We all know the saying, “Beauty is only skin deep.” I am well aware that beauty comes from within, but there is so much pressure on us to maintain that outside beauty too. I know I should be comfortable with my older me, but I was barely comfortable with my younger me, so it is proving challenging. I am an older Mum, surrounded by fit, slim, naturally beautiful 20 and 30 something Mums in the school playground. (To be honest, I am sure many of them think I am the Gran doing pick up!) I go home to check out the lycra gear and think better of it as I glimpse a look at the wrinkles, jowls and dark circles around my eyes – no way this is going to look good running, or should I say jiggling around the village.
So a couple of weeks ago at a Christmas Fair I picked up a voucher for a facial treatment. I will guiltily point out that I was taking a bit of time out of job hunting and setting up the business, to check out crafty stuff in yet another bid to establish myself as a crafting master. It actually just made me want to turn to the gin stall instead of pick up my wood shapes and paint pots.
Back to the voucher – I checked out the website and saw a Caci Jowl Lift and was sold on this idea. Booked it, thinking this is a facial treatment, it will be almost free with my £20 voucher…. always read the small print! Did not have a clue what the thing was, but I thought if it gets rid of the jowls, I’m in. Had to postpone 3 times to fit in with my busy schedule, but today was the day.
I’ve never felt that I would go down the cosmetic surgery, or filler route, but that was when my facial muscles were not letting me down and my eyes didn’t feel the need to have their own bag for life each. I was a bit terrified though as I had a sudden thought that I might have signed up to fillers; I am not sure I am up for that just yet.
After waiting nervously for 10 minutes, I was taken up to the nicely decked out treatment room. I laid on the treatment table and quickly made it clear that I didn’t know what a Caci Jowl facial was. The lovely therapist patiently took me through the whole thing, al the time brandishing these funny looking fork things that looked that tuning forks (Do they still exist?) She told me that the treatment had been designed for stroke patients, which made me feel incredibly vain and self-absorbed, but what the hell, I was there, so I might as well carry on. It’s all something to do with electrical currents toning the muscle – quick flashback at this point to me in the noughties, walking around wearing a slendertone whilst drinking wine, in the hope that effortless exercise really did exist. Needless to say I got drunk and did not tone.
Back to Caci; she told me that I would feel pressure as she really needed to get into the muscle for this to work. Then it began. The pressure was firm to say the least, but the tingling current was fine, there was a strange metallic taste in my mouth, but that was OK. She attempted to chat to me, but I felt like my body was rigid with anxiety and pain, so could only manage a few words between gritted teeth. After half the face was done, which seemed like an eternity, I was showed the results on one side; I could see a difference, but I could also see these bright red marks, which I am sure will bruise later! Off she went onto the other side, but saved the most painful under chin pinching part till last. She told me some people fell asleep during the treatment, I must have one hell of a low pain threshold because I could barely unclench, let alone go to sleep.
So here are the results of my first 30 minute treatment – yes first, apparently there are many more to come. I have gone for the really attractive selfie poses as you can see #nofilter
Left is the before and right is after – can you tell the difference? There is a very slight difference, which I am told will get more noticeable after each treatment, but I am not really seeing it in the photographic evidence.
Then to the sales pitch; 2 treatments per week for a few months, followed by a treatment every one or two months for life! The less than comfortable treatments are £28 pounds a time. She also tried to sell me a vitamin serum that has apparently been scientifically proven to be effective in firming and toning muscles, think she said it was retinol, but after checking out the price, I erased that from my memory in shock. Obviously, the usual over the counter versions would be useless due to the diluting down to keep costs low, so I need the salon brand at a cost of £65.
I got to use their makeup to cover the very red marks on my face, so that was a plus. Always like to play with expensive makeup, that I could never afford. Then I found someone to sort out the bill, it was all very laid back with no one at the desk, so I did wonder if it was free after all. But, it goes without saying that the voucher was not valid, as apparently it needed to be an hour-long treatment,
“So maybe next time you could go for the hour-long option.” she said in a slightly patronising way, the way I feel people who know I can’t afford things talk to me, but maybe that’s just me and my paranoia.
I can’t imagine letting those fork things near the rest of my face and going through it for an hour. The voucher valid hour-long treatments, which I think offer the relaxation and baby soft skin at the end of it, were at least double that price, if not more, so my little £20 voucher would have barely touched the final bill. Sadly, I don’t see my budget stretching to any of those, in fact, it won’t stretch to a repeat visit to the fork lady either.
So, that’s me toned, but £28 poorer; it looks like a bill will have to go unpaid this month, thank God for interest free credit and an amazing Black Friday deal on trainers for the children – a guilt purchase for daring to spend money on me, obviously. I would love to try her retinol serum and go back to fight the jowl war, but how can I honestly justify the cost in a desperate attempt to stay looking younger just a little longer? I think I could be lured into the cosmetic enhancement business, if only I had the money. Just imagine how I could look if I was rich?