I’m SO frustrated with my skin at the moment. It seems to be a thing that you get to ‘a certain age’ and suddenly all the products that you’ve loved and trusted for ages don’t seem to be doing the trick any more. My favourite moisturiser for ages has been Clinique Moisture Surge, but recently I’ve been feeling that my skin is dry and dehydrated and – weirdly – my neck particularly is really dry. If I use a richer moisturiser, though, I feel that it sits on the skin and leaves a bit of a film on my face. Argh. Happily, then, I was delighted to be invited along for an Elemis Facial at Lavender & Stone in Beaconsfield. Perfect timing.
I don’t go to Beaconsfield very often, but it’s a really pretty little Chilterns market town and Lavender & Stone is tucked away just off a lovely row of shops called The Broadway. Inside, it’s really warm and Christmassy, with loads of Elemis and Decleor pressies all piled up.
My therapist, Joanne, led me straight into the cosy treatment room and left me to get myself comfy on the deliciously heated bed under a pile of soft blankets. I was nearly asleep even before she came back in the room. We chatted about my skin and general health as she gently tucked my hair under a towelling wrap (it looked fine afterwards – unheard of as I usually emerge from a facial looking sweaty and greasy) and talked me through the very high tech Elemis Biotec Firm-a-lift facial. Joanne began by applying the most fabulous smelling Elemis Pro-collagen cleansing balm (which is definitely going on my Christmas list).
The Elemis Biotec Firm-a-lift facial is designed to be deeply hydrating and smoothing, and produce dramatic lifting and contouring results. I’m a bit hazy on the steps as it was so ridiculously relaxing I wasn’t paying attention (which, let’s face it, is what you want from a great facial). Joanne is incredibly knowledgeable (she even recommended some new beauty YouTubers for me), and gave me some great advice on skincare, keeping hydrated and protecting my skin. We chatted quite a lot initially, but soon settled into a companionable silence, and the real work began. After cleansing and the application of one deliciously scented product after another (I lost track after exfoliation), Joanne fitted a a kind of ‘sling’ thing under my neck which has lifting and firming properties, and then applied a thick layer of something called a ‘bio active formula’ before starting to work on my facial muscles with the galvanic probes (less terrifying than that sounds – basically round metal hand-held tools with a galvanic current that propels the formulas deeper into the skin). There was another bit with a ‘hydra-active’ mask that was laid over my face (this was so ridiculously relaxing I think I actually nodded off) with microcurrent pulses designed to dramatically lift and firm the skin.
The treatment finishes with more delicious smelling things, some of which could possibly have been Elemis Pro Collagen Eye Cream, Pro Collagen Marine Cream (for the neck and decolletage as well as face), but again I was so relaxed, I wasn’t paying proper attention. Joanne thought that the Pro Collagen Marine Cream might suit me as a daily moisturiser, so she gave me some samples to take away and try. She also recommended some other facials to try, especially a pro-collagen age defy massage – perfect if, like me, you love the hands on, massage element of a facial. She also recommended that I leave my skin alone for the rest of the evening.
The verdict: this was one of the best facial treatments I’ve ever had: the perfect combination of a talented therapist, a relaxing environment, deliciously scented products and a really effective treatment. A couple of days have passed now and my skin still feels really plump and has a nice sheen to it. I also feel that it looks and feels firmer, especially around my jaw line. I’ve taken on board a lot of advice (I’ve been alcohol-free for four days so far!) and been drinking loads of water, and this could have helped too, but overall I’ve really noticed a difference and I’m definitely going to be returning and trying to fit in a facial with Joanne once a month. If you’re never going to be one of those people that turns to Botox and fillers, I highly recommend this treatment. I think you’ll be really pleased with the results.
Massive thanks to Joanna, and to Anna from Lavender & Stone for inviting me.