I Got the French-Meets-Cali Facial of My Dreams—Here's How to DIY It at Home

Updated 09/20/19
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 @amanda_montell

Ah, Malibu. All the rumors of its beachside Elysiam are true. So many beautiful things have come from this unique stretch of land, where 2,000-foot mountains meet the Pacific Ocean: the Hadid sisters, many of Joan Didion’s greatest literary works, and, as of this summer, the single dreamiest facial I’ve had in recent memory.

In July, I was invited to drive an hour out to Calamigos Ranch, a luxurious hotel and spa discreetly situated within Malibu’s bosky peaks. The place holds a reputation for attracting posh wedding parties and celebrities looking to get away from the hubbub of Los Angeles (in fact, I saw Ashley Tisdale chilling by the pool the day of my visit). Calamigos’s spa just launched a new “Temple of Beauty Facial” in partnership with Odacité, a decadent non-toxic beauty brand knowns as the nexus of “luxurious French skincare [and] green California living.” The $150 treatment promises a concentrated cocktail of vitamins, antioxidants, plant extracts, and medicinal herbs, customizable according to one’s skincare needs, plus crystal healing and aromatherapy, all against the backdrop of Calamigos’s spacious, nature-surrounded spa. The second the invitation hit my inbox, I packed my kaftan and accepted.

Now, as blessed as my Calamigos facial experience was, unless you’re a Hadid or a Didion (or a Tisdale, as it were), it’s not exactly the most accessible thing in the world. If you do get the chance to pop up to Malibu and try the Temple of Beauty facial, I highly suggest you do, and I’m about to break down everything you can expect. But for the benefit of everyone else at home (including myself), I asked the founder of Odacité, Valerie Grandury, and Calamigos’s Spa Director, Brie Woodley, to break down exactly how to recreate their French-Cali luxury in your own bathroom. The process takes about 30 minutes and can be done as often as twice a week. Skincare lovers, read on to learn how to DIY your way to the relaxing, glow-inducing facial of your dreams. 

Step 1: Choose Your Crystal and Aromatherapy Adventures

odacite crystal contour gua sha
Odacite Crystal Contour Gua Sha Rose Quartz $45
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Gua sha (or traditional Eastern “face scraping”) is a big part of the Temple of Beauty facial, which starts by offering a choice of three gua sha crystals. Each one represents an energetic intention you might wish to set for your facial: rose quartz for self-love, blue sodalite for balance, or green aventurine for prosperity. (I picked the green one *cue dollar sign eyes emoji*.) You can also select an aromatherapy “journey” for the facial: joy, calm, or stress relief. (I chose the latter because hoping for prosperity can be stressful.)

As for at-home use, Odacité’s three gua sha tools are available for purchase online (you can also easily find rose quartz and jade gua sha tools elsewhere, though blue sodalite and green aventurine are harder to track down). Diffuse the essential oil of your choosing while you conduct the facial, or simply begin your ritual by wafting a few inhales out of the bottle to set the mood. Grapefruit essential oil is great for joy, clary sage and ylang ylang work for calm, and lavender is my go-to stress relief scent. 

gua sha
Calamigos Spa

Step 2: Double Cleanse, French-Girl Style

Odacité’s spa facial actually incorporates a *triple cleanse* to clear impurities from the skin, but a two-step process works great for at-home purposes. In true French-meets-Cali style, start with an all-natural cleansing gel and follow up with a cleansing water (as opposed to the K-Beauty method which involves an oil cleanser, followed by a water-based one). 

The Calamigos facial incorporates Odacité’s Black Mint Cleanser, which is formulated with detoxifying activated charcoal (BeautyCounter also makes a great charcoal cleanser), followed by their Blue Aura Cleansing Water. Ever since receiving the facial, this latter product has genuinely become my obsession (seriously, I use it every morning and night). The mesmerizing azure liquid is made with soothing aloe vera, pore-unclogging salicylic acid, and anti-pollution ayurvedic herbs—the ideal elixir for my combination skin type.

Step 3: Exfoliate, Ma Chérie

tracie martyn
Tracie Martyn Enzyme Exfoliant $90
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Time to brighten the living daylights out of your skin. The Temple of Beauty facial uses two exfoliating products, which are available to purchase and use at home. The first is Odacite's enzyme-rich Synergie Masque, which smooths out, detoxifies, and brightens the skin. The mask comes in powder form; just mix one part powder with one part water, apply to the face, let it sit 10-15 minutes until it dries, and rise. (For something similar, facialist Tracie Martyn also makes an amazing enzyme exfoliating mask that comes pre-mixed.)

Then, if you want the actual, literal glowiest skin of your life, follow up the mask with a gommage mask, like Odacité’s new Bioactive Rose Gommage. This posh pink gel comes with a little facial brush, which you use to apply a thin layer of product all over the face. Just before it’s totally dry, gently rub off the gel and behold all the gunk that comes with it. Rinse any reside that might be left over, and voilà.

Step 4: Crystal Gua Sha + Serum 

As divine as it is to have someone else perform your gua sha facial for you, you can also easily do it yourself (or make your roommate do it?) and receive the same benefits. All you need is a serum and the gua sha tool, which pushes the serum deeper into your skin, helps sculpt the face (I came out of Calamigos looking noticeably more lifted), and assists with lymphatic drainage. 

Apply your serum of choice (Woodley likes to use Odacité’s heavenly Acai Rose Youthful Glow Serum) by gently patting it into the skin. Then, use the smooth edges of the tool to slowly scrape and lift the skin, starting from the center of the face, and moving upwards toward the hairline. Repeat this motion all over the face for about five minutes. (Odacité’s website features a more in-depth gua sha tutorial if you need it.)

Step 5: Mist For Your Life

Mario Badescu Facial Spray
Mario Badescu Spray with Aloe, Herbs & Rosewater $7
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The Temple of Beauty facial is very generous with its use of facial mist. (No complaints here.) Post-gua sha, spritz your face liberally with your favorite face spray. Odacité’s Rose + Neroli treatment mist is what they use in-spa (and it is wonderful), though, for those on a budget, a simple rosewater spray would also do the trick.

Step 6: Seal the Deal

Now that you’ve done all your masking, grommaging, and scraping, you’re almost finished. As a last step, Woodley recommends applying an eye treatment, like Odacité’s Ba+S Eye Serum, and a non-toxic lip balm. Then, seal in all the antioxidants you’ve applied with a lightweight moisturizer (I’m also a fan of Osea’s Atmosphere Protection Cream). 

Now that your skin looks like an infant’s, time to head to the Calamigos pool, order an Aperol Spritz, and crack open a copy of Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Or, if you’re at home like I am right now, grab White Claw, crawl into bed, and read our latest skincare review.

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