Iconique Gateway Review: The Hidden Costs of a PHP 500 Facial

I recently came across an enticing Facebook ad for Iconique Gateway, a beauty spa offering a basic facial for PHP 500. Attracted by the promotion, I decided to give it a try and booked an appointment.

Eager to make the most of my day, I arrived an hour early, only to find two other women in their 60s waiting to be serviced. Despite their earlier appointments, they had been waiting for a significant time, a situation that foreshadowed my own experience.

The delay was frustrating. What was supposed to be a 11 AM appointment turned into a two-hour wait, and I finally received my service at 1 PM. In total, I spent four hours at the clinic.

We politely inquired about the delay several times, but the staff simply repeated that they were having an internal meeting. It was frustrating because if they knew they had a meeting scheduled, why were appointments booked during that time?

During my wait, I conversed with the two other women, both of whom had invested in expensive packages—one costing PHP 50,000 and the other PHP 100,000. Their stories were disheartening. Both felt dissatisfied with the services and regretted their decision, but felt compelled to use the packages they had already paid for. They also expressed frustration over the delays, which mirrored my own experience.

When it was finally my turn, the staff conducted a deep skin test using a machine, followed by an explanation of my skin condition and a pitch for various services. Their presentation was compelling, and had it been my first time hearing such a pitch, I might have felt pressured to say yes, despite the high costs.

They offered me packages ranging from PHP 50,000 to a staggering PHP 999,999. The persistence of their sales tactics was overwhelming, with one staff after another trying to persuade me to buy the package.

For a complete list of services and prices, you can contact Iconique Gateway or head over to their branch at Gateway 2 Cubao. They might even have information available online!

Fortunately, I was able to resist the pressure, but I worried about those who might not be as firm in their resolve.

The actual basic facial, priced at PHP 500, was underwhelming. It included a diamond peel, but it was done so quickly that I doubted its effectiveness. There was no pricking or deep cleaning, and the entire session felt rushed, as if they wanted to finish quickly and persuade me to upgrade to a more expensive service. I left feeling disappointed and regretted the four hours wasted.


Tips for Navigating Beauty Spa Offers

  1. Look for red flags: Does the ad seem too good to be true? Are there limited details about the services offered? Be wary of promotions that heavily emphasize discounts without clear explanations of what’s included.
  2. Be Wary of Online Promotions: Always approach online ads with caution. Promotions are often designed to get you in the door and upsell you on expensive packages.
  3. Do Your Research: Before committing to any beauty spa services, research and compare different clinics. Look for reviews and ask for recommendations from trusted sources.
  4. Learn to Say No: Sales tactics can be very persuasive, making it difficult to refuse offers. Remember, you are under no obligation to purchase anything beyond what you initially intended.
  5. Consider the Scheduling: Be mindful of potential delays and overbooking. Even with an appointment, you might end up waiting for hours, which can be especially frustrating if you have a tight schedule.
  6. Know Your Worth: You deserve to feel beautiful without being pressured into expensive treatments that may not be necessary. Ensure you are getting value for your money and that the services meet your expectations.
  7. Beware of Upsell Tactics: Basic services are often used as a gateway to pitch more expensive packages. If the initial service is unsatisfactory, think twice before upgrading.
  8. Check credentials: Make sure the staff is properly trained and licensed. A reputable spa will be upfront about their team’s qualifications.
  9. Transparency is key: Before booking any service, ask detailed questions about the procedures, products, and expected results. A good spa will happily address your concerns.
  10. Reviews are your friends: Read online reviews from a variety of sources, but don’t take them as gospel. Look for common themes and use them as a starting point for your research.

Final Thoughts

My experience at Iconique Gateway was a mixed bag of high-pressure sales tactics and disappointing service. While the promotional offer might seem attractive, it’s crucial to stay vigilant and make informed decisions. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you urgently need something that you’re unsure about. Beauty treatments should be a pleasant and fulfilling experience, not a source of regret and financial strain.

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