Revered by beauty insiders, the Couture Facial from Linda Meredith is now available at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, which is where our writer checks in
A skincare range developed to tackle skin ‘problems’ not skin ‘types’? This is the claim made by Linda Meredith, the Queen of Facials, about her results-driven products. Her philosophy is that we should no longer be pigeon-holed into thinking our skin is only ever dry, oily or combination and therefore treat our entire face with one product as the result is ineffective. Skin types exist, but they overlap, so Linda Meredith has designed a skincare range with a ‘layering’ concept at its core, each product working in harmony to address specific issues.
The relaxation room at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
As the range is now available at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, I decided to try her products for myself, with her signature Haute Couture Facial with Oxygen.
After five minutes in the tranquil Spa, I felt a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city. My therapist greeted me in the relaxation room, where I was happily sipping camomile tea, and showed me to a private treatment room.
Once seated, she talked me though the treatment, explaining how Linda has personally trained the therapists here. With more than 40 years of experience as an aesthetician, she sees first-hand how our skin changes from day to day, week to week, and month to month. Her products target hydration more than anything and, crucially, the whole range can be used on any skin type.
The facials are 'Couture' in that each one is tailored to a client's specific needs
The facials are ‘Couture’ in that each one is tailored to a client’s specific needs, so we spoke about my skin and any problem areas I wanted to address. I was told the combination of the treatment and products would leave me looking and feeling rejuvenated. I was eager to see the results…
Facialist Linda Meredith
As I lay on the warm treatment bed, my therapist deftly applied a cream cleanser. A second cleanser followed, this time a gel. With a spritz of hydration mist, my skin was thoroughly cleaned and ready to be assessed.
The use of a magnifying glass to look at your skin makes this facial stand out from the rest. Knowing that your skin is being examined to the nth degree is both a little unnerving and extremely satisfying. I was pleased to hear that, overall, my skin is in pretty good shape, and my therapist would just tackle a few blocked pores and general dehydration. A brightening gel containing lime juice was applied and my face began to tingle – a perfectly normal reaction that would disappear with the steam at the next stage. (Another aspect of the facial that makes it that little bit special.) As a gentle stream of steam wafted over my face for a few minutes, the therapist explained that if you have a good facial, you should leave feeling refreshed, but not red.
Once the steam opened my blocked pores, the extraction process began. Any trapped dirt was expertly cleaned from my pores. Once satisfied, my therapist proceeded to rub a micro-peel into the problem area, to refine and even the skin.
A facial massage followed, in which a rich moisturising lotion was slowly massaged into my newly buffed skin. This was for hydration and to dissolve any further stubborn congestion
Linda Meredith products
As the facial came to a close, I was in for one further treat: the oxygen. First, an oxygen serum was applied to my face, and then my therapist took what can only be described as an airbrush gun and made slow circular motions with it over my face. It was a pleasant sensation, and I liked what it was doing to my skin: feeding pure oxygen (with a very high nitrogen content) directly into the tissue. As she methodically worked with the airbrush, my therapist explained why this addition to the facial is so beneficial and luxurious. It hydrates the skin from the inside out, plumps up any fine lines or wrinkles, reduces any redness, is anti-bacterial, and excellent for reducing dark circles and puffiness around the eyes. The perfect pièce de résistance.
With that, my one hour and 20 minutes of pure pampering was over. So did my skin feel rejuvenated, replenished and radiant? You know what, it did. My face was clean, buffed, plumped and not in the slightest bit red. With such a results-driven ethos, I can see why Linda Meredith has a cult following.