Monday, May 4, 2009

Of high brows, beauty, and YLG

I first set foot in a beauty parlour some ten years ago. I had been fortunate to inherit the right feature from the right parent except for that one thing which I got from pop. I didn’t realize it was a big deal until I came to college and started seeing beautifully shaped bows for brows. I wondered at their perfection. Some curved like arrows, some straight as a line, some so thin they were almost not there, some simply too perfect – but all of them with one thing in common. They looked beautiful on the faces where they belonged. Then somebody, I think my sister, let me in on the secret. “Idiot, they are not natural natural”, she said. “You can get them too!” Wow, I can? My long association with the parlours must have begun then. For the next ten years or so till now, I had been religiously keeping my appointments with them in search of that elusive eye brow.

I must have frequented over twenty parlours and salons by now at various times – different cities, different brands, different aunties! But yet, I have never found one which I wanted to stick to. There had always been a better one, recommended by someone, than the one I frequented and off I went to experience that. All in the quest towards high brows and beauty.

So naturally when Shalini of Galvanise emailed me asking if I would be interested in experiencing the services of a new beauty salon that has recently been started in Bangalore, I readily said yes. The said salon and spa, YLG, a client of Galvanise, was inviting women bloggers from Bangalore to try its services and write about their true experiences. In turn, the ladies would get to indulge themselves for three hours at the salon without any rupees attached to it. Seemed like a good offer to me so we quickly fixed an available time slot on the first of May for me to visit their branch at Jayanagar.


Before telling you about my experience, here’s some background on them. YLG salon and spa was launched early this year and aims to become the neighborhood salon of Bangalore. They even want to become a national chain in the next five years. This all women salon and spa is differentiating itself through its strong emphasis on personalization – seems they have a robust backend IT system where customer data is captured allowing the customer to be recognized at any of their branches across the city. Hmm, sounds like a plan.

May first was a Labour Day holiday and I had an entire day all for myself to spend as I wish. I was looking forward to my appointment at YLG at eleven. The Jayanagar branch was easy enough to locate after a phone call – they are right opposite Bhavani bangle stores at fourth block. The moment I walked in, I was greeted by its cheerfully made up interiors – bright and inviting. After spending ten minutes with an attendant who profiled my skin and hair, we decided on an Aglow Facial and Hair Bio Spa for me. Ha, indulgence, here I come.

While we waited for my service room to be set up, I quizzed the attendant on why YLG is different. Of all the things that she explained, the one thing that struck me as a bargain is one of their membership/offer schemes. There are two kinds of membership – Gold and Gold Plus and then there is per service unlimited offer price. The Gold is like any other membership where a bouquet of services is included with unlimited usage per year. Gold Plus includes ALL of their services, unlimited usage (as frequent as everyday if you want!) of any service, and validity of a year. That seemed very interesting to me until I heard its price point. Uh-uh, not for me! So finally I turned to their per service offer and decided I might even go for one. It’s beautifully priced like a fixed price bid! Pay 10 times the one-time cost of a service and use it as much as you want in a year. For instance, if my SIL gets a facial done once every month, it will make twelve times per year. With this offer, she would need to pay for just 10 months and what’s more, she can use it for more than 12 times! This is amazing, especially for services like hair coloring, trimming, hair spa, etc. where you might want to visit a parlour many many times a year.

I opted to start with the Aglow facial for my three hours of indulgence. Like all facials, this one too had the regular round of cleansing, scrubbing, removal of heads :D, toning, massaging and stuff. But one thing that was different was their use of an ultrasonic machine to treat the face – I’m not sure what that’s for but am guessing it is to improve the blood circulation in the face! And the face and neck massage was something to die for! Oh man, did the attendant know what she was doing or what? At the end of one hour, I was almost asleep and floating in the dream world of words and letters writing my soon-to-be-published short story collection!

The Hair Bio Spa, the next thing on schedule, is a simple procedure where the hair is washed, hydrated, massaged and steamed. This one had one of their breakthrough services (or so they claim) called Chromosteam - a way of head massage which includes strengthening of hair roots and nourishing the scalp through light radiation and steam. Though there was nothing noticeably different about my hair after this (being that my hair is quiet ok already!), I did feel good to have someone else shampoo it for me for a change!

Overall, I liked visiting YLG. But the best thing I liked about their entire service is the willingness of the service attendants to explain what they were doing when I asked them. Many a times, in my previous experiences at other places, the attendants were never forthcoming about their actions or the products they used – almost as if they were afraid of me noting it down to do it myself next time instead of coming to them. That used to put me off. But the folks at YLG were nice in that respect – they did not fear letting me know what exactly they were going to do next to me. Transparency. I liked it.

YLG does not exactly stand for anything. But it may be, may be an acronym for “you look great”, “you look gorgeous”, or ”you look good”. It all depends on how you feel once you are out of there. I did feel good.

Oh ya, before I sign off, I just loved their Jayanagar branch. One side of the salon’s wall was made of transparent glass and overlooked the Jayanagar street below. And more beautiful were the two big trees that stood outside providing green cover. This washed the entire parlour in soft natural light making it look calm, bright, expansive, and yet chic. Very nice unlike the other parlours where one starts feeling claustrophic with the limited space and artificial lighting.

11 comments:

popsie said...

YLG - Sounds and seems like a nice place. Btw rarely do people have naturally shaped beautiful eyebrows. Such individuals rather avoid getting them done cos once you start you are done for life. This is coming from personal experience. :P

Btw like the way you write! Keep the posts coming. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Koramangala..
Its not true they are using reused waxers and not even asking the skin type ...
After getting membership there treatment and behaiviour is so rude.
So better dont take any membership with them .
:(

VJ said...

Hi Anonymous...

That's terrible about YLG Koramangala. Did you try to bring it to the notice of the Management? you can mail them at sagarika@ylg.co.in

Maybe it is just that branch or some particular staff who is behaving like that...?

VJ said...

@Popsie - Thank you for your encouragement :)

Happy said...

hi
you write up is very informative.could you suggest a stylist for a good hair cut in bangalore...i prefer someone not too expensive but does the job :)
I like the picture you have attached.

Angela said...

The staff at the YLG in koramangala are rude and so unhelpful.

They deducted a large sum of money twice from my bank account and are refusing to refund it saying that it is already in my bank account when i have checked my statement 100 times and have called my bank up many times.

I am not the only one to have this problem. There are at least 10 people who have had a similar issue and they still do nothing about it.

They need to close that branch or place new management

Anonymous said...

For hair cuts, you can ask for Selvi in YLG, whitefield. She is just awesome. She gave me a hair cut I have never had in life and in any city.

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Anonymous said...

Is there any particular stylist you would recommend for the ylg in jayanagar?

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