A few days ago I did something I haven’t done in ages: I went for a facial.
I’ve had a mixed history with facials. As a teenager I got one that left my face in such a mess that it scared me off them for years. Later, in my early twenties, I became a devotee of Kate Sommerville here in Los Angeles. I went for almost weekly facials there that—while draining to my bank account—seemed to help the cystic acne I’d developed around my jawline at the time.
Whether the effects were placebo or not is unclear, but I loved the ritual, and my facialist was kind and gentle (and I’m convinced a closet energy worker). Maybe her soothing neck massages were the true cure for my acne. Aside from the products (which, while not totally clean, did feature a lot of natural actives), she also used all kinds of blue and red lights and things that vibrated. There were also extractions.
Extractions are controversial—but I’m convinced that people who are against them can’t possibly be prone to same surface clogging that I am.
Let’s just put it this way: There are people in my life, who shall remain nameless, who actually beg to do my extractions. Yes, I run with a disgusting lot at times.
And while healthy skin oils and good clean products help, because I don’t believe in peeling and over-exfoliating, I’m starting to think extractions (done carefully by a professional) may be a more viable option in helping my skin breathe better, so to speak.
Fast-forward several years to a few days ago. After something of a grueling work week in New York’s 100-degree humidity, followed by an almost-as-muggy, feeling-filled family visit near Montreal—I came back to Los Angeles with skin in need of some serious help.
A friend had recently told me about Marianne Kehoe who does a facial using warm cotton strips soaked in mineral and vitamin-loaded waters as opposed to products and peels. Marianne also does extractions, after which she uses something called a “galvanic electrical current” to help heal the skin. Has anyone tried this before? At this point my skepticism is healthy when it comes to any treatment, but the experience was completely non-aggressive and in desperate times a girl wants to believe.
According to Elle, these facials have been a thing for some time (centuries), but I plan to do more research. For now, my skin is feeling better—and clearer.
Where do you sit on facials, extractions, and a lil’ electroshock therapy?
Image via Elle
As some of you have surely noticed, I like to stalk Elle Magazine. I do it because I love them (it’s the only women’s magazine I still like to buy now and again)—but also because sometimes they make me mad! Anyhoo, I’ve had my ear to the ground for some time now about this new spa they were planning to open at the Eden Roc in Miami (pictured above looking fabulous in the fifties), as part of a mega-million renovation. I’d heard some internet rumblings about organic facials and such, but nothing concrete enough to report on. Until now…
In the June issue of Elle (now on stands), the mag announced that their spa at Eden Roc has opened and that they’re offering—wait for it—Tammy Fender facials! They’re also boasting a “scrub bar” that uses organic oils, along with “biodynamic honey and sea salts” (yum!), as well as a signature Red Flower body treatment. So, from the sounds of it, this is a clean spa, people! (Even if it’s not being billed as such, per se, and even if Essie has created two new nail polish colors for them to celebrate.)
We spoke to Tammy’s people—because we’re obsessed with this line now—and word is that she has trained the team of facialists at the spa and will make herself available to clients who book well in advance.
Now, aside from the fact that Siobhan and I have long wanted to take a Miami trip together—and a Tammy Fender facial sounds like a wonderful excuse to do so (at least in our fantasy life where we hop planes for holistic facials)—here’s why I’m so hot under the collar about this. Elle Magazine is a beauty institution, and they could literally choose any products and treatments for their new spa. The fact that they’re going with largely organic and chemical-free ones, for us, is a pretty big vote of confidence for the clean movement and the effectiveness of these products that we so adore.
Wouldn’t you agree?
First things first: Yesterday we were chosen by MyDaily UK as blog of the week! We’re so very flattered, but as I was basking in the glory I came across this disturbing post about how the very beautiful Indian actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (or Ash, as the Indian press calls her) is pissed at Elle Magazine.
You see, Ash didn’t take too kindly to the new racial identity provided by Elle India’s photoshop team [my apologies, I initially wrote Elle UK]. And we have to agree. According to a Times of India source:
“Aishwarya’s first reaction was disbelief,” adding that Aishwarya “believed that these things don’t happen anymore. Not in this day and age when women are recognised for their merit, and not for the colour of their skin. She is currently verifying this skin-whitening allegation. If there is any proof of this, she might even take action.”
Good for her. It’s not the first time that Elle’s come under the gun for skin-lightening: Last fall there was controversy over Gabby Sidibe’s markedly paler face on the cover. The magazine’s response to that was that nothing “out of the ordinary” was done. Are they kidding? I’ll buy that statement just as soon as a white cover model is turned ten shades darker, also known as when pigs fly.
Adding insult to injury of course, is the fact that—thanks to this kind of pressure—people all over the world still use skin lightening creams. Oh, and those happen to be super dangerous. Does this make you mad too?
Images via MyDaily UK and Jezebel
Cosmetics ads not withstanding, we love us some Elle magazine. (The Astro Twins horoscopes are a particular favorite on the site.) Today they’re featuring a fun slideshow called 21 Days to a More Youthful You.
While none of these tips are groundbreaking per se, we can all use reminders, am I right? We we’re especially happy to see some natural mentions—like Siobhan’s Ayurvedic doctor Pratima Raichur and Tata Harper (founder of a new favorite skincare line) singing the praises of essential oils. Speaking of Ayurveda, are any of you familiar with the practice? Want to learn more?
Images from the Elle slideshow