Archive for the ‘Clarins’ Category
I started running outdoors six weeks ago to improve my well being and strength and although I don’t have a fondness for exercise, the reason I’ve kept going (ha!) is motivation from fellow runners. I am part of a local running group and I run a couple of times a week with a few work colleagues. To think when I started, I could only run for a minute. Now I’m up to nearly 3 miles in half an hour without stopping.
When I visited Clarins spa for my massage, I was recommended to try their Energizing Emulsion on my legs. It’s an absorbent lotion infused with herbal extracts of camomile, basil, sage and cypress to help revive and relax tired legs. To give its full list of ingredients, this lotion is made up of natural plant extracts, essential oils, camomile, basil, petit grain, St John’s Wort, mint, cypress, witch hazel, wheatgerm and sweet almond oil.
It can be applied through stockings too so there is no stickiness and it has an immediate cooling effect. By no means is it a sports product for athletes, but it’s recommended to anyone who may be on their feet all day and for pregnant women looking for some respite.
I use it on my calves as those are under more pressure when I’m running though I am interested in exploring other options as I increase my distance and time, and I suspect this product will be too gentle for that level of exertion. It is comforting to use just before going to sleep especially if you’ve been walking from one end of Oxford Street to another or indeed in the middle of the day when you want a little pick-me-up. The only downside is the refreshing feeling wears off quickly.
Clarins’ Energizing Emulsion costs £26 for 125ml.
Last week I did what any sane woman would do: I took a day off and went to Thorpe Park. Swarm, SAW, Nemesis Inferno and Stealth, I tackled all these bad boys but it’s Stealth, which shoots from 0-80 mph in 1.3 seconds that gave me a sore shoulder. Of course I have learned my lesson. I’m planning a trip for Fright Night in October…
So with a stiff neck and sore shoulder, I was armed and ready for a body massage at Clarins’ Skin Spa the following day. Clarins has a sterling reputation for skin care and make-up and I’ve heard the same about its spa which boasts an impressive list of face and body treatments for women AND men.
My nearest Clarins Skin Spa is in Fenwicks, at north London’s Brent Cross shopping centre. It’s located in the basement with the rest of the beauty counters, tucked in between the Ralph Lauren bedding and (probably my favourite department) kitchenware.
I had a taste of a shoulder massage at Clarins’ recent autumn/winter launch a few weeks ago which literally opened my eyes to the point of teeth-clenching as the therapist took great pleasure in popping all the knots in my shoulders. That’s when the horrible reality sunk in that Clarins isn’t all smiles in red and white uniforms – they’re brutally skilled and that’s what I’ve been looking for.
I do love massages over facials, I feel like I can take care of my face relatively well but areas like my back are best left to the professionals. Besides, it’s a chance to switch off and have some ‘me’ time.
So as I was saying, on Tuesday night I parked bang outside the doors of Fenwicks (seriously pleased with my parking spot for this one) and I made my way to the Clarins’ Skin Spa. I met my therapist, Lisa who prescribed the Rebalancing Massage with Relax Essential Oils (£55) on the accounts of sitting at the computer all day at work.
It is a deep, full body massage to release long-standing knots and tensions within the deeper muscle layers, using a bespoke sequence of slower movements and pressure point techniques. To add to the mix, a blend of essential oils containing Basil, Camomile and Petit Grain are used. It lasts approximately one hour and 25 minutes which includes a 15 minute consultation.
My concerns were a priority and crucial to creating an almost bespoke massage. I knew my shoulders were the main problem area as well as my lower back sometimes. Lisa just knew…like a killer instinct…and I was immediately comfortable in putting my trust in her. Some find massages intrusive because of the nature of it. At Clarins I was made to feel completely at ease.
After our talk, I was led to a treatment room which was small yet cosy. A locker is provided for personal belongings. I disrobed and had to pop on some fetching paper knickers. Don’t you just love them?
When I was ready, Lisa popped back into the room and explained what my treatment would involve, beginning with the front and then rolling over for the back.
I was then asked to choose two large areas and one small area to be massaged so I opted for my back (obviously), my arms and my feet. Some like to have their face and legs done.
Lisa placed a cooling eye mask over my peepers and covered my feet in ‘warm booties’. Great Odin’s raven! They were hot towels which were wrapped around my feet but I really loved how they felt. It’s so easy to neglect your feet considering how many hours we spend standing on them.
The entire body is covered but it’s the particular areas of choices which your therapist concentrates on. Having my arms massaged, in particular my fingers and the soles of my feet, had me floating on air not to mention the floral aroma of the oils that enveloped me. It’s when Lisa got to grips with my shoulders that the pain hit me hard. I’m being truthful here, it hurt like crazy but nothing could have prepared me for the hardcore work on my hip-bone area. I’m just glad I was faced down on the towel for my tears to be absorbed. And I didn’t yell or scream either. That’s how much of a trooper I am.
You are free to request more pressure or less if you’re a wuss. I wanted to be relieved of the knots and tension so I was happy for Lisa to go to town. She was extremely thorough with her expertly skilled handy work. I also learned for the first time how much tension I have in my right arm. That makes perfect sense since I am right-handed.
Unfortunately this won’t change any time soon. I am always going to have these pains with the nature of my job and while I’m making attempts to introduce exercise to alleviate my problems, I have come round to the idea of having a massage regularly is a necessity and not self-indulgence. It would be silly not to. My nearest spa is practically on my doorstep. Well alright, less than 10 minutes by car but I don’t have to traipse for hours into town. The real icing on the cake, however is I had an incredible massage and it’s one I can be blissfully happy to have again. It was my first one for quite some time which might explain why parts of it were painful. I also think the price is very reasonable for a treatment that lasts over an hour. Lisa, I’m definitely coming back to you in six weeks…
If this massage has piqued your interest or you would like to find out what else Clarins offers, a detailed list is available here. You can also search for your nearest Clarins Skin Spa.
*I was a guest of Clarins