I never assumed I would enjoy massages and facials. As a child I was vehemently against traditional girlish activities, mostly to spite my mother who insisted I enjoy frills and pinks. Not that there’s anything wrong with pink frilly frocks; I just wasn’t very enthusiastic about wearing them. As I got older I learned to be comfortable with whatever held my interest despite gender norms, be it makeup or video games. However, there are still assumptions I carry regarding my likes and dislikes based on my “tomboy” past. Which is why I always assumed that facials were just not my cuppa tea.
I would have never stepped foot into the shiny establishment had it not been for my friend’s bridal shower. She wanted the girls to go out for an activity and my idea of having a paint-night got outvoted in favor of girls’ spa day. So there I was filling a questionnaire about my skincare routine. Genetically blessed with good but dry skin, I didn’t pay attention to what I did and did not put on my face. When asked what I wanted from my first facial experience, I wrote down “healthier skin”, not knowing what that actually meant. We were led to our individual dimly lit rooms and I grimaced at the instrumental music playing faintly from the speakers. I was introduced to Sandra, the esthetician, who asked me to disrobe to my comfort level. She tucked me in under heated blankets and put a warm towel over my eyes. “I could get used to this,” I thought, surprised by pleasantness of the affair. However, I was quickly interrupted with an “Oh my!”
“It’s a sahara desert over here! Your nose is so rough!”
“So you’re saying you don’t even wash your face every morning?”
“So many dry patches!”
“How about applying a face mask once a week instead of once a month?” I nodded, having lied about putting masks on at all.
“The amount of blackheads! My my!”
She went after them with a fury, making my eyes water. “I thought this was supposed to be a relaxing experience!”
Besides berating me for my lack of skincare, and ruthlessly removing my blackheads, what Sanda was doing to my face was incredible. The steam mist felt nice and opened my sinuses. The hydrating mask was cool and soothing. My skin soaked up the moisturizer cream that was slathered on. Her fingers massaging my temples lulled me to the edge of consciousness. I could have stayed in that room listening to the soothing reed pipe and breathing in soft lavender.
But my time was up. I left the room dazed and disoriented. Sandra smiled knowingly and handed me a cup of water. “See you in a month!” she chimed. I told her I was only here for my soon-to-be-married friend and not because I was interested in their monthly membership, but she knew me better than I knew myself. I left with glowing skin and received compliments again and again from my girls. My face felt soft and hydrated and “healthy” just like I had put in in the questionnaire. I kept touching my spongy cheeks. The difference was amazing.
“I could have stayed in that room listening to the soothing reed pipe and breathing in soft lavender.”
The days after the facial I was more conscious of my skincare routine. I made sure to moisturize day and night. I washed my face after work regularly. Also, I casually scrolled websites looking for a good toner. This was because now I was aware of a luxury I was missing out on. The criticism from Sandra stung a bit but she was correct in everything she said. I was vastly negligent and had seen the difference a bit of love and care could make in forty minutes. After a quick self-assessment I knew what was going to happen. I could buy all the fancy products, promise to use them, and then go back to my old ways before the month was up. Monthly membership it was.
It maybe part of my “tomboy-ish” lackadaisical nature to not fret over my skin, but it wasn’t fair to my one and only God-given skin. Having had that one facial I knew I could not remain satisfied with my current ashy and rough visage. The cost out-weighed the benefits and once a month my face will be treated to a luxurious facial which I cannot personally bestow.
Be sure to keep your options open and your pores closed!