Thursday, September 17, 2009

Shiny happy people

A fine example of Dubai mentality. Owning a new Porsche, eh, that's OK, but really, you need to bling up the logo with custom we're talking. Oh, yes, I should mention I took this photo today in the parking lot at Bethy's school.

Beauty is as beauty does, and perhaps it is only skin deep, as far as the salon goes. This having been said, Bethy has fallen deeply in love with the beauty aspect of Dubai. She adores going for her "Little Princess mani/pedicures" which not only include all the usual pampering and massaging but also tiny appliqued roses and stars on top of her shiny new nails.

The Fillipina employees at the salon (who aren't all that much taller than she is) go on and on about how she looks like a little doll. They heard me call her "Bethy-Boo" one day and thought I said "Betty Boop" and it stuck. Better than "Barbie" which is what she gets called a lot. I try to see past my own prejudices against that particular plastic person and enjoy the compliment to Bethy.

The salon is for ladies only, and boy, try to get in there, gentlemen. Whoo. Those little beautician gals are feisty. They will shriek in the shrillest, most ear-splitting tones possible, hiss like cats, pick up your sorry behind and toss you out faster than you can say lumpia.

Trust me, there is nothing any self-respecting gentleman would want to see behind those mirrored doors anyway. I am pretty sure that if you got an eyefull of a woman being threaded, that would do it for you, like, into the next life. Threading is a hair-removing technique that involves the thread strung in some mysterious way; the beauticians rip out the victims's facial hair while keeping the thread taunt in their hands and teeth. It looks sadistic. Some ladies swear by it.

I guess I can live with being a little furry, even in appearance-hyper Dubai. I mean, what if they accidently ripped off one of my eyebrows or something? I am not a crayola eyebrow kind of girl, you know.

Despite the various cruel ways women treat themselves to to try and be prettier, the atmosphere of the salon is pleasant. All the little Asian employees wear purple uniforms and there are natural elements like rocks and flowers, comfy chairs to recline in, spa stuff.

I love when Bethy is good enough to earn a mani/pedi because I like the head, neck, and upper back massages they offer there. Twice now I have succumbed to the temptation of 30 minutes of drooling on myself as the masseuse finds spots of bliss and other areas I had no idea ached.

At the beginning you have to go through a strange song-and-dance about getting your shirt off, but modestly, as they try not to look but pounce and get the towel wrapped around you. I finally got it: bra on, but straps down, shimmy shimmy shimmy.

They will readjust as necessary throughout the proceedure, and will take it as a criticism if you try to do anything for yourself from that point on. Including holding your head up. I keep my eyes closed in case blinking is considered work. At the end I usually feel like I've been put through a clothes wringer, squished and limp, which tells me it must be good for you.

The ratio of beautician to client is maybe 3-1 if all the client chairs are full. This makes them wish to sell you more services, because they are bo-ored. Not to say that they're pushy. Merely clever; they spring the "doesn't madame deserve a little massage...a french manicure..." and so forth. Behind those mirrored doors women are weak. I go in there with one thing in mind, and stick to it, but boy, I have seen some ladies go in for a manicure and end up getting the 50,000 mile service. Which is fine, I'm sure they deserve it. Me, I am still working past the guilt of getting any sort of pampering while the husband is out in the desert working his patootie off.

Fortunately for my wallet and guilt complex, they don't do hair there. That's another salon we go to. I was terribly nervous about letting someone new at my curls, but in a stroke of luck I walked into a salon when I had extra time and no kids in tow, and got Rita. She is awesome. I know she is awesome because one day she wasn't there so I tried another stylist and eek, the hair got butchered. And the hair was not happy. And I was not happy because there are few things worse than trying to run in 100+ heat and not having hair long enough to put up. (This had been my sole instruction to the stylist, mind you. Long enough for a ponytail. )

Anyway, Rita is fabulous. I took Bethy to her for a back-to school haircut and asked her to put in long layers so Bethy could keep the length but not be so hot. She cut it to emphasise the variations of blonde in Bethy's hair. Rita also gave Bethy a blow-out, straightening out her hair temporarily with the blow dryer and brush, and Bethy was so excited about how soft and shiny her hair turned out. As you can see, it is beautious!

Then she ran around outside and the humidity curled it right back up, and she was happy with that too.

Now, that's not silly superficial shiny bling. That's real beauty.


Mom2ABJ said...

Beautiful indeed! Natalie, you must take Bethy in for some Henna! I think she may enjoy it, although it does take some patience for a 6-year old to wait for it to dry.
As for threading, I confess, I am a threader, LOL! I prefer it to wax because wax makes me breakout. Threading is much more painful, but I'm a hairy Asian! :-) It's much more readily available here whereas in WA state, I only knew of one place in Renton that did it!
Hope to see you soon after the Eid holidays!

Jolie-Anne said...

Bethy looks beautiful. Sylvie and I like to get mani/pedis together as well even though she is only 4. Your salons sound really fun. Love reading your blog - Love Jolie-Anne