Tuesday, January 12, 2010

SPA REVIEW: The "Elemental Nature Facial" at the Douglas J. Aveda Institute in Royal Oak

FREEISMYLIFE reader Julia Wendzinski is my guest blogger for this review.

Julia kindly agreed to write about her FREE Facial treatment at the Douglas J. Aveda Institute in Royal Oak.

When I saw @freeismylife’s tweet about the free Douglas J. Aveda service I knew it was an offer I had to take up. I’m a student at Michigan State and there is a Douglas J. Aveda Institute near campus that I frequent for haircuts and other spa services, so I’m no stranger to Douglas J. The Aveda Institute always has excellent service and their prices are very college-student-wallet friendly – they even have a strict no tipping policy!

I chose to get the 90 minute Elemental Nature Facial. After introducing herself my assigned student took my coat and led me upstairs to our private room in the spa area. I changed into a towel and robe and then filled out a form with questions about my skin and expectations for my experience while the student massaged my feet in a warm footbath. Based on my answers to the questionnaire the student selected the specific products she was going to use for my treatment. In my case I was concerned with uneven skin tone and redness so she tailored my facial specifically around those concerns.

The facial included a cleansing, exfoliating and three different masks. A massage was included with each mask; a scalp massage with essential oil, a hand and arm massage, and a foot massage. Before the mask treatments my student examined my skin and gave an overall report on what she saw, including general smoothness and any acne or dryness. An instructor then came in to give her the go-ahead to begin and asked if I had any questions.

Each element was incredibly relaxing and I enjoyed the fact that they included the massages with each mask instead of just having me lay there like I have done with other facials. When my hour and a half was up my student helped me up and led me downstairs after I got dressed. She showed me the different products that she used throughout the facial in case I was interested in purchasing them. When I was checking out I have to admit I was half expecting that they would not accept my free voucher for some reason but they took it from me and told me I was all set! I left feeling fresh and relaxed.

From my experience, you have to set aside a significant amount of time when you go to the Aveda Institute, regardless of what service you are getting. The students have specific things that they have to go through with each client and are being monitored by instructors. You can’t expect to go in for a seamless production – my student couldn’t figure out how to turn on the heating pad that I was supposed to lay on and forgot to wrap me in towels until the instructor pointed it out.

If you do get a facial and have the essential oil scalp massage, make sure you either have a ponytail holder or aren’t planning on going anywhere after, it definitely messes with your hair and leaves you looking a little greasy. These minor mistakes will never keep me from the professional nature of the Institute or the easy-on-the-pocket prices.

Julia Wendzinski is a native of Troy, Mich., currently in her junior year at Michigan State University studying advertising and public relations. When she isn’t busy with class, working in the PR office at the MSU College of Music or planning something for the student organization the Public Relations Student Society of America, she’s enjoys bargain hunting for shopping deals, many of which are found on Twitter! She’s also a Food Network addict that enjoys cooking and trying new restaurants with her boyfriend. Check her out on Twitter: @jwendz.


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