Candid, not Candied

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Beauty Parlour Blahs

Any woman that denies having stepped into the oh-so-womanly beauty parlour, at least once in their lifetime, is certainly lying. And here, i talk about the current generation, not that of our moms and grand-moms and great great grand-moms and the likes. It is but natural that women have started venturing out, are more active and are no longer restricted to the confines and comforts of their homes. In short, all such women-lib crap. (Clarification: Women's-lib is not crap - why i mentioned it here maybe...) On second thought, womens-lib is crap.

Let's admit that parlours do enhance the way you look. Maybe they can't change your structure forever(excuse the cosmetic surgeons and the various brow lifts and face lifts and rhinoplasties and chin tucks and ear staples- I'm talking about the normal, average, those ones found in every society wala, beauty parlour); but they can certainly make you look much presentable than you might usually do.

I too have beauty parlour sessions from time to time, and there's no denying to that. The first time I set my foot into one was when I was in college... don't remember when. But i do remember that mom had pushed me to get my eyebrows shaped. I had this bushy, fat eyebrows that needed trimming - as mom put it. I never stopped to think about my eyebrows. I was bewildered at the thought of getting my eyebrows plucked. I begged my mom to come along... but she wouldn't have it. "The way you act anyone would think you are going in for some bypass surgery". Of course, to me it was no less than one. Did I mention that my aunt who shared her experience with eyebrow threading had told me that it pained so awfully and she couldn't stop sneezing and the whole session took about an hour to get her eyebrows in shape? There you go... scary, innit?   

Yes, I have come a long way from there. Though I no longer hyperventilate at the idea of threading, I still have    my apprehensions.

To say I have delicate, sensitive skin would be a boorish understatement. My skin jumps at least provocation. And so, I launch myself into giving a short tape recorded speech to beauty parlour aunties (BPAs) when they rant 1001 solutions to soft and supple skin, that usually includes various face massages, bleaching, herbal creams, ayurvedic mud packs, costly Parisian lotions etc. And may I please add, at their esteeeeemed parlour - the one stop solution to all my skin care miseries. Most of the time, I successfully wish-wash their skin care hocus-pocus by mumbling *sensitive skin, doesn't take all this so well*. 

However, let me tell you, these aunties are doctors by their own standards. One look at your skin and they tell you how cruelly you treat your skin. How insensitively you put it through, dhool-mitti-pradushan day by day, week by week, month by month, year after year... Each time I go for a session, say even for a 45 minute hair trimming one, I have to face the insults thrown at me. My hair is always dry, I don't use conditioner, I don't got for hot oil massages, I don't trim it as often as I should, which shampoo I use, why I use that one, why not the one she suggested, when will I learn, how difficult it'll be after marriage, more so after kids, i should learn to take care of myself, 5 minutes everyday I can't spare for my own good - These are the accusations hurled at me that I hence unabashedly concur. 

I try. I do try. Really. Really hard. That is, to fall in line, to take a step towards the betterment of my neglected beauty regime. But that's not the only thing I do, is it? Get this, conditioner + wrapping my head in hot towel should tentatively take not more than 7-9 minutes. But by the time I somehow clumsily get the knack of wrapping the towel, it has already turned cold. I'm back to heating the towel. 

Not to mention how many times I call out to my distressed mom to give me a hand at it. I give up. Of course, I haven't yet admitted this to my BPA yet. Else I'd be in another you-don't-listen-to-me charade. I wonder if "How to humiliate your customer" is a part of their training. 

And then, there are those whose expertise lie in painting your face in bright colours during occasions like weddings and receptions. The only time that I handed over my face to BPAs is during V's wedding and mine. And that includes the reception too. While the wedding make-ups were commendable, the reception ones turned out to be a nightmare. Believe me, me being fair skinned, they slather every possible cream and foundations to make me look fairer. Then they team it up with the darkest and brightest shaded lipstick that they can lay their hands on. The result? I look a classic example of Noorie. That's what my cousin calls me each time he looks at my snap. All my lamentations fall on deaf ears while parallely giving me the know-it-all-looks i-know-what-looks-best-on-your-skin-tone look.

What annoys me is, no amount of convincing works on them. I guess like you can't argue with your doctor or your lawyer, you can't argue with the BPA's either. So I have devised a way out. The day I need to visit my BPA, I apply moisturizer - of any kind that's available at home but make sure to name the correct brand that she has suggested, bathe in conditioner - again, of any kind that's available at home but make sure to name the correct brand that she has suggested, smile a lot to erase any guilt off my face and say, "hey look I use this product you suggested and it works like magic for me" smile, smile, smile, smiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiile. Dare her to argue, she won't. This is how I defeat my BPA in her own battlefield. Oh, how vindicated I feel! :D

P.S. I hope my BPA doesn't land here... or i'm done for!

P.P.S I hope none of you are BPAs... I'm still done for!!!


  1. i HATE parlor visits! i also used to get those snide comments about hair being "dry", "unconditioned", "unoiled" blah blah blah...
    my hair is naturally rough. no amount of oil/conditioning and not in the least - henna - will make an ounce of difference to it. (and yes, my mom's tried ALL of that, and more, on me). it is the way it is. and i can live with it. i don't blame my genes for me being smart... how can i blame them for bad hair?
    but you know what... it's better here. i haven't been to a single salon where they've been so condescending!! they do their job... and ask if i need anything else. if i say no, they respect that!

  2. they leave no stone unturned to make me feel terrible abt my skin... :( another thing u dint mention - they have special mirrors..that spot on ur face which u never saw at home, at a mall, in the trial room - is suddenly there! dark and ugly in BPA's office!

  3. @ rayshma,
    m really tired of hearing all this from BPAs each time. I wonder why they make it their responsibility if the client's hair is "rough", "arid" or "oily"

    @ Jinu,
    yes yes, that too. magic mirror maybe? btw, Hiiiiiiieee... long time no see!

  4. oh the parlour visits!..they are necessary much as i hate the visits, i cannot abandon them..well, actually you have given me food for my next post..:-)


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