I Got a 30-Minute Facial and Didn't Wear Foundation for Weeks

Faith Xue
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It feels a bit vain to recount the number of compliments I’ve gotten about my skin over the past two weeks, so I’ll go ahead and skip that part and say this: I’m currently experiencing the best skin of my life, and it’s largely due to a 30-minute treatment I got at the Four Seasons spa in Beverly Hills two weeks ago.

That’s right—30 minutes. I can think of a lot of things I can do in 30 minutes, none of which result in me having skin rivaling that of a newborn. The life-changing facial in question is called the Fire and Ice Facial (insert Game of Thrones theme song), which sounds mysterious and magical, but it’s actually quite simple—and will totally give you glowing skin like Lady Sansa. 

Dr. Nigma Talib, skincare guru to stars like Kate Bosworth and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and author of Younger Skin Starts in the Gut, was the angel sent from above who conducted the facial, and I could immediately tell I was in good hands—mainly because her own skin was positively poreless and line-free (and hello, look at her client roster). If Bosworth entrusts her lineless skin to Dr. Talib, Dr. Talib can pretty much do whatever she wants to my own complexion.

To start, Talib gently cleansed my skin, then applied iS Clinical’s Intensive Resurfacing Masque, an exfoliating treatment made with botanical acids, retinol, and niacin, along with antioxidants and kaolin clay, to instantly smooth and brighten the skin. This was the “fire” part of the facial, and it indeed felt as such—I was delighted to feel a burning sensation spread across my face as time went by, and I cackled inwardly just picturing the baby skin that would emerge after this treatment. 

(I will also say this—you know you trust your facialist when you actually feel happy when your face starts burning during your treatment. If the same thing had happened at home, I would be screaming and dousing my face with cold water.) 

After the exfoliating masque came the “ice” part. Talib used the brand’s Rejuvenating Masque, which she painted on thickly to push the hydrating ingredients like aloe vera, rosemary extract, green tea extract, and hyaluronic acid deep into my skin. This particular mask is also good for soothing redness and irritation, which makes it a perfect treatment after lasers or on sunburned skin.

And then I was done. That was it. I couldn’t believe how quick it was. I wanted Dr. Talib’s soothing hands back on my face, coaxing out dark spots and revealing soft, smooth skin. But no—the treatment was over. As I dejectedly got dressed, I glanced in the mirror. My skin looked nice, yes, but the treatment room was dark, and I couldn’t really tell if there was really a difference. 

It wasn’t until I emerged like a butterfly from a cocoon—like Marnie after a two-week marriage to Desi, or like Selena after Justin (or wait, are they back together?)—that I realized what a major change had just occurred. My skin wasn’t terrible to begin with, I want to note. It’s oily, prone to blackheads, and sprinkled with freckles and the occasional dark spot. On a good day, it was passable; with Charlotte Tilbury’s Filmstar Bronze & Glow ($68) highlighter dusted on my cheekbones, it might even get a compliment or two.

However, after my in-and-out facial with Dr. Talib, my “okay” skin experienced a metamorphosis. It was smooth, even, and—dare I say—radiant. The kind of skin where you can’t stop looking at your own face in the mirror, like one of those vain people who does that (which is not me, obviously, except on, like, a really good lipstick day). 

After that, the compliments came pouring in. There was the PR woman from Lancôme, who asked me what I was wearing on my face because I was positively glowing. I said, “Nothing, just some sunscreen and primer!” fully realizing how annoying I sounded—like one of those people who says “drinking water” is their best beauty secret. Friends asked me what I had done to my face, almost accusingly, while strangers simply told me I had “really nice skin.”

To all of them, I smiled and told them about the 30-minute, little-known, possibly Game of Thrones–inspired secret treatment known as the Fire and Ice facial at the Four Seasons. It’s been two weeks since I went in for the facial, and my skin is still smooth and bright, though the effects have decreased somewhat—for example, I actually put on foundation this weekend, but it felt more out of habit than anything else.

Though, sadly, both of the products used during my facial are professional quality (read: do not try at home), you can re-create the effects by using an exfoliating treatment, like iS Clinical’s Tri-Active Exfoliant ($60), and following it with a hyper-hydrating and replenishing mask, like the brand’s Coolmint Revitalizing Masque ($56).

And then there’s the little part about the price tag: It’s $215 at the Four Seasons, which is a bit cringe-worthy. However—if you’re saving up for a special treatment or the price doesn’t phase you, I wholeheartedly recommend it, because you will see a difference immediately. Plus, the swiftness of the treatment—have I mentioned it’s only 30 minutes?—makes it easy to incorporate into your busy workday. Now where did that mirror of mine go…

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