It is a torture to live in Vienna. At least when it comes to everything beauty and facial related. The hairdressers are mediocre and expensive, for a spotless manicure you pay three times as much as in Moscow and your facial will never be as high-tech as anywhere else on the planet. So here are my experiences with Institute Chenot, Moser Milani & Dr. Barbor.
The Holy Grail of Facials: Institute Chernot
After years of disappointment the Countess Metternich (who really has the best skin out there) told me to see Frau Hiebl at Institute Chenot in Salzburg. That’s what I did last year. And I must say, it was love. True love. Not only did I pay a humble € 89 for 90 minutes and the treatment of my life, it was also super super cosy and nothing but pleasant. The staff at the institute not only cleans your face manually (old school), but also applies masks and uses electricity to open your lymphs and close your pores (starting as low as your armpits, which allows for proper drainage). They can tell what kind of problems you might be experiencing with your organs just by looking and softly touching your face. The institute really is all about a holistic approach and seeing the different dependencies within the body. For them beauty isn’t only the creams we use. They might recommend tea (in my case it was for my pancreas). Or even supplements. Of course, they only use organic products for your skin. And of course you will leave that place with the skin of a newborn. So after this experience I wasn’t very hopeful to find anything remotely as good as this experience in Vienna, so I hesitated until this week. After doing some research for medical facials I ended up (again) with Moser Milani. The reason I opted for Moser Milani was, as always, TATLER. The recent issue covers beauty treatments. Being in my thirties (I feel like a hundred in social media years) I was hoping for the high tech glow I got at the Institute Chenot and so I booked an appointment with the only medical spa I know: Moser Milani.
Worst Customer Service: Moser Milani
When phoning the spa, I already asked the lady in advance if I could choose the treatment on the spot as I wanted to get a consultation first. I wanted to try microdermabrasion or perhaps something else. Or a combination. In the past I only booked classic facials without much fuss. Now I want to step up my game. Needling, radio frequency facial, whatever. Just give me back my collagen. Upon arriving 5 (!) minutes late (well, being an entrepreneur that happens) I was immediately led into the cabin. There I was confronted with the fact that I was 16 minutes late. I was quite surprised and showed the lady my iPhone and said “It’s now 6 minutes past and it’s the most accurate atom watch, so please chill.” The unfriendly lady told me that she cannot consult me or do a proper treatment under these time constraints, so she can only offer me a quick fix. I came in the hope of a high-tech treatment, perhaps something 90 minutes long and would have been happy to pay for it. But now I was asked to get a quick fix? I replied – still very friendly – that I am very time constrained and I don’t need another stress level such as this in my life, and frankly I do not care if the 5 and 6 o’clock appointment have to wait 6 minutes. If they don’t get their booking right, not my problem. When she explained that she would have plenty of time tomorrow so I should come back tomorrow, I left. I will not work around the schedule of some mediocre spa. Not in this life.
The Desaster: Dr. Barbor
Desperate for a microdermabresion I called the closest option to my home, Dr. Barbor, which is located in Vienna’s 1st district. I arrived 1 minute early and was asked to take a seat. And I would not leave this seat for another 15 minutes. It was ok, as I read WOMAN magazine where I discovered two beautiful jewelry pieces in their spring edition, which you can buy on BOULESSE. When finally being asked to step into the cabin I felt quite relaxed and in peace with the world. The apprentice took off my make up with a wet towel which smelled like it had been in use for far too long. I ignored it as I wanted it to be an excellent experience. I really hoped. So she finally started with the vacuum machine with a diamond front which peels your face well. No magic attached. Only a proper 5 minute peeling. After the short, very short, procedure she applied a collagen mask, left me to relax in the cabin and came back to do my eyebrows. Not being blessed with Cara Delevingne brows, every single hair counts in shaping my face. As we all know eyebrows are ESSENTIAL to create harmony in one’s face. When she started plugging I asked her to only plug what was absolutely necessary and not to shape them as they are too delicate. When leaving the dark cabin and passing by a mirror on my way to the cashier, I almost burst into tears. She plugged 1/3 of the upper eyebrow! I wanted to hold myself back and said: “Well, that was not great, you plugged far too much from my eyebrow!” to which she replied: “It wasn’t me! IT WAS NOT ME!”
I was devastated. Not only did I pay € 89 for a treatment with zero effect. The same which I could have done at home myself. She made it impossible for me to leave the house without drawing on eyebrows and all she has to say is: “IT WAS NOT ME.” I asked her: “Who was it then? The cat?” She said: “Maybe you came like that.” I was furious as I hadn’t touch them for weeks (not that it matters as you can see barely anything).
I am planning to go to Salzburg in April to see the Institute Chenot. Obviously you have to travel far in this land. But when you do that, oh trust me, it is absolutely worth it.
Stay elegant (even with badly plugged eyebrows)