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'GOOD AS GOLD' FACIAL @ MANDARIN ORIENTAL

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Mandarin Oriental Hotel introduces 'Golden Utopia Facial' – a premium anti-aging treatment exclusively available in the hotel which boasts the well-tested, result-proven Gaylia Kristensen products – complete with a 24-carat gold natural collagen mask.

At the premium price of $2400 (or $2600 on weekends), I was curious to find out if the golden facial does what it promises: to make the skin good as gold - so I went there to try it out.

Upon arrival, I entered a beautiful Chinese-inspired living room where a receptionist welcomed me and asked if I would like to enjoy a cup of steaming lavender tea while filling out a health questionnaire.

Afterwards, I was led to the changing room where I could enjoy some Oriental-inspired heat and water facilities designed to sooth and relax the body – there was a 'Chinese herbal steam room' and a feet reflexology pool with warm and cold baths that you can dip your feet in to enhance blood circulation. All these factors allowed my body the perfect relaxation to begin the spa journey.

The Treatment

As a starting point to the facial treatment (a decadent 120 minutes long including relaxation time), a light and fine 'orange blossom cleansing cream' was applied to my skin – followed by warm wet towels used on my face to take away the day's grime.

After examining my skin conditions, my therapist then continued with the treatment by applying a gentle 'Velvet facial polish' to the skin. The scrub was very soothing – the exfoliating jojoba micro-beads were just the perfect texture. Warm wet towels were then applied again, followed by a liberal spray of 'hydrating facial mist' which filled the room with a sweet and refreshing smell of tropical flowers.

What came next was some twenty minutes of ultra-enjoyable Chinese-style pressure-point massage techniques on my shoulders, neck and face - combined with the use of a soothing passion oil that hydrated and softened the skin. My therapist began by pressing very gently on my throat area (which interestingly soothed the muscles around my nose as well) then proceeded with stronger kneads on my jaw, cheeks and my tired shoulders – her brilliant finger work and the cozy vibe in the room soon lulled me into deep sleep.

Then came the high point of the treatment - I was quickly summoned back to consciousness as the moist-packed, 24-carat gold natural collagen mask smoothly spread out on my face. As my skin were benefiting from the highly-absorbable micro-nutrients in the mask, my therapist continued her skillful massage techniques on my hands – sending me off to dreams again. For the final touch up, a 'non-surgical eye lifting & sculpting cream' and 'dream anti-aging cream' (designed for skin that is 20-40 years of age) was applied to my skin - and finally at the sound of a distant tickle, the deluxe treatment came to a complete and perfect end.

As I relaxed at the lounge with my honey and ginger herbal tea, I looked into my iPhone camera and was greeted by a brightened, rejuvenated face.The yellowishness I previously showed had been replaced by a subtle, natural glow - the premium golden facial does seem to make my skin good as gold!

As part of the 50th anniversary celebration, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Spa has also launched 'The Royal Men's Facial' ($1300) for gentlemen – with the 'Gold Finger Manicure' ($500) featuring 24-carat gold collagen hand mask and the 'Golden Body Treatment' ($1600) to be made available this coming September.

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By Carmen Bat

CG