When Malinda first asked me to come to her salon for a facial several months back, I have to say I was a little reluctant. In fact, for months we went back and forth making and breaking appointments. The better friends we became, the more weird I thought it would be...nobody needs to see anybody's face that close up. Like, I wouldn't want a friend to be my Ob/Gyn, right? To me, this is just as personal. But, I've got plenty of time on my hands these days and I got over my squeamish feelings and decided to finally take Malinda up on her longstanding offer for a facial.
Holy shit, am I so glad I did.
From the second you walk into The Undercarriage, you know you're in for relaxation. While the day spa specializes in waxing (Malinda is considered an expert at Brazilians), they also offer facials, body treatments, and massages. The services are available for women and for men.
I was greeted by Malinda and her husband Jake, who had stopped by before his night doing sound at the Casbah. We chatted while Malinda readied the room. The space is warm and inviting, with lit candles and antique furniture, giving the feeling that you're in someone's living room. The care and love that went into creating the space is evident in all the details.
Malinda kisses Jake goodbye and leads me into her therapy room. She changes the music from Bright Eyes to Mazzy Star while I remove my clothing and nestle into the warm massage bed with it's high thread cotton sheets and the fuzzy chenille blanket.
Malinda comes into the room to explain what she's gonna do to me... a couple deep cleanses, some steam and warm towels, exfoliation, extractions, and finally some enzymes that I'm to leave on my face for the evening. We chat through some of the treatments and I'm suddenly wondering what took me so long to get in here and let go of myself, even if for just an hour. There's something so amazing about the hands of massage therapists and estheticians; like you feel the spirit of the person laying their hands on you. Malinda is no exception. She washes my face a few times with various cleansers and then we get to the ugly part- extractions. She covers my eyes with moist cotton pads and the light comes on while she goes to town on my "flaws".
After, she puts a warm towel on my face that sets for a while as she massages my arms, my hands, behind my neck and shoulders. During this portion we're quiet, I'm completely relaxed as the slow tambourines of Hope Sandoval play in the background. I'm completely relaxed and could've just as easily fallen asleep there for the night. But alas, all good things come to an end and we wrap things up. I redress as Malinda cleans up and changes the sheets on the bed. She gives me a tour of the space, showing me the other therapy rooms, the bathroom/shower that is available to patrons, and she talks about their plans for growth.
Malinda closes things down and we leave together...she might be totally exhausted from her day of work, but I'm glowing in a relaxed haze.
The facial has lingering effects, even three days later. My face and skin still feel refreshed, even after a day of urban hiking in San Francisco, and mentally I feel cleansed.
If you're considering some "me time", get in touch with the ladies at The Undercarriage. See their ad in CityBeat for a 15% off first time services. Huge thanks to Malinda for taking care of me at a time when I haven't been very good about taking care of myself.