Oh my God! Oh, my!
God! Nothing like a facial
To soothe your whole self.
Phyt’s is a French brand, and first came to Ireland in 2007. It’s chemical-free, paraben-free, not tested on animals, and the packaging is 100% recyclable. I’ve had a few of the products cross my desk over the last few years, and wasn’t terribly interested in them. More recently, I got a sample of the Ativ’ Peel, a facial exfoliant, and that, I liked loads: it foams up nicely, which allows the granules to distribute gently but thoroughly, and it has a lovely lemon-y scent. So when news of the Virginie Claire Beauty Centre’s Bastille Day special, running from 9-14 July came in the email, and a voucher for the 60 minute Radiance Facial came in the post, I duly followed through.
Oh, sure, I said to myself, ‘Radiance’ Facial, uh huh. I think I cultivate my cynicism because I am perversely delighted to be proven wrong. After all these years, I tell myself that I am inured to the all the bells and whistles that accompany beauty marketing — I suppose I am, superficially, but deep down, I am ready and willing to be shocked and awed.
I was entirely all of the latter following my treatment. Is this an outcome specific to the quality of Phyt’s products? Is it the wholly down to the prowess of Virginie Claire, the proprietress herself? Or, is it my willingness to give myself over to the process?
It’s probably all three, and that last one interests me, because it is in direct contradiction to the whole cynicism thing. So maybe I am not really cynical.
Long story short: at the end of the facial, I sat up and looked at my face in the mirror and laughed because it was like I was standing centre stage in Carnegie Hall under a spotlight, my face looked that clear and bright and lit up. In a word… radiant.
There really is nothing like wrapping up in a terry-cloth tube-top and lying down on a massage table. Every synapse in my brain takes this as a cue to to just relaaaaax, and my whole body follows suit. It’s amazing how much of the tension we feel ends up in our faces. As Virginie began the treatment with a comprehensive cleanse, tone, and exfoliation, I could feel the boulders that had been collecting in my jaw begin to disintegrate. As a result, the clenching in my forehead released — and I felt that release all the way down to my neck. Wild.
Next came a real highpoint: application of Serum Capyl-Rose, massage-style. This was perfection, and Virginie paid particular attention to the area around the eyes. I’m not entirely sure what happened next, because then I got a shoulder/arm/upper back massage, and I went away to my happy place.
Highest highpoint? The Aqua Peel-Off Mask, which is it bit pongy with rosemary, but otherwise feels like it is coolly and soothingly getting right down to the bottom of your pores and cleaning them out. And: oh! The sensation when it is peeled off your face, in one piece! So satisfying! Unfortunately, kids, you can’t try this one at home; I asked as soon as I was able to form thoughts again, and Virginie said it’s too messy — she tried it herself and even she, a professional, found it too fiddly to do on one’s own.
In other details: the salon is super quiet for a day-spa-type place, certainly the quietest I have encountered yet; Virginie is supremely well-informed and up-front about things, as well as being knowledgeable and personable and adept; I took the 16 bus from Camden Street as was at the centre in ten minutes.
Did you realise that both American and French Independence days are in the summer? We had a laugh about that: if either revolution had failed, at least they could have fecked off to the beach.
Is that cynical? Nah, just practical, right? Anyway: yet another failure to be disenchanted! Success!
Special offer Radiance Facial: €45; good until 14 July.
Virginie Claire is located at 255 Harold’s Cross Road, Dublin 6; 01 4978833