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After a facial, we'd rather see an obvious difference in the mirror than listen to hours of Enya while someone lightly presses our temples to little discernible effect.

The Advanced MedScript Plus treatment ($300) at the Gold Coast's Cellular Intelligence MedSpa takes a strictly business approach to good skin: candles and aromatherapy are banished, and CI's super knowledgeable staff works in an unfussy environment that's more like a posh doctor's office.

The facial uses cosmeceutical-grade products and is a smorgasboard of nearly every technique we can think of: microdermabrasion, oxygen, an intensive mask, an electric microcurrent and whatever else is deemed right for your skin type.

Our aesthetician took one look at our rosy, sensitive cheeks and pronounced microderm out of the question, substituting a less abrasive dermaplaning tactic instead. Everything she did seemed not just for show but for real: The oxygen portion of the facial went on forever, the marine mask felt potent and thick and there was nothing timid about her extractions.

Afterward, our skin felt unbelievably soft and looked uber-refreshed. In fact, we glowed so prettily we hated to destroy the effect with makeup for a dinner date.

Cellular Intelligence MedSpa, 100 E. Walton Pl.; 312-255-1495 or

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