|Photo Credit: Flickr Dylan Parker Dew|
If you are looking for banter and a beauty treatment with impact, see my friend Emma at her Westwood Day Spa. I was dressed for an exercise walk at around 1:30 P.M. when I stopped into three salons to ask if they had walk-in facial appointments yesterday. Aveda said they no longer offer facials at the Weyburn location. Beauty Spot said no one was available this afternoon. Then I met red-haired Emma. Her lobby included a burbling indoor fountain. Hypnotizing panflute music played over the sound system.
|Photo Credit: Geograph UK Kyoto Garden Fountain|
She welcomed me into her salon and immediately contradicted me. “No, you may not need an acne facial.”
I liked her immediately.
She suggested that she would evaluate my skin and then go from there. I noticed that a one hour acne facial was $65. That seemed reasonable since I have been a facial customer since I was 13. That was a reasonable price and a bargain for Los Angeles.
|Photo Credit: Renee Marchol’s Beauty Cabinet|
Emma invited me to sit in her small but tastefully decorated lobby. I immediately liked her choice of Sothys and Guinot beauty products, two brands that I have not seen other salons carry. Her magazines were from the UK, mainly of fabulous but stern-looking Russian models with platinum curls and perfect pouts. Emma does cosmetic tattoos, piercings, waxing and facials.
I didn’t know what type of facial I was about to encounter. The result? Fresh skin that actually absorbed the facial lotion that I applied and no more blackheads. Better yet? No more fine lines from overly tight, dry skin. How did she do it? Are you brave enough? You may feel a bit seasick after the treatment. Emma incorporates a hefty dose of neck and face massage. She even wraps a towel around your head and pulls a bit. She is confident and daring. Thankfully, she does give her clients warning.
|Photo Credit: Flickr Zoetnet Parasol|
First, you will remove your top so that she can massage the tops of your shoulders and your chest from the v-neck line upwards. For my dry skin, she asked what I was using for cleaning, moisturizing and sun protection.
She did not push product on me. Instead she replied according to category of cleaners and moisturizers. She suggested that my skin was overly dry from use of overly oil-stripping acne facial cleaners. It is true. I have been using Aveda and Burt’s Bees acne washes lately. Emma explained that my blackheads were not full blown acne. She differentiates acne as affecting the chest and back also. She believes that my blackheads were a symptom of my dehydrated skin. Even my lips were chapped despite frequent application of balm. Emma suggested a peel for before extraction of clogged pores. Yes, exfoliation to let hydration in. She was apt in describing my current skin as a piece of plastic that wouldn’t let moisture in or trapped dirt out.
Second, she used many different applications of cold and room temperature. She explained that she used mostly Sothys products because Guinot was for more mature skin. When used an ion wand to kill bacteria and a steam machine to open my pores. I don’t remember the sequence of everything I recall cool-temperature oval sponges to remove the exfoliating scrub from my face. I also remember cool, damp towels to remove the alternating hydrating, cleansing and exfoliating processes.
Lastly, Emma coached me how to improve my relaxation breathing. I learned from Kaiser Health services to breathe like a singer from the diaphragm. Still Emma insisted on the same but even deeper exhalation. “You have a cat? Watch how animals and small children breathe. They know how.” With that she placed her hand above my belly button and pressed slowly to show me how deeply to exhale. What a difference. After an hour and 20 minutes of being steamed, exfoliated and massaged I felt as if I could just melt and pour off the the massage table. I felt that relaxed. The cost was $85 including tax and before tip. Yes, this is costly during these hard times but if you are meeting hiring managers at cosmetics companies for copywriting jobs, it’s important to take care of your skin. Your credibility includes how well you take care of your health and beauty.
|Photo Credit: Flickr Ann Porteus Pearl|
I plan to return to Emma’s European Salon & Day Spa at 10889 Weyburn Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90024. Her shop is within walking distance of Trader Joes and BeBe. As a parting gift she gave me a travel size of five Sothys products for cleansing, toning and hydrating so I could decide if I wanted a larger bottle. The regular size bottles of each were $95. It reminded me of the higher end products my Hong Kong auntie would use as a business woman in the fine jewelery business.
She asked me about my active lifestyle and how much time I spend in the sun. Since I hike and swim, I’m in the sun often. Instead of wearing thicker layers of sunscreen, she says to wear it everyday and reapply it frequently. “Do me a favor and wear a big floppy hat. You’ll avoid hyperpigmentation. You’ll thank me when you are a mama.”
If you like big sisterly advice and don’t mind jokes about the size of your feet, you will get along well with Emma. I have big size 9.5 feet. If you are offended about questions about your diet, heritage or personal life, you might not like Emma’s style of banter. I enjoyed listening to her stories of her sister using Skype to talk to her children in Israel. I also didn’t mind her questions about my blonde highlights, my parents’ homeland and how long I’ve been married. However, this personality type is perceived as friendly by me. Then again, I had a Chinese mother who was brutally honest. For example, my mom said to my dermatologist when I was a teen, “Can you make my daughter less ugly? She has so many acne.”
|Photo Credit: Flickr SuzyQ212 Strawberry|
Emma also gave me holistic remedies for chapped lips like using real strawberries to exfoliate my lips and using milk to moisturize them. She also suggested vinegar to eat away the dry skin and olive oil to rehydrate the lips. These are good ideas and inexpensive items in the kitchen.
|Photo Credit: Flickr Nick Piggott Milk|
I give Emma a 9.7/10 for competence, superior technique and equipment. I also can’t walk around my neighborhood without wearing sunscreen or a hat because Emma is watching. She also promises me a better eyebrow arch if I remember to make an appointment with her by calling 310-209-6252.
|Photo Credit: Flickr Sherry’s Rose Cottage Princesses|
I walked home feeling like a Princess. I treated myself to handfuls of fresh raspberries and lots of water when I got home. Then I visited Twitter to read about Marie Claire’s take on Milan and London’s fashion week.
Stay Beautiful Inside and Out!