When I arrived at the Sense Spa at the Carlyle Hotel, I was flustered, stressed, and, frankly, sweaty — not a great way to begin a "zen" hour. And, when I met my facialist, Claudia, I was downright intimidated. Claudia was somewhat serious, stern, and pretty old-school. After cleansing my skin, she pretty promptly stuck a bright light over my face to evaluate my pores. "Do you always have breakouts like this?" she asked, rather pointedly. "No," I stammered. "I just finished covering Fashion Week. I only really break out when I'm stressed."
"Hm," huffed Claudia. "Just remember that pain is beauty."
If this sounds terrifying, it's because it was. I mumbled in agreement with Claudia that she'd perform some extractions on my stressed-out, congested face. I was very, very afraid, as I had once had a terrible experience with extractions that had left me with chicken-pox-like red dots all over my face. And, once Claudia started in on my pores, my fears were only heightened. She used a lance (which is literally a needle that's used to open up a clogged pore) to prick at my skin, and then she extracted each pore aggressively — as in, made-my-eyes-water aggresively. I put up with it, because I am a beauty editor and a strong woman and I refused to be intimidated by a measly spa treatment...but I was convinced as she finished up the facial and gently massaged Sisley's new Sisley Paris Supremÿa Night Serum and matching Eye Serum onto my face, that I would be left with ravaged skin for days. Oh well, I sighed. Life (and concealer) will go on.
Well, readers, this is when I eat my words. When I saw my skin shortly after my facial, I was amazed that it was hardly irritated at all — in fact, it was glowing. Despite being poked and prodded and squeezed to the point where my face was downright throbbing, I was not inflamed, and I did not look like I had chicken pox. Whether this is the result of Claudia's skilled hands or the power of the super-luxe serums, I will never know (my guess is that it was the combination of the two) — but what I do know is that my skin looks so much better now that I might actually be a convert, both to painful facials and actually making the time to pamper myself once in a while. Oh, and also, if your facialist seems like a total know-it-all badass, it's probably because she is. Trust her, and leave your ego at the door — it just might be worth it.
Sisley Supremÿa Anti-Aging Experience, $650, available at The Sense Spa at the Carlyle Hotel.
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!