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Facial Exploration 

click to enlarge Le Visage's staff members (from left: Esperanza Mejia, Marlen Almendares, Patricia Bereciartua, Sonia Suero and Nora Cortes) all have at least 20 years of experience working in spas.
  • Le Visage's staff members (from left: Esperanza Mejia, Marlen Almendares, Patricia Bereciartua, Sonia Suero and Nora Cortes) all have at least 20 years of experience working in spas.

Le Visage Day Spa (8110 Hampson St., 265-8018) owners Marlen Almendares, Patricia Bereciartua and Nora Cortes have each worked in New Orleans and Metairie spas for close to 30 years. In that time, they identified a few things lacking in the local spa scene. For one thing, most spas are adjuncts to salons, which they say detracts from the overall experience. For another, many estheticians don't customize facial treatments to clients' needs.

  "At other places, when I'd get a facial, they'd say, 'What do you want today?'" says Le Visage customer Laurie Azzano. "I'd say, 'I don't know. Can you look at my skin and tell me what I need?' Here, I just lay on the table, they do their thing, and all I know is my skin looks better all the time."

  Almendares, Bereciartua and Cortes opened Le Visage last October in a quaint Riverbend cottage. The six staff members, count facials, microdermabrasion, body wraps, organic spray tanning, massage, waxing, makeup application and manicures among their services.

  "We do basic facials, oxygen infusion facials, hydration facials — it depends on the customer's needs," Almendares says. "We decide which facial to provide when we see the skin."

  Bereciartua says people of all ages benefit from facials. Her customers range in age from 13 to 80, and some have appointments booked through 2015. During facials, Bereciartua and her coworkers also educate customers. "When you lay on the table, you are also learning about how to take care of your skin at home: (For example), drink water to help rejuvenate the skin. Vitamin C applied topically is a tremendous key to good skin," Almendares says.

  Azzano says she and others can see the difference regular facials make. "Within two or three months, people began commenting on how good my skin looked," she says. "I look younger, my skin looks healthier — it glows. I'd give up a lot of things before I give up my monthly facial, because it has been a huge improvement."

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