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The venue: Sisters Beauty Lounge, The Dubai Mall.

The treatment: Margy’s Monte Carlo Botox Effect Facial.

What we liked: It’s no secret what attracted me to this facial — it’s in the name. While I’m not ready to get my face frozen by Botox just yet, the idea of taut, smoother skin is very appealing. So off I went to the surprisingly busy branch of this chain salon. Be warned, this place is hidden away but very full even on a weekday, so booking in advance is a must.

The facility itself is good and the treatment rooms clean, tidy and professionally equipped. My facialist has been working with the Margy’s Monte Carlo luxury skincare line for a couple of years, so I was in safe hands (for the most part).

The facial focuses on a deep cleansing, and multiple layers of antioxidants and hydration. When I say layers, I mean layers. It’s 90 minutes of pure skincare — long, intensive massages that get the blood flowing, masks made up of real algae and collagen, steaming, serums and more.

Part of the Botox effect seems to come from the massage itself, as it plumps up the skin, filling out fine lines and making it look more toned and lifted. The other half comes from the high-quality ingredients used in the massage. Nothing was too intense or tingly, except for one serum used at the end that sealed everything in and seemed to have a tightening effect. Was it like real Botox? Probably not. But if you want to look radiant, poreless and smooth before an important event without a needle in your face, this would work a charm.

What we didn’t like: I felt the facialist was too intense with the extractions. Since I trusted her expertise, I didn’t put up too much of a fuss at some really painful bits, but I wish I did. Even though there were markedly fewer clogged pores on my face, I was left with redness and scabbing on spots that had been harder to extract.

Go for: An intensely hydrating and plumping experience.

The details: Dh790 for the Margy’s Botox Effect Facial.