Clinique hosts SHA-mazing launch (with apols to Nicole S)

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I once met Nicole Scherzinger (with then squeeze Lewis Hamilton) in a lift in London’s Dorchester Hotel. I gave her some friendly advice on diamond earrings (long story, but it was late and strong liquor had been taken) so as a quid pro quo I’m sure she won’t mind me modifying a word she dreamt up during X Factor 2012, to describe the press launch of Clinique’s new Superdefense SPF20 Daily Defense Moisturizer.

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Exterior and interior views of the SHA Wellness Clinic, in Valencia

The event took place at the ultra-exclusive, beyond fabulous SHA Wellness Clinic, located in Albir Beach, on a beautiful mountainside overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, in Valencia. And everything about it was absolutely SHA-mazing.

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Clinique’s Tom Mammone and Sandrine Odile explain the new technology behind the new Superdefense SPF20 Daily Defense Moisturizer

The SHA was selected as the launch venue to complement the new Superdefense’s ‘healthy start for skin’ positioning. The Clinic is committed to improving clients’ health and wellbeing through nutrition, exercise, ‘healthy ageing’ medicine and non-invasive aesthetic medicine. Fans include Kylie Minogue, Naomi Campbell, Simon Cowell and Karren Brady. And if it’s good enough for SyCo – it’s a yes from me too.

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The Superdefense launch event featured an al fresco macrobiotic dining experience

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The menu included vegetable tempura and crunchy cod confit with hot frothy yam

The Moodie Report was the exclusive travel retail media invited to the event, which, in addition to the Superdefense presentation and a fascinating talk by the SHA’s Head of Internal Medicine & Anti-Aging Dr Vicente Mera, incorporated the full SHA experience. This included an al fresco macrobiotic dinner, dawn yoga class, beauty treatment of choice (I plumped for reflexology, courtesy of a strapping Russian therapist with the hands of an angel), cooking class, meditation session and full use of the pool and spa facilities. In fact, I gave everything a go, except the ‘naked sunbathing’ (all the big bedrooms have their own private terrace for this very purpose). At one point it was all so fabulous I needed a little oxygen…

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And breathe…who needs caffeine when you have oxygen on tap?

There was much apprehension among the press beforehand regarding the nutrition side of things, especially as the SHA’s detox/weight-loss programme is savagely strict. After a brief panic about alcohol (would there be wine?!! There was. Organic, natch. But probably procured just for us) we were wowed by the utterly delicious range of macrobiotic meals served, which focused on fruits, vegetables and grains and were free from dairy, gluten, caffeine, eggs and any form of processing. We even learned how to make the SHA version of Chocolate Mousse (comprising oat milk, sea salt, cacao powder, hazelnut butter and agar agar). They’d have to beat my fondness for Galaxy chocolate out of me but even I admit that dessert was pretty special – even if it doesn’t sound it.

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And stretch…assorted journalists enjoy an early-morning yoga class

The Superdefense launch event concluded with an off-site dinner at a local seafood restaurant, where doubtless I managed to undo two whole days of exemplary macrobiotic nutrition within 60 seconds of spotting the bread basket. Still, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and since returning home (the event took place in September but was embargoed until this week) I have experimented with quinoa, barley, oatmeal and agave syrup (though not all in the same meal). And on the fruit front, since gin is made from juniper berries, I’m assuming it’s one of my five a day. Cheers!

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Making Chocolate Mousse SHA-style, during the on-site cookery class

Nonetheless, the post-Cannes and pre-Christmas period is inexorably taking its toll on body and mind, and I find myself fantasising regularly about a return to my Spanish paradise. So Santa – if you’re reading, and you can stuff them in my Stocking, for Christmas this year please I’d like a self-cleaning house, Johnny Depp – and a second helping of the SHA. ¡Gracias!

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