Editor’s pick: the 24-carat gold facial at Gold Dust Beauty Lounge, Canggu
Nothing says opulence quite like the unnecessary use of gold. A gold showerhead flooding streams of San Pellegrino from a gold water tank, 22-inch gold rims on shiny gold Rolls Royce, a bowl of faux gold fruit sitting on a gold coffee table in front of an 82-inch gold cased LED LCD TV….It’s the sort of carry on we expect from Kanye West or the Sultan of Brunei, not from level headed beings who function in the real world, watch the news every once in a while and get the concept of balance.
So it’s with some level of trepidation and cynicism that us normal beings view the concept of a 24 carat gold facial. Surely it’s a gimmick? Surely the only benefit we get is a finance induced adrenalin rush? The kind you might get when handed the keys to a newly purchase private jet. Surely we won’t actually walk out of the salon glowing like we’re 3 months pregnant and boasting pores like – wait, what pores?
Well surely you will believe us when we crush your misconceptions to smithereens and tell you that the verdict is in: having your face coated in fine paper sheets of perfectly shimmering gold is not only all sorts of decadent, it’s also 110% necessary. It’s the fast track to the face you have always imagined to be buried deep below your weathered, imperfect layers, but never thought you would actually see.
Getting a facial in Bali
Bali often gets a bad wrap in the facial department. Ten points on the massage front, 5 star for their mani pedis, but for anything face related, the general assertion is that the products used are cheap and nasty, the unpurified water does more harm than good, and most of the therapists are not sufficiently trained. Whilst this might be true for many places, there are a few gems that could challenge the world’s finest. Best of all, they offer a full spectrum of procedures for a fraction of the usual price. So how do we decipher the good from the bad? Only go somewhere that someone trustworthy has vouched for. And we – the unquestionably trustworthy team at inBali – can wholeheartedly vouch for Gold Dust Beauty Lounge in Canggu.
All that glitters at Gold Dust, Canggu
Opened in August 2013, Gold Dust is ray of sunshine for those seeking a little more than a $5 rubdown from their travel pamperings. In fact, sunshine is more than just whimsical metaphor. Aside from a rainbow of OPI nail polishes, everything in the salon is a hue of yellow or gold; the pillows, the mirrors, the staff’s uniforms, the nail files, the towels, the flowers at the front door and scattered up the stairs. It literally feels as though you are opening the door to a beauty parlour inside the sun.
The low down on the 24 carat gold facial
The 24 carat gold facial is the signature experience on the extensive Gold Dust menu. It’s hard to articulate a full analysis on the experience; somewhere after wash, exfoliate, tone, moisturise, wash, steam, scrub, scrape, things get a little hazy. Some bits hurt, but it’s the ripping-off-a-Band-Aid kind of hurt – you know it’s essential and the end result will be a better version of you.
The actual application of the gold feels like you are getting ready for a fancy dress party – one that you’re attending dressed as a winning Wonka chocolate bar. Folds of paper are unwrapped, revealing delicate sheets of gold fibers so shiny you can see your reflection in them. The gold sheets are then applied to the face and the paper is peeled off, leaving you to marvel at your new found fanciness, if only for a few minutes while you peel open an eye and check yourself out in the (gold – of course) mirror.
So you will walk out with a radiant glow and the experience is lovely – but what are the real benefits? According to Gold Dust, this seemingly new experience is actually about 5,000 years old and was originally enjoyed by Cleopatra, who would sleep in a gold mask almost every night. It’s hard to say if she knew just how much her skin was relishing the experience, but these days we’ve worked out that applying gold to skin restores the elasticity of tissues, act as an anti-inflammatory for problem skin, promotes blood circulation, creates a rapid reproduction of cells, brings the depletion of collagen to a halt, and the list goes on.
If you have been intrigued by the gold facial concept but haven’t yet dabbled, Bali is the perfect place to indulge your curiosity. Just avoid falling head over heels – with gold facials sitting around the $300 mark in Australia, it’s hardly an addiction you want to take back home and add to your weekly beauty regime (unless you’re that person with the San Pellegrino shower). The gold leaf facial at Gold Dust is almost a third of the price, costing 1.2 million IDR (about $AU110) for the full one hour and 40 minute treatment.
Gold Dust beyond their signature dish
Above being exceptionally friendly and talented in their field, the therapists at Gold Dust adhere to all the protocols required to make a beauty treatment the epitome of relaxation – complete silence except for a few instructive whispers and 100% attentiveness during every minute of the treatment. For those who’ve experienced the old “one-handed-massage” (the other hand is busy typing a text message or eating an apple), you will understand just how imperative this is. Anything short of the Gold Dust way can see you walking out of your treatment more enraged than relaxed.
If tight pores and a holiday glow aren’t on your Yes Please list, Gold Dust is still completely worthy of your time. Lap up a full body Moor Mud massage, a Thermal Volcanic Stone session, a nourishing hair spa and blow dry, or any one (or five) of their other muscle melting, stress busting treatments.
Booking in and getting there
Gold Dust is conveniently located just up from Old Man’s, two streets south of the road that leads to Echo Beach. Next to Gold Dust, you’ll find the newly opened Crate Café where you can grab a hearty sourdough breakfast pre-treatment. A few doors further sits the bungalow of Betelnut Café that can nourish your insides post nourishing your outsides. Try the raw gado gado, homemade lentil patty burger or any of their super smoothies complete with cashew nut butter, ginseng, honey, flaxseed and macca root. The perfect way to end your day or rejuvenation.