Tag Archives: facial


The newest offering from Biologique Recherche gave me the opportunity to experience yet another one of their facials, (believe me, I know how lucky I am) along with their newest innovation, the Crème Masque Vernix. Continue reading BIOLOGIQUE RECHERCHE // CRÈME MASQUE VERNIX


It’s no secret that the French know everything there is to know about skincare. They are world-renowned for their pharmacy brands (Avene, La Roche-Posay, Nuxe, the list goes on), and are known to be the leaders in the skincare innovation (see: the world’s first Epidermologist, Joelle Ciocco.

However, Biologique Recherche takes it to a whole other level. Their exclusive spa off the Champs-Elysées is in the little black book of every editor and make up artist around the world. Their treatments and products aren’t cheap either–they’re known as the Hermès of skincare for a reason. One woman from Town & Country magazine took part in their “Haute Couture” program, a personalized regimen that is updated every month by BR, that costs $12,500–the price of a Birkin.

You’ve heard me talk about their ultimate exfoliating toner, P50, here before. While being extremely hard to find (I had to convince BR’s American PR company to send me a bottle) and smelling of onions,  it is also very effective. Containing lactic acid and magnesium, P50 is the cornerstone of BR’s vast range of skincare products.

This past week, Biologique Recherche launched their brand in Canada. Their facial treatments are products will now be available across the country in Toronto, Montreal and Manitoba (and soon, Oakville) at select spas and plastic surgery clinics.

Paris Fashion Week Fix: The Biologique Recherche Facial - Vogue Daily - VogueLast week, I had the privilege of being invited for a BR facial along with an interview with two of the brand’s founders, Dr. Allouche and Pierre-Louis Delapalme. I was ushered into a treatment room at One to One Studio by the wonderful Ellis Holevas (National trainer for BR in Canada), and was told that Dr. Allouche himself would be doing my skincare consultation. I was immediately struck by the sheer volume of BR products lining the counter and shelves. So. many. options.

After Ellis cleansed my face, Dr. Allouche breezed in, the ever-charming Frenchman to take a look at my skin. I was either expecting to hear that my face was a total disaster (my skin is still purging from the new addition of Differin into my skincare routine), or that it was so-so. The reaction I received from the doctor was not at all what I was expecting.

“Bonjourrr Madame!”

After pressing my hand, he took a look at my skin.

“Are you pregnant?”


“But you are going to be pregnant soon? Or you just had a baby?”

“No! No!” (I’m slightly panicking now, does this man know something I don’t??)

“Well, OK, you have lots of hormonal breakouts then.” (This I could agree on).

“Well, the doctor just prescribed me retinol”, to which he immediately made a disapproving face. I asked him what was wrong with retinol. “Nothing, nothing. It is not the best, but if it works for you, keep using it”. Well…OK.

He looked to Ellis and rapidly lists off instructions in his French-inflected English of what she is to use on my skin–different masks, their “Soin Lissant” of course, a P50 toner, and to mix a mask with baking soda. I barely caught any of it, Ellis is a true pro.

After the usual cleanse and tone, Ellis proceeded with the Soin Lissant, starting on the right side of my face. It was the deepest and most thorough lymphatic and facial massage I have ever experience. Once she was done with my right side, she asked if I would like to take a look–and admittedly, I was a bit confused as to why I would want to see my face mid-facial–but when I looked in the mirror, it looked as if my cheekbones had been lifted and injected with filler. I kid you not. The right side of my face was noticeably fuller. It was so incredible.

She then applied a mask to the one-half of my face (Masque Vivant), and went to work sculpting the other half. She has the most miraculous hands–with expert fluttery movements of flicks and applied pressure, she was able to remodel my face as if it was made of clay. I don’t need to tell you that I will be massaging the crap out of my face now at home (even in my amateur fashion with fingers and my massage roller).

Then 2 additional masks were layered on top of each other, and she went to work massaging my arms. Pure heaven.

Once I came out of my massage coma, I was able to have my chance to meet with Dr. Allouche and Pierre-Louis. Unfortunately for me, the journalist in the time slot before me ate up most of my allotted time with them (I was only able to meet with them for 10 minutes, as opposed to 30).

“So tell me…what do you have against retinol?”. “No no, nothing, nothing, just it’s not the best but if it works for you, continue using it. But our method would work too, it might just take a little longer”, says Dr. Allouche. “We have seen the results from our tests in Thailand, the were extraordinary”, says Pierre-Louis, “they have terrible acne in Thailand, you know, all of the spicy foods, it creates inflammation”.

I had no idea about this. Note to self: cut down on chili flakes, salsa and hot sauce ASAP.

“Of course, all acne is different, I would not treat an adolescent’s acne the same way I would treat yours, but we could do it. With the P50 and regular visits en cabine (facials), we could do it”. I ask how often these visits would be. “Well, at first once a week, then once a month. The skin changes so often, you know, and it constantly needs to be assessed. This is why we do the “Skin Instant” before the treatment. We do a visual assessment of your face at that moment before it is treated in the cabine“, says Delapalme.

So, how often does the skin change then? “Hour to hour, day to day, this is why products and treatments need to be constantly reassessed. We would like if our clients could come in once a month to the cabine to have their skin reassessed.”

I mention that I noticed that there wasn’t any steaming or extractions during the facial. “No, no, it is too harsh on the skin. Using lasers and metal tools on the skin is like using a laser to cut butter, it’s unnecessary. The skin is so delicate”, says Delapalme. I also noticed that there were no scrubs included in their product catalog. “No, mechanical exfoliation is not needed for the face, we have a product with mechnical exfolation for the body, but not for the face. The P50 is enough”, says Delapalme.

Convinced to reincorporate BR into my skincare routine, I purchase a few of (the many) products that Dr. Allouche prescribed for me, the toner (the gentlest version, for now), of course, and a moisturizer that promises to rebalance sebum secretion (sounds gross). The two set me back nearly $200. “We want to be exclusive, we don’t want to be everywhere. We want to stay professional”, said Dr. Phillipe Allouche, one of the founders of Biologique Recherche. Well, you’re certainly top shelf skincare, that’s for sure.

Biologique Recherche facials and the entire product range is now available in select cities across Canada. In Ontario, you can find BR in Toronto at One to One Studio, and soon in Oakville at Briarwood Cosmetic Surgical Centre and at Heritage Way Medical Spa.

Update: I received more addresses from PR.

Montréal     La Chambre des Dames (514.248.0701)
Manitoba   Bren’s Skin Care (www.brensskincare.com)
Barrie         Femme Fatale (http://www.femmefatalespa.com)


No extractions. No pain. Just tightened pores, plumped up skin and a clearer complexion.

Jet Peel takes the facial to a whole new level of relaxation. There is no downtime–you don’t leave the spa with red marks from extractions, and your face isn’t totally raw from microdermabrasion. You can go get the facial, then get on with your day. Just be sure to apply some sunscreen before going outside.

The facial starts with cleansing and toning, follwed by an AHA exfoliating solution, and a grainy exfoliating product.

After the more traditional methods are done, the Jet Peel machine comes into play. Let me make this clear: it doesn’t hurt whatsoever. The instrument basically pressure-washes your face. It just feels as if someone is running the tip of an ice cube back and forth across your face. It blows a cold stream of air at your face with cold water, but your face is not wet.

The first round with the machine is with a saline solution that hydrates the skin. Then, they gently give your face a lymphatic drainage massage and lastly, the microdermabrasion peel (don’t be scared of the word peel, your skin doesn’t peel off).

After all the work with the machine is done, a nice thick mask is applied to your face (this one was used on me), chosen based on your skin type, and you are left to rest for a few minutes.

The pressure of the air pushes out anything that might be clogging your pores, meaning no painful extractions are necessary.

Afterwards, I immediately notice that the pores on my cheeks have shrunken down, the blackheads on my nose are much smaller, and some whiteheads that were stuck on the sides of my nose have been pushed to the surface. It felt like someone had turned the crank on my a face a few times to tighten everything up.

The day before I had gotten a few small pimples around my face, and the facial speeded up the process by bringing the whiteheads to the surface to allow them to heal on their own, instead of being opened up with squeezing. They have quickly disappeared.

As for recovery, it is the same as with any facial–your face will take a week or two to recover, I have gotten a few more breakouts than usual from everything being pushed to the surface.

With the seasons changing from hot to cold, this is the perfect time to get a Jet Peel facial. Skin gets clogged up from a Summer of repeat sunscreen applications (and sweat), and this is a great way to deep clean, get rid of dead skin cells and rehydrate for the upcoming season. September always signifies the start of a “new year” to me, so why wouldn’t you want to start it out with a clean slate?

If you are in the Oakville area, I highly recommend the Oakville Beauty Insitute. Every single one of their staff is lovely, and the space itself is chic and very clean (they also carry a lot of natural/organic products). No matter what service you get, they really take their time with the client to do a thorough job, get to know them and help with any skincare questions. As it happens, they have a special on Jet Peel facials until the end of September, so if you book now for later, you can save yourself $40 or more.


Sources: 1/2

What do you do on Sunday nights? Nothing, probably other than sit at home depressed because tomorrow is Monday. What better way to get ready for the week than to deep clean your skin? I do this faithfully every single Sunday night to keep my face in ship shape and prevent breakouts.

Get your robe on, tie your hair back, and get ready.

Step 1: First cleanse
Start by using a balm cleanser (or coconut oil) to cleanse your face, neck and chest. I really like Ren’s balm cleanser, it is gentle and has a rose scent. Eve Lom‘s is also great (if you’re not opposed to mineral oil), as well as Darphin‘s. Massage the product in to your dry face for a minute or so, even getting the eye area to remove all makeup. (Darphin’s balm recommends avoiding the eye area, but I did it by accident, and it was fine for me and I have really sensitive eyes. Use your own judgement.

Now, grab a muslin cloth or facecloth. Soak it in the hottest water you can stand, wring it out, and apply to face. Take 3 deep breaths. Repeat this 3 times. Rinse the cloth, wring it out and rub your face with it to exfoliate.

Step 2: Extraction (optional)
You maybe have noticed that the hot water has brought some white heads to the surface. If you feel comfortable doing this, you can gently extract some of the whiteheads/blackheads at this time using some toilet paper and your fingers (stay away from the extraction tools!). I usually concentrate on the chin, nose and cheeks.

Step 3: Second cleanse
Using a gentler cleanser (I like Ren’s Mayblossom and Lancome’s Galatée Confort), apply the product to your dry face and massage for 1 minute. Repeat the washcloth method from Step 1.

Step 4: Exfoliate
Apply an exofiliating mask, such as Ren’s Glycol Lactic Radiance Mask to the face. Take a breather and watch some TV for the required time.

Step 5: Tone
Since you have already exfoliate, do not apply your exfoliating toner and jump ahead to the hydrating toner. I use Nars’ Multi-Action or La Roche-Posay’s Serozinc.

Sources 1/2

Step 6: Purify
Apply a clay mask (I use one from Kiehl’s) to your face, or if your skin is dry like mine, to your problem areas (nose, chin, forehead, whatever). Wait the required time, and watch some more TV.

Step 7: Hydrate
Apply a good overnight hydrating mask to your face, neck, and even around your eyes. Some masks say that you can remove the extra lotion from your face but I just leave it on all night.

Go to sleep and get your beauty rest.


With the upcoming wedding, and the feelings that accompany it, my mother and I thought it would be a nice idea to have a day together of shopping and pampering ourselves. We made our way over to Bloor Street where we looked around for bridal jewelry and makeup and then into the Stillwater Spa at the Park Hyatt where we enjoyed their beautiful facilities and a facial.
Having been here before, we knew what to expect–serene surroundings and amazing scents throughout the spa (after coming here the first time, my mother renovated her bathroom to have the aura of this spa), as well as amazing treatments.
Their facials truly make me the most relaxed I have ever felt–I walk out of the treatment room feeling half asleep, in a happy daze. They take care to incoporate a massage along with your facial (extra zen points), so you really are getting a lot for what you paid for.
We left refereshed and with glowing complexions (though mine a little redder, since I had about 40 extractions done on my face–me to the facialist Luana, “I want beautiful skin for my wedding! Go nuts on extractions!”, her jokingly, “Ok, there will be some torture then”. Beauty is pain, what can I say.) While sipping on tea and eating cookies, we decided that we must make this a traditon and make time to get facials twice a year. Let’s hope that we can keep that promise–my skin will look amazing if we do!

Some bridal skincare tips from my facialist:
-Try not to use heavy moisturizers or sunscreens in the weeks leading up to your big day. This way your pores will stay unclogged and will prevent pimples from forming. Try instead to use some lighter, hydrating serums (she recommended this one for me).
-Try to avoid using acne spot treatments. They dry out the skin and make the blackheads very hard which makes them very difficult to remove. Leave your pimples alone!

N.B. If you’re going to get a facial before your wedding, be sure to do so about 6 weeks beforehand. This way your face has enough time to adjust and recover.

P.S. Also, I know I said in my first wedding skincare prep post that I was going to be forgoing a facial in lieu of doing it myself, but when your mom suggests you go for a facial, are you going to say no? Of course not.

Wedding Skincare Prep Part 1, Part 2.