Friday, November 30, 2007
I just did something I have no business doing: I got a facial. I haven’t had a facial since sometime in the last century, so it’s not like I indulge frequently in this sort of thing. Still, it feels so naughty. Facials are so unjustifiably expensive. How can anyone justify paying that kind of money to get goo slathered on their face? Then again, it was a special deal wherein you buy 50 euros worth of products and get a free facial. Of course, if you buy beauty products in a salon, 50 euros isn’t going to get you far. As it turns out, I ended up paying 74 euros for a little bottle that is supposed to change my life.
Financial issues aside, if you are going to have a facial, France is the place to have it. This is a place where the female form is a semi-sacred topic, and every tiny village seems to be endowed with an institute de beauté. Also, they do it really well. Every beautician seems to know everything there is to know about every pore of your skin. The act itself is particularly seductive: low lights, massage, soothing unguents, and reassuring words lull you into an absurd dream state where 74 euros seems like a normal price for a pot of face cream. “Why haven’t I done this sooner?” you wonder, “I can actually feel my skin rejuvenating!” The beautician speaks with such assurance, and you feel so soupy, that it’s hard to even think of bringing up minor issues such as whether a “lifting” cream actually does anything, or that you read in a consumer magazine that it doesn’t.
Perhaps what you are really paying for is the experience itself. Having someone fuss over you for an hour. You wonder what life must be like for people who can actually afford to do this on a regular basis. And for a few glorious minutes, you are one of those people. Suddenly, you are no longer Wanda the Working Stiff, but Rachelle the Ravishing Socialite. That is, until you get home and notice that the pink eye shadow that the beautician told you would bring out brown in your eyes actually makes you look like the Easter Bunny. That’s when you realize that you could have bought a set of dishes for the same money, and enjoyed it for a lot longer.