“How would you like to experience a day of beauty and write about it?” asked my editor, Cara Recine, recently.

A whole day at a luxury spa, where skilled estheticians pamper and rejuvenate with a facial, massage, body scrub, pedicure, manicure and a hair-styling session?

I had to restrain myself from letting out a whoop of joy and planting a kiss on her cheek.

I couldn’t wait to start — to sample the goods, so to speak — and tell you, my readers, about the experience.

So, I found myself at Green Door Spa in Mount Vernon at 10 on a rainy Wednesday morning.

Currently Southern Illinois’ only luxury day spa offering a variety of massage therapies, manicures and pedicures, skin care therapies, signature facials, specialty body treatments and special spa packages, Green Door Spa also offers a medically directed weight-loss center, laser treatments, Latisse and facial fillers such as Botox, Juvederm XC, Radiesse and Restylane.

Green Door Spa’s slogan says it all: Give us an hour; we will give you back your mind.

I sure would like my mind back, I thought. With a 3-year-old running around my house, I’ve been feeling pretty exhausted and stressed out of late, juggling a bunch of responsibilities.

As I walked into the facility, the first thing that struck me was how friendly and welcoming everyone was, and the second, how clean the surroundings were.

Business first. I had to fill out a few forms outlining my skin care goals (for the facial), where I had any muscular aches and pains (for the massage) and if I had had any previous surgeries. Then, I got to pick what I wanted for lunch from a delicious-sounding menu from the 9th Street Grill.

“Enjoy your mom’s day out!” said Vel Green, director of Green Door Spa, as she escorted me to my locker in the same area as a steam room, showers and restrooms.

“Our steam room is complimentary with any service and can be used in-between, before or after therapies,” she said.

I changed out of my street clothes and got into a luxurious spa robe and slippers.

“Ready for your custom deep pore facial?” asked medical esthetician and certified laser technician Randa Basden.

You bet I was! As I lay on the spa table, Randa kept up a cheerful, informative banter about the state of my skin, while she designed a signature custom facial based on my skin type (dry) and needs described (lack of hydration).

She first performed a deep cleanse and looked at my skin through a magnifying loupe. Discovering a lot of congestion in my T-Zone (forehead, nose and chin), she decided an enzyme peel would be best to help loosen the pores. Randa declared it a success when extraction of the milia (tiny white bumps which occur when dead skin becomes trapped in small pockets at the surface of the skin) was easy, following the peel. Then, it was time for a collagen mask, which helped to hydrate my skin.

Because I was curious about dermaplaning, a safe and painless procedure (with no downtime) for exfoliating the epidermis, stimulating new skin development and ridding the skin of fine vellus hair (peach fuzz), Randa gave me a sampling of it.

She held a scalpel, with a No. 10 blade at a 45-degree angle, and started abrading the surface of my facial skin with precise, gentle movements in the opposite direction of hair growth. The end result: a more refined, smooth, glowing appearance.

I was escorted to the Relaxation Room next door, where I waited for cosmetologist Lindsay Ann Cecilia Helpingstine.

“You are going to love the Body Salt Glow experience,” Lindsay said as she took me to a room with a special Vichy bed (with drainage) and a Vichy shower system on top. Any awkwardness I felt about disrobing, and getting into disposable underwear and a modesty towel for the upper body, was quickly dispelled by Lindsay’s great attitude.

I received a whole body exfoliation with a special blend of natural sea salts and essential oils. This was followed by a shower, which involved me doing nothing more than continuing to lie on the bed, while a metal arm with a bunch of shower heads sprayed large quantities of warm water on my back for about five minutes.

The rainwater-like shower experience was strangely calming and left me feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. A bonus? I had super soft, shiny, glowy skin afterward.

By this time, it was past noon and time for lunch. Vel escorted me to a small and charming room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a lovely patch of green. On the dining table lay a vase with a dozen freshly cut roses, my lunch that I had chosen earlier in the day — thick slices of mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes and basil in a pita wrap, fresh cut fruit, a slice of cheesecake and a glass of white wine.

As a mother to a preschooler, I cannot honestly remember the last time I sat down to a nicely laid out meal all on my own. It was wonderful. It felt special, and I enjoyed the solitude, the meal itself and the great view.

Next, it was time for a hot stone massage with massage therapist Susan Simmons. Now, I consider myself a connoisseur of sorts when it comes to massages. Over the years, I have had a variety of massage treatments ranging from ayurvedic massage in India to Thai Massage in Thailand to Deep Tissue, Swedish, and prenatal and post natal massages in the United States.

To be honest, the hot stone massage was pleasantly relaxing. Susan provided a healing experience by placing several water-heated stones at key points on my body. She also incorporated the hot stones into a customized massage. I felt my neck, shoulders and back (chronic problem areas for me) go into deep muscle relaxation as the direct, soothing heat of the smooth, flat, organic stones released hard tension knots.

The massage ended with the placement of ice-cold stones on my eyelids, especially effective for relieving migraines and sinus pressure. I walked out feeling terrific.

Next, I was given a signature spa manicure by cosmetologist Leamber Brody and a spa pedicure by Lindsay, where my hands and feet were dipped in warm paraffin wax to soften the skin and lock in hydration.

I got to sit in a massage chair and soak my feet in a tub filled with cranberry-flavored water. My feet were exfoliated with a blend of sea salts and essential oils and gently massaged with organic, hot stones. In next to no time, my nails were shaped, excess cuticles trimmed, hot

pink nail paint with a hint of shimmer applied, and I was ready for my final appointment.

Enter the flamboyant, gregarious and talented Richard Cox, director of education at Green Door Spa. At the most basic level, he washed, dried and styled my hair with élan. On another level altogether, he gave me a professional style consultation and advice on the kinds of hairstyles suitable for me, based on my facial structure, body shape and lifestyle.

“Here’s my rule. The larger the body, the more the hair,” he said. “The smaller the body, the less the hair. That’s what is most flattering.”

Declaring my face round shaped, Richard said the worst thing to be done was a full set of bangs because then I would be left with only a small square for a face.

“So what I can do, instead, is take your hair to more of a side part and bring it over, so I give you more room. And,

then to lift your cheekbones a bit more, I’d put a bit of height in the crown area,” he said.

“If I were to color your hair, I would use lighter pieces on top to make it look higher. I would darken the pieces near your face to make it appear to hang flatter and hang close. I customize color for facial shape.”

Listening to him speak and watching him style my hair was educational and fun. He left me with this advice.

“Make it easy. Keep it simple. With a good cut and color, you don’t even need a blow dryer. We have enough products in the market today to make your hair look great!”

And, with that I was done, just like that! Seven hours of pampering, beautifying and relaxing over in a flash. I’d just had a mini vacation from the world.

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