Confessions of a spa newbie

The true story of what happens when an extremely low-maintenance girl goes on her first spa day.

Photo Credit: deborah is lola via Compfight cc

Ah, a spa day! Sounds so relaxing, right? And who doesn’t deserve a little pampering these days? My mom treated me to a spa day as my birthday gift this year, and thanks to a special that the spa was running, I got to choose three services for a flat fee. I am seriously a low maintenance girl — I wear a little make-up and earrings, but this world of massages, manicures, facials and waxing was a whole other world. Not wanting to go too far outside my comfort zone, I opted for massage, shellac manicure, and eyebrow wax.

The massage was awesome. I’ve only had about 4 massages in my life, but that’s enough to realize that a good massage therapist can really make a difference. This gal really got in and dug around on my tight muscles, which left me sore for days. I’m sure it’s personal preference, but I also prefer a massage therapist who is just a bit of a talker. Laying there in complete silence while a stranger rubs oil on you is just awkward.  So we talked about running and kids and new restaurants in town.  You know, the normal stuff you talk about while you’re naked.  =)

Next up was the shellac manicure. I almost never paint my nails because (a) I can’t sit still long enough to let the paint dry and (b) I am not careful with them and inevitably they chip in a couple days. Not worth it. And how freaking annoying is it to pay for a manicure, then mess up the polish while you’re opening your car door as you leave the nail place? But I’d been told that shellac manicures are more durable, so I decided to give it a try.   You guys… It’s so true. The polish is completely dry and hardened before you leave, and it lasted a week and a half weeks with no scratches, chips or anything.  (It probably would have lasted longer but I went swimming one day and chlorine is evil.)  They are a little more expensive than standard manicures, and I’m a bit of a cheapskate, so I doubt I’ll be getting these on a regular basis, but if I ever have a big event that I want my nails to look nice for, shellac is the way to go.

I loved my first shellac manicure!  It really (really!) doesn't chip or dent.

I chose a really neutral color since I’m not used to having my nails painted.

The eyebrow wax… Did I mention it was my very first waxing experience? It’s just always sounded SO painful. But actually, it wasn’t that bad — very similar to pulling off a band-aid. I guess I expected it to be more like a haircut where we would discuss ahead of time what I wanted (there are definitely eyebrow “styles,” right? I don’t want then super thin!) to have more of a discussion about what I wanted before she started slathering got wax between my eyebrows. I am a pretty committed tweezerer, and I think I’ll stay that way, but it was nice not to have to worry about it for a couple of weeks.

My very first eyebrow wax! It was a weird experience, but it was nice to be able to skip tweezing in the mornings for a couple of weeks.

So, how about you – are you low maintenance or high maintenance? Do you think I’m a weirdo for trying some of this stuff for the first time at age 35? What’s your favorite spa treatment if money were no object?

Humpday Confessions :: linking up with Vodka & Soda

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48 thoughts on “Confessions of a spa newbie

    • I know, it’s great, right? I’d love to know if you’ve found a place you really like. Grove was lovely but would have been very expensive if I didn’t have a gift certificate!

  1. I am sure I did not have a massage until I was over 50. I am in the minority, but I do not care for it at all. I would rather get adjusted by a chiropractor, which I love.
    Love my spine to be aligned. LOL. I do not like the lower leg massage during a pedicure either!!! Glad you enjoyed some down time and pampering. After having my nails done over the years and pedicures, too, I now do my own. I have the time!!! Your eyebrows look great!
    Have a nice week.
    Love, SMD’s momma

    • Interesting — I’ve never been in a chiropractor. Honestly I’m a little scared of them, although once my neck locked up and I had gone to an acupuncturist in a chiro’s office… I was so uncomfortable I was willing to try anything! The chiropractor was going to try to work on me but couldn’t really do anything since my neck wouldn’t turn without major pain. Luckily the acupuncture seemed to work!

    • I know… it’s crazy, isn’t it? I’ve never had a 90 min massage but I think I will definitely pay the little extra for the extra 30 minutes next time.

    • I was very wary of massages for a long time, and then the first couple I had were just so-so, but man… maybe it was just the sore muscles of exhausted motherhood, maybe it was a great massage therapist this time, but it was so awesome this time around.

  2. I’m not sure. I typically do my own nails but hate to do my pedicures. That being said, I’ll do them from time to time. My nails must be done at all times. I hate when they’re not painted.

    I love how relaxing facials are, but they break me out like crazy so I avoid them.

    I love massages. I’d like to go once a month. I think they’re great for your health, both physically and mentally. MFD actually goes once a month.
    SMD @ Life According to Steph recently posted…The weekend that was – Cape May editionMy Profile

    • I wish I was better at doing my own nails. My left hand always looks pretty good but I might as well let my 4 yr old paint my right hand, I’m so freakin’ uncoordinated with my left.

    • I hadn’t ever really thought about it either, but when I was writing this up I realized that it makes the whole process a lot less awkward. I like a chatty hairdresser, too. =)

  3. I am laughing so hard right now! Never an eyebrow wax? Only 4 massages? I know there is a joke about the Ozarks here…

    I can skip the mani/pedi but rearrange my entire financial budget so John and I can get massages once a month. And we both wax the eyebrows too…otherwise it is scary!

    I like facials. I feel like I carry so much stress in my face, scalp, and neck. We also have a foot spa that gives really cheap foot/leg massages. They include a few minutes on the back and neck.
    Tara Newman recently posted…5 Things I Have Learned About Motivating ChildrenMy Profile

    • So “low maintenance” is an understatement, is what you’re trying to say?! =) Yeah, I’m definitely not the girly girl type. But now that I’ve had a few really good massages, I think I’m going to try to make it a regular thing.

  4. My husband says I’m low maintenance but I think that’s because he grew up with 4 sisters – I’m fairly high maintenance. I like to have my nails done, I get my hair done every 4 weeks (because it is colored and short and I love my hairdresser so it is a fun night out!) – I don’t have massages as often as I would like because I do the other stuff.
    Glad you had a good spa day!!!
    Kim recently posted…Failing Is Just one Step on the Way to SuccessMy Profile

  5. Ah, there definitely is nothing like a massage to restore! Over the weekend I “finally” took the time for a long overdue hot stone massage. It had been way too long & definitely helped get some of the creaks out from all the recent travel. As I was leaving, I thought I really do need to make it a higher priority to do it on a regular basis.

    I think I tend towards lower maintenance. While it was fun to pick out new make-up in Ulta earlier this month, I also look forward to no make-up days.
    Amy recently posted…Business Trip Tourist: LondonMy Profile

    • I’ve never tried hot stone massage… is it awesome? It seems like it would be. Sort of a mix between massage and acupuncture/pressure-pointy stuff? I sometimes like to pretend I’m high maintenance and try to go shopping at Sephora, but I always end up in the Almay aisle at Walgreens cause I’m classy like that.

  6. I think I’m medium maintenance. Don’t know if that’s a real thing but I’ll roll with it.

    I regularly get my eyebrows waxed because unruly eyebrows make me twitch. I get pedicures but do my own nails. I’ve never had a massage but facials are pretty awesome. I wear minimal makeup and jewelry but when I have time, I get a kick out of doing it up.

    And no, you’re not weird for waiting until 35 to get this stuff done.
    Jana @ The Townhouse Pioneer recently posted…Tips for beginner container gardeningMy Profile

    • Medium maintenance! That’s totally a thing! I don’t like unruly eyebrows either, but I actually like to tweeze. I know that is a little bit strange. =) I am not big on make-up and jewelry either but I never leave the house without a little concealer, some lipstick, and earrings.

    • Ooh, I bet a hot springs would be great. The only one I’ve been to was an outdoors one in Oregon that a friend of mine tricked me into going to… She talked up it big time, and failed to mention it was nudist!!! Needless to say I didn’t stick around too long.

  7. I have never had a massage!! I have this weird thing about people touching my body. Strangers anyhow. I should get over it. I think if they only touched my back I’d be okay; it’s my legs I’m weird about. Ditto on the manicure–not something I’ve ever done, but I love pedicures and eyebrow waxes! A spa day was a great gift! Good going Mom!
    jan recently posted…Game of Thrones and Mad MenMy Profile

    • We all have our little phobias! For me it’s my neck… So of course now my son is obsessed with grabbing my neck for some reason. Logically I know he’s not trying to choke me but ahhhhhh I hate that feeling.

      Yep, my mom does a great job spoiling me.

  8. You’re totally not a weird for trying out this stuff at 35! I don’t really like full body massages – I’d rather just have neck/shoulder or feet. I’ve never had my eyebrows waxed, prolly ’cause I don’t have a lot of eyebrow hair anyways. Though I’ve had a few Brazilians and I’m so glad I liked my aesthetician who did them. I won’t be doing them again in the near future since she’s long gone. I want to try the shellac! I haven’t painted my nails in, what seems like, years.
    lisacng @ expandng.com recently posted…We are totally legit backpackers {photos}My Profile

    • My sister and I always joke that I got a double portion of eyebrow hair and she got none! You would love the shellac polish, it lasts such a long time but it isn’t damaging like acrylic nails. Treat Yo Self!

    • You were sweet to let your aunt practice on you! I got my hair cut at a cosmetology school once and it was… bad. Like “drive immediately to a real salon to get it fixed” bad!

    • I agree, I would feel more put together if I were a little higher maintenance but I just don’t have the time. You really should get a massage though, it is awesome.

  9. I’ve had a manicure once, because someone else paid for it. Apparently it was big deal that I had never had one? Unless there’s some big event (& I mean big…like MY wedding or something) it’s probably never going to happen again. I’ve never had a professional massage although it always seems SOOO appealing. I had my eyebrows threaded once…it hurt so bad. SO bad.
    Bri @ My Life As recently posted…Midnight ConfessionsMy Profile

    • People keep saying that getting your eyebrows threaded hurts like a beast. Good to know! I think I’ll steer clear of that one. Have a great weekend!

  10. I would have to say that I’m medium maintenance…if I really treat myself by getting some extra services at a spa, sometimes I just get a deer-in-headlights- type look when they ask me certain questions since I have no idea. I recently got my eyebrows threaded for the first time and I was crying like a baby. That crap hurts! But my eyebrows did look awesome haha.
    Em recently posted…Hooray For Hump Day Confessions!My Profile

    • Medium maintenance — I love it! I think that’s probably where I fall too. I don’t want to look totally unkempt, but mostly I’m too cheap to pay for other people to do all this stuff for me so I either DIY (like plucking my eyebrows) or just don’t do it (like painting my nails).

  11. Hey lovely!! Ohh that sounds so nice! I hardly pamper myself either. Although I really should, lol! I remember once around the end of last year I decided to go to a spa with my b/f. There was some kind of special running. I remember he was dreading it. What happened? He love it and didn’t want to leave. I totally HI fived myself lol! HAGD! XOXO

    Lisa,xo
    Lisa recently posted…Humpday ConfessionsMy Profile

    • Of course he loved it! I think most men secretly enjoy being pampered like that but they think it’s too girly to admit it. Have a great weekend.

  12. I am pretty low maintenance – when I have to go out though I go ALL out. However, for the most part i can count on both hands the amount of times I get a mani/pedi and usually just a pedi since mani’s don’t last unless i get fake tips on them or gel and they’re very damaging to the actual nail so I avoid. 🙂 Tis the time though and am getting a pedi tomorrow since its long overdue and my feet look HORRIBLE! They’re gross. Glad you had a great first experience, its always great to get pampered every once in a while 😀 I get my eyebrows threaded twice a month so that’s about all I keep up with. Have a great one Sarah! -Iva
    AwesomelyOZ recently posted…GTFO: We Truly Are Full of ItMy Profile

    • My feet are looking pretty rough, too — I never worry about keeping them up during the winter. But it’s finally warm (hooray!!!!) so I need to at least get some polish on them.

    • Eyebrows seem to be everyone’s least favorite thing. Maybe I’ve desensitized myself from so many years of plucking? =) Have a great weekend!

    • Oh man, I bet that makes such a big difference. Each time I’ve had a massage I think… if I could do this about every two weeks, I think I’d really make some progress on these tight muscles.

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