I almost don’t want to tell you about Una Brennan. She is a facialist of such repute that she let her entire business grow by word of mouth and, now that I’ve found her, I’m frightfully worried her commitments to her business will continue to swell and I won’t be able to get an appointment.
There’s little point in me telling you exactly what she did to me because her facials are entirely bespoke, but I will give you a quick overview to give an idea of the degree of care Una gives from her treatment room just off the entrance of her home in Notting Hill (all Parisian chandeliers, white columns and genteel refinement).
It started with a cleanse, double exfoliation with a clarisonic and extractions – Una doesn’t consider a facial to be a facial without extractions – followed by disinfection and a mask. Una then slathered me in coconut oil and gave me a very firm back, chest and face massage to stimulate blood flow in the belief that the skin functions similarly to a kidney and needs optimum blood flow to work efficiently. The massage was really very good – Una used to be a sports masseuse as well as facialist in the early days – and I zoned out so much that the double whammy of cold hyaluronic and icy, icy seaweed mask was much needed to wake me up. Their purpose? To shut the pores Brennan had opened and send blood out of the face to minimise redness – a step she says is vital in any facial to avoid picking up street dirt and pollution as soon as you exit.
Other than that snippet, I can’t offer you any more insight into what Una would do for you as, despite her predilections to certain techniques and brands (SkinCeuticals and massage amongst them), she is dedicated to employing whatever will work for your skin and works awfully hard to leave you with a happy face and aftercare instructions.
I have two goodies for those of you who can’t see Una: Firstly, she has developed a range to be released in Boots in August containing her favourite skincare ingredients – try the Neroli Firming Lift & Hydrate Facial Oil as a pre-cleanse – you won’t look back.
Secondly, I noted the most helpful of her edicts for you:
- Una doesn’t advocate meddling with skin at home too much. If you have a spot, she suggests popping some ice on it to calm inflammation and send blood away from it and, when it is ready to be extracted, following the old rule – bathe, ease spot out, disinfect, apply a clay mask and, finally, ice the spot into submission.
- Skincare choices are aplenty nowadays and Una looks for brands which come from a place of passion, not just skincare lines attached to big fashion houses. I wholeheartedly agreed and so should you – get smart on your skincare and read up on the background to brands.
- When I was probing Una on factors she believes play a part in skincare she was keen to point out no one thing would give you a peachy complexion – a mixture of factors played a part. Amongst them are: facial massage, to discourage the stagnancy which causes dullness and congestion; facial exercises such as Eva Fraser’s for muscle tone and keeping an eye on hydration, which drinking chia seeds will help with. Una says they are super nutritious and hydrating and can be added to water, herbal tea or yoghurt to boost your skin.
Should you wish to see Una yourself (oh how I give this with a heavy heart), call: 020 7313 9835.