August 23 2014

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Beauty Etiquetter: Giving Your Facialist The Silent Treatment


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

The Quandary: When I get a facial, I don’t want to make conversation—I don’t even really care what products are being used on me! I just want to relax. How do I express this to my aesthetician and avoid the product push at the end of the service?

The Expert in Residence: Ildi Pekar, owner of Ildi Pekar Skin Care

The Advice: “If you are a new client, most spas have a registration form. Try to explain as much as possible on the form, so they already know the answer to their questions. Being an aesthetician, I always read my client’s mood. Mention what you want! Kindly tell the aesthetician it’s been a long day and you are looking forward to being pampered and relaxed. Try to suggest that you need to catch up on rest and would love to mediate and zone out while the facial is being provided. If you stay quiet, a good aesthetician would get the hint by now. If not, then don’t even speak to them when they talk. Try humming and acting like that treatment is so good you can’t even speak. If you find that the aesthetician keeps trying to start a conversation, excuse yourself and compliment her. ‘This treatment is so great, it’s putting me to sleep.’ Don’t be afraid to express how you’re feeling.

“So many salons push products to get commissions. They will probably recommend products that aren’t good for your skin. It’s always a good excuse to say, ‘Thank you for the offer, but I’m happy with the products that I’m currently using,’ or ‘I have sensitive skin, but if you have samples, I could always try them.’ Asking for samples is the best way to try new products. You can also suggest to them that when you’re ready to try new products, you will come to them next time. Always remember: It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”

Photo: FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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