Pandemic highlighted a lot of things for many of us. We all rediscovered long-forgotten hand-washing techniques our grandmothers taught us; our love for de-cluttering, baking, binge watching favourite
I have heard about the brand’s new facialist Jana but only now got to meet her in person at Fenwicks on Bond street, where NuBo offers their regular facial events. Jana worked at spas in Browns Hotel, Metropolitan and Savoy, so you her track record already sets the bar high. In person she is softly spoken and very pretty, but at the same time there is reserve and calm in her manner that puts you at ease, as she leads you to the treatment room at the back of Fenwicks beauty hall.
The treatment I was about to have lasts 60 minutes and was developed to give you back your healthy glow and treat the side-effects of sun exposure (hyper-pigmentation, sun spots, dryness). A combination of facial massage (helping to detox your whole body) and skin-care, plus the therapist’s soothing hands were about to melt me into oblivion and sculpt my face.
Jana asked me questions about my skin-care routine, let me get comfortable on the cosy massage bed with the heated blanket and proceeded to give me the treatment, synced with the soothing sounds of Enya and classical music on the sound speaker. Jana stretched and gently rocked my body in order to re-align it and gently balance it – within minutes I felt like letting go of the busy day and just savouring the moment. Your make-up gets removed, while the neck, jaw line and decollete are massaged and then Jana examines your skin, in order to choose the right products for your skin-every NuBo treatment is personalised from that point for you and in some ways no two treatments are the same.
A warm compress on the face opens up your pores (the product absorption is much more effective), as your body and mind continue to calm down and then NuBo’s Vitamin C cleanser (I very much enjoy using it in the summer as it keeps my skin clean and bright) is added and Jana proceeds with the facial massage, done with the help of small brushes that increase the blood flow to the face and encourage the illumination of impurities. As the cleanse is a double one, you feel like your face is truly getting cleansed and massaged and somehow the sensation is very comforting and luxurious at the same time.
Your cleanser then gets removed by two cloths and followed by another mini skin diagnosis-when you skin is cleansed, it gives an experienced therapist further clues as to how best to proceed with your facial treatment and that is equally a sign of the brand and therapist taking their clients needs seriously, trying to find the perfect match within the range just for you. My skin was scrubbed with the Cell Dynamic Bio-Electric scrub (I have written about it in the past and it still remains one of my ‘firm’ favourites, because its grains are just right – not too small, not to harsh and they shift dead skin cells without aggravating you skin. As a separate note, it’s a great scrub for the male in your life, as it helps to buff their skin and prevent in-grown hair between shaves) and the particles removed by small cloths, leaving no trace of the grains on the skin, which is followed by the hot compress infused with essential oils before the always ‘unwelcome’ but much needed extraction part, which is then ‘soothed’ by the toner mist. At that stage of the treatment my skin was already feeling as pampered as I was, but the princess was about to feel like a queen with the use of NuBo’s Oxygen Boost serum, which delivers oxygen directly to skin cells, speeding up cellular turnover and boosting energy levels, which wane as we age (in addition to being exposed to increasing pollution levels when living in a busy city). It also helps to detox the skin quicker and helps the skin to repair and renew itself, while plumping it and relaxing the facial muscles. You can’t see the effect it has on the skin when you are lying down, while having a facial, but try it on your hand at NuBo’s refurbished counter when you come out of the treatment room and you will see what I mean. You skin buzzes happily like a busy bee over a blooming flower, while it feels plump and cool to the touch.
A mask gets applied to your face and then your receive a relaxing arm massage, while holding two warm stones in the palms of your hands. At that stage I truly struggled to keep myself awake but luckily for me, someone moved outside the door and slammed another door, which while not breaking off the magic sensation, roused me from the embrace of morpheus and then Jana stretched my arms which put me in a more energised yet still relaxed state. The mask gets removed and facial toning mist sprayed over your face, rehydrating it and increasing ingredients absorbance and efficiency. What follows this stage of the facial, yours truly experienced for the first time and I must admit, it’s a treat that you don’t expect. Imagine plastic balls, filled with water, slightly bigger that ping pong ones, attached to handles like maracas. Well, they are warmed up and then your face, neck and decollete are massaged with them , bringing with them warmth, relaxation and perfect contouring to inner muscles and further relaxing you and your senses. The massage amplifies your bone structure, wakes up the muscles, as Yana’s fingers move like soothing waves over the contours of your face, neck, shoulders and decollete. If that wasn’t enough, Jana then applied an Ice-Glow mask to my face that feels like an ice queen slowly blowing over your face with her frosted breath (it is a perfect pre-party treat that wakes up your face and gives you beautiful and natural glow that looks like you just came back from a holiday). While the mask works its magic, your scalp gets a massage and then the mask gets removed, just as its cooling effect starts to disappear. A toner gets sprayed, serum and
The facial took place in the ‘secret’ treatment room ( tucked in between the beauty hall and the lingerie sections-what more can a girl be tempted with ?) in Fenwick. My wonderfully joyful & very experienced facialist Tine gave me a fluffy towel robe to cover my upper body with and told me to take off my jewellery. She then applied a hairband to keep my hair out of the way and told me to close my eyes and a take several deep, relaxing breaths before her strong but soothing hands got to work on my face.
The facial starts with the application of NuBo‘s Velvet Cleansing Cream (it smells so lovely and is so moisturising, I feel like I am treating myself every time I use it ), followed by a Foaming Cleanser that has a gentle exfoliating effect. Lately more and more facialists are starting to advocate double cleansing and considering the pollution that we are exposed to on the daily basis, I think it’s as much a necessity, as well as a daily beauty maintenance for our skin.
After a very thorough double cleanse ( my face felt clean, yet soft to the touch ) Tine applied a Diamond Peel & Reveal Mask that makes you feel like a pampered Princess and then sprayed Rose mist that invigorates and revitalises your skin, followed by the application of the Oxygen Booster serum ( not only does this recently launched product plump your skin, it also relaxes your facial muscles and accelerates healing and regenerative process in the skin layers ). Truth be told, it felt like a magic potion straight out of the ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ cartoon-luckily you don’t need to be the Wicked Queen to experience it ! )
Tine mixed and painted a Peel-off mask , which contains Norwegian seaweed & French clay ( for the time being it is only available as part of NuBo’s salon facial ). This mask helps to detox your skin further and leads to a much clearer complexion by drawing out the impurities and tightening up the pores.
One would think that all that was good enough, but NuBo‘s team goes so much deeper in their research, in order to push a ‘facial’ experience to new levels. You then get to try another of NuBo’s innovations, gel like Eye pads ( again, only available as part of the Salon treatment for now ) that feel quite cooling and relaxing upon application and when they are taken off your eye area feels plumped, revitalised and reinvigorated, even before Rose Mist is sprayed over your face. The skin around our eyes is quite delicate, so it’s a very fine balance to develop a treatment that doesn’t overwhelm the skin, yet treats a lot of problems, like dryness or dark shadows.
The next step was an application of NuBo’s best-selling Diamond Ice Glow Mask. This mask is a great pre-party face treat, as it wakes up your skin and boosts your radiance levels. While the mask is on, your hands and arms are massaged with Bien Etre oil ( Rosehip oil and Finnish Lingon berries ) and then you are given two warm Aventurine stones to be held in the palms of your hands ( this stone is known for its good luck, prosperity and positive energy qualities ) while cosy mitts are put over your hands, making you feel like you are in a relaxed, cosy cocoon. I tried to focus a little and not drift off to sleep ( after all, I have to relay the facial details to you ), while Tine was massaging my tight shoulders and neck with the Bien Etre oil, melting tightness and stress away.
Time flows by and then the eye pads and the mask get removed and Tine follows it up with lymphatic drainage on face and neck with Bien Etre oil. All through this time I was lying down with a persistent thought of whether this bliss was real or I was hallucinating in my happily dreamy state.
Hot towels are applied to your face to remove the mask, followed by Vitamin C serum, which works on brightening your complexion and then the focus goes back to the eye area with the use of a gadget that uses Galvanic currents & Red light therapy ( it allows the product’s active ingredients to penetrate deeper into your dermal layers and deliver an almost instant eye lifting effect-when I later touched the area all around my eyes it felt different, even without me seeing the effect in the mirror ). As soon as Tine started applying this gadget to the under-eye area, a wave of serenity washed over me. I felt a very profound sense of calm and peace descend on me, which is really hard to describe using words- one really needs to experience it in person to believe it. You also get light, but actively targetted finger massage around the Orbicularis ( eye muscle ) and Tine’s delicate fingers smoothed everything to perfection with the Eye Lift serum.
Diamond Radiance cream followed by the Essence is then applied to your face, as well as the neck area ( to be honest I rarely spread my face cream on my neck and that is really silly of me, as our necks are one of the first places to start showing our age, if we neglect to care for them ) and finished with a dewy layer of Sculpt and Lip Serums. You also have an option of having Voile No.5 applied too.
As an hour long facial drew to its close, Tine ( who is very knowledgeable about beauty, health and skincare ) told me to stretch my arms and legs away from my body and offered me a glass of water ( during my previous NuBo facial I was offered a glass of champagne, which I kindly declined, as I think that a facial or massage shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol. Treatments like that stimulate the detoxing process in your body, particularly when lymphatic drainage technique in involved, so drinking a glass of water is the best drink you can and should have after a facial like that ).
All I can add here is that this facial is so powerfully transforming, you can happily waltz out of the room with no make-up and look like a glowing, serene goddess ready to face the world. In my case, the effect ( plump, soft, dewy skin and a face that felt as if it was lifted and sculpted ) actually lasted for a couple of days.
NuBo‘s Focus on Eyes facial treatment, 29 October-3rd November,Fenwick New Bond street
Call Daniela at Fenwick’s NuBo counter on 0207 629 9161 to make your booking
Abigail herself is a pretty woman with long beautiful hair and looking at her you would hardly guess that she is a mother of three-can a facialist have a better advertisement, testifying to the skill and correct lifestyle?
Abigail took me to the treatment room downstairs and asked me to fill in a detailed questionnaire, covering my skin, medical conditions or cosmetic treatments that i might have had in the past. She does ask about your beauty routine and the products that you use and what you want to achieve with the facial. Some of the questions are surprising, like on which side do I normally sleep. Well, having examined my face Abigail noticed that one side was more congested than the other and correctly told me on which side I tend to sleep more….
Following this, you get on the cosy treatment bed and Abigail starts doing some craniosacral work on your face and scalp, touching certain points and gently unwinding your face and frayed nerves in the process.
My facial took 75 minutes and included a three step cleanse, steaming to open up the pores, extractions (normally it is the only unpleasant part of the facial but on this occasion it was almost painless, even though the area around my nose was congested-and it can be quite sensitive, thus testing the therapist’s skills) , natural face therapeutic massage (Abigail has a light touch and her fingers flutter all over your face, relaxing it), deep connective tissue release, which helps to restructure and soften the face, followed by chosen mask, manual lymphatic drainage (to detox lymph system) and reduce puffiness and encourage natural healing.
Abigail is quite selective about the products she uses (she only uses organic brands) and while I have heard or used Ren or Dr. Hauschka (I have many girlfriends who love and swear by this range but unfortunately it just doesn’t work for my skin) the brand Dr. Alkaitis was new to me.
Abigail used Dr. Alkaitis Universal mask (it nourishes and rejuvenates all types of skin with ingredients like oat buds, organic grass juice, vegetable and seed complexes) which she mixes especially for you, adding goat’s milk and honey together with the active ingredients and then putting it on your face-bliss, I tell you.
Abigail is knowledgeable and experienced but you almost have to press her a little in terms of products advice post treatment-to me it was a nice change, as many therapists might push the products they use or have developed on you, while Abigail seems to give a serious thought before recommending something to you. I walked away with dr. Alkaitis organic soothing gel that calms my skin and makes it feel loved and nurtured by 100% active ingredients and I use universal mask once a week now too, which is the step in the direction of moving more into the organic beauty brands and away from chemically loaded.
Facial with Abigail James, 75 mins £125 at Lost in Beauty, 117Regents park Road, London NW1