I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday and that we’re halfway through March. This year is flying by and the stresses and strains are felt in my back and seen on my face. If you read my blog you will know that after trying the Garnier BB Cream I had a massive breakout and as if by chance or by the gods of immaculate timing I had a Decleor VIP Aroma facial booked in at John Lewis Bluewater yesterday.
A couple of weeks ago I received a message on Twitter from a lovely lady called Lucie. She had told me that my mum had mentioned that I have a blog and would I be interested in coming in to try out one of their treatments. Obviously I jumped at the chance and, as I say, the timing couldn’t have been better.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I’ve had mini facials before and I’ve had beauty consultations but I’ve never had a full treatment. I’ve never even had a proper massage, as I’m a bit shy and a bit nervous so I went in with no expectations and no sense of what would be put in front of me.
When I arrived Lucie welcomed me and took me into the treatment room that had a comfy looking massage table, a station full of oils and products and very dreamy, relaxing music playing. She sat me down and we had a chat about the Decleor products I’d used in the past, my skin type, my daily routine, my current concerns and my long-term skin problems. I had already mentioned my breakout to her on Twitter but it gave me a chance to discuss my pores and other problems.
After our chat she told me to strip down to my knickers. This terrified me. Being of the not small variety I shy away from showing any flesh that can’t be pushed-up, tensed or flattered with little flowing number. But oddly, after a couple seconds of consideration I felt calm and relaxed so I whipped my clothes off and jumped under the towels on the table. When Lucie came back in she started my massage with oil that I chose before my incredibly quick full monty routine was made – it was called Relax Intense and it had ylang ylang and vanilla making it smell divine.
The back massage was very relaxing (even when she massaged some of my more wobbly bits) and as it was a reflexology massage she really targeted some of my problem areas. It was a full back massage going right from the base of my back to my neck. It was a great balance of relaxation and working out tension and I was asked if the pressure was ok whenever I winced or a new area was massaged which made me feel really comfortable, in control and at ease.
After the back massage I rolled onto my back (under the towel) and had a hot water bottle placed on my tummy and another towel and then the real fun began. Lucie used a range of different products to help me clear and rebuild my damaged skin and introduced me to a couple new products.
The facial started with a nice, soothing cleanse with the Hydra Radiance Cleansing Mouse (looking back I wish I had bought this product) and Cleansing Water with a splash of eye make-up remover, toning lotion and nourishing lip balm. It sounds like a lot of products but it only took a few minutes (a great routine to pick up at home) and already my skin felt fresher and less irritated.
I was then introduced to a product that I think I’m a little bit in love with. The Resurfacing Gel-Peel is an exfoliator that uses fruit acids instead of beads or grains to remove dead skin. All you have to do is put it on like a mask, leave it for 5 to 10 minutes and wash it off. It’s really light and non-evasive and if you have sensitive skin or you’ve got some damaged skin it’s the right product for you. It does tingle a bit but it was definitely a more pleasant experience that rubbing coarse grains on your cheeks and left my skin feeling cool and calm rather than hot and sore.
I then had some soothing oils and balms rubbed in with more massaging (face, neck and shoulders). Lucie really seemed to know what she was doing and coated me in oil and somehow found all the parts of my head and neck that have been hurting recently. Everything was done gently and precisely and all questions were welcomed.
A Tripe Action Gel Cream Mask and Harmonie Calming milk gel cream for eyes were put on my face and I was left to relax for a while. And I’ll tell you now that it was hard not to fall asleep. The music was so calming, the smell of the clean towels and fresh products, the warm hot water bottle and the dim lights made me feel like I was floating and I haven’t been that relaxed in a long, long time. The tension and pressure I seem to keep in my eyes ebbed away with the cooling gel and I could have stayed there for hours.
Sadly, Lucie came back (I had no sense of time while I was in there) and removed my mask and told me it was all over. She left me to get dressed, drink some water and prepare myself for the cruel world outside.
It was amazing. As soon as I looked into the mirror I could see the improvement to my skin. It was softer, smoother and almost glowing. The breakout areas looked calmer and though I would have preferred to be wearing makeup my skin felt and almost looked good enough not to. Now, 24 hours later, my skin still feels fresher and the skin tone has evened out and I only have two marks left from my breakout.
I was very lucky as Lucie is the manager at the Bluewater John Lewis Decleor counter and has six years experience with Decleor products. But saying that all the staff are trained, fully qualified beauticians so you know you’re getting good advice and a great service from anyone and everyone you speak to. Every product was explained to me in full detail and I was told off for exfoliating too much so it’s a great experience for people who are trying products for the first time, changing a routine or have noticed some differences to their skin as well as beauty nuts like me.
The treatment would have been £85 if I went to a salon but if you go for one of the treatments at John Lewis you pay a £30 booking fee that can then be redeemed against two products – pretty amazing!
The treatments are available for men and women and can be adapted to your personal needs (like mine for breakouts). I think that this would be a great way for men to start taking care of their skin and the back massage should coax the more reluctant man into the treatment room.
I bought a couple products (I will review at some point) and I was given a few samples and a little gift for coming out and doing the review. As I’m based in West London it was a little far out for me but the trip to Greenhithe was worth it and the team are so lovely and helpful that the journey didn’t tarnish the experience whatsoever.
I only have one minor thing to say – if you’re planning to have a treatment before a night out or a party or something, give yourself time to wash your hair afterwards as you may get some products in the hair line or on the base of your neck but otherwise it was a dream and I couldn’t fault it.
So, who’s going to give it a go?