At £25,000 for six months -that’s nearly £4,200 per month- Biologique Recherche’s bespoke beauty regime, concocted by Philippe Allouche, a French doctor whose clients include Jennifer Lopez, Sharon Stone, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, is arguably the most expensive in the market. Now available for the first time in the UK at EF Medispa, the chain of luxurious beauty clinics launched by cosmeceuticals guru Esther Fieldgrass, it offers a bespoke approach to beauty that makes normal skincare seem like a Ford Fiesta to its Rolls Royce. For this price tag, clients receive a personal consultation in London with Paris-based Philippe Allouche, as well as monthly bespoke facials and supplies of highly concentrated tailor-made skin formulas, freshly made in the Allouche family’s laboratory. But for those who can’t afford this six-months pampering extravaganza (which is to say almost everyone), there are still ways to experience the haute-couture beauty regime, through facials and the range of Biologique Recherche products, both tested by Chic-Londres.
Being a journalist has its perks, and being invited at the luxurious EF Medispa clinic in St John’s Wood to test the £350 Soin MC 110 by Biologique Recherche is definitely one of them. Described as a “replumping, restructuring and renewing treatment”, the two-hour bespoke facial comprises seven different stages, each tailored to the individual’s “skin instant”, which is the state of the skin at a precise moment in time. In the expert hands of my therapist, the lovely Violeta, my face is cleansed and exfoliated with various concentrated lotions, before being treated with an oxygenated mask and a “mask vivant”, made out of yeast, cucumber and witch hazel. My skin is also treated to a selection of quintessential serums (the purest of all the range’s products, which include placenta, amniotic fluid or pure collagen), as well as massaged with a cream and a finishing serum, pummeled into the skin through movements inspired by physiotherapy, with the aim to revive the muscles and naturally lift the face.
Verdict: at the end of two-hour treatment, my skin is glowing, which is to be expected after a facial, even of a much cheaper nature. However, I am genuinely impressed when I can still feel the results one week later: usually by then, any visible effect has disappeared, but this time, my skin is much more elastic than usual and visibly plumper. So is it worth it? Definitely for the happy few who can afford this type of price tags without batting an eyelid (and I’m assured there are still many of them in London), especially if they’re prepared to have two facials per month, apparently necessary in order to get lasting results. Not being a millionaire myself, it’s highly unlikely I’ll have another one, but I’m definitely getting some of the laboratory-made products, which clearly deserve the cult status they’ve already reached in France and in the States. My favourite: Lotion P50, a lactic acid-based potion that proves remarkably efficient against skin imperfections: at £49 not that cheap for a toner, but definitely more affordable that the six-months regime.
Biologique Recherche exclusively at EF Medispa: products £22-275, facials from £250 www.efmedispa.com