The thought of having a facial often intimidated me… for many reasons… for many years. Being totally raw and honest right here… I guess I worried that I would be judged about how I looked without makeup for multiple reasons. I have always been self-conscious of my skin without makeup – I have never felt confident showing my bare skin in public – because acne and melasma have always been part of my complexion. And skip eye makeup? In public? Never! I’ve always been so self-critical of my eyes and how they looked without mascara or eyeshadow and eyeliner. Of course, our insecurities are so much bigger in our brain than they are in reality – am I right? 100% true! So that right there stopped me from exploring a pampering service so many of my friends have enjoyed for years!
My 50s have been a time of so much braveness and personal growth… so when I launched my blog recently, I wanted to CELEBRATE! I wanted to do something just for me to pamper myself for the 100s of hours of work I had put in to creating my new website! I decided it was time to get over my fear and to get my first facial at the age of 52!
So where to start? I wasn’t sure how to go about finding a place (or a service) and I don’t have any friends locally who could recommend a place to me. I chose to reach out to my beautiful friend, Nicole Dionne, Senior Aesthetician, Brow Designer, Makeup Artist and Owner of The Ibrow Studio in Edmond, Oklahoma.
I told Nicole I felt overwhelmed when I started looking at local places in my area – I had no idea what type of facial I should try because it felt like there were too many choices! She had such great advice for me and generously offered to share it with my readers, as well! Nicole explained…
“I’m a holistic esthetician. I believe in caring for your skin simply. There are many types of facials and skin treatments. Some can be more intense than others and you may not know what you’re getting into. Scheduling wrong facial service could potentially harm you skin. The European Facial is a classic detoxify and nourishing facial. Typically, a lot of steam is used, massage and different nourishing treatment products. Also, the exfoliating process is less intense than say a chemical peel. It’s a great place to start. It’s also a great facial for monthly treatments that will help keep your skin conditioned, blemish free, minimize and prevent wrinkles.”
With Nicole’s advice, I started my search and was surprised how many various varieties are available. Honestly, for me, having a website that I could navigate helped me choose my salon – and I was honestly shocked how many local spas and salons in my area did not have websites that were easy to navigate. For me, that was a tie loser! I had no luck with the first 5 providers that popped up in my search so I went to the next page and buried there I found an absolute pearl! It was not high in the search engine, but my eye was quickly drawn to the 55 five-star ratings they had on Yelp! I clicked on their website and fell in love with the gorgeous site, the ease of navigation and the ability to book online. It had everything I was looking for… including a 45-minute European Facial and massage! And because I’m a conscientious consumer, I actually visited the website at least 5 times and read through many of the outstanding reviews on Yelp before I committed.
I booked my appointment online and had two great conversations with the staff before my facial so I knew to come in with no mascara and minimal (if any makeup). That helped me realize that if I needed to use some light, liquid makeup or concealer to get out the door, I could do it and not feel naked as I walked downtown in my small community.
When I walked in the door, I was immediately comforted by lovely and relaxing décor, soft lighting and an inviting atmosphere. I was taken into a room even more relaxing than the waiting area where I found out I would have a 15-minute massage prior to my facial. Having never had a massage in my life either, I was a bit nervous, but I am so thankful it was part of this service or else I would have probably waited many years before treating myself to that form of pampering, as well!
My back massage was amazing – but do I even need to say that? All I could think is no wonder my friends and family get regular treatments like this! I also had gentle cleansing and massage on my face prior to a warm, steam and a mask application. As the facial mask was drying, I was treated to another 15-minute rub down for my neck and shoulders!
When my facial was done, I was so incredibly relaxed. My skin felt amazing and the effects of the relaxation stayed with me until nighttime when I drifted off into such a lovely and peaceful night of sleep an hour earlier than my regular bedtime. I now plan to ask for this treatment as a gift to myself every year for my birthday or Mother’s Day or Christmas gifts!
I asked Nicole if she had any advice for my followers as to how to begin this process if they’ve never tried a facial either? She recommends,
“I would suggest looking at their menu first, call to speak with an esthetician and ask about the facial services, if they’re licensed, years of experience and read reviews. Also learn about which products they use for their treatments. Do a little research on those. That information should give you a good idea about the spa. If you walk in and it’s dirty or you’re uncomfortable in any way listen to your instincts and leave. Sanitation is important as well as experience.”
So why did I wait so long? I put myself (and my needs) on hold for 20 years. I’m not proud of it – but I share it freely as part of my story now to show where I’ve been and how I’m doing things better now, because I deserve it! I felt guilty spending resources like time, money and focus on myself. And let me tell you… “Guilt is a thief that steals our happiness!”
I’d love to challenge you… if you haven’t treated yourself to a facial, do it this month! Make the commitment to yourself that you deserve to feel relaxed. You deserve to take care of the skin you’re in! You deserve to pamper yourself! Connect with me on social media – by email – by commenting below. Tell me that you’ve read this and you are finally going to try a facial! If you’re already used to having treatments like this, tell me what that looks like for you! Share your experiences here about why you love facials. Maybe you’ll inspire and encourage another woman to be brave and try it if they’ve been hiding like me! Drop me a comment below!