Levity and hilarity aren’t words you may readily associate with the South of France. It is a coastline of impossible grandeur, a place where Hollywood royalty married real royalty. It is that fabled, balmy place in which screen legends cavort yearly to celebrate an industry steeped in glamour.
Perhaps it is in part the impossible gravitas of the French Riviera which has sent me into a fit of laughter. Like being told not to make noise in church or at school, I often find myself wanting to behave inappropriately at the times in which I am expected to be at my most appropriate. In any case, there I was in a very beutiful spa in the South of France sniggering profusely as a beautiful Monegasque lady stroked my face with brushes.
Rewinding a little, I was booked in for a Dr. Hauschka Time for Myself facial during my stay at the Radisson Blu 1835 Hotel at their affiliated spa, Thermes Marins de Cannes. My sister had an Anne Semonin Eye Treatment before me and came out bright-eyed and waxing lyrical about the wonders of the treatment (we’d been on a big night out – she was feeling delicate), so I had high hopes.
While she was treated, I sat by the outdoor pool listening to Bruce Willis croon while watching some rather beautiful Russians sun themselves by the seawater pool overlooking the coastline. I overdid it somewhat so opted for a pre-treatment shower to cool down.
Once on the bed, I pretty much fell asleep for the first 20 minutes. It involved a lot of gentle patting of the skin with herbal waters which felt very soothing and fit for the purpose of calming skin that had been over-exposed to the sun.
I was rather enjoying myself out of the glare of the sun before the paintbrushes came out. With them also came an intense look of serenity from the deliverer as I peeked through my lashes to see what the devil was going on. I realised she really was brushing my face with make-up brushes – I think the intention was gentle exfoliation.
At first I sniggered internally, but then I could not help but recall the incident in Friends where Ross massages a man with cooking utensils and I suddenly found myself guffawing in a most unladylike fashion. It wasn’t very Grace Kelly, and I thank my lucky stars there was a language barrier so I didn’t have to explain myself – I just apologised profusely.
I left the treatment with a glowing and soothed complexion. I’d have both these treatments again after sun exposure or to nourish tired complexions but, if you want a treatment to really impact your skin, these won’t do it for you.