Beauty Bitch: Face Off

Beauty Bitch ON Jun 11, 2009 AT 1:31 pm

Facials should be a relaxing idea

Facials should be a relaxing idea

Facials. I just don’t get them, which is why I almost never have one. Everyone raves and raves about new discoveries in the facialist world; mainly women who have the desired, and illusive, magic touch to bring out your inner glow. To be honest, they are more likely to bring out my inner Rotweiller. Just the very thought of pencilling a facial appointment in my diary brings me out in a sweat.

Firstly, it starts with the whispers. Oh, you must go and see so and so she knocks ten years off your skin in one session or, you haven’t booked to see Svetlana yet? But she’s amazing. Ten to one, when I do get seduced into joining the year long waiting list, the location ends up being a back alley in Brighton or somewhere equally inconvenient. Generally, the hassle of getting to the secret facialist is so stressful, the very thing I want least is to lie in the metaphorical arms of the person who gave me the stress in the first place.

Flickering Candles, relaxing or fire hazard?

Flickering Candles, relaxing or fire hazard?

Once there, the sounds of trickling waterfalls, birds tweeting or pan pipes, uh, piping, make me want to run screaming; flickering candles represent nothing more than a fire hazard, and the teeny box-rooms immediately make me think of the movie Panic Room. Then there’s the whole leaving you to get ready routine. Ready? How do they want me ready? Nobody says. It’s like some unspoken secret; should I be on top of the towels naked, should I be under the towels naked, should I even be naked at all?

Is it top half bare, bottom half fully clothed? What exactly is the clothing protocol for a facial does anyone know? I have asked, in the past, and was told to wear whatever I felt comfortable in. If I strip, she’ll think I’m weird. If I stay clothed, she’ll think I’m weird. There’s no way I can do any of this in comfort unless I know what everyone else does.

A facial not my idea of relaxation

A facial not my idea of relaxation

Then, there’s cotton wool soaked in god knows what whisped over the skin in circular motions, a bit of compressing here, a bit of massaging there. Generally, faces don’t feel great being smooshed, and there’s a lot of rigorous smooshing in a facial. After cleanser, toner and serum, the laying on of the facemask is the next torture featuring a lot of painting with a brush or finicky dabbing with fingers. Then the facialist leaves you to relax. There’s no time set for this sticky so called relaxation. No indication that in 10 minutes she’ll be back. She could go for 10 hours and I wouldn’t know any different. I’d be pretty helpless to do anything about it because every limb is either bound within an inch of its life in warm towelling or covered in hot stones so if I even sneeze, I’ll cause an avalanche. When the beautician returns, I almost cry with relief. She came back! It’s seriously the most boring time ever. There’s nothing to look at, annoying birds chirping in the background and those flipping candles could kill me. What is relaxing, exactly, about that?

The last indignity is being sent out into orbit with a complexion glowing with oil, no make-up and with unutterably hideous post-facial hair that’s formed its own slick-back kink thanks to the over-elasticated headband. My skin might look absolutely amazing but all that anyone’s going to see is that fact that I’m white as a sheet without a bit of blusher, completely fed up and muttering madly to myself that I will never, ever do that again.

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