Skin Deep

It’s usually around the end of February, after several months of cold, rain and wind that my skin just gives up. No matter how many creams and potions I apply, nothing can alleviate the dry dullness that’s become synonymous with these winter months. I needed an intervention.

Spa Illuminata, located just off Park Lane, is a tall Victorian building that looks like a high-end corner shop. If it wasn’t for the large gold lettering, I would have walked straight past. Once inside, it was obviously nothing of the sort. The decor gives the illusion of high ceilings being held up by Roman-esque pillars; the floor and fixtures are all marble with a tall archway in the far corner, which I assumed must lead to the treatment rooms below.  Reception staff were immediately attentive and, after I’d filled out my forms, I was taken downstairs for my treatment.

We descended the marble stairs into the comforting warm aroma of jasmine and eucalyptus. The treatment room was of ample size with soft lighting and soothing music playing at just the right level. Kathryn, my therapist, had suggested the Cinetic Progressif treatment, which promised to take facial rejuvenation to a whole new level.  The treatment uses a combination of Micro-currents, Ultrasound and LED futuristic technologies, for visible results after just one treatment. As you can imagine, I was pretty excited about the prospect of having a new face in under two hours.

Kathryn got to work exfoliating my dried skin using a poignant smelling scrub, the Marmite of skincare products. I’d describe the smell as a combination of mossy wet dogs and whisky. Strange, I know, and I’m still trying to decide whether I loved it or hated it. Either way, the scrub was effective: I could almost feel my skin take a deep breath as the lower layers were exposed to the air. Once the skin was prepared, I was treated to a relaxing mid-treatment hand and foot massage using Cartia, Fluide de Beaute. It was at this point I drifted off into blissful oblivion.

Back in the room, it was time for the electro-mitt (not the technical name). Kathryn smoothed the silver mitten across my face using small circular motions, concentrating on the right hand side first. The feeling was not unpleasant and I could only occasionally feel a slight current vibrating through my skin. With the right hand side complete, I was given the option to see the difference between the two sides of my face. I feared this was going to be one of those flea-circus moments where I was going to have to lie about what I could see. Boy was I wrong! I looked like Madeline Ashton mid-transformation – “I’m a girl”. The skin on the right side of my face was visibly tighter and all of my features had moved upwards by a quarter of a centimetre.

Following the electro current treatment, a generous helping of Carita, Beauty Diamond was massaged into my skin. Carita, Beauty Diamond is an indulgent night cream, perfect for hydrating and repairing the skin when it’s at its most receptive. The whole treatment worked wonders, revealing an incredibly soft, radiant and visibly younger looking complexion. Cinetic Progressif is the perfect treatment for weddings and other events where you need an instant boost or taken regularly to keep your skin looking youthful and vibrant. I can imagine it could get quite addictive, and I’m already planning my next visit.

Because of its location and lack of a day spa and pool, Illuminata is mainly used by working women who come for one off or a series of treatments aimed at achieving a certain result. If you’re the kind of woman who knows what she wants, what results you want to see and would rather avoid all the fuss that comes along with it, then head to Illuminata Spa during your lunch hour. It will make your week.


Gemma Phelan

Phelan is The Review’s beauty editor. Aside from reviewing the hottest new beauty products and services, she also runs her own digital marketing agency, DigitalBinx. Phelan has previously worked at the Daily Mirror and Elle Magazine, and is a lover of red lipstick, vintage fashion and ‘oldies’ tag radio.

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