It used to be that a facial, like a good Swedish massage, was about relaxation and a nice glow, which lasted a day at most. But The Spa at Mandarin Oriental hotels has changed all that. “We’ve listened to our guests’ requests for skincare treatments that are noticeably results-driven with longer-lasting benefits,” says Denise Vitiello, spa director at the Mandarin Oriental New York. To that end, they’ve introduced an antiaging facial using products developed by the legendary 85-year-old Brazilian plastic surgeon Ivo Pitanguy, known for refreshing the faces of Jackie Onassis, Brigitte Bardot and François Mitterrand, to name just a few.
The Opulent Rejuvenesence facial ($600) is a powerful two-hour treatment that involves manual lymphatic drainage, deep cleaning, detoxifying, toning, stimulating, extracting and hydrating the skin. More than ten Beauty by Clinica Ivo Pitanguy products are used, including a specially formulated acerola mask that contains acerola fruit extract and flower shrub found on the coast of northeastern Brazil. In addition to its inherent antioxidants, the fruit contains vitamin C levels a hundred times higher than that of an orange. A rotary brush is used to thoroughly cleanse the pores. Special attention is given to the eye area with a sonic infuser that minimizes puffiness, dark circles and fine lines. A noninvasive, high-frequency current wand is gently swiped across the skin as it works beneath the surface to oxygenate cells and boost collagen production. The current’s tingling sensation takes a bit of getting used to, but you do get the feeling it’s working, especially since it’s used after extractions to calm agitated skin. Though the treatment focuses on the face, neck and décolleté, it also includes an exfoliating and moisturizing hand and foot massage that keeps you longing for more—which, in a sense, has led to a new program launching this spring in New York, Miami and Las Vegas called Mandarin Oriental Beauty Concepts (from $350). “We’ll book blocks of time [80 minutes, two or three hours] instead of specific treatments,” says Vitiello, “so guests can customize their appointments with their aestheticians, who will listen to their needs, evaluate their skin and put into action a plan that will achieve balanced, healthy results.” The program will incorporate Pitanguy’s antiaging products, as well as organic Amala products for sensitive skin and Somme Institute’s formulations for sun-damaged skin, along with noninvasive tools that incorporate LED light and ultrasonic sound waves. “These tools firm, tone and improve the overall condition of your skin,” says Vitiello. “They’re like Pilates for the face.”
For locations, go to mandarinoriental.com.
Bringing It Home
The Beauty by Clinica Ivo Pitanguy creams, sold for at-home use, are of the same high potency as the ones used in the Opulent Rejuvenesence facial. Made with natural ingredients from the Amazon River basin, they include the PreVious Rebalancing Formula, Face Lifting Formula, Eye Contour Lifting Gel, Neck Lifting Formula and the ten-minute Dermomask. From $160; bergdorfgoodman.com; neimanmarcus.com.