Muddy gets the Five Cedars Facial
Read on for the lowdown on this great little indie beauty retreat, then hot-foot it along to the salon's open evening event for facial tasters and fizz!
What does any smart Muddy editor do, the very second the Muddy Awards are over? Well yes, drink something large and bubbly, obviously, but then they check in for a facial, of course! And that’s exactly what I did, feeling pre-t-t-ty smug at my stroke of genius scheduling, as I heaved my battered butt into the car and trudged along to Five Cedars Health & Beauty in Tiverton, in search of the ten years I’d recently lost.
I’d been invited along to check out this relatively new little retreat, a family-run salon with sisters Sophie, Charlotte and mum Sally at the helm (and beauty therapist Jade, lovely Jade!). And boy did I need an hour or two of rejuvenation. Plus, since these ladies just became Muddy Awards finalists in the Best Beauty Salon category, I wanted to go and see what all the fuss was about.
It’s not quite where you’d imagine to find a beauty salon, hidden away just inside a business park on the outskirts of town, with only the waft of lavender for a clue, leading you to a modest exterior. But actually, it makes very logical sense when you think about it. How many times have you parked up in town to get a facial or a head massage and then emerged, greasy and make-up free, feeling as though you’re doing the Walk of Shame after a night out, back to the car park? Here, you can nab one of the free spaces practically on the doorstep, grab the kind of treatment you’d expect from a slick city establishment, then slip out incognito, like Sharon Osbourne after surgery. Also worth considering if you’re looking for somewhere easy to reach off the M5 on the commute, rather than getting snarled up in traffic elsewhere.
So the next surprise was the salon itself, a peaceful, smart, squishy-carpeted operation on two floors. Plenty of very nice rooms for tanning, nails and body treatments and, upstairs, a lovely seating area to sit and chill out with a cuppa and a magazine if you’re doing the R&R thing by the book. The whole place still feels very clean and new, despite being open since December 2016. The presence of luxury beauty brand Elemis all around probably helps the cause, with their rather alluring packaging.
And that’s what brought me to Five Cedars – the chance to try out a signature Elemis treatment, the Biotec facial, an hour of pure indulgence, with the promise of looking slightly less frazzled by the end of it. My therapist may have been specially House of Elemis trained, but was she a miracle-worker (said with one eye-brow raised)?
I have to say that I flip-flop between being a marketers dream some days and a complete cynic on others, when it comes to the beauty industry. Sometimes I just don’t get the bewildering number of treatments out there, but when I find something that works, I’m all over it like a cat to catnip. Sophie obviously sensed my cynicism and asked if she could show me a part of the treatment on my hands first, so I could actually see the difference. Who am I to poo-poo a party trick?
Ok, a gobsmacked Muddy editor isn’t attractive, but that’s what I was for a good thirty seconds. Out came a strange electronic potato-peeler-like contraption which was gently rolled across the top of my hand and then, somehow, moments later, I looked down and didn’t recognise the hand that was attached to my right arm;. I was on the massage couch under the sheets at 100mph.
The Biotec facial is the more high-tec version of the classic Elemis facials, using a combination of science and nature to ‘turbo-charge’ the skin from within. Stress and lack of sleep are the main contributing factors to the ageing process. Hmm. Apparently it’s all to do with energising skin cells and the Biotec facial promises a powerful wake-up call.
You’re given a consultation first, to figure out which one of the range of eight is going to suit you best (pigmentation, blemishes and wrinkles are all under threat, depending on what you go for); and it was decided, unsurprisingly that for me, some Radiance Renewal* was called for. (*drastic action).
Clear on the brief, Sophie set to work on me, cleansing, scrubbing, massaging and peeling. It’s a fascinating procedure, actually, using all sorts of natty technology from one clever machine, which took more than three years to develop and has apparently been hailed as ground-breaking and has won awards in the industry.
I’d love to tell you what, specifically, rescued my face, but, happily, I managed to drift off for a bit. By the end, I felt – and actually looked – so renewed that I even felt brave enough to make the Walk of Shame into town for a quick nose around (I’d never been to Tiverton before). As a little aside, in 30 minutes I managed to discover Jo Amor boutique, a fab clothing, gifts and homeware shop with very cool little cafe space on Bampton Street, where I snaffled a bargain pair of Rose Rankin kicks and a fluffy flamingo called Flora, for the Mudlet. Result!
So there we are, Muddies, literally a glowing recommendation from me. But don’t take my word for it, get yourself along to the Five Cedars exclusive open evening this week (Thurs 6 July), where you’ll get the chance to try the facials at a specially discounted rate, along with other lovely offers, tasters and a glass of prosecco, too. Do it!