At the Spa – Mario Tricoci

My first ever facial was at Mario Tricoci. I had won a raffle or something. I remember it as a great experience, where I learned a whole lot about taking care of my skin. I have had something like three facials a year since then. My “regular” place is down the street. Less expensive, more functional than la di da pampering yourself. And sometimes I get them when I am on vacation.

Mario Tricoci is a chain and not the gold standard spa experience, in my opinion. But it is a really good baseline. The standard European Facial is $78, which is reasonable enough. But they don’t do paraffin treatment/massage your feet or any of that stuff that come from the places that charge $100 and up. The best news is that they take appointments online.

I had a certificate to Mario, and I was due for a facial so I went today. The technician was competent, asking all of the right questions and hitting on the fact that my purpose was to not about the “relaxing” or the mini-massage, but to take care of my skin already. Then she started talking and I remembered why I don’t like it here:

She was trying to get me to upgrade the service. I told her I would rather spend the extra dollars on product. So she got started. It was a good treatment and at the end she left me with the usual product recommendations, including a vitamin C serum that I had heard about before. Then she sent me upstairs for the “free make up application”. I remembered that as going to get your eyes done before walking out the door.

No. This is where we get more serious about the selling of the products. The makeup chick walked through all of the recommended products to buy before putting on my damn eye shadow. Then she wanted my phone number so she could, “follow up next week”. This, ladies and gentlemen, is why I never answer the phone.

I took the vitamin C serum downstairs and went to the register to pay my bill. The total was a good $100 more than I planned. I asked for a breakdown. That vitamin C serum was $135. I handed it back over the counter.

Verdict: Mario Tricoci does a good basic facial. I can’t comment on the “upgrades” because I refuse to pay for them. But when you get to the “make up application”, plead another appointment and get out.

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