Gilt to Last

Cleopatra, rumored to have slept in a mask of solid 24-karat gold, appears to have been ahead of her time. Facials utilizing the precious metal are now being offered at high-end spas around the world. The pricey treatments (shown here in a demonstration during Japan’s Beautyworld Expo) typically consist of a lymphatic massage followed by a hydrating mist; microthin sheets of 24-karat gold leaf are then applied and misted to aid penetration. The Mar-a-Lago Spa in Palm Beach, Urban Retreat at Harrods in London, and Dubai’s Sisters Beauty Lounge are among the places touting the benefits of such facials, from slowing down collagen depletion and stimulating cell growth to filling in lines and lightening age spots. For wrinkle-reducing addicts partial to pampering, this is the ultimate indulgence. Prices range from $300 to $500.