In a Deansgate department store, Sisley aesthetician Elaine ministers to skincare addicts with a French-inspired approach that emphasises therapeutic-grade ingredients without the nasty chemicals. The treatment room is a hidden oasis within Kendal's, one of Manchester's oldest department stores, conveniently located just down the street from the city's luxury shopping district. 


Foremost amongst the luxury treatment brands attracting skincare enthusiasts worldwide is Sisley, the renowned high-end French cosmetics company formed in Paris in 1976. The brand combines the latest technological advancements in skincare with a complex understanding of plant extracts and essential oils, to deliver a range of luxe and expertly formulated products, designed to cater to all manner of skin types and concerns. Combining the best of nature and science with massage rituals from around the world, the brand's treatments utilise the textures and ingredients of the products to their full potential, resulting in an experience that indulges both mind and body.


Sisley's Essential Facial*, a client favourite, which focuses on stimulating the five senses to achieve maximum tranquility via mind and body relaxation - restoring and hydrating distressed skin, easing facial tension, and promoting a sense of inner wellbeing; the ultimate urban retreat. The treatment starts with moment of instructive breathing and inhalation of lavender oil to calm the mind, followed by a deep cleanse and gentle exfoliation to clear the skin, open pores, and remove impurities. Next, the aesthetician works a bespoke formulation of essential oils into the skin [each client's concoction is customised with a blend chosen to suit their specific skin concerns] via a signature facial technique that utilises lymphatic drainage massage and incorporates gentle pressure performed in sweeping and pressing movements. Hot, scented towels are applied to soothe and refresh the skin, followed by application of one of Sisley's skin-saving masks - left to work it's magic whilst the aesthetician delivers a therapeutic arm and hand massage. The treatment concludes with the application of hydrating treatments, again chosen to suit each client's complexion and leave skin balanced and luminous.


Whilst my Sundays are never without a DIY facial in the comfort of my own bathroom, there's nothing quite like being treated at the hands of a professional, and [as someone whose job description practically cites spa visits a requirement] I can wholeheartedly attest to the fact that nobody does it so well as Sisley. The Sisley approach applies such an admirably individualised, scientific approach to every face, and with the aesthetician handpicking products for each treatment, and a heavy focus on cleansing and facial massage to improve circulation - leaving with a glow is guaranteed. I'm usually loathe to venture into the city barefaced but my skin was radiating such a fresh luminosity post-treatment that I even eschewed the invitation to a makeover - an effect testament to the expert quality and sophistication of every product and technique used.

However, no matter how good the lineup of products or design of the treatment, the true merits of a good facial rest [quite literally] in the hands of the practitioner. I'm frequently asked where to find the best facial in Manchester, and from now on will be directing all enquiries to Elaine, who truly does have the magic touch when it comes to facial massage, elevating the overall finesse of the treatment. This is the kind of facial that us over-scheduled ladies can get away with taking just once a season, managing to encompass both the long and short-term requirements of an effective treatment and pull them off with true finesse.


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