Okay. So, as you all know (or maybe you don’t, who am I to assume) I’m getting married this September and there are about 9,567,891,101,532.9 things to do to get ready for it. One of which is do everything I can to look like “the best version of myself.” Or at least that’s what all my friends and all the magazines and all the websites and that little voice in my head are telling me. But what does that even mean? Who is the best version of myself? What does she look like? I mean, sometimes the best version of myself is sitting in bed watching You’ve Got Mail in that pair of underwear I love (high-waisted, black, cotton) but my fiancé hates. 

One thing I do know is that I would really love for my skin to look like I was just born. Or like fill-in-name-of-celebrity-with-really-good-skin here. Which means: facial? Only thing is, I’ve never had one and I’m a little worried about what might happen. I’ve heard so many horror stories (Samantha’s beef Carpaccio moment in Sex and the City for one) that to start facial-ing so close to the wedding seemed like a pretty huge gamble. 

But more than anything, I’m terrified that I am going. To. Love. It. That my bank account will never be the same again and that, once I start, I won’t be able to stop. 

Still. The promise of perfect skin is a powerful one. I did some research (which meant I Googled “wedding facial”) and I found out that the perfect time to start a “wedding beauty regimen” was six months before the wedding. The big day is in September so I’m a little behind, but I always am, and I figured that by giving the whole facial thing a test run now (as opposed to the week before) I’d manage to sidestep any last minute pre-wedding facial disasters and find out if it’s even worth it.

The team at the Studio said the Caudalie Spa has just about the most luxurious facial you can get in the city. Enough said. Appointment booked.

I walked into the women’s dressing room and walked out in a robe I was swimming in, feeling like the least glamorous version of myself and that any minute the head of security was going to be alerted to my presence and escort me out the building (we’re sorry lady but you reek of Brooklyn). Instead I was greeted by Regine who lead me to the room where my skin would be assaulted reborn (my words, not hers). 

I’m going to spare you a blah blah blah blah narrative and break it down for you real quick like:

Regine: lovely warm woman with the slightest shadow of a French accent and fingers that were David Blaine level magical. To have your face touched and massaged for an hour is no small thing. I can’t believe I didn’t have a complete and total breakdown from the sheer disarming nurturing onslaught of it. Pretty sure I said “Thank you” to her at least 100 times.

Here’s what happened (or at least everything I could remember from the hazy cloud of delirious happiness I was lucky enough to occupy that morning):
1. Face wash: pure total lathery goodness aka foaming cleanser.
2. Warm, wonderful steam in my face.
3. Exfoliating cleanser applied with a Clarisonic brush. The beauty nerd in me is geeking out pretty hard at this point. Clarisonic is one of those things I would never buy but have always wanted to use (like a Sonicare toothbrush or a thong).
4. Gentle squeezing of gunk out of my pores. 
5. A slathering of ginger carrot something that smells amazing and makes me feel instantly energized. Like I could conquer a six floor walk up no probs. 
6. Some eye cream was massaged around my eyes with those magic fingers. 
7. Don’t forget the steam—it’s still happening. Also happening: shoulder and neck massage. 
8. Then Regine applied a “slow release glycolic peel.” At this point I braced myself for what might be the moment I would feel my skin  burn off my face but…nothing. Totally manageable tingling and slight warmth, which I can totally hang with. 
10. Did I mention periodic hot towels wrapped around my face?
11. Regine alternates hot and cool stones (hot to pull out impurities, cool to seal the pores back up) on my face and now the hippie in me is thinking about how connected to the earth I feel because of all this. 
12. I stumble out of the room, sip on some Draining Organic Herbal Tea and speed flip through a copy of Vogue because the part of me that wants to leisurely read all the magazines in the spa lounge and the part of me that can’t wait to take a good long look in the mirror are seriously at odds with each other. 

Turns out the whole thing is pure freaking magic. Yes, my skin was glowing (really, it was!) Yes, my pores were smaller. Yes, those mottled dark spots on my forehead were less so. And yes, I felt like the best version of myself. Not even that weird thing my hair is doing these days bothered me.  

The effect lasted about three-four days (sans breakouts and raw skin splotchiness) and when I got lunch with by bestie the next day she mentioned that my skin looked amazing, so, yeah, I’ll probably be getting another one of these before the big day. Can you put a facial on your wedding registry? 

Are there any beauty rituals or procedures you underwent to get ready for your wedding that you wouldn’t have done otherwise? Disaster stories? Success stories? Any tips or tricks?


If you want to save $200 for that pair of Rachel Comey jeans (you know which ones) I say get all DIY with it and do an at home facial. While the products in the photo don’t come with the zen spa soundtrack they’re pretty great for whipping your skin into shape (and that’s what a facial’s all about, right?) Mix Province Apothecary’s Clay Mask with honey or water till it turns into a paste and then smear all over your face. Take a selfie and send it to your boyfriend to scare the crap out of him. Keep it on for 5 – 10 minutes until it’s almost almost dry and then wipe off with a damp cloth. Things should already be looking up. Next, apply a healthy dose of Clinique’s Clarifying Lotion 4 to a cotton pad and then to your face—the stuff’ll remove excess oil and prevent blemishes (gotta love a multitasker.) Lastly, pick a serum that works for your skin type: for dry skin, try Mizon’s Original Skin Energy Hyaluronic Acid, if you’re looking to iron out some wrinkles try Darphin Beauty Revealing Serum and for an all round crowd pleaser that works for any type of skin try Clinique’s Turnaround Revitalizing Treatment Oil. Sure it’s not the Ritz but you’ll get to watch whatever Netflix episode you’re bingewatching and eat chips while you do it—can’t say that about any spa, can you?