Review: Caviar Crystal Smoothing Facial at the Island Shangri-la Hong Kong
One of our favourite alfresco poolside restaurants in Hong Kong is hands down the Waterside Terrace at Island Shangri-la Hong Kong on the 8th floor of the hotel. We cannot stress how perfect it is on a beautifully sunny day; while still in the city centre, the cabana restaurant takes you away from the hub bub of city life, transporting you to a pace and environment more usually found at a seaside resort. Every time we’re there, we can’t help but think how perfect it would be to pair the dining experience with a spa treatment of some sort. With that in mind, we took the liberty to take a left turn instead of a right into the health and fitness club rather than usual route straight into the cabana and discovered a spa menu we could not resist.
With the recent change of weather we opted for the signature Caviar Crystal Soothing Treatment that we were told is a great treatment to tackle even the driest of skins, and complemented this with a brief Aroma Massage. We were led into one of the four treatment rooms (two for women; one for men; and two couple rooms) where we were asked to choose from the four massage oil options. We chose the energy massage oil which is a blend of jojoba oil, almond oil, peppermint and rosemary oil, a choice the masseuse took upon her to use as a reflection of my personality, interpreted with much jest and candour.
The Aroma Massage, which is soothing, calming and rather unobtrusive, is the perfect lead in to the facial treatment. The Island Shangri-la Hong Kong adopts what we would refer to as the European school of thought when it comes to spa treatments, this is contrasted by the Asian or more specifically the Chinese school of thought. Strictly speaking, the European approach puts its faith in the products to see effects, while the Chinese approach adopts technology (via machinery) and uses extraction methods to tackle impurities, the latter is deemed too invasive in traditional European practices.
The preparation of the skin for the treatment was a lengthy process that reasserts the hotel’s trust in the Biodorga spa line to do the job. To prep the skin for the Caviar Crystal Soothing Treatment, the skin was treated with a cleansing oil followed by a milky cleanser and finished with a mild lotion to tone. The enzyme ferment exfoliation mask that followed stung a little, a sensation which is fairly normal when dry skin is confronted with stronger than usual products, it is common to feel this in facials especially in drier areas of the skin such as the nose, the side of the nose and the cheeks. An exfoliant is then used to soften the skin and remove dead skin cells so when the caviar cream is applied to the skin, the skin can fully absorb the product.
Before the mask, an anti-aging cell firming eye cream is gently applied to the eye area and with very delicate taps is dabbed on and pressed into the skin. And the rather thick Golden Caviar 24-Hour Care cream, the star product at the spa, is applied in circular movements with cold crystal sticks to encourage circulation. The second application of the same products is given after the Power Moist Mask, a dense cream-based face mask that melted into our clean skin, giving us twice the moisture surge than any other mask we’ve tried recently.
See our review of the Balinese Massage at the impressive Banyan Tree Spa in Macau here.
While we were very pleased with the results as it gave our distressed skin a significant moisture boost, we would like to stress that it is cream-based and rather heavy so we wouldn’t recommend the treatment for those with oily skin as the intensive cleansing process paired with the mask and caviar cream may be all too much and to counter the shock of the treatment, the skin may produce more oil to reach equilibrium which would be detrimental to the skin. However for those with combination skin or dry skin, this is a tip top treatment that we would recommend to get an instant moisture boost. This is especially good for damaged holiday skin and skin that is left dry due to weather changes. Better yet, pair this treatment with a pre-facial dip in the pool and a post-facial meal at the Waterside Terrace, to make the most of what the hidden nook that is the eighth floor of the Island Shangri-la, has to offer.