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You Call This a Job?

Sometimes a girl just has to pamper herself. And why not?

I had just returned from seven weeks of traveling around the country in a 21 foot RV with three teenager girls and a dog that we rescued off an Indian reservation in Arizona to gather material for my upcoming book. Yeah!

The memoir is about a 40-something aged widow (that’s me) and her often hilarious, yet heartfelt life in surviving the untimely death of  her somewhat famous husband and ultimately not knowing what to do with his ashes. A  solution takes readers on adventure-filled, cross country RV trips with said teenage daughters where the steering wheel becomes her  spiritual guide.

Being out in the desert all that time definitely took its toll my skin. A closer study in one of those awful magnifying mirrors revealed that my face was in dire need of hydration, freshening up and some TLC.

It’s something I rarely do—take care of only myself— but I knew this was one of those luxurious times. I called Oasis Day Spa on Park Ave. in New York City  to book a facial. I was a relative facial newbie but after this experience, I may become a junkie.

One of the spa’s skincare experts was so nice to consult with me on the phone to help determine the best treatment. And here I thought customer service was a lost art.

“My skin is dry and splotchy,” I offered, telling her about the hikes, hot sun and lack of water. “I look like a dehydrated cactus.”

After a few more minutes of discussion, she suggested Oasis’ brand new Citrus C and Kale Eminence Facial. She told me to think of it as a “superfood for the face.” I mean I liked kale, but in my mouth not on my face as a beauty treatment?

She said it incorporated the benefits of a powerful antioxidant infusion of vitamins C and E. She continued by telling me about the ingredients – that they are highly active and go to work protecting the skin, combatting signs of aging while brightening and hydrating.

All this and the yummy benefits of a traditional Eminence facial?

That sounded good to me but what is an Eminence Facial?

Eminence is a product line is from Hungary, not just a copywriter’s bingo marketing title.

What’s more, the company was started more than 50 years ago in a small village where family knowledge of using organic herbs, fruits and plants in natural remedies spanned generations. She said the ingredients are still hand-picked and hand-mixed in small batches and are combined with thermal hot spring water to create products that contain potent healing and beautifying properties.

“Oasis loves their product and so will you,” she said. “Trust me.”

And I did—totally!

Plus, $145 seemed like a reasonable price, especially for 60 beautiful, long minutes of treatment.

I booked an appointment for the next day.

She also emailed me the regime which I opened with glee … and kept to take immediate notes.

You see, it was a set up. The spa owner wanted to get direct customer feedback, mine!, on his spa services so he hired me to go undercover. The problem is, I had nothing bad to say except perhaps they could put a table in front of the couch in the relaxation room to hold your cucumber water.

The esthetician quite possibly had the most beautiful skin I had ever seen. If I could walk out looking like her, life would be a dream. But that takes a regime and I was only there for an hour. Still it is an attainable goal, one that I may try now that my skin is rejuvenated.

Here’s their step-by-step facial protocol and my report:

Begin with the Oasis Signature Welcome (three deep breaths, with lavender oil).

That really helped set the mood for calm. Nice touch!

1)Cleanse with LEMON CLEANSER using steam and effleurage for 2-3 mins for a thorough clean. Make sure to wet hands as needed (products do not contain water, so water is a must!)

I thought the steam would be hot but it wasn’t. It just felt good.

2)Perform second cleanse with LEMON CLEANSER mixed with STRAWBERRY DERMAFOLIANT.

Ahhh… I especially liked the dermafoliant. It was gentle but I knew it was going to help make me look great again.

3)Remove cleanser with warm towel

What is it about warm towels that feel so good?

4)Analyze skin, ask questions – finish questioning with ‘how do you like your skin to FEEL at the end of your service (matte, normal, dewy)?’

I was a bit worried that the facialist would tell me something horrible about my T zone or that I had completely damaged my poor face from lack of care, but she didn’t. Instead she evaluated my skin type (normal) and went to step 5. Phew!

5)Exfoliate with LIME STIMULATING MASK without steam.

I’m not sure which was better, the lime or the stimulating or the mask. My face was beginning to feel refreshed.

6)Remove with warm towel

Ahh… again.

7)Perform extractions

Okay we all know this means get the junk out. A good facialist is skilled, gentle and non-invasive. A not so great one will leave marks. I had no marks then or now. She knew exactly what she was doing.

8) Tone and refresh the skin with the LIME TONER

There’s something about the citrus lime toner that woke my skin up.

8)Apply a few drops of the CITRUS C AND KALE SERUM, layer the CITRUS C AND KALE MASQUE over serum and perform facial massage.

The combination of super food and citrus is a winner. It’s deep and zesty at the same time. The facial massage was light, relaxing and affirming at once.

9)Apply second mask (appropriate for their secondary skin condition) and leave on the skin for 8-10 minutes, if needed

Another mask? This was a beautiful thing, not overkill. Some faces need it and some don’t. Mine did and I was happy that she took the extra step to make my skin the best it could be.

10)Perform hand and arm massage using Stone Crop Lotion

This may sound like fluff, but it felt really necessary to compliment the overall service.

11)Remove using cool towel.

It was not too cool and not too cold—just the right amount of reduced temperature to wake up your skin without a startle. Nice!

13) Tone using LIME TONER, moisturize, eye cream and SPF

There’s that lime toner again. And even more moisturizer.

When I tell you my skin never felt better, my skin never felt better. And when I tell you friends actually mentioned that I looked really relaxed and radiant, they were right. I looked really relaxed and radiant. Even my kids asked what I had done differently and that my skin looked “pretty.”

Coming from teenagers, that was high praise.

I can’t wait to try another treatment and will keep readers posted.

Laura Fahrenthold blogs for Oasis Day Spa  in NY, NY and Westchester County.


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