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How to Say No While You're at the Spa

How to Speak Up During a Beauty Treatment

We're excited to present this story from our friends at Allure:

Last week, I found myself in an uncomfortable situation while getting eyelash extensions. It wasn't the pads and glue stuck to my face, sealing my eyes shut; it was the complimentary leg rub that almost had me squirming off the table.

For someone with extremely ticklish knees, the rubdown was more grueling than soothing. Having endured a few unpleasant beauty treatments in my time at Allure, I always try to remember beauty news editor Heather Muir's advice: "If you're uncomfortable, speak up!" But sometimes on that massage table it's a little hard to express your discomfort without feeling rude or awkward. We asked experts from Bliss and Red Door Spa how to avoid suffering in silence. To see their advice, just keep reading.

Know your rights. According to our experts Cornelia Zicu, global chief creative Officer for Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spas, and Bliss educator (and massage therapist) Ben Brown, you're not being a diva if you ask the technician to turn down the thermostat, lower the mood music, or if you want you masseuse to put a little more muscle into it. These requests are surprisingly common, so don't be afraid to make yours.


Know your limits. Our experts recommend you discuss your concerns before you book your treatment. "If you know you have sensitive skin, then an aggressive body scrub isn't for you," Zicu says. Although treatments can be tailored to your specific needs, people with oily skin tend to be less sensitive than people with thinner, dry skin. If you're sensitive to extractions, ask your technician for a pain-free alternative, like a purifying mask on problematic areas. For massages, Brown says,"Technicians should discuss massage pressure before you begin, and then ask again about five to 10 minutes into the treatment, just to make sure you are comfortable." If yours doesn't, speak up immediately.

Be positive. You don't need to throw a tantrum to get your point across. Zicu recommends you use a straight-forward approach. "Start out by being positive, and let the technician know that they aren't doing anything wrong, but you feel uncomfortable." It helps to remember that technicians won't take it personally; after all, they do this all day long.

It's never too late. Even after you've finished your treatment, let the technician know if at any point during the treatment you felt uncomfortable or you didn't enjoy the experience. By giving them feedback, he or she will better understand your needs for your next visit. Who knows, they might even throw a discount your way.

How to Have an Amazing Massage
At-home Spa Tips From Guru Cornelia Zicu
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Insiders' Guide: How to Plan a Spa Visit

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