Hidden away in the basement of a busy Glasgow department store is something of a sanctuary. Stepping in to the treatment rooms at House of Fraser feels like entering another world: one where everything is gleaming white and organised just as it should be, and the hustle and bustle of a drizzly Buchanan Street could be a thousand miles away.
I knew all this already of course, from my previous introduction to premium Swiss skincare brand La Prairie; but I maintain that there is no better way to spend a Wednesday lunchtime than hidden away from the world, eyes closed and skin being pampered and rejuvenated. I have been making a conscious effort to take a proper lunch break away from my computer screen of late, usually incorporating a brisk walk to put a flush in my cheeks and get my blood moving. This, though? This is a whole different class.
The reason behind my visit this time was the launch of a new product. La Prairie’s Line Inception Power Duo* marks a departure for the brand, as the first of its products to put a timeline on the results that it promises. Use this dual-phase cream for 14 days, morning and night, they say, and experience a notable reduction in three different types of lines and wrinkles: expression lines and lines caused by UV rays, plus gravity-related creases and folds.
What makes this product particularly interesting is that it incorporates day and night treatments, designed to work in tandem, into a single, sleek bottle. The day cream works on the surface to smooth the appearance of existing lines and prevent the formation of new expression-related lines without blocking muscle movements, as is the case with the likes of your Botox treatments, and contains SPF30, UVA and IRA protection against the workings of the sun. The night cream repairs and renews, stimulating the production of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid and optimising skin renewal.
As you’d expect from La Prairie, this product comes packed with premium ingredients in a beautifully-designed bottle – and comes with a price tag to match. Still, if – as the company claims – it’s as effective as an injectable, and not nearly as invasive, it’ll be excellent value. The idea of injecting a lethal poison into your face to counteract the signs of a life lived to the full blows my mind, but hey – I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t want my skin to look a little better. And so, when I am back from Dubai and not slathering my skin in Factor 50 every day, I’ll be taking up La Prairie’s offer to put the product to the test for 14 days and see if the results are as visible as they say. I’ll be reporting back here with my findings.
The product was, however, incorporated into my recent facial with La Prairie expert Samantha, so I can report back with my early findings that it feels velvety-soft on the skin and smells divine. I wish I could report back in detail about the facial itself, and the products used, but if you’ve ever been lucky enough to experience this type of pampering session you’ll know yourself it’s very difficult not to doze off under the sheet while your skin is cleansed and massaged, and twinkly relaxing music plays. Indeed, once the facial was over Samantha gave me a couple of minutes to come round, and warned me against getting up from the bed too quickly.
Because I’m crap at making time for myself I’m no expert in facials, so I can’t tell you if this is La Prairie-specific or not, but one thing I wasn’t expecting was for the session to incorporate a shoulder massage and hand an arm massage too. And here was me with a four-day-old collarbone/shoulder tattoo, which poor Samantha had to work gingerly around terrified she was going to do something to disturb. Anyway, after half an hour of that my daily stresses and anxieties were well and truly banished, and it was all I could do to get myself back to the office.
There’s definitely something to be said for a facial or a massage if you live with anxiety. It’s almost like guided self-care, during which – assuming you’re in the right frame of mind in the first place – the switching off from the usual churn of your thoughts is done for you. While I’ve read into all the benefits of mindfulness and meditation, and even given some of those free programmes a try, at the root of it you’re still just you in a room, conscious of the chair beneath your backside and the floor beneath your feet and whatever else. That infuriating, level voice in my ear, mansplaining the rise and flow of my breathing to me, has the opposite of the intended effect – but put me in a quiet room while a trained therapist silently works my muscles? I’m out for the count.
And that is, almost certainly, why I am not a beauty blogger.
This post contains PR samples, but all views are my own and unbiased.