Hmm, sorry about the lack of entries last week, I was away (note to everyone: never blog the fact that you're away). And as threatened in the blog post I actually managed before sheer lethargy took over at the excellent Budock Vean Hotel in Cornwall (who knew you got this much sun in October?) I had this facial, which I promised I'd blog about.
OK, plug first - they used many components of the grooming kit in the Amazon link above on me and yes, I'll get a kickback if you buy one through the link. No obligation and above all no promises - your skin might not react like mine.
So I'm going into this Facial thing, no idea what to expect. It's a slightly darkened room and this young woman tells me to strip to my pants. I explain that I normally keep my face above my shoulders; she agrees I can keep the trousers on if I want. Look, stop laughing at the back, what was I supposed to know about this stuff?
She puts cucumber on my eyes. I'd always assumed this was just a gag from sitcoms or whatever, but apparently not. She then starts washing my face. There's something slightly unnerving about someone else washing your face - but she uses cleanser and then a scrub, the idea being to take the dead skin away.
It was dead quiet. I could have done with a bit of music. There was some sort of whale song or whatever; I had Ian Dury and the Blockheads on my iPhone if she'd only asked.
Eventually I stop feeling self-conscious and kind of go with it. This would be about when the funny post-shave face mask goes on to really suck out some gunge - not that I don't wash! - and she starts the massage on the shoulders, the arms, the neck, the individual fingers. When I tell you that I spend most of my time hunched over a computer typing you can imagine that a lot of tension was ready to be let go.
Eventually the mask comes off, more cucumber goes on the eyes after a bit of eye cream (I'm in my mid-forties, we need this stuff) and moisturiser. She tells me I'm free to go anytime and there's a glass of water waiting for me outside.
A glance in the mirror dispelled a lot of my more cynical preconceptions. I was more relaxed than before because of the massage (daughter has since tried to duplicate this for me so the shoulder now hurts like mad) but my face looked a lot clearer, fresher and more alert.
Scientifically I have no idea how this worked. The feeling that I was spending some time on myself and being indulged completely might account for all sorts of rejuvenated feeling, but I wouldn't criticise it for that. I can quite see how something like this a day or two before a big presentation or something could give someone a boost of confidence; I'm on stage on Thursday but won't be able to fit it in, but another time I'll certainly consider it as part of the preparation.
As long as you're not someone who feels self-conscious about this sort of thing I'd heartily recommend it.