I avoid beauticians and hairdressers at all costs. They’re always so snooty. And brutal. Hairdressers normally wave scissors about in my face (think wand like movements) and say things like “I may be a fairy but I don’t work magic you know”. As if it’s my fault I was born with perpetual frizz. My aversion to hairdressers has an underpinning logic. You see once you start getting all precious about your hair, you know you are getting really old. True story. When I was little I remember asking my mom on a blistering hot day why she didn’t join us in the swimming pool and she said ‘because I’ve just had my hair done’. Yip, worry too much about your hair and you can be sure that you’ve crossed over to the other side.
Then we get to beauticians. Their first question to me is always, "so what are we using on our skin”. I normally try and make Lux sound like L’ Uxe to fox them, but what I really want to say is “WE are not using anything on OUR face because WE do not have access to lotions and potions at cost price like the OTHER WE does and because WE have to pay full retail price for hammed up Nivea that WE have worked out is close in cost to the GDP of a small country and that is why WE use Lux”. (BTW, Lux worked for Victoria Principal and Jaclyn Smith, right?)
After the predictable eye rolling I get, they get working on my face with medieval sounding things - steam, lances and tweezers. It’s a vicious business and I don’t see the point because I end up walking out looking twice as bad as when I walked in.
Anyhow, I blame my most recent run in with ‘beauty people’ on my dermatologist, who recommended some treatments when I explained how it’s very rude that I’ve got wrinkles and pimples in the same year. ‘Go for a course of 6 glycolic acid peels’, she says to me, ‘and rub on this cream every night.’ It’s called Differin cream. I assume they’re trying to get their point across that it’s differin to the rest? What she didn’t tell me (I finally googled it) is that along with this differin business comes an IB (Initial Breakout). I feel that words like ‘initial breakout’ shouldn’t come with any cream. And if it does, the manufacturers should call it something more accurate like “Initial Breakout Cream that Eventually Leads To Marginal Improvement”.
So last week, I finally took my aging arse to a ‘beauty’ person. Well, not my arse exactly (heaven’s no, I’d never subject anyone to that – except Dr. Oodit and BTW, sorry Dr Oodit for seeing my bum) and it was actually an Aesthetic Medicine Clinic not a ‘beauty person’ (Note to self, get lingo right).
The lady looked so nice. How was I to know she was into torture? After lulling me into a fake sense of friendliness, she proceeded to put this acid on my face. Hoooooley shit! I felt my heart rate shoot through the roof and I wanted to reach for a sharp object to stab her in the leg with. She tells me that this type of treatment has been around since ancient Egypt and I fell better as I imagine some granny Egyptian passing on home beauty remedies. Untill she adds that some died of cardiac arrest because they ‘hadn’t quite refined the dose yet’. Ah, bingo for the heart rate thing I think. She must have seen the panic-slash-hate in my eyes because she started fanning me with a fanning thing. This stopped the stinging momentarily but I was convinced that by this stage my face had melted off and we were now down to bone. I diplomatically explained that tattoos were far less painful – which was a big hint that she needs to look into some kind of effective pain-management for her clients. Something like morphine or crack might do the trick.
When she finally finished (after applying a myriad of cooling gels and other weird smelling stuff), I went through to the paying area. This should be a separate area. An area where no other people are. Unaware that my face was now very shiny and very flushed, I chat happily to other clients who I only afterwards (upon catching a visual of myself in my rearview mirror) realised were thinking ‘Oh God, that poor woman’.
And to think, I actually pay people for this service.