And when I say my “beauty regimen,” I mean some face cream, maybe a little blush, and, if I’m feeling really fancy, eyeliner.
I’ve never been particularly high maintenance, but there is one beauty treatment I splurge on — thermal reconditioning. Yes, that Japanese hair straightening thing. And yes, it’s permanent.
Last year, as my hair started to grow out, I found out I was pregnant. So I skipped it just in case. Who knows what these chemicals could do?
By this summer, my hair’s a mess, given the humidity — and the fact that 6-month-old Kavi loves to get her tiny little hands into it.
So I decided it was about time to make the appointment. Even if that meant arranging for a slew of babysitters. This was a major splurge — both cash-wise (around $400) and time-wise. Because, as I may not have mentioned, the process takes nearly six hours.
But sometimes, mama needs a new ‘do.
Since my husband was working, Kavi and I headed to my parents in central Jersey — and I asked that my sister visit, too, so there would be multiple cuddly babysitters on hand for the big day.
With the little one settled in a nani-ma’s and playing happily with Meena Masi, I headed into downtown Manhattan, to Sei Tomoko, my regular joint. Omae, my therapist/stylist/hipster Japanese pal, had been filled in on my whereabouts during my year-and-a-half sabbatical from thermal reconditioning (my sister goes to her, too), but was nonetheless slightly appalled by the state of frizziness in which I existed.
After a short gossip session, I showed her pictures of Kavi, settled into the chair with a stack of magazines — and yes, I admit, about 60 percent of them were mommy mags, but there was an Elle and Us Weekly in the stash, too — and let her get to it.
I had my cell on hand and checked in with the babysitters every so often via text. But honestly, it was so shockingly, almost excruciatingly exquisite just to have a few hours — and my thoughts — to myself for literally the first time in six months.
I felt the mom guilt creeping right up on me as I wrote that, but it’s true. I need the break. I needed to be pampered, I needed to be able to just get inside my own head for a few hours and not be thinking about diapers or feedings or daycare expenses or even the giggles and cuddles and how angelic my baby is even at 4:30 in the morning when I’m not so pleased to be awoken.
And five hours later, when Omae had worked her magic, I felt transformed. Truly. Not just because my hair looked fabulous for the first time in more than a year. But because I was rejuvenated by my mini-break.
When I got back to my parents’ house two hours later, I was greeted by a happy baby who’d had a fun-filled day with her grandparents and her favorite Masi, but who was clearly thrilled to see me nonetheless. That impish, toothless grin was all the more precious because I’d had a few hours away. And boy, did Kavi ever love the new ‘do. She can’t get enough of mama’s silky smooth new locks.
What’s your big beauty or time indulgence?