Review Feature

Reporter's beauty and ego more than skin deep

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Don't hate me because I'm beautiful.

It's not my fault. I just happen to be an exceedingly lovely guy.

Ask any of my co-workers. All of them ... well, many of them ... at least those who realize how sensitive and prone to tears I am ... will back me up on this without a half-hour of hesitation.

I mention my physical flawlessness not to brag. As it happens, it's necessary to bring up the topic right up front, because it is the very reason I was chosen to write this article.

You see, my editor decided to take advantage of my awesome gorgeousness to unravel, once and for all, an ancient unsolved mystery: Is it possible to improve upon perfection?

In my boss' quest for an answer, he ordered me to visit a Payson cosmetologist to see if there was anything a trained professional could do to make my exceedingly lovely face even lovelier.

Naturally, I laughed, derisively and behind his back. As anyone with a job knows, sometimes you've got to humor your employer, even when he's suggesting a really loony idea.

I was sent to the Beeline Highway office of Dr. Kent Cox, who's board certified in a number of specialties including facial plastic surgery.

As it was Dr. Cox's day off, I was handed over to Registered Nurse Adrienne Peach and cosmetologist Debbie Herrin whom, I dare say, are very nearly my female counterparts in the areas of beauty, wit and charm.

They explained that I would be undergoing two procedures:

A "sensi-peel," which would remove the very top layers of my facial skin, smooth it out, make it look shiny and new, and maybe, for a few hours give my mug the hue of an overripe tomato.

"As far as facial peels go, this is one of the most superficial," Adrienne said.

Since I'm such a superficial guy, it sounded perfect.

There are less superficial forms of peeling, she said, that go deep enough into the skin to among other things control or completely remove skin spots which could turn cancerous.

A "micro-dermabrasion," which is not unlike getting your face sandblasted and vacuumed. During this procedure, the entire face is "swiped" twice; first to sand down fine wrinkles and sun spots, and second, as Debbie said, "to suck up the dirt, the dead skin, and to pull everything out of your pores." (Frankly, I had no interest in pursuing that line of conversation.)

The process, Debbie added, is not only helpful in making the lovely lovelier, but is also "great for anyone with acne, acne scars or stretch marks, and involves a lot less pain, healing and down time than other procedures which produce similar results."

Adrienne and Debbie recommend a series of six treatments (at $100 per) of either the sensi-peel or micro-abrasion, along with monthly "maintenance" visits (at $100 per) to achieve maximum perfection.

Naturally, my first question to Adrienne and Debbie was, "When you're done, am I going to look even lovelier than I do now?"

"Absolutely," Adrienne answered. Then she muttered something under her breath. I'm sure it was a compliment of some sort.

As Debbie sandblasted my face, she told me of the other services available at Dr. Cox's office.

The good doctor himself offers the whole gamut of cosmetic-surgery possibilities, up to and excepting requests from people who want to have their faces sculpted to look like their favorite movie star or animal.

"If Dr. Cox thinks it's the wrong thing to do, or a request is made for the wrong reasons, he won't do it. He'll send them elsewhere," promised Adrienne.

His most requested number, she said, is upper eyelid surgery for older people whose eyelids have gotten so droopy they can no longer see, for purely cosmetic reasons, or both.

Once my countenance had been fully sandblasted, vacuumed and peeled, Adrienne asked if there were a blemish or unsightly spot anywhere on my body I'd like to have removed with a "TCA peel" wherein a solution of 32 percent trichloricidic acid literally burns the offending area right off your body.

That conversation went precisely like this:

Adrienne: "Just to warn you, TCA peels are very hot. Basically, it causes a superficial burn."

Me: "I'm extremely masculine. You may not have noticed that about me."

Adrienne: "Oh, I noticed right away. I'm sure most women do. Anyway, after we do it, you need to keep putting oil on it so it won't dry out. Do you have any Crisco at home?"

Me: "I have no idea."

Adrienne: "That's a very masculine answer."

It took quite a while, but we finally located a blemish an unusually attractive one on my upper left arm.

To no one's surprise, I barely felt a thing after Adrienne applied the acid. Clearly, I'm even more masculine than she or I thought.

Within a few days, she said, the spot would "sort of scab over, fall off, and it will be gone."

But what I was more concerned about, of course, was if my mission had been successful. Had the face peel and micro-dermabrasion proven that mankind now possesses the cosmetic technology to improve upon perfection?

I raced back to the office to poll my co-workers. Here are their unedited, unexpurgated (except in a few cases) answers ...

Maggi Anglemire: "You are absolutely lovelier."

Julie Watland: "I can tell a big difference. I really can. You are definitely lovelier."

Sherrie McQuerrey: "You're redder."

Melinda McQuerrey: "Um, you're ... well, it's not a ... you're definitely shinier. But are you lovelier? Um ... how could you have been, er, lovelier than you were before?"

Richard Haddad: "You still have that ugly growth in the middle of your face." Me: "That's my nose." Richard: "Oh. Sorry."

Shellie Manley: "Your skin looks as if it's been scrubbed clean. Your face is somewhat red. But you are lovelier, and you'll be even lovelier when the red goes away."

Dave Rawsthorne: "What did they do? Did they do anything?"

Carole Mathewson: "Oh, you're beautiful! You look about 10 years younger!"

Norma Rushing: "Do you look lovelier? No. You look redder."

Jim Keyworth: "Your face is red. That's all I can see. You're an ugly sucker, anyway. Maybe you are lovelier than you were this morning, but that's not saying much."

Obviously, some people and we don't need to name names are very jealous of perfection.

The office of Dr. Kent Cox is located at 313 S. Beeline Highway. For more information on services offered, call 474-0500.

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