Enter Bloomingdale’s in the Boston area, at The Mall at Chestnut Hill, and make a beeline to the cosmetics department. There, amidst many prestigious beauty brands you’ll find the door to the impressive new Clarins flagship Chestnut Hill Day Spa. Here, at this inimitable oasis, you will open the door to a new, intoxicating world of spa services that fulfill the goals of founder Dr. Olivier Courtin-Clarins. He said, “At Clarins our aim has always been to maintain your sense of well-being and enhance your beauty.”
That it does. The luxury Clarins Day Spa is a private sanctuary in the store that offers you a unique way to experience and shop for the French company’s high-end, first class skincare products. Bear in mind: Clarins is said to be the #1 brand of spa and skincare in many European countries. Dr. Courtin-Clarins started out as an aesthetician in Paris, and the original Clarins spa debuted in 1954. Says Amy Pellicane, director of Clarins public relations: “We are offering a destination where you’ll find quick, efficient service.”
I experienced the Melting Honey Hot Stones Massage ($110 for 60 minutes) and performed by massage therapist Anthony, it was, well, hands down, one of the best massages of my life. Take it from me: I get many massages in my line of work as a professional beauty writer, and the last time I got a hot stone massage, the stones were so overheated that I flinched every time one was applied. Not the case here. Anthony – who used to work on Wall Street, and definitely is one of the most gifted masseuses I’ve ever come in contact with – gave me an extraordinarily relaxing massage using Clarins products. Three factors set this hot stone massage apart. The stones are marble and slate, which retain heat better than the traditional basalt stones. Second, the stones come in four different shapes so that they complement various parts of the body – the teardrop, for example is used on the arms and legs, and the diamond, on the back. (Wow, did that diamond ever ease my taught trapezius muscles.) Third, this massage uses a proprietary professional honey gel that changes form three times – from creamy to fluid oil, and then, with the application of water, a milky emulsion.
After this delightful decadence, my facialist, Roxanna, lavished me with a 60-minute TriActive facial treatment that incorporates, according to Ms. Pellicane, “80 proprietary hand motions meant to stimulate lymphatic drainage and microcirculation – it’s a great workout for the face.” And it was. (There are no machines, and no steam or extractions.) This pure pampering ($90 for 60 minutes) included application of Clarins cleansing milk; glycolic exfoliation; massage of the face, scalp and décolletage with a gorgeous Clarins face oil containing cacao (chocolate, yes!) and a peptide-filled finishing mask. When finished, I was served a delicious cup of hot tea. A wealth of other wonderful treatments are available here, including seven more anti-aging facial treatments, four body treatments, three exfoliating treatments, massages, body wraps, even treatments for men. Vive la difference!
Clarins has a great concept here, and if you want to continue the posh pleasures, there are a wealth of at-home products to select. This spring, Clarins is re-launching is “extra-firming” franchise with its new formulations for its Day and Night creams. The day cream, for example, contains organic banana that Ms. Pellicane says “targets the skin’s protein links.” One standout in the spring collection is the 100%-chemical-free SPF 40 Base UV protection that now comes in different tinted hues and can be used over moisturizer and under your makeup. Other highlights include the new lip Gloss Prodige that is a hybrid of lipstick and gloss (and available in gorgeous shades), and the terrific new Instant Light Blush in several colors; each delivers a glow plus a fruity fragrance.
Which is all just a long-winded way of saying that Clarins now offers you, in every possible way, complexion perfection.