For the last week I’ve been walking around with one and a half eyebrows.
Let me explain.
In New York City I had a tradition where I would get a manicure and pedicure after submitting the quarter’s grades. 90% of the time, I’m stressed the week before grades are due because I’m doing too many late night/early morning grading sessions.
As a result, once grades are turned in I do some self-pampering.
After hearing about a nice, clean nail salon and spa at the Hesperia Hotel, I tried to organize a group of co-workers to go test it out with me. Quite frankly, the outing was turning into an unnecessarily complicated ordeal. Despite numerous calls and one left message, no one would pick up the salon’s phone. Hell, sometimes no one would answer the hotel’s main line.
This is just one example of why Venezuela is not known for its service industry. To me the unanswered phone was annoying, but it wasn’t a big deal. I knew I wasn’t living in the US so I couldn’t expect things to function like they did in the US. Expectations such as those can easily become obnoxious, if not dangerous.
When co-workers flaked out on the non-appointment and began to work my nerves, I grabbed a taxi and headed to the Hesperia Hotel by my lonesome.
And what an experience it was.
Though I couldn’t get an appointment for my nails, there was an opportunity to get a hot stone massage and my eyebrows waxed.
Upon entering the salon, rose petals and soothing music greeted me. Women dressed in white scrubs and smiles led me to a room where my eyebrows would be waxed.
I have sparse eyebrows so it takes a steady hand and good eye to clean them up without leaving me with clown eyebrows. Beauty is culturally-defined though. In Curaçao, for instance, the lady made up my eyebrows in a way that I find tacky (heavily drawn in) but understood was considered beautiful for the region.
Here in Venny, the lady just snatched off half my eyebrow with the wax paper and filled in the rest with an eyebrow pencil. Of course, to my untrained eye my eyebrows looked great once done.
When I washed my face at night I just laughed when I saw how my left eyebrow
looked was partially missing. I don’t own make-up so I’ll just wait for the eyebrow to grow back. There are worse problems in life.
Once waxed, I was guided to a room where three well-placed rose petals decorated a pillow.
After disrobing, my very first hot stone massage began. I can’t lie. I did jump at times when the stones touched my skin, but then I relaxed as the warmth spread across my body.
Thirty five minutes later, I was
wiping slob from my mouth fixing myself up in the spa’s immaculate restroom, relaxed and rejuvenated. I was so relaxed I had fallen asleep during the massage!
When I returned from the restroom, a tea and cookie were awaiting me.
It was the perfect way to close out my self-soothing session.
And despite my half-snatched eyebrow, I returned the next week for leg waxing (my first time ever!) and my long-awaited mani/pedi (pleased on all fronts).
I’ll be going to the spa once a month now. Quite frankly, I couldn’t afford such a habit in the US.
Maybe the Venezuelan beauty culture is influencing me more and more.
I might just take on one of my co-worker’s mantras: “This [salon visit] is not a luxury. This is basic upkeep.”
I laughed aloud when I heard it. I may not completely agree with it because money is a very real limitation, but I love it nonetheless. If your finances are right and you work hard for your own coins, treat yourself from time to time! I know I will be at the Hesperia Hotel and Spa!