If you haven't had the time for an even one facial this year, now's the time to book an appointment. Yes now. Before the slots get taken up and you're left looking tired, craggy-faced and dull-skinned come the festive season. We've done the legwork for you (with the help of E!News Asia host Yvette King), trying three of the best, most pampering facials in town. Ladies, get your mobile phones at the ready.
FOR A TOTALLY LUXURIOUS TREAT
Try: Sublimage Ultimate Regenerating Treatment, $250, for 90 minutes
Where: Espace Beauté Chanel, Seviin at Tangs, 7th floor Tangs Orchard, 6738-1307
This facial was exactly what my tired and lacklustre complexion needed. Using products from Chanel's premium Sublimage range, this experience was truly a little slice of heaven, thanks also to the magic hands of my skilled therapist Pam. Everything from the plush surroundings — think gorgeous Chanel-approved, pure white décor (below) — to the super comfortable facial bed, really elevated the experience.
The service focusses more on massage and hand techniques, and since Chanel doesn't believe in extractions in their facials — there is significant time spent on the gommage or exfoliation step to help renew and refine the skin. Our therapist spent time gently rubbing the gommage without wetting the skin — it is usually applied with water at home — for a more thorough exfoliation. Each step (including cleansing) incorporates massage, ranging from stronger lymphatic massage that extends to the neck, décolletage and even under the arms, to pinching motions on the face to help stimulate the skin and aid in the products' penetration. While precise, these gestures had the comforting aspect of human touch. The facial also focussed on opposite sensations — hot towels soothed and cleansed the skin after each product application, while cold plates aided in toning and tightening the complexion. I drifted off at various stages — so relaxing was the process and so peaceful the surroundings.
During the masking stage of the facial, Pam kindly custom-applied two masks, a purifying one on my spots and the luxurious Sublimage Masque on the rest of the face, while she gave me a delightful hand massage. The treatment finished off with the application of the La Creme Yeux for the eyes and the La Crème in Texture Fine — the lighter of the two moisturiser textures available in Singapore. I emerged with glowing, even and radiant skin. Even though this was not a brightening treatment, my spots looked less red and angry, my dark circles were less obvious and the skin texture was finer. I liked how this facial placed emphasis on how the skin and soul responds to the simple act of touch — and was a much needed 90-minute respite in a busy week. - Renée Batchelor
FOR THE TOTAL PACKAGE
Try: SK-II Senzational Facial, $260 for 85 minutes
Where: SK-II Boutique Spa by Senze Salus, #02-54 Millenia Walk, 6336-4880
You haven't had a facial till you've experienced an SK-II one. A facial at the two SK-II Boutique Spa outlets in Singapore — one is at Shaw Centre while the other is at Millenia Walk — is truly a must-try. The entire experience is a private, luxurious and pampering affair. From when you're offered your first sip of welcome tea in the tastefully done, dark interiors, you'll step into an SK-II coccoon of pure indulgence. With the skill of our therapist, we were not surprised to learn that they go through extensive training and yearly evaluations to assess their handiwork.
Here the brand's high-performance products really take centrestage — along with the SK-II signature 55-step relaxing facial. Our therapists' hands danced on our skin with amazing skill and precision. The Senzational Facial is a somewhat bespoke facial — products are applied not according to a fixed regimen, but based on your skin's needs. Extractions are included, if that's what you demand from your regular facial — and we found them quick, efficient and (almost) painless. A major plus with this treatment is that has an eye treatment included as well. A special Signs Eye Mask was applied to restore radiance and life to my tired eye area. I emerged looking like I just caught forty winks... which I confess, I may have. I later found out that the spa's beds are designed just for that purpose. Dubbed the 'Senzational Bed', each comprises of a two-inch thick natural feather and goose down mattress, and Tempur therapeutic pillow. Add on soft and smooth cotton linens and comforter and the therapists lulling scalp massage, and it's no wonder I drifted off.
But the measure of any good facial is surely not just the experience — as pleasant and professional as it was — but the result. This is dubbed a 'multiple concerns' facial and I felt that it really delivered on the promise. My nose area looked more refined, with less visible blackheads. My skin was also soft, glowing, rejuvenated and well-rested. Post vacation skin in under 90 minutes? Now that's a winning facial in our books. - Renée Batchelor
FOR THE ULTIMATE LIFT
Try: V Face Collagen RF Lift (For Face & Neck), $250 for 60 minutes
Where: Kowayo Aesthetic, #01-03C, 1 Raffles Link, 6884-4290
Are all facials created equal? I think not. Gone are the days when people spend a good hour or so just getting a steam, an extraction and a bit of a scrub and leave the spa smelling like potpourri. Our expectations are higher and we hope for revitalised looking skin with a noticeable difference.
With this in mind, I tried Kowayo's latest V Face Collagen RF Lift — a treatment that promises to tighten and lift the skin using the Superpulse Skin Lifting Technology to help stimulate new collagen. In other word, this reduces saggy jowls, cheeks and that dreaded neck wattle using radio frequency (RF).
As for the actual therapy, I confess, it was so relaxing I dozed off twice! I also appreciated the fact that my neck was never neglected throughout the experience. After some cleansing and thorough makeup removal, a machine was pushed around my skin in an upwards motion, omitting a deep heating sensation during each RF burst. My aesthetician worked on only half of my face first, then passed me a mirror to compare each side. The instant results were remarkable.
Following this, I enjoyed a mask for about 15 minutes, which helped soothe and calm my stimulated skin. Throw in some massage and it really was the complete package — relaxing, yet constructive — I felt like it wasn't just a spa date, but it actually 'did something' to improve the appearance of my skin.
This facial initially appealed to me as it's an energy treatment that is non-surgical which means no pain — it's comfortable and there's no downtime. But not only that, I found that it was effective and the signs are immediate. My skin felt firmer, the slight sagging around my mouth was less visible and I just generally looked fresher. - Yvette King