The facial. Amy had her facial during my massage and then we switched. I've never had a professional facial but I do take pretty good care of my skin so I do give myself facials at home pretty regularly. Eva was the name of the aesthetician and I really like her, she was very soft-spoken and her approach was not just giving the facial but teaching me along the way. Sakora, by the way, is an Aveda salon so all products are natural.
The facial room is next door to the massage room and off of the private lounge. It is small and painted a very pale green. Again, soft music and soft lighting. Eva told me what to expect and then stepped out so I could change clothes. For this treatment, one removes their top and puts on one of those towel things that wrap around under the arms and velcro. Then you lie on a table (I was envisioning a chair) that has a heated mattress pad on white linens. Eva then pulled the blanket I was lying on up and around my body and shoulders like a taco, her words. A white towel was gently wrapped around my hair and Eva talked with me about my concerns with my skin, allergies, medications, etc. There are two basic types of facials offered. One is relaxation based and involves not only the facial treatment but a hand and foot massage. The second is focused on fine lines, discoloration, etc. Clearly I was there for the second option! We started with my choosing one of three scents to include in my facial as the aromatherapy portion. I chose a cinnamon clove oil, yummy! I closed my eyes and while explaining every step, Eva started with lightly massaging in cool water. She then put cotton swabs on my closed eyes, sorry, I don't remember exactly what the specific ingredients were. She used a light to examine my skin more closely and informed me that my skin is in great shape. Who knew? A light exfoliation and then a mask. Another mask for my eye area which was the eye brightening portion. Cool cotton swabs on my eyes and between each step, Eva would use a warm towel to remove the mask or cream. She gave me a facial massage using chilled glass globes and concentrating around my eyes. It felt wonderful! She finished with a light facial massage and then a massage of my upper chest, shoulders, neck, scalp, arms and hands. The whole process was about 30 minutes long.
I enjoyed this more than I expected to, I have to admit. I was also surprised that Eva's final recommendation was that I continue with my skin care regime because my skin looked really good and the only product she mentioned in passing was the eye cream she had used, telling me if I liked it I could purchase it from them. One time and no product pushing afterward.
I think I expected some kind of miraculous change in my skin which did not happen. My eyes definitely look less tired but the dark circles are lighter but still there. Eva did teach me how to take care of my eyes with cool compresses and tea bags to keep those as light as possible and she taught me that those won't disappear in one treatment. My skin looks and feels good but not noticeably different than beforehand. She did not mention regularly scheduling facials until I asked and then said about every 6 weeks or so would be plenty.
I'm not sure what the result would be for someone with a different skin type but for me the experience was great, the outcome ok. With Amy, she only recommended one product, a toner she used. I'll let you decide if we have low maintenance skin. Although I wouldn't say I have the skin of a 20 year old, I rarely break out and did not have acne as a teenager. I am not a sun worshipper and believe in sun screen which I wear daily year round. I do blush easily and have those doggone dark circles.
Eva did ask me about my skin care habits and said she really didn't see any need to change or add anything. I use only drug store brands; Olay, Aveeno and Neutrogena. I use Olay moisturizer during the day with SPF. Aveena night time moisturizer and Neutrogena foundation. I remove my make-up every night with Olay or Aveena cleansing cloths. I use Neutrogena eye cream once daily in the morning. If I'm home and not going anywhere or just making a quick grocery store run, I don't wear any foundation at all. I find the biggest factor in my skin's appearance is diet so when I minimize processed foods and sodium and maximize water and fruits/veggies, my skin looks markedly better than the reverse. Caffeine is limited to morning coffee. No pop.
I am sure this is boring as I am already bored but it's the facial post and let us be thorough!
As for skin treatments, I have the Olay 2 step microdermabrasion kit which is not cheap ($30-Target) It will provide multiple applications and the package recommendation which matched Eva's is bi-weekly. Most people who have tried this product absolutely rave about it. Again, I don't see any difference when I use it. I'm told that's ok because it will work as a maintenance instead of repair product and is still worth using. I use it about once a month. Last week I was really worn out and looking it so I made my own home facial masque lacking any real products. Equal parts honey and yogurt with a little oatmeal for exfoliation and it worked really well, perked up my skin and tightened up the fine lines.
So! The final opinion? You won't know if you don't try so if you are at all interested, put some money aside and get a professional facial. You may find a huge benefit to your skin but even if, like me, you simply have a lovely 30 minutes it's still worth it. If you are on a budget you can try anything from adding water (free) to honey and yogurt (cheap) to Olay microdermabrasion ($30.)
Pedicure! Home stretch guys! I did not have a pedi as they gross me out. Being a dedicated journalist, I did observe Amy's. I remain grossed out and will continue to do my own pedis! Amy loves the experience. She began soaking her feed in a bubbly foot bath. Callouses were buffed, creams and lotions and exfoliants applied to her feet, ankles and calves. Nails trimmed and polish applied. I didn't have the experience so I can't personally attest to it. The final product, very pretty but frankly, no prettier than my home pedicure. Like everything else, I guess it's a matter of personal taste! But I tell you once again, listen to me people...even if you do not get a professional pedicure...TAKE CARE OF YOUR FEET! You will be amazed at how much better your whole body feels and the rest of us will be grateful when flip flop weather arrives!
And that, my friends, is the spa review 2011. We will be having another such experience in the coming months and my mom will be coming along for that one. Obviously, you'll want to stay tuned!