Following on from my first Elemis experience courtesy of their magical melting cleansing gel, I was lucky enough to be treated to one of their signature facials at the Elemis Day Spa in Central – and it was every bit as lovely as I’d hoped.
I was pleasantly surprised at how peaceful and relaxed the spa felt, even though it’s located in one of those anonymous commercial buildings right in the heart of bustling Central (the more hardcore among you could even pop to Lan Kwai Fong for drinks after, it’s that close). It’s luxuriously laid-out and spacious, the soft spa music soothing without being irritating and it felt so tranquil and ‘other’ that it was hard to believe the heat and hustle of HK was going on just a few floors below. Being in Central makes it extra convenient as well – it’s so easy to get to and perfect for slotting into and around your daily routine, especially if you’re working (or shopping!) nearby.
After a brief chat with my beauty therapist (and after the poor girl endured a detailed inspection of my face), she decided the Modern Skin Facial would be the best treatment for me, with a few modifications for my skin. It’s especially suited for young skin (relieved I still fit in that category), and by rebalancing sebum levels, regenerating skin cells and raising mineral levels, helps repair and replenish stressed-out smog-exposed complexions, a feeling most HKers can probably identify with! Given that my blackheads are visible from the moon, she also performed a thorough and relatively pain-free extraction session and my pores have never looked clearer or better.
The facial lasts around an hour of cleansing, toning, massaging and moisturising, though thanks to the extraction, mine took about ninety minutes – and even then, it just doesn’t feel long enough! I didn’t want to leave! Throughout your session, you’ll be treated to plenty of Elemis’ wonderful products – cleaners, toners, serums and creams galore – but in all honesty, it passes by in a blur of bliss. All of the products felt so soft, smooth and soothing and my therapist had the lightest and most calming of touches.
Be prepared for an amazing array of scents too; I felt I’d drifted off into the aroma equivalent of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. They were too many lovely ones to count, but they were all heavenly and invigorating without being overpowering.
I particularly enjoyed the Papaya Enzyme Peel (one of Elemis’ best sellers). Unlike so many exfoliators, it didn’t feel harsh or grainy; instead, it was more of a gentle wash, with an uplifting fresh citrus scent to boot.
The other highlight was the Mineral Rich Peel-Off Mask… or rather, the wonderful dry-scalp massage you get during it. Head massages normally set my teeth on edge but this was brilliant and weeks’ worth of headaches just melted away. While you’re enjoying that, the mask works deep in the skin to boost mineral levels (it contains zinc, copper, magnesium and Swiss Garden cress), combining with an earlier product, the Visible Brilliance serum, to deeply moisturise and clear your complexion. There’s also a lovely neck and shoulder massage later on too.
Overall, it’s a relatively straightforward facial – there are no fancy tricks or bizarre high-tech utensils – but for that reason, it’s basically the ultimate in straightforward facials, although at $1280 it may feel a little pricey (it’s worth checking out the many coupon websites in HK for some good discounts; I was lucky enough to be receiving a complimentary treatment). However, the products used are of the highest quality (acting as a good introduction to Elemis’ range of skincare) and the expertise and training of my therapist shone through in her confident and assured touch. I love that she didn’t provide a running commentary of the items she was using or give me the hard sell for any of them (a pitfall in many local salons). She also gave me some great tips about my beauty routine, for instance that I need to exfoliate closer to my lip area as I’m missing out some parts due to my eagerness not to eat products!
This is also one of those facials that leaves you looking great instantly. Unlike many that leave you looking a little oily, blotchy or with a breakout set to burst, I emerged from Elemis with glowing plump skin and a brighter more even complexion. A few days on my skin still looks remarkably radiant and with a definite noticable decrease in redness.
I finished things off with a final trip to the Zen Room, where there’s a small but perfectly formed buffet – and yes ladies, there are brownies! [Very tasty ones too]. But what’s even better than the brownies (and that’s a phrase I thought I’d never utter) is Elemis’ signature health drink, found in a teapot that should be labelled ‘Drink Me’! It’s a deeply soothing mixture of honey, ginger and lemon that’s absolutely greater than the sum of its parts; I often do a homemade version of this at home when I’m run-down and I can promise you, I’ve never managed to make it taste this good! Warming and sweet with a bracing little kick of ginger at the end – the perfect ending to a wonderful day.
I’d highly recommend the Elemis Day Spa for its convenience, its super-chilled atmosphere and most importantly, the quality of its treatments. Many thanks to Sarah at Communique for organising my day and all the lovely Elemis staff who made me feel so welcome. My skin is most grateful!
Elemis Day Spa, 9/F, Century Square, 1 D’Aguilar Street, Central, 2521 6660, http://www.elemisdayspa.com.hk