THE FACIAL THAT IS NOT JUST A FACIAL
Beauty treatments in Geneva – Vivienne Beauté
by Chené Koscielny
Who has time for facials when your diary is overflowing with deadlines, parent’s meetings and business lunches?
I manage beauty treatments strictly on an emergency basis – and they are prioritised from head to toe, depending on the likelihood of visibility, the need to impress or the occasion.
So, when Slovakian-born beautician Martina invites me to try a facial experience at her beauty studio Vivienne Beauté in Eaux-Vives in Geneva, I hesitate. Life is too short…
But Slovakians don’t give up that easily and I’m persuaded to slot her in on a Friday afternoon past deadline.
She promises me that her facial is not just a facial… so, I am a little bit intrigued. She also tells me that I’m worth it (which always helps).
From when I step into the serene white interiors flooded with natural light, I can’t help but slow down a gear or two. Martina’s voice is calm and friendly, yet she has the firm and confident manner of someone who takes charge of any situation. You know you’re in good hands. It doesn’t hurt that she has perfect Slovakian features and the kind of peachy skin that most women over 30 will readily exchange for an arm or a leg.
Her English is perfect and most of her customers are Anglophones who find her through the grapevine circuit.
I take out my notebook and phone from my handbag to record the experience, but Martina shakes her head firmly.
“You are here to relax,” she smiles, but I can see that there is no point arguing, so I simply surrender.
The session starts with a discussion and a thorough diagnosis of my skin type.
She asks me lots of questions about allergies, my skincare routine and lifestyle and then explains carefully what will follow.
For me she recommends an anti-ageing facial – no surprises there, but because of larger pores (lovely) and a few red veins (I really should cut down on the booze) she recommends – Densi-Age.
This treatment is specially designed for mature skin to help regenerate, boost and revitalize the skin.
WHY THIS FACIAL IS NOT JUST A FACIAL
There are two ways in which Martina’s facial differs from what else is out there.
Firstly, for her a facial is not a facial without extraction.
“This is the way we are trained in Slovakia and it’s really important to get rid of impurities if there are any before applying any treatments,” she explains.
In South Africa, facials also mostly include extractions, so I’m used to this.
The second, and in my view, the most significant difference is that her facial is not just designed to identify and fix skin issues – but also meant be enjoyable and relaxing.
“I hate it when someone just grabs my face without telling me what they’re doing and starts slapping creams on my face without paying any attention to the full experience,” says Martina.
To clean my face, Martina starts with a decolt massage, followed by cleansing the face with a cleansing lotion and face toner and then exfoliation.
The extraction that follows is done very skilfully and doesn’t hurt too much.
The next step is the application of a serum, which is applied with an ultrasound machine to ensure deeper penetration into the skin.
It’s meant to ingest the skin with active, nutritious ingredients countering dull and tired-looking skin (Bring it on, please.)
Next follows a deliciously gentle and relaxing facial massage before she applies a mask.
While I’m lying there with my eyes closed, she reaches for one hand and then the other, giving me the gentlest and most relaxing hand massage I’ve ever had. No wait, I’ve never had a hand massage – what even is a hand massage – but trust me if you haven’t had one, you’ll want one after this.
Martina leaves me alone in the room with the mask on my face and unexpectedly and totally out of character, I doze off to a deeply satisfying nap and only waking up when she finally reenters the room and removes the mask while gently massaging my face.
After removing the mask, she applies eye cream, serum and day moisturiser, leaving my skin feeling silky soft and clean.
Martina uses Matis Paris and the smell is simply divine. She gives me a few samples to take home. Although she can order the products for you, she prefers not to stock them in the shop – as she wants people to test them for themselves before taking a decision.
Founded in Paris in 1936, Matis Paris is a prestigious beauty brand with international acclaim.
This facial is indeed not like any other facial I’ve had and I can highly recommend it – particularly if you’re stressed and needing a bit of tender loving care. (Don’t we all?) I left much calmer and determined to take better care of myself.
The whole experience takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
The facial experience costs CHF150.
Microdermabrasion, waxing, eye treatments and body treatments.
18 Rue de Montchoisy
phone: 078 734 00 22
My treatment was sponsored by Vivienne Beauté. We only work with brands we love and which we think our audience will appreciate.