So, everyone knows how fast an apple is oxidized when cut and exposed to the elements. The beautician had initially wanted to show us how the iodine rubbed on to one side of the exposed apple would magically disappear after applying the Time Defiance Vitamin C + Wild Yam Essence but due to the intense colouring in the iodine they'd used, that side of the apple was still tinted yellow.
The Apple Test
However, if you notice, the side of the apple that had iodine (the yellow side) still retained it's freshness compared to the one that was untouched. I can't say for sure but it may be because of the product applied on top of the iodine (or rather meant to remove the iodine).
The main purpose of the facial session was to introduce us (myself and May) to the ARTISTRY brand as well as try out their qua sha (or gua sha) facial. Many years ago, I remember gua sha being a technique of rubbing a black rounded stone-like object or a coin on parts of the body to promote blood circulation and remove excess wind from the body. In other words, a detox massage. When I heard about this method being used as part of a facial, I admit I was curious to try and am definitely grateful for the opportunity.
So this is me pre-facial with light make up on (mineral foundation, bronzer, brows, mascara & lip balm):
It was almost 9pm already and well, it had been a hot day and my face was a tad shiny from sweat and slight sebum production. Anyways, as mentioned in Part 1, they started with removing my eye make up and then overall make up (except for the brows though). So the eye make up remover they used wasn't effective enough to remove my mascara completely as proved in the shot below:
Note that this photo was taken when I got home after the facial and removed with my Bio-Essence remover (review here). The mascara I was using that day was the Maybelline Volum' Express Waterproof mascara (1 coat).
After the make up removal process was done, my face was cleansed and then the scrub was applied. The scrub had a really pleasing scent which I liked and felt quite good on the skin. After the scrub was the toner followed by the essentials Pore Cleansing Masque. What is interesting to note here is the masque mixture. Contrary to other masks, the product was mixed with the hydating toner to form the final product that is applied to the face.
15 minutes later, after the demonstration, our beauticians removed the mask and again, applied toner to the skin. Then there was more cleansing and toning before they applied the massage oil to prepare for the qua sha phase.
With a black stone-like object (animal horn maybe?) in the shape of [Yin &] Yang, the massage began. With slow and sure strokes massaging and pulling the skin in upward motions working from the forehead (left then right) to the nose (downward strokes) and cheeks (outward and upwards), the eye area, the chin and also the neck. She first only did one side of my face so I could compare and somehow it did seem like there was a difference. What I fail to remember at the time was the fact that my face has always been asymmetrical. But to be fair, my skin might have been slightly lifted on the side massaged.
The object was also used to remove my whiteheads (the best part of the facial to me personally) by gently "scraping" the skin where the whiteheads were in straight and swirly motions. The technique is definitely less harsh than the traditional method of pressing the whiteheads (or blackheads) out of the pores that causes inflammation in some people.
We were also lucky enough to get a facial massage thrown into the whole mix. I think the warmth from the Jess' (Beauty Consultant) palm helped with promoting blood circulation under the skin layer as well during the massage session.
Last but not least, another mask was applied. This time it was the essentials Moisture Intense Masque which did not harden like the previous mask did. As the mask cools and soothes the skin, we spent the next 20 minutes enquiring about the products and basically taking a closer look at the range. Jess was also kind enough to explain and express her passion for the brand. After removing the mask and another bout of toner, the night lotion and eye cream was applied.
And this is me post-facial:
Here's a look of my pre- and post-facial shots side by side to compare:
As you can clearly see, there doesn't seem to be any noticeable change in either my skin or my face shape. My cheekbones in the after photo might seem more prominent but if you noticed, I was smiling more in the second photo than I was in the first. Back home, my face felt a bit itchy but I gather it must be due to the increased blood flow under the skin from the qua sha massage and not sensitivity to the products used.
The next morning, I woke to a rather shiny greasy looking face which I wasn't really comfortable with. My skin is usually quite smooth and matte in the morning before washing up and this result was not acceptable to me. We were also advised to simply splash our faces with water the morning after the facial and supposedly the skin will feel nice and supple. It did tone down the greasiness but I still wasn't satisfied.
Here are some other snapshots for comparison. My skin doesn't look greasy in these photos because I'd already applied my nano white DNA Protector to my face.:
The photo on the left was taken a night before the facial session (light make up, warm light) and the one on the right was taken the morning after (no make up, cool light). In the top set of photos, I will admit my jaw was noticeably slimmer post-facial. Notice that my dimple is more prominent and the chubbiness has eased on both sides of my face. In the bottom set of photos it also looks like my jaw has somewhat slimmed and looks more defined.
Now for the before and after of the Blemish Gel effect:
Day of facial
The morning after
Now I didn't like this effect. According to the beautician that night, the gel will help to dry up the pimple. Instead, it looks like it plumped up the pimple. Thanks to IQQU Acne Serum however, it dried up by that afternoon and has now almost completely gone.
The product range I must say is relatively affordable. It is slightly more expensive than regular drugstore brands but considerably cheaper than other higher end names. Personally, I did not enjoy the products introduced (except for the scrub) but I would definitely recommend trying out the qua sha treatment. Better blood circulation under the skin promotes skin health and cell renewal which is a good thing to having healthy and glowy looking skin.
For a full list of products used during the facial session as well as my opinion on each product used, check out Part 1 of this two-part review.
FYI: There is also a class on DIY Qua Sha Technique where you can massage your face with the qua sha object in the comfort of your own home but this is exclusively for Amway members I believe and only if you purchase the complete set.
Although the products may not have worked for me, it might still be suitable for your skin. My suggestion is to arrange for a facial appointment which will give you a chance to try out the products and see how it feels on your skin and how you like the effects and results it brings.
If you're interested, my friend Fara just might be able to help you out. Contact her for more info or if you wish to order at firstname.lastname@example.org.