We can't help it: every red carpet season instantly fills us with jealousy. All those gorgeous celebs with their designer dresses and perfect skin. How do we get in on a slice of that action?
While we can't see Givenchy chucking us over any couture gowns any time soon, there is something we can do about getting our skin prepped and primed like our favourite actors and models. Rani Mirza's Red Carpet Facial is a dreamy two-hour treatment designed to give your skin a good scrub up. And with clients like Naomi Campbell and Erin O'Connor, I knew my face was in safe hands.
First, Rani needed to get my skin prepped for the treatment, so she performed two cleanses on me: one to get rid of my makeup, and the another to give my skin a deeper cleanse. Then the face is exfoliated to get rid of any dead skin cells. Any eye contour cream is used to nourish your peepers and a T-zone serum softens any blackheads in the skin.
Next step is a ten-minute steam sesh. This steaming opens up the pores on your face and is key in preparing you for the most uncomfortable - and dare I say it, slightly painful - part of the facial: the extraction. This is a process where Rani gets rid of any blackheads or 'milia' - small, keratin-filled cysts that appear just under the epidermis - from the skin. If you think this is something you can do yourself, you can't. Trust me, Rani has a technique. For anyone who suffers badly with blackheads or congested skin, it's worth the facial just for this bit. It hurts - at one point there was even a teeny tiny extraction needle involved - but by the end Rani banished all the blackheads that were sitting under my skin which I couldn't get to myself, and had been building up for the best part of a year.
One nice, little thing to note about Rani's cosy treatment room is the fact that she doesn't listen to the usual spa retreat-style muzak. Rani has her radio set to a station called 'Chill', which doesn't have adverts but instead in between songs lets out a breathy 'Chiiiilllll'. I really enjoyed it, and it did make me feel very chill indeed. It played cool, calming, modern music like James Blake and London Grammar, and I much preferred it to the running waterfalls I was used to hearing during a treatment. Two hours is a long time to spend in one room, and if I'm going to do it, I really appreciate a decent, calming soundtrack.
The next step in the treatment is not one for those who are particularly claustrophobic. A cleansing clay mask is applied as over the face - including over the eyes. Rani checks that this is ok with me first, and it is, but as soon as you know you can't open your eyes, all you want to do is open your eyes. Luckily the mask is only left on for around ten minutes and so it doesn't really give you enough time for true claustrophobia to set in. Once the mask is removed it's followed by a blast of microdermabrasion for an even deeper exfoliation, leaving your skin seriously smooth.
The penultimate step is a soft spray of oxygen to the skin whilst simultaneously applying a serum that regenerates and hydrates the skin, helping to soften any fine lines and wrinkles. A final moulding mask is the applied to firm the skin and, of course leave it feeling silky soft for the rest of the day.
And then it's over. Two hours of glorious facial pampering gone in what feels like 5 minutes. Time sure does fly when you're being pampered, doesn't it?
What I will say about this facial is that if you're planning on having perfect skin for an event - maybe even an actual red carpet event - I wouldn't get this facial on the day of the event. It needs time to absorb into the skin and, after the extraction, my skin flared up. Your face needs time to recover and replenish. With the extraction, it is definitely a case of 'it needs to get worse before it gets better'. Less than a week later and my skin was doing well. It was hydrated, it was soft and it had cleared up a treat.
The Red Carpet Facial costs £185 and is available at ranimirza.co.uk.
Would you every try a Red Carpet Facial? Let us know! @sofeminineUK
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