Everything is relative of course. However, I'm convinced I'm quite a bit cuter today than I was yesterday. (Though we won't be changing the name of the blog in the near future.)
My Sothys "Exclusive Digi-Esthetique Method Customized Anti-Age Program" with "collagen hyaluronique" performed by my esthetician with magic hands laden with delicious lotions, potions, liquids, creams, oils and I don't know what all was, in a word, divine.
It's a luxury, no question about it, but it might be one you would consider the next time you're in Paris or New York. The institute is a pristine oasis of calm and beauty. The procedure, heavenly.
Let me tell you about the intensive anti-age ablutions Naomi performed for one hour and 15 minutes while I lay upon a soft, heated "bed" between two thick pinky beige terry cloth sheets.
It started with questions.
Naomi: "How would you diagnose your skin?
Moi: "Umm, I don't know. Mixed? Like everybody else in the world? What do you think?"
Naomi: Silence. I think she wrote my answer on my "report" -- I'm not sure because there was practically no light in the room.
Naomi: "Let me tell you about the treatment."
Moi: "Oui, oui, I can't wait. Tell me everything."
Naomi: "First I will assess the 'age' of your skin. We have a system from one to four and the products I will use on your face will be chosen specifically for you."
Moi: "Great." (Now, I'm thinking: I know I'm not a one and I assume I'm not a four [yet], please don't make me a major three.)
Naomi: "You're right on the line."
Moi: Oh, no. I knew I should have started using a double digit SPF product 15 years ago.
Naomi: "You're on the end of the two, barely into the three."
Moi: "Really? That's fantastic." (I'm very competitive.)
**Note: The age of one's skin has nothing to do with one's chronological age. It's all about whether we've done all the good things we know we should have been doing and not doing all the bad things we know we should never have done. Then, of course, we've either been blessed or cursed by genetics.
Originally I had planned to take notes, but the minute Naomi started removing my makeup with soothing feathery strokes, I abandoned the idea. I figured I probably will not have another one of these treatments anytime soon -- a series of three is recommended which means I will have one-third of the benefits -- so I decided to lie back and enjoy it.
This is what I remember from her explanation and the experience: makeup removal; gommage (a peel/exfoliation product to slough away the debris) a warm oil massage on shoulders, neck and upper chest while the gommage did whatever it was supposed to do; more cleansing with oils or lotions (difficult to discern with eyes closed and in a sort of trance); a serum applied, rubbed, and ever-so-lightly pinched and tapped into forehead lines, the famous nasolabial parentheses or "laugh lines", and a smidge around the eyes.
Next step, a remodelage product purpose made for the "oval" -- that's the chin neck area -- is spread with upward fluttery movements. And finally a cool collagen potion is "painted" on the skin from neck to hairline, it is then covered with a gauze mask and more collagen is applied on top. While the collagen on collagen works its wonders, I'm treated to a warm oil massage from shoulders to fingertips with serious emphasis on the hands. "It's the chef's surprise," Naomi replied to my moans of pleasure.
The mask is whipped off -- I was waiting for a "ta-daa" -- then I think Naomi did another light cleansing and finished with a serum and cream specifically for me (of course).
Verdict: My skin looks radiant, pinky and plumpy. The experience was magic. I only wish I could do the full three-part series to see whether I might revert back into a solid number two without surgical intervention.
Something I didn't know: Maybe you don't either, therefore I shall share. Do you realize that every home exfoliation (gommage) should be immediately followed by a moisturizing mask? Once a week only for this. Max.
Yes, valet parking is available and, no, none of these cars is mine.
In the past, I've been against facial manipulations believing that nature does enough tugging, scrunching and pulling without paying someone to add to the inevitable ravages.
I've since changed my mind.