Ask a woman what kind of skin she wants and the word ‘dewy’ will quickly surface.
To achieve that holy grail glow, make-up counters offer an endless supply of products from tinted moisturisers, beauty sponges – the perfect tool for an immaculate airbrushed sheen – to finishing sprays, highlighters and strobe creams.
But one of the things often overlooked is a good old-fashioned facial. Done well and with great products, a quality facial can transform your skin with just one treatment but, almost foolishly, is left out of our regular pampering sessions.
Determined to figure out what we’ve been missing, House of Coco’s Biz Pears went along to the Chelsee Lewis Salon housed inside Nicky Clarke’s ultra-glam flagship Mayfair branch to meet the woman her clients say has the magical Midas touch…
“Chelsee Lewis has – unbelievably, because of her enviable complexion – been in the business for nearly two decades. If she is the advert, I’m already sold.
Cover-up rather than cure happens to be one of her pet peeves, she tells me, as I settle down for her sought-after signature treatment, Le Visage: a luxurious one-hour facial which is tailored specifically to the client’s needs. She marvels at how women will spend hundreds of pounds on make-up but neglect the obvious ingredient for a truly flawless finish: great skin as your base.
I again soak in Chelsee’s satin skin as she offers me some fruit-infused water – she’s luminous with hardly a scrap of make-up. Yes, I’ll certainly have what she’s having.
After cleansing my skin, Chelsee carefully studies my face with what appears to be a gigantic illuminated magnifying glass, and tells me I’m dehydrated and in need of some serious moisture. We talk about my skin regime and she makes some suggestions on what I can improve.
She also uses this time to identify any lines and wrinkles and gauge the skin texture before proceeding to further treatments. Chelsee is a Yon-Ka convert, a luxury French brand famed for the fragrant essential oils that feature in its range.
As a two litres of water a day kind of gal who always (OK, nearly always) cleanses and moisturises morning and night, I’m surprised, but Chelsee explains that while drinking copious amounts of water is obviously great for your skin, it is simply not enough on its own.
To really penetrate your skin, your face needs a weekly mask the same as you’d do to rejuvenate tired tresses which are exposed to the elements on a daily basis.
Chelsee is a natural people person: friendly, easy to talk to and as enthusiastic about my skin as I am.
Next up is a gentle exfoliation which Chelsee says is necessary to prep the skin in order for the products to be absorbed, a steam and then extraction – yes, the bit when all those clogged pores get declogged.
Normally, Chelsee says, the dirt should pop right out but my skin is so dry and overdue an exfoliation that they’re a bit resistant. I make a mental calculation of the last time I exfoliated: oops!
We then move on to a cosmetic micro-peel, also known as an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) peel, which is natural and more suitable for sensitive skin like mine. The peel is brightening, deep cleaning that stimulates cell renewal and evens skin tone.
We finish with a divine face, shoulder, arms and hand massage. Chelsee definitely has the magic touch, while I lay back and relax with a moisturising mask.
Chelsee treats my skin to a final dash of moisturising as the finishing touch.
Not only do I feel rejuvenated but when I look at my skin: there’s no two ways about it – I am radiant. “Your skin responded really well to the treatment,” marvels Chelsee, but I’m pretty sure it’s all thanks to her handiwork.
She warns me that a breakout is likely, but in the days that follow the only thing breaking out are the compliments. At least three people asked me what I have been doing differently and the only thing I can trace it back to is this heavenly experience at the hands of this angel.
Chelsee explains that a facial once a month would radically improve anyone’s skin and explains that with her regular clients, including men, each session is a different experience depending on what their skin needs, such as before or after a sunshine holiday when your skin will need some repairing.
I set out to find out if a facial can really make an obvious difference to your skin and the results are visible. I have seen the promised land and it is good.”
Experience Le Visage for yourself at the Chelsee Lewis Salon (inside Nicky Clarke) in Mayfair. For more information, visit www.chelseelewis.co.uk