It’s luxurious and hushed. It’s beautiful. It’s curvy and sexy. It’s elegant. The Biologique Recherche Haute Couture Flagship Spa in Hong Kong’s Kowloon is part showroom, part bar, part spa. And wholly awesome.
I walk in and feel underdressed. The Damien Langlois Meurinne-designed space is an oasis of taste, a showroom where art meets science, domed product cases in front of metal poppy-decorated beige-white walls. It’s the Cartier of skincare, highlighting the know-how of Dr Philippe Allouche, and his late, great father Dr Yvan Allouche, who originally masterminded this results-driven brand over 40 years ago. A couple of artfully placed tables, a huge orchid display and a skin analysis machine (aka the Skin Instant Lab) barely dent the space, which for Hong Kong is ginormous.
“Our cornerstone product is the P50,” says Florence Lin, Hong Kong’s General Manager, taking me from case to case as if in an art gallery. “We have different kinds of P50 – the P50-V, the P50-W, and which one is used depends on your skin.”
If you know anything about the doctors Allouche and the philosophy of Biologique Recherche you’ll know that what the skin is like in ‘this instant’ is the basis for their treatments. Dr Philippe likens the skin’s relationship with the body to a roof’s relationship with a house. Protection. More than that, protection that must be maintained regularly and gently. He frowns on people taking exfoliation into their own hands.
At the Skin Instant Lab, Kimmy the therapist zaps my face to test my hydration, then my lipid levels (for water retention), elasticity, pigmentation and finally sebum. I find out that my skin is surprisingly ok when it comes to hydration, lipid levels and sebum. Where it falls is elasticity and pigmentation. With the results, a whole cosmetic prescription of recommended products (Biologique Recherche has about 150) flashes up on the screen. Hyaluronic acid for hydration, an amino acid powder for repairing and the signature P50 for all over. Time for the facial…
Because the real wow-factor is around the corner. No, it’s not the sweet little bar. It’s the actual spa. One room, four treatment cocoons. Lozenge shaped and in a beige-white palette, they are divided from each other and prying eyes by only a luscious white curtain, which draws closed at the press of a button. Inside, apart from the therapists’ equipment, the treatment bed, which is made up with super-soft sheets, is accompanied only by a very cool bag for your things. (And there’s a mini change/toilet/shower room off to the side). That’s it.
I pick my as yet untreated jaw up off the plushly carpeted floor, watch as the curtains draw shut around me, and change. “During the treatment the therapist will start with a cleansing milk, and once that is rinsed off the P50 goes on, with a very gentle exfoliation to balance the pH of the skin and prepare it to receive the products and treatment,” Florence has told me. Then it’s all about the technology.
Their RF machine has three kinds of current covering low, medium and high frequencies in order to deliver oxygenation, ionization and lifting. It also has Nobel Prize winning electroporation, which pushes ingredients deep into the skin’s cells for optimum nourishment. Overall it’s a comfortable-ish procedure, the serum feels a bit tingly, the machine mildly pin-pricky – once you’re used to this therapists can push the intensity. I can’t help but descend into a bit of a mental time out for a while but come to with soothing skincare being layered on.
Post-treatment my face feels rather challenged and sure enough when I look at myself my complexion is a bit red. Florence assures me that it is simply due to the stimulation of the skin cells and suggests epidermal regeneration (great!). She says it will calm in a few hours, which it does. I leave feeling refreshed and plumped with my mind still wowed by the tranquility, delicate beauty and super-cool design of the Biologique Recherche Haute Couture Flagship Spa.
All facials here are personalised to each guest’s skin instant. A single facial with skin analysis is likely to set you back from HK$800 to HK$4,800 for between 60 to 180 minutes depending on the treatment and products. Biologique Recherche recently launched the Haute Couture Skin Instant Limited Edition at the brand’s two Haute Couture Flagships (one here at Hong Kong’s Harbour City and one at the Yintai Shopping Centre in Beijing). Guests receive 100ml of cream and 30ml of serum tailor-made for their skin and bearing their personal VIP number. www.biologiquerecherche.com
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