Solo Lisa Tries: Biologique Recherche Facial

Vancouver beauty, life and style blogger Solo Lisa lounges in the outdoor area of Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Pacific Rim

Oh hello there! Somehow a whole 6 weeks have passed by without me posting once. Between our spring trip to Paris, some busy days at work, attending as many classes as possible for the Bar Method Fitness Challenge, and #adulting stuff like meal prep, I simply haven't been in a beauty blogging state of mind. In spite of all that, I did manage to carve out some time to try one of the new Biologique Recherche facials at the Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Pacific Rim. Biologique Recherche is a cult-fave French brand best known for their P50 Lotion, an exfoliating toner that's often touted as a miracle worker for problematic skin. Although I've never used their products before, the preview event I attended at the Fairmont Pacific Rim definitely piqued my curiosity. I went ahead and booked an appointment, armed with a $50 GC to apply towards a VIP O2 facial ($219).

The Willow Stream Spa is known for providing an elevated luxury spa experience and the new Biologique Recherche VIP O2 facial is no exception. After I signed in, deposited my stuff in a locker, and changed into a fluffy white robe and slippers, I hung out in the lounge area snacking on fruit skewers and drinking strawberry-infused water while waiting for my aesthetician to collect me. We strode down the hallway and entered the treatment room, where the first thing I noticed was a personalized skincare tray by the door, literally with my name on it. Very Instagram-worthy indeed!

Tray of Biologique Recherche skincare products in preparation for a personalized facial treatment at the Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Pacific Rim

A Biologique Recherche facial is not your average facial in more ways than one. First there's the treatment bed, a blanket cocoon that folds in from both sides to make you feel cozy and comfortable. Then there's the lack of extractions and heated elements like steam and hot towels. According to Biologique Recherche's skincare philosophy, these things can cause redness and an inflammatory reaction. Instead Biologique Recherche's treatments rely on a chemical exfoliant to clear congested pores and the application of cold to reinvigorate skin. My treatment featured cool-to-the-touch skincare products which were removed with towelettes dipped in cold water; at one point my aesthetician ran ice over my face. Finally there are Biologique Recherche's active formulas, which feature no added fragrance and can smell...unusual. The exfoliating lotion, mask and serums used on me had scents that reminded me of vinegar, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Not a big deal if you're familiar with Asian food, but maybe a little off-putting if you like conventionally good-smelling spa and luxury skincare.

Blanket cocoon treatment bed at Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Pacific Rim
Biologique Recherche facial treatment products at Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Pacific Rim

So despite the cold elements replacing traditionally relaxing aspects like steam and hot towels, and the funny-smelling skincare, was this a relaxing, effective and luxurious experience? YES. My favourite aspects of the facial were the massage. My aesthetician incorporated facial massage gestures that decreased puffiness and relaxed my brow and jaw, as well as little massages for my scalp, neck, shoulders, forearms and hands. At the end of the treatment I was positively glowing and so relaxed I was on the verge of drifting off.

At $219 for 60 minutes, the VIP O2 Biologique Recherche facial is more of a splurge than my usual facials, but the price also includes admission to the Willow Stream Spa's impressive facilities for as long as you like on the day of your treatment, including access to the fitness centre, hot tub, steam room, and indoor and outdoor lounges. If you're planning to use the hot tub or steam room on the day of your treatment, arrive early and use them at least 30 minutes prior to your treatment; the heat will undo any of the cold-induced benefits of your facial. (For this reason, you should also avoid using the hot tub and steam room afteward.) Don't worry if you forget—the front desk will remind you when you book!

Results of Biologique Recherche facial at Willow Stream Spa at Fairmong Pacific Spa

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