Thursday, September 3, 2009

Unbalanced, but smooth

I went to the beautician yesterday, for a facial. When I turned 30, I decided I deserved to be treated to such luxuries on a (relatively) regular basis, just for making it through 30 years on this earth. I come from a family where such frivolities are not the norm. I have vivid memories of my mother’s ‘Home Wax Kit’ jar of wax in a pot of boiling water on the stove, gently melting in anticipation of the home wax. It smelt nice. In my youth-tinted haze, of course, I never thought I’d need such things. Yes, haze.

Anyway, every time I go, I feel like I’m a Small Town Country Bumpkin pretending to be a City Slicker (Sex and the City-style). In fact, that’s exactly what I am. I’m like a little kid clattering around in her mother’s high heels (she did have one pair that my sister and I fought over, often landing up limping around with one each). I try to hide it though. It’s another world, the beautician’s, I’m telling you.

Firstly, there’s the music – it’s always that soothing pan-pipey stuff. I’m sure when those poor beauticians get out of there after a day’s working with it on repeat, they must put Nine Inch Nails on, very loudly! It’s nice for the hour of the facial, I guess. I was lying there thinking I may bring my own CD next time though, I wonder if that’s okay in beautician etiquette world…

Secondly, there’s the warmth – you lie on a bed with an electric blanket on, towels covering you, and the temperature is, I’d think, about body temperature. Very nice, because you have to strip down in order not to get all the lotions and potions on your clothes. It’s not unlike being in the womb, I’d imagine. And the pan pipe music, I’d think, goes with that idea too – a bit like listening to the intestinal sounds of your mother (again, I’m guessing).

Thirdly – the horrible bits – after the steaming, where they wax, pluck and squeeze. Ouch. I want to kick and punch at this point and need to keep reminding myself that I ASKED for this. Then I want to kick and punch myself for being an idiot to ask for this pain. They always follow it with the massaging bit which is lovely, and makes me want to kiss and hug the beautician, and take her home.

Fourthly – the lotions and potions – lovely smelling, slapped on, massaged in, wiped off, on repeat, about five of them (I’m too scared, in a country bumpkin way, to ask what they’re all for). Yesterday, though, there was a new one:

Beautician: Are you claustrophobic?

Shiny: No
(visions of the already small, highly heated room’s walls closing in…) Um, why?

Beautician: We have a new ultra-hydrating
(they like these kinds of words) mask

Shiny: Oh, ok
(thinking I’m sure I need ultra-hydration, sounds important)

She slapped on the thickest gunk imaginable, over my eyes, over my mouth (I’m a chatter, I was silenced!) and then proceeded to massage my head while the mask dried. This would’ve silenced me anyway. Then she pulled it off and there I was, in opposite – a white mask of my face. Weird.

So now I’m ultra-hydrated, plucked and prodded, and feeling all grown-up and smooth-skinned. Only one thing – I wonder if anyone else is noticing that she plucked my left eyebrow shorter than my right? Aargh.


Mud in the City said...

I know what you mean, playing at being grown up. Do you think we'll ever feel anything other than about 15 1/2?

allie said...

What IS it about hairdressers and beauticians in general that make you feel klutsy and ugly?

They, by contrast, always seem coolly capable and in control.

Its nearly enough to make one make do with bad hair and skin.

Nearly, but not quite.

Miranda said...

wow...I can't decide if this sounds fun or scary. Bit of both I guess. I've never done that but would lurve to give it try. I had a pedicure once...that made me feel VERY grown up and suburban!

Shiny said...

Mud - I fear not. At least we're not alone!

Allie - exactly. Just not quite...

Miranda - mostly fun, the scary bit is short (although feels long)


Hotter Than... said...

Sounds like you had an interesting version of fun. I've decided to embrace bits of grown-upness - massage, facials, lunches with girlfriends and to maintain my inner child - going out til stupid in the morning and in varying states of intoxication. It's a healthy balance.

Shiny said...

Hotter Than... - you sound so very clever. I might have to make you my guru x