Feeling guilty ANNABEL KANTARIA experiences the world’s most luxurious facial
at Dubai’s stunning Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.
“A wrinkle is no more than a lack of collagen on the skin,” says therapist-to-the-stars Margie Lombard, creator of exclusive skincare brand Margy’s Monte Carlo. She tells me this as I lie back on a treatment bed ready to experience the 90-minute Margy’s Prestige Collagen Facial (Botox Effect) followed by the über-luxe Gold Mask Treatment, the latter of which is available only at Margy’s in Monte Carlo and at the Talise Spa in the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah.
And, as celebrity facial technician, Yoko, who has travelled with Margie from Monaco, deftly assesses the condition of my skin, I find myself wondering if we sometimes overcomplicate things with our current obsession for results borne by scalpel, laser, ultrasound and needle.
What could be more natural – more obvious – I think, than to treat a lack of collagen on the skin than by laying pure collagen over it? Yoko begins the treatment with a gentle cleanse to prepare my skin. Her fingers dance over my face, gently massaging, and I imagine this is how it must feel to be an A-lister: although Yoko is discrete about whom she treats, I know from the press kit that her clients include Princess Charlotte of Monaco, Shirley Bassey and Claudia Schiffer. Every Margy’s facial has a standard protocol, which is then personalised for each client. Yoko starts my treatment by applying Prestige Triple Concentrate Serum to my face using a “lift-up” massage technique. Application techniques are a major part of the Margy’s philosophy: according to Margie herself, a product’s efficacy is not maximised unless it is applied using the appropriate method. It is to this end that Margy’s introduced the iBeauty concept – an institute in Monte Carlo where clients can learn how properly to apply their products. Feeling gilty – world’s most luxurious facial at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.
Once the serum has sunk into my skin, Yoko applies algae patches to my face, which she moistens with toner. The patches emulsify and Yoko slowly massages the resulting product all over my face, neck and décolletage using strokes designed to remodel, drain, stimulate and lift the skin. The overall effect is so relaxing I have to stop myself from falling asleep. Yoko then removes the algae from my face – I blame the Alpha brainwaves for why I’m hazy on exactly how this was done – then, after one more application of the Prestige Triple Concentrate Serum because my dehydrated skin is apparently “drinking it up”, Yoko applies the hero product of the Margy’s line: the Extra Rich Firming Mask. This, she tells me, is a product that should be used every day, ideally in the morning: apply a thin layer to your face, wait between five and 20 minutes, then massage it into the skin using the Margy’s technique until the product has been fully absorbed. The application technique that Yoko uses is not one I could personally replicate at home, especially the super-fast pinch-and-pluck stroke, which I can practically feel lifting the skin higher up my face, but she tells me this is not so important at home. On my own, I must simply be careful to apply the product in upward and outward strokes, and in circular strokes around the orbital eye bones – inwards on the lower bone; outwards on the upper. Doing this on a daily basis will provide a cumulative effect that both lifts the skin and softens lines. Only now are we ready for the collagen. The sheet of dried, pure collagen Yoko’s going to use looks a little like paper.
She asks if I’d like to cover my lips and eyes or cut holes – given that the collagen will have an all-round plumping effect, I opt to keep everything covered, and she lays the sheet over my face, moistening it with toner to make it stick to my skin. It feels rather like being covered in papier maché but not in a bad way. I lie still for some time while the mask works its magic and then Yoko simply peels it off my face, like rubber, when the time’s up. The facial’s “Botox effect” Feeling gilty – world’s most luxurious facial at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray – a patented complex of botanical peptides – which relaxes the facial muscles and features, easing out wrinkles. The facial finishes with an application of Prestige Triple Action Day Cream and Eye Zone Renovating Fluid and then we start on the Gold Mask Treatment. This involves covering my face with a mask made of 24-carat gold chain mail, through which electrical micro-currents are conducted. Software developed by Margie enables the therapist to choose one of four programmes designed to detox, stimulate, regenerate or illuminate the skin. It’s an exclusive treatment: only two of these gold masks exist. One is in Monte Carlo; the other is about to be lowered onto my face. Yoko spreads conductive gel over my face, positions the mask and turns on the current. As I get used to the tingly sensation, she increases the power fractionally until we find the level that works best for me: the facial should not be uncomfortable. “It’s like gymnastics for your skin,” Yoko tells me and, 20 minutes later, once the gel is cleaned off, I finally get to see the results of her hard work in the mirror. While I don’t look 20 years younger, what I do look is plumped, smoothed and rested. For the first time in decades, I step out in public without any makeup at all. And that’s saying something when you live in Dubai. Margy’s Prestige Collagen Facial (Botox Effect) – £96/£141 for 60/90 minutes Gold Mask Treatment – as an addition to any Margy’s facial – AED £179 for 20 minutes www.jumeirah.com