As I approach the wise old age of 50 -- feeling worryingly immature, I must say -- I’m as keen as mustard to try any facials that claim to be anti-ageing. I’m not expecting to look like fellow fiftysomethings Kylie or Naomi Watts (okay, I am a bit), it would be nice to look my Hollywood age rather than “Ooh, you must have had a very interesting life.”
Much as I’d love to, I can’t really justify splashing out on a nifty jaw tuck or lunchtime Botox - “Sorry kids, we’re not having Christmas this year.” So, when I heard that the Natura Bissé High Definition Face Lift was billed as the facial for those not ready to go down the injectables route, I jumped at the chance to give it a whirl.
NB skincare products aren’t cheap, but they are (in my opinion) quite special, which is why I like splashing out on the less pricey treatments for a taster. The High Definition Face Lift is £170 for 80 minutes at Sequoia Spa, while the Inhibit High Definition Serum used in the facial is £600 in Harrods.
I book into the glamorous Sequoia Spa at The Grove in Hertfordshire, which is just 18 miles outside London and has some of the best NB and ESPA treatments -- both perfect for ladies of a certain age.
My therapist Stephanie sat me down in the stylish treatment room and described the treatment. It certainly wasn’t going to be your run-on-the-mill facial. Natura Bissé have a great sense of theatre -- from Oxygen Bubbles to Virtual Reality Headsets, their treatments are unforgettable.
In this case, the Inhibit serum would be applied on the skin in a syringe (no needle). The serum ‘corrects expression lines’ (a charming way of describing wrinkles; presumably correcting them so one appears serenely wise rather than raddled and confused) with a high concentration of anti-ageing ingredients. These ‘inhibit facial contractions’ (hence the name and Botox effect), fill and hydrate wrinkles and tighten the appearance of the skin.
Half-way through, I would have a facial massage using ‘micro-circulation finger brushes.’ Stephanie put these on her fingers to show me -- they looked like toothbrushes as finger puppets. Okaaaay…. Showtime!
After the demo, it was business as usual. I lay down and Stephanie gave my face a thorough cleanse. She then painted on the Radiance lifting peel and laid a cotton cellulose mask laid over my face, filled with a concoction of acids -- the nice ones that eat your dead skin cells revealing the youthful layer beneath. It smelt pretty powerful -- think stawberry flavoured paint stripper -- but felt pleasantly cooling. Stephanie then raised the bed so I wasn’t overwhelmed by fumes. As this hydrating concoction worked its magic, she massaged my arms and hands. The mask lifted clean off.
Next Stephanie prepped my skin for the serum with a firm, sculpting facial massage, followed by invigorating finger brushing and circulation-boosting mini-suction cups. She politely asked my areas of concern (presumably she could see them clear as day) and applied cool dots of serum with the syringe, then massaged it into my wrinkles.
Finally, she applied the Diamond hyaluronic acid mask (mildly tingly) to plump and hydrate, followed by Radiance moisturiser and eye cream. The final flourish, a tinted SPF Factor 50 -- very sensible after all that peeling and plumping.
I have to say, I was stunned by the effect of this facial; it was so smoothing, taking years off me and continued tightening for 24 hours (I could feel it). I woke the next morning still looking radiantly airbrushed with a defined jawline. If I were to return for two more weekly top-ups, the effects would last for months. (Or I could buy the serum and do it at home).
Most of the anti-ageing facials I’ve had have produced good instant results -- glowing cleansed and smooth skin -- that lasts a good 24 hours. But only a handful have been dramatic enough to instigate any unprompted comments. After the High Definition Face Lift, I get home the next day and my husband not only notices, but I get a compliment. That for me is an indicator of success: Natura Bisse’s Inhibitor serum has worked a small miracle.
3rd May 2019
Clever, inspiring design, sublime views, a vast, clean and empty pool, solitary relaxation areas to read, write or commune with my muse.
Small talk, discussions about spirituality or astrology, any products containing tea tree oil or aloe (sadly am allergic), busy pools where you can’t do laps.
Behind the scenes