Nataliya Robinson has a new home. The quiet studio a five minute meander off the King’s Road was Nataliya’s reason for inviting me back for a second facial. My reason for accepting was rather less professional and more self-serving – I wasn’t all that curious about the new decor; my skin was just craving more of her attention.
You may have noticed I rarely write a second review of a treatment with a facialist already listed, which is not to say I don’t return to those I’ve liked, simply that they have meted out a second facial that would require my covering old ground again were I to write about it at length.
Nataliya, however is another story – as well-versed in high-tech gadgetry as she is in uses of culinary ingredients on the skin, her facials and advice are all drawn from an exceedingly deep pool of knowledge and thus are different with each encounter. Not only had the room changed during my recent visit, but everything she did on me was new – no old ground was covered, no advice regurgitated. This time round, Nataliya applied a cocktail of herbal exfoliants that ate at my dead skin for days after my visit, leaving me better skin that lasted a whole lot longer than the usual post-facial three day glow.
I noted down her advice – this is specifically for my skin (sensitive and spot-prone), though may give an insight into the kind of tidbits you’d take away //
– Apply a mask weekly of egg whites with a squeeze of lemon to brighten, exfoliate and lift any dark patches left by spots.
– If you have a spot, apply a little alcohol-free men’s shaving foam – they pack that stuff with every conceivable calming agent so it works wonders.
– Add cinnamon to morning porridge to help reduce PCOS symptoms and take borage oil supplements.
And here is some of her more general advice on skin that emerged during our conversation //
– Never steam sensitive skin – it brings redness to the surface and can increase sensitivity.
– Acne should always be treated as sensitive skin and never stripped.
– Pores are muscles and exercise is very good for their appearance. The best form is walking briskly to boost the immune system while allowing them to gain benefits from fresh air and movement without any up and down motion that can lead to sagging.
– Botox should be approached with caution – despite it freezing the area (hopefully) intended, it can really change the character of a face over time and always damages the cells sitting around the area of the botox, thus causing a knock-on damage effect requiring ever more botox.
I’ll finish with a description of the new quarters as Nataliya is justifiably proud of them and they were, after all, the ostensible reason for my visit. On a little cobbled mews south of the King’s Road, the rooms are at once cosy and clinical – a hard line to walk. Nataliya has achieved the balance by sticking to classic: off white walls, Penhaligon’s bottles lining the shelves, black and white prints and, at the heart of the operation, a sumptuous bed upon which, if you’re lucky, you’ll lie for a good hour while she makes everything on your face good again.