MY FIRST SKIN TREATMENT


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by INES

One day in December as I was nearing a turning point in my life I made the decision to book an appointment with an esthetician after a long two years of skin issues. But before I start I'd like to mention that it was she who told me that she rather calls herself a beauty therapist than an esthetician. Fancy enough to justify the money I leave there, but borderline pretentious. But hey, even hairdressers call themselves fancy names like "hair artist" so I think esthetician beauticians deserve a name lift as well. After all, they do more dirty work than their hair counterparts.

Before Jana Lieber, my face was never touched by a foreign hand. Never have I ever experienced a romantic pimple-popping by candle lights. Nor have I taken part in an oh-so Instagramable girls night in. On the day of the long-awaited visit, my emotions fluctuated between a state of nervousness and happiness. I was in anticipation! I felt like I was going on a first date. I double cleansed just as the French guru Joelle Ciocco taught me and I changed three times just as my indecisive mind taught me. Proud of myself for having done all this in a respectable time, I left my warm home and ventured into the wide world. Of course, just as I was locking the door I remembered that a turtleneck just might not be the best attire for an esthetician visit, so I jumped back in to change and missed the session. Classic.

Jana was waiting for me at the door. Google Maps was slightly confused about the location of her salon. She was as simple, open and loving in person as she was in the emails we exchanged. While undressing my thousands of layers of clothing, we chat about how enormous my oversize coat is and then she points in the direction where the magic happens. The room was warm and homely. It reflected Jana's character. When I got down, she covered me with a blanket for further relaxation. She switched off the main light and turned on that little surgical one that shows all the dirty things that I didn't think existed on my skin up to that point. She first started cleaning my skin, following by a chemical peel. For the sake of better understanding, let me say that my skin is thin and sensitive, with dry cheeks and a greasy t-section. My struggle with pimples and blackheads which I had never known before started two years ago. "You should always stick to chemical peels and stay away from physical exfoliations" Jana explained to me. The tiny parts in physical exfoliators are supposable too aggressive for most skin types. But skin exfoliation is one of the most important steps in skincare, as it removes dead skin and promotes cell turnover. Also, Jana is a big advocate of peels which she learned from her esthetician friend Oxana Levak.

We proceeded with the manual (surprisingly painless) removal of blackheads and ended with a mask, as well as a facial massage that almost made me fell asleep. Her hands are as full of love as her last name. Her voice guides you through a pleasant meditative state in which she reminds you to breathe out the bullshit and inhale love.

Despite Jana's "classic" cosmetic education, which she is very supportive of (solid foundations are important!), it would be wrong to believe that there's anything classic about this beautiful woman. She believes in a holistic approach because as she says, every man is his individual, whose heart beats at his own pace. That is why her treatments are always unique and tailored to the client's needs. You can expect questions about your lifestyle, diet and even spiritual practice! "Coaching has taught me the importance of making good contact with your client. This contact is important in creating a relaxed atmosphere and building confidence that lets the client really enjoy the process!"

As I was leaving the salon, I truly learned the meaning behind "beauty therapist". Jana is a therapist in the broadest sense. Both her touch and her warmth is therapeutic. There's no sterile attitude insight. She really knows how to bring out your inner Beyonce. What more could one want?


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