Call me old fashioned but I was always under the impression that a facial was something affluent ladies used to fill in the long languid gap between dropping off their children and having lunch. It was a bit of ‘me-time,’ an alternative to Pilates and trying to shoot ping-pong balls the length of a rugby pitch with nothing but their pelvic floor and another way of not shagging the tennis coach. In short, it wasn’t taxing, you could probably still text and it was basically a snooze, listening to appalling salon chunes, with a few unctions thrown in.
But as with almost everything these days; even the god damn facial has been superannuated. Now it’s about multi-tasking and achieving MORE from your hour passed out on a square of terry cloth. So trot down to Elemis, just off Bond Street, and you no longer get to inhale a scented candle and receive a gentle slathering, for, as of May this year, they have upped their game and introduced: “The Biotec Facial with Triple Tec Anti Wrinkle.” You see what they have done? Not only have they tech-ed it, but they tripled it as well! And let me also tell you; it’s thorough.
First of all they make all their new clients undergo one of those dreadful skin photographic tests, where you’re instructed to place your chin in a little holder and you’re snapped in superannuated triple-tech close up. And the result? Well if you didn’t think you were an old fag-ash loser with skin screaming with open pores, lines, red areas, spots, wrinkles, poor texture and just generally hideous to look at – then you do now! The test is enough to frack one's self-esteem into little tiny pieces.
“Oh,” said Grace, as she looked at my facial assessment report riddled with brown spots, permanent skin damage and subcutaneous wrinkles. “Um, well the Biotec facial will help.”
Poor love. She certainly had her work cut out. But on she ploughed, covering my lizard skin in layer upon layer of fabulous smelling product, and then came the science bit. First I was subjected to a micro-current that was supposed to wake up my facial muscles and remind them they are supposed to lifting and firming cheeks and not down a wine bar having a glass of Whispering Angel. The cattle prodder miro-current was not painful; it was just a little weird and it made a sort of clicking noise like I’d fallen asleep next to the toaster.
Next was the light therapy. Where Grace ran a red, and then a blue, light all over my face. The red light increased circulation and plumped up my skin and then the blue light was anti bacterial and blemishes – they were both entirely painless.
And finally after more creams and serums came the O2 Oxygen Infusion, where blasts of 95% pure oxygen were puffed at my face and around my neck to help facilitate my skin's absorption of all the lovely creams.
It took all of an hour and, despite the weirdest salon mix-tape I have ever come across, the experience was entirely pleasurable. And when Grace handed me the mirror to admire her handy work, I have to say there was a palpable difference. My face was buffed and puffed and shiny, but more interestingly my frown lines that could really, honestly, do with filler, Botox and perhaps a brow lift were suddenly not there. They had melted away. So not only did I look less like I had fallen asleep in the sun since I was 17, but I looked a whole lot less cross to boot! What’s not to love about that? In a triple tech-kind of way, of course!