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Spa’d Out

A college friend named “Judith” texted to invite me to what she called a ‘free spa day’ she’d won on a bridal website. She wasn’t a close friend, but I had fun on the times we did spend together, so I happily replied that I was looking forward to it. It was a little disappointing, therefore, when I mentioned it to my mom later that day, and was informed that those things were usually just Mary Kay or the like trying to sell products. I passed the information along to Judith, thinking she must be unaware, but she replied, “Oh, I know.” If she knew, why didn’t she tell me that to begin with, instead of calling it a “spa day”? I’d already agree to go, and thought that at least I’d get to spend time with my friend, so I didn’t cancel. But it’s important to know that I don’t wear any makeup at all, and Judith knows this.

So I got to the Mary Kay building on the appropriate day, and, in addition to our group, there was another small table of people with us in the tiny room, which made it difficult to really chat. The people in Judith’s group were herself, her mom, me, and another girl, who, it turns out, also never wears makeup. In fact, this other girl actually shared my skin condition of mild eczema. (Judith had known this girl since elementary school, so surely she knew about the eczema.) Which means that the two people Judith thought would be most appropriate to invite to a Mary Kay spiel were two girls who never wear makeup and had skin that would probably be sensitive to some of the other products that were being tried on (moisturizer and such). Trying to be a good sport, I did try a bit of the first product on my hand, and immediately got a stinging flare up because of it. I declined trying anything after that, and ended up leaving early.

I felt really rude, especially to the Mary Kay girl (who was very nice the whole time and didn’t try to push products that might upset my skin), but I’d already been there for an hour and a half and had another commitment. And really, after an hour and a half they’d only gotten through about a quarter of the “makeover”, so it was a bit of a relief. (Oh, and this isn’t really a faux pas, but Judith had signed up as a “bride” and kept talking about the makeover being a bridal event. She’d been “engaged” for seven years–since she was 15–and didn’t even plan on setting a date for at least a few more years yet. My own wedding was to be in a month; I didn’t bring it up at the makeover, because I didn’t want it to look like I was upstaging the “bride”, but it would have been nice if Judith had at least asked about it once the entire time.) 0307-10

{ 22 comments… add one }
  • Mom April 22, 2010, 6:25 am

    OP, I don’t think you were rude at all. If you need to leave, you need to leave – I’m sure the salesperson understood (and no sales person expects to be successful 100% of the time!). As for Judith, she was probably just looking for some company and thought it would be nice to include you.

  • PrincessSimmi April 22, 2010, 7:06 am

    People like this really get my goat. I don’t like parties, I don’t like gatherings, and I have very little spending money. If I want to buy your crap I will but stop trying to jam it down my throat.

  • phoenix April 22, 2010, 8:14 am

    I agree, the OP was not rude at all to leave. The salesperson was probably actually relieved; it can be tricky to keep track of who can not try certain products, and to not offend someone who really can’t partake of what the event was about. Just look at it as giving Judith more one-on-one time with the Mary Kay lady.

    Kind of odd to bring someone who can’t use the products, but she probably was looking at it as a “free pampering” and didn’t really think it through.

  • Raccoon Princess April 22, 2010, 9:37 am

    I’d say you were very gracious. I’d probably have cancelled when I found out it was a Mary Kay party masquerading as a spa day.

  • janie April 22, 2010, 10:18 am

    Being engaged for 7 years is a lot of time to collect bride-to-be perks. I think you were more than kind to go once you found out what the “spa day” really was. No faux pas on your part.

  • Mary April 22, 2010, 10:49 am

    After an hour and a half, only a quarter way through the party? I would expect those events to not go past 2 hours. And inviting someone to a “spa day” when it’s really a Mary Kay party is just flat out lying. And this is coming from someone who used to sell Mary Kay. Turns out I don’t have the personality to do the party thing and was never comfortable selling in that manner.

  • geekgirl April 22, 2010, 4:42 pm

    As fas as I’m concerned, a ‘spa day’ is going to a spa, being pampered, having face masks and body wraps and so on. To turn up and find there is none of that, but only a relentless sales pitch, would make me extremely angry. It’s not just misguidance, its a downright lie. I’d’ve left long before the OP did.

  • NotCinderell April 22, 2010, 5:47 pm

    Am I the only one who wonders if Judith was inviting the poster to her “bridal” event out of jealousy? “Hey, you’re getting married? Well, I’m engaged, too! I was engaged before you, even!”

  • Paula April 23, 2010, 11:38 am

    I’m wondering if she got perks at the “party” for inviting others along.

    Although I will give her the benefit of the doubt, she may have thought that Mary Kay might have some eczema friendly lotions, etc., that you couldn’t get anywhere else? Maybe?

    Still a downright lie, though, telling you it was a spa day in the first place.

  • polymathamy April 23, 2010, 11:56 am

    It sounds to me that Judith, in What-Not-to-Wear fashion, decided that you and the other girl just did not “get” makeup and needed her to “help” you. She had no respect for your legitimate reasons for not wearing it. She was rude and you were right to get out of there. Take pride in the fact that your skin is probably healthier than hers, since you’re not loading it down with stuff every morning and scrubbing it off every night.

    On a personal note, I have a strange combination of rosacea and eczema. I can’t use oil-based products, but I can’t let my skin dry out, either. I really love the oil-free makeup and face lotion by Neutrogena, and body lotion by Aveeno. Best of luck to you!

  • Original Poster April 23, 2010, 1:04 pm

    NotCinderell, while I obviously thought “Judith’s” faux pas was annoying enough for this website, I honestly don’t think she was motivated by any bad intentions. I think that, for her, a Mary Kay sales pitch actually was a fun idea (while not a girly girl, she does wear a lot of makeup). But she’s the sort that, if it’s fun for her, it must be fun for everyone else.

    Mary, this wasn’t a traditional Mary Kay “party”. We all met at a store in a strip mall devoted to these Mary Kay makeovers and did everything there. Maybe that’s why it went on so much longer than usual? Or maybe they just flew through the makeup portion faster than they did the moisturizers. All I know is, I didn’t even get a cookie out of it like I would at one of the “parties”.

  • kero April 23, 2010, 2:16 pm

    My sister got invited to these “spa day” too! And from what I learned, the bridal website called it a “spa day,” and not the friend who invited her. The friend was duped into thinking it was an actual spa pampering session too! But really it turned out to be a Mary Kay party at the friend’s house (they came to her place instead of them going to a Mary Kay store), and every guest invited got an allergic reaction unfortunately.

  • Amazed April 24, 2010, 11:47 pm

    I’d like to bet that “Judith” had already asked a bunch of people (her A-list and B-list friends) who turned down a sales promotion party. So, in going to C-listers she just fudged it with “spa day”.

    I would have left as soon as I knew what was really going on. It wasn’t a spa day, wasn’t a party. It was a sales promotion. “I’m sorry, but I did not know this was a Mary Kay sales event. Since I don’t wear makeup, it would be a waste of your time and a waste of your products to continue with me.”

  • Enna April 25, 2010, 3:42 am

    It was badly organised – I think inviting female firends who don’t wear make-up or have skin conditions is pointless. Unless the firends want make-up which won’t irratae their skin. The sales woman might have been rather nervous about dealing with people with skin complaints as people can sue at a drop of the hat. An hour an a half and only a quarter of the way though the demostration? That’s not very good time management. You’ve done nothing rude – if you got things to do you have things to do.

  • Xtina April 26, 2010, 10:57 am

    I feel sorry for the salesperson, too! Here she probably expected that Judith had invited a few legitimate prospects who weren’t misled into what they were doing, and could actually USE the products she was selling….Judith misled and wasted the time of her friends and the salesperson.

    To the OP–yes, perhaps Judith truly thought it would be a fun and inexpensive (for her, since she didn’t have to provide any kind of food or entertainment) way to connect with old friends and she had basically good intentions since really, nobody would have to purchase anything–but I have found that if old, out of touch friends you haven’t spoken to in a long time mysteriously surface and suddenly invite you to something “unusual”, then there’s sales, incentives, or gift-grubbing involved. Approach with caution.

  • Natski April 26, 2010, 10:24 pm

    Yes Xtina is so right! I had an old out of touch friend recently make contact with me on facebook mentioning how she had really appreciated the gift I gave her son years ago. I was really quite touched until the next week when I was invited to her lingerie selling party.

  • koolchicken May 7, 2010, 5:57 am

    I wouldn’t worry about it, the sales lady probably didn’t mind. My Aunt used to sell the stuff and she wouldn’t have wanted to push someone with sensitive skin to try products that might be harmful to them.

  • Babs May 10, 2010, 6:24 pm

    Don’t feel badly for the salesperson, or Independent Beauty Consultant. The “Spa Day” was set up by her. This is just one of many ways that women are lured in, with the hopes of recruiting and having the unsuspecting newbie charge up hundreds of dollars in product. That is ultimately their main agenda, not so much the sale of the product. It’s what moves them up the ladder. Go on pinktruth.com and get the true story.

  • Ally May 10, 2010, 8:42 pm

    Actually, that is pretty standard for MK parties. They love to talk the hostess into inviting friends over unawares. So I feel sorry for Judith. She thought she was doing something nice, and her friends ended up feeling put upon and used. Ah yes, why the home product party is archaic.

  • As a wedding planner and former (yes, I was fogged for short while), I know MK uses the bridal shows offering Bridal Makeovers and will even do you and your whole wedding party the day of your wedding.

    I have seen MK selling and recruiting at the pre-bridal makeovers and EVEN ON THE DAY OF THE WEDDING.

    BEWARE!! They are not experts at doing your make-up, especially on the day of your wedding. The whole matching of your make-up to your dresses is not necessary something you want to do. I have seen brides with too much makeup and not so flattering looks to not enough makeup. And your photographer can only do so much to correct bad makeup in the photos.

  • moonwind May 10, 2010, 11:05 pm

    As soon as I heard it had anything at all to do with Mary Kay, I’d have found some reason NOT to go.

  • k. May 23, 2010, 11:47 am

    Several years ago, a close friend told me that she was going to take me to a spa party for my birthday. I assumed it would be like the spa parties my friends and I had in high school with cucumber slices and mud masks, etc. The party turned out to be a sales pitch for a ridiculously priced spa line that I’d never even heard of and it turned out that my friend knew all along what the nature of the party was. I don’t make a big fuss over my birthday, but it was rather hurtful that my friend chose a sales pitch over a more appropriate form of celebration. Another case of the “what’s fun for me will be fun for you” assumption gone awry.

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