When one of my best friends asked me to be her facial model for class, I was ecstatic. Of course I'd drop by for delicious-smelling stuff to be applied to by face and some nice steamy towels! I'd never had a facial before. In fact, I don't even do much to my face besides badly damaging it with apricot scrub and using a pineapple mask once in a while.
My friend Rachael attends the Aveda Institute in Lakeview. It's one of those teaching schools where all the work is done by supervised students. I've had haircuts at schools like this before. One was in central Illinois and I left after sitting in a crowded waiting room for 45 minutes. I guess that doesn't really count. Another was at a barber shop school in the loop. I didn't know it was a barber shop until I got there; the students were terrified when they saw my long hair.
The best experience I've had with a haircut was at the Paul Mitchell school in Normal, Il. You can get a wash, cut, and blow dry for about $15. My advice for haircuts at schools: go to a “name brand” like Paul Mitchell or Aveda.
I didn't get a cut at Aveda, but I sat near the hair students' stations while I was waiting for Rachael. It was a Wednesday afternoon and the place was hoppin'. There were students practicing on each other or clients or their dummies. Everyone was dressed in black and so damn good looking. And of course, they all had edgy, amazing haircuts, just as I would expect them to.
I treated myself to a mug of Aveda tea that was sitting on a table by the waiting area. I've had the stuff before and it's delicious. The secret ingredient is licorice root, which makes it naturally sweet.
Then Rachael came to fetch me and took me downstairs to what I lovingly called “the cave.” The downstairs area is for facials and manicures (I think) and the walls are painted a dark blue. The whole atmosphere has a zen-like quality, down to the tranquil music they have playing.
She took me to my bed, which was in a large room that was divided by curtains into types of cubicles. The light was dim and I probably would have fallen asleep if I hadn't been too curious about what was going on. And that's a good thing.
What sets Aveda facials apart from other salons is that their facial includes a bunch of other services. You get a foot soak and massage and hand and arm massage along with the usual face massages and treatments. I know that Rachael has had to learn a ton of massage techniques while in school (and they were great, well done, boo!). There was a mask painted on my face, some steam, mists, cleansers, and moisturizers.
Since I was a model, Rachael was being graded on the process and one of her teachers was observing. There was a lot of tossing around of Aveda product names and different treatments she was going to use on me based on the condition of my skin. I was an “infinity air” and got to pick my favorite scent to be used throughout the whole process.
So did I enjoy my facial? Definitely. But it was kind of weird to be out and about with absolutely no makeup on my face. I didn't have too many extractions so luckily my face wasn't red or puffy. And my skin was so glowy and radiant afterward, I probably wouldn't want to cake more product on it anyway. It was a great treat to have my skin feeling nice and moisturized in the middle of winter