I just got back from the Aveda Institute here in NYC, where I had my first facial in, like, 12 years. Because it’s a school for estheticians and the students perform the services, prices are super cheap: $40 for an hour-long facial! WIN.
If you’ve never had a facial and you’re curious about what goes down, here’s how it works:
1. The esthetician will lead you into a room and give you a strapless robe to change into. The facial usually includes work on your upper chest, neck and arms, so I just wore the robe, but I’m sure you could leave your bra on if you felt more comfortable that way.
2. First, they’ll ask you some questions about your skin type and what kind of treatment you’re looking for. You can tell them if you’re having issues with, for example, hairline acne or dry patches. At Aveda, they apply three different scents to your forehead, and you get to pick one for them to use throughout the process. It’s like picking a theme for your facial! I think I went with lavender.
3. Your first skin treatment will usually be for makeup removal, if you’re wearing any. Your esthetician will rub a face cleanser into your face and use a hot towel to remove it. Bliss!
4. They’ll apply a face mask and set a steamer to blow warm steam on your face (you can request no steam if you don’t like it). For my facial, I also got a wonderful shoulder and neck massage while my mask dried. This gets your pores nice and open for the next step.
5. Blackhead extraction: Undoubtedly the most painful part of the facial, the extraction is where the esthetician uses either a small blackhead removal tool or their fingers (with Kleenex) to extract all the gunk from your pores. It’s terrific for getting out those stubborn blackheads on your nose! Depending on how encumbered with stuff your pores are, this can either feel like a modicum of pressure, or REALLY sharp stings.
6. Once your pores are clear, you’ll usually receive a second face mask. During mine, I got a foot massage and scalp massage! Yeah, Aveda rocks.
7. Finally, the esthetician will apply moisturizer using facial massage techniques. Facial massage might sound kind of odd, but trust me, until you’ve had someone who knows what they’re doing apply pressure to your cheekbones, etc., you don’t know how awesome this can feel. It’s almost as soothing as a back massage.
Then you’re left to get dressed and get on your way! After a facial or massage, I always feel a little bit drunk when I first get up, probably from all that oxytocin and relaxation. Make sure to tip! Even though I had to go outside and get on the grungy subway to go to work, my morning facial has put a stress-free spin on my Friday. AND, you guys should see how amazing my skin looks.
me post facial, at work in the Xanga offices, aka, Jessica without makeup
Have you gotten a facial? Was yours like mine?