The Parisienne woman is enigmatic, is she not? She’s laissez-faire but always polished. Perfect skin but not a skerric of (visible) makeup. Her hair is chic even when it’s drizzly out. And her jeans? Snug but not constricting, no matter how many pain au chocolats she consumes. How? Why! For decades the rest of us have scratched our heads, only to throw up our arms in defeat. But the secret, so I am told, is a lot of effort, so the day-to-day is effortless. Sacré bleu! The truth comes out! Her perfect bangs? Trimmed weekly. That breakfast pastry? It was a 35 minute walk to the bakery. And her skin? A lot of skincare. And while le French pharmacies occupy every street corner, the Parisienne woman is also one who appreciates the finer things in life. A purveyor of luxury, as far as beauty is concerned. And the home of luxury is at Le Bristol hotel, specifically the Spa Le Bristol by La Prairie (because the Swiss are obviously very chic as well). Facials are the French way, and we don’t want to do things in halves now, do we?
Once you’ve had a moment to gawk at the hotel lobby, you’ll find the spa on the first floor. As with all things French, it’s light and quaint and impossibly charming. But forget Champagne – your journey begins with a spritely ginger drink made in-house, and dried fruit in place of petit fours – a welcome change, we presume. Arrive early so you have a chance to open your pores in the steam room (another favourite of French women), before your therapist escorts you to heaven.
The facial in question today is the White Caviar Firming and Brightening Facial – perfect for that crystal clear, luminous French look. At 85 minutes, it seems like a lot, but rest assured half an hour in, you’ll slip into a state of bliss so sublime, it will take the smell of freshly baked baguettes to stir you.
Designed to really brighten and even out the skin, the treatment is a wonderful medley of deep cleansing, steaming, extractions (if necessary) and a light peel. Once the foundations are set, different La Prairie masks and moisturisers are massaged in until you’re a plump, glowing version of your former self. The treatment heroes the White Caviar Collection – a line that’s infused with the supremely luxurious golden caviar extract to brighten dark spots, and give skin an incredible luminosity. The results – as our editor experienced – were so visibly wonderful you might be inclined to audibly gasp (before taking a few photos, but now that wouldn’t be very French, would it). While decadent, the results, both immediate and long term, might just be what sits between a French complexion, and the rest of the world. And at the end of the day, it truly doesn’t get more French than caviar and face cream, does it.
Shop the La Prairie Facial Edit Here
La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Eye Cream, $520. SHOP NOW