What Beauty Task Have You Never Tried?

Gabrielle Blair strawberry

By Gabrielle. Photo by Kristen Loken.

When I was in Salt Lake City in January, I was getting my hair done at the hotel spa, and the stylist and I started chatting about facials. She’s a huge fan of facials and tries to schedule one every month. It’s her big luxury/splurge. I was nodding along and thinking Yes! Facials! Amazing! The Best!, when I suddenly laughed at myself because I’ve never had a facial and don’t even have a clear idea of what actually happens during a facial.

From what I understand they can involve massage, steaming, exfoliating, masks, clearing of pores, and I’m not sure what else. I’ve also heard sometimes they take a long time, like an hour or more. I’m quite fascinated by the time factor, because that seems like a lot of minutes to spend on one not-that-big area of the body. Though I’m sure it makes sense while it’s happening,

Now, I’m not opposed to facials in anyway, nor am I opposed to whatever beauty routines or rituals that help you feel fantastic. And I’ve tried quite a few over the years. Hair stuff like color, cuts, and blowouts — even perms! And stuff like mani-pedis, waxing, and tinted brows. I’ve even tried laser hair removal, and as a teenager, I totally tried tanning beds. So I was surprised to realize I’d never booked a facial. I’m surprised again as I type this!

Then I remembered when I first met my sister-in-law, Lisa. Manicures came up and she told me she’d never had paint on her fingernails. I don’t know if that’s still true, but I remember being almost shocked. Never had your nails painted?!!! (Of course, someone reading this post is probably thinking, “Never had a facial?!!!”)

That made me wonder, what grooming/beauty appointments have you never scheduled? Maybe from simple disinterest, or maybe because you feel moral opposition to a certain beauty task? Is there anything you assumed you would do, and have been surprised you haven’t tried? Maybe you thought you’d color your greys, but never have?Also, on facials, what’s your take? Do you see a big difference in your skin when you get one? Or is it one of those more subtle things where you just feel better for doing it. I’d love to hear!

P.S. — Speaking of grooming, I had another hair appointment on Saturday and I’m platinum! You can see a peek on Instagram. I’m trying to put a fun photoshoot together that will show off the new do, and then I’ll write up a post about the whole process.

51 thoughts on “What Beauty Task Have You Never Tried?”

  1. It’s funny because I’ve never had a manicure or pedicure before and when I tell other women that they freak out! haha. I’ve never been one to splurge on anything for myself and I really should. I know my body would thank me for it, especially now that I’m getting older.

    I’d LOVE to get a facial or even some kind of microdermabrasion treatment!

  2. I’m an esthetician and actually don’t like facials! I will do my own at home, with all homemade products, but to book one and lay down for an hour is agonizing. It’s too long for me to lay there. I love the glow of my clients skin after their facial, all that rubbing and massaging brings fresh blood under the skin, takes away impurities and they just shine! I will suggest you look up homemade, natural products. You can easily have a great facial with items found in your pantry and fridge. You can add things to it like vit C powder for anti-aging, you can use yogurt and banana for moisturizing masks, pineapple juice for a toner…the list goes on and on.

  3. I’ve never had a facial, had any waxing, or even had my hair dyed! I’m just a cut and style kinda girl. Maybe when I go grey. I love a massage though!

  4. I’ve never used tanning beds due to the cancer connection. I’m not opposed to spray tans but never had one. I do use some of the subtle Jergens lotion when my legs look extra pale. I’ve also never had a bikini wax and since I wear relatively modest swimsuit bottoms, I don’t see the need for one.

  5. I just had a facial on Friday. I much prefer them to massages, even though you get the benefits of massage while getting a facial. My skin just glows after and I feel so pampered and relaxed. That said, I have never done eyelash extensions and would be interested to try them!

  6. I’m a pretty low maintenance gal :) I’ve never had a professional pedicure (although I’ll paint my toenails at home), facial, or my eyebrows done. I dyed my hair a bit as a teenager, but it’s been natural since college. And the last time I had a professional manicure was for my wedding ten years ago. I see pictures of my friends who have little girls (I just have boys) doing professional spa days with them and I chuckle that these 4 year olds have had more professional pampering in their lives than I have.

    I am convinced I won’t dye my hair as it turns (more) grey. I think I’ll end up sticking with that largely because I know myself and I would never want to keep up with those regular hair appointments if I did start dying it!

  7. I’ve never had a facial either, but I’m with Rachael^^ I love doing stuff at home. Bentonite clay masks, sugar scrubs, baking soda microderm abrasion…whenever I do one I tell myself I need to do it more often! But I do most things at home by myself, including cutting my own hair.

  8. I’ve had one facial, but it left scabs all over my face. I was a senior in high school at the time, and my face looked like I had been in an accident afterwards. Thank God social media hadn’t reached its peak yet back then, so there were no pictures of the experience. Even though the microdermabrasion felt amazing, I’ve never had another facial, because I’m not sure if my skin was too sensitive for the products or if the lady just totally screwed up the process. I also had a bad experience with the one eyebrow waxing I’ve ever scheduled. I’ll give it a pass, because it was a beauty school student, but she dropped wax in my hair.

    lol. I’ve just given up on the scheduled pampering, because it tends to backfire on me. The one massage I’ve had was wonderful. I’d love to have another one.

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  10. I recently had my first facial and I was underwhelmed. I have very sensitive skin and a very simple skin care practice at home and after the facial I just felt like my skin was covered with goop. And that was high-end natural goop. I’d love to read a post on at-home facials, though – I hope you follow that idea!

    I’ve never gotten waxed. I’ve waxed my bikini line at home a few times, but going to have someone else do it just feels awkward. I’m not terribly modest in many ways, but that one makes me uncomfortable!

  11. I’ve never had anything done to my eyebrows by another person, not even my mother. She refused to pluck them for me so I did it myself when I was about 14 (with a how-to article from Seventeen Magazine open on the counter next to me) and I’ve only ever done them myself since then. A friend of mine goes and gets hers threaded every few weeks and I’d love to try it but I don’t have the patience to let them grow out enough in between!

  12. I’ve never dyed my hair, though I suspect that might change when my greys become a bit more noticeable.

    But facials? I love them. After a facial and back massage, which I schedule every three months, I look visibly younger for at least a week afterwards. I’m convinced it’s got something to do with the facial massage. Very relaxing. I’ve even woken myself up snoring a few times!


  13. I’ve never had a mani or pedi or a massage (though I’ve been very tempted), no hair dying or anything beyond a haircut (and even that only happens once every six to 12 months). The place I go for haircuts does a “mini-facial” as part of the service, and when they ask if I want it, I ALWAYS say yes. It’s nothing involved, but I think it’s a huge treat. I have an appointment booked for my birthday this year, just as a birthday bonus!

  14. What I would really love to know is… where your shirt is from? I love that’s it’s a pullover!

    I love facials every once in a while but I honestly don’t ever notice a difference afterwards.

  15. Never waxed any hair off any part of my body. Never had my brows threaded (and believe my, I do have strong brows!). Never considered having my teeth bleached, never spend money on my nails.

    Come to think: My last facial was 9 years ago and it was a gift voucher I received. If I can choose I rather spend my money on other stuff.

    The only beauty-money I spend is on my hair. I have the roots touched up every 4 weeks and a cut every 10 weeks.

  16. I’d occasionally gotten facials, one here or there, but never thought that much of them. Then I randomly found Cynthia on Yelp at her new business Illuminata Skin Care, in San Francsico. That was about 4 years ago. Now I am a total devotee. I schedule it once a month, but would go more often if it was in my budget. Her facial includes a back and arm massage, but mostly she is just super skilled at what she does, and she is divine, and her office is ultra clean and modern/beautiful/cozy. It makes my mind and body happy to go there, and my skin absolutely glows afterward. Glad you asked, happy to share.

  17. I am terrified of having anyone (other than me) touch my eyebrows, so I’ve never had them done. It could go so wrong, and it would be impossible to hide! Also, I’ve had facials, and while they can feel good and be relaxing, it just seems like a big waste of time and money to pay someone else to wash my face. I’ve found a good diet, sleep, and good regular skincare does so much more for my skin than a facial.

  18. I’m pretty against tanning beds and I don’t like facials. The few I had hurt (extractions from those little clogs in your nose) and I’d just as soon stick to my Mia Sonicare brush.

    I’d never had a blow out (my hair is wildly SUPER curly) until a stylist gave me one at a salon opening. I felt so pretty I burst into tears!

    I’ve never had my makeup professionally done, which is SUPER weird: before I was a photographer, I was a makeup artist!

  19. I’m terribly boring in that I’ve never had colour in my hair, at the salon or at home, never had a Mani or a pedi, never had a facial, never get anything waxed… I had my eyebrows done a couple of times as a teen but my skin stayed red for hours after which was not a look I liked. I will indulge really occasionally in a massage – bliss!! – and one thing I’d like to do is have my eye lashes tinted. My mum loves facials too; I should really do a beauty day trip with her for my first. Should book it in when she visits next month…

  20. I used to have facials regularly in order to control acne. I started about six months before my wedding and by the time the big day rolled around my skin was clear for the first time in my adult life. In the lead up to my wedding I was having facials once every two weeks (I’ve finally learned not to use the word “fortnight” in order not to confuse my American friends!) but after my wedding I had them much more infrequently to save money. My facials were definitely not relaxing but they worked. I’d usually spend at least 45 minutes with a mask setting rock hard on my face, and that was just half of the facial! There was all that steaming and painful extraction too. I’d usually have a foot massage done while the mask was setting otherwise I’d start to feel a little claustrophobic just laying there with nothing to distract me!
    I haven’t had a facial since my oldest daughter was born. All those hormones from four pregnancies seemed to have helped my skin out! My skin still breaks out quite a lot but nothing like it did when I was younger.

  21. Never had a facial, wax, or tan… Just never felt the need to!

    However I also have never dyed my hair, once I do it I feel won’t ever be able to get back to my natural color, it just seems so permanent!

  22. Naomi Cartner

    I’ve never had false nails – but really have no desire… as I am not into things that are high maintenance. I also have never been platinum before… but maybe I should in my lifetime.

  23. I’ve never ever dyed my hair, but now that I’m 28 and greying, it’s so tempting! I’ve always loved my chestnut brown hair but you’ve made me consider going blond … How have your husband and kids reacted to your new hair? I remember crying when my mom went from grey to brown when I was 10 years old. I didn’t recognize her :)

  24. I’ve never ever dyed my hair, but now that I’m 28 and greying, it’s so tempting! I’ve always loved my chestnut brown hair but you’ve made me consider going blond … How have your husband and kids reacted to your new hair? I remember crying when my mom went from grey to brown when I was 10 years old. I didn’t recognize her :)

  25. The Well-Rounded Woman

    I love massages and a good pedicure (mostly for the massage part), but during the one facial I ever had they got something in my eye. My hands were wrapped up in something so I was freaking out that I couldn’t even get it out. Have been scared since but have been thinking about giving it a try again.

  26. Massages! Funny because my company health care plan would cover them but I have never been for one. Some people I work with go for one every month!

  27. As a teen, my mom wouldn’t let me dye my hair, but I was a lifeguard so I started getting my legs and bikini line waxed, especially during the winter before the summer season started. I don’t do it anymore for time reasons. I used tanning beds as a lead up to my summer wedding 11 years ago as I had an indoor job and didn’t want to be washed out. It was definitely relaxing for me, but age and wisdom now prevail. I started dying my hair about 5 years ago when my naturally blonde hair that I had had all my life turned into a weird mousy dirty blonde. I add highights and lowlights just to what I think my natural color “should be” . I’ve received gift certificates for spa treatments, helf of which have probably expired, not because of not wanting to go but just forgetting to book it! When I go, I usually do a mani/pedi/massage combo. I’ve never had a facial-mostly because my skin is super sensitive and I’m terrified of having it blotchy or even breakout because of a facial. I’d love to know how common those reactions are and how to know what to look for before booking a facial, as I would like to try it-that and a body wrap!

  28. I am pretty frugal, so I tend to not allow myself many beauty extravagances, however, my sister is an esthetician at a Japanese spa and she is amazing at giving facials. Very relaxing and my skin looks so much better for weeks afterward. I think whether or not you enjoy the facial or not depends on how good the person doing it is.

  29. I get manicures all the time, but I’ve never had a pedicure! And I live in flip flop land. I am amazed at this all the time, but if I only have time for one or the other, it’s manicure every time.

    1. Funny Emily A, I am dead opposite. Not that I get either very often, but if I have to choose, I always go for the pedicure. Something about my cracked heals professionally taken care of feels so luxurious. And I don’t live in flip flop land. Go figure.

      1. I just feel so put together with a color on my fingers. I agree, though, that the feeling is luxurious. I didn’t do manicures, though, until gel manicures were invented. I couldn’t keep the color on for more than a day. Now I’m kind of a junkie.

  30. I’ve had several facials-and they’re great. I really love massages, and scrubs and wraps-I have one or 2 a year. I occasionally have my brows waxed. I did have a bikini wax once-it hurt and it was way more personal than I was expecting-LOL I had my teeth whitened once and it was more painful than natural childbirth-never again! I regularly get my hair highlighted and cut-and even had extensions for about 6 months. They were too problematic and expensive to maintain-but I can see why celebrities and people with unlimited funds would get them-so nice when you have thin hair. The one thing I never do (that everyone I know seems to do and love) is get manis and pedis.

  31. Growing up, I never knew that the majority of beauty treatments were available other than simple haircuts. Hard to believe BUT TRUE.

    I didn’t know that people plucked their eyebrows, or waxed. I’d never seen my mom or any one close to me get a manicure, or a facial, or a massage.

    Learning you could wax your bikini line was REVELATORY to me in my mid thirties. No more need for board shorts?!? It was mind blowing and world changing.

    I’ve never had a manicure. 2 professional pedicures total. I’ve never colored my hair.

    I’ve now had my bikini line waxed, my hair cut (supercuts!), and a handful of massages that have been gifted (BEST gift EVER). I honestly think that’s it.

    I’m waaaay too frugal to justify anything else. Kind of makes me sad. I think I could love them all. But when deciding where to spend the few discretionary dollars I have, beauty tasks don’t make the cut.

  32. A year ago, I took my 90 yo mother to have her FIRST mani/pedi. She has done her own for all these years! Last month I took her again for her second….

    1. I love this! I had a friend do this with her grandmother as well! I think it’s so nice; I’m sure my grandmother never splurged on a mani/pedi or any beauty treatments (aside from hair).

  33. I’ve only ever had one facial–when I was a teenager–and it went horribly. My face burned and had a rash that lingered for days. I’ve since learned that my face is too sensitive for a lot of products, including most moisturizers and sunscreens. I haven’t tried it again for obvious reasons. I would love to see a post about more natural at-home facials, as you suggested in one of the comments. I just bought some clay for a mask, and I’ve been looking for more products that I can use for my new weekly ritual–a bath without my one year old!

    The thing I haven’t done that suprises most people is color my hair. I have very soft, fine hair, and I’ve heard coloring it changes the texture, so I’ve always been too scared. It’s also always been too much of a luxury money-wise. I may still do it, though!

  34. I don’t know if it’s being from the south where looks reign supreme, but I seriously can’t think of anything I haven’t done.

    -tanning beds in high school, although I’m totally against them now
    -spray tans
    -oil by the pool
    -waxing (name an area)
    -laser hair removal (so superior to waxing, but then, what isn’t)
    -eye lash extensions (loved, but too $$$)
    -latisse (love!)
    -hair dye since 7th grade
    -perms from ages 4-11
    -mani/pedi (although, oddly, my first pedi wasn’t until college….I don’t remember them really being a thing growing up, definitely not like they are now)
    -massage (MY FAVORITE)
    -facial (Meh. it’s nice every couple of months to freshen the skin, but aside from being soft/smooth, i’ve never noticed a real difference)
    -microderm (I actually should do this more often…it is kind of like rubber bands flicking your face, but….i guess that makes me feel like it’s doing something?)

    and….I recently did Botox (secretly) for the first time. I cried leading up to it, because….I just didn’t want to cross that line into “plastic surgery” or whatever it is. But at the same time, i didn’t want to start avoiding pictures or feel bad about my appearance. And you know? Not bad! And I had a great tech who knew how much to use so I really just look like me, but rested. I’ll totally do it again…in time. ;)

  35. After reading this article yesterday… I went and had my eyebrows threaded! It have had them waxed before, and mostly keep up with a little plucking here and there- but they have gotten WAY out of control!

    So today- I did it! I went to the least ‘scary’ place- the little shop inside my local grocery store where the nice lady is always standing inviting shoppers in.

    I LOVE it. I feel so much more put together and when I look in the mirror I see ME instead of those bushy things staring back at me! Thanks for the nudge!

  36. I’ve never had a facial either! But mostly because I haven’t had the opportunity yet. But I want to!
    I’ve never dyed my hair, which at 25, people always think is baffling. I wasn’t allowed to when I was younger, and have since been scared about doing it because I love my natural colour so much. But now I’m toying with the idea of balayage, so we’ll see!

  37. When I started beauty school about 10 years ago I’d never colored my hair lot alone had a facial, waxed my brows, or even had a mani or pedi. I learned how to do all of it and had it done to me as well and it was awesome. Interestingly, I haven’t had a mani, pedi, or a facial since I stopped working years ago (we moved from Utah to Oakland for my husbands school and started having kids and I wanted to do other things) and the thing I miss most is a facial. So soothing and relaxing. I have decent skin already but the massage was the best thing ever. My husband has/had problematic skin and I had him come in for 2 or 3 facials while I was in school and he was shocked at how much it helped his skin. He hasn’t had one since but the effects have lasted. It was like it finally really cleared out the previous 10 years of teenage and young adult skin issues and while he still gets zits once in a while and has big, deep pores, his skin is still in good shape thanks to the serious cleaning those few facials did.

  38. Funny, I never think of myself as much of a beauty treatment person since it’s so rare that I get them, but I’ve tried a lot of things. Between a massage and a facial, I’d choose a facial hands-down. I’ve been fortunate to get some great people who use excellent products and I find it makes a difference in my (sensitive) skin. Plus, I find them so relaxing. I wish I could get one every month but it’s usually more like once a year.

    Eyebrow threading is a mystery to me. What IS that? Sounds painful! And I’ve never done spray tanning — seems too unhealthy putting all that whatever–makes-the-tan on my pores.

    Btw, you are rocking it with that new platinum hair!

  39. I’ve never done any professional waxing of any kind. Sometimes I think about bikini or brazilian and I blush just thinking about them. I also have never had a professional facial though once at church we brought in an esthetician for a youth activity that I was in charge of and I got to be the demo girl because the youth were too nervous. The facial massage was OK but I couldn’t see anything revolutionary about that process. Besides, with a physician mother who perpetually warned me about the nasty infections from the nicest salons in the city that she was treating, I’m pretty much scared me off of regular salon beauty treatments, other than hair.

  40. Reading your post made me realised I’ve tried everything! But I’m not one to do them regularly though. Most beauty procedure I’ve done are usually gifts. Funny how people think I’m that girl. But I’m actually pretty low maintenance and I do everything DIY at home!

  41. I’ve never tried eyebrow threading.
    I disastrously tried waxing on my face; both in the salon and at home it resulted in large areas of denuded, bleeding skin. Super sensitive skin!
    I love mani pedis but do them at home most of the time. For some reason my nails tend to break more after a shop mani pedi. So weird.

  42. I have also never tried laser procedures or eyebrow threading. But facials are a wonderful experience I try to have every few weeks – and your skin really shows it when you are dedicated to getting them.

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