Monday, March 14, 2011

The New, Improved Moi

Everything is relative of course. However, I'm convinced I'm quite a bit cuter today than I was yesterday. (Though we won't be changing the name of the blog in the near future.)

My Sothys "Exclusive Digi-Esthetique Method Customized Anti-Age Program" with "collagen hyaluronique"  performed by my esthetician with magic hands laden with delicious lotions, potions, liquids, creams, oils and I don't know what all was, in a word, divine

It's a luxury, no question about it, but it might be one you would consider the next time you're in Paris or New York. The institute is a pristine oasis of calm and beauty. The procedure, heavenly. 

Let me tell you about the intensive anti-age ablutions Naomi performed for one hour and 15 minutes while I lay upon a soft, heated "bed" between two thick pinky beige terry cloth sheets.

It started with questions.

Naomi: "How would you diagnose your skin?

Moi: "Umm, I don't know. Mixed? Like everybody else in the world? What do you think?"

Naomi: Silence. I think she wrote my answer on my "report" -- I'm not sure because there was practically no light in the room.

Naomi: "Let me tell you about the treatment."

Moi: "Oui, oui, I can't wait. Tell me everything."

Naomi: "First I will assess the 'age' of your skin. We have a system from one to four and the products I will use on your face will be chosen specifically for you."

Moi: "Great." (Now, I'm thinking: I know I'm not a one and I assume I'm not a four [yet], please don't make me a major three.)

Naomi: "You're right on the line."

Moi: Oh, no. I knew I should have started using a double digit SPF product 15 years ago.

Naomi: "You're on the end of the two, barely into the three."

Moi: "Really? That's fantastic." (I'm very competitive.)

**Note: The age of one's skin has nothing to do with one's chronological age. It's all about whether we've done all the good things we know we should have been doing and not doing all the bad things we know we should never have done. Then, of course, we've either been blessed or cursed by genetics.

Originally I had planned to take notes, but the minute Naomi started removing my makeup with soothing feathery strokes, I abandoned the idea. I figured I probably will not have another one of these treatments anytime soon -- a series of three is recommended which means I will have one-third of the benefits -- so I decided to lie back and enjoy it. 

This is what I remember from her explanation and the experience: makeup removal; gommage (a peel/exfoliation product to slough away the debris) a warm oil massage on shoulders, neck and upper chest while the gommage did whatever it was supposed to do; more cleansing with oils or lotions (difficult to discern with eyes closed and in a sort of trance); a serum applied, rubbed, and ever-so-lightly pinched and tapped into forehead lines, the famous nasolabial parentheses or "laugh lines", and a smidge around the eyes. 

Next step, a remodelage product purpose made for the "oval" -- that's the chin neck area -- is spread with upward fluttery movements. And finally a cool collagen potion is "painted" on the skin from neck to hairline, it is then covered with a gauze mask and more collagen is applied on top. While the collagen on collagen works its wonders, I'm treated to a warm oil massage from shoulders to fingertips with serious emphasis on the hands. "It's the chef's surprise," Naomi replied to my moans of pleasure.

The mask is whipped off -- I was waiting for a "ta-daa" -- then I think Naomi did another light cleansing and finished with a serum and cream specifically for me (of course).

Verdict: My skin looks radiant, pinky and plumpy. The experience was magic. I only wish I could do the full three-part series to see whether I might revert back into a solid number two without surgical intervention.

Something I didn't know: Maybe you don't either, therefore I shall share. Do you realize that every home exfoliation (gommage) should be immediately followed by a moisturizing mask? Once a week only for this. Max. 

Yes, valet parking is available and, no, none of these cars is mine.

In the past, I've been against facial manipulations believing that nature does enough tugging, scrunching and pulling without paying someone to add to the inevitable ravages.

 I've since changed my mind.


la fourchette said...

ooooohhhh. Delicious! In another life - not my little French one - I used to get a regular facial treatment by a fabulous aesthitician trained in...drum roll...France! I know well of what you speak: the fluttery fingers, the gommage, the serums, sipping cucumber water afterwards. I'm so glad you enjoyed it and reported to us from memory rather than notes!

Hmmmm...another possible gift idea from your Reason-for-living-in-France! After all, how many Chanel bags does one need?! ;}

Spiral Style said...

Sounds like a wonderful experience. While i am thankful to be alive long enough to have acquired lines and ridges, I do everything I can to keep them to a minimum. Thanks for the reminder to moisturize heavily after exfoliation.

You'll have to let us know how long the results last.

Deja Pseu said...

Oh, that sounds wonderful! I didn't know about the moisturizing masque after gommage but that does make sense. I'm so glad you had a lovely experience!

Jennifer-Adventuresome Kitchen said...

I'm relaxed just reading it! Much better than your previous spa experience, non?

Bea said...

Tish, it sounds like heaven!

I have always thought that a good professional is a "luxury" that I rarely treated myself to. ("I can do it at home and save the money.")
But as I am approaching 40, I'm beginning to see a facial like a necessity, just like going to the hairdresser. I now go four times a year and it does make a difference for my skin.

Do any of you ladies have a recommendation for a good moisturizing masque?

the gardeners cottage said...

thank you for sharing your treatment experience with us. as an esthetician i love hearing these types of reviews. i work in an aveda spa but the owners of my spa also own the one next door and the product line there is sothys. i swear by sothys gommage and it is very reasonably priced. you are right about mask after exfoliation. so important! also, over-exfoliation is probably one of the worst things we can do to our skin and convincing people of that is v hard. again, thanks for the review and i bet your skin looks and feels fabulous.


LPC said...

Wonderful. Just listening to your recounting of the experience makes me relive good facials. So wonderful. So soothing.

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

I adore facials...and the way that you have described yours makes me want to book another one..sigh

Thank you for the gommage/moisture tip.

ida said...

What a fabulous facial.have never had one!!! have never wanted anyone to 'pull' my face around mmmmm might have to rethink!
Agree with Janet at the GC one can over do the exfoliations,my dermatologist says this is on the increase due to lack of knowledge,and over use of products. Ida

LuxeBytes said...

Tish, I think that just sounds incredible. What a delicious way to spend a couple of hours. You must've felt like you were melting the whole way home.

I wonder if our beloved Clarisonic is considered a cleansing tool or an exfoliator?

vicki archer said...

I want to go

quintessence said...

Sounds divine indeed - I so need this after this dry dry winter!! Pink and plump is most definitely the desired after effect - along with maybe fresh!!

Christina @ Fashion's Most Wanted said...

Dear Tish, your facial sounds amazing. I wonder what that would be called in England?

I go to a really old school beautician in London for lymphatic drainage facials. She did Princess Di for years. They have some bonkers clients in there. They don't use machines, it's all done by hand and she's excellent. I haven't been for a while, I must book an appointment.

I'm told that you must exfoliate once a week to generate new cells but I often forget. Thanks for the mask tip. I have a ton of Guinot I need to use before it goes out of date xx

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