A gentleman’s primer to facials

I went for a facial this week.

Who doesn’t love a facial? All that creaming and smoothing and massaging.

Before I left, MrWI64 told me I deserved this. Which was nice. Then he said, “you’re going to look and feel beautiful.” Also nice but wildly inaccurate. Women know this.

So in that vain and what with this being Valentines Day eve; Gentlemen, this is for you. A primer on facials.  Not to discourage you from gifting facials, but to advise you not to get your expectations unreasonably high.

The facial spa experience starts this way: arrive at a fraqrant and tranquil salon where you choose a type of facial from a menu. At the spa I attended the facials were said to be based on an Indian health system that balances body, mind and spirit. Whatever.

I chose the anti-aging facial, although I’m pretty sure that horse has left the barn.

People speak quietly in these surroundings and a soft-speaking practitioner escorts you to a dimly lit treatment room in which pan flutes enhance the mood.

The treatment bed is heated and you know from the get-go they’ll have to pry you off.

The whole business starts with a terry cloth band around your head to keep hair out of the facial doings. This is when you remember you forgot to bring a hairbrush.

A warm damp towel removes any makeup you arrived in and for an hour or so  all focus is on you and your face. This is the real purpose of a facial. The steaming, the creaming . . . the focus.

There’s some analysis by the soft-speaking practitioner. Skin’s a bit dry here, she sees the beginnings of rosacea there, then the lotions and creams deemed right for  recovery are applied smoothly and soothingly. There’s lots of massage involved. Practiced strokes that do who-knows-what, but are heavenly.

About two-thirds of the way through your appointment – at a cost of about two dollars per minute, you try to stay awake throughout – your face is covered in clay. Minutes later, another warm damp cloth is applied to remove the clay. Facial veterans know it won’t be long now before you have to open your eyes and get your act together.

More cream and then a massage: cheeks, chin, scalp then – god, how will I ever get off this bed – shoulders and arms.

“There,” the practitioner says softly, “Take your time getting up.” Easier said than done.

You’re a wreck. All energy, adrenaline, and will to move has gone up in a clay mask and damp cloth.

As you dress, you spot a mirror. You look in it.

This is what you hope will result from a facial:

"Eye In The Sky" - UK Premiere - Red Carpet
Karwai Tang—WireImage/Getty Images

This is the reality:

Taken in the moment – the real outcome of a facial.

Can you spot the difference?

Do not be dissuaded. A facial is a marvelous experience and gift. But for obvious reasons, this is not the time to book a table in a posh restaurant.

This will be a cheese on toast night.

Happy Valentines.



24 Comments Add yours

  1. sandy746s says:

    Oh Gery,

    I’ve been meaning to write and tell you how much I enjoy your posts. But this one made me laugh so hard, I had to pick myself up off the floor!!!!

    You are a beautiful writer, and a beautiful person, and I think you look way better than Helen Mirren, at least I’m sure you did once your skin recovered a bit.

    I hope you are doing well… I meant to write at Christmas, then right after Christmas, then at New Years, then when you sent out your blog asking about topics… just a little behind like usual.

    You are very generous to share your words with all of us, your loyal followers 🙂

    Big hug and hope to see you one of these days soon, Sandy

    Sandy Reber Reber Creative Direct: 250 216-1092 Office: 250 383-5255



    1. Gery Lemon says:

      Sandy, thank you! This means the world. Can we chat soon?


  2. S fraser says:

    You asked what your faithful readers would like you to write about in the last blog. Please just keep writing! I can hear your voice when you write. Lovely.


    1. Gery Lemon says:

      Thank you! I will.


  3. rick stevens says:

    Gery: You are beautiful. The other woman had a better photographer. That simple.


    1. Gery Lemon says:

      Thank you, dear heart. Yes, the other woman probably never takes selfies.


  4. Daughter #1 says:

    Your skin looks heaps younger than hers. Sounds like a lovely facial.


    1. Gery Lemon says:

      Thank you, #1. Love you.


  5. Pat Ardley says:

    Oh My God!!! We are keeled over laughing!!! I have always thought that you look like Helen Mirin. Maybe just not on the way out of a facial!!! Baaaahahahaha!!!


    1. Gery Lemon says:

      Looking like Helen Mirren can’t be bad. All resemblance lost in those moments. xxx


  6. Leslie says:

    Wonderful take on the need to beautify ones self. My fear is that the cracked clay mask would be permanent! Apparently you sailed through that stage magnificently. 😁


    1. Gery Lemon says:

      Not exactly, SS.

      You saw the picture, right?


  7. Anita Wasiuta says:

    I am sitting by the fireplace reafing your story with the gentle heat the fire seeping through my bones. A facial sounds amazing … it has been years. Then I scroll down to see your lovely face. This is exercise at its best. Great toning of the stomach muscles as laughter shakes my every muscle. I think I will book a pedicure instead. Thanks!


    1. Gery Lemon says:

      Thank YOU, Anita. Go for the facial. Just remember a brush.


  8. Henny Chassar says:

    Way to tell a story…laughed thru it with memories of having facials in the past…so vivid and my hair looked the same …..


    1. Gery Lemon says:

      I’m reassured you and others relate. Thanks, Henny.


  9. Jane burnes says:

    I like both the pix of you.In Toronto – sudden trip becuz Mom got the flu and was alone. She’s recovering.   Jane Burnes MacKeen250-889-1054 From: When I’m 64Sent: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 8:06 PMTo: jane.burnes@telus.netReply To: When I’m 64Subject: [New post] A gentleman’s primer to facials

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    /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */ WordPress.com

    Gery Lemon posted: “I went for a facial this week.

    Who doesn’t love a facial? All that creaming and smoothing and massaging.

    Before I left, MrWI64 told me I deserved this. Which was nice. Then he said, “you’re going to look and feel beautiful.” Also nice but wildly inaccur”


    1. Gery Lemon says:

      You’re kind.
      Hope mom’s doing better.


  10. Sue trenkel says:

    Gery , this is hilarious …Next time post your made up photo and remember, Helen Mirren is ……..74(oops did l say that out loud?) she is never the less, gorgeous , not quite as good as you though ……..


    1. Gery Lemon says:

      74! Hope I’m still writing my blog when I reach that age, but I bet I won’t be posting post-facial pictures. Thank you, Sue. ☺️


  11. Jean says:

    Very funny, Gery! When I think of spas, I remember the one we went to together in Parksville. Quite an experience there.


    1. Gery Lemon says:

      Oh, gosh, yes. Not so tranquil.


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