An essential part of my recovery process is a good manicure/pedicure. For ages, I have gone to my favorite nail salon near the beach. They are friendly, inexpensive, and always add that extra sparkly detail. Best of all they were short walking distance from my home, so I didn’t have to worry about flopping too far in flip flops trying to protect my drying nails. Even after moving further away I would drive back to my old neighborhood to get pampered. Unfortunately this last weekend I was cursed. Every time I showed up, they were either closed or closing. Third times a charm? nope! On Monday, they were closed to remodel their massage chairs.
So my search began. Looking for a new hair or nail salon always feels like cheating. My excuse is that since I moved I should find one closer to home. I tried the next closest spa but not only were they expensive but their massages where not relaxing. Finally I settled on Vogue Skin & Nail in Manhattan Beach. It was great. They don’t constantly push add-ons and their massage chairs were really comfortable (or just happened to fit my spine).
The pampering was balanced with pain but only because I followed the nail polish with a leg wax. I’ve seen many videos of men screaming in agony as the hair is ripped off in patches (Mythbusters). So the first time I went for a wax a few years back, I was so scared I grabbed a prescription pain killer. Now I think a placebo would of worked just as well – mind tricks are much more effective. First, focus on how the hot wax is soothing (at least going on). Second you never know whether the next pull is going to be an easy one (just a touch up) or the big ouch!! Also pain signals are surprisingly slow (0.63 m/s) so it takes around a second for the pain to reach your head. I find myself dividing up the pain into sections, such as “the back lower leg is … almost … done”. The back calf and inner thigh is always the worst. The most effective solution is to think of something else entirely .. the pretty flowers on the wall, or the divots on the ceiling. Research has shown that if you don’t pay attention to the pain it isn’t as bad. Today, I distracted myself by writing this blog in my mind. However I think the real answer is video-games. If burn victims can shoot penguins to reduce pain, someone needs to open a virtual-reality head-mounted waxing salon.
In the end, it was not too bad – the price of beauty. The best aestheticians know to be fast and efficient – there is nothing worse than a slow drawn out wax. So I recommend Vogue and will return for another round of pain and relaxation.