July 22 2014

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Beauty Etiquetter: How To Politely Silence Cell Phone Chatter At The Spa


Beauty Etiquetter is a new column on Beauty Counter in which we address your beauty protocol predicaments with candid advice from industry experts and those in-the-know. To submit a question, e-mail celia

The Quandary: After a spa treatment, I often hear women yammering away on their cell phones in the changing room. If there isn’t a sign posted about cell phone usage, is it rude for me to ask them to keep quiet as it ruins the peacefulness of being there?

The Expert in Residence: Melissa Ferst, co-founder and managing partner of San Francisco’s International Orange Spa

The Advice: “With cell phones in the changing room, I think it depends on the volume of the person’s voice and the length of time on the phone. Sometimes I need to make a quick call, so I’m sympathetic to that type of phone usage—if it is short and quiet. If someone is talking loudly and for a long time—anything over a minute—then that’s inappropriate. If you feel bold enough to take matters into your own hands, I would look the person in the eye, make the phone gesture with my hands and whisper, ‘Can you please take the call outside the spa?’ Otherwise feel free to ask a manager to help out, as we’ve gotten this request before. The manager can politely ask the client to end the call or take it elsewhere. Many spas are small and intimate, so having someone on their phone definitely doesn’t help make the experience peaceful. But for those clients who seem to overlook this, I like to remind them: Texting is silent!”

Photo: Courtesy of International Orange

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