A Facial Workout with Alexandra Soveral
The A-list facialist relies on remodeling and deep-tissue massage to lift your muscles with results that last well beyond one session.
A treatment with London-based facialist Alexandra Soveral is unusual for many reasons. For starters, the session is not meant to be relaxing—of the drift-off-to-sleep variety—but rather an intense contouring workout for your face. Secondly, don’t expect superfluous layers of masks, essences, toners and peels. Soveral only relies on a handful of essentials: a botanical oil, a bit of honey, and a few other potent ingredients grown on her family farm in Portugal. And this might come as a relief: the superstar skin guru doesn’t do extractions.
Although Soveral has a cult following in Europe, she’s something of a well-kept secret in the U.S. A trained cosmetic scientist, facialist, and aromatherapist, Soveral studied anatomy and physiology before developing her signature, multi-modality treatment: the 90-minute, hands-on experience draws on facial sculpting, lymphatic drainage, and deep-tissue manipulation to lift and release tension in muscles (be prepared: there’s a decent amount of pressure involved!).
To maximize the results of the facial workout, Soveral massages pure, raw honey to moisturize and soothe inflammation (which feels heavenly) along with her own line of plant-based tinctures to remove impurities from pores. Angel Balm is her most in-demand product: the rose-geranium-infused fix balances oil, tones the skin and seals in dewy moisture—all in one.
Soveral’s intent with facials is more medicinal than purely cosmetic, although the results clearly deliver everything you want to see in the mirror: clear, taut skin, a glowy, lively complexion, and well-defined features. Unlike most facials that impart temporary improvements, Soveral’s treatments work on a deeper level—your skin looks great not only immediately after a treatment, but two weeks later, when the results really kick in. (I can confirm she’s right on this point; my skin has never been so lifted).
The guru is now training others in her technique. This summer, Soveral teamed up with The Four Seasons Downtown to bring her signature facial to New York City for those who can’t fly to London regularly. Each 50- to 90-minute-session includes plenty of facial remodeling and kneading—along with her botanical products—so having a fresh complexion isn’t unusual but a regular, woke-up-like-this occurrence.
Kari Molvar is a beauty writer and backstage reporter who has covered everything from high-performance skincare to hands-on makeup applications. She started her career in beauty as a senior editor at Allure and has since written for Vogue, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country and the Wall Street Journal among other print and digital publications. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two (DIY-obsessed) young daughters. Follow her @Kari_Molvar