THE LOW-DOWN >>
Now and again, a beauty treatment causes a stir – for all the right reasons. So much so, that even the A-listers take notice. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s very exciting indeed.
In recent months, the Million Dollar Facial has done just that, sweeping skincare fanatics off their feet thanks to its pioneering blend of good-for-you massage and state-of-the-art exfoliation.
It’s one of those bang-for-your-buck treatments. Your skin is deeply cleansed, you bag a detoxifying facial massage and you’re treated to an uber-hydrating mask, topped off with a session of dermaplaning and microneedling.
It’s where the real magic lies. On their own, the two treatments work wonders on lines, pores, dryness, scarring and irregular texture, but together, they’re a force to be reckoned with, leaving your chops clear, glowy and smoother than a baby’s behind.
After reading beaming reviews from bigtime beauty reporters and casting my eye over some very promising before-and-after photos, I just had to try it for myself and so made my way to see Lucy Adair for my very own Million Dollar experience.
With over 20 years’ experience in the industry, she’s a beauty therapist extraordinaire, who set up her own business – Novellus Beauty – a year and a half ago in Jesmond. Laying your head in her luxurious, Pinterest-worthy treatment room (complete with its very own, and very beautiful, flower wall) is a real treat.
As the lights turn down low, you’re ushered to a plush heated bed (kick off your shoes and sink in – it’s a joy) and cocooned in velvety, duvet-like towels, before the skin-saving goodness begins. So ridiculously comfortable, less than five minutes in, I could feel myself drifting off. Always a good sign.
THE EXPERIENCE >>
Ordinarily, I’d always attend a facial appointment makeup-free, but on this occasion, I’m glad I didn’t. Somehow, Lucy made make-up removal, followed by a double cleanse and a spot of toning, a joy. Really thorough, massage-like in technique and super relaxing.
Next up, a light balm was applied to my entire face, acting as a protective layer and giving my chops some ‘slip’ ahead of the dermaplaning portion of the treatment. I’ll admit, I was a tad apprehensive about this part. For those who aren’t familiar with Dermaplaning, in a nutshell, it involves your therapist whipping out a surgical scalpel to shave your face (yes, you read that right), removing all traces of vellus hair. In other words, the barely-there ‘peach fuzz’ that we all have.
In doing so, the top layer of the skin is gently exfoliated away, taking with it years and years worth of dead skin. The results can vary from person to person, but most are left with soft, baby-like skin that looks and feels as good as new – literally.
In reality, as I discovered, having your face ‘shaved’ is nowhere near as daunting, or as bizarre, as you might think. It isn’t the same as shaving the coarse hair on your legs; instead, it’s a gentle, pain-free brush against the skin, with the tiniest (and safest) of blades.
After 10 minutes or so, I was amazed to see just how much hair and gunk had been sloughed off my face, including a build-up of makeup that had been settling deep in my pores for goodness-knows how long.
My fresh, fuzz-free face was then treated to a deep lymphatic drainage massage to flush out toxins (this part is brief, but wonderful), followed by some microneedling, which, in my opinion, is the only part of the Million Dollar experience that isn’t so relaxing. Think of a mini wheel on a stick, covered in hundreds of teeny-tiny needles that pin-prick the skin. The minuscule wounds encourage the body’s natural healing process to kick into gear, speeding up collagen-production and cell turnover. Great if you’re concerned with signs of ageing.
Lucy passes the roller over my entire face twice, causing some redness on the cheeks and forehead. The rolling itself stings ever so slightly, but it’s definitely not unbearable – and you soon get used to the feeling of it wheeling over your skin.
Once over, I experienced a mild sunburn-like sensation all over the face, but this was quickly remedied by a cooling face mask. Left on the skin for only a few minutes – until it begins to bubble in the driest areas – it floods the skin with hyaluronic acid and its wonderful moisturising, line-plumping properties.
It’s worth noting that dermaplaning heavily increases the absorption level (by a whopping 80%) of whatever is applied to the skin after it – be it a mask, a serum, a moisturiser and so on – so you can imagine just how hydrated and velvety-soft my ‘new’ skin felt afterwards.
After a few pats of serum and SPF (absolutely essential after the top layer of your skin has been removed), I was good to go, and walked out of Lucy’s luxurious lair with what felt like a whole new face.
THE RESULTS >>
The glow. Oh, the glow. Immediately, my skin was brighter. I couldn’t quite believe it. Slightly pink in places from the dermaplaning, but otherwise beaming with health. I was told to expect a little tightness in the face post-treatment – and perhaps some stinging. I did – along with some flaking on the chin and nose – but everything subsided after a day or two, so don’t panic if you experience the same.
In the weeks that followed, things only got better; never before has my skin looked and felt so smooth, supple or clear. The overall condition and texture of my face (pesky acne scars and pigmentation, I’m looking at you) noticeably improved – and that was after just one treatment.
Oh, and for those wondering about the peach fuzz – don’t fear. You won’t grow a coarse beard in the days and weeks after your Million Dollar Facial. I couldn’t see or feel mine before my treatment (and I’m naturally dark-haired) and I still can’t now.
It’s nothing to fret over. Go for it, I say. Especially if you’re struggling with dullness, fine lines and pores that beg to be purged. The scalpel action – and the price tag – are well worth the youthful bounce and fresh-faced feeling you’ll acquire.
The Million Dollar Facial, which lasts one hour, is priced at £125. For more information, or to book, call 0191 695 0450 or visit: novellusbeauty.co.uk