This week I've been plucked, trimmed, scrubbed, massaged, tanned and even set alight....all in the name of beauty! The college has provided us with a couple of 'enrichment weeks' to start off the term and try out several additional treatments to those that we are learning on the course, some of which we've even gained certificates in. I don't think I've laughed as much as I have this week in a long time, so I thought I'd share with you what I've been learning through simply being allowed to play around with the following treatments:
Hopi Ear Candling
An holistic treatment to clean ears, improve hearing and sinuses, soothe headaches and provide all-round clarity. A hollow tube made out of cotton, beeswax and honey is set alight and placed into your ear. It is slightly unsettling catching the flame out of the corner of your eye burn its way towards your ear, especially when all you can hear is crackling, sparkling and popping, but ten minutes later it is removed before placing another one into the other ear. The whole idea is that the tube acts like a chimney causing the warm air inside it to rise and creating a vacuum at the bottom, which gently stimulates the ear and helps remove excess wax and impurities. It is optional whether you want the tubes opened up to see how much wax has gathered...but trust me you will be strangely fascinated. I found it a relaxing treatment and it's nice to know my ears have been given a good clean!
Think of a massage with pummelling, smacking and knuckling and you'll be closer to knowing what an anti-cellulite massage is - it's pretty hardcore! Whether you're overweight or stick thin, you will most likely develop cellulite at some point of your life, as it's normal fat underneath the skin which can be affected by poor diet, lack of exercise, hormone changes, as well as being heredity. The fat pushes against connective tissues, causing the skin above it to pucker, which therefore explains why massage is a beneficial treatment because it starts to break up those fatty tissues, improve circulation and hopefully reduce some dimples. In time to Pharrell William's 'Happy', we cleansed, exfoliated and massaged the back of each others' thighs with such speed and vigour that I built up quite a sweat by the end! It was hilarious seeing everyone in class jiggle around and screech in discomfort! I thoroughly enjoyed having it done and would start every day with one if I could!
Brought to the UK a few years ago, but practiced in India and Egypt for centuries, threading is gaining popularity due to it being 100% natural and sometimes more precise than tweezing and waxing. It's much harder than I thought it would be!! We were shown two ways to achieve this technique, either with both hands, or one hand and our mouth. I preferred the latter and felt like, with practice, I could give the ladies offering this treatment in shopping malls a good run for their money! It's so simple; a piece of thread is twisted to create a lasso-effect which plucks the hairs out right from the follicle - several can be plucked out at once making it a relatively quick treatment. Lots of people say it's a bit painful to start off with, but after a few treatments the hair follicles weaken and hair won't grow back as quickly or thickly, so it's worth it from time to time. And it's not just brows, it's also great for your upper lip and chin. I'm looking forward to buying the thread and practising!
'Fake Bake' Tanning
Fake Bake is a brand of fake tan which comes in either cream or spray, but we used the cream in class which is applied with hands after exfoliating the whole body and then buffed to remove any steaks or obvious lines. My partner (a fellow mature student) and I decided it was far too tricky trying to maintain our modesty so we went topless and just got on with it. I have to say it was pretty strange having a peer rubbing fake tan on my boobs, and perhaps even more strange for me to rub fake tan onto hers (I felt like a pubescent teenage boy who was experiencing his first pair of knockers and not knowing where to look!!). The cream is a lot darker than what the real tan will look like once developed - it's just so you know where you're applying it - so don't be alarmed if you look like a female bodybuilder; after 6-8 hours, or overnight in my case, it's washed off to reveal the true colour. Mine is a very natural sunkissed tan. Ideal for a special occasion or pre-holiday, or nipping those January blues in the bud...
It's certainly been an enlightening and intimate week getting so up close and personal with my peers and learning lots of great new skills, and I'm thoroughly enjoying receiving all of these lovely treatments on a daily basis (I even had my hair cut by a hairdressing student for a mere £4.50!!). I will be offering some of the above in my salon at some point in the future, so let me know if you're keen to try any out.