I remember reading somewhere once that Anna Wintour would get a “preventative facial” every month starting from the time she was 16. I remember thinking how grown up and chic that was, something my teenage self was desperate to emulate. From that time on, any money I saved up from allowance and various jobs would be allocated to facials. As someone with acne prone skin, my facials were a little less preventative and a little more on the side of an excavation with a jack hammer, but never the less, my love affair with facials had begun.
Over the years, I’ve loved learning from each aesthetician I’ve had a treatment with. They all have their own individual style, which has always fascinated me. The buzz on Tammy Fender in the Skincare world has always been that her signature treatment, a Holistic Custom Facial with Reflexology, was life changing. So when the opportunity arose to try it out for myself the facial connoisseur in me was #THRILLED.
The night before my appointment, I checked out her website to get a basic understanding of what the facial treatment would be like at Tammy Fender’s Spa in Palm Beach. I had never had a “holistic facial” before, and I didn’t know what exactly to expect. I wouldn’t quite say I was skeptical, but I hadn’t a clue of how a spiritual component would play in a facial experience. Would the slight discomfort I normally experience during extractions morph into a moment of enlightenment? The description made it seem vaguely possible:
There’s simply nothing else like it. Pure indulgence. Profound healing. A head-to-toe revival. Rooted in the ancient traditions of holistic medicine, this advanced treatment provides harmonious balance between cellular healing and a radiantly illuminated complexion. It’s nothing less than a restoration of the entire being. Gentle rhythmic massage techniques deeply enhance circulation, increasing the blood and oxygen supply, inspiring elasticity, encouraging cell turnover and ushing skins tissues clean. Simultaneously, precise reflex points are stimulated through thirty-minutes of reflexology, restoring the body’s ability to heal itself. In whole, seventy-five minutes of unforgettable, blissful rejuvenation to re-balance the body’s energy fields, awakening inner and outer beauty.
Now on to my actual experience: First off, her spa is located in the cutest little house I’ve ever seen; the vibe is very quaint and homey. After I got checked in for my appointment, I was led upstairs to the waiting room. There was a selection of oils laid out for me and I was asked to choose three to be used in my treatment. I was encouraged not to read the labels, but to choose based on smell alone. Once I selected my oils and met Tammy, we had a little chat about the process and went into the treatment room to get me settled.
She started off by going through each of the oils I selected and explaining the benefits of each one. She said that all oils are either feminine or masculine and that usually people choose a mixture of one or two from each category. I was unique in that I picked all feminine oils. Now what followed next is what turned me Tammy Fender all day every day convert. She asked if I was stressed or had been traveling a lot. UM, YES to all. She said the fact that I selected all feminine oils was significant because I was looking for nurturing loving energy and comfort. So I’m lying there just trying to get rid of my black heads, and all of a sudden Tammy Fender is peering into my soul. I swear I almost started crying right there on the treatment table. It sounds dramatic, but if you ever meet her you’ll understand. She just has this energy about her that puts you into this kind of vulnerable open state, but in a good way. She had me completely pegged, and this was MAYBE 5 minutes in.
Then she explained beyond the masculine and feminine properties of the oils, each had its own unique benefits that my body was craving. That’s why it was so important to pick essential oils based on smell and not the labels. Your body knows what it need to balance itself. She said that most of her clients actually pick different combinations of oils almost every time! I had selected Clary Sage, Lavender, and Juniper Berry. The oils I had selected could not have reflected what I needed better. With all of my constant traveling, I definitely was feeling stressed, and being a a new city has its challenges. The most shocking to me was that I picked an oil that specifically helps with kidney stones, something I have habitually struggled with for the last 4 years or so.
From there hits just kept on coming. As she began the facial she asked me what I would like to change, in general or about myself. Such a simple question, but it cut me to my core. At the time I had been running myself ragged, over-committing to everything and therefore succeeding at nothing.
What did I want to change?
To be more present. To spend my time meaningfully. To feel satisfied.
Years of therapy and I was having an emotional breakthrough before she even got to the extractions. I could go on and on but I think by this time y’all get the point. I came out of that appointment with a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and glowing skin to boot.
Even now as I write this. I am itching to make the trek back up to Palm Beach for her to again work her magic not just on my skin, but on my psyche.
MY INTERVIEW WITH TAMMY FENDER
What inspired you to start your business?
When I first began working as an aesthetician over 25 years ago I searched high and low for organic botanically-based products I could use on my clients skin but there really weren’t any out there. I wanted something that offered purity, and integrity. At that point, I’d done so much research on plant medicines and traditional healing, and medicinal chemistry, that I took a leap and began creating custom-blended holistic formulas born out of the needs of my clients, using only the most exquisite ingredients. By word of mouth our business grew—I’m very thankful for that.
How have you continued to innovate and evolve it over the years?
I am passionate about vibrational medicine—both working in the apothecary with our raw botanical ingredients, and serving clients hands-on in the treatment room. As I learn more and more about the continuity between the body and spirit each day, and I’m continually inspired to reflect the new wisdom I receive in both my formulations and treatments. I devote myself to meditation and contemplation each day with the hope of opening myself to new insights.
You have such a holistic approach to skincare, where does that inspiration come from?
Ever since I can remember, I’ve felt a connection to the plant kingdom and the energies of natural plant medicine. At the same time, even as a child I felt drawn to the spiritual world and I’ve always felt a deep concern for other people’s happiness. So my curiosity drew me into studying holistic healing and wellness. I work through the skin, but truly I support transformation by helping each client make the lifestyle shifts that bring harmony on every level. When all the energetic vibrations are in harmony, that’s when we see that beautifully healthy, glowing skin.
Do you follow any kind of a specific diet?
I’m a huge fan of eating vegetables in their raw state—which is to say uncooked, and I love juicing. But I also do a lot of Ayurvedic based cooking at home. Ayurvedic cooking is so nourishing, and makes great sense, following the seasons and working with different body types to sooth and ground the being on every level.
I am a huge fan of your blog. Have you ever considered writing a book?
Thank you! I love doing research and reading, and sharing the power of holistic healing is my passion. It is something I have definitely thought about.
What is the number one skincare mistake women in their 20s make?
Too often young women overstrip the skin’s precious protective barrier, which allows potential toxins to penetrate into the skin, and allows the skin to become dehydrated.
I know you are big believer in less is more. How would you help a product junkie simplify their skincare routine?
When you are ready to make a change in your routine, but don’t know where to start, I’d recommend beginning with the ingredients lists. I’m a firm believer that as careful as we are with what we eat is exactly how vigilant we need to be about what we put onto the skin. If the product in question contains something that you might not want inside your body, why not put it aside for six weeks and see how your skin reacts, or find an alternative–preferably one that multi-tasks. I’ve noticed that sometimes the more simple and pure formulas are the most versatile as well.
Now that Beauty is a becoming a bigger part of my blog content, I’m trying to share more in depth reviews on the various treatments I try out. Hopefully this is something that proves interesting to you guys. These posts are some of my favorites to write : )
You can find all of Tammy Fender’s products here.
Thank you again to Tammy Fender for hosting me! All opinions remain my own.