Notes from my Dressing Table: I have left the building!

My column this week was not strictly at my dressing table, I did something I never ever do and decided to have a facial.

Now I know most women consider this part of their regular beauty arsenal but I got put off years ago when, on an assignment for Vogue in Paris I visited every beauty house on the Faubourg Saint-Honore – Chanel, Thalgo, Clarins, Lancome and Guerlain among them – and had to experience the “signature” facial at every pitstop. I am here to tell you you really can have too much of a good thing. I felt my personal space invaded and claustrophobia descend.

Ever since I have had an aversion to beautician’s hands on my face, my neck, my decolletage. Until today that is and, strictly speaking, the Environ facial I experienced at Skin 3 Clinic was less hands-on and more supersonic machines at the ready.

Firstly my skin is analysed by a camera/computer for dryness (bad), skin damage (worse), dehydration (also never clever) and bacteria (hey you need some of this – who knew?). My principle concern is the usual age trifecta of dryness, wrinkles and dullness so the Environ vitamin facial is prescribed.

I am shown to the tomb like room where my therapist mixes a serum of Vitamin A & C (the power couple of plump skin) which is dispatched with a machine that emits electrical current to “push” the serum into my dermis for maximum raisin-to-grape effect. Then a mask of more vitamins and algae, the consistency of builders paste, is mixed and spatula’d on to my face. I ask for my eyes to be left without it as I knew I’d get panicked if I couldn’t see. Once the mask has been applied you are hooked up to a machine which also emits a current to increase the impact of skin drinking the goop in.

The sensation is a like a tickle rather than a shock so I felt quite comfortable and my therapist never left the room – instead I got a lovely back, arm and hand massage which almost had me drifting off to sleep.

Hour long treatment over, my skin literally glowed and, for me, the piece de la resistance? I didn’t have to leave the building utterly bare faced, instead a sweep of Jane Iredale mineral foundation is applied carefully with a brush leaving my canvas flawless. I am a convert.

Environ facial at

Leave a Reply