Heyday Bliss

After working with Heyday for the last few years – since before co-founders Adam and Michael opened their first facial shop in New York’s NOMAD neighborhood (they now have 5 locations in Manhattan), I finally made the time to experience one of their facials (yes, this is my first facial of 2018… the cobbler’s daughter and all).

I experienced a 50-minute treatment by the fabulous Jenna who has magical hands. She gently approved of my appointment, saying that indeed it was time for my skin to have a “reset” and that extractions were “necessary” (I loved how she didn’t say “overdue.”).

If you have not yet been to Heyday, they are not a “traditional spa” but rather a “facial shop”. What you will not find at Heyday are no dimly lit rooms, robes, silence, spa music. Instead, the space is open, with movable “walls” made of fabric. The space is well-lit (“Doesn’t it help for me to really see your skin?”, Jenna asks with a smile), and sound travels – which is actually delightful. Looking at the space, I could tell there would be no silence. What I couldn’t experience until lying there was how lovely it is to hear unintelligible chatter from the front area or other “rooms” – it sounds casual, fun, happy (I heard laughter a few times). And the music is amazing – great current tunes (apparently Heyday has a Spotify channel).

Beyond the environment, the facial was one of the best I have experienced. I don’t trust my face to many other than my father, Dr. Luigi L. Polla, or the therapists at Forever Institut – but I will absolutely come back to Jenna and will happily recommend Heyday to anyone asking.

She started by measuring my hydration levels (not surprisingly given my travel schedule, my skin needs more moisture). She then proceeded to cleanse, exfoliate, extract, massage, and hydrate, using a blend of products – Alchimie Forever, Naturopathica, Image, and Shaffali, an ayurvedic brand that is new to me. The blend of products was chosen specifically for my skin and created not only immediate results, but also an amazing sensorial experienced. My favorite part of the treatment was Jenna’s massage, which she did with a mixture of Alchimie Forever Kantic Brightening moisture mask and Naturopathica Carrot oil, pre-extractions. In effect, as she explained, the massage will soften the skin and make it more malleable, hence the extractions easier to perform. And they were indeed painless. She then used a micro-current machine to help serums penetrate deeper into the skin, and applied multiple masks (for different areas of my face, as my T-zone needed purifying and my cheeks needed moisturizing) before sending me on my way.

I left glowing, without a mark on my face – and photos to prove it. (If you haven’t ever experienced a facial because you think you will leave with blotchy skin, please think again).

I can’t wait for the next Heyday training, which will once again end with a treatment!

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Immediately Post Treatment

Why a 120 minute facial with Pilar is worth it

My grandmother took me to get my first facial when I was 15, at a place that seemed more like a medical office than a spa. The aesthetician owned her own business, and had for 30+ years, and used the German product brand Biodroga. My grandmother explained to me that it was time for me to start a healthy and preventative skin care routine, which involves 4-6 facials per year.

More than 20 years later, I remember her advice, and work to make the time for facials. Most often, I time my facials to be at Forever Laser Institut during my quarterly trips to Geneva. Once in a while, however, I make an exception and experience a facial on this side of the Atlantic, as I did recently when my friend Pilar invited me to experience a treatment at her new location in Vienna, Studio-Pilar Organic Facial Luxury.

I have known Pilar for 10+ years, she is and has always been a pioneer in the world of clean skin care and organic facials, and she has had a number of facial studios in the greater DC area over the years. This is how she describes her treatments:

“When asked recently by my friend Ada to describe my facial treatment I was inspired for the first time to think of it like a recipe. Your personal recipe to feed your skin! It starts with ingredients of the purest quality. Then combines therapeutic hand techniques and high-tech equipment in a unique sequence of steps to deliver results. These hand techniques include aromatherapy, lymphatic detox massage, reflexology and hot stone massage with high-tech tools like microdermabrasion and LED light therapy an ultrasonic tools.”

Her 90 to 120-minute signature treatment combines clean products, amazing manual techniques, and modern technology – this is not something that can be rushed. I experienced lymphatic and ultrasonic technologies, a diamond-tip microdermabrasion treatment that also delivers LED light (device from Image Derm), effective (yet not too painful) manual extractions, a cold steamer treatment that calms the skin post extractions (Lucas pulverizer, a device made in France), and LED therapy that offers 3 light sources simlultaneously (by a company called Celluma). Her treatment also incorporated a reflexology foot massage, and neck and shoulder massage.

Pilar explains that the goal of the treatment is to address inflammation, which is one of the core causes of aging. She thinks of every detail, including the fact that the facial bed is adorned with an amethyst Biomat that induces far infrared therapy into the body.

The products she uses include Dr Alkaitis, I Sun (both handmade, living and raw botanicals) and Alchimie Forever. One of my favorite aspects of her treatment is that in addition to excellent product brands, Pilar also blends products according to her own recipes, honed over the years and 50,000 facials. I ask her about these: “I blend my own beauty oil / elixir for facial massage using Marula oil, rosehip, and a coconut butter and blue tansy balm with one other oil based on your unique skin type. Prior to extractions I make a pore decongesting oil of jojoba, lemon, Manuka oil and rosemary extract to prepare the skin for deep cleaning. And every guest receives a freshly blended masque!”

I leave her feeling like I have had a mini vacation, and like my skin is clean, refreshed, glowing, and stimulated all at the same time. And yes, I leave without a trace of makeup, and am complimented on my skin all day long. Thank you Pilar!

How to combine Alchimie Forever with your WrinkleMD device

I love it when my partners send me a case of Veuve Cliquot just because they love our partnership (and because our best-selling Kantic Brightening Moisture Mask is featured in this month’s Vogue Magazine). I also love it when my spa partners “invent” new ways to use my products, often in conjunction either with other brands they carry or devices they use in their treatment rooms.

This week, one and the same spa partner did both. Progressions Salon Spa Store sent me a case of champagne. And told me about the amazing results they are getting by combining Alchimie Forever products with WrinkleMD advanced ion-infusion technology patches. This brand focuses on enhanced infusions of hyaluronic acid and peptides through the use of ion technology. According to the brand’s marketing materials, “in independent clinical testing, 95% of women experienced an immediate improvement in skin texture and smoothness.”

I asked Teresa Hinton, master aesthetician and the spa director, to tell me more about this treatment she came up with. Here are her pearls of wisdom.

Since this is not out of any “company-approved” protocol manual, she initially tested this concept with guests she has been working with for quite some time, who know and trust her, and are willing to experiment. The ones who have tough, heavily textured, very dry on. She describes them as “those guests that I can go big on.” Here is her protocol:

Step 1: Cleansing of the skin with Alchimie Forever Purifying Facial Cleanser.

Step 2: Exfoliation, which can range from microdermabrasion or other advanced exfoliation, Alchimie Forever Gentle refining scrub, or Alchimie Forever Brightening Peel, or a combination of these.

Step 3: WrinkleMD around the lips; while WrinkleMD is doing its job in that problem area, she applies the Alchimie Forever Kantic Brightening Moisture Mask to the rest of the face; both remain on her clients’ face for 30 minutes.

Step 4: During these 30 minutes, she performs a massage the hands, arms, neck, shoulders to enhance the guest experience.

Step 5: Mask and WrinkleMD removal; she then follows WrinkleMD’s protocol for the WrinkleMD-treated area before applying the Kantic Brightening Moisture Mask to that area as well and leaving it on for a few minutes.

Step 6: Final removal of the mask with a hot towel.

Step 7: Application of finishing products including our Rejuvenating Eye Balm, Kantic Calming Cream or Protective Day Cream SPF23.

I ask her about the frequency of treatment. “While results are immediate,” she recommends “alternating a series with the professional WrinkleMD treatment exclusively every two weeks, and the full treatment ever four.”

Contraindications include pregnancy, having a pacemaker, peel ingredient contraindications, epilepsy, or any metal in the mouth.

While she started with the lip contour area, she is now performing this treatment on the forehead and in the eye contour area as well. She concludes: “The results are beautiful and transform the skin. The blend of the two brands is really amazing!”

Indeed, the before and after photos speak for themselves!

Screen Shot 2020-07-23 at 3.52.34 PMTry it if you carry WrinkleMD. And if you have your own “special” Alchimie Forever treatment you have created in combination with another product or device brand, please do share!