Sandra Levy Valensi, Bayswater

Ever had the inside of your mouth massaged?

Okay, I’m just going to say it. A few days ago I had the inside of my mouth massaged.

And before you make any seedy jokes, it was part of a specialised French facial given to me by Sandra Levy Valensi.

Sandra is a French facialist who has been in the business for the past 10 years. She trained with French skincare guru Joëlle Ciocco in Paris, where she learnt the Epidermologue method. This method is based on a study of how the skin, and more specifically its “mantle”, behaves in each individual.

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Sandra now has a home salon in Bayswater, and is currently the only stockist for Joëlle Ciocco products in Australia. She invited me down to her try her signature (and very unique) facial, so here’s what happened when I stepped inside her pretty room…

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Before she began, I had an intense half an hour consultation over a fruit tea to help her decide which products would be best for me.

“The plant or marine extracts are chosen based on the skin’s nutritional requirements. Knowledge of genetics, personal skin ecosystems and environment are essential for creating a bespoke treatment,” says Sandra.

She asked me about 50 questions and some I really had to think about, like ‘Do you blush easily?’, ‘When you cut yourself, how does it heal?’, ‘Do you get a head rush when you stand up quickly?’ and ‘Talk me through your daily skin regime’. This last question meant I had to confess my lazy girl ways and tell her I don’t cleanse in the morning, and to my surprise she was really happy about this!

Sandra explained that cleansing in the morning removes the protective barrier your skin builds up overnight, so you should just stick to cleansing before bed. So that’s an extra 5 minutes in bed, girls. Score!

The Facial

The facial goes on for a jaw-dropping (no pun intended) two hours, but it doesn’t feel that long at all.

Her fingers fluttered over my face and cartwheeled down my cheeks, easing all the tension out my muscles with beautiful lotions, creams and oils from Joëlle Ciocco.

While I had a mask on she also eased the knots in my neck and shoulders. This felt heavenly and I would have been happy with just that for the entire time!

I was in major relaxation mode, but then I heard the gloves go on…

Buccal Massage

A buccal massage is a unique anti-ageing massage that tones your facial muscles and reduces the tension in your jaw (you can read more about buccal massages/facials here).

It’s definitely the strangest procedure I’ve ever had. I couldn’t relax into it, but I suppose this would be normal as a first timer! I was also grossed out by the feeling of my saliva all around my mouth.

After she’d given the insides of my cheeks a good workout, they ached like I’d been laughing non stop.

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When my time was up I looked in the mirror and my face looked so plump and round! Either that or my eyes had shrunk.

Overall, I really enjoyed Sandra’s facial. My skin felt velvety soft and looked super healthy for several days. She is amazing at massaging and at times I wanted to open my eyes, sit up and see how the hell she could move her fingers so quickly!

As for the buccal, I had sore cheeks until the next day – they say beauty is pain! I won’t be rushing back to get another any time soon, but when I start seeing my first few wrinkles I’ll probably be first in line!

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