Luxury Aromatherapy Associates facial
Let me start by declaring my interest. I’m a big fan of the brand Aromatherapy Associates and the brand has long been a staple in my bathroom. The Renewing Rose Cleanser and Revive Bath & Shower Oil are my dessert island essentials (if I ever find myself in the slightly odd position of packing a bag of toiletries for a shipwreck). So the chance to try the latest Aromatherapy Associates facial and spend an hour being slathered in lovely products was my idea of bliss.
The new Aroma Lift facials are available in two London locations - Aromatherapy Associates Boutique & Treatment Rooms, 5 Montpelier Street, SW7 1EX and The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, 66 Knightsbridge - and nationwide in the Hotel Missoni Edinburgh, Aura hotel Ascot, In Harmony hotel Hampton Court and the Esse hotel Hertfordshire. I rolled up to London’s plush Mandarin Oriental hotel for mine. Men in red coats rushed to open the door as I swept up the grand marble steps to the huge front doors of the beautiful stone brick building in swish Knightsbridge (’sweeping up‘ is obligatory when it comes to grand steps). And if you’re going to fork out over one hundred pounds for a facial you might as well have doors opened for you. Inside was all opulence and luxury, more marble staircases to sweep up and people keen to escort me wherever I wanted to go.
I went downstairs to the spa - yes, you guessed it, another marble staircase - and entered a softly lit room, calm and quiet with somewhere in the distance the sound of cascading water. This was less ‘trickle of a water feature‘, more ‘waterfall flow‘. Display shelves were filled with beautiful Aromatherapy Associates bottles and stately canisters of tea from the Tea Palace - of which I’m also a fan.
There was a lovely welcoming vibe in the spa, you do get very well treated in a 5-star hotel. Herbal tea arrived as I filled up my consultation form, and my slippers were served on a tray! The spa advises clients to arrive at least 45 minutes before treatments to enjoy the lovely ‘ladies only’ facilities here. In a stylish contemporary zone, there’s a beautifully designed plunge pool with a raised-area steam room and sauna. I had a quick steam to open my pores, then hightailed it to the relaxation room to meet my therapist.
First she talked me through the facial I’m about to have. As well as all the lovely AA products, this facial has a high tech element. A new machine, just launched by the brand, will send electrical impulses through my skin to lift and firm and smooth fine lines and wrinkles. Think of it as a gym workout for your face, she said - I liked the idea of a gym workout that happens while I’m lying down.
The products used in the facial are mainly rose based - Renewing Rose Cleanser, Triple Rose Moisturiser, and Nourishing Face Oil - I also had an enzyme peel to remove dead skin cells and a Vitamin C boost treatment. The electrical impulses were applied to my skin through two metal probes which were moved over the entire surface of my face. Special attention was paid to the deeper lines around my mouth and the skin over my eyes, which while not quite ‘hooded’ is certainly ‘floppier’ than it used to be. There was a faint pulsing sensation from the probes as they moved around my face, I could see vibrating light when they were used near my eyes and had a metallic taste in my mouth when they were working in this area but none of it was unpleasant.
And I was dying to see the effect on my lines once the facial was finished. My skin certainly felt baby soft and plumped - ‘your skin looks amazing’ my therapist told me, but I figured she would say that. So I peered closely at my face in the mirror. Had the deep lines around my mouth faded a little? Just a little? Maybe. My forehead looked quite smooth and all-in-all there was a glow about my skin where there wasn’t one before. So I happily took myself off to the opulent surrounds of the Mandarin Oriental lounge for a post-facial decaf Cappuccino before going back to everyday life.
How much does it cost?
Aromatherapy Associates Ultimate Aroma Radiance Lift facial (90 minutes) from £95 (Aromatherapy Associates Boutique & Treatment Rooms) and £165 (The Spa at Mandarin Oriental).