After enjoying me time with treatments at Revel Self-Care Salon, BEN-CARL HAVEMANN emerged feeling revitalised and vibrant.
Taking care of ourselves and investing in our appearance have become even more important in recent times as we emerge from the pandemic. Our health, body image and hygiene are steering us more towards self-grooming and self-care.
But many people, like myself, often don’t have enough time to prioritise this or enjoy the results, as never-ending deadlines loom and new projects and commitments creep their way into calendars every day. So when the opportunity came along to visit a new luxury self-care salon, I immediately cleared my diary on a Friday afternoon for some much-needed ‘me time’.
Founded by Nylde Hoffman and Riëtte Lategan, Revel self-care salon was launched in November 2022 in a 100-year-old house at 15 Krige Street in the centre of Stellenbosch. Both working moms with demand- ing schedules, Nylde and Riëtte had lived in Johannesburg and cities abroad where they experienced salons offering luxury, quality and time efficiency. These salons inspired them to open a similar establishment in Stellenbosch.
Their journey together began three years ago, but the pandemic delayed their dreams for a while. It did, however, provide a glimmer of hope, as during this time the world recognised the positive effects of personal care on self-esteem and social interaction. “We are not reinventing the wheel, but we strive to offer convenience, time efficiency, attention to detail and consistency as part of our service. Our aim is that our loyal customers feel a sense of belonging at Revel,” explains Nylde.
They considered various sites before deciding on their central location, which is a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of Dorp Street. Taking advantage of this prime position, they partnered with Plato Coffee – owned and run by franchisee Thomas Dreyer – to include a coffee bar that is open seven days a week from 6am to 6pm. With a sleek aesthetic and strikingly playful branding, Plato is a fresh and inspiring addition to the cafe and coffee culture in Stellenbosch.
As you enter the salon, the natural minimalist ambience is chic and contemporary, yet warm and welcoming. The interiors were designed by Megan Hesse, co-owner of the award-winning HK Design Studio and Anatomy Design, who created light-filled open- plan areas decorated in soft, neutral tones of beige and stone, with avocado and gold highlights to create the impression of effort- less elegance.
At reception I was greeted by a vibrant woman with a huge smile and a cold glass of crisp Graham Beck Brut MCC. “Welcome to Revel. Are you ready to celebrate you today?” asked the manager, Cokiswa Mashiya – or Coki as she has been called since childhood. According to Nylde and Riëtte, their nail technicians, therapists and stylists form the bedrock of their service business, each hand-selected for their role. They aim to foster a family-like culture where their team of experts can flourish using the latest technologies and best-in-class products.
Born and raised in Stellenbosch, Coki graduated from Isa Carstens Beauty Academy and completed a few tours on international cruise liners before returning to her alma mater’s wellness sanctuary as a therapy supervisor. Today, she has more than 15 years of experience and I was fortunate enough to spend most of my afternoon in her attentive care.
From a long and enticing list of options on the menu, my first choice was a back, neck and shoulder massage, for which Coki used a mixture of grapeseed and essential oils. In just under an hour, she expertly massaged the last of my 2022 worries away and I emerged with a sense of calm and a sprightliness in my step.
As I was getting ready for my next treatment, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the one-month-old salon was brimming with action late on a Friday afternoon. The vibe was electric. At the dry bar a group of friends was getting styled and blow-dried for a wedding that evening, and the nail section was filled with laughter as mothers and daughters were getting last-minute nail treatments and polishes to flaunt on the beach and at sundowners over the holidays.
“Offering people the opportunity to receive a high-quality manicure and pedicure at the same time in under an hour is the core of our service,” says Riëtte. There is also an acute focus on hygiene and Revel is the only salon in South Africa with a medical-grade Embio steriliser, which was imported from Switzerland to clean nail tools between appointments.
My second treatment was a Neo Tissue Dermie facial from QMS Medicosmetics – a dermaceutical brand developed by physicians that focuses on skin-identical collagen and hyaluronic acid for anti-ageing.
Coki explained that from our mid-20s onwards, our bodies produce a diminish- ing amount of collagen. As a result, our skin becomes looser and duller. Collagen is a natural protein in the connective tissue of our skin that makes the skin firm and elas- tic and gives it a stable foundation. If your skin has less collagen, however, you need to restimulate the process of collagen synthesis and add collagen from the inside and outside.
We started off with a two-step cleansing and exfoliation process. After that, deeply hydrating QMS Day Collagen Serum was applied to improve my skin’s appearance,
stimulate cell regeneration and boost the health and vitality of my skin.
The next step was a highlight for me: an algae mask that solidifies on application. This plasticising mask helps with the collagen’s absorption and forms a ‘clone’ of your face that, when removed, highlights the areas that need attention. For the dehydrated lines around my eyes, Coki recommended a QMS Hydro Foam Hydrating Recovery Mask with restorative proteins, revitalising vitamins and soothing botanical oils.
I emerged from the treatment with a smooth, radiant and hydrated face that had a beautiful glow and fewer fine lines. I stepped out into the sunset with a feeling of gratitude, contentedness and the hunch that Revel will be seeing much more of me