If you’re a regular reader of BBB, you’ll know I’m not a fan of facials. I really can’t bear people faffing about with my face, I get bored very quickly and don’t really like pan pipes or trickling water sounds. But I’ve never really looked at why I don’t like them more closely than that. I’ve had a bit of a lightbulb moment however which I’ll reveal later that more properly explains it. 

Ok, so my therapist was Alla from Russia. She was properly no-nonsense and probably about the same age as me. The facial I’d booked was the Illuminating Decleor facial using the same product range as my previous post about their new radiance enhancing cream. So, initally I wasn’t all that impressed – after all, I have that cream at home so I could in theory have done it myself. But, there are all sorts of little twiddles to this facial. We started with a back massage – Alla gave me a hideous hair net to tie my hair up with, which didn’t fit properly and I could feel myself starting to feel kind of hemmed in and uncomfortable. I realised that fussing about the hat I was displacing my stress about the massage and facial, and the minute I realised that, I shut up and let her get on with it. 

She gave me a very thorough massage – she used a specific technique that was hard and really tackled a few knots and also gave her information apparently about how my general overall health was. I was warm around the kidney area which indicates dehydration and that is no surprise at all as I really hadn’t had much to drink. 

So, moving on the facial. After examining my skin, she declared it problem free (yay: thank you BIOEffect) with only a tiny bit of dehydration. We talked about lash extensions, Botox and fillers and she carefully avoided getting any oil around my eye area as she cleansed, then exfoliated. She then gave me a very intensive facial massage with Iris oil that was absolute bliss.. the difference being that she didn’t faff with little meaningless, airy butterfly strokes, she pinched, smoothed and put some force behind it – not in a painful way, more a meaning-business way. She explained what she was doing at each stage and then smoothed the yellow gel formulation from the Double Radiance product in generous portions over my face. Over the top of that, she placed a warm Aromaplastie mask infused with wheat germ and linseed leaving the middle of my face free and also my eyes. While that decongested and moisturised, Alla gave each of my arms and hands a proper massage and I realised the time had completely flown by. She put some moisturising cream over my skin and that was it. 

Did I get the radiance? Well, yes. Alla showed me my skin in a mirror but there’s really little point in a semi-lit room as you can’t really see, and it wasn’t till I got home that I could really see my skin was glowy and very soft looking. I know that some spas do a ‘finishing plate’ at the end of a treatment, with a tiny snack and a glass of coconut water or tea. I could have done with that to wake me up a little bit and re-energise.

So, my lightbulb moment is that it is the therapist that makes the treatment, not the products particularly. Alla is a very experienced facialist and that showed: she could have been rubbing in lard with a dishcloth and I think I would still have come out with soft skin. She knew to use harder or softer movements as appropriate but at all times I felt I was with someone who knows skin, and knows it well. The number of facials and massages I’ve had where the therapist is so light with her touch that it’s actually just irritating is probably the reason I stopped having them. We didn’t talk about anything much, but the little bit of chat we had was exactly the right amount. And, she didn’t waft off for an unspecified amount of time to leave me to steep; she did the arm massage while the facial mask did it’s thing and my eyes weren’t covered at any time. She didn’t ask me about my holidays, waft stupid scented flannels across me or do silly tricks with towels designed to keep me covered. She was totally in control of that treatment and with that, I felt completely trusting.

I think ultimately what I need in a facial is a bold and brusque Russian lady who is not letting me leave without getting a glow on me. Not no how, no way.

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