Sunday, 7 April 2013


I was invited to try a freshly picked treatment of my choice at SpaQ at the QT Hotel in Sydney. I'm a sucker for facials so thought that the choice would be easy...until I studied their extensive treatment menu. I was tossing up between their Signature Caviar Facial (because it intrigued me); a Mastery Massage (as I have been having issues with my back thanks to lugging The Crazy Kid and Kiki around); or the Coffee and Sea Kelp Contour Wrap (mostly because I have never had a wrap before and would love to try it but also because the skin on my stomach is still loose from pregnancy so I'd love to firm it up). I finally decided to go with their signature caviar facial (told you I was a sucker for facials!). Now, the only reason I chose the caviar facial was because it sounded so unique and I wanted to review an experience that you couldn't get at another salon. I imagined them pouring a jar of caviar on my face and popping the little pearls - I was partially intrigued and partially concerned that I would walk out smelling all fishy. I needn't have worried, though, as I was advised that the caviar facial is for mature skin types and that the Advance Repair Correcting Facial would be more suitable for my skin concerns. I decided to heed the expert advice and went with this facial. Also, in case you are wondering whether you do have a jar of caviar poured on your face during the caviar facial - it turns out you don't. The facial is actually performed using Kerstin Florian products that are infused with caviar!

When you have a treatment at SpaQ you are entitled to use their Turkish Hammam inspired steam room prior to your treatment. It is advised that you arrive 45 minutes before your scheduled treatment to take advantage of it. I highly recommend that you do as I left the steam room feeling so deeply relaxed, it felt as if my muscles had liquefied  It is a unisex steam room so make sure that you take your swimmers along. It gets very warm in there but it never got unbearably hot (like it can in a sauna). The steam becomes so thick that can't see in front of you and I did find it a little hard to breathe - the high humidity made me want to cough. However, it was never bad enough that I wanted to get out. Within minutes, water was dripping off me. I thought it might have been sweat dripping off so I licked my arm to check (as you do!) and it wasn't salty, so water it was! Another lady joined me in there after I had been in there for about 15 minutes and we then spent the next 30 minutes nattering away and the time just flew. You can see in the photo below what the steam room looks like. I would like to pretend that this is me in the photo, but in reality my boobs now point south and my tummy would need a lot of photoshopping (or sit ups, but that ain't going to happen!) to look like that. 

I couldn't take photos due to the steam so got this image from their
 Facebook Page

When it was time for our treatments we were collected from the steam room and led to cosy waiting room where we were offered water or herbal tea. Minutes later my therapist arrived to take me up to my treatment room. You can see just how comfortable the treatment rooms are.

Another photo from their Facebook Page

Now, I am going to try and describe the facial as best as I can but I have a feeling that I lost consciousness during the procedure. I could feel myself drifting away but was sure that I stayed awake the whole time. That was until I tried to go through in my head everything that occurred in preparation for writing this review. There are a few black spots in my memory so I must have drifted off. Whilst the mask was on I was told there would be an intensive scalp massage but I just can't recollect it at all. Yet, my hair was a mess and there was product all through my hair, so clearly it did happen I just bloody well slept through it. I hope I didn't talk in my sleep, or snore, or fart....! I think I was just already so damn relaxed from the steam room that it wasn't going to take much at all to send me to the land of the nods!

I originally requested the caviar facial as I wanted a unique experience. Then, when I found out that I wasn't going to be having the caviar facial, I expected that it would be your stock standard facial. I can't tell you how wrong I was. Although this facial followed the usual steps of cleanse, exfoliate, mask then moisturise, massage and acupressure played a major part of the process. This took the facial to a whole other level. Not only was my skin being treated, I was being pampered and nurtured. Once it was over, I honestly don't think that I have ever felt so relaxed in my whole life. It felt like I floated out of the salon! This is how SpaQ describe the Advance Repair Correcting Facial

Age really is just a number. This 21st century treatment leaves you looking eternally fresh faced whatever your age. It is customised to your skin, whether your focus is hyperpigmentation, congestion, fine lines or premature ageing. Intense multi acid or enzymatic peeling renews the skin on the face, neck, décolleté and hands, while hyaluronic acid, vitamins, and glycolic acid, brightens the skin’s surface. Relaxation comes in the form of a circulation boosting massage and a balancing nourishing mask, which delivers skin back to its former glory.

The therapist put some lavender oil on her hands and held them over my face and asked me to inhale deeply three times. Once I had done that she ran her hands over my chest, up my neck and cheeks before massaging my temples then she ran her hands through my hair. The facial then started, as all facials do, with a cleanse. I think I might have had two cleanses, a cream cleanse followed by a foam cleanse. As mentioned above, the products weren't simply applied to the face but they were massaged in and the massage was quite firm, but heavenly. The facial covered my chest and face (of course!) and after each step a hot towel was placed on my chest then it was wrapped around my face and the product was wiped off. The therapist then rolled up the towel and pulled it across my neck in a kind of sawing motion. This is a terrible description but I can think how else to describe it but damn it felt good. I have just gotten all tingly thinking about it!

Next I had an enzyme peel. I was warned that this step does tingle and was told that if it becomes unbearable to let her know and she would remove it for me. It did seriously tingle/sting but was never unbearable. Once the enzyme was on, my therapist asked where it was tingling most (interestingly, it was my eyebrows) and brushed over that area with the brush she used to apply the enzyme. The brushing action soothed the stinging sensation and was what stopped it from becoming unbearable. She continued brushing all over my face until it was time to remove the enzyme with the hot towel. 

Here is where things start to get a little bit hazy in my memory and where I suspect that I fell asleep. I remember having the most divine facial massage but can't remember if this was done with the mask or with oils. What I think happened was a clay mask was applied and this was allowed to dry on my face and whilst it was drying I had the intense scalp massage. Whilst I can't remember the scalp massage I do remember having my hands and arms massaged as well and that was seriously relaxing. I think the clay mask was then removed with the hot towel and then my face was massaged with oil. It was a very firm massage and one that they a famous for. It is the massage that is key to the youthful appearance you are left with afterwards. Every single drop of tension is firmly massaged out of your face until you are left pretty much slack jawed you are in such a relaxed state.

The final step of the facial was the application of moisturiser. Then an eye-pack was placed across my eyes and slippers were put on my feet for me. I can't tell you how nice it feels to have someone put slippers on your feet for you! 

The final result was that I was left in such an intense state of relaxation it felt like I was floating. I literally have never felt like that before. I kind of wished I was staying at the hotel (QT Sydney) so that I could have gone back to my room, sunggled under the doona and slept for a few hours. Actually, over the Easter long weekend, the spa was open for 24 hours each day so you could have had a late night treatment then gone straight to bed to have, what I would assume would be the greatest sleep of your life.

SpaQ can be found on level M of the QT Sydney hotel. The hotel is located at 49 Market St, Sydney. It can be a little tricky to spot as it is just a little entrance way right next to the State Theatre. I had a little panic when I was walking up Market street as I couldn't see the hotel anywhere and suddenly thought that maybe I was meant to be elsewhere in the city but then saw the funky QT logo hanging from the roof and new I was in the right place.

As soon as you enter the entrance way to the hotel the decor is pure class. I know a spa shouldn't be judged on the hallway you walk down, but that is exactly what I did and I knew that I was going to be in for a wonderful treat.

After my treatment, I was shown the Kerstin Florian products that were used on me and had the opportunity to buy them (though no pressure was placed on me to do so). The sell the enzyme peel on pre-soaked pads that can be used at home. I would have been quite tempted by those but unfortunately they were sold out.

I will definitely return to SpaQ for another treatment, I loved my facial so much. Next time I think that I will give the Coffee and Sea Kelp Contour Wrap a go. I would have put a request to get this for Mothers Day but will actually be in Thailand at that time so I guess I will just have to wait until my birthday. Hubby and I haven't had a weekend away from the kids so perhaps this will be the perfect opportunity - not only could we get a treatment but then follow it up with a glorious full nights sleep!

There are three QT Hotels, each with their own SpaQ - Sydney, Gold Coast and Port Douglas.

What has been your best facial experience and what made it so special?

All opinions are my own and I received no remuneration for this post. This treatment was provided for consideration.