A Fresh Face!

Ok…let me begin by saying straight up that I’m not a Spa kinda gal! No, really…I love the ‘after’ of it, it’s the ‘before’ & ‘during’ that I’m uncomfortable with 😛 There’s no polite way of saying this (although Mark Haddon might know one, but I digress ;)), but I’m a prude! An unapologetic one too! The thought of shedding clothes and having strange hands touch me is just…uuuughhh 😛 And yet I’ve suffered the discomfort often enough to fall utterly in love with the after effects of a great massage. The knots in my neck – magically melted, the back – glorious, the feet – revived, my whole body feeling new, feeling ready, feeling reborn! Yes, a massage is a fabulous thing in expert hands.

Did I mention – I’m not a facial kinda gal either? Well I’m not…I’m not into any routine beauty treatments coz I don’t have the time and much less the inclination…too many books to read for one 😛 I get my hair cut and colored once a month (thanks to my stylist reminds me with an SMS!) and a pedicure at the same time. I used to get manicures too, but these days I don’t – a combination of laziness and the fact that they don’t last me more than a couple of days, certainly not with a 4-yr-old!! You never know what you’re going to have to put those hands into next 😉 Also somewhere I believe that the less stuff you do to yourself, the better your body does…this is particularly true where the skin is concerned I find. Wash with water, a mild face wash (haven’t used soap in aeons!), a quick pat dry…and leave to breathe. It works for me.

So when my friends presented me with a Snip Salon voucher for my birthday, I was going to use it to get my haircut-pedicure combo. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that their Salon in Bandra, not 5 minutes from my house, was a Spa and didn’t offer the regular services that us mere mortals like to indulge in! They had only facials and massages listed on their menu and I thought – well, I’ll get a facial and a foot massage (my friends being very generous as they are wont to do ;)), no nudity involved! And so I dropped by and made an appointment.

Snip Salon
The gold-leaf doors and the very room where I spent a happy hour!

A word about the Spa – it’s located in a beautiful heritage bungalow on a noisy junction! It’s entrance is a plain glass door, which once entered, shuts out the regular cacophony of the city. When I went there to make the appointment it seemed awfully silent & devoid of customers, although why I expected to see people lying around getting massages I’ll never know! Still I would be lying if I didn’t admit to being a little concerned. The interiors were suitably spa-like – a discreet reception counter with the mandatory ceramics and frangipani, manned by quiet, helpful, girls who if they weren’t Thai were definitely from the North-East. There was an overpowering fragrance of lemon-grass as far as I could tell. A frosted glass saloon-style door led off to mysterious innards and a set of tall slim double doors done in gold leaf led off to somewhere else. It all seemed mysteriously calm and strangely alluring. Used as I am to the bright lights and bustle of my regular Salon, I felt out of my element and uncertain. You know the feeling, “What am I getting myself into?”…that’s the one! Still I soldiered on and made my appointment and went back today after dropping above mentioned 4-yr-old to school in search of some much needed R & R. Also I was excited about getting a facial for the first time 🙂

So imagine my surprise when I was led through said gold-leaf doors into a decidedly spa like room and asked to disrobe!! What??? No!! A voice is my head shrieked! This cannot be happening…it’s a facial people, I don’t wear clothes on my face or can’t you tell?! Didn’t say it out loud of course (I’m a giant chicken in reality!), but I think the girl (very sweet she was too!) understood coz I started to splutter awkwardly and must have looked ready to bolt 😛 She handed me the towel (never big enough is what I think!) and thank God for small mercies, left the room after showing me the steam cubicle in the room where I was to sit my towelled self down for 10 minutes. Well, I had to do it didn’t I? Too late to get out of this one, Girl! So I did and although I was uncomfortable, I sat myself down in that cubicle and shut my eyes as the steam began to pour in. It got pretty thick in there until I could barely make out the general direction of the door, and except for the initial few minutes when I found myself thinking of Psycho I didn’t want to run anymore. Water at high temperatures can do that to you – I slumped against the wall and just let my body go limp with the heat. It felt like such a relief to be there, cocooned in solitude, oblivious to worlds inside and out – to just be in the moment 🙂 It felt ethereal.

Then of course, it was time to re-enter the real world and arrange myself on the bed as demurely as possible and wait for whatever happened next. It was glorious! It’s been years since my last massage and I’d all but forgotten how skillful fingers can soothe away a lifetime of grime and cares if only for a little while. My facial and foot massage happened simultaneously and for the next hour I was lost to the world, while one girl gently scrubbed, cleaned and steamed my face, while the other released every aching knot in my calves and feet, God Bless Them!! By the time they were done, I didn’t want to leave – how typical is that?! And as I got dressed and stood on my freshly painless feet, I glanced in the mirror to see if the facial had done what it promised. I thought my skin looked pretty fresh and was that a glow? Yup! I had a fresh, new face – untired, unlined (none of those smirks now!) and ready for what remained of another hectic day. My lips were beautifully glossed and I felt utterly relaxed. On my way out, I was offered a tiny glass of juice (so pretty), instructed to stay away from face wash for the day and urged to ‘Come again!’

I think I might…I think I will 😉 Thanks a million to my lovely and wise girlfriends for a fabulous gift 🙂 Love you loads!! My only regret is that I couldn’t take pictures myself. Of the Salon of course! What were you thinking?!

Any Spa experiences of your own you’d like to share? I’m listening!

Weekend Alert People 🙂

4 thoughts on “A Fresh Face!

  1. Nicely described.
    My first experience with a body massage was in Mumbai at Talwadkars in1998 ,when they offered me a free massage for registering with their gym. I still have memories of that one . Our Indian ladies do a fabulous job .
    In the US I have had many but none like that one.
    Recently we were in Cancun ,Mexico and the one there came pretty close .
    So you are in good hands !!!

    BTW I was able to read your blog in between my patients in the clinic ,thanks for writing!

    1. Thanks for reading Anupa!! Between patients too…really appreciate it 🙂

      My first experience was on our honeymoon. We were in Jakarta and two old ladies gave us a couple massage! They used a coin too on our backs and we were both of us pretty black and blue by the end of it 😛 I hope to be regular but as I said I’m just such a prude!!

  2. Hey how about a picture of the NEW FACE darling? I have passed the phase of “how do I disrobe and let strange hands touch me” long ago and have enjoyed every massage(well almost) I have had. The best one was in Vietnam..I didnt want it to end. Having said that the worst one was in Beijing. It started out well but the nightmare began after it was over. I couldnt stop itching; I think it was the rush of blood and rise in temp that caused it.

    1. Was thinking of you today Usha!! When are you coming over?

      The face looks rather the same me thinks 😛 Actually now that you mention itching…there’s some places where she tweezed out the blackheads that a little sore and my skin is a little oily which is good coz it was getting dry as paper in this cold weather!

      Try as I might I can’t get over that taking your clothes off thing 😉

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