Friday, 29 July 2011

Beauty Treatment

Facial Mask  -  Wikipedia

Hello, come in, how are you?
I'll be with you in half a mo. Hop on.
There we are, is this comfortable?
Are you warm enough? We don't really need the towels, do we?

She wipes my eyebrows, then proceeds to pluck them.

That's fine, not a lot today.

She puts on eyebrow tint.

We'll let this sit for a minute.
That's fine, all done.
I'll just lower the couch and switch off the big light.

A narrow towel is wrapped around my hair. I shuffle about a bit on the couch, making myself comfortable. I relax and close my eyes. The process of deep cleansing begins. Cool, small, deft fingers wipe the last vestiges of tension from my eyes.

Ah, avocado and ginseng today, smells good enough to eat.

I'd better pop into the greengrocers on the way home, 
we could do with some fresh veg, some carrots, broccoli and maybe an avocado or two for  salad. 
There's enough time to prepare a salad lunch. 
I don't suppose Beloved has remembered to get bread out of the freezer; 
a French roll shouldn't take too long to defrost.

Flat palms and fingertips smooth and massage a layer of cleansing cream into face and neck.

Has she got my collar tucked in safely? 
Shouldn't have put a clean shirt on before coming here. 
Some of the cream is bound to rub off.  
It's a question of doing just the centre or going in deep and messing up my shirt. 
Too late now to take it off. 
The ironing, oh hell, did I remember to switch the iron off? 
I must have done. 
Will Beloved notice? Probably not. 


The massage proper is starting. Fifteen minutes of sheer bliss. I snuggle deeper into the soft couch. Experienced hands perform a dance of repetitive movements across my face, under my chin, around the eye sockets, circling and stroking and patting and drumming.

I drift off.

Ah, lovely, more please, more.

.I wonder if that boy is going to be any good while Gardener is away. 
He looked a bit like he was borderline Down's. 
Funny that he should bring his Mum along. 
Why do they marry their cousins round here? 
Down's is nothing to do with in-breeding, or is it? 
Must get started on the Larsson trilogy soon, 
Damn blogging, I don't read enough since I've started. 
Lots of my favourite bloggers seem to be away at the moment. 
Wonder how Suze is getting on with her sister. 
And Debs, haven't heard from her for ages. 
At least my favourite Edwardians are still around.
Would that Amnesty tea party make a post?
Perhaps a bit too fragmented? 
And personal?
Sally hasn't confirmed Andrew's birthday do yet; 
if she leaves it much longer there'll be something else in the diary. 
Hope she can arrange for a car and driver for all of us; 
a party without drink ? No thanks.
God, I still haven't been to see Audrey, I am such a cow, always promising to visit and never going. 
Poor Audrey, she can't help going ga-ga.  
Everybody is getting so damn old. 
Is it poetry on Thursday? 
I must find a couple of poems on birds. 
The others are bound to bring the Romantics, 
I'll have to look out some new poets, 
shock them out of their cosy complacency. 
God, I am a cow. 
Always stirring things up. 
Why can't I leave people be? 
Why must they be so boring?

No don't stop, Pleeeeaaase.

The massage is finished. Similar movements continue for another two minutes, this time to remove the massage cream, using cleanser and witchhazel.

It's time for the mask: a balancing mask for the 'T' zone, (forehead, nose, chin) containing kaolin and peach kernel. A soothing mask for cheeks and neck, containing aloe vera. This is the part where I usually doze off for 5 minutes. Witchhazel pads on my eyes mean that I couldn't open them even if I wanted. I don't. If I allowed myself to feel embarrassed, now would be the time. I don't.

The beautician tells me what she does with each new process, otherwise there is silence; there is the faintest hint of Classics For The Retarded in the background, played on an instrument which sounds like a harp for a web-fingered dwarf; I have no difficulty shutting the sound out altogether.  Perhaps I'm snoring.

Five minutes later and the idyll is over. The mask comes off, the beautician rubs at my face, hard. No more 'Miss Nice Guy'. A cleansing cream takes the last bits of plaster off, the big light comes back on,  and the pore police appears on the scene. Any remaining criminal blockage is attacked mercilessly by means of a metal squeezing tool, probably invented during the Spanish Inquisition;  the beautician's face is now so close to mine that I feel claustrophobia coming on.

Ouch! That hurt!

She slaps witchhazel all over my face, it feels very cold on my warm skin and I wake up fully. She pads me dry and her fingertips follow with a very thin layer of moisturiser to finish the job. The towel comes off. She hands me a mirror and picks up her diary.

Lovely. All done. Your skin feels gorgeous, so soft.
Three weeks?


  1. Hello Mrs. Dalloway?!!
    Such a wonderful sense of time and of place and we are, as doubtless is your intention, left at the end to wonder what, if anything, is fact and what fiction.

    Oh how the mind does indeed wander in such situations [although we have never experienced anything at all as this] where the inconsequential tangles with the priorities of life and where the irrelevant jostles with the pertinent.

    We do hope that your shirt collar was not stained!!

  2. Sounds enticing - but I hate up close and personal encounters with strangers.

  3. I've never had one of these and, despite your live-blogging your facial (a brilliant blogging first, surely!), I still don't know that I want one.

    I'm not relaxed! And, boy, with politics in America being what it is on this day, I could use a little relaxation.

  4. Ahh! I feel so relaxed now. Thanks for the inner journey. Loved it.
    My skin feels so soft now. Ha

  5. Well-done! What a great idea. The mind does want to roll things around a bit, doesn't it?

    Revealing and amusing. Thanks for your ongoing honesty - a breath of fresh air.

  6. It sounds like it would be so wonderful but in reality, I can't stand beauty treatments - not relaxing for me at all. I don't particularly enjoy being touched by strangers.

  7. I get a full body massage every third Friday, whether I need it or not. But this one doesn't do my face at all, whereas my regular person in Colorado did. I have never had a facial, but now you have made me want to get one. Love the stream of consciousness writing, it was done perfectly. Just like your face! :-)

  8. But a facial treatment plays havoc with my hair! Btw I don't think I have praised your writing lately, Friko, it's so fresh and vibrant - and I'm pleased to say it is encouraging somehow. Every Blessing

  9. I hope you didn't mind me shoving you over to make room for me on that couch so I could enjoy that, too. Ahhhhh. I needed that!

  10. I'm another one who's never had a facial, or massage for that matter. I did have a reflexology treatment once.

    As others have already commented, I agree that your writing have definitely given me more insight into the experience of a facial. And, I still wonder if I will ever have one myself.

    I am already very good, however, at letting my mind wander!


  11. Dear Friko: Interesting how you used a poetic composition for the inner dialogue. All that mind-chatter, with all it's usually censored parts missing; very revealing. If only people knew what were the inner-workings of this bimbo; the aethetician would then be a little more cruel with the comedogenic tool. Creative dialogue!

  12. Friko, I don't know how you get into my head....but you forgot the part about my worry about my mother's driving and wondering where the hens are hiding the eggs.

  13. You thought of me during your spa treatment!?

    How perfectly lovely!

    And just so you know, my sister's surgery went off without a hitch.

    Perhaps we shamans had a bit to say in the outcome after all, eh?

    I'm sure you look beautiful after all this fussing over you, dear friend.

  14. That sounds like me at yoga while my mind is supposed to be empty searching for nirvana. I think I've been searching in the wrong place. I think nirvana must be at the spa.

  15. I had facials decades ago when I was in France, but here in the States I have not tried one yet. I like your writing. I think like this when I brush my teeth or when I look at all the trees from the window over the computer.

    About your previous post, if I walk on my road I never meet anyone – people pass me by in their huge SUVs or mini-vans. Some people jog, but early in the morning when it is not so hot – and I am not an early person. One of my trainees one time was stopped by the police because he was walking along the road – there are few sidewalks here, we have to walk on the road itself. Some people walking and people on bicycles get killed periodically by the speeding automobile drivers.

  16. I giggled out loud at "Classics for the Retarded." You do have a way with words, Friko.

    I've never had a facial, but this post almost convinces me that I need one - if I could skip the last paragraph.

  17. I just love this...this stream of conscious unconsciousness. We've all experienced this..but never before have I seen/heard it put into written word. Wonderful!!

  18. friko - with so much going on how did you manage to relax?! i would imagine that after solving or at least adressing the many issues, needs, concerns, anxieties and challenges there would be some relief! i do this between two and four in the morning. i wake feeling tired but a lot less anxious! steven

  19. Down's is named after Dr Langdon Down who first described it in 1866. The cause as a genetic abnormality with chromosome 21 was first discovered in 1959. It is related to the age of the mother. A 25 year old mother has a 1/1250 chance of getting an affected baby, a 45 year-old a 1/30 chance. The average for all births is 1/800. It is nothing to do with in-breeding, but a Downs woman has a 50% chance of producing another Downs.

  20. I haven't done this in a while. Makes me nostalgic for a facial or a good massage. Oh that's right, I always fall asleep and miss the whole thing, except paying at the end of course. Nice blog and I like your SOC approach. As usual a treat. Better than a facial. Dianne

  21. Another brilliant blog post again Friko. Where do our thoughts come from? And where do they go? Wonder what the beautician thinks about when she's dealing with her customers ....

  22. It is such a treat to visit your blog, Friko. You always manage to tweak your readers into leaving well articulated comments which give almost as much pleasure as your own thought provoking posts. You are a skillful writer and it is a privilege to be given insight into your mind.

  23. behind that soft face a mind as agile and strong as a steel spring! grand post altogether!

  24. This reminds me of my mind when I try to meditate. However, during massages, of any type, my mind finds peace and is somewhat silenced.
    This is such a great example of how great minds work. :) Thank you!

  25. I've never had a facial but now it feels as if I have. I know my mind wouldn't shut up either.. and if it did, I'd probably snore too. Very well done. :)

  26. I must join the crowd as never experiencing a facial...I wouldn't know how to behave! I worry enough about my hairdresser finding twigs and berries from the garden...
    Like the stream of consciousness that flowed through your appointment!

  27. what a wonderful post. Oh, I was there on that couch with you in spirit. your thoughts in blue helped tone down my extreme jealousy - but I'm happy you had your time. What a gift to share.

  28. Now I feel as though I need a massage, facial, and something to eat. Something about your post made me famished!

  29. Oh, I'm nearly asleep myself after reading that...
    What pure pleasure. You do think a lot, though, while you're abandoning yourself to pleasure, don't you?

  30. "Would that Amnesty tea party make a post?"

    I say yes, if the post is by Friko.

    Clever post, once again. While I've never had a facial, I certainly recognize this habit of mind . . .

  31. I'd rather break out in head to toe acne than undergo anything of the kind , so I'm delighted that you've let me have a vicarious facial massage . I can now cross this off my list of Things I Should Try .
    I love your capturing of the weird scatter-gun result of enforced meditation .

  32. So that's what a facial feels like. I have never had one, but my face feels cleaner just reading about your experience.

    Love the way you include your random thoughts.

  33. I've never indulged in a facial or message, but oh, how my mind has wandered like that!

    Love, love, love it! And I can so relate - I am a cow...some of my favorite bloggers seem to be away...must stop blogging so much and get back to reading BOOKS...must go visit...MEN!

    But I think my favorite part (hard to choose) may be Classics for the Retarded!

    Brilliant post!

  34. Such fun to spend a bit of time in your head!

  35. zzzz z z z . . .

    I felt that it was me getting the facial, and now I am so relaxed. A lovely, comical and original write-up. Part of an hour spent living inside one's head, with no options. This is a great example of 'monkey mind' when we can't turn off the world, and just relax. It probably wouldn't be good for our faces to do this every day, but I kinda like the idea of forced meditation.

  36. I have never had a facil, but I surely enjoyed yours, both the external and internal experience. Well done!

  37. I feel a bit prettier just reading about it ;)

  38. I never would have thought commentary on a facial would have a radiating visceral power. I almost feel as if I've had one now. The day spa I go to could use your for their advertising. ~Mary


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