Here's how to give yourself a spa-level facial

A Virtual Beauty Shoot

Millie Mackintosh features in this Marie Claire Beauty shoot
(Image credit: Future / Benjamin Kauffman / Nick Tree)

Whether you’re after a smooth, calm or radiant complexion, follow the steps that celebrity skin guru Nathalie Eleni developed to bring pro-facial techniques to the bathrooms of three beauty experts...


A visit to a beauty destination may feel like a faraway dream right now, but you can bring the vibe of a spa to your home while treating skin, and sensitive skin calls for extra care, particularly when you’re stressed or a new mum like our model Millie Mackintosh.

“If you experience extra-sensitive skin that flares up at the slightest touch, or increased redness or dark circles under the eyes, look for nourishing skincare and gentle techniques that will soothe and protect,” says Nathalie Eleni. These steps - and products - work a treat:

Soft and gentle: Start with a cleanser like Clé de Peau Beauté Softening Cleansing Foam, £48, which contains hydrating hyaluronic acid and apply to dry skin before removing with a flannel for gentle exfoliation.

Use antioxidants: Work an antioxidant—based serum, like The Serum, £215, that uses kelp to help rejuvenate into the skin. Use fingers in rain-drop movements to stimulate circulation and enhance your natural glow without over-stimulating a face prone to redness. Gently press along eye orbit to help with lymph drainage and puffy eyes.

Plump up: Volumizing Cream Supreme, £310, helps to bring back any loss of plumpness. Use gentle lifting movements upwards from the jawline.

Flawless finish: Apply light layers of Radiant Fluid Foundation Matte in O30 Medium Ocher, £110, using your fingers to warm and blend. Buff seamlessly in with a foundation brush.

Light up your face: Pat oil onto your high bones on top of the foundation to provide more hydration and create a halo of radiance.

For eye definition: Line the eyes close to the lash lines with Eye Liner Pencil in 202, Cartridge £20 and Holder, £30, and pull out to the sides. Use the brush to softly smoke out the flicks.

Perfect pout: Swipe your lips with Lip Glorifier, £40, for a healthy, glossy tint.



Caroline Barnes stars in this Marie Claire beauty shoot

(Image credit: Future / Benjamin Kauffman / Nick Tree)

You may not be able to properly perfect the massage techniques of your facialist but according Eleni you can give your skin a glow by creating a nearly professional experience at home. “Those of us wanting a fresh skin radiance should build facial massage into a daily skincare routine,” she says. “Massaging product into the skin will maximise the benefits, boost blood circulation, and stimulate the skin. Simply use your hands to glide the product along your face and enjoy the relaxing sensation.”

Wake up your face: Start by prepping your skin: lather up Clé de Peau Beauté Softening Cleansing Foam, £48, then use the pads of fingertips to lightly massage upwards (forehead) and outwards from the centre of the face, and then drain down the neck to help stimulate lymph flow and reduce puffiness.

Sculpt and contour: Radiant Multi Repair Oil, £120, contains gamma-linolenic acid to deeply plump up and moisturise skin, reducing roughness and dryness. Push into the skin so it absorbs deeply, then using firm pressure, sculpt along the cheekbones and use your thumbs to scoop out and up under the jawline.

Intensely moisturise: Stiffness in the face often indicates that the lymph flow is not working efficiently, preventing all the toxins from being drained and causing the skin to sag. Massage away tension by applying pressure to the face, thereby enhancing blood circulation and lymphatic flow. Use a rich formula like Protective Fortifying Cream, £110, that targets collagen and protein in the skin to provide slip.

Hydrate and prime: The fresher your skin, the fresher your makeup will be, so smooth face with a skincare-make-up hybrid primer like Long Lasting Veil, £55, that protects skin from UV rays, oxidation and air-pollution. The fresh, dewy, essence-like texture gives skin a glow before foundation.

Use a fresh base: Apply Radiant Fluid Foundation Matte, £110, with fingers or a brush, then blend in for a satin finish.

Add dimension: For a light-reflective glow, swipe Luminizing Face Enhancer in 18, £75, over the cheekbones, cupid's bow, and brow bone then add Lip Glorifier, £40, for a glossy tint that will give lips volume.



Ruby Hammer is one of the faces in this Marie Claire beauty shoot

(Image credit: Future / Benjamin Kauffman / Nick Tree)

 We all have those days when we feel like our skin falls to greasy rather than glowy, and if that’s you, try a double cleanse, then a massage that won’t stimulate more sebum, and a treatment that leaves skin matte and glowing, but not dull.

“With any type of facial, particularly if you have oily, congested skin, the first step should always be to cleanse in order to prep,” says Eleni “There is no need to rely on high-tech devices.“ Instead, follow her expert steps for some serious skin-loving:

Double cleanse: Although any skin type can benefit from the gentle exfoliating power of Clé de Peau Beauté Clarifying Cleansing Foam, £48, its ability to decongest pores is especially apt for oilier skin and the botanical ingredients help to manage sebum levels on the skin surface to keep excess oil at bay. Spend time massaging product in, keep adding water if needed so as not to drag the skin, and use light pressure to help to stimulate lymph flow. Focus on areas of oil and congestion.

Use a power lotion: To smooth lines, use the leave-on Hydro-Softening Lotion, £100, treatment. This is formulated with peptides and antioxidants to treat issues such as dehydration, dullness, sensitivity, breakouts/oiliness, lack of firmness, and sun damage. Apply to palms and press into skin.

Moisturise and massage: After settling your lotion, it's time to layer on an oil or serum to maximise hydration. Our favourite is The Serum, £215. Work into the skin using your fingers to massage the contours of your face and for lymph drainage using super-light pressure upwards and outwards. Gentle pressure around the eye orbits taking to temples and draining downwards.

Next, incorporate some lifting massage movements. Start by putting your hand in prayer position under chin and then open palms and lift hands up either side of the face. Scoop along jaw line with index finger and middle finger knuckles to lift upwards.

Follow a similar pattern on oft-neglected spots like behind the ear lobes, around your nostrils, and the centre of your forehead. You can use your fingers, a roller, a gua sha tool - whatever you have on hand, just as long as you don't push too hard. The idea is to massage really lightly and to focus on draining versus rubbing.

Keep it light: Go for a lightweight, silky-smooth textured foundation like Radiant Fluid Foundation Matte, £110, to create a matte-satin finish on the skin – but without feeling dry throughout the day.

Perfectly polished: Use Lipstick Cashmere in 103 Legend, £50, straight from the bullet to build up punchy colour on the lips. Pat the edges with your finger to soften, then wiggle the Perfect Lash Mascara in 1, £44, through your lashes to build up length and volume. Be sure to coat each lash to create a fanned look.

Want 2021 to be your best skin year yet?

We asked Millie Mackintosh, Caroline Barnes and Ruby Hammer for their biggest skin care tips you can live by to bring back your radiant complexion.

Crew Credits:

Talent Millie Mackintosh at Donna Management

Talent Caroline Barnes at Frank Agency 

Talent Ruby Hammer at Angeli & Co

Concept, Director Benjamin Kaufmann

Beauty and Style Director Lisa Oxenham

Video Capture and Edit by Nick Tree

Live Stream Expert Grzegorz Bieniek 

Make-up Artist and Facialist Nathalie Eleni at Carol Hayes Management using Clé de Peau Beauté

Hair by Tyler Johnston at One Represents using Bumble and Bumble

Photographer Sarah Cresswell 

Retoucher Ivan Mihailov

Production Assistant Sarah Barnes

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