When the first thing you see when you step into a spa room is a sealed bag of tools that resemble dental instruments, you can’t help but be taken aback. At least that was my reaction when I entered Bastien Gonzalez’s private studio at The St. Regis Singapore’s Rèmede Spa.
Known as the International-Pedicurist to celebrities, athletes and the well-heeled, Bastien Gonzalez is a Paris-trained podiatrist who has pioneered waterless foot, nail and hand treatments. Interestingly, water is deliberately absent because it masks the actual condition of the nails and skin.
Having trained and appointed a dedicated team of podiatrists all around the world — sending them to the spas of some of the finest hotels to perform these one of a kind services — Gonzalez’s magical touch has reached thousands of people. And, like myself, we are the better for it, as I was about to find out.
The tools, I learnt when I sat down on a chair that looked like one you’d see in a dentist clinic, are sterilised before each treatment. After a brief analysis of your hands and feet by respective therapists, the eight-step indulgence begins. That is, after you’re served a warm drink of choice and a plate of handmade chocolates to settle you in.
The beautiful art about Bastien’s Duo — a mani-pedi treatment — is that at any one time, there are two therapists working their magic fingers in a flurry over yours; almost in the same beat, and at the same step. This means that when your nails are trimmed with the use of a clipper tool kit, it happens simultaneously on your right foot and hand. When your nails move on to shaping — a key part of the process that does away with the conventional textured board in favour of a glass file — both therapists file away in fervour.
“The beautiful art about Bastien’s Duo — a mani-pedi treatment — is that at any one time, there are two therapists working their magic fingers in a flurry over yours; almost in the same beat, and at the same step.”
You’d be mistaken to assume, too, that a glass nail file would cause odd sensations. In fact, the material is selected specifically for hygienic purposes, and because the vibrations actually serve to strengthen your nails.
At this point, I forgot about that bag of tools, blissed out as I was. But the third tool, a toe nail drill, brought me right back to the chair. Regarding it with trepidation, I had no idea what my therapists, Chithra and Avigne, planned to do with it. Fortunately, the seemingly menacing machine was meticulously applied to the surface of my nails, removing superficial layers damaged by polish or trauma; leaving chip-free horns in its wake. It was also pain-free.Fchi
Having overcome the initial fear and apprehension, the rest of the treatment time was a breeze. Not even a metal stick gouge used to remove cuticle excesses; or a scalpel to remove dead skin, or even another drill to smooth out the work done by the concave chisel, succeeded in reviving any frisson of fear in me.
Then came the final part of the therapists’ tool work which is, perhaps, the most crucial step of all. During my session, I learnt that almost everyone who comes in to do Bastien’s Pedicure or Manicure treatments often leave without any polish on their fingers. Something that’s unheard of at any other nail studio. But wielding two types of buffers used to prepare the nail plate for the last round of buffing, followed by a horn buffer fitted with chammy leather and a dash of buffing cream, both Chithra and Avigne restored my nails to a healthy, blush pink shine. Like a French mani-pedi, but au naturel.
“Almost everyone who comes in to do Bastien’s Pedicure or Manicure treatments often leave without any polish on their fingers. Something that’s unheard of at any other nail studio.”
The perfect end to an unforgettable experience was a four-hand massage as both women rubbed, kneaded, pulled and pressed my extremities to stimulate good blood flow, optimal volume in the fatty parts and a replete sense of satisfaction. As I sat upright and swung my legs below me, I curled my toes and hands in and thought, my nails never looked so good.
Where:Remède Spa at The St Regis Singapore
Remède Spa at The St. Regis Singapore,
29 Tanglin Road, Singapore 247911
Phone: +65 6506 6896