaay back when I first arrived in Kuwait. She does great hair – both cuts and highlights - and at reasonable prices. However, she is very difficult to get an appointment with – so much so that I get pissed off about it.
I haven't tried her yet, but Candice (formerly of Beach House I believe) cuts my friends' hair and does an amazing job. She will go to your home to cut your hair now. (Write to me for her number at firstname.lastname@example.org). My friend, Libra (email@example.com or write to me for her number) does an amazing job with a pair of scissors. You have to go to her home in Egalia, but like my friends say, "She has magic hands" and my hair seems to grow faster after a cut from her.
Cutting Edge is always a safe bet for short, trendy styles.
I haven't ventured beyond Strands, I must admit. I trust Ashlee not to damage my hair. I've had both the Brazilian Blowout and the Chocolate treatments at Strands. Both had good results; although the Brazilian Blowout didn't last as long as the Chocolate (maybe because I started using the wrong shampoo/conditioner immediately following and no one told me different. You should use non-sulphate, non-sodium). Most salons in Kuwait offer keratin treatments that smooth out the hair and make it straighter. All hair has keratin in it and this replaces what you've lost. It aint cheap (80 to 200kd - although all keratin treatments are basically the same!): call around for quotes and make sure the room is ventilated when you have the process done.
2011 Update: Eden salon does Shelak and Gelish nails that last 2 to 3 weeks. Nails retain their shine and great look for that entire time. I've been having both manicures lately; however, my nails are so thin/brittle that if I don't immediately go in for another manicure when the Shelak/Gelish starts to chip/peel, my real nails underneath get very damaged. Gloria or Jane at Eden are both very good. (Eden: 2241-9557)
For just a regular manicure/pedicure and hamam zaid (hot oil treatment): Oriental Princess in Salmiya. 25711255. Oriental Princess does everything on volume with low prices, so a mani/pedi will run around 4 KD. Oriental Princess also gives great hot stone massages in a clean, tranquil environment at around 30 KD.
Note to tha Newbies, Kuwait’s laws on hygiene in salons aint what you might be used to. You might consider bringing your own tools or a bottle of alcohol to ensure that everything is sterilized.
I go for paraffin wax because it makes your feet so soft. I tried the Elements Spa at the Royal Hayatt Hospital and oooooooh my God it was nice. Prepare to be there for a while, and bring a book or iPod. You will be in for an amazing experience – at the same price as you would pay for a paraffin wax pedicure anywhere else.They give you fresh fruit and tea and scrub your legs and do your toes. O.M.G. The spa is run by Banyan Tree and everything is Thai and tranquil. They also use thai products and paint the wax on your feet (more hygenic than dipping). Royal Hayatt’s main number is 2536-0000 and ask for the spa.
Eden doesn't have the massage pedicure chairs and I'm really picky about that (most places in Kuwait - even the really good quality salons do NOT have massage chairs.) If I'm going to be anywhere for an hour or more having someone to my feet, I've got to have a decent massage chair because I have a bad back (circus sex - let's not go there). Please write to me and tell me of salons with massage chairs for pedicures. The only one I know of is Femme Fatale in Mangaf and the pedicure wasn't that great.
If anyone knows of other salons with massage chairs for pedicures, PLEASE write to me!!
Tan in a Can
Strands – either location. Mary Lou does either spray tanning or the kind that you apply by putting it on like lotion. I’ve had the later: It was like having a massage because first she exfoliates your skin (while you’re on the treatment bed), you go to take a shower, and then you come back and she applies the tan. While you are laying there (lying or laying? Mom?), you can also get your hair deep-conditioned. It is like having a massage and getting tanned all at the same time.
Spray Tan & Tanning Beds
2011 Update: Tantastic in Salmiya does spray tan and also Shelak manicures. Eden has tanning booths.
I had NO IDEA how many Kuwaiti women were getting fake-tanned, but OMG - I sat in Eden getting a mani/pedi and their tanning booth actually overheated! The girls were in and out of there every 15 minutes. I asked if it is a trend and the manicurist told me that Kuwaiti girls don't care about the dangers; they'll come in straight off the beach and ask to use the booth, already read. WTF. There are going to be serious skin cancer issues down the road in Kuwait if someone doesn't step up and educate these girls.
I don't do the "Carnie Ho" look. My friend, Libra, used to work for CNN and does amazing make up. She is an artist with spray make-up to make you look flawless. She can turn you into a ho if that's what you want (heeeeyyyy, no judgement here), but I like the simple, elegant look. Libra: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although not a "pick": Hanan Dashti salons do the Kuwaiti wedding make-up look. Em... not so much for me, but here is her site (and you can also check out photos online): www.hanandashti.com. (Ah, nothing says "blushing bride" better than 10 tons of make-up.)
Semi-Permanent Eyelash Extensions
First, you can get fake eyelashes put on at almost every salon in Kuwait. But - if you want them to last up to 6 months, there is only one person in Kuwait I know that is CERTIFIED to do the procedure - and that is Libra. She does "Extreme Lashes". It is a 2 hour process where you lay/sleep on her massage bed and she applies the lashes one-by-one. (She also has to take them off.)
Ok readers – you are free to comment with your own favorite picks now. I’m sure there are many.