Heyday Rittenhouse

It finally happened.

I can no longer say I never win anything.

Not too long ago, I won an Instagram contest for a 3-month membership to the new Heyday Skincare in Rittenhouse. A Heyday membership grants you one 50 minute facial per month. That’s essentially a $300 value prize. I’d say it makes up for every contest I’ve ever lost. So far I’ve cashed in on my December facial, and this is what I thought.

I booked in person at the store, because I wanted to make sure the package went through, but you can of course call or book online. Their website is actually really beautiful. The mobile site is pretty too, but the interface got a little janky in translation. I really liked how they have headshots and little bios of all of their estheticians in various locations nationwide. They have yet to add our location, but I look forward to it when they do! I received an email and text reminder confirming my appointment a day or two before the booking, which I sadly depend on because I just don’t pay enough attention to time and dates. So I successfully made it to my appointment!

The storefront and waiting area are nice. Everything is bright, simple, and clean. The product displays are inviting and informative. A lot of the brands are local. The receptionist was friendly. They had a water station and a nice couch in the back corner to wait for your appointment. My esthetician, Miesha, met me on time and brought me back to our room. She pointed out the location of the restroom and asked if I needed to use it before we began. It’s a thing for me to always note whether or not your practitioner asks if you need to use the restroom before the service begins. I never need to go, but it seems like an essential courtesy to ensure a smooth service, so I always note that.

I’ve worked front desk at a boutique spa for years, so I can be a bit nitpicky. I try not to be, but it’s a customer service curse. If you ever want to enjoy things in life, don’t work in any service industry. Wait…working as a camera operator has prevented me from enjoying live televised events too. Okay, so just mooch off your parents until you can marry rich and never work a day in your life. If you work at anything, ever, it will forever turn you into a critic and you can’t turn it off.

Uh, I digress.

I enjoyed my facial. Miesha knows her stuff and most importantly, can share her knowledge in a digestible way for me…who knows little on what she’s talking about. But I understood! I’m not a stranger to facials, perks of working at a spa. But I learned a lot at Heyday. I discovered that my skin has been dehydrated, and that’s different than being dry. Dry is a skin type, where your skin lacks oils. Dehydration is a condition your skin can have where it lacks water. Dry, oily, combination and normal skin types can all be dehydrated. Apparently, your skin is the last organ to receive water, so I’m oftentimes probably not even drinking enough for there to be any left for my skin to benefit from. So I have a lot of water to drink and a better moisturizer to invest in.

She also told me to use sunscreen, which, as one of the sun’s melanated chosen folk, I am notoriously terrible at taking seriously. But thank the Lord I ended up with a fellow melanated practitioner because she switched my perspective on sunscreen right around. I did not know it, but there are skin diseases that SPECIFICALLY target skin with darker pigmentation. Who knew? So fine, I’ll add it to the routine, begrudgingly. THANKS, MIESHA. She honestly deserves an award, I’ve laughed in the face of doctors over sunscreen before.

Look at my faaaaaaace! All glowy.

The extractions were, of course, the not-enjoyable part of the service. I’m usually not too fazed, but I had a lot of oil or sebum build up in the pores on my nose. Maybe some of them were blackheads, I don’t know. But my esthi went HAM on them and like…I use my nose to breathe. I feel like the focus on my nose pores was a bit excessive and super uncomfortable. In hindsight, I should’ve just asked her to chill. But that was my only real issue with the service. There was a point where there was a hot towel on my face for an extended period of time. Maybe it was just before the extractions and it was there to open my pores up? I can’t remember, and it was a little awkward. It would have been nice to be prompted and informed of the several minutes of nothing going on. Where I used to work, the esthis would do a nice little hand massage in that time, and it kept the service cohesive.

The music choice was interesting in the space. It was kind of acoustic pop, maybe? It wasn’t spa music, which I kind of like even though I’m used to didgeridoos and Tibetan flutes from my old job. I think it made the place more approachable for every day, younger people to invest in their skincare. Gave it a more casual feel. I wasn’t crazy about most of the tracks personally, but the music wasn’t detrimental to my relaxation, so it was fine. 

Those are my only criticisms. I otherwise really liked the service, Also, they send you a follow-up email about your skin analysis, suggested products based on the service, and what to focus and work on in your skincare routine. And you can reply with additional questions, too. I look forward to another facial this month, and I recommend checking the place out! If you do book a service, mention me and we’ll apparently each get $10 through their referral program.

Diet Black

Soooo it’s fall!!! Which means CHANGE! And I’m excited because now I live in a place where it truly does mean change. I forgot that leaves change colors til I moved back here to Philadelphia. I like it! And I get to wear scarves everyday without looking inappropriate. It’s great! But besides the scarves, I’m kind of unprepared for the coming cold.

I have to go out and buy a comforter now. I need to dig out all of my long sleeves and sweaters from the murky depths of my closet. I also have to work on repairing all the sun damage my skin suffered this past summer.

Yes, sun damage.

Like…sunburn.

I don’t get it either. Maybe all of those kids who called me ‘white girl’ growing up were right after all.

I’ve been a victim of sunburn for the third year in a row. I don’t know what’s going on with the world and this climate change business, I should probably read more. But there’s definitely SOMETHING happening. And it’s not good news for all the mulattos out there dealing with issues we’ve never had to deal with. It’s a problem I’m just not equipped to handle or even recognize, for that matter.

Anyone who has seen me in recent days might have noticed some strange discoloration on my nose. Like patches of brown and pink in a marbled pattern. That would be a colony of scabs and raw flesh that you see. Because in my world, or what I thought was my world, I see skin peeling off of my face and I’m thinking, TIME TO EXFOLIATE.

So I scrub the dead skin off. Beat it like it stole something. Wake up the next day, walk into the bathroom, look in the mirror, and WHAT THE FEEZY?

My nose is just black. And not in the sense that I’m black, but the color black. A scab totally took over the middle of my face. And I just thought to myself, dammit not again…

The first time this happened, I was in high school, and I had to show my face in class that day. I walk up to my peoples and they just stared at my nose. Didn’t even ask, but waited for an explanation.

“See, what had happened was…

I told them my skin was peeling and so I sloughed off the dead skin with an exfoliating face wash. They didn’t seem as dumbfounded by the results as I was…

“You moron, you don’t scrub sunburn! That makes it worse!!!”

Sun…

burn..? 

You mean that thing that happens to white people?

HAH! Yeah right, as if I could get sunburn. I’m too melanin for such things.

After years and years of being everyone’s cultural experience in the ‘burbs like I’m some ambassador for blackness, my white friends finally taught me something. Something about their world. And they can have it back.

My nose is healing little by little. Probably would be alleviated completely by now if I didn’t stop scrubbing it, but I still don’t get it I guess. I’m actually going to have to wear sunscreen next summer. I dread the very thought. That stuff smells weird.

So now I’m kind of worried. What is to become of the other little perks of being kinda black that I happily indulge in everyday? My melanin advantage isn’t the only thing that’s been threatened recently.

I feel like I’m also losing my edge in interracial social dynamics.

Confession folks, I greatly enjoy using the ignorance of white people to my advantage whenever I can. I grew up in the suburbs of various cities, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that I can get what I want on many an occasion by just adding emphasis on my ethnicity. For some reason, white people seem to think that every non stereotypical black American is like a ticking time bomb of rachet, and you never know when it will go off. Like it’s a stagnant part of our personality that can be triggered at the slightest hint of dissatisfaction with anything and everything. They will do anything to avoid seeing it come out. It’s hilarious. Exploiting that preconception is a common tactic I use in customer service. It’s probably wrong, but whatever. This is essentially my face when guests act a fool at work…

 “I’m sorry, what did you say was wrong with your meal? Nothing? That’s what I thought.”

It also doesn’t hurt that I’m 5’12″(YES, FIVE FEET TWELVE INCHES), and I rock my hair natural now. I just ooze intimidating from my blackish pores.

If you didn’t know already, I’m pretty awkward socially. I might make a post about it, or a couple, in the future, but one way I manage to socialize with people is to just drag them down to the world of awkward, where I call home, and then seize control of the conversation. Once everyone is good and uncomfortable, then good conversating can commence. I’ve always thought I looked pretty black, but I constantly get asked what I am, so I always take this opportunity to flop the conversation, and reply with, “Other.”

“What does that mean?”

“Whatever I want it to mean.”

“……”

Or,

“Wow, I like your hair!”

“Thanks, it’s a little more ethnic than normal today, but it’s still rockin’ I think.”

“…It’s what?”

“A little more ethnic than usual.”

“……”

Because social interaction is much more fun when neither of us know what to say next.

I can’t lose this on top of my solar immunity, people. How will I ever make new friends? Okay I have a couple other ways to throw people off. Like,

“Hey are you alright?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.”

IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE!” ,’:)

Or,

“Can you turn on the air? I’m hot.”
IN MORE WAYS THAN ONEEEEE!” ‘,:)

But you kinda have to wait around for people to say those. And I do. I look a little too forward to it…

“How are you?”

“I’m f—”

IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE!”

“—eeling alright…”

O_o …

    …    o_O

*backs away slowly*

But you know what never needs to be welcomed into conversation? Race jokes. I know, I’m the problem. Sorry, but it’s one of the few advantages I get. Let me have this!