By Sally Voth
Barbara Smith capped off a week of healthy living and enjoyment with a facial at Spectrum Skin Care in Woodstock.
She even got her 11-year-old granddaughter, Madison, in on the act.
"It was awesome," Madison enthused after esthetician Darlne Ratlief finished her express facial Friday morning.
Ratlief opened her business at 140 Lora Drive in September. She offers facials and body wraps, as well as reflexology.
"I use only natural and organic products," Ratlief said. "I try to be as green and eco-friendly as possible."
After a consultation, she chooses the particular oils and creams that will suit the client's particular needs. The facial may include cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing and a mask.
"I'm also starting to offer contouring body wraps," Ratlief said.
It was Woodstock resident Smith's first facial at Spectrum. Her sister had been visiting from Maryland, and got a facial before Smith did.
"We were just kind of doing a general start to spring," she said. "We were juicing and exercising, just kind of treating ourselves. We finished up the week with a facial."
Smith had been planning to do the half-hour express facial until she talked to her sister.
"She said, 'You need to do the hour,'" Smith said. "It's so relaxing, so relaxing. Feels good."
She gave her granddaughter the facial instead of Easter candy. Smith said she needs to return for another facial when her sister comes to visit again in a month.
"Just to pamper yourself, to be good to yourself," she said. "Life is so stressful and you just don't take the time to stop and relax and be quiet and enjoy the peace and quiet."
Ratlief has been an esthetician for five years after doing massage therapy for more than 20 years.
"This is a related field," she said. "I wanted to stay in health care. I love what I'm doing now."
While giving facials -- Spectrum's menu also includes non-surgical facelift, glycolic peel, gentleman's, and teenage/oily skin facials -- Ratlief also massages the neck, hands, arms and decolletage.
She said her body wraps lead to instant loss of unwanted inches.
"And, it's a permanent loss," Ratlief said. "It's good to get a series of them, or get them on a regular basis."
For the wraps, she starts by exfoliating the extremities, abdomen and back.
"What really does the work for this wrap is the contouring cream," Ratlief said.
That includes niacin and Chinese cinnamon. She then tightly wraps the client in clear wrap for an hour.
"You lay down and just relax for an hour," Ratlief said. "It's very relaxing. You don't get hot and sweat like some of them."
Ratlief sells the products she uses, which are by M'lis.
"[By] using professional products you can get a much deeper cleanse, and they're individualized," she said. "Each facial is individualized to suit the person who's getting it. It's also good for circulation to the face. It makes you feel good about yourself. And, it's relaxing."
Spectrum can be called at (540) 459-9638, and is on Facebook.