Beauty Treatments & My Thoughts

November 10, 2017
It's no secret that I'm interested in beauty treatments. I love checking out what's being offered, and Shanghai is a pretty good place to do that. Many of my friends have recommendations and since I don't have to pay for rent here, I can afford some "extras" that maybe I wouldn't normally splurge on.


1) Fake Eyelashes- I got false eyelashes for the first time at an event I attended in Shanghai a few years ago. I had already paid for a ticket for that particular event, so I was able to try out the eyelashes at no extra cost. I don't know if I would have just gone to a salon and gotten these on my own. I ended up loving the lashes and felt that the longer lashes changed my overall look in a good way.  In addition to making my eyes look bigger, they also looked pretty natural. After my first time getting fake eyelashes, I ended up getting them about four more times. Because the price of the lashes is about $60 each time, this is not something that I am willing to shell out cash on over and over. Once the fake lashes are applied, they usually last me about a month. For special occasions or for a treat, I will get fake lashes again but this is not a part of my regular beauty routine.  

2) Facials- The first time I ever tried this was in Indonesia with one of my friends who convinced me to go. She got facials every few weeks or so and said she noticed an improvement on the way her skin looked. I tend to get facials about twice a year, again because of the high cost. At the place I like to frequent, a facial costs about $100 or more. I would go more often if I could afford it. I feel that they are relaxing and a great way to clear out pores. In the winter, I have dry skin, so facials are moisturizing and all of the problem areas get exfoliated. 

3) Gel Nails- Again, I never tried these until I came to Shanghai. I saw my friend Lauren's nail art (pandas!) and was convinced after that. She took me to an adorable place that can basically do whatever you want. My last manicure was $62 for these cute cupcakes. Of course, if I don't get nail art, it is way cheaper. I justified the $62 price because I took a month off from getting my nails done at all. It's just a hard habit to break here because everyone is always asking me if I want to go get my nails done and it's cheaper than it would be in the States. I won't continuously get gel nails though. I learned that the hard way last year when my nails were all breaking and weak from too many gel manis in a row.


4) Botox- I haven't yet tried this. So far, I'm going to pass on it. I don't like that it's done with needles and that you have to keep going in for it. Luckily, I took preventative measures and don't have too many deep wrinkles...yet. I just don't want to fork out the cash for this any time soon, but to some people it might be worth it. I guess it's all a matter of perspective.

5) IPL Hair Removal- Ugh...I've just had a bad experience with this! I wanted to get permanent hair removal on my lower legs mostly because it's a pain for me to shave. Bending my back hurts me more now that my back is fused. I spent what I thought was a small fortune on a card that is good for four IPL hair removal sessions at a "trusted" spa near me. When I got the treatment, everything was fine until the technician tried to go over my tattoo. It was SO PAINFUL. At first I tried to bear it, but then I said something because I didn't think that level of pain was normal. It turns out you are NEVER supposed to go over a tattoo with an IPL treatment. A basic Google search will tell you that. You can get severely burned and your tattoo can get ruined and fade. I had burns on the top part of my tattoo and parts of my skin are still peeling off. After my first session, I didn't notice fewer hairs growing back, but they did tell me I would need four sessions. I'm so mad at them for what they did that I am tempted to just ask for a refund and to go somewhere else. The way an IPL treatment works is that the laser is attracted to dark hair. Since my tattoo is outlined in black, of course it was zapping the whole thing at once. They can't go over it, so I'm going to have a large spot on my leg that I'll still need to shave, but they didn't tell me about that upfront. As I type this out, it just seems unacceptable and I think I'm going to try to get my money back. The cost is about the same as it would be in the States, so I might just get it done when I go home again. 

6) Waxing- Again, I never had my legs waxed until Shanghai. I started going right after my surgery when I couldn't reach my own legs to shave them. I quit going as soon as I felt better, but now that I think about it, I did like getting my legs waxed only because they looked okay for about a month. Seeing as how I'm probably going to get a refund for the IPL hair removal, I might take up waxing again. 

7) Eye/Lip liner tattoos- I do wear eyeliner almost every day, but I don't think I'll ever get these kinds of tattoos. From time to time, I like the no-makeup look. Even though this is rare for me, I do wear different colored eyeliner once in a blue moon and don't think that would look good over black eyeliner. I see the appeal, but as of now I would just say no to these because it's not like it can be easily undone. 

8) Chemical Peel- Chemical peels are on my radar, but I've been a little frightened ever since I watched that episode of Sex and the City where Samantha gets a chemical peel and her face is horrendously red for days. My skin isn't too problematic right now, but I could see myself potentially getting a chemical peel in the future.

9) Cryotherapy- Believers of this treatment say it promotes weight loss, helps with chronic pain, and alleviates anxiety and depression. Basically, you strip and get into a freezing tank where you are blasted with liquid nitrogen for roughly three minutes. Think of it as an ice pack for your whole body. I had the chance to try it out because I got a free voucher, but upon doing more research, I saw that people with heart conditions should not do this. Since the last thing I wanted was another health problem, I chickened out (maybe wisely) and did not give it a try. 

10) Permanent Hair Straightening- I've done this many times, but my hair only actually remained straight a few of the times. One time my hair got fried so badly because of the chemical reaction to the blonde dye already in my hair that I had to get my hair chopped to where it was only a few inches long. I tried it at an upscale salon in China, and my hair is a little bit straighter but way more damaged than before. I'm not so sure it was worth it. I will keep on trying off and on with different treatments until I find something that works!

11) Floating- You start by entering a "pod" full of salt water. The door is sealed and you are submerged in complete darkness for your session. You are left alone with your own thoughts and imagination to occupy yourself. Some floaters have reported that they hallucinate and compare it to tripping on drugs. This did not happen to me when I went. I felt calm afterwards, but I can also achieve a similar level of calmness by just doing some deep breathing exercises. The owner of the floating tanks tried to get me to book future sessions, but I declined. It was just located too far from my house and the cost of repeated sessions adds up. I would do it again, but it's not at the top of my list. It is supposed to be good for your circulation and provide relief from pain and anxiety.

What have you tried on this list? Do you have any beauty or wellness treatments that you swear by?

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