The Best Express Beauty Treatments

Does your pampering take a back seat because you have no time to spare? To help you fit in all your beauty essentials, here are our favourite fast-track beauty treatments to help limit your “dwell time” without compromising on style. Grab a seat, we won’t take long!

Wash, blow and go

Who has the time to sit in a hairdresser’s chair for hours? Change your whole look in under an hour with a visit to one of the many blow-dry bars popping up around the country.

Sorbet Drybar charges just R170 for a 45-minute wash and blow and you can choose between 8 different styles.

Best of all some branches open at 7am so you can pop in before work on a Friday and have bouncy waves for the weekend.

Express beauty: The Cape Town Beauty Bar

The Cape Town Beauty Bar

Based on a New York style express beauty bar, The Cape Town Beauty Bar is the place for executive women-on-the-go and offers a 5-minute trim for R150 or a 10-minute fashion cut for R350 and a 45-minute Signature blow dry (with wash) for R180. Book here.

Lunch time face lift

In only 45 minutes you can turn back the hands of time with a Harmony ClearLift facial and with no tell-tale redness when you return to your desk.

A hit amongst Hollywood A-listers, this virtually painless skin resurfacing laser works 3mm below the outer dermal layer to regenerate skin from within.

The Laser Beautique offers this facial from R1,500 for an eye lift to R5,000 for a face and neck lift.

Express Beauty: Laser Beautique


Hair removal in a hurry

Modelled on New York’s famous walk-in only beauty bars, Soho in Sandton and the V&A Waterfront offers speedy nail, waxing and other beauty treatments. Get a bikini wax in under 30 minutes for R250.

Express beauty: Soho


Life Day Spa in Gauteng and the Western Cape offers 15-minute IPL hair removal sessions for brows, upper lips, cheeks or chin for R350.

Nails in no time

Turn a shop at Woolworths into an express beauty experience with a quick 20-minute mani for R120 or 30-minute pedi for R150 at one of the FoxBox nail kiosks (in selected stores).

Sorbet’s Mini-Me Mani includes a full mani (without exfoliation or massage) in under 30 minutes for R185. Their Mini-Me Pedi also takes 30 minutes and costs R190. If you’re really in a rush, try a Sorbet Quickie – a 15 minute file, buff and paint for R110.

Soho’s Signature Mani or Pedi takes just 30 minutes for R280 and R340 respectively, and Perfect 10 offers a 30-minute express mani or pedi for R150 and R170 respectively.

Eyes in under 15 minutes

You can also have your eyebrows or lashes done in a flash at selected Woolworths stores at Eye Candy Brows, South Africa’s first dedicated threading and lash bar.

Eyebrow threading and a tint takes just 15 minutes and costs R190. It makes an enormous shift in your look, akin to a mini face lift. Even if you just try it once, get your brows done professionally: it’s transformational.

Eye Candy also offers a half set of false lashes for R350 and a full set for R700, in under 45 minutes each.

For beautiful lashes without the faff of extensions, try LVL (that stands for length, volume, lift). Lashes are chemically reshaped at the roots to “lift” upwards then tinted so they look seriously long and luscious for six to eight weeks.

The Urban Beauty Lounge in Cape Town offers an Eyelash Lift that takes 45 minutes and costs R400.

WATCH VIDEO: Learn how to fill in your eyebrows like a pro

Hair treats in 15 minutes

Tried, tested and adored haircare treatment Kérastase Fusio-Dose helps repair, soften, smooth – whatever you need – and takes just 15 minutes.

If you’ve yet to try it, book in at the Saxon Hair Spa in Johannesburg for R400 or any Kérastase-approved salon. We assure you this super-speedy bespoke treat will give your hair what it needs to get healthy shine.

Express beauty: Saxon Spa

Saxon Spa

Skin on the glow

Got a big event coming up but your skin isn’t playing ball? Visit one of several Dermalogica Concept Stores in Johannesburg or Cape Town, for a 20-minute, R310 MicroZone Treatment.

Involving flash exfoliation, extractions or a moisture boost depending on what your skin needs most, this effective no-fuss facial will have you looking radiant by the time you walk out the door.

Express beauty: Dermalogica Concept Store

Dermalogica Concept Store

Perfect 10 Nail and Body studios around the country also offer a fast-fix facial. The Skinderm Discover Living Skin Facial is a 30-minute treatment that instantly refreshes and invigorates tired skin with zero downtime.

Life Day Spa offers an express facial for R390, that doesn’t include face massage or extractions which can leave your skin looking patchy. Great for women on the go.

Another fast-acting facial to try is the Energy Boost Facial, R200, available at Placecol Skin Care Clinics nationwide. This 30-minute facial uses soft laser technology to refresh your skin immediately.

Tan on the run

Let’s face it, self-tanning is pretty darned quick these days. Can’t be bothered to do it yourself? Posh Nail and Beauty in Illovo, Johannesburg offers a flawless 10-minute Fake Bake Spray Tan for R330 (minus the tell-tale orange hands and fake tan smell!)

Make-up in minutes

No time to get ready for an after-work event? Find your nearest MAC store countrywide and go for a Makeup Service in 30 with a professional make-up artist.

Choose between natural or dramatic eyes and lips, perfected skin or sculpted face (contouring). The application takes 30 minutes and comes free if you buy R300 or more worth of products.

Express beauty: Clinique pop up store Braamfontein

Clinique pop up store Braamfontein

Breeze into Clinique’s Braamfontein pop-up shop in Johannesburg and enjoy a selection of free express “You-Time” services under 3 minutes each while sipping on your favourite drink from the juice bar.

Special event? Let Clinique prep your skin with a quick exfoliating treatment or moisture boost, then get your on-trend make-up done by a pro, from contouring, strobing or highlighting your face, to fuller lips, the perfect foundation or a brow and eye makeover.

Walk in feeling frazzled, walk out feeling fabulous – in a matter of minutes.

SEE ALSO: How to get the perfect smoky eye at home


Breakfast Botox

20-30 minutes to take years off your face without surgery? The Liquid Facelift promises just that through facial contouring using Botox and dermal fillers to reduce wrinkles and plump up skin.

Available at Skin Renewal clinics nationwide, the procedure, from R14,000, is not cheap but you can have it done before work or in your lunch break and your colleagues will be none the wiser.

Pearly whites in a flash

A dazzling smile can change your whole face. Get your teeth at least two shades lighter with a PURE Smile treatment, available at dentists around SA.

The 30-minute session costs around R790 and involves wearing a gum guard filled with a natural gel that is activated by an LED light. And you only have to go once a year!

READ MORE: 7 ways to incorporate Turmeric into your beauty routine

Veins be gone

Zap unsightly spider veins or rosacea around your nose and even deeper blue leg veins with an Nd:YAG CoolGlide laser available at Skin Renewal clinics around the country.

Taking only 15-20 minutes per area with immediately noticeable results, each session costs from R1 050 and works on all skin tones without the need for painful injections.

Disclaimer: The information provided within this site is strictly for the purposes of information only and is not a replacement or substitute for professional advice.

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