For years I had thought I was at the more proactive end of man-grooming, with a particular focus on skin care (I don’t really have hair to groom, sadly). That was until my fiancée put forward the idea of our getting a series of facials together leading into our wedding. As you can imagine, I was less than enthusiastic – nor did I think it was necessary given my existing regime.
To give you a snapshot of the base I was coming from – I’d use Clinique charcoal face wash in conjunction with their vibrating exfoliating brush each day, I’d use their firming under-eye cream twice daily, a separate exfoliant every few days, and the Natio non-oil-based firming facial moisturiser. I was confident that was providing me all the skin care I needed.
Enter the ‘Game of Thrones Facial.’ When it was put to me we wouldn’t be going to a day spa, rather undergoing a series the most intense facial on the market, which had indeed been dubbed the ‘Game of Thrones Facial’, she had my attention. It’s my thinking that when you add ‘Game of Thrones’ in front of anything it becomes primal and impressive and thus makes it easier to chat about with your male mates, even allowing you to maintain a sense of traditional masculinity.
The facials are also known as the ‘Dragon facial’ and ‘Zombie facial’ as it leaves your veins surfacing all over your head and shoulders, i.e. a character out of Game of Thrones, or someone in a zombie apocalypse. We visited DMK (Danne Montague-King) offices in Sydney and had the Game of Thrones facial explained to me – and it was at that point I understood how under-developed my skin regime was. I was told what I was doing was surface-maintenance, akin to say, painting an old wall – it may look nice, but what’s underneath isn’t benefitting at all.
What we would be doing was ‘Enzyme therapy,’ which are plant-based treatments developed by DMK that activate layers beneath your skin leaving it feeling firm, vibrant and clear or as they called it, ‘plump and juicy.’ Now, there was no way I’d ever call my own skin ‘plump and juicy’ because – man – but I concede I liked the idea.
The cream is made from enzymes and albumin which is the material found inside egg-shells while the plasmatic effect of your veins popping-out is caused by your muscles becoming tensed and activated over an extended period in a targeted way. The theory is good, the experience itself, however, is far more intense. Don’t confuse the pleasant setting and Enya playing in the background for a day-spa – shit gets real.
I’d best compare the process to being buried under a freshly laid tar on a road, which is hardening on your face in real time – and the first session is the most confronting because it’s all so new. For each session, first your skin is cleaned and prepped; a clear sign this isn’t your everyday facial when they wrap your face in Glad wrap (yes a gap is left for breathing, but it’s a disconcerting feeling, it must be said).
The enzyme mask is then painted onto your face. It’s thick and heavy but feels nice. They then add sensors to your feet, back, shoulders and apply your electric headband, and all of a sudden one starts to feel more like one is in a science experiment.
It doesn’t take long for the mask to start to harden, and at this point, I’d recommend any claustrophobics to think closely about doing it because the constricting feeling of being buried is full-on – picture a plaster mould being painted onto your face, and then hardening.
Add to that the head-to-toe pulsing caused by the headband and those sensors, and I was now very much questioning just how deeply I did love my fiancée.
The whole process only lasts 45 minutes, but by the end of the countdown – you’ll probably want out. The mask has hardened to the point of being able to knock on it, the muscles around your eyes and mouth and being pulled in brand-new angles, and the pulsing is basically the only thing you can hear and feel.
And then it’s over.
After your time expires they come in and carefully scrub the mask off your face (it’s a much slower process if, like me, you have a beard or stubble) but it leaves behind a dramatic spread of red-capillaries that honestly did make me look like I was in Game of Thrones. It was fascinating to look down at your own shoulders and see all your veins on the surface (don’t worry, that “plasmatic effect” goes down in a matter of minutes).
And what is left is incredible-feeling skin; after only a handful of sessions each week I started noticing a tangible difference to the structure of the skin on my face, and as I am nearing the completion of the process I get genuine comments from people saying how great my skin looks. All the blemishes and blackheads are gone, my skin looks fresh, tight and glowing and the results don’t just last the day – they last months.
If you are a man who cares about his skin – either because you’re not happy with it, or because you want to take it to the next level – this is the facial for you. You’ll no longer be happy just giving it a quick exfoliation and moisturise in the morning, this will change how you feel about your face together. It’s hugely recommended for the man who has some extra time and dollars to spend on themselves, and the results are unparalleled (plus saying you’re getting the Game of Thrones facial is always a good conversation starter).