If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know I’m an Esse fan. I’m addicted to their Cocoa Exfoliator, and it even made it into my Best of 2016 Skincare post. I have mildly sensitive skin, but I still like an exfoliator with a good bit of scrub in. This one smells like roses and cocoa, has decent scrub AND leaves my skin baby soft and prepped for makeup. I’ve gone through 3 jars I think!
So, when Candice at Simply Tipped Salon told me that they’d started offering Esse facials, and would I like to come in for one, I jumped at the chance! One can never have enough pampering, particularly if it’s from a brand you love.
Candice did tell me that it wouldn’t be a facial that included extractions – it was pampering purely. No issues there! As much as I know that extractions during a facial are necessary sometimes, and good for you, I prefer to feel relaxed. Particularly at this time of year, when the stress levels are running high.
Sadly, although I took a photo of the whole set up that Candice had beautifully laid out, my camera was playing up. It was so blurry (all 10 photos that I took of it) that it’s beyond usable. Some of the images are a little out of focus, but I really did want to include them. Please forgive my moody camera!
ALSO – Please read right through to the end! The lovely Candice has done a special for Sugar & Spice readers for the month of November, and it’s such a win. Details will all be at the end of this post 😉
One thing that must be noted is that the sponges used for cleansing are brand spanking new. A lot of places sterilise each set of sponges after each use. As clean as that makes them, I’m still icked out. Simply Tipped use brand new sponges for each client.
And so my facial began! I only wore a little BB cream and mascara (the worst one of life, sorry Candice!) so that I wouldn’t scare anyone with my 7am Saturday morning face. Regardless, Candice removed the makeup and double cleansed. The mascara was so bad, that even the special Eye Make-up Remover needed to go through several wipes to get it off. Needless to say, that mascara has since been binned.
Candice used the Sensitive Cleanser to do the first cleanse, and followed up with the Gel Cleanser. Now, I do prefer a cream, milk or balm cleanser, but I have used the Gel Cleanser before. It has this divine, refreshing minty scent to it, and leaves your skin feeling so super duper clean, yet not stripped or tight. Absolutely perfect as a morning cleanse for the hot, sticky Durban summer. I think I may be purchasing this cleanser myself soon!
Next up was a good exfoliation. Personally, this is my favourite part of any skincare routine or facial. I love my skin to feel smooth, soft and scrubbed. The Cocoa Exfoliator from Esse is my absolute favourite thing ever, but Candice insisted that since she knew I already loved it, she wanted me to try the other options. Firstly, she applied the Microderm Exfoliator and massaged it in. It was exceptionally gentle, and did the job, yet I still prefer the feel, smell and results of the Cocoa one.
She then applied the Beta Hydroxy Exfoliator to my skin. This is a professional product, and not for sale to take home and use. It also isn’t a part of the regular facial and does come at an additional cost. However, it’s totally worth it. My skin tingled very slightly and when she removed it, it was so damned soft. Just like a baby’s butt! It’s more of a light skin peel than an exfoliator.
After removing all of the remaining exfoliator from my skin, Candice then toned it using the Toner Plus. I’d previously tried the regular Toner. The Toner Plus purely does the job of the regular Toner and then some. It actually uses probiotics to actively improve the skin’s balance and barrier function. Sounds great, but I often feel that using a toner is just an added step in my routine that makes my face feel tight and doesn’t add much. If I use any kind of toner or facial spray, I use my Thermal Spring Water from Avene. However, the toner felt very soothing on the skin, and didn’t leave it feeling tight at all. It actually felt very nice, and I’d be interested to see how it would work on the skin after using it consistently for a period of time, as opposed to just once off during a facial.
Next up – a round of multi-masking! Candice targeted the areas of my face with different skincare issues, and applied a mask there that would do the job to fix them. She applied the Eye Contour Mask to the area around my eyes (obviously haha) as an intense and fast-working eye treatment. Next was the Omega Mask (not pictured due to my irritable camera), which smelt very much of vitamins and omega oil, which she applied to my cheeks where I have a bit of scarring and marks from breakouts. Both of these were from the professional range of Esse products.
Lastly to the rest of my face Candice applied the Cream Mask, available for purchase to use at home. To me it smelt very similar to the Cocoa Exfoliator which I love, although I don’t think it contains the same ingredients. It’s great for dehydrated skins, and for me, my chin and around my nose are always dehydrated. This was my favourite, and definitely something I’d buy to use at home. It smells and feels so luxurious and pampering. Then again, all of the Esse products some delicious, and it’s so great knowing that they’re natural and contain a lot of organic and fair-trade ingredients.
After leaving the masks on for a little while (I was treated to a hand and foot massage that was sublime), Candice removed the residue of them, and I then had a facial massage, using the Facial Massage Cream. I love a good facial massage – it’s so good to get the blood and oxygen flowing. This special, professional massage cream helps to repair the epidermis, as well as hydrate, nourish and protect against free radicals.
Candice then applied some of the Eye & Lip Cream to my eye contours and around the outer edges of and on my lips. This product hydrates, smooths and fights the signs of ageing in these areas. She followed this up with the Serum as well as the Repair Oil. The Serum packs a large punch of hydrating Hyaluronic Acid – my favourite ingredient ever – and is lovely and light. The Repair Oil was applied to the areas where my skin has small scars (the results of teenage acne, as well as a bout of bad breakouts due to coming off the pill. It’s lovely and nourishing on the skin and smells delicious.
The final step was the Nourish Moisturiser. Even though my skin tends to be dehydrated, Candice decided a nice treat would be the more nourishing one as opposed to the Hydro Moisturiser. The Nourish Moisturiser helps to hydrate as well as boost the skin’s barrier function, so it packs a little more of a punch. It was lovely as the final step in a facial, but not something I’d use on a daily basis as it was quite rich and heavy. I’d be keen on trying out the Hydro Moisturiser as a daily option though.
Overall – I thoroughly enjoyed this pampering facial. It felt so indulgent and nourishing on my skin. My skin has been glowing and healthy since my facial (no lies), and I’ve been using the selection of samples that Candice gave me to try as well. I think this brand is fabulous. It’s natural and organic and seems to provide everything your skin could need! For those of you who are trying to cut down on off-the-shelf products, and focus more on healthy, natural skincare, please give Esse a try. You can book a facial with Candice or any of the lovely ladies at Simply Tipped, and get a good introduction to the brand. Alternatively, you can buy trial kits of a selection of products tailored to your skin type. These trial kits, and all of the products are also available to purchase in salon.
The Esse Hydrating Facial will cost you R340 at Simply Tipped, and R370 if you opt to have the Beta Hydroxy Exfoliator as well (a definite must have, in my books, but warn Candice if you have sensitive skin).
Simply Tipped is kindly offering all Sugar & Spice followers a great promotion.
For the amazing price of R900, you can book for both YOU and a FRIEND, to have not only the Esse Hydrating Facial (everything I had, apart from the Beta Hydroxy Exfoliator) AND a Spalicious Limited Edition Pedicure.
That’s TWO facials at R340 each and TWO Spalicious Limited Edition Pedicures at R340 each. The usual price would be R680 each or R1360 in total, but this way it will only cost you R450 each or R900 in total. That’s a R460 saving!
This offer is valid Monday- Friday 07:00-16:00 subject to availability, and only if you book for both of you to come in and have a couple of hours of indulgence together. You must quote ‘Sugar & Spice’ on booking for this special.
With the festive season pretty much upon us, it’s a great way for girlfriends to get together and grab some time for a last minute bit of pampering before the stress of Christmas time shopping hits everyone. Also a great pressie for Mom or Granny to have a bit of pamper time. 😉
**DISCLAIMER – while I was treated to a complimentary facial on behalf of Simply Tipped, all opinions are honest and entirely my own.**