In the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to participate in two salon services at two separate salons. The first was a gel manicure and the second was eyebrow threading.
Let me start by saying, I am not a salon person. I got a gel manicure because a friend told me this is what you get when you want your nails to look good for about two weeks.
“You need to try this; it’s amazing. No chipping or breaking. You NEED to do this.”
I didn’t have the heart to say her needs and mine were miles apart, but it did seem so important to her so I acquiesced, “Okay, sign me up.”
I am going to admit that my friend was right. My nails looked flawless for two weeks. However, had I known about the “special” services at this salon, I would have not been so quick to give them my hands and body.
During my appointment, the efficient manicurist performed all the normal nail treatments. She removed my cuticles, cut and filed my nails and stuck my fingers in a bowl of Dawn or some type of cleanser to soak. As my hands were resting in the soapy water, she placed hot towels on my arms and hot stones on my back. Both were so soothing, and I enjoyed this bit of pampering. But, after a few minutes, she removed the towels and rocks and launched into a mini massage.
I am being generous with the term massage. I have had massages in the past. I love them. I like the soft-sounding new age music and the candlelit rooms that lull me into an almost dreamlike trance. There was no music and no warm lighting. There were fluorescent bulbs and “The View” blaring in surround sound from the flat screen TVs hanging at strategic points around the salon, and no offense to Whoopi Goldberg, but her voice does not emit dulcet tones. And I’m sorry if I am showing favoritism here, but my normal massage therapist specializes in gentle manipulation of the muscles. I never even wince with discomfort. I can’t say that about my manicurist massage giver.
My assessment of the salon chick is that before she attended beauty school, she completed a stint as an instructor at the North Korean Torture Academy. While it’s true I fell into a dreamlike state with her massage as well, it was due more to the fact that she pummeled me into near unconsciousness. I think I could have made a case for assault and battery. The Geneva Convention people should check her out. Her method of gentle massage was to use her fists to beat my arms and spine. I think I had a minor concussion when I left.
When my nails were done and drying, the attentive manicurist asked if I wanted my eyebrows waxed. Why she asked, I don’t know. I wasn’t sporting a uni-brow or anything close. I probably should have allowed her to do my brows, but unless a pain narcotic was going to be offered with the wax, I thought it best to decline the invitation. I don’t think my medical insurance covers injuries from salon visits.
After telling my friend about my experience, she suggested I go to a nearby salon for eyebrow threading and forego waxing FOREVER. (Writing this now, I realize I perhaps put too much trust in my friend, something I will rectify in the future.) To be honest, I have seen eyebrow threading done in kiosks at the mall, but I have never ventured too close. I maintain a strict rule about not having personal services done in front of 20 million strangers. I know the malls offer everything at their kiosks from eyebrow maintenace to teeth whitening…I have to wonder what’s next–colonoscopies?
I made an appointment with the eyebrow threading woman who told me that threading hurts far less than waxing. For those not knowledgeable about this beauty service, I’ll give a quick synopsis: it involves ripping off eyebrows using very fine thread. As it turns out, it is an interactive service too. I had to hold my eyelids open as she threaded the hair off. Did it hurt? No, not really. The sensation was weird and she kept hitting a nerve in my eye that made me sneeze. She said I had loose nerve wires. I believed her; maybe she’s a neurologist in her spare time.
Anyway, despite the trauma to my spine and neck, I managed to achieve well groomed nails and nicely shaped eyebrows. It’s nice to know when I go to important places like the grocery store, I can show them off.