It started with a fragrance and continued into skincare, spilling seductive tales with every dab: the rhythmic sound of bare feet dancing in abandon on a stone floor, the flare of voluminous muslin as the dervishes whirl ever faster, a cloud of sultry incense-laden smoke, a glimpse of kohl-laden eyes, a flash of skin, the beats of ancient musical instruments, leaves blowing in the wind, fires burning from magical woods… sensuousness, calmness, spirituality and relaxation all rolled into one.
This is the story of Sufi, an exclusive range of organic skincare products exclusively blended by master artisans for the Imperial Spa & Salon (part of New Delhi’s iconic Imperial Hotel). Last year they took the form of luscious body oils; this year the focus is on the face, with a brand new collection of creams and cleansers based on essential oils, plant extracts, aloe vera, crushed flowers, roots and barks. And the orchestrator of this entire is Jacqualine Tara Herron, Director of the Spa, Salon, Health & Racquet Club, who believes in taking a holistic approach to skincare by working on both the body and mind.
Pure Damascus rose water is getting increasingly hard to find. What you get instead are super-diluted versions of this classic floral water, which lack every single one of its toning, soothing and antiseptic qualities. That’s why I have stocked up on Sufi Monsoon Rose – a pure rose water that is blended with green tea extract to impart the potent beauty benefits of both these ingredients. I keep mine in the refrigerator, splashing it on my face whenever the skin or mind needs a pick-me-up. In fact, it smells so gorgeously fresh, with just the right hint of lusciousness, that it’s also become my go-to perfume for the afternoons. Close the eyes and it conjures up images of lying in a valley of lush red roses while raindrops gently dance across your face.
Lift Off Makeup Remover
I hate those heavy makeup removers that leave a film of oil on my face that’s as likely to clog pores as the makeup itself. Or they go the other way – harsh formulations that dehydrate the skin and strip away every trace of moisture. The Sufi Lift Off Makeup Remover manages to walk the ultra-thin middle line with its hydrating cocktail of vitamin E, multi-fruit acids and papain enzymes that cleanses, calms and soothes even the most sensitive skin. Plus, it’s safe enough to use around the eyes, thereby avoiding another one of my pet peeves – having to use multiple products to simply get my face clean.
Open Pore Cleanser
The frightening amount of dust, grime and other environmental pollutants in today’s world mean that having clean skin has become a luxury. Say hello to the Sufi Open Pore Cleanser that is formulated to deep cleanse an oily or problematic complexion and bring balance to combination skin. It contains a hefty dose of pure pettigrain and silver extracts, neroli essential oil, aloe vera and zinc to draw out impurities, tackle large pores and maintain optimum hydration. It doesn’t foam much and has a light milky texture that works pretty well with my trusty Clarisonic.
Not all skin is created the same and using the wrong type of cleanser can create quite a few problems. Hence, those with dry, mature or sun damaged skin should opt for the Sufi Down Pore Cleanser, which is packed with rose and sandalwood essential oils, vitamin C and enzymes to reduce redness and inflammation while simultaneously hydrating and soothing the complexion. And I can tell you from experience that it works. Last week I was stuck in the middle of nowhere sans any sunscreen and got the most terrible sunburn on my left shoulder. I have been washing it every night with the Down Pore Cleanser and it doesn’t sting one bit. Plus, the skin is healing much faster – calming down without forming a crusty, flaky patch like it normally does. This one’s going into my summer beach bag!
Ok, be honest – how many of you skip the moisturiser on a hot and humid day, opting for just a serum and sunscreen? I have been guilty of this in the past, despite knowing that even the most oily complexions need hydration both in summer and winter, since heat saps our body of moisture. This summer, help is at hand with the Sufi Daylight Moisturizer, whose pearl extracts, aloe vera and willow bark create a hydrating, non-oily blend that keeps everything smooth and balanced. Bonus points: it gets absorbed in about 3 seconds and creates a superb base for makeup.
Night Rose Moisturizer
Mature, dry or dehydrated skin needs extra help in the moisture department and this is where the Sufi Night Rose Moisturizer comes up trumps. Packing a potent punch of Shea butter, collagen, jojoba seed and wheat germ oil along with Nano vitamins, Damascus rose oil and fig oil, it steps up moisture retention, boosts collagen and works as a powerful antioxidant to prevent premature ageing.
Ultra Soft Body Cream
This is one of the richest and most potent body creams that I have seen in a while. And even though it takes about 2 minutes to get completely absorbed into the skin, the Sufi Ultra Soft Body Cream is still worth the 120 seconds of your day because one would be hard pressed to find another potion that’s as chock full of goodies. Natural vegetable oils? Check (apricot and almond). Essential oils? Check (rose and ginger). Time-tested oriental extracts? Check (neem leaf, wild gooseberry extract, gota kola, Indian ginseng and frankincense).
Do me a favour – go take a look at your eyes in the mirror. If they show signs of stress or fatigue (dark circles, puffiness or fine lines) or if they sting and feel uncomfortable, this cream is for you. If not, you can skip it (and we hate you for your perfect life!). This is a light cream – almost gel-like in texture – and contains Co-enzyme Q10, bio-flavanoids, retinol and vitamin E to reduce dark shadows and erase other signs of stress from the delicate eye area by improving circulation and busting free radicals.
All the products are available for purchase at the The Imperial Spa, The Imperial Boutique and The Imperial Salon for Rs. 1,100 – Rs. 3,000. Also available for non-resident guests, they are presented in a choice of 100ml airtight pump containers and 50 ml travel packs. And to celebrate the launch, we are giving away these exquisite travel packs to 2 lucky readers. All you need to do is:
2. Visit the Imperial Spa & Salon’s website and tell me which of their exquisite therapies you would like to experience. Click here for the website and then drop your answer in the comments box below this page!
3. Wait till April 16, 2013 as I will be announcing the winners’ names after that day.
That’s all: simple and sublime… just like the Sufis!