Today I came to the Belmore Centre in Stoke Mandeville to have the iconic Belmore Deluxe Facial for the very first time. With the summer ending and the central heating being on full-blast at home, having had my period and an outbreak in spots, a few too many glasses of wine on my birthday leaving me dehydrated and a teething toddler keeping me awake all hours of the night, my face is understandably dried out and zombified and my bones and muscles ache all over; which is why I’ve been desperate for a little me time and couldn’t wait for my facial.
Pulling into the car park of the Belmore Centre which was clearly signposted from the main Stoke Mandeville Hospital road, I was pleasantly greeted by the friendly and welcoming staff at reception before being shown to a beautiful white stone waiting area filled with beauty products, soft lighting and soothing music. A few moments later I was greeted by Lauren, my therapist, and shown to a peaceful, cosy and quiet treatment room upstairs which was furnished with beautiful white and purple materials and sumptuous soft fluffy towels. After answering a few questions about my health concerning the procedures that I was about to have, Lauren showed me where to undress and how to lay and then she left the room as I got into position.
I removed my top, bra and socks but kept my trousers and underwear on before laying face down on the bed where I was able to look through a hole and literally stretch out and relax. Lauren came in and covered my legs with a towel before beginning my back massage. The second she applied the soothing oils to my skin my tight and restricted muscles literally melted like warm ice-cream into the bed and it was the most relaxing and invigorating feeling as she glided over my skin, working her way from my lower back bone all the way up to my neck. I could have quite easily fallen fast asleep there and then as the soothing music trickled around me and the the fragrance of the perfumed oils filled the air.
Lauren then moved onto my facial after leaving the room first so that I could turn over and cover my front with the towel before she reentered. With a combination of warm mitts, soft flannels, cotton pads and wipes she began cleansing, exfoliating, toning, moisturising and massaging my face all over and I felt my skin turning from a dried out old piece of leather into a sumptuous and juicy peach before my eyes. My daily routine consists of moisturising my face in the morning before applying my foundation, concealer and eye makeup, wearing it for around twelve hours or so before wiping it off with a makeup removing wipe at bed time. In the shower I rinse my face with warm water and aside from my moisturiser and makeup wipes I leave my face alone. Lauren explained to me that because I didn’t have a cleansing regime in place my pores were blocked and easily store bacteria giving me outbreaks of spots, which teamed with the hormones from my monthly menstrual cycle leave my skin feeling sore and tender. Because my pores were blocked it meant that my moisturiser wasn’t penetrating my skin and as a result my face remained dehydrated. She also identified the areas of my face which had a combination of skin from dry to greasy and told me how to properly cleanse, tone and moisturise each area, as following a general beauty regime of someone elses would be completely irrelevant to my combination skin type.
She then applied the moisturising mask which felt incredibly soothing, moist and divine before covering my eyes and massaging my head, shoulders, hands, arms and feet in turn. As the cooling cream absorbed into my hot dry skin I could literally feel my body coming back to life. The aches, pain, strain and weight of my joints simply floated out of me as I lay nestled in my impossibly soft womb of towels, drifting away to the gentle lull of the music and ambient glow of the lamplight. A whole seventy-five minutes of being cleansed, massaged, pampered and preened and I opened my eyes like a spring lamb feeling refreshed and reborn.
I absolutely adored the Belmore Deluxe Facial and will certainly be coming back for another in a few months time. Taking just a few minutes out for a pamper this afternoon has left me feeling revitalised and ready to take on the world. And with beauty vouchers available, for just £58.00 it makes the ideal gift for loved ones.
You can visit the Belmore Centre’s website here and watch me having the Deluxe Facial in this video:
Here’s the technical part from Beauty Therapist Lauren:
First I started with a mini back massage using a Clarins relaxing oil, using slow movements that flow from one to the other in order to de stress and relax. Then I left Tracy to turn over ready for her facial. The facial starts with a skin analysis to determine which products I should use, aswell as verbally asking Tracy what she feels her skin is like and what she uses on it, I reassess once makeup is removed.
I perform two cleanses to ensure all makeup is removed, the cleanser suitable today was cleanser for combination skin, I explained to Tracy that although she feels her skin is dry in fact it is actually dehydrated which is two completely different things. Dry skin is a skin type: Dehydrated skin is a skin condition/concern. Tracy’s skin is a combination skin (oily t-zone, normal cheeks, this is in Tracy’s case). Tracy’s skin is dehydrated as she is using face wipes which only superficially wipe off makeup they do not actually clean the skin so any products applied will not reach where they need to actually work effectively.
The next step is to exfoliate the skin to remove dead skin cells. Removal of dead skin cells will allow for better cell renewal and for products to penetrate effectively all helping with anti-ageing in time. Exfoliating is recommended 1-2 times a week for most people but really depends on the individual skin types. I used the Clarins gentle exfoliating refiner to gently do the above, using damp fingers and circular movements all around the face and remove after with warm mitts.
Toning after ensures thorough removal of cleanser and exfoliator followed by a massage of the face and décolleté. I used the Clarins blue orchid oil for Tracy’s face and relaxing oil for her décolleté. I then applied a mask to the face which today we used a hydra quench mask to help with dehydration. Whilst the mask is on I performed a head hand and foot massage, removing the mask with warms mitts and applying eye cream, serum and moisturiser. The eye cream is applied to the eye socket area not the entire eye area, remember prevention is better than cure so is important to start in your early 20’s to help prevent ageing and can also help with dark circles.
Hydra quench serum intensity helps with dehydration, working deeper than a cream. Moisturising is the final step in our facial. In summary the Belmore deluxe facial is the ultimate pamper, a treat for the whole body, customised for individual skin needs and concerns, the Belmore centres highly qualified therapists are there to not only help make your skin feel like new but to help the stresses of the day drift away.