Eight highly-specific facials to bookmark for your next spa day

Think you’ve had one facial and had ’em all? Think again.

Sometimes putting your best face forward means setting down the Gua Sha, pausing the ‘latte girl skin’ Youtube tutorial, and stopping yourself from googling ‘Damiano David cheekbones’ (again) in favour of turning yourself over to the professionals.

Perhaps it’s a radiant complexion you seek. Perhaps it’s something more targeted, such as, I don’t know, reversing the effects of gravity? Maybe it’s just a hankering for being pampered and having hot towels pressed into your pores.

Whatever’s at the top of your facial to-do list, we’re here to point you in the right direction.

The natural lift and tighten: Skinography’s Buccal Facial

Long before everyone was talking about buccal fat removal, there was the buccal facial – put on the map by Meghan Markle whose lifted cheeks and crisp jawline on her wedding day were supposedly owed to this A-list approved treatment. Five years ago, Skinography owner Kate Michelmore was the first to bring Buccal to New Zealand, pioneering her very own registered trademark technique, The Sculptural Buccal technique®. Today, Kate trains the who’s who of skin therapists in New Zealand and Australia in its ways, and word on the street is us laypeople have the opportunity to learn a DIY version in December. Until then, we’re in Kate’s very capable hands.

A natural stand-in for for Botox: Tonic Room’s AcuFacial

Determined to postpone the ‘tox, or investigating a less-invasive stand-in? Tonic Room’s AcuFacial could be for you. The ‘Glow’ iteration is all about boosting radiance, but for the closest thing to a natural Botox, we vote for ‘Target’. True to its name, this facial-meets-acupunture treatment plumps skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines, while lifting and sculpting your face in a way not dissimilar to traditional Botox. The full treatment consists of a 45-minute custom facial, 30 minutes of facial acupuncture, followed by weeks of friends and coworkers coming up to you, desperate to know who does your injectables. 

Medical grade, without the downtime: About Face’s Power of Three facial

A grunty facial that won’t require you to lurk behind a funereal style hat à la post-chemical peel Samantha Jones, circa Sex and the City season five, About Face’s Power of Three has the impact of a medical-grade facial, without the pain, price tag or downtime associated with intense medi-spa treatments. Beginning with a (gentle) chemical peel or microdermabrasion, this multi-award winning signature treatment also involves one of three Omnilux LED lights best-suited to your skin needs, and Sonophoresis (soundwave technology), which creates pockets that ensure the product used by your therapist deeply penetrates the skin. We’re talking thousandfolds more than your at-home facial could even dream of. 

Soothing on your schedule: Endota Spa

Far from relaxing, trying to fit a facial among work and weekend commitments can be a self-defeating exercise by the time you’ve wrangled a spot – and a carpark – at some of the busiest places in town.

Open 7 days a week including until 8pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays, Australian-owned Endota (formerly Forme Spa) is the answer to our prayers. With five Auckland locations and four more across New Zealand, Endota offers ample opportunities to unwind in their zen-meets-industrial chic urban oases. To get intense hydration and more targeted actions underway, plus peruse their extensive library of house-made product for skin concerns big and small, search for your nearest Endota location here.

Lunchtime results: Skintopia’s ProSkin30 Facial

Spending your lunchbreak getting an express spa treatment instead of suffering through another desk salad is the lifestyle upgrade you owe yourself. Skintopia’s ProSkin30 treatment – whose 60-minute version was recently reviewed by FashioNZ editor Phoebe Watt – is the facial version of a power nap (and hey, sleep’s not strictly on the menu but if the ergonomic chair and weighted blanket can lull you into a quick slumber, take those zzz’s!) 

Either way, you’re guaranteed to head back to work de-stressed and glowing thanks to your therapist’s recommendation of three of the following actions: deep cleansing, resurfacing, touch therapy, extractions, deep treatment and dermal layering. With three locations in Auckland and two in Wellington, politely decline that next meeting-that-could-be-an-email and make the most of the lunchbreak you’re entitled to.

Organic that *actually* works: The Facialist’s The Signature Facial

With a reputation for results, City Works Depot stalwart The Facialist has accrued a cult following in the 10 years it’s been perfecting the skin of Auckland’s most discerning clientele. With an extensive menu of high-performance treatments for virtually every skin concern (and one of the best email newsletters in the business, which regularly shares practical skincare advice from founder Ashleigh Scott), we can’t look past the one that started it all. What we love most about The Signature Facial is that it exclusively uses organic actives and masks. Throw in The Facialist’s Auckland-famous facial massage, and you’ve got am organic recipe for success.

Best of both worlds: Saint Beauty’s Saint Trio Facial

Facials typically present an either/or paradox: grunty processes for actual results, or a pampering experience with fewer returns on your skin. Thankfully, this treatment at newbie spa Saint Beauty won’t force you to choose. Enjoy the heavenly hand, scalp, arm and décolleté massages that continue throughout the entirety of your luxurious 75 minute treatment, while your therapist facilitates one of the three intensive steps that give this facial its name.

Once again freeing you from the burden of decision making, don’t worry which skin peel, LED treatment, Ultrasonic infusion, Hydrojelly Mask or Oxygenation Treatments is for you. That’s your therapist’s job. You just lay back and indulge. 

To Soothe Acne-Prone Skin: The Skin Wardrobe’s Lernberger Stafsing Purify & Clear Decongesting Facial 

Move over Swedish Massage – the Swedish Facial is the latest nordic ritual we’re obsessing over. The Skin Wardrobe‘s Purify & Clear Decongesting Facial is not a fluffy facial, but neither is it overly aggressive. Understanding that treating inflamed, raw skin is a fine balance, your therapist will be highly trained in deeply sweeping pores of their impurities, and reseting your skin so it produces less excess oil. A treatment not found anywhere else outside Sweden, be the first in New Zealand to experience this scandi skin candy – which includes The Skin Wardrobe‘s own affordable skincare line.

Header image credit: Endota Spa