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My mom came into town last night via train. The train is an adventurous, if not long way, to travel. There were parts she enjoyed and parts she didn’t. After a day and a half of traveling she was tired and looking forward to our fun plans today.

We got the kids off to school and had lots of time to kill before our appointments for facials at the local cosmetology school. My mom had forgotten to bring her sunglasses. It’s hard to remember sunglasses when you board a train at night! We quickly visited a dollar store for a couple pair of sunglasses. She bought me a cute pair of hot pink sunglasses that will go perfectly with my new bathing suits.

I had no idea what to expect with a facial. I have never had a facial. The one and only spa treatment I have ever had was a mani pedi. Pedicures are fun and relaxing. Manicures aren’t really my cup of tea. Maybe I feel that way because the one time I did it I hated the way my nails were painted. It was a lot of effort to not like my nail polish. When my mom suggested a facial I was interested but a little apprehensive.

My grandma recently had her very first facial paid for by her children. My mom said something about my grandma getting dressed when it was over. What? I have to disrobe to have someone play with my face like it’s Play-Doh? That made me nervous. I have never wanted to have a massage because it’s a stranger rubbing me while a small towel pretends to provide privacy. When I thought about it, I couldn’t think of any other way to not get face junk all over my clothes. So I made my peace with the idea of undressing for a facial.

My grandma also seemed annoyed that someone would rub her face as if they were trying to rub off her wrinkles! That just makes me smile. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was game. The website had several facials listed and I had no idea what to choose. The first one listed was a European facial. I looked it up and one site said it was a great introductory facial. It’s very general while providing a wide range of benefits. Sure, why not?

We arrived a little early and filled out intimate details of our lives to be kept on record. Questions like do you consume a lot of caffeine in a day? Sodas were listed as an example so I checked the yes box. On a scale of 1-5 what is your stress level? What are you allergic to? What medications do you take? Stuff like that. Then they ended with an open ended question. What do you expect from this experience? I said something about relaxation and skin benefits.

The instructor was very nice and personable. She took us to a room that could be partitioned off with a metal curtain. We were told to undress completely from the waist up. It was optional to remove our pants. We both kept them on! I had to take off all my jewelry which I wore a lot of because without makeup I felt naked. We wore a towel that Velcroed in the front and looked like a bad 70’s terry cloth strapless dress.

One student sat in the back to observe while we each had a student pampering us. They dimmed the lights and played plinky plunky music on an iPhone. There was no talking. For some reason I expected to have to carry on a conversation with a stranger as if I was getting my hair done. It was quite lovely to close my eyes and just enjoy. I didn’t feel like she was trying to rub my wrinkles off. She was gentle. It was just really nice.

After she painted on the oatmeal mask, she put something over my closed eyes. I’m assuming cucumbers because that’s what they do on TV. I couldn’t tell with the strong oatmeal scent. Whatever was over my eyes was room temperature. I figured eye cucumbers would be crisp and cold. Then she massaged my arms and hands while the mask had time to set up.

I wasn’t so sure when she put each hand in a plastic bag and wrapped a towel around it. But it wasn’t hot. She laid my left arm down resting my hand on my stomach. Then she moved on to my right arm. I wasn’t even aware I still had a left arm at that point. It was like she had massaged it so well I hardly remembered it was there.

We were told to take our time getting dressed and leaving. We were kind of in a euphoric daze with half closed eyes. *sigh* How lovely. We thanked the girls on the other side of the partition. Then we thanked the girl at the front desk and told her to be sure the students knew we really appreciated their work. We smiled a lot and went outside.

I noticed some oatmeal smudges near my mom’s mouth. I got in the car and looked in the vanity mirror under my visor. I had oatmeal smears all over my face, concentrated heavily on one side of my nose. Originally we planned on going to the mall to see if we could get makeovers. With crusty oatmeal still on our faces we went home first. Then we went to lunch before going back to the mall.

The makeovers were kind of a bust. Heath suggested we try Sephora first. They offer free 15 minute makeovers on one feature only. They do offer full makeup with a $50 dollar purchase. I was fine with the cost but they need appointments booked in advance. So we had foundation applied. We walked every inch of that mall asking at every makeup counter if we could get our makeup done. If they offer free makeovers they expect advance notice. If the makeovers were not free they still expected several days notice. Ugh.

Over time my foundation started feeling greasy. I had spent the entire day wandering around in public with a blank face. That is not normal for me. I don’t go anywhere without makeup! In the future we will book a makeup appointment after our facials. The cosmetology school offers makeup. I just didn’t think to tack that on when I made the appointment.

The kids talked us into going to the park with them. The winds picked up blowing in a coming storm. In the next two weeks the Bay Area can expect 10-12 inches of rain! Yay!!! But it’s feeling cold outside again. We came home and did homework, made dinner, and fell asleep in front of the TV. It was a fun day for sure!

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