La Mer Baccarat Facial at Spa de la Mer, New York

The Baccarat Hotel in New York is a jewel box of a setting, so it’s hardly surprising that entering the first stand-alone La Mer spa in North America is like being ensconced inside a marble-wrapped vault. This is decadence as only La Mer can do: The relaxing yet results-driven La Mer Baccarat Facial uses diamond powder to exfoliate skin and includes a massage with Baccarat crystals – blue (calming) and red (stimulating). The true jewel in the anti-aging crown is the application of a mask containing a super-concentrated dose of the potent sea-kelp- and antioxidant-rich Miracle Broth. After 90 minutes, my skin looks like I’ve just emerged from a time machine. VANESSA CRAFT 


Image courtesy of La Mer 


The Biologique Recherche Seconde Peau Treatment at One to One Studio, Toronto

While I’m not yet ready for injections, my skin is firmly in the “needs intervention” category. Enter the Seconde Peau Treatment from Biologique Recherche. Electrospinning technology (think of it as being like a 3-D printer) enables low-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid to be woven into delicate patches that mimic the peaks and valleys of the outermost layer of the skin. This allows for better absorption of the hyaluronic acid, which stimulates collagen and elastin production. During the treatment, five patches are customized to fit the shape of my face and placed over my primary areas of concern: laugh lines and crow’s feet, here’s looking at you! VICTORIA DIPLACIDO


Image courtesy of Biologique Recherche


The Serene Soothing Facial at L’Institut Darphin Vendôme, Paris

I arrive at L’Institut Darphin Vendôme – the brand’s flagship, concealed in a quiet courtyard off Place Vendôme – after 14 hours of plane travel in two days. This fact doesn’t escape my “beauty therapist,” who begins the treatment with a skin diagnosis: I am, as expected, rather dehydrated. However, it’s not just the travel that’s aging me; there are fine lines around my eyes – likely, I’m told, from squinting at my phone (and my computer and my iPad) for the majority of the day, every day. The wake-up call my stressed skin needs comes in the form of a Serene Soothing Facial. A rich balm featuring calming camomile and revitalizing citrus oils is thoroughly massaged into my skin using a pressure-point technique, created by the brand’s founder, Pierre Darphin, that is meant to maximize the absorption of the ingredients. Later, as I settle into my seat for the flight back to Toronto, the attendant asks if I’d like a drink. I recall the gentle reminder from my therapist as she left me blissfully cocooned in the treatment room: “You need to drink water, not champagne! VDP


Image courtesy of Darphin