As visitors to our Lewes shop will know, we have a therapy room. It’s a small and perfectly intimate space for a treatment. We painted the walls a rich pinky terracotta and the ceiling copper. The heating is good, the bed comfortable and the towels fluffy and soft. The walls are decorated with a tryptic of our plants which Julia White painted and adorned sparingly with gold leaf to bring out the opulence of the plants. It is different and it is bespoke, along with everything in the shop.
So I began to think of our offering in that space and how every therapy we offer should be as carefully thought through as the products that are applied. I wanted something that really reflected what we do – the minutiae, the essence and the philosophy.
It has taken some time to develop, but safe in the hands of Fiona Harlowe, who instinctively understood what I wanted, we are there. I’m really proud of the Meadow Facial, it is a reflection of everything we do and the reason we do it. It’s about caring for the whole body and mind in a safe, calm space. It’s about our wonderful therapists engaging fully with our clients. The Meadow Facial supports the skin to be in the best condition it can, it’s about pro-ageing – attaining glowing, beautiful skin through specialist massage movements, lymphatic drainage and perfectly balanced products, but more than that, it’s about taking 60 or 90 minutes to feel transformed, relaxed and strong.
Most facials concentrate on just the face and sometimes the neck, the small area of skin that is most often on show. We extend the treatment into the hairline, around the neck and shoulders, down to the decollete and along the arms to the hands. Each movement and corresponding product is designed to release tension, bring out the very best in the skin and make you feel loved.
Touch is so powerful, it felt very important to me that our treatment should not be perfunctory but rather that it is an opportunity to really engage with our clients, to touch with good intent, to connect energetically, to support.
We talk a lot about the need for self-love and how women are undermined at every touch and turn and many treatments are an extension of that same harm. They often use aggressive products or processes that harm the skin in the long term, the therapists are rushing from one client to another, the space is unloved and the rituals that invite you to feel safe are entirely lacking. The tools used are very often crystals of dubious provenance and the music is generically plinky plonky. These are not a places of love and care, they are a manifestation of the worst of the industrial beauty industry. We can do better, so much better.
What we have done is the opposite, we have had music composed specifically for this facial by Bjorn Baillie, I asked him to create a soundscape that matched both the movements of the therapists and that reflected the landscapes where we pick. The result is quite wonderful, it’s a journey through the A.S Apothecary year.
The tools we use have been handmade especially for us from Hebridean Gneiss – a rock that carries 2.5 billion years of history within its beautiful structure. It is carefully found, carved and honed by Suzanne and her partner before being wrapped in Harris tweed and delivered to my hands. As they say, ‘keeping our impact small, we treat each rock with the care we feel it deserves by pouring our love into the work we do.’ These people really understand the power of the ancient Hebridean rocks and we are thrilled to have found them.
Even the tea we serve is made by us, from our beautiful flowers grown at the farm and it is full of herbs to calm the mind and relax the body.
I believe for a treatment to be the best it can be, it needs to have the same attention to detail as the making of our products. Every movement, every action, every part, from your arrival to the first touch from a therapist, to the minute you leave should be filled with good intention and love. This is what the Meadow Facial aspires to offer – a rewilding of your beauty.
To book, just call the shop - 01273 253186