My First Face Mask: A Not-Quite-Sure-If-It's-Love Story

by Toni Hammer
Originally Published: 

I’m almost 32, and I’ve never stepped into a spa. I’ve never had a manicure or a pedicure. My muscles have never been unknotted by a masseuse, and my eyebrows vaguely resemble two caterpillars mating.

Part of it is because I don’t think I need it. Part of it is that I don’t actually need it. And part of it is that all those things scare the crap out of me.

Will it hurt? Is it supposed to hurt? What do I do to maintain it? Will the masseuse judge me for my cellulite? What color nail polish does one put on their toes?

I decided, though, that it’s not about necessities so much as it is doing something nice for myself. And, as a mom, I am in dire need of doing nice things for myself. Allowing myself to eat nachos for dinner every night for a week had the allure of treating myself, but the imprint of my jeans’ waistband on my belly says otherwise.

So I bought this stuff.

© Toni Hammer

It had me at “anti-stress.” I don’t care if rat poop was an ingredient; if it was going to take my stress away, then I would gladly slather it all over my face like mayo on a sandwich.

Below you’ll find 55 of the thoughts I had before, during and after the process… because I’m a mom and I must write everything down.

1. How much of this stuff do I put on?

2. Well, that wasn’t enough. Now I have to wash my hands and get more.

3. Can it go on my eyebrows?

4. Well, it’s on them now.

5. And it’s in my hair.

6. Why am I supposed to put this stuff on my neck? What’s wrong with my neck?

7. I missed a spot. Does anything bad happen if some of it isn’t left on for the same amount of time? Will those pores remain gigantic?

8. Okay. I’m done. Now to wash my hands…

9. I look like a seasick Smurf.

© Toni Hammer

10. Is it working?

11. I don’t know if it’s working. Is something supposed to be happening?

12. Stop. I just need to relax. This is something for me. Just relax.

13. How long has it been?

14. Did the kids wake up?

15. What would I do if the kids did wake up and there was an emergency and I didn’t have time to wash this stuff off? Would it just become part of my face? Would I look like a seasick Smurf forever?

16. Kids are asleep. Just breathe.

17. I’m bored.

18. Is anything happening?

19. Should I be doing something right now? Maybe I should shave my legs.

20. No. Just sit here and relax. Reflect on your life.

21. On second thought, look at your phone.

22. Nothing’s happening on Facebook or Twitter.

23. Maybe I should just delete all these apps off my phone. I should live in the now.

24. Oh. I think my skin is tingling. Is it supposed to tingle?

25. Now my face feels cold. Is the window open?

26. Okay. My face feels chilly. Either the mask is doing something or I’m going crazy.

27. What is the mask actually doing anyway? What is seeping into my giant, but soon to be microscopic, pores? What have I done to myself?!

28. Huh. The chillness feels kinda good. This is nice.

29. I wonder if my husband wants to see me like this.

30. Either he was making a joke or he has a thing for Smurfs. I’ll assume the former.

31. Is it dry yet?

32. Lalalala….

33. Oh! I bought People magazine. I can flip through that.

34. Who are all these people in this magazine and why don’t I know anything?!

35. That’s it. I’m getting a subscription to People for my birthday. I should know these things. Blog fodder or something.

36. I wonder if I can write off that subscription on my taxes next year.

37. I wonder if I can write off this mask stuff.

38. Oh…my skin is feeling tighter. Does that mean it’s drying?

39. Is this what an eye lift feels like?

40. Yep. Definitely feels tighter. I hope there aren’t some sort of tiny aliens in there that are tightening my skin for scientific research.

41. I guess if there are tiny aliens tightening my skin they can use me for research but they better pay me.

42. Okay. It’s dry everywhere but my neck. Should I let the neck stuff dry?

43. Who cares about my neck? Let’s get this stuff off.

44. Why are the white washcloths the only clean ones in the house?

45. If this stuff stains my washcloth I will…do nothing at all about it.

46. Rinse rinse rinse rinse. Did I get it all?

47. Missed a spot.

48. And lightly pat my face dry…

49. Well I don’t know if anything is different. I couldn’t see my pores before so how would I know?

50. Oh…my skin is so soft…that feels nice.

51. Stop touching your face. Oils are bad or something.

52. Am I still stressed?

53. No. I don’t think so. I relaxed dangit. I have no reason to be stressed. I did something for me. Good for me!

54. Wait. Yeah. I’m still stressed. But at least my skin is soft.


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