That look in the mirror

M&W: a place to unwind and pamper yourself.

M&W: a place to unwind and pamper yourself.  

THERE IS the pressure to look good. You'll get the attention and folks might even think you are intelligent. The pressure's all over the place and that is why the beauty salons — they do things to your eyes, nose, ears, face. They'll put your body in place — to help you get somewhere close to the desirable attributes "Today's men and women are very conscious of how they should appear wherever they are," Sonia Vohra, who runs Mirrors & Within (M&W), the beauty salon at the Leela Galleria, Leela Palace, said.

Cosy ambience

M&W is unisex and offers you the right privacy for your manicure. Tucked away in a cute corner of the Palace, the salon spread over 2,400 square feet takes care of your hair and skin, gives you a bridal package if you are ready for marriage, and a natural treatment in case you like tradition. It will care for your nails too, not just paint them, but fix the right pearls. And it has a mix of treatments — modern and traditional — to bring about an earthy look.

Get groomed

Boys of 16 years and elderly men of 80 and girls of 16 and women of 50 come here. But people in the 30s and 40s are the more worked - up — about looks.

"There is this need in both men and women working and non-working. The latter are higher in number. And women are a shade higher among our clientele," says Sonia.

The women look at overall grooming — facials and hair trim, given limitations of time, and the men, who come in every three weeks, (which is the case at the other three Salons Sonia runs with her sister Nandini Alva in the city) do so for hair-cuts. But massages are a favourite.

They also look at facials, manicures, and pedicures. Elderly men look for treatment of nails and women get their nails not just painted, but even have pearls on them, all on an exclusive nail bar.

The middle-aged come here to de-stress all right, but they worry also about grooming — they're looking for the appeal. Sonia has a take on the Indian woman, and by that logic, on the beauty industry. "There is not much reconstruction to be done on the Indian woman. She has that earthy look about her that makes her naturally beautiful, probably the most beautiful in the world. She is also sharp featured. The South East Asian woman is more flat featured, a reason why the beauty industry there works three or four times the pace here. This does not mean that we do not do reconstruction at all." Men perhaps would like to look relaxed, earthy and toned up.

But does one have to look good to connect? And more salons would mean more pressure to look good? "But beauty is a trend all over the world. We address that alright, but we look at de-stressing too," says Sonia.

Designed by Sandeep Khosla, you can get to see "brush steel furniture, velvet sofas, walls coated with Oikos paint from France, soothing pastel shades of peach and sage green with special pearly finish, mood lighting, a reception area that has custom-made Italian Bizazza tiles cut in small chips, floors with stone finish imported from Spain" and lighted mirrors — all of which make for an amiable ambience for the body makeover.


The treatment rooms located behind the main salon area ensure privacy. M&W also offers "video games for children to amuse themselves while getting their hair cut and styled". The equipment used here is imported from the U.K., Germany, and China, which means you get the latest in the world of manicure.

Efficient staff

Sonia Vohra and Nandini Alva have trained in skin treatment and make-up and have studied salons around the world, a reason why M&W has on offer services that are international. Owners of the Midori chain of beauty salons, the sisters have been in the beauty business for over a decade. Nandini Alva is a qualified scientific skincare expert from Christine Valmy School, New York, has diplomas in Cosmetology, Aromatherapy, and professional make-up from the London School of Makeup. Sonia Vohra is a qualified skin esthetician from the Christine Valmy School, New York, and has diplomas in Advanced Makeup, Aromatherapy, and laser skincare.

The professional training explains why M&W has trained in-house staff. The staff get to go through refresher courses conducted by visiting international hair specialists. L'Oreal conducted one such course recently. And all products are up-dated.

Given its location at the Leela Palace, M&W has clientele coming from Whitefield, Airport Road, and Diamond district areas. In case you'd like to look yourself in the mirror and "get the feel of a spa in a salon", M&W is open seven days a week between 9:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m..

Treatment highlights

M&W: a place to unwind and pamper yourself.

M&W: a place to unwind and pamper yourself.  

Fresh-fruit facials

Hair colouring and styling by staff trained at L'Oreal.

Aroma therapy

Use of Ayurvedic massage oils

Exclusive bridal packages


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