Facing Facts | facial review

For years I’ve been iffy about facials…mostly thinking I didn’t need them in spite of endless beauticians and spa therapists telling me of their efficacy.   A visit to Eve Lom years ago changed my mind, because here was a woman who not only understood what appeared on your face, but also what was going on inside your head, which, in fact can have a direct result on what you show to the world.  So for years I resolved to see no-one except her…but with the amount of time I spent travelling, and the difficulty (and waiting list) to see her…I allowed facials to get to the back of the queue of what I thought I needed.  Miss know-all here thought if she kept her face clean and moisturised that would do…and mostly it will.  However as time went by and because a lot of new developments and techniques appeared on the scene I decided to give the facial another go.

I now try to have a facial on a reasonably regular basis (every 4-8 weeks) and I think my skin is grateful for the attention. I am still searching for the true EL replacement so consequently have been lucky to try a number of different treatments. Some are good but more are merely competent and still highlight many of my original reservations about facials.

My particular beefs are:

  •  therapists who don’t give your skin a thorough examination, rather than a cursory glance before starting
  • a treatment that ends at the chin…and ignores the neck (I am not making this up)
  • a treatment that leaves my face sticky and shiny with products which seem to just sit on the surface
  • and finally a therapist who talks to me as if my dog has just died, using that special caring voice they are obviously trained to use

However, here are two that I have recently experienced which are none of the above

Sadly that is not me post-treatment – it’s there simply to illustrate that gold flakes are used in helping the skin look better and glow!   The Pure Gold and Collagen facial available at the Dorchester Spa, for an eye-watering £220 (but then the price of gold is on the up) is of the more conventional variety. A seriously good cleanse, followed by a terrific facial massage, the sort that brings blood and oxygen rushing to the surface, rather than the desultory stroking that often accompanies such a treatment.  This is followed by a plumping collagen mask and then the final facial, acupressure type massage in which 24 carat gold flakes are used.  Gold is an ancient beauty treatment (especially if your were a Queen of the Nile) but it is a sumptuous and luxurious treat for a special occasion. In fact your skin does look fresher, brighter…and, dare I say it, glowing.

And for something completely different…and no…this isn’t me either…but I was wrapped up in this extraordinary Hannibal Lectorish fashion for the signature FacePlace facial.  This treatment was devised over 40 years ago in West Hollywood and it has taken all this time to hit the UK.

A terrific treatment which includes extractions, oxygenation and galvanic currents.  One step in the cleansing involves hot towels kept in place on your face by a cone shaped heat mask (so it’s NOT for the claustrophobic), after which a tiny hoover removes all the muck, dead cells and blackheads more easily. It is according to the company not so drying as the more usual steam. This is followed by a spray of collagen, followed by Vitamin C extract before the galvanic mask is put in place. This helps all the elements to penetrate as well as tightening. Once you’re used to it you can nod off and relax.  When the great unwrapping takes place your skin looks greatly revived.  Little wonder that the FacePlace treatment is a favourite with LA denizens such as Sofia Coppola and Johnny Depp.   Find it in London at the Sense Spa at the Rosewood Hotel…where it costs £140.

But then as the experts who created it all those years ago claim “FacePlace now…facelift later”



  • Twitter
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon