Here's the scene: entering Toronto's Shangri-La Hotel, after being invited to experience their new Caudalie Miraj Hammam Spa. After stepping out of the elevator, you're almost instantly transported into another world—think: calming music, hushed tones, waterfalls, the whole nine yards. We were whisked into the changeroom and introduced to our spa attendant (fancy, right?) as we got changed into fluffy white bathrobes and sandals. Once we were settled, we met our actual aesthetician, who led us into a small bathroom and instructed us to change (again) into a silky sarong, matching her own. She led us into a huge chamber attached to a steam room—the hammam, or a Turkish bath, she explained, where she poured water all over us, before encouraging us to ditch the sarong and head into the steam room, naked as the day we were born. We sat in the hot steam, with the aesthetician periodically checking in with us, ensuring we hadn't keeled over. After twenty minutes or so, we were brought back out into the chamber, where we lay down on a damp towel on a stone counter for the gommage treatment. Now, let's get real (and a little gross) for a second. Is the best part of a facial not seeing the gunk that's extracted from your pores? Those you who agree can imagine our delight when after being vigorously scrubbed, head to toe, with a grainy exfoliant made of black Moroccan salt, olive oil and antibacterial citrus oils; our aesthetician pointed out the mass of dead skin that had been left behind on the sarong. Kind of gross, but ultimately super satisfying, right?
While we had a brief cool down in the spa's lounge, the side of us that requires instant gratification was itching to get going with the Premier Cru facial. After first cleansing our skin with the brand's Instant Foaming Cleanser (the perfect light cleanser for literally every skin type, FYI) and Toning Lotion, the aesthetician applied a layer of the Vinoperfect Enzymatic Peel Mask, which gently exfoliates with papaya enzymes and a small concentration of glycolic acid, rather than harsh grains, which scratch the skin. A few spritzes of Organic Grape Water and a cotton pad later, and we were seriously glowing. Followed up with an application of the brand's latest Premier Cru, dubbed the "Rolls Royce of skincare" by Caudalie's co-founder, Mathilde Thomas, as well as a swipe of the line's eye cream, and our skin was immediately brighter, thanks in part to the cream's plumping hyaluronic acid and antioxidant-loaded polyphenols, derived from grapes. Perhaps the one thing that made this treatment stick out was that rather than walking out with red, inflamed, blotchy skin that so often plagued the problem skin treatment of our pubescence, we could actually go out to dinner, foundation-free after this facial (yes, really). And our skin is still reaping the benefits; weeks later, our skin is actually balanced, and we may have grown slightly attached to constantly spritizing our mugs with the brand's beauty elixir, à la Rumi Neely and Rachel Roy. It's official—we're total Caudalie converts.