I’m sure one of the things you will be acutely aware of on your wedding day, is your appearance. Some of us love the concept of being the centre of attention, some of us loathe it. But what we all share in common is the desire to look our best and our wish for flawless, model perfect skin.
Well, I think I’ve found the perfect formula! A bespoke facial catered for you and only you, using natural ingredients, including Oxygen!
Beauty therapist, Linda Meredith has over 40 years experience in the beauty industry and is known as the Queen of facials. After being introduced to her incredible Couture Facial at The Spa at The Mandarin Oriental, I now see why!
I have invited Linda Meredith to share her deepest pre-wedding skin care secrets with you today, as well as give you a little run down of my facial experience at The Spa.
There are so many aggressive treatments available today that offer a short-term fix with unfortunately long-term damage. Skin needs healing and feeding with good quality ingredients, and that is what I offer. Linda Meredith
The iconic luxury 5-start hotel The Mandarin Oriental, Knightsbridge boasts its own award-winning luxury Spa which has a refreshing holistic approach to treating your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, as one.
As brides, we are too often pigeon holed into wanting to achieve one desired look and the exact same thing on our wedding day. One size does not fit all and The Spa at Mandarin Oriental and Linda Meredith, (who joined forces in April 2015), embrace this ethos beautifully.
Linda Meredith’s bespoke facials are not limited by being categorised by skin type, as we have become accustomed to, but work by skin problems. Using a combination of natural products that are designed to overlap, to treat your skin as a whole, taking into consideration how you your skin is presenting on the day.
As you enter The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, it’s hard to remember you are in one of the busiest hot spots in London. I was welcomed by an oasis of blissful tranquility from the calming aroma of The Spa. The considered interior is carefully and cleverly curated with heat (sauna, steam rooms) and water (courtesy of the therapeutic wellness pool) to play to all of your senses.
The Spa felt exquisitely exclusive, with fresh fruit, Oat biscuits that melt in your mouth, water and juice on tap throughout the afternoon (and of course the obligatory snuggley soft robe and slippers)
To ease me into my facial I took the opportunity to settle into the serene Zen colour therapy relaxation room, which instantly induced sleep!
My therapist, Helena was a delight. Fresh, with a warm, positive and relaxing energy. All therapists working with Linda Meredith products are trained with precision by Linda Meredith herself. It was clear, Helena confidently knew products inside out. She gave me a thorough consultation to personalise my treatment. Helena took the time to find out any concerns I had with my skin, if there was anything I wanted to achieve by the end of the session and my daily skin care routine (which is minimal, because I am lazy) .
I particularly struggle with dry patches in my T-zone area. My hay-fever was playing up hideously on the day, so I had horrible irritable puffy bags under my eyes (delightful), so I was intrigued to see what impact the facial would have in this area – and I wanted them banished!
The Linda Meredith Couture Facial with Oxygen is perfectly timed at 1 hour 15 minutes. It features many of the more relaxing elements including massage, cleansing, toning and exfoliation, that we are all used to, plus, skin analysis using specialist lamps, steam and extraction and the use of serum. Helena gave a quality facial that surpasses all others I have had at five-star level.
I unexpectedly felt quite invigorated during my treatment, so didn’t have the usual doze, I’ve become accustomed to.
I was honestly blown away by the immediate effects of the facial. I have been blessed with a very youthful gene and I’ve never really struggled with bad skin, so I wasn’t expecting such a profound impact.
My skin looked completely even and flawless. Clear, fuller, clean and as for the extraction, whilst I was NOT a fan of that part (no pain no gain), I did want to reap the benefits, so I sucked it up. It made a huge difference to the appearance of my skin on my nose. The big surprise for me was how ‘plump’ my skin looked and felt after the use of the Oxygen (which tickles by the way) drawing on its natural healing powers.
During my consultation, the biggest concern for me was my puffy eyes and hideous bags, they had completely diminished after the treatment. Intrigued to find out how long the effects would last – Helena recommended a top up in 6-8 weeks time.
I did not want to put make up on for days. My skin looked and felt, well, fresh!
3 weeks later I can still clearly see the effects of the facial and that’s in the absence of following up with a product regime.
The results of the couture facial are incredible. I just wish I had been brave enough to show you a before picture!
So what’s the secret Linda – how on earth does it work so well and so FAST!
Why do you feel it is important to treat clients holistically rather than by skin type?
Since the introduction of chemicals in the 1950’s and hormones in the 1960’s, our bodies have gone through what I would class as a very fast evolution trying to adapt to this bombardment of toxins. In turn, this has affected the skin, and in the past we had three different skin types to be guided by, now they no longer exist.
What I have seen over the past twenty years is a combination of all three issues on one client. I decided to document all the information from clients over those years and worked out that I needed to look at various aspects of their life including diet, lifestyle and in particular emotional stress.
Most of the problems we see on the surface of the skin originate from inside the body and therefore simply doing a facial treatment will not help deal with any problems.
For brides keen to have flawless skin, we are often advised not to experiment with facials too close to the wedding, in case of any reactions to products. Would you agree?
No not necessarily. It is obviously better to start a regime well before to get the skin into a perfect condition, however, if a potential client called today and said her wedding was next week we would still suggest she come in for treatment.
Brides / Grooms who want flawless and healthy skin should start incorporating a healthy regime as soon as possible if they do not already follow a good regime.
Talk me through the Oxygen process
To get the best possible results from Oxygen, it should be completed with a course of 6 sessions over a two-week period.
This builds up the level of serum and oxygen in the skin, which slowly releases vital nutrients into the skin, maintaining the effects over the next couple of months. Clients are so impressed with the results that they top up the treatment once every three weeks or if they have a special event. On a clean skin or after a Couture Facial treatment, the oxygen serum is applied over the entire face and neck including the eye area. We then infuse the serum into the skin using oxygen, as together they work in harmony under the surface layers.
The first layer of serum is absorbed immediately, as the main problem with skin today is trying to maintain hydration levels. The process is repeated two or three times until the serum is no longer absorbed and a fine layer is left on the surface.
When the skin is totally hydrated, the remaining serum can be left on the surface or removed depending on what the client requests.
The skin looks plump, feels firmer and reveals a youthful glow.
What are the immediate and long-term benefits of this method?
The immediate effects, are visual. The skin will look plump, firm, fully hydrated with a more even skin tone.
The long-term benefits are keeping the skin free from any build up of impurities such as pollution and free radical damage alongside the intense hydration from water based products.
The quality of the ingredients used in skin care products is very important as they vary tremendously and will affect the end result. It is also important with any active ingredients that they are at the correct level. So many times I have seen ads on TV promoting Collagen of Hyaluronic acid but if the percentage of those ingredients is too low, it will not be effective.
When deciding to put my name on any product it was very important to make sure we had the best quality ingredients available and at the correct level to show a visible difference to the skin.
What’s the real secret to flawless skin?
Hydration, hydration, hydration. Skin is our largest organ and needs feeding the same way we feed our body.
We need a variation of essential nutrients and that is why each of our products contains a variation of ingredients. This is also the reason why once you start with the Linda Meredith products you will never need to change the brand.
What can brides be doing to maintain a regime for healthy skin in-between appointments that isn’t too time intensive?
Each day we advise our clients to layer products one after the other without having to wait for each to absorb.
For example in the morning wash with gel, spray with mist, apply collagen and then moisturiser.
This should take 3 to 4 minutes.
The evening is when most women tend to be lazy.
My advice is when you arrive home the first thing to do is remove make-up and layer your evening products.
This should be done before anything else and then you can sort out the children, work or dinner etc.
If you leave this until you are ready to go to bed you are always too tired and if you apply the correct amount of product (i.e. as much as the skin needs) your face will feel too sticky to get into bed, whereas applying it earlier on allows it time to absorb and let you know if your skin may need a little more. Remember skin changes everyday depending on our environment, diet, medication and many other factors.
We have retail Oxygen masks for once a week or a special occasion that can also be used with V-TOX . Once applied you can carry on with other jobs.
Linda Meredith is available at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, London. For more information or to make a booking please call +44(0) 207 201 9888 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org A little tip from me to you, ask for Helena as your therapist – she is absolutely delightful.