Occurred to me the other day, as I thoroughly (oh-man-you-can’t-believe-how-much) enjoyed a delicious, skin nourishing Sodashi facial at Made. Beauty Space in Hawthorn, that I sometimes just talk about the strong facial treatments I have, and fail to mention the other ones, which are a lot more traditional and enjoyable, but no less important.
In an ideal world, a world where we had wash-n-go hair that always looked immaculate and we never needed to wax and our manicures and pedicures lasted for six months, we would make time for both kind of facial. Because while both are helpful and useful for the skin independently, together they are like some form of magical skin superhero. One does the heavy lifting, the ugly stuff, grunting and causing discomfort with a terribly cliche no pain no gain attitude; the other coming in with a lovely soft blanket, some white chocolate cheesecake, a huge glass of hydrating coconut water and a little kiss on the forehead. (Neither facial should ever be like this.)
The Hardcore One
This one is important because not unlike a tenacious Hollywood manager, it Gets Shit Done and Makes Things Happen. This is where you actively fix your skin problems, usually ove over a program or course and a series of sessions. These are purpose driven treatments. You have targets, like uneven skin tone (pigmentation) or acne, or thick, oily skin, or dry, lined skin, and you fire with things like strong peels, IPL, LED, lasers, microdermabrasion and so on. These are not pleasant treatments. In fact they generally sting or hurt quite a lot. But man do they get results. Do not expect to float out of the clinic or salon on a high, expect to leave laden with after care products and skin care that will maintain and amplify the effects of the treatment.
When to have them: To make dramatic changes to the quality/look/state of your skin. Before a big event (wedding etc). To refresh and boost the appearance of your skin.
The Lovely One
You know this one. Mood lighting. Three deep breathes before we start. Lovely soft music. Steamer. Extractions. Lovely long facial massage. Thick (sometimes thermal, sometimes cold, sometimes stingy, sometimes claustrophobic and rock hard – depends what your facialist determines your skin needs) masks followed by a hydrating mask, a foot and arm massage and a spritz of rose facial mist before a pixie flies in and rings a tiny pixie bell to signal the treatment is over. You leave smelling like a fancy hippie and in danger of being hit by a car because you are in a state of outrageous bliss, and seriously consider having a little nap in the car. These facials are excellent for relaxation, deep hydration, revitalisation and nourishment for the skin.
When to have them: Ideally, you would have one every 4-6 weeks for maintenance, to clean out blackheads, to ‘feed’ and revitalise the skin, and boost what you’re doing at home.
Of course, plenty of salons and clinics offer both kind of facial, but I personally choose to go to different people/places with different skill sets and allow them to do what they do best.
One way to think of it is the same way as you do your serums… One should be a problem-solver, an active, concentrated, targeted results-getter, (this is used first, on clean skin, by the way) and the other should be nourishing, comforting and hydrating, like a gorgeous facial oil, say (this goes on just before your face cream). Together they work to make your skin as good as it can be, but in different ways.
Where I go: In Melbourne I recommend Brooke at Me Skin and Body and like neoSKIN in Richmond for the hardcore stuff, and Made Beauty Space for the lovely, peaceful, relaxing one.
In Sydney, I see my gorgeous, magical Natasha – 0422 650 773 – in Double Bay for my lovely facials, and the insanely elegant Jocelyn Petroni for my peels and Omnilux etc… although she is also fantastic at the lovely ones. The Clinic in Bondi Junction is also a go-to for my hardcore stuff… peels but also laser hair removal etc).
Joceyln Petroni. Cute as a dang button.
Where do you go for your hardcore or lovely treatments?
Just kidding, I already know! Been following you on Twittinstabook for years.
Hi Zoe, I live on the Gold Coast and I’m wondering if you know of any good places to go get a facial here. I have quite oily skin, and a bit of pigmentation. 24 years old.
Hi Zoe! I am wondering if you have any recommendations for anywhere in London that does a great treatment for pigmentation? Did you have any of this type of facial during the time you were living here? I’m getting married in February, and while I know the winter months here won’t make my pigmentation any worse, I am self conscious of it now. If there’s anywhere you could recommend I would be very grateful! Thanks, Angela
Hi Zoe – completely agree on the “Hardcore” and “softcore” options for skin care. The Clinic in Bondi Junction is great for the Hardcore work – have been going for years. For the “softcore” option, I’ve been going to Drift Facial Lounge in Bondi for about a year. It’s a totally different experience – one on one with Nicole – personal, quiet and ALL NATURAL! Having tried a lot of different facials over the years, I can confirm that Nicole gives the best facial massage. Being a red head with freckled skin in my late 40s, I don’t normally receive compliments about my skin but I must be doing something right as many friends have recently said I’m looking great at the moment! Like shampoo and conditioner, I think you’ve got to invest in BOTH types of treatment to get the best result.
I have a face question and wasn’t sure how to contact you. I have freckles, large pores and oily skin. Lately i have noticed my face is getting even oilier at night even after i have cleansed, toned and used a hydrating gel, with no moisturiser. Someone told me not to moisturise at night to help reduce my pore size which did help reduce them, but I’m concerned that due to not moisturising, my face might be producing more oil.
I try and get facials every 3 weeks and i also get hormonal acne and need to be careful what i put on my skin cause i break out easily.
I just read your article on sunscreens and was considering on getting the coola mineral face spy 30+ matte finish. I do like tinted sunscreens but find them really thick and oily on my face. I also wanted to get pigment punch to help with my freckles.
Is there any advice you can give me as i really am stuck on what to do here?
Thank you so much!!!
Hi Zoe, I would love to give you a ‘lovely one’ next time you’re in Brisbane. Come and visit us at Blossom Beauty Studios, we’ll have you leave smelling like a fancy hippie! Love your blogs by the way, Nicky xo
I’ve had the Sodashi facial, and it’s EXACTLY like you described it here. Everyone should try this at least once (and then keep going back, obviously because you’ll be converted!)
Hey Zoe! I’ve been reading your blog and it’s amazing! I have actually just recently created a blog and it’s just staring up if you could look at it and give me a few tips that would be great!
I was wondering if you could reccomend a couple of make up artists in Melbourne?
I recently got engaged (in New York!!), and am in the process of planning the wedding (more !!!), and want someone who definitely knows what they are doing/will make me look like me, but a more glitzy fabulous me (I don’t know if that makes sense).
Thank you in advance!
Hi Zoe! Love love love your blog and humour!!! Was wondering if you could recommend a great lovely one and hardcore one in Brisbane. So desperate to find somewhere i’m happy with!!
Seriously Stacee Beautiful! You are soooo talented and Zoe is so lucky to have you in her life, not only doneiuntmcg her life, but pouring into, and blessing it as well! <3
Zo, you wonderfully witty thing!!! I love all of your beauty wisdom, hopefully i can become a wonderful guru like you one day! Can you please please do a blog on 20’s skin, what you wish you knew then, what you do now, and what we should be doing! You’ve got some damn confused damsels over here calling your name!!
Lots of love, Amy May
I am new to this whole facial thing and would love your recommendations for clinic’s in Perth.