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Tag Archives: berries
“Farm-to-table was so last year,” the enticing email from Vital Juice started. “The new local food trend: farm-to-face.”
“Townhouse Spa (the go-to spa for fashion industry insiders) is partnering with South Gate’s executive chef Kerry Heffernan for the new Fresh Skin Balancing Facial.
You’ll relax under an enzyme mask while an esthetician whips up a farmers’ market-driven “dish” for your skin (you’ll wear it, not munch it). The recipe might include oatmeal to soothe, avocados to moisturize, cucumbers to remove puffiness or tomatoes to brighten.
After the hour long facial ($150), you’ll be given the remaining mixture to take home. Use it to give yourself a mini facial a few days later, and prolong the results.”
How awesome does that sound? I saved the email, which came just about a month ago, for a rainy day.
Well, that rainy day came today, literally. Having Fridays off, I decided to to something out of the ordinary and devote a day to vapid, socialite pursuits. I made my appointment, mentioning the 10% off discount in the email. “I would like the farmers market facial,” I said.
“Um, I haven’t heard of that one,” the receptionist said. “I’ll just put it as ‘open’ and we’ll see what we have when you get here.” That wasn’t promising, but I honestly don’t remember the last time I’ve had a facial. At the risk of sounding snobbish, why not treat myself just because?
I started my day this morning with a jog, sloshing through the three-inch-deep puddles pooling on the cobblestones in Riverside Park. It was all but deserted except for a few intrepid dog walkers and one or two joggers like me squinting through the downpour.
After taking a shower and reading some over some toast and almond butter, I set off for Townhouse Spa on West 56th. The storefront wasn’t anything to look at, but I warmed to the well-appointed womens locker room, outfitted with rosewood lockers and keys tied with big tassels. The receptionist apologized. “We don’t have hot water right now, unfortunately. If you were planning on taking a shower after your facial…” I wasn’t, but that ruled out the sauna. I love saunas. The robes were soft and fluffy, though the slippers were extremely uncomfortable rubber slide-ons. Just the walk down the hall to the private room was a trial.
My esthetician, Krystina, was an older woman with cropped blond hair and bangs, and a thick Russian accent. I discussed my routine with her. (Pangea organic face routine at night, Aztec mud masks once a week, light Burt’s Bees moisturizer in the morning after a shower.) She placed eye protectors over my eyes and pulled a light over my face to examine my pores.
She admonished me for not exfoliating. “Once a week, you must exfoliate.” I asked her if a honey and baking soda mixture would do the trick. She shrugged, saying she’s never tried it herself but she didn’t see the harm. Honey has antibacterial properties, so I could even use it alone. She has one client with perfect skin who swears by baking soda. “But of course she just has perfect skin. Anything will work for her.”
I like an honest esthetician.
I asked her about the farmers market mask. “It’s made from food?” I ventured.
“We have a milk and berry facial,” she ventured. “It has lactic acid and…” blah blah blah stuff I can’t remember because it was too complicated. I agreed. At this point I had lost all hope of having the fabled Farmers Market facial. “Do I get to take some home?” I asked (After all, it said that in the email.)
She compensated by recommending a homemade mask of strawberries, banana, honey, and sour cream. Sour cream has lactic acid, apparently, so it is good for your pores.
She applied potion after potion to my face. Cream, hot cloth, spray, massage, tingling lotion, massage, spray, pat dry with a paper towel, toner, cream. “Now the painful part begins. Extraction.”
“Extraction,” I found out, means that she uses her nails to force out blackheads. She worked her way all over my face, squeezing the offending pores. I wondered why I couldn’t just do this at home. What was the difference between this and all the admonishments by magazines not to pick at your face?
I did a mental shrug and decided to use the time to meditate instead, listening to the typical spa music of unidentifiable chanting mixed with synthetic background. When she was done she applied three more layers of stuff and massaged my neck with essential oils. Every layer smelled lovely, like a subtle fruit cocktail at PDT.
I have to admit, while my pimples didn’t vanish (isn’t that what we all want?) my skin felt super soft. I’ll have to see how I feel in a week or so about the results.
I just looked up what the treatment might be, and here it is:
The VerryBerry Glo starts with a thorough cleansing and an exfoliation with a natural pumpkin enzyme scrub. After a light extraction, the skin will be prepped for a mixed berry and lactic acid peel. A mixture of blueberry, bilberry and mulberry will brighten, exfoliate, and promote softer, smoother skin while improving fine lines. An anti-inflammatory soothing gel mask will soothe and calm the skin. Enjoy a relaxing shoulder, neck and arm massage while the mask permeates through the skin. A vitamin concoction of super serums and moisturizers will then hydrate and protect the skin. Results will be immediate and noticeable.
It doesn’t sound that organic to me. “Natural” can mean anything at all. The Skin Deep Cosmetics database has no information on Sonya Dakar, the brand they were using.
Of course when I left, Krystina told me I should try to come back every six weeks for this $190 facial. The only way I would spend that much money that often would be if I wake up tomorrow with a clear, radiant face. I told her I would try.
I popped over to Bloomingdale’s to pick up some fall items of clothing, and I think now I’m going to go get a manicure. Tonight I have a reservation at Rouge Tomate with Mike for dinner, and then Colby, my sister, and her husband arrives. It’s just one of those days….