Things fall through the cracks. You know this about me by now surely from my prefacing every other post with a healthy (and shamefully British) littering of apologies for having taken so long to rattle out a few words on this or that subject. But there it is: I procrastinate, apologise and finally – finally! – squeeze out words on things that I’ve discovered and think worth sharing with you.
The ultimate apology written (a whole paragraph is surely a record even for me), I’ll tell you about the five facials that blew my socks off. Or is it knocked my socks off? Silly idiom, really – surely the only way to get socks off is to tug at them while hopping and swearing? Sorriest of sorries for having somehow managed to eek out yet another meandering few sentences: here are the facials //
A Darphin Facial with Alla at Spa Illuminata / My face is yet to be blessed by the hands of every facialist practising at this huge spa in Mayfair, though I was reliably informed by fellow facial aficionados that Alla is the woman to hit up in this joint. They steered me wisely: she’s a glorious woman who massages firmly, dispenses advice as she goes and offers every skin-beautifying treatment with a side of wisdom. On men, we sniggered together. On skin, we tossed tips back and forth. On celebrities (Alla treats a shedload of A-listers and beauty editors) she stayed woefully mum. She’s great. Go and see her.
Emma Hardie at Urban Retreat / Yes, THE Emma Hardie. It’s rare to find a woman with such a successful skincare brand who is still quite literally so hands on, but Emma enjoys giving facials, learns from her clients and continues to take bookings not only for beauty editors but for anyone who’d care to see her. Her facials are holistic – mine involved breathing into my lower stomach with a bowl placed (precariously, I thought – stomachs are wobbly things) on it to measure the movement proper breath creates, and a whole lot of massage. You’ll leave feeling chilled with glowing skin, though if you’re cash strapped I’d suggest spending your pennies on one of her ace products instead as the effects will last a whole lot longer.
Nichola Joss in Liberty London / If that name doesn’t ring bells let me enlighten you: Nichola pioneered the ‘inside the mouth’ massage that had everyone talking a few years ago for it’s remarkable effect on the cheekbone/jaw area of the face. My facial started with a drink containing Pure Elixir 01 (Nichola is an ambassador), though that was the only internal element – apparently my cheekbones didn’t need thumbs anchored inside my mouth that day. Instead, I was treated to a seriously intense (read: borderline painful) massage that Nichola promised would drain my lymphs, decrease my puff and make my skin look even and healthy. She doesn’t lie, that Joss. Currently Nichola isn’t in residence anywhere, but if you hear she’s popping up at a shop, snaffle an appointment with her before one of her supermodel clients nabs it.
A Murad Facial in The Beauty Rooms in House of Fraser / I went into this with slight apprehension – I’ve often found facials umbrella-d under brand names leave me disappointed. Not so in this case. After a face reading upstairs on the busy shop floor, I was ushered down the escalators to the rather cavernous subterranean beauty rooms. After a (thorough) consultation, I was ‘prescribed’ an AHA Exfoliating facial to encourage brightness and lift areas of pigmentation. Not only did I leave with brighter, more even skin, but I’d also slipped the phone number of the treatment room into my pocket for days when I have an hour to spare on bustling Oxford Street.
The Elemis Biotec Facial at House of Elemis / The word biotec sounds like a silly term designed to baffle but the concept – and results of using this range – are anything but silly. The premise: that skin has energy that wanes when we’re overwhelmed/exhausted. The biotec facial (and skincare range – more on which to follow) is designed to rev up cells, tricking them into behaving youthfully again, thus having a knock-on effect on the appearance of skin. As you can peg the Biotec bit onto any facial (I had mine along with a techie deep cleanse and exfoliation), you can benefit from both whichever overall facial you need and some serious glow thanks to the Biotec action.