We Tried It: Charles Penzone's New Eminence Custom Facial

Taylor Starek

I was noticeably uptight walking into my appointment at Charles Penzone's Polaris salon. After a week wrought with deadlines, I had little hope that an hour at the spa would be able to wipe away my tension. I had gotten a facial once before, in my early teens, and found it to be a pleasant but fleeting experience. I wanted to leave feeling refreshed, and I wanted that feeling to last.

The room was dark, the massage table was warm and Anya, the esthetician introducing herself to me, was too. We talked over my skin issues (dry, with a penchant for clogged pores) and settled on a facial combining Eminence's Clear and Bright skin products, which are all organic. Penzone introduced this new line of facials and peels from Eminence in early June. Calm and Firm are the other two options offered at the salon.

Anya cleared off my makeup using a Rice Milk 3 in 1 Cleansing Water, which acts as a toner, cleanser and makeup remover, followed by the Herbal Eye Make-up Remover. To brighten and exfoliate, she used a Blueberry Soy Exfoliating Cleanser (which I think would make a great snack) that I could feel softening my stressed-out skin. "It's lightly exfoliating without using any type of scrub," she says.

I think one of the most beneficial treatments of the facial was the Clarisonic Cleansing Brush, a tool I've written off in the past as just another gimmicky beauty product. I could feel its gentle bristles clearing away the dead skin. My face felt clean and even, a rarity for me.

Anya misted me with a Stone Crop Hydrating Mist for soothing purposes and then lathered on a Pineapple Enzyme Peel. She applied steam to my skin to unclog my pores and allow the natural enzymes to work their exfoliating magic. While the steam drifted over me, she massaged my hands and feet with a heavenly smelling Pear & Green Apple Soufflé. ("Seriously, how do you resist eating this stuff?" I asked.)

After removing the peel, she applied a chamomile toner, covered my eyes with a warm cloth and pulled up a big, scary magnifying glass. ("I'm so glad I can't see what you're seeing," I said.)

After just a few extractions, she mixed a Clear Skin Probiotic Masque and a Stone Crop Masque and let that sit for 10 minutes. She gave me a face, neck and shoulder massage, removed the masque and applied a light Bright Skin Moisturizer (SPF 30), a Citrus Lip Balm and a Neroli Age Corrective Eye Serum.

As I drifted slowly back to reality, Anya handed me a few Eminence samples to test at home. I readied myself for a look in the mirror, expecting to cringe at my makeup-less face. But the evening and softening products had done their job, and I spent the rest of the day feeling revitalized and calm-without so much as a touch of concealer.

You should try it, too.