When GTG editor Susannah Taylor was asked to have a £1000 facial, she couldn’t turn it down. But could it possibly be worth its weight in gold?
I really can’t remember the last time I went for a facial. If you think, running a beauty site that I spend my days being pummelled, preened and pampered with exotic lotions and potions, you’d be wrong (I spend so much time at my computer my fingers are almost sprouting lettered keys).
However, when an invite came in last week from body and skincare brand Rodial asking if I wanted to go for a £1000 No-Tox Gold Facial, it was a proper ‘Hold the front page (or ‘homepage’)’ moment. Lured by how luxurious it sounded (’24 carat gold’ and ‘the UK’s most expensive facial’), I was also curious as to how a facial could ever in a million years be worth such an obscene amount of money. Give me £1000 and I could pay for almost two months worth of food for my family, all of my Christmas shopping (nine godchildren included), a new Macbook Air computer or the Chloe Marcie handbag I’m hankering after which would bring me daily pleasure for many a year to come.
Before I start, I must also explain a bit about Rodial. Rodial is a brand that courts controversy, big time. With products called Boob Job, Tummy Tuck, Crash Diet and Size Zero, they’ve always been subject to scrutiny for not only selling a bad image to women (who in their right mind could think about selling a product called Size Zero or Crash Diet to young women?). They have also been held up many times by the Advertising Standards Authority for making misleading claims like implying earlier this year that you could get a body like Mila Kunis by applying their Body Sculpture lotion. Having said this, I do have friends who believe their products actually work, but you can understand my scepticism as I walked in for my Gold Leaf Facial last Friday afternoon.
As I arrived, the PRs told me how ‘the celebs had been loving the treatment’ and proceeded to reel off how Poppy Delevingne and Lisa Snowdon had been in earlier to try it. Unfortunately a celebrity endorsement is lost on me. Who wouldn’t go and try a facial worth £1000 if it’s being offered for free? It’s the brands who don’t need to shout about their celebrity clients that I find most impressive.
In all honesty though, the treatment was really very good indeed. Only ever executed by the incredibly smooth-skinned Hana Kelly, who creates all Rodial’s treatments, the facial involved incredible uplifting and sometimes almost face-slapping massage using Rodial’s 24 carat gold super essence. This was followed by microdermabrasion to exfoliate the skin, intense light therapy to calm, soothe and increase collagen production, followed by a mask painted on with pure gold leaf (turns out gold has a whole host of beautifying qualities from antibacterial, to calming and anti-ageing) before being blasted with cold, pure oxygen.
Unfortunately I didn’t have time but this treatment would also include a luxurious full body gold leaf massage. At the end, as I sipped my gold (see there’s a theme here?) collagen and vitamin C-infused cocktail, I looked into the mirror and can only describe my skin as beaming. I went home and even my husband (who never notices things like this) commented on how ‘glowy’ I looked, and to my shock even said the same the next day.
Rodial have been quite clever here. If you break down the amount you would pay for the different stages of the treatments - the microdermabrasion, the oxygen treatment, the light therapy, the gold leaf mask, the massage - then it would top £1000 no problem, so no one can argue it isn’t worth its weight in gold. However for Rodial, this is way more than just a facial, it’s a great PR stunt. When I tweeted it I was instantly tweeted back by people saying how disgusting it was to charge that amount, but that’s what they want - people to talk about it good or bad.
Would I pay £1000 for another one? When I asked my harshest critics - my friends - that evening what they thought of my post facial face they said ‘You look good Sus, but not a £1000 better!” If I did have £1000 spare I’m afraid the Chloe handbag would win hands down.
For enquiries, call Rodial on 0207 351 1720