First Facial. Fail.

The old me… before the spa took me down a hundred notches.

I had my first facial today. I booked the facial at a super fancy Upper East Side spa, Aqua Vitae, (through Groupon, of course), and was pretty stoked about getting a relaxing facial. After a full day of 87 phone calls, 504 emails, and 6,755 text messages (all wedding related), 2 meetings at work, a performance for the preschool parents, and saying farewell to fiancé who is headed to LA. I was wiped out.

I’ve never had a facial before, so I did not really know what to expect. I’ve always wanted a facial, but anytime I thought about it, I decided that a new outfit at H&M was a wiser way to spend my cash. Also, I am REALLY uncomfortable laying still in a quiet place with my own thoughts, AND having strangers touch me. My first massage was only a year ago. 

Considering how obsessed I am with my skin, it’s surprising I’ve never forked over the money for a facial. I mean I’ve spent money on every prescription available (acutane, differin, brevoxl, ortho-tri-cyclen, yaz, tazorac, retina-a, a myriad of anitbiotis…seriously. I’ve done them all!). I’ve used proactive (and every similar product), I’ve done light therapy, cortisone shots, EVERYTHING Sephora has to offer, I’ve changed my diet, made every homemade concoction in existence, changed my pillow case every night, drank 10 bottles of water a day, I used only Bare Minerals, and I even gave up wearing makeup for 10 months straight!

Nothing. A few of these remedies helped (acutane helped for a year), but the acne has always returned).

My complexion is definitely the thing I am most insecure about. But, I’ve come to terms with it, and I now understand that my proneness to zits is heredity, and heavily effected by my hormones and stress.

Anyways, so this facial started off pretty much how I expected…lots of oils, creams, exfoliants, and face massaging. The giant steamer in my face was a little uncomfortable, but I survived.

About 30 minutes in, the facial lady starting peeling back layers of some sort of thick papery stuff, and squeezing my nose.

Me: What are you doing?

Her: Squeezing.

K. Miss Smarty Pants.

Me:  Squeezing my nose? (I was starting to have trouble breathing.)

Her: Squeezing out ALL of your blackheads.

Didn’t know this was part of a facial. This woman actually spent over half an hour squeezing out literally EVERY blackhead or zit on my entire face and neck. She used little metal tools, her hands, and needles! It was not exactly relaxing.

At the end of the all the “squeezing”, the owner came in for a consultation. (I still had my eyes covered and goo on my face.)

What followed was so hard for me to swallow. I almost lost my shit. I’ll just share her words, and you can imagine my responses….

“You have very bad skin. You have lots of acne. Your skin is so bad that I suggest you get a laser-light therapy treatment. You really need this treatment. This special facial will cure your really bad acne and skin problems. It costs $250, but I’ll give it to you for $100. You seriously need this. I suggest you come see me very often to take care of your skin, it looks really bad. Why don’t you take care of your skin? You obviously do not take care of your skin or it wouldn’t look this unhealthy. I have many suggestions for you on how to help you acne. We sell lots of products that I’d be happy to show you to help your bad skin…”


I cannot put into words how humiliated and infuriated I felt. This would be the equivalent of a really overweight person getting up the nerve to hire a professional trainer and getting berated over being “fat”. I cannot believe I managed to make it home before I started crying.

I KNOW I do not have a good complexion, but seriously, it’s not THAT bad. I cannot imagine what this lady says to people with actual serious problems. She must just put a bag over their heads and tell them it’s for the best.

I am willing to bet that this was just a bad spa with a mean owner, but I still think I’ll have to build up some self-esteem again before trying another facial. Until then, I’ll stick to the Sephora Staff. They always tell me how pretty I am. THAT’S the way to sell products!



Since becoming engaged I have set many goals to accomplish before the wedding: grow hair out 25 inches, cure my acne once and for all, workout everyday, and eat only organic vegetables and fruits, you know just a few reasonable and realistic goals for a modern-day bride.

Growing my hair out at all turned out to be impossible thanks to the scissor happy Italian who chopped 4 inches off when I asked for a trim. My face is destined to look like a 16 year old’s for all eternity. I do walk to work daily… that counts as daily exercise for some people. And, if getting french fries and fruit sorbet delivered counts as a healthy organic diet, then I’m 2 for 4.

Basically, I just wanted to be incredibly vain and self-centered and look like one hot bride on my wedding day. So, to make up for some failed attempts, I have been booking numerous Groupon appointments to really freshen up before the big day. I have recently scheduled appointments for lasik hair removal, a facial, mani/pedi, airbrush tan, hair highlights, and teeth whitening.

Now, before you start hating on me for wasting money on these selfish expenditures, please know that I am already aware of this. I know these things are shallow, vain, and that there are more important things to spend my money on. I know I shouldn’t care so much what I look like. Really, I KNOW I am not making the wisest choices.

But, for once in my life, I am okay with making some bad decisions.

I am okay with being vain and selfish right now.  I have never before had lasic hair removal, a facial, airbrush tan, or teeth whitening. I figure getting married is a good reason to splurge a little, feel good, and look a little extra glamorous. I plan on having children (soon-ish), so now is the time for me to be a little irresponsible and egotistical. PLUS, I’m using Groupon, so every appointment is like 500% off anyways. 

Today was my Zoom teeth whitening appointment. After I bought the Groupon, Zoey was nice enough to inform me that she just read several horror stories about people who got their teeth whitened through salons who use Groupon, and had horrible experiences. I tried to make myself feel better by explaining that  I was getting my teeth whitened through an actual dentist, not a just  random salon.

I originally made my appointment for the Friday before the wedding, and when I booked, the receptionist informed me that I should brush my teeth with Sensodyne 3 times a day starting immediately, to prepare my teeth for the  procedure. She actually said that each time I brush I should let the Sensodyne sit on my teeth for a minute before brushing. I responded, with a “oh of course, no problem!”.

I did  go out and buy Sensodyne, but seriously 3 times a day? letting it sit for a whole minute? that was never going to happen.

Two days ago, I received a call from the dentist explaining that their dental hygienist would be out the Friday before my wedding, and they need to move my appointment up to this coming Friday. Fine with me… It didn’t hit me until I was on my way to the dentist today that I hardly got anytime to “prepare” my teeth for the procedure. I wanted to ask the receptionist when I arrived if this was okay, but I was afraid she’d ask if I’d been following her instructions carefully, and I wouldn’t be able to lie to her. Im a terrible liar.

(I must mention here, that I had not had any coffee. I didn’t make any this morning on account of running late, and I decided not to run to the Starbucks across the street from work. I have been TRYING to cut back on Starbucks spending, I was already feeling super anxious about the dentist appointment, and I was actually feeling pretty good. “Look at me! I don’t have an addiction. I can function perfectly without caffeine!”)

By the time I arrived to the dentist’s office, I had the WORST caffeine withdrawal headache ever.  All I could think about was coffee, and my plan to immediately stop by Starbucks after my appointment. I already had it google mapped on my phone. After waiting for an hour, they finally took me into a little dentist room to prep me.

They stuck a large contraption in my mouth to pull my lips up, inches away from my teeth and gums, and then stuffed all the empty space with enough gauze and cotton to make a leg cast. They then coated my gums in some sort of white goo and blow dried it so it was nice and hard. It created a barrier from my teeth. They gave me a mirror so I could look, and I almost fell out of my chair. It was like looking at my skull…eww

Finally, they started the whitening process. They coated my teeth with some sort of clear-ish liquid,  told me not to move my mouth or lips at all, and stuck a very bright light into the contraption that held my mouth open. They also placed some enormous bright orange glasses on my face. The kind that look like I might decide to weld something. This procedure is done in three to four 15 minute increments under the light. So with all the prep, and the actual whitening, I was looking at laying in this chair for at least an hour and a half.

The hygienist told some corny jokes, and said things like, “Oh I guess this is just a one-sided conversation now huh?” as I nodded as to laugh with her. They had a large TV mounted to the wall, but it was impossible to see over the enormous machine attached to my face, and it was on an only-NY-news-station. At one point, the “funny” lady came in to ask if I’d prefer to have the TV or the radio on, I tried to gesture to her that I’d like the channel changed, but the second I lifted my hand to the TV, she said “Okay great! TV it is!” and turned around and walked out the door.

I decided to close my eyes and try to sleep. I wouldn’t have to hear the terrible terrible news, and maybe my headache would go away. About eight minutes after I closed my eyes, they shot wide open because of a painfully sharp sensation in one of my bottom teeth. The nurse lady warned me this may happen. Something about the pores opening in your teeth, sensitive nerves, strong chemicals… I don’t know, but it hurt like hell!

When the first fifteen minutes was up, she came back into the room to check on my me, and I pointed to my tooth and gave her wide crazy eyes that said “pain!”. She just looked at me with sad eyes, and said “Oh is it hurting? That happens. I’ll put some [insert fancy medicine name here] on it to help. If it’s just too much for you we can stop early, but it won’t be that much whiter. Maybe you can tough it out a little longer ?” Her voice was borderline sympathetic, borderline mocking.

Of course I nodded that I could tough it out. I’m not a teeth whitening weenie! Plus, the medicine she put out my teeth really did help. It was still really uncomfortable (imagine biting down on popsicles for about an hour), but I could bear it. I just kept telling myself that it would end soon, and I’d be done FOREVER.

During the last two minutes of the last 15 minute session, the lady came in to prep me for what happens after the procedure. After!?!? You mean I don’t just go home with a bright white smile and live happily ever after???

She said that since my teeth were sensitive during the procedure, that they would be sensitive and sore for then next few days. Also, I cannot have any colored foods for the next 48 hours, or “foods that would stain a white tee-shirt”. I was thinking that this sounded difficult, but before I could finish my thoughts she started listing what I cannot have…”red wine, berries, ketchup, salsa, coffee…”


The large lip stretching contraption was still in my mouth, but my attempt to scream “WHAT?!?!” as my eyes bulged out, made her stop reading.

“Oh, you are one of those, huh? Well, if you MUST have coffee, you can get iced coffee and drink it through a straw, but limit it to one a day.”

I was out of the office twenty minutes later, in line at Starbucks four minutes after that, and sipping a refreshing iced latte 3 minutes later. My teeth felt much better, but the caffeine headache had not subsided.

Now, 7 hours later, I am in sooooo much pain! My teeth are KILLING ME! I WANT TO RIP EVERY SINGLE TOOTH OUT! I  have taken so much Advil, but nothing seems to help. I don’t know if this happens to everyone, but for me, this is SOOOOO NOT WORTH HAVING A WHITER SMILE. So not worth it.

I guess the silver lining is, my teeth are definitely whiter and brighter. Two more days on a colorless diet, and an entire bottle of Advil, and hopefully I’ll be back to normal!

*Now, on a completely different note, we saw MIB 3 tonight, and it was great! Just as good as the first two!*