For all of her Green Acres ridiculousness, Eva Gabor knew, as do all women from Budapest, a thing or two about beautiful skin.* It’s called the Hungarian facial. I know, it sounds like some bizarre WWF wraslin’ hold, or Eastern European mafia code word for punishment, but it’s actually a facial that delivers a triple whammy of benefits to lackluster skin. A workout, a massage and a treatment for your face, all rolled into one, the Hungarian facial stands out as the best skin treatment I’ve ever had. EV.ER.
(*If I lost you at the tv reference to Green Acres, dial it back a few decades. Surely you remember Eva’s sing-songy chorus “Dahlink, I luf you, but gif me Park Avenue”? Eddie Albert? Arnold the pig? No? Okay, FINE. I give up. Here’s a link to the theme song to jog your memory: www.youtube.com.)
I recently had the opportunity to experience a Hungarian facial under the expert direction of an aesthetician named Anne Weber. Anne travels the globe on behalf of a Budapest-based skincare company called Omorovicza training aestheticians to use this exclusive product line, as well as the ancient, if not slightly unusual, facial techniques that are the hallmark of the Hungarian facial. The day we met, she was in town working with the staff at Private Edition.
I will admit that I arrived for my appointment a bit skeptical. I was told this would be an amazing facial, unlike anything I’ve experienced before, and I recall thinking, “A facial’s a facial’s a facial.” But, also being the curious sort, forever on the search for better products to improve my skin, I was willing to give this a whirl. Knowing the long-standing reputation Private Edition has for great products and great facials, I felt confident this would be an enjoyable experience; I was not prepared, however, for the extraordinary results.
The facial itself was gentle, not like some of the burning peels I’ve endured in the past. The first product Anne used was the Thermal Cleansing Balm. As she applied it, she told me a little about the reason Hungarian women look so great. For thousands of years, they’ve regularly sought out the healing properties of the thermal baths, “taking the cure” for a variety of skin conditions. The mineral-rich, warm waters purportedly penetrate the skin in such a way as to restore health and vitality.
Having used this product at home, I can say I’m a big fan. It removes every trace of makeup – including mascara – and leaves my skin feeling clean, supple and balanced, not dry and stripped. I don’t have the patience to use multiple products morning and night but want one or two things that cover a lot of territory, and this cleansing balm is a winner in my book.
Next, Anne exfoliated my skin with a light scrub and prepared it for the clay mask treatment. What I liked most was that it didn’t dry and crack like some masks do.
Cleanse, exfoliate, treat. Normally, this is where a facial stops. But, the massage that followed is, I believe, the differentiator between regular facials and the Hungarian variety. Slathering on a generous amount of rejuvenating cream to provide some slip, Anne began the massage to demonstrate why Hungarian facials are referred to as a workout for your skin. She employed a unique series of movements, each with descriptive names, to warm up, workout and cool down my skin:
- Fan (imagine the whirring blades of a fan, or better yet, the roller brush at the car wash working over your face in rhythmic, steady motion) was for warm up.
- Pinching (gentle, but as the name describes), pummeling (also descriptive) and pulling were part of the more intense workout phase of the massage, which did make my face feel pleasantly warm.
- Piano replicated scale runs all over my face for the cool down.
She finished the massage with an application of Gold Rescue Cream (which contains real gold to counteract redness and inflammation) and a spritz of this amazing smelling tonic called Queen of Hungary Mist.
Anne explained that the products, combined with this special technique work together to oxygenate, or wake up, the skin and that I could expect my face and neck to appear firmer and more toned. I must have raised a doubtful eyebrow upon hearing this, as she said, “Seriously. You’ll see,” as she handed me a bottle of water. (BTW. I’ve never been given a bottle of water after a facial, which was further evidence that this facial was more workout than fluffing.)
And see I did. For the better part of a week, my skin had a freshness to it that was spectacular. I needed little in the way of makeup, my cheeks seemed a little plumper, and the furrow on my forehead was less, well, furrow-ish. In fact, in a StyleBlueprint meeting with Liza a day or two later, we both agreed my skin never looked better.
Bottom line? I will definitely be a repeat customer. Anything that allows me to stave off needles and a face full of Botox a little longer gets my vote any day.
If you’re interested in learning more about these products, Carmen Mabry at Private Edition is the resident expert. Contact her by email: [email protected]. To book an appointment for a Hungarian facial, visit Private Edition’s website: www.privateedition.com or call 615.292.8606.
The Omorovicza facial costs $95 at Private Edition. For more information about Omorovicza products, visit www.omorovicza.com.
(All images courtesy of Omorovicza.)