As I lay in the dark getting my scalp tousled to Sade’s Smooth Operator playing for the second time, I thought how I should be feeling uncomfortable.

Getting a facial, or any kind of beauty treatment is uncommon for me, as it probably is for most men, and so this was an unusual situation to find myself in.

Yet it is a testament to over 30 years experience that Claire, of the newly opened Blissful by Claire, put me perfectly at my ease.

It helps that I also quite like Sade.

After a week at work, I had come to the salon to try a new experience, with what Claire Stott described as the ‘standard male facial’.

Swindon Advertiser: The reporter arrives at Blissful by Claire

The salon is neat and tidy, the pride and joy of Claire who said how she ripped up the old carpet herself to turn an old office into her dream salon.

There are two treatment rooms on the ground floor, with the one I saw softly lit by candles with a massage bed in the centre.

Swindon Advertiser: One of Claire' treatment rooms

I got underneath the heated towel and waited for the treatment to begin. 

Claire applies lavender oil to my face, which she says is great for skin irritated by shaving, with a head and face massage to follow.

Swindon Advertiser: The lobby of Blissful by Claire

The various Elemis-branded ointments and rubs are sometimes interrupted by a wipe with the hottest cloth I have ever felt being applied to my face.

I often wonder that it must be an unusual job being a beautician. What do they think about while their client slumber in front of them?

Unlike the barber, there is no idle chat - this would seem to ruin the zen atmosphere.

Swindon Advertiser: One of Claire' treatment rooms

“I love giving facials - I find it so relaxing. I do not really think of anything much to be honest”, says Claire.

The Diamond Life CD stops and starts from track one again, and I am now fully relaxed.

New Swindon beauty salon promises exclusive treatments

At one point a face mask is applied - I am assured it is not green. With my eyes covered, and Claire leaving the room, I am left to slowly drift away…

Swindon Advertiser: The reporter feeling fresh after the treatment

But all too soon it is over and I am left to get out from under the towels, back into the world, looking forward to coming back for a back massage.

Blissful by Claire opened on April 2, and is located at 4 Hoopers Place, Old Town, Swindon, SN1 3RA.

Facials start from £50, with Claire also trained in laser teeth whitening, manicures, and many other treatments.