There can’t be many – if any – better facialists working in London at the moment than the great Eve Lom. Yes, that Eve Lom. The name you’ve seen a thousand times on those white tubs of the famous get-you-squeaky-clean cleanser, the one that comes with a muslin cloth and has launched a great many copycats. Decades after starting out as a facialist in London (after separating from the Hollywood actor and Pink Panther star Herbert Lom), and then, after her extraordinary talent at lymphatic drainage, which left you in a state of disbelief at how good your skin looked, won her a devoted celebrity following, launching her own line of products, she’s hand-on again. After taking time off to delve into serious medical research, she’s installed at Agua, the Philippe Starck-designed spa at The Sanderson hotel in London. Yes, that dreamily white-on-white world of airy open spaces, creamy chaise longues, and bare parquet floors where you feel as though you’ve been twirled back to a fashion showroom in the 1950s. Eve is not, however, and we are very happy to tell you this crucial thing, working her magic from one of the treatment spaces that are separated only by swishy curtains from all the others. These may look wonderfully elegant but private they are not. It’s bad enough listening to the slap-slap of someone else’s massage, let alone having to listen to another customer’s chat.
A facial with Eve takes place in a properly private treatment room. As you soon discover, that privacy is an essential element. As she starts explaining – in an accent as Garbo-glam as the woman herself – it has long been her opinion, now bolstered by her intensive research into the workings of the digestive system, that no-one gets the clear complexion we all crave unless their digestive system is working efficiently and toxins are being correctly expelled. So. How do you eat? And what you eat? That is just the start of the quizzing. How do you breathe? What is your emotional state right now? What is – and now her hands will be cradling your head as the cranio-sacral part of the treatment begins – stressing you so much at the moment? Her hands move to your stomach; feeling, massaging, gauging the state of your liver and your digestion. It’s unnerving, one has to admit. But finally, when she has ascertained the information she needs, she moves to your face. A paraffin wax mask is followed by a muslin-cloth buffing. Extractions – rare now, but studiously performed – follow that. And then you can relax as those practiced hands massage, massage, massage and massage some more. As ever with Eve – and some of us have been visiting her off and on since our 20s, too – you leave looking the best you can, divinely pale. No one soothes and smooths and gets the lymph flowing on its toxin-removing way like Ms Lom. And if you have issues with your skin – if the wretched thing will keep breaking out or whatever – you will leave knowing that help is at hand, literally. Time with Eve is expensive, unarguably, but, emphatically, not wasted. Better an hour with her than a dozen sessions with some amiable but unknowledgeable girl, or a fortune spent on harsh products that exacerbate the problem, let alone get to the heart of the problem. A treatment with Eve Lom is like being able to put yourself in the hands of Helena Rubenstein. You’re getting the benefit of decades of experience and deep knowledge. Worth saving up for, we promise.
120 minutes for the first time costs £270, and, after the initial treatment, £220 (020 7 300 1414, morganshotelgroup.com)
WRITTEN BY: ADRIAANE PIELOU