Fresh is sold around the world and carries a complete line of beauty products that span skin care, makeup, body treatments, fragrance, and more. Founded in 1991 by Lev Glazman and his wife Alina Roytberg, the company set out to create the perfect artisanal soap - soaps they couldn't find in Boston - and they were a pioneer in the use of natural ingredients in mainstream beauty treatments. They sure did it well! The two went on to build a beauty powerhouse that formed a partnership in 2000 with luxury company LVMH, expanding their reach and lending that air of elegance that touches everything associated with the name LVMH.
Fresh has developed legendary collections, such as the Sugar Collection (sugar is a natural antiseptic); the Umbrian Clay Collection to fight blemishes; the Soy Collection to fight aging and dehydration; the Sake Collection, which includes the Rice Dry Oil that is on my "absolutely must-have as soon as I can afford to buy more" list; and the Crème Ancienne Collection, produced by monks in the Czech Republic using a second-century recipe that has been refined with today's natural anti-aging skin-care technology. It's still made for Fresh by hand at a monastery. There are other collections, and the expansive line has legions of fans. I'm one of them.
Recently, I've had an opportunity to try a few new-to-me Fresh products. I'm loving Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask ($85), an intense hydrating treatment that immediately reveals softer, more supple, and younger-looking skin. The skin-perfecting formula, with its velvety texture, was proven to have a significant moisturizing effect six hours after the mask is rinsed from the skin. Use it before you go to bed, and you'll awaken looking refreshed and dewy. Its key ingredients include black tea, a powerful antioxidant, to refine the skin's texture and enhance radiance and smoothness; lychee seed extract to stimulate collagen production; firming polysaccharides to give an immediate lift to the skin and work to reduce fine lines and wrinkles over time; and the ultimate hydrator, hyaluronic acid spheres.
Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask has a cooling sensation from the moment of application. It almost shouts, "Go relax for the five to eight minutes you leave me on your skin!" Rest and enjoy the experience while I work for you." It smells a little like tea - nothing strong, just a pleasant light scent that helps me relax. It's very gentle; my sensitive skin can attest to that. I'd highly recommend it - it's as good as or better than masks costing many times its price. I can see why it won an Editor's Choice award from Allure for the Best Mask for Dry Skin in 2008 and Best Splurge in 2009.
As I've explored Fresh's fragrances, I was stunned by the attractiveness of Fig Apricot ($75). I sprayed it on a white card and held the card while I chatted with Alison Kauffman, Fresh Product Specialist at Neiman Marcus at Tysons Galleria. My nose wouldn't stay away from that card! So, I sprayed it on my arm. I continued to be struck by the refreshing fruity floral that gives off the most luxurious - not to mention delicious - Turkish apricot, peach, and lychee scent ever. Anchoring notes like green tea and fig leaf balance out the fragrance's sweet top notes, and there's petitgrain, dandelion, musk, and marine notes in it to add some depth. I couldn't leave without it. It's obviously popular; I bought the last one in stock that day.
I'm delighted with it. I was so jealous as a friend started to describe a Mission Fig dish his sister had made at Thanksgiving. I wanted figs, but they are not in season - that plus their neighborhood markets in New York City are so much better than our gourmet shops. I'll have to satisfy myself with the scent of figs, not the real thing.
As a result of my recent explorations and admiration of Fresh products - I've explored the line much more deeply than I had before - I jumped at the chance to schedule a complimentary Fresh facial this coming week at Neiman Marcus at Tysons! They say to know Fresh is to love Fresh, and I'm finding this expression rings true.
You can go too - assuming you live anywhere in the DC area or can get here. Jawn Marques, Fresh Creative Director, will be at the store on Thursday, December 9, with his team, and they are taking appointments for facials and color consultations from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. I hear Jawn is extremely talented, and I can't wait to meet him. At one point in his career, he was a Guerlain national makeup artist. Now, he travels representing the luxury and deep bench of Fresh.
The Neiman Marcus team will have a gift for guests who make an appointment, and since the event is during In Circle, there will be a nice gift with purchase for those of us who decide to try some of the products we like. I'm fairly sure my next purchase will have to be Crème Ancienne moisturizer. I'm dying to try the handmade, historical treat.
Want to go? Just give Alison Kauffman a call to make an appointment. If you wait and try to drop in, you may not be able to have that nice, free, relaxing facial! Her phone number is (703) 761-1600, extension 3297. If you need help with anything Fresh, Allison's your gal. She's a sweetie.
I mentioned that there were events galore in the coming weeks. This is one I won't miss! If you can't get to one of "my Neiman Marcus stores," you can find Fresh at Neiman Marcus and Sephora.
Photos and mask courtesy of Fresh and Neiman Marcus