The updates have slowed because I hit a rut.  The light can be clearly seen at the end of the tunnel and yet now that I’m a solo act to get the project complete I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.  I also got some news a few weeks ago that hit me like a ton of bricks.  It deflated one of my visions for how I saw myself living in my house and I truly had days were my house was no longer a happy place for me and I didn’t want to be there.  Add on my disappointment with my windows now that they are all installed and I found myself in a depressed funk that just made me not want to work at my house until my Grace and Grit – Skin. Body. Soul facial experience.

I’ve been working catering jobs for the Perfect Brew and have the pleasure of working with Crystal Grace who recently opened Grace + Grit salon spa located at 6712 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236.  I told Crystal at her grand opening I would get my first facial from her, but I had not made the time to do it until last week.  We worked a job together and she was able to give me an appointment on the spot, so I had no excuses or distractions.  I’m so glad she made it so easy as it was exactly what I needed.

Her shop is located in an older building, but has an eclectic/mid-century modern design vibe that exudes relaxation as soon as you walk through the door.  I have never gotten a facial, so I was expecting to be placed in a shampoo bowl like chair and draped with a cape.  Instead I was told to disrobe except for my panties and put on a terry cloth wrap and get under the sheets of massage table.  I was so caught off guard.  The facial includes a neck, shoulder, arm, hand and foot massage.  I told Crystal if I had known that I would have gotten a pedicure, which is what I always do before getting a regular massage.  She quickly said she prefers to show love to feet that have been neglected.  Wish granted.

Her table was tremendously comfortable.  It has a wave to it that was the perfect contour to my body and my feet were elevated slightly above my head.  When I first entered the room music of Leslie Odom, Jr was playing, but once my session began it transitioned to soothing Native American instrumental.  Crystal began by asking me a few questions about my skin care regime.  Short conversation as I do next to nothing.  My face for the most part gets the same body wash my body gets in the shower.

First step was the cleanse.  Not sure what she used, but it smelled wonderful and during the application a steam machine blew on my face.  It was warm and soothing.  After the cleanse she did a skin reading.  I don’t have any blackheads, but she did see congestion on my nose (white stuff that comes out my pores when squeezed).  She can remove it, but the process is a bit abrasive, so as not to spoil the tranquil atmosphere I was experiencing it will be saved for my next visit.  She also pointed out my chin hairs, which I did decide to have waxed.  Unwanted facial hair is the worst thing about pre-menopause, by far for me, so far.

Next was the exfoliation.  Again while that was being applied the steam machine was running.  While that product sat on my face, Crystal performed the foot massage.  When I work at my house I’m generally on my feet hours at a time.  My calve muscles have gotten tight and I frequently get lower leg cramps.  Between the tilt of the table and her magic hands my feet and lower legs got some much-needed relief from the pressure of standing all the time.  Following the feet was the shoulder, neck, and face massage.  I have no doubt I’ve strained a muscle in my shoulders from working at my house.  Sleeping in certain positions at night is painful, so the shoulder/neck massage was highly welcomed.  I could feel the knots in my muscles pop as she worked that area.

Next was the mask and more steam.  Actually between each facial step she also applied a warm moist towel to wipe off the product she had applied and that felt awesome too.  While the mask marinated she performed the hand and arm massage.  More wonderfulness!  With the removal of the mask, my first facial experience came to an 20181005_112105end.  Crystal helped me sit up, and left the room while I got dressed.  Upon exiting the room and returning to her lobby I was greeted with a plate of goat cheese drizzled with honey on crackers, grapes, and infused water.  Exactly what I needed as I did not eat breakfast that morning and I was starving.

I assumed the word Grace in her business name was due to her last name, but Crystal shared with me the true meaning and her story was the inspiration that snapped me out of my funk.  Over seven years ago Crystal was working at Time Warner and she found a co-worker dead at their house.  That experience sent her into a depression that she decided to combat through self-help via yoga and meditation vs. anti-depressants.  She got a facial one day and following the session the grief that had been pent-up came pouring out of her and she felt a tremendous sense of relief.  At that moment she internally heard the voice of God telling her this is how he wanted her to serve.  She quit her job and enrolled in Aveda Esthetician School and went to work at one of Cincinnati’s largest spas.  However, God’s voice was telling her to open her own spa.

It took her seven years to bring the spa into reality.  In the beginning it was her own self-doubt holding her back, but once she got over her “self” hurdle it was the “societal” hurdles putting up road blocks and obstacle that she had to overcome.  So Grace is God’s grace for giving her the Grit to overcome what stood in her way.  Such an inspiring story that came at a perfect 20181005_113207time for me.  I’ve got a new pep in my step and just in time.  I found a great couple to refinish all my floors and they can start November 5.  That means all the painting and floor patching must be complete by then.  I can’t paint the guest bedroom until I get the tile laid for the master bathtub area, which will allow the tub to be set in place.  Access to the plumbing connections for the tub are in the ceiling of that room, so I still have one sheet of drywall that needs to be hung once the connections have been made.  Lots to get done in just a couple of weeks, but I’m up for the tasks.

I’ve already decided to make my second Grace + Grit facial my reward for meeting my deadline. I actually may do a full day of beauty, something I’ve also never done for myself.  In addition to facials Crystal shares her shop with Sha-Kim Smith massage therapist and currently under construction in the rear portion of her shop are manicure and pedicure stations; the next services that will be added.  If you live in Cincinnati or plan to visit, I highly encourage you to experience Grace + Grit, you will not be disappointed.



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