One of the nicest things about my job is the opportunity I have to meet incredibly talented people. Actually, I’m not just talking about talent here – I am talking about the “taste-makers”, the people who influence and shape things to come in their respective fields.
So I was truly excited when I, a complete and unashamed beauty junkie, was asked by superstar facialist and skin-care guru, Sarah Chapman, to experience one of her new High Definition facials. I have known about Sarah for a long time. She’s one those visionaries in her field that big companies turn to for consultancy (she recently worked with Chanel) and I have also sampled her brilliant skin-care line. Sarah herself is a glowing testament to her work. She has that radiant even toned, expensive sheen to her skin that we all dream of and quite frankly I wanted a bit of what she was having.
With the radio singing in the background, in her elegant but some-how cosy South Kensington treatment room, Sarah laid her hands on my some-what weary, winter battered face and made her diagnosis: De-hydrated, sensitive in areas, slightly congested in places and basically in need of a bit of tlc, a facial was tailored to my needs and she got to work. I will add that prior to this, I filled out an extensive and very responsible questionaire about any medical issues and previous surgical treatments so Sarah could ascertain what was right for me. Everyone has unique needs and I was told that a pregnant lady, for example ,would have a much milder facial than mine. I was feeling like we all do when winter changes to spring – too much caffeine, not enough light, too much central heating and general sluggishness had meant that my morning makeup routines had become a bit more hard work than normal. I am an expert at cheating with great foundations, primers and some clever high-lighting but my skin under-neath my skin had quite honesty lost its lustre and I need it back.
Sarah has what I call, “magic” hands. Anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of a master therapist will know what I am talking about – a mixture of soothing, calming and yet dextrous touch. This is something people either have or they don’t. The High Definition facial is a mixture of high tech ingredients and traditional stimulation techniques, which is Sarah’s whole ethos in skincare. My skin was cleansed and massaged and a peel was put on for three minutes in order to take off the dull, top layer of my skin that had been reducing my “glow”. This was a tingly and rather uncomfortable sensation followed by a water spray which was also pretty zingy. As well as taking off the dullness this also has the effect of bringing those dreaded black-heads to the surface. Facialists vary on their attitude to extraction as some believe that it is too aggressive on the skin. As far as I can tell, done by the right person, its an important and guiltily enjoyable part of any facial and somehow I never feel fully cleansed without a good extraction which is something Sarah is in agreement about.
The next stage was the Red light therapy which is exactly what it sounds like. Your eyes are covered and a healing red light is put over you. Its a rather odd sensation at first and then becomes strangely enjoyable and relaxing to the point that it reminds you of lying on a beach and you begin to zone out. Red light therapy has been used in hospitals for a long time as a healing treatment to reduce scarring and skin damage as it stimulates collagen renewal as well as being brilliant for those who suffer from SAD. The final part of the facial was a bio-fibre mask which was packed full of skin loving goodies such as hyaluronic acid, rose-water and moisture magnets which feel dreamily soothing, whilst Sarah massaged and kneaded away at my knotted shoulders and scalp.
I can say conclusively that I didn’t want this facial to end. I loved every minute of it and thought it was incredibly well designed and executed. Looking in the mirror afterwards, it seemed my whole face had lifted, light was dancing off my cheekbones which seemed to pop out again from nowhere and my skin had the dewy, youth-texture of a teenagers and a week later its still looking the best it has for a long while. High Definition facials are £130 and I would say, considering Sarahs experience and expertise, they are worth every penny.