The best facials in Paris
Paris is always a good idea—and so are these ELLE-approved facials.
A FRAGRANT JOURNEY AT THE INSTITUT GUERLAIN
The fix you need to look poreless and posh in less than 90 minutes. The treatment a highly customized facial with over 300 treatment techniques to choose from. The spot 68 av. Des Champs-Élysées
“This facial is completely made to measure,” says Véronique Jacquet, spa director at the Institut Guerlain in Paris. “We adapt every product to the individual’s skin.” The 60-minute treatment goes beyond product selection; aestheticians train for nine months before they’re allowed near a client’s visage. (After that, it’s six months of on-the-face work.) They’re schooled in 350 different massage techniques, and they incorporate a variety of styles on the fly into every treatment; not a single facial is ever replicated. “There is no prescribed method: Until they meet the client, they don’t know what they’re about to do,” says Jacquet.
Each bespoke treatment starts with an offering of four different fragrances (for energy, relaxation, detox and enveloping) that are engineered to disappear by the end of the treatment so as to not irritate the next customer. Throughout the machine- and steam-free treatment, the aesthetician uses only her hands for cleansing, mask application, massage (addressing everything from sagging to lymphatic drainage) and hydration infusion and employs some of the brand’s most ingredient-rich oils, such as Abeille Royale. For the grand finale, clients can have their makeup applied before they leave, from a precisely painted French red lip to a classic cat eye. KATHERINE FLEMMING
Image courtesy of Guerlain
THE PATH TO BABY-LIKE SKIN AT BIOLOGIQUE RECHERCHE PARIS
The fix you want to look like you’ve gotten a face full of (super-subtle) fillers—without going anywhere near a needle. The treatment a highly trained aesthetician designs a personal plan to rebalance your skin. The spot 32 av. Des Champs-Élysées.
When you book an appointment at Biologique Recherche’s Paris flagship, you don’t request a specific type of facial—they tell you what you’re about to get. Every new session begins with a skin analysis using software designed by the brand to measure and assess sebum production, elasticity, lipidic shield (how well your skin retains water), pigmentation and moisture levels; the results inform the aestheticians’ decisions on which of the brand’s more than 300 products to use during treatment. (All Biologique Recherche aestheticians must undergo a year-long training process, plus an additional six-month period where they shadow another aesthetician, before they are allowed to work with their own clients.)
The treatment begins with cleansing and applying the brand’s cult-favourite exfoliating Lotion P50, which is followed by a mask. Cool, rather than hot, water is used to remove product throughout the facial because, according to the brand, it prevents the skin from getting flushed and helps to keep it firm. Instead of towels, hygienic disposable paper strips are used to blot the face dry. Even massage, a staple of most facials, is distinctly Biologique: The therapist works on only one side of the face at a time, in an attempt to manipulate face shape into perfect symmetry. Watch out, Angelina. VICTORIA DIPLACIDO
Image courtesy of Biologique Recherche
A HOLISTIC APPROACH AT THE CHANEL AU RITZ PARIS
The fix you want to banish stress and look supremely well rested. The treatment the incredible Le Grand Soin stops time—in your mind and on your skin. The spot 15 Place Vendôme.
A Chanel bag is more than “just” a handbag, so it’s hardly surprising that the iconic house’s first spa has redefined the spa experience. Located in the landmark Ritz Paris—where Coco Chanel herself lived for over three decades—the spa features five signature rooms, each door marked with the number of an iconic Chanel item, such as No. 22, for the famed fragrance, or the 2.55, after the must-have purse. In fact, iconic motifs are everywhere, from the beige-and-black signature Coromandel screens and lacquered gold details in the rooms to the Camilla flowers—Coco’s favourite—on the treatment bed. While wearing a meltingly soft robe and before the facial begins, you’re served a detoxifying and regenerating cocktail as you engage in a gentle yet in-depth conversation with the aesthetician about your lifestyle, diet, sleep habits and stress levels.
Le Grand Soin is an all-senses treatment: Light and sound are integrated into the different stages of the experience (and lull you into a deep state of relaxation) while gentle exfoliation, soothing masks and firming moisturizers such as Sublimage La Crème Yeux coax skin into being its best self. Different massage techniques are used throughout the two-to three-hour treatment, including a myofascial release, a foot pressure point and a delicate fluttering fingertip massage for the face. Results are impressive: Complete relaxation is achieved, and your skin is left glowing and noticeably regenerated. VANESSA CRAFT
Image courtesy of Chanel
This article originally appeared in the December 2017 issue of ELLE Canada.