I went into the bubble Wednesday morning and I didn't want to leave.
Natura Bissé, the Barcelona luxury beauty brand, brought its portable Oxygen Facial Bubble to the Saks Fifth Avenue Galleria store and is offering its Bubble Pure Air facial to favored clients through Friday as well as a few select members of the Houston media. The brand is a favorite of stars like Beyoncé and Gwyneth Paltrow, but would it work the same wonders on a bald, semi-bearded guy who believes that splashing soapy hot water on his face in the morning is a beauty regimen?
Erica Provines, national esthetician for the brand and lead esthetician at the St. Regis Deer Valley Hotel spa in Park City, Utah, certainly thought so. As she led me inside the bubble, which resembles a pup tent, she explained the relaxing properties of concentrated oxygen where the air you breathe is 99.995 percent pure.
"It's a wonderful purification for the skin. It really is just going to target all the tissues in the body and help energize them and make them perform in a more optimal way," she explained.
It sure beats breathing the ozone in Houston.
With the scent of lavender in the oxygenated bubble, and a soothing soundtrack murmuring in the background, Provines began to work on my face, cleansing and toning it before applying a Glyco Extreme Peel to exfoliate the dead skin. The peel has enzymes that act "like a little Pac Mac to release that top layer that has been there for a while," she explained.
Next, she massaged in two serums, including the Inhibit Tensolift, which she calls the "No-Tox Botox" to fill and lift "those areas of expression" (translation: wrinkles). For those already-Botoxed faces, it can make the procedure last 40 percent longer when used in conjunction with the injections, she said.
She used a wand-like massaging device, called a JeNu, that incorporates sound waves to penetrate the product more deeply into the skin. Then she massaged my face with a product called Diamond Extreme Oil, doing a double figure 8 maneuver around the eyes that felt amazing.
That was followed by applying the Diamond Extreme Mask to support the circadian rhythm of the skin, Provines explained. You can sleep in the mask overnight, but in this case it stayed on only around five minutes. Even in that short time, I found myself nodding off in a relaxed state. At times, clients do fall sound asleep on the table during the facial, Provines said, but that's okay.
"It's the highest compliment," she said.
Alas, I had to enter the real world after that, but Provines said the effect would last for a while. "You will have that really hydrated feeling and glow in your skin for days," she explained.
The skin care line is pricey, ranging from $110 for a tube of the Diamond Extreme Mask to $730 for a jar of the Inhibit Tensolift. But as I left Saks, I had to admit, I felt like a million dollars.
They may be a few appointments available for a facial in the bubble on Friday. A reservation fee of $100 is required and is fully redeemable toward Natura Bissé purchases on the day of the appointment. Call the Natura Bissé counter at Saks at 713-627-0500.