Best Facialist in Paris – Sophie Carbonari Facial Review

Why would anyone go to Paris and willingly close their eyes for 90 minutes in the middle of the day? Paris is for you, wild-eyed and manic, spiced up with all the beauty.

And yet I willingly and blissfully close my eyes to one thing, and that one thing is the Parisian facial. Ever since I let Paris seduce me, I have succumbed to the seduction of his sui generis facial. I started out with the steam-and-cream classics at Carita and Sothys, then switched to the well-behaved Biologique Recherche, just off the Champs-Elysées. There I heard a customer say as she sailed out the door: “A la semaine prochaine!” A weekly facial! Could it be something French? Yes actually. In another salon, the beautician’s little dog, whose grooming far exceeded mine, tapped in and out of the room on beautifully pedicured paws. But the facial that made me the happiest was Sophie Carbonari’s. A French friend brought this to my attention because facials in Paris, like many of the most beautiful things, are a word-of-mouth phenomenon, each with their own cult following. Sophie’s cult includes Naomi Campbell and Caroline de Maigret, and I totally agree with that.

Like many of the finest things in Paris, facials are a word-of-mouth phenomenon.

You know those facials where the beautician first examines your pores through a giant magnifying lamp, followed by a long sigh and a curt swear word? This isn’t a Sophie Carbonari facial. You know the ones where they shoot steam at your face for 20 minutes like steam is a magical skin transformer? Not Sophie. You know those facials that leave you blotchy and greasy and stumbling out the door in a daze? That’s not it.

You won’t find Sophie with a stern face in a starched white lab coat, either. At my appointment she was wearing a black lace dress and her laughter sounded like a song. And while she laughs and chats, she measures your skin, your posture, your breathing. “I perceive the emotional state of the client,” she says. “You can see if the client is stressed or insecure, and you have to interpret that. If they are uncomfortable with the treatment, you must change it.” Beware of meeting Sophie in the world. “I can even see people on the street and I know what’s going on with their skin,” she says. “It’s a kind of power.”

Things get a little weird when she focuses on the fascia and presses hard to release the tension.

Once she recognizes what your skin needs, Sophie blends her products right before your eyes (assuming they’re not closed), combining Ayurvedic oils, colloidal silver, rice extracts, vitamins B12 and E, and hyaluronic acid with rose and orange water. She uses Japanese, Korean and Ayurvedic techniques, all learned from experts in the UK and France, using microcurrents, acupressure, shiatsu and pinching and tapping to improve skin circulation and reduce inflammation. Things get a little weird when she focuses on the fascia and presses firmly but not painfully to release the tension. The sound is a crack, crack, crack, like pop rocks exploding under your skin. “Everyone is surprised by the noise,” she says. Sophie’s hands are so active, so busy, that she can only do four facials a day before her fingers start to hurt.

Read  The best photos of the 2023 Women's World Cup

There’s an unexpected emotional quality to a Sophie facial, like you’ve had a long hug from someone who genuinely cares about your well-being. It’s unlike any facial I’ve had. As Sophie says, “It’s a little bit deeper, a little bit more intimate.”

When I regain consciousness, Sophie tells me that it will take my skin about eight hours to show the benefits of her labor, and she’s right almost to the minute. I’m less puffy, less pale, and there’s a definite glow not only in my cheeks but also in my eyes, which are now wide open.

Sophie will be based in London for one week per month from September, in addition to visiting clients in Paris.

La Mer The Treatment Lotion Moisture Mask
La Mer La Mer The Treatment Lotion Moisture Mask
Active Botanical Serum, 1 oz./ 30 ml
Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, 1 oz./ 30 ml
Tata Harper Skincare Fortifying Moisturizer
Tata Harper Tata Harper Skincare Fortifying Moisturizer
Aqua di Rose
Santa Maria Novella Acqua di Rose
Joanna Varga's Wand (1 Set)
Joanna Vargas Joanna Vargas Wand (1 Set)

This story appears in the September 2022 issue of City Country. SUBSCRIBE NOW

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button