When your job is dedicated to finding (and reviewing) the latest and greatest innovations in beauty, things can get a little weird. And by weird, I mean luxurious, gratuitous, and often extraordinary. With that in mind, I tried to recall the most memorable (albeit certainly excessive) treatments I've ever had the pleasure of scheduling, and I had the rest of Byrdie HQ chime in as well.
Below, find the most mind-blowing experiences we've ever had since our inception into the wonderful world of beauty journalism.
"I've done my fair share of mind-blowing treatments—I'll try anything once, and the perks of being a beauty editor are not wasted on me. This time it was Natura Bissé's high-tech transformational facial, a treatment that was created for the skin of celebrities, models, designers, and style icons attending the Met Gala. And, well, me. The tailor-made experience is performed inside a bubble of pure air.
"Yes, that's right. The circular tent that stood before me was an environment that contains 99.99% pure, clean air. So it’s completely free of pollutants as well as viral, bacterial, and allergenic agents. That way, as the esthetician goes through all the luxurious skin-improving techniques and processes, there will be nothing floating around to contaminate your face. I guess it really is that good to be a celebrity—even the air is better. You can read more about the facial in full here." — Hallie Gould, senior editor
"The most out-there beauty treatment I've ever gotten was a mini panchakarma treatment deep in the hills of Malibu at Surya Spa. I should've known it would be a wild experience, considering that Gwyneth Paltrow is a regular. I went in with a curiosity and interest in the practice of Ayurveda and all that it entails, and I left feeling 10 pounds lighter.
"Maybe it was from the sacks of Amish milk(!) that were bounced off my body in tandem in two large sacks(!!), or maybe it was the surprise enema I got at the end (yes, that happened). Regardless, I still look back on that entire experience extremely fondly and with the utmost respect for people who undergo the full panchakarma treatment, some of which last up to 21 days. You can read about my Gwyneth-approved detox experience here." — Faith Xue, editorial director
"Honestly, you could not pay me to find out how much money my spray tans have added up to over the years. To give you an idea, I was completely broke during my college years, basically living off peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and boxed cereal. Yet I still went through a phase of getting a spray tan probably every other week. I had self-tanning products that I loved, but for some reason I always craved (and still do occasionally) the allover glow of a super-even spray tan.
"Eventually I toned it down, and now I'll only get one if I have a special occasion coming up. Instead, I rely on St. Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse ($44). It's amazing, and I hoard just in case the brand ever stops making it. (St. Tropez, if you're reading this, please don't!) Still, thinking back to those days in college makes me cringe—my spray tan sum would probably be worth a large chunk of tutition (or groceries); seriously, I never want to know." — Erin Jahns, assistant editor
"I'm now an infrared convert. I recently wrapped up a month trial with Shape House, an "urban sweat lodge" here in L.A.—basically, they wrap you in an infrared blanket like a burrito, and you lie there and watch Netflix while your body slowly heats up from the inside out. It's mildly disgusting, but the health and beauty benefits are crazy—you burn crazy calories, de-bloat, brighten your skin, and sleep so, so much better. I'm addicted—the only difference is that instead of going twice a week (it isn't cheap), I'll be reserving future sessions for those times when I really need to detox.
Already marked my calendar for January 2, 2018…" — Victoria Hoff, wellness editor
"Working in the beauty industry is bittersweet. You become privy to so many new fabulous treatments, but consequently, you turn yourself into somewhat of a guinea pig and indulge in things you don't necessarily need, per se. For example, the influx of fillers in the media lately has had me so curious about them for months, and while I still feel that I have young features, I reasoned that my hollow under-eyes needed a bit of plumping. Finally ready to take the plunge, I booked an appointment with Dr. Shereene Idriss who told me it's really not what I needed—which I appreciated.
(An honest derm is the best kind of derm.) Instead, she suggested we do a bit of lifting and liberal injecting to symmetrize my face, which would end up correcting the under-eye area as a result. I loved how it looked, but am keenly aware that booking regular appointments at this stage is a bit gratuitous (because they're not exactly in my price range). I'm happy that I satiated my curiosity, though and that I was in the hands of someone who wasn't needle-happy." —Lindsey Metrus, managing editor
Next up: Read about the month I used a $900 face cream, because I have thoughts.