SheerLuxe's Deputy Editor Astrid Carter tried and tested the latest Stateside facial to hit London.
Where: The Sense Spa at London’s gorgeous Rosewood Hotel where the brand occupy the first and only Face Place treatment room in Europe.
What: Vanity Fair coined Face Place “LA’s most sought-after facial”, and that’s not surprising seeing as everyone from Meg Ryan to Tom Cruise have turned to its skin-glowing powers. The brand takes a medical approach to treatments (if it’s a relaxing facial and 90 minutes R&R you’re after you may as well stop reading now), focusing on instantly improved tone, firmness, smoothing of lines and banishing of spots.
Originally designed for men, LA’s image-conscious ladies quickly caught on to its quick-fix benefits and Face Place has now been smoothing the skin of Hollywood’s finest for 40 years. Compared to our cousins across the Atlantic, London is slowly catching up in the cosmetics department, but Face Place is spearheading the trend for results-driven, hard-working beauty treatments here in the UK.
What to expect: LA. takes its facials pretty seriously so expect to be poked and prodded for the full 90 minutes. The treatment begins with a cleanse before the skin is steamed with, what I can only describe as, a Hannibal-esque cone mask. This opens and clears the pours ready for extraction. Rowan, the therapist, is lovely and works as fast as she can to squeeze out the dirt and toxins from your pours, first using a sucking instrument and then manually. If you’ve ever squeezed a spot that wasn’t meant to be squeezed this is like that but all over your face. I’m not going to lie, it’s painful, but Rowan assured me her male clients are far more wimpish than her female ones. Afterwards my skin felt tingly and pumped, like it had been ‘woken up’ – that instantly cancelled out the memory of any pain.
Next, wet bandages followed by electric pads are secured onto the face and a galvanic current is run through. The perfect selfie opportunity was taken (apparently I wasn’t the first), which I instantly regretted after seeing how horrifying I looked under all the bandages and electrical equipment – said selfie being far too terrifying to publish in this piece, but do search #faceplace on Instagram if you’re curious). I experienced a very metallic taste in my mouth which was unpleasant but, as Rowan assured me, very normal. This current literally plumps out the skin and smoothes it, helping to iron out fine lines and, along with the extraction, clear any blemishes.
My concerns: I had no major skin issues but the treatment can be tailored to everyone’s individual needs. It’s a good all-rounder whether it’s ageing or acne that’s causing you problems.
The result: I had two treatments about a month apart. The first time my face looked incredibly plumped (in a good) way and was super soft and smooth. In fact, that evening I went to dinner without any foundation or concealer on which is something I never do. After the second treatment I did break out a little. Nothing major and it was probably due to the toxins coming out of my skin following the steaming and extraction. Nevertheless, a couple of days later the breakout had gone down and my skin did feel tighter and softer.
What makes this facial different from others we’ve tried: Face Place offers instant results which last. I’ve had many facials where my skin looks glowing straight afterwards only to be back to normal the next day. The results of Face Place, however, are still there days later.
Anything else? Apparently the treatment is quite addictive – Rowan told me she has clients coming back regularly and they’ve only recently launched in the UK. I have to say, it’s opened my eyes to the cost of facials verses the results of them, and I've realised I’d rather spend my money on one like this which, although may be a little uncomfortable, actually works.
Cost: Face Place Signature Treatment, 75 minutes, £130; Rosewood Signature Face Place Treatment (with massage elements), 90 minutes, £155; and Face Place Express Signature Treatment, 45 minutes, £85.