A Facial Experience: Finger Condoms, Turkeys and Leatherface.

I got a facial the other day.  I’ve only had a few facials in my life, and most of them have been done at the same spa in my hometown.  But there was a Living Social deal I couldn’t pass up, for a 30 minute “refreshing facial” for some ridiculously cheap price.  In hindsight, I should have looked more closely at the “spa”, because the facial was given at a threading salon.  Regardless, the reviews on Yelp seemed good enough, so I went after work one night.

When I got to the address of the spa, I was looking for a storefront, and was confused to where it would be, because I am pretty familiar with this particular part of the city (right off of Union Square, for you New Yorkers).  Well the address wasn’t for a storefront, but for an office building.  I went inside and sure enough the place was listed on their directory, so upstairs I went, and into a place that was basically a small office with some barber chairs for threading, a desk, and a small kitchen and other room off to the side.  At least the other room turned out to be the room for my facial!  Everyone was perfectly nice, and offered me water, and hung my coat while instructing me to take off my necklace, so it wouldn’t get dirty from anything used during my treatment.

I was called into the room, and was told to only undress on the top, and wrap one of those Velcro bath towels around me. That was a bit odd, as with all other facials I had been told to remove my pants too.  I guess that’s more for my comfort than anything else?  But at least I was wearing leggings, so I was still pretty comfortable. Oh, and the room had a lovely view of the brick wall of the building next door.  So. Relaxing.  The aesthetician (facialist?) immediately started in with some sort of face cream or something, and didn’t wipe my face of any makeup I was wearing!!  That kind of threw me off. I mean, I guess I could have come with a clean face, but I was running straight from work, so I didn’t think about it.

Then, she was massaging the lotion (goo?) onto my face, and pressing down on what I would assume are pressure points or something.  Mostly it felt good, but at one point, I felt like I was in that awfully gory scene from 28 Days Later where Cillian Murphy squeezes that army guy’s eyeballs out with his thumbs.  That movie gave me nightmares.  She was also pulling and pushing on my face skin, which again, felt kind of nice, but I could just imagine her snickering at all the weird faces she must have been contorting my skin into.

It was at some point during the facial when I realized she was wearing rubber gloves.  No one at my normal place wears gloves when giving a facial.  It felt like… well to be blunt, it felt like she was wearing condoms on her fingers.  Yeahhhh.  I could feel when the rubber would ripple between her fingers and my skin, and it just felt weird.  Am I missing something here?  Is this normal for facials and I’ve just been oblivious?

The last, and most hysterical thing to me, was towards the end when she applied a mask, and then covered my face with something that very eerily resembled a cheesecloth.  I couldn’t decide if I felt more like a turkey trussed up for Thanksgiving, or Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  (And I wish to god that I would have been able to take a picture of it somehow, just so I could have seen what it looked like.)

In the end, while it was “refreshing”, my skin didn’t really feel all that clean.  Usually after facials my skin is pink and glowing and feels wonderful.  This just felt… ok.  And a little bit greasy.  I guess I learned my lesson… sometimes those deals aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.  And don’t get a facial from a threading salon. Also, try not to think about things like finger condoms while you’re getting a treatment, because trying not to laugh out loud is the hardest thing EVER.

Have you ever have a bad salon or spa experience?  I hope the hot stone massage/body scrub deal I purchased for a different place is a legit spa this time!


  1. I’ve had a couple bad experiences with Groupon/Living Social deals lately so I’m a bit leery these days in general.

    I treated myself to a hot stone massage after graduating undergrad. It was a beautiful spa but the masseuse was incredibly chatty (and loooooved talking about Jesus). I just wanted to relax (obvs) but felt like I had to interact the entire. time. That’s not normal, right?

  2. ahhh what a bummer! I once bought a massage for a place in AZ when we were vacationing…turned out to in this dude’s home… the guys were worried about leaving my friend and I there but we survived and had a good massage. Makes me think twice now though 🙂

  3. Back when I was a massage therapist we had to use finger condoms while massaging if we were wearing a bandaid or had any sort of cut on our fingers. The strict teachers would encourage them even if we were wearing nail polish (cause the polish could chip and…?).

    They’re weird. I would have felt a little more excited if we had colorful finger condoms though. We just had the normal clear latex. Lamers.

    Also? That scene in 28 Days Later scarred me for life.

  4. What the f*cking f*uck!?!? I’m even more confused now!

  5. i’ve never gotten a facial before so i hope this is not common practice because man would the fingers condoms and cheesecloth weird me out.

  6. Ew! I don’t like facials to begin with so this would have freaked me out.
    I once literally got sexually molested by a male masseuse. I got on top of me and kept asking me in a sexy voice, ” Do you like that?” It was horrific.

  7. So far I haven’t had a bad experience at a spa but I did get really awful highlights at a salon once. They told me they wouldn’t wash out or fade but suddenly I had skunk hair. And hated it. I was so upset that I spent the money and that it happened.

    I did buy a groupon for a mani/pedi at a great place in STL but they apparently only allowed one person to be booked for those deals and they wouldn’t honor my groupon when I called for an appointment unless I could meet with that one person and of course, during work hours. So frustrating! I haven’t bought anything for a facial/spa/salon place since.

  8. i had to scroll all the way past that scary image to read the read of your post, lol! i’m too scared to have a facial – not because of your post i just worry i’ll end up like samantha on that book launch episode of sex and the city. i know that was a chemical peel but still…. : 0

  9. Oh My Goodness. This story was hilar never thought I would hear about finger condoms and cheesecloth in a facial story! Sorry you had a such a bad experience!

    Groupons & Living Social deals can be so shady sometimes. I used one for a mani/pedi and they asked me if I had 2.00 to pay for tax…umm what never had that happen before when using a “deal” and 2.00 did not even make sense with the % Austin charges and the amount the mani/pedi was…oh well whatever came out of his tip..

  10. I have nothing of value to add to this.

  11. If EVER there was a catchy title that would lead a reader to believe you can write compelling content, this would be it! I LoLed just reading it!

    The only really bad experience I had was with a beauty salon where even after telling the stylist REPEATEDLY that my hair has a tendency to pick up red/orange hues in hair color and that she should go for a cool nut brown (like almost ash brown) but I guess she didn’t hear me over the chatting with her friends via cell phone. I left the salon looking like Daphne from Scooby Doo and she didn’t even blow dry my hair!! I got home, cried, and after much cajoling from my bf at the time, I called to have her redo it.

    No finger condoms for me though….hahah

    • Thanks!! And the image of you with hair like Daphne from Scooby Doo is too much! I’m glad your bf made you call to have them redo it. I don’t know if I’d call myself!

  12. I am an esty and the only time you wear “condoms” is if you have a cut or if you are doing extractions. Would you really want someones pimple juice on your fingers? As for the cheesecloth its actually gauze. I only use the for electricity and not all over the face. It makes me worry that my client might be clausterphobic and freak out. She’s supposed to at least take your eye and lip make up off. That and she probably used a crappy cream cleanser and not enough water. My building is office like but we pimped ours out so it doesn’t look officey at all and we have water features and showers and things, then again I also work for a doctors office. I think you just had bad luck with yours groupon.

    • Thanks for the comment! I know that this was not the norm in terms of facial experiences – I’ve had others that have been fantastic. It definitely wont turn me off to getting more done, just not at this particular place!


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