Wednesday, 1 August 2012

WELLNESS@LXG: THE FACIAL - THE FINAL FRONTIER

Now let’s get one thing straight – guys don’t talk to each other about the condition of their face and skin – right?

I mean when I was growing up, none of my friends dared start a conversation about the latest face-mask, let alone moisturizer. And if ‘Joe’ ever made the mistake of talking openly about his enlarged pores, his punishment would to forever be branded ‘Joanne’. Yes those were tough years if you were a sensitive guy…

It was just too much risk to our ‘manlihoods’ to talk about such fussy and obviously feminine things. But this is no longer the case. The male human has evolved. I was not informed.

Apparently the days of the male braving the elements, and enduring the scorching Sun, just to bring home the bacon – are long over. Now he wears tinted SPF 30 sun-block and preps himself with cleanser and toner, before he heads out on the hunt.

I was obviously in need of a re-education, so after much prodding and poking, and some not so subtle hints, I recently found myself at the threshold of one massively giant step in my evolution from caveman to charismatic gentleman: The Day of My First Facial

As I made my way down the sunny byways of Orchard Road, and tentatively stepped through the grand entrance of the Palais Renaissance, my mind raced back to a time when I was a kid, gulping down his fear as he stepped into the Dental Surgery for his first ever filling.
A similar shudder raced down my spine as I stood outside the entrance to Phoenix Le Beaute Salon. It wasn’t the fear of pain however, it was the sheer terror of anyone coming that close to my face – close enough to examine all the little pits and scars and lines. I have spent over half my life working under the Sun, and my skin now carries the evidence to prove it.

I was greeted by therapist Nicole, who led me to a waiting room where I first filled in a questionnaire asking for details about my personal skin treatment regime – which got a very short response – and what I thought were the main problems with my skin – this turned out to be a very long list.
My therapist, Nicole - I was in safe hands...
When Nicole found out this was to be my first ever facial, I think she immediately took sympathy for this sorry, deprived soul, and from my responses she could probably also tell that I was feeling pretty nervous about whole thing.

But she took time to explain the procedure, which was going to be the signature Maria Galland Therapie Cocon  (Cocoon Therapy) – basically an hour-long anti-stress treatment comprising a tailor-made massage ritual to relax facial features and rejuvenate the skin.

Treatment Room at Phoenix Le Beaute
That didn’t sound too bad actually – so with a few more words of reassurance, I changed into a robe and was led to one of the cosy treatment rooms. 

Subtle lighting and quiet instrumental music piped in the background set the mood, and I was soon stretched out on a comfortably padded bed.

After smoothly cleansing my face and applying a mask, Nicole began the facial massage, her fingertips gently yet firmly applying pressure and easing out tension across the face and along the temples and neck muscles. 

She seemed thrilled by the prospect of this being my first ever facial, always checking that I was comfortable and happy with the ongoing process.

I have to tell you – that massage was working wonders. I never anticipated that this would be part of a facial treatment, but apparently a unique aspect of the Maria Galland method is to incorporate the massage ritual as a means of easing tension and draining the lymphatic system. 

Normal facials for guys only restrict the massage to the face, but this version spent equal time on the shoulders, neck and upper back. By this time my concerns had flown of the window. I was completely relaxed and totally at ease.  I could have stopped right there and been totally satisfied.
Range of Maria Galland products, some of which were used in the facial
But this was when the actual ‘cocon’ treatment began. Literally a cocoon of foam is applied to the face and left to work its cleansing and restorative magic for about 20 minutes – actually I’m not too sure for exactly how long, because by now I had no concept of time; I was floating in a cloud of near-meditative bliss. I was really surprised as to how quickly my initial resilience had disappeared!

Finally a moisturizer containing Vitamin A and E was applied to my face, and I was done. My first ever facial was over and thanks to Nicole’s expert treatment, I was mentally already planning when my next one would be…  

So there you go – I highly recommend the Maria Galland Therapie Cocon, especially for newbies like me. I actually found out that’s it no longer a rare thing for guys to have such treatments. Nicole sees young professionals and even couples visiting Phoenix Le Beaute Salon for their regular facials and spa treatments.

I for one am very happy to have finally evolved…

To find out more and try out the Maria Galland Therapie Cocon treatment for yourself, visit:

Phoenix Le Beaute
390 Orchard Road
#B1-07 Palais Renaissance
Singapore 238871
Tel: +65 6733 4556

Courtesy of Phoenix Le Beaute, LXG is giving away one exclusive Maria Galland Therapie Cocon, treatment, valued at S$180 (excluding GST)
 
To take part and stand a chance to win:

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