I Got A $1,200 Virtual Reality Facial From John Mayer’s Favorite Skin Line

“I’m getting a $1,200 virtual reality facial that uses John Mayer’s favorite European skin-care products tomorrow — and it’s in an oxygen bubble,” I told my boyfriend last week.
Most men outside of the beauty industry would have thought this was odd conversation, but after seven months of dating, I have my boyfriend on a dedicated skin routine that’s kept his complexion clear and bright — and he’s into it. Meanwhile, he’s exposed me to all that virtual reality, or VR, has to offer, including games, experiences, and a working knowledge of how the technology will inevitably change the future of media — and I’m into it.
So when I heard about a treatment that brings these two seemingly opposite experiences together, I had to try it out.
You may know Natura Bissé as the Spanish brand front and center in John Mayer’s slightly-satirical stab at beauty vlogging last year. In the viral Snapchat videos, he shared his most effective hacks for better skin, including Mayer-isms like CNZs, or “crucial necessity zones” that should be always covered with face cream (so, basically just everywhere) and D.A.T., or “direct application technique,” which involves squirting face cream directly onto skin to limit product waste on fingers. (Spoiler: This is not actually effective.)
Jokes aside, the reason these videos went viral is not because of his application techniques, but because his entire routine rang in at a whopping $1,457. But hold onto your debit cards, because this year, the brand’s implementing a treatment that’s just as novel — and nearly as expensive.
Called The Mindful Touch Experience, it is, according to the brand, “the most innovative and trailblazing venture within the spa sector, in which the results of Natura Bissé’s cosmetics are combined with the most advanced technology.” So how does it work? “Through virtual reality, mindfulness and the therapist’s expertise – the touch – we invite the client to reconnect with the here and now, to relax their body, to awaken their senses and to experience the pleasure of beauty in a more intense way,” the official statement reads. Still confused? I was, too.
Let’s get this out of the way first: At $1,200 for one hour, the facial is far from affordable. However, this has less to do with the bubble itself or the VR technology and more to do with the fact that the brand’s products are just really pricey. Even though I was getting it at a comped press appointment, I still felt a little guilty.
The brand is famous for its bubbles and there are only a few, so you have to catch one while it’s on tour. (Yes, the bubble has more expensive tickets and fewer tour dates than Bieber.) It’s large enough for a bed, a table, and your aesthetician, and it’s filled with 99% pure oxygen, which it supposed to help with the absorption of products. Once you enter said bubble, you remove your robe and lie down, then affix the VR headset.
For eight minutes, you’re walked through a virtual reality experience — you travel through the ocean, wander around a brain, and are led on what is essentially a guided meditation to relax and let go of stress. Meanwhile, your aesthetician is floating essential oils under your nose and massaging your head and limbs to sync with what you’re seeing. It was pretty amazing.
But then, after eight minutes, the headset comes off and the facial begins. As far as facials go, this one was pretty standard: cleanse, tone, mask, peel (but no extractions, unfortunately). As a wonderful added bonus, though, the guided meditation continued, so I was reminded throughout the experience to clear my mind and stay present.
“I’m getting a $1,200 virtual reality facial that uses John Mayer’s favorite European skin-care products tomorrow — and it’s in an oxygen bubble,” I told my boyfriend last week.
Most men outside of the beauty industry would have thought this was odd conversation, but after seven months of dating, I have my boyfriend on a dedicated skin routine that’s kept his complexion clear and bright — and he’s into it. Meanwhile, he’s exposed me to all that virtual reality, or VR, has to offer, including games, experiences, and a working knowledge of how the technology will inevitably change the future of media — and I’m into it.
So when I heard about a treatment that brings these two seemingly opposite experiences together, I had to try it out.
You may know Natura Bissé as the Spanish brand front and center in John Mayer’s slightly-satirical stab at beauty vlogging last year. In the viral Snapchat videos, he shared his most effective hacks for better skin, including Mayer-isms like CNZs, or “crucial necessity zones” that should be always covered with face cream (so, basically just everywhere) and D.A.T., or “direct application technique,” which involves squirting face cream directly onto skin to limit product waste on fingers. (Spoiler: This is not actually effective.)
Jokes aside, the reason these videos went viral is not because of his application techniques, but because his entire routine rang in at a whopping $1,457. But hold onto your debit cards, because this year, the brand’s implementing a treatment that’s just as novel — and nearly as expensive.
Called The Mindful Touch Experience, it is, according to the brand, “the most innovative and trailblazing venture within the spa sector, in which the results of Natura Bissé’s cosmetics are combined with the most advanced technology.” So how does it work? “Through virtual reality, mindfulness and the therapist’s expertise – the touch – we invite the client to reconnect with the here and now, to relax their body, to awaken their senses and to experience the pleasure of beauty in a more intense way,” the official statement reads. Still confused? I was, too.
My Time In The Bubble
Let’s get this out of the way first: At $1,200 for one hour, the facial is far from affordable. However, this has less to do with the bubble itself or the VR technology and more to do with the fact that the brand’s products are just really pricey. Even though I was getting it at a comped press appointment, I still felt a little guilty.
The brand is famous for its bubbles and there are only a few, so you have to catch one while it’s on tour. (Yes, the bubble has more expensive tickets and fewer tour dates than Bieber.) It’s large enough for a bed, a table, and your aesthetician, and it’s filled with 99% pure oxygen, which it supposed to help with the absorption of products. Once you enter said bubble, you remove your robe and lie down, then affix the VR headset.
For eight minutes, you’re walked through a virtual reality experience — you travel through the ocean, wander around a brain, and are led on what is essentially a guided meditation to relax and let go of stress. Meanwhile, your aesthetician is floating essential oils under your nose and massaging your head and limbs to sync with what you’re seeing. It was pretty amazing.
But then, after eight minutes, the headset comes off and the facial begins. As far as facials go, this one was pretty standard: cleanse, tone, mask, peel (but no extractions, unfortunately). As a wonderful added bonus, though, the guided meditation continued, so I was reminded throughout the experience to clear my mind and stay present.
The Results
The facial was great — my skin looked and felt radiant, soft, and hydrated for days (for $1,200 it had better, right?), but it wasn’t unlike anything I’ve ever tried. What excited me most was seeing a beauty brand find a way to use VR to relax the client and add another layer to a classic spa experience.
The headset (a Samsung) and the content weren’t the best quality I’ve seen, but in the context of where I was (nude, in an oxygen bubble, being fawned over in the middle of a weekday afternoon), it was pretty great.
After all, from Coachella installations to the future of surfing Facebook or watching YouTube, VR is on the horizon — and it’s about time the beauty world dove in. Once they figure out how to do a facial with a headset on the entire time? Then things will get real sci-fi.
Natura Bissé just upped the game, so I guess it’s your move, Mayer.
[“Source-refinery29.”]

VR just got serious and you should be paying attention

160224 vr 9

If you haven’t been paying much attention to virtual reality, now might be a good time to start. In a series of announcements at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, some of the biggest names in smartphones, consumer electronics and social media have given the technology a major boost.

It’s too early to tell whether the new cameras, smartphones, goggles and social media tools are enough to take the technology from video toy to big business, but together they make up the most serious attempt yet to do so.

At one end are new 360-degree cameras from Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics. These are vital for capturing the all-around images required for virtual reality.

160223 lg 1

MARTYN WILLIAMS

LG’s 360 camera on display at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Feb. 22, 2016.

Software in smartphones from the two companies will make it easier to capture, record and share 360-degree video and LG will soon launch a VR headset to compete with Samsung’s $99 Gear VR device.

Samsung said it would give Gear VR devices to people who preorder its Galaxy S7 and Alcatel, a brand of China’s TCL, is shipping its new Idol handset in a box that transforms into a VR headset.

160224 vr 2

MARTYN WILLIAMS

An attendee to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona tries out a virtual realityheadset on Feb. 23, 2016.

And online, Facebook and YouTube recently started supporting 360-degree video, giving consumers an easy way to distribute footage.

For Facebook, that’s just the start. Speaking in Barcelona, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he believes VR is the next big social platform, and has teams working on new VR apps for the site.

160220 facebook

FACEBOOK

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg walks past Mobile World Congress attendees watching a virtual reality presentation in Barcelona on Feb. 21, 2016.

He’s enthusiastic about VR because he believes it will bring people together like no other technology can.

“VR is the next platform, where anyone can create and experience anything they want,” said Zuckerberg. “Pretty soon, we’re going to live in a world where everyone has the power to share and experience whole scenes as if you’re just right there in person.”

Virtual reality technology captures images from at least two cameras and stitches them together. In the case of dual cameras, each has a 180-degree fisheye lens.

160223 vr 10

MARTYN WILLIAMS

Two fisheye lenses help Samsung’s Gear 360 camera capture an all round image

When joined, the result is an image that contains all directions — sideways, up and down. Imagine the image as a sphere, and you’re on the inside.

With a VR headset, you can look around the picture of video as if you were there, while on a 2D screen users can scroll around with a cursor.

Mark Zuckerberg talked about capturing the first steps of his new baby girl with virtual reality. Such an image or video would simultaneously capture not just the steps but also the faces of those watching.

The arrival of low-cost VR headsets also highlights a divergence that’s emerging in the market.

160224 vr 4

MARTYN WILLIAMS

An attendee to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona tries out an HTC Vive virtual reality headset on Feb. 23, 2016.

For the last several years, a lot of the hype around VR has been about gaming. In that market HTC, Sony and Oculus, which was acquired by Facebook, have VR headsets for serious gamers that pack better screens and audio for a more immersive experience. Two aren’t priced yet but the HTC Vive will cost $799.

So consumers can initially expect two very different virtual reality experiences depending on if they go the serious gamer route or casual user route.

[“source -cncb”]