Someone just asked me if I’d had a face-lift! Honestly, the comment might’ve stung if I hadn’t just been treated to a Valmont Majestic Bee Venom Facial, which, at $725 for a 90-minute session, costs about as much as a face-lift. But this VIP glow up happened at the über-fabulous Valmont Spa in the five-star Plaza Athénée Hotel on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Extravagance alert: Swiss-made Valmont treatment products are, in both price and performance, the superyachts of face creams. Entree into this exclusive spa, tucked away deep inside the hotel, reveals one luxury after another, including lush, Egyptian-cotton-draped private treatment rooms that are literally the size of hotel suites.
As Sandra, the Valmont master facialist, tucked me into a heated ergonomic treatment bed, I felt like I was being submerged in a hot bath. In her beautiful Colombian accent, she asked me to relax, then smoothed a superfine microdermabrasion paste over my face and began floating her fingers across my skin in quick circular motions, swirling away layers of dirt and dead skin.
With my pores opened like flowers in need of rain, my skin was ready to drink in the products. Using a signature Valmont technique called “the butterfly,” she placed one hand on my forehead to maintain “a caring connection” between us, using her free hand in a deep, massaging butterfly motion from my breastbone to my forehead and back again to create a current of energy.
Some of the Valmont products tingled as they sank into my pores, while others cooled and soothed as the massage became more invigorating in order to lift the skin and promote lymphatic drainage and increase blood flow. I’d always heard that our faces actually end at the breastbone, but Sandra gave my neck a 360-degree product treatment while explaining that the entire neck is one piece of skin that can sag and wrinkle, and all of it has be treated the same. While this new knowledge (and product) was sinking in, a layer of medical-grade collagen was washed over my face that plumped up my skin faster than I could say “filler.”
And then came the beehive in a jar: The Elixir des Glacier products are technological marvels that for the first time synthesize the properties of honey, royal jelly and propolis all in one product. The powers that honey holds for healing have been known since the time of the Egyptians. In fact, one of the world’s oldest jars of honey is 5,500 years old, was found in a Georgian tomb and is still as edible as the day it was taken from its hive.
While honey is the best known, royal jelly is the richest part of the bee’s harvest, reserved by worker bees for nourishing the queen bee. Meanwhile, propolis is what bees secrete to repair the honeycomb when impurities cause it to break down. Nourishing, healing, cleansing; those are the three main properties of this natural trifecta for your skin.
As a special gift, I got to take home the sustainably farmed products from Valmont’s Essence of Bees Collection. Each bottle is numbered like a work of art.
With my own beehive in a jar, my face feels as flawless as Queen Bey’s. So, this morning, when I bumped into a friend who candidly asked if I’d gotten a face-lift, I secretly thanked my own personal Valmont hive of products and replied, “No, girl. I woke up like this.”
The Glow Up gift tip: ’Tis the season for a splurge, and if you want to start the new year with renewed skin, Valmont products are a great place to start!
Cure Majestueuse (face nourishing oil) offers the cutting-edge performance of a serum, combined with the sensuality of a sensory oil. This oil has a light finish that is absorbed in record time to merge with the skin, releasing powerful omegas and precious ingredients from the hive, and leaving the skin softer and visibly more radiant. Retail price: $350.
Masque Majestueux (nourishing face mask) infuses the skin with precious ingredients from the beehive, revealing nourished, revitalized and softer skin. Masque Majestueux provides immediate results that last up to 72 hours. Retail price: $425.
Serum Majestueux (eye-lifting serum) is a silky smooth eye-lifting serum that firms the eyelids and leaves the skin around the eyes smoother and more toned. Retail price: $390.
Available at boutiquevalmont.com, Saks.com and SPA Valmont at Hôtel Plaza Athénée, 212-606-4675.