Hair & Beauty Style & Beauty

We review Emmanuel F’s balancing signature facial

By: Brooke Chenoweth

There are ladies around the place who always have a glow about them. When you work up the courage to ask them what their secret is, the answer is always the same: “regular facials”. Hoping to get a little of that radiance for myself, I spent a morning at Emmanuel F. I’ve admittedly tried to have regular facials in the past, but have usually left it too late – as in, I’ve waited until my skin looks terrible before making an appointment! I was therefore long overdue when I visited the spa at Emmanuel F in Sheung Wan.

The balancing signature facial at Emmanuel F is perfect for Hong Kong's climate
The balancing signature facial at Emmanuel F is perfect for Hong Kong’s climate

Organic products

Gloria was my therapist on the day, and she was kind about the state of my skin, explaining everything thoroughly before she began. Gloria recommended the cleansing Balancing Signature Facial (75 minutes, HK$950) for my first visit. She said it’s an ideal treatment during the summer months when our skin suffers from the heat, humidity and pollution.

Originally from France, Gloria uses Phyt’s products, a French range of skin care that is certified 100 percent organic and all-natural – a huge part of the appeal for me. The products for each facial come individually wrapped, because they don’t contain any preservatives and are super concentrated. Plus, they smell amazing!

The spa itself is connected to the Emmanuel F Hair Salon, but the rooms branch off a quiet, dimly lit corridor and it feels a million miles away from the chaos of Sheung Wan.

Before getting started on the facial treatment, Gloria suggested I should try a Back & Shoulders Scrub (30 minutes, $300). The back, she explained, is one of the hardest areas to care for on your own. A scrub is a nice way to freshen up this often-neglected expanse of skin. It was indeed lovely, and the hot towels Gloria applied had me unwound and ready for the next step.

The relaxing interior of the Emmanuel F salon
The relaxing interior of the Emmanuel F salon

Relaxing massage

All facial treatments at Emmanuel F include a back massage. It’s a great way to start, as I’m sure this much relaxation is surely good for the skin. The facial itself was nothing short of divine. Each product had its own unique texture and scent, and they were all lovely. At various stages, while waiting for a product to take effect, I was treated to more massage, on my hands and feet. I’m fairly sure I fell asleep at one point!

When it was all finished, I felt rejuvenated, and very reluctant to head back out into the madness. My skin felt amazing even a few days later. I’m not sure if I turned heads at school drop-off but I felt a definite glow. As a note for future visits, Gloria said she prefers to tailor facials to her clients needs on the day, based on their skin at the time.

Expert tip: Gloria recommends a facial once a month during the summer, with weekly masques and exfoliating in between. Don’t forget daily sunscreen if you’re outdoors!

Emmanuel F

22-26 Bonham Strand East, UG/F, The Pemberton, Sheung Wan

 2167 8280 |

This article first appeared in the June/July edition of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue!

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