Emma Reeve meets skin expert and facialist to the stars, Amanda Lacey, and seeks advice for her best beauty secrets for the bride-to-be….
In one of London’s best-kept secrets, Cecconi’s, a restaurant on the fashionable corner of Mayfair’s Burlington Gardens, I was about to discover, after several delightful peach bellinis, another of London’s secrets, Amanda Lacey. For your skin, nothing gets much better than a facial with Amanda. Vogue paid honour to her expertise by quoting her as ‘‘a darling of Vogue’’ and with a beauty Oscar equivalent as the ‘‘Rolls Royce of Facialists.’’ She, without a doubt – immaculately groomed and oozing old-fashioned glamour in her chic cropped mink jacket and honey-coloured highlights tied back in a neat chignon – certainly does her industry proud.
Amanda looks fantastic and I was bursting to know her age. My research insisted she has been top of her game for over 20 years, which threw me as she doesn’t look a day over 30. Needing no make-up, her English rose complexion was sensationally radiant with not a blemish in sight. It was here, under the outside heaters, that she was willing to indulge and spoil me with some expert bridal advice, perfect for my legions of recently engaged friends who long for as many savvy beauty tips that they can sponge. They despair at the thousands of beauty products made available to the modern bride advertised in glossy magazines and the constant seduction of beautiful packaging in department stores. What will really make the bride-to-be look amazing on her big day?
One of the biggest quandaries for the modern bride is which scent to wear up the aisle. Amanda’s signature scent Aria di Collina £120, translated as ‘‘air of the hills,’’ was inspired by a trip to Tuscany. It has risen to fame, becoming a collector’s scent for dedicated perfume fanatics and has created quite a following amongst brides on their wedding day. Its subtle and demure notes seem perfectly delicate and are balanced with light, sophisticated, powdery tones. The result is an elegant scent that is effective but not over-powering for a bride to wear on her big day. The glass bottle is etched with Lacey’s distinctive floral motif and comes with an atomizer pump and silver cap that is a glorious addition to any dressing table.
‘‘No bride wishes to try too hard, either with scent, hair or make-up. Stay away from experimenting with new foundations or dramatic mascaras as you will run the risk of a cosmetic reaction,’’ Amanda advises. She recommends to lightly spritz scent on your wrists, hair and ankles and never on your décolleté (chest) as any scent is too drying for this delicate and often neglected area of skin.
Amanda continues to school me with more bridal advice while I meanwhile day-dream of being her apprentice and also tying the knot! ‘‘You must switch off the night before. Run a bath, light a candle, meditate and collect your thoughts,’’ she says. ‘‘Scatter lavender oil on your pillow and avoid eye cream at all costs which can lead to puffy eyes. In the morning, prep your skin with my Illuminating Pink Serum, £85. This brightens, lifts and radiates your complexion. My Illuminating Eye Gel £75, miraculously de-puffs and brightens, immediately taking away morning eye. Finish by patting in Nourishing Pink Cream £70, and indulge in my luxurious Aria di Collina Body Cream £48, which is quite literally heaven in a jar!’’
I am touched with Amanda’s warmth and her willingness to share some beauty secrets during our special rendezvous at Cecconi’s. Her passion and enthusiasm for the industry is inspiring and she combines this with a natural pizzazz that is enchanting and magnetic. I am reassured that when I eventually make beauty preparations for my big day, Amanda, like a fabulous fairy godmother, will be in the back of my mind with all her wonderful tips to help me bring out my inner bridal goddess.