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How Formula Fig Became Toronto’s Buzziest Facial Spa

When I ask co-founder Jessica (JJ) Walsh to describe Formula Fig, in three words she says it’s “a formula of form, function, and fantastical.” Formula Fig is an experience-led, science-forward skincare destination, the likes of which, Walsh says, didn’t exist until its founding in 2019.

“If I wanted to go somewhere for all my ‘essential’ skincare needs, [my options were] a dermatologist for injectables, med-spa for facials, and a retailer for products,” she explains. Walsh, who is also a busy mom, adds that driving to all those places and sitting for the actual treatments would take up too much of her day.

“At Formula Fig, we change all of this,” Walsh says. “We combine a best-in-class skincare offering of high-tech facials, injectables, and skincare products. All our skin treatments are geared towards creating healthy, glowing skin, using high-tech facials supplemented by injectables.” And most importantly, Walsh says “our offerings are 45 minutes or less, so you can head straight to a meeting afterward.”

I went to Formula Fig to see the space and try a treatment for myself. Here’s how it went. 

The Vibe

Walking into Formula Fig feels like stepping into a spa designed by your coolest younger cousin whose favourite colour is green. With five locations across Canada, and two in Los Angeles, each storefront doubles as a skincare shop. Shelves are filled with the latest greatest tools, cleansers, serums, and treatments from brands like Dr. Loretta, Tata Harper, and Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop, to name a few. 

I’m greeted by a friendly face who is smiling at me from behind a massive green island, that sits in the middle of the store. She offers me collagen-infused water while I wait. There’s no spa music. Instead, I hear Beyoncé’s “Plastic Off The Sofa” coming through the speakers. 

Formula Fig calls its treatment rooms pods, each just big enough for a sink, a stool for the aesthetician to sit on while they’re administering the facial, and a reclining chair (green, of course) for me to sit on. My facialist offers me a duvet which I immediately accept as I recline back and settle in.

The Treatment 

I got the All-In Treatment, one of their “Supers” high-tech facials, which is recommended because it offers a little bit of everything—exfoliation, hydration, and toning. 

First, we start with a preliminary cleansing and diamond-tip microdermabrasion which exfoliates by removing dead skin cells, helping to prep my skin for the rest of the serums and concentrates coming. Then my aesthetician applies a conductive gel and starts with a micro-current tool which helps to tone the muscles of the face.

Step three is an ultrasound which uses high-frequency sound waves to penetrate the skin and facial muscles to stimulate collagen. I’m also told that this technology helps break down the particles in serums we used earlier on, allowing them to penetrate deeper into my skin. To wrap up, we use an ultrasonic skin slider to extract blackheads. It’s optional, but as someone whose T-Zone can get a little clogged, I opt yes. The extractions are done under blue LED light, which is known to help improve skin texture and fight acne spots.

As she applies the final mists, sunscreen, and lip balm, my aesthetician lets me know that my face will look instantly lifted and contoured, but that I’ll also see results over time.

The Results

Every Formula Fig facial I’ve ever had leaves me with the dewiest skin of my life. The All-In was no different. Right away, my skin was brighter and more visibly hydrated than when I walked in. My nose was a little red from the extractions via the skin slider tool. But I was ready to tackle my day’s to-do list with my best face forward. And the fact that I was walking out just thirty minutes after I walked in was definitely an added bonus.

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