Hello 2020! It’s the start of a brand new year.
What better way to usher in the new year than with fresh, renewed skin (courtesy of an Aesop facial)?
This is probably going to be quite a detailed post. To cut a long story short, I thoroughly enjoyed my first Aesop facial experience and would recommend it to everyone! If my post is too wordy, please just read the lines I have bolded.
Yesterday was the last day of 2019 and it marked my first time experiencing an Aesop facial.
Facials are carried out at the Aesop care space for facial treatments found on level 4 of Tangs Plaza in Orchard Road, the only one in Singapore. There are a few around the world in major cities like Los Angeles, London, Hong Kong, Hamburg, Melbourne, and Tokyo.
Making an appointment
It can be difficult to book a facial appointment, so it’s fastest fingers first. If you have a mostly free schedule you can look forward to making an appointment a few weeks/months in advance. I would say it’s generally easier to make an appointment on weekday afternoons. You can check out this webpage for available slots (https://10to8.com/book/aesop-tangs/). As there may be cancellations, you may be able to make an appointment a few days in advance (rather than wait a few weeks/months)!
Upon arrival, I was greeted by a very luxe green marble and dark facade. If I am not mistaken, this specialised Aesop space opened in July 2017 and is run by two therapists, Kit and Lynn, and each day, there are 4 facial slots.
The theme of the space is a very serene shade of green, and unlike the other brightly-lit, upscale facial places on this level of the mall (such as Sulwhasoo, La Mer, Dior, Chanel), Aesop’s space feels much more… secluded, high-end and private. At any one time, the Aesop space caters to one customer, so you have your own personal and private space to explore and enjoy. It kind of feels like a hotel (this is how I would imagine an Aesop spa treatment room in a hotel to be like; and I would love to stay at an Aesop hotel, it would probably be very lush and set in some secluded and zen Asian or Mediterranean location). My facial therapist, Kit, served me a cup of Aesop tea (liquorice root, spearmint and rose hip).
Side note: I love the Aesop cups so much. They have the quote “‘Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.’ Franz Kafka” printed on the inside of the cup. A great reminder for longevity.
Kit served the tea and passed me a questionnaire form to fill up. It has questions on what Aesop skincare products I use, frequency, how long I have been a customer, whether I am on any medication, have any allergies, skin type, skin concerns, personal details, etc.
My facial therapist said there was no need to answer questions I didn’t feel comfortable answering, but in any case, I tried to answer everything. Afterwards, she sat down and we had a brief consultation. Kit went over my concerns and my skincare regime (which, to be frank, is non-existent). Kit encouraged me to follow a simple skincare ritual of cleansing, toning, and moisturising, morning and night, which was great advice. After the Aesop facial, she also emphasised on the delicateness of the skin on our face and how it is constantly exposed to the elements and is less tough compared to the rest of the skin on our bodies.
The Changing Room
The above two images are of the pretty changing room (do you see the green theme?) where you can leave your bag, jewellery, clothing and shoes. There is a brown-grey towel hung on a clothes hanger in a closet, for you to wrap around yourself. You may remove your clothing and your upper undergarments on, but keep your lower undergarments on, reason being that there will be a neck, shoulder, head and arm massage as well. Oh before I forget, this facial is for all genders, not just women. The massage element is also quite intertwined with the facial element of the treatment. The changing room comes equipped with a strong and sweet-smelling Aesop deodorant (spray), a bottle of Marrakech Intense eau de toilette, and violet leaf hair balm (leave-in hair conditioner) for your hair. I would recommend removing your earrings to better enjoy the Aesop facial.
After I changed and could hear Kit asking if I was ready and if she could come in, I stepped into the treatment room. It has a dark ceiling and dark curtains, and in the top left corner, a somewhat-muted-yet-sort-of-blaring speaker. The classical music is quite dynamic and cinematic (reminds me of Inception, at the same time, the music seems to ebb and flow – try listening to a motion picture soundtrack that incorporates classical music (like Hans Zimmer’s Inception) then maybe you would understand what I am getting at), and Kit asked me if I was okay with the music/volume. I wasn’t sure how the experience would be like without the music, but since the music was playing and part of the treatment, I thought I would just go with the music and volume. The whole ambience of the place makes you feel like you are *in* a movie.
The treatment bed was quite adjustable, and Kit provided me with a booster pillow under my knees. There were many, many layers of towels and I felt incredibly grounded/wrapped up/cosy/snug as a bug. It was wonderful! I think this is what being a baby must feel like, all swaddled up.
For the Aesop facial, there were many steps and Aesop products used in conjunction with formulation treatments (which are essentially bespoke, concentrated formulations of Vitamin C, aloe vera, etc. which are used during the facial appointments but which are not sold in-store).
There are six facial treatments (Ascorbic Action, Skin Quench, Calm Correct, Detox Anew, Parsley Seed Intensive, Lactic Surge) but each Aesop facial is “ultra-customised” so that they are suitable for your skin type.
You can read about each individual Aesop facial treatment here: https://www.aesop.com/sg/r/facial-appointments
Kit also highlighted that my whole face was dehydrated (she also has really firm and soft hands which is excellent, like have you ever had a masseur with dry, calloused, scratchy hands and sharp finger nails? That is not great).
Aesop products Kit used includes:
1. Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Oil
2. Parsley Seed Facial Cleanser
3. Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste
4. Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque
5. Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Toner
6. Lightweight Facial Hydrating Serum
7. In Two Minds Facial Hydrator
9. Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Eye Serum
During the Aesop facial, besides the intermittent massaging of the shoulders, head, scalp, arms, legs and neck, there was also gentle steaming, dry brush techniques, hot towels and cotton pads and light extraction (no machines, no needles though). Note that it is not an extraction-centric facial. Nonetheless, Kit assured me that the dry brushing, cleansing, exfoliating were also effective.
What I thought was very unique about the Aesop facial treatment was the use of warm bowls. I enjoyed the sound of the products being mixed in the bowls, it reminded me of what I had read about the Aesop founder, Dennis Paphitis, in their new book, on the spot creating products in a single, impromptu moment for a client. How amazing.
So all the Aesop products used were “heated” by the bowl and were nice and warm on the face, which is very different from using the products at room temperature! Mind-blowing. I absolutely loved it!
The dry brushes (an interesting experience) used on my face were from Australia and look something like this:
My face felt very hydrated, supple, very clean and clear after the facial. I enjoyed the rhythmic facial massage and the firmness of it. PS. the Aesop facial comes in 60 minutes/75 minutes.
After the facial, Kit asked if I needed a hair dryer (since she had massaged my scalp). She also passed me a wooden comb (I asked if it was disposable, she said that they sanitise and clean the comb). Kit also mentioned that if I wanted to get my hair done post-facial, there was some discount/promotion with the hair salon in the building. There were also two small hot towels provided which were great for wiping down the face and arms, etc. post-facial.
Once the facial was done, we went through the products used and the products Kit recommended based on my skin, sort of like a prescription (see below). Kit also encouraged me not to touch my face too often because “our hands contain germs”. Indeed, after the facial, I realised I touch my face pretty often (maybe 20-30 times a day?) and found myself stopping myself from touching/scratching my face.
I felt very rested and cared for after my Aesop facial, and would recommend others to try! After the Aesop facial, my face did look clearer, brighter and less congested and not too red and angry. I also realised that my face felt less bumpy too (I’m guessing she extracted the hardened sebum from my face), and much softer.
Kit also offered me water (hot or cold) and a cup of Aesop tea.
She also passed me some samples (Pasley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Toner x2 and In Two Minds Facial Hydrator x2).
All in all, the Aesop facial and massage treatment cost S$150. Which I suppose, is really quite worth it for a tailored, restful and caring facial experience. Aesop is famous for being meticulous and attentive to detail and the customer experience, and it was well reflected in my Aesop facial yesterday afternoon. I would definitely go again, maybe in a few months. (I wanted to treat my mother to this experience but she said no, and told me to look after my own face by going for facials every few months). Even after this facial, I’m still obsessed with all things Aesop. I hope Aesop comes up with more treatments/experiences!
Have you tried the Aesop facial (in Singapore or elsewhere)? I would love to hear your thoughts! Or if you haven’t, let me know if you intend to try and what you think of the experience. I really enjoyed my Aesop facial and hope you will too.