BEAUTY TUESDAY: Clarins Beauty Bar Express Treatments

I had no idea these existed, but they’re absolute genius!

Clarins, one of my favourite huge skincare brands (because they are really into plant extracts) have an express beauty bar in 4 of their flagship Fenwicks stores.

You can get firming facials, manicures, eye treatments, neck and shoulder massage, male treatments…All for £25 for 40 mins!

When I heard about this I thought ‘great, fab idea for when I get a surprise shoot and I feel awful after a long day of castings’. Especially at such an affordable price! I’m not always in the mood to spend £70+ for a whistles-and-bells treatment that takes up an afternoon and requires me to hide a blotchy face from the world and not move for the rest of the day.

But then, as the day approached, I thought…’Hang on a second. Am I going to be sat at a standard shopping centre beauty counter, having my spots squeezed whilst Joe public peruses the products on display next to me? There’s convenience, and then there’s sacrificing quality.’

My fears grew as I headed to Brent Cross shopping centre on a dismal, rainy morning, wondering what awaited me…And I’m happy to say that these fears were completely unfounded!

So, Clarins have an actual beauty bar. It’s not closed off from the main shopping thoroughfare, but it is entirely separate so it does feel removed from browsing shoppers. Even the lighting is far softer (and more flattering) than the harsh striplight we’re all used to, with four chairs placed in front of mirrors and a general atmosphere of relaxation.

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On the actual day, I arrived frazzled. It’s been a testing time, personally, and I was really stressed as I had been given a last minute job, which I’d have to hurry to after the facial. My skin was just red, dry and aggro, my eyes were all wrinkley and my demeanour was that of a sad, uptight, rushed Londoner. Look at those bags!

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Jody was my beautician and picked up on my stressy vibes pretty quickly, rushing through the form-filling stage and getting me into my chair pronto. She said that my choice – the firming facial – was her favourite treatment and that she was really glad I’d gone for that one. I said I needed it!

The actual treatment lasted half an hour, with an extra ten mins for consultation. This means that you’re not going to get the steam/extraction/UV lights/chanting/15 minute mask/kissed by singing unicorns stages that more space age facials out there offer, but each step got my skin back to a relaxed and glowing state that I hadn’t thought would be possible on that particular day!

We started with a gentle eye cleanse, onto a skin cleanse and then a tone. This was followed by a hydrating mask, and a combination of serums then moisturiser. To say that my skin drank up the products is an understatement: it must have been parched despite all my moisturising at home! Jody had the magic touch; despite my best efforts at maintaining the panicky feelings I had at getting to my job, I couldn’t help but melt into the chair and succumb to her glorious massage.

I was delighted with the instant results of this facial. My skin was definitely plumped up and had more life and colour to it, as you can see from my photo.

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Even discounting the clear benefits to my complexion, you can see a difference in my demeanour and I can assure you that wasn’t deliberate! I was trying to go for the same expression as my ‘before’ pic to give an unbiased result, but I can’t help it – the shoulders are back, the eyes are smiling, my spirits are obviously lifted!

I will absolutely be treating myself to this again and so should you. It’s perfect for…

  • As I said – you’re rushing around doing your castings, workouts, life shizzle and socialising and your skin needs an instant pep before an event/job.
  • You want to treat yourself, or you need a skin improvement, but you don’t have much cash.
  • Ditto – but you’re time-poor too.
  • You want to make a meet up with friends/relatives a bit more special but a spa day is too much faff
  • You’ve got polaroids today and you feel ropey.
  • You have hours between castings and you want to do something more constructive than walking around Zara and making a coffee last ages whilst refreshing Facebook on your phone.
  • You’ve been travelling and you just need a boost before a crazy work schedule.
  • You’re other half is off shopping and you want to take a break.

I went to Brent Cross, which is a huge shopping centre in North London and ridiculously easy to get to. There are also two in John Lewis in Oxford Street and Liverpool, and Debenhams in Edinburgh.You can check out their site for the full details of the treatments on offer and locations but in the meantime just take my word for it and treat yourself to a magic half hour, courtesy of Clarins!

m.clarins.co.uk/beautybar

Rebecca x



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