Sumita Nandy is the best advert for her own spa: an astonishing three decades in the high-end skin care and treatment business makes you think she must’ve started when she was still in diapers. But no, she assures me, she really has got that much experience and expertise under her belt, and all of it is accessible for both men and women at her Reigate spa, Anise.
Sumita, who grew up in Malaysia and Singapore but is a longstanding Reigatian, started Anise in 2015 after selling her global brand Tulsi. She was looking for the next thing to do – skincare is her love and passion, so she knew it would be in that area – but then realised she wanted to “create a space that was a perfect East- West fusion; that felt warm, welcoming, casual, not at all clinical, but offers up to date formations and treatments. Because good skin, and feeling good in your skin, is so important to confidence and vitality. I see that every day.”
Anise offers the top level formations from producers such as Pevonia, or Algologie whose oils contain seaweed extracts collected on the pristine coastline of Brittany, as well as her own blends (oh yes, Sumita is also a clinical aromatherapist). “I like to make gingery, spicy, warm, Balinese scents that relax and revitalise,” she says, “especially for our body wraps. After all, if you’ve got your facial regime right, it’s wonderful to have the body skin matching!”
But she’s keen to stress that Anise’s wellness programmes and consultations are not just for women. “More and more men are becoming interested in this area of life. Thirty percent of our clients are male, and we see more every month, probably because we have an environment that feels contemporary and modern as well as a particular approach to helping each person get the skin they are going to feel great in. It’s not about ‘not ageing’. We all age. It’s about doing so wonderfully!”
And how does Sumita help people get a skin care regime that works? “First off,” she says, “we talk about what you’re using already. I don’t think it helps to tell people to throw everything out and start again: that’s overwhelming and everything you do in life has to be sustainable, including skin care. So I’d add one or two products at first that a client can take away, and then customise as we see the results happening.” Those results have led to her winning The British Beauty and Spa awards and being a nominee over 25 times – and to her being a well-respected face on the global wellness programme lecture circuit. All in all, Sumita’s in demand.
Globetrotting and globe influencing, Sumita has had her home in Reigate for 25 years, in part because her husband was from the area, but also because “Reigatians are a special breed,” she says, laughing. “We’re between two major airports, and we all like travelling. We’re not limited in our outlook, we’re into new things, and we’re into quality. It’s a very social town, and a great eating out town, but you have the mix of beautiful countryside right on your doorstep. Our children were educated here and the schools are great. I love it.”
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