Although one of my 40 Under 40 goals this year doesn’t fit under adventure or travel, it is definitely risky, and something I’ve wanted to do for many years.

Me Before The Make-Over

As I’ve moved through my 30’s, I seem to have slipped in to a comfort zone with my outward appearance. So much so, that my friends on Facebook who haven’t seen me in years, tell me that I look exactly the same.  I’m not sure if I should be flattered or insulted.

It became clear to me this year that I didn’t want to be celebrating my 40th birthday looking the same as I did on my 39th or even 29th. I knew I needed a make-over, but was a bit scared of taking that leap.

However, despite my reservations, I decided to visit ARU spa and salon in South Surrey to make it happen.

Owner Aaron Oram was there to greet me and to discuss what I wanted to accomplish with my make-over for the day.

He explained to me that when he and his business partner Derek Bodnarchuk went in to business together six year ago, they wanted to bring the mind and body together. He advised that the philosophy of ARU is to assist their clients to age gracefully by developing a sense of well-being from the inside out. Their salon believes in being eco-friendly and sustainable, and works devoutly to give back (like their recent pairing with the White Rock Hospice to create a 2012 calendar with all monies raised to go the White Rock Hospice).

It seemed like the perfect place to reassess what matters most in my life.

That’s why we began with an inside make-over that was meant to de-stress and detoxify my body.

As I entered the dark, quiet room for the beginning of my make-over, my massage therapist, Cynthia Stephens explained that I would be receiving a warm stone massage. It is meant to draw tension and stress from my muscles and improve my circulation.

I could literally feel my stress melt away as she placed them at specific points along my spine, in the palms of my hands and on my stomach to improve the flow of energy in my body.

Afterwards, she provided a facial which helped bring attention to my skin’s needs. I already knew that as a child of the 70’s, I had grown up at a time when lying out in the sun with coconut oil that had an SPF of 4 was considered being responsible.

There was some evidence of sun damage, along with a lack of proper moisturizing. Stephens was quick to provide some regenerating and restorative cream that helped cleanse my skin and correct it.

When I looked in the mirror after the facial, I could see that the small lines around my eyes and forehead had disappeared. Hallelujah!

It was then time to move on to the manicure, which included exfoliation, a relaxing massage of my hands and a great dark brown polish for the fall.  My hands never looked so good.

The next step was a major one for me. It was time to do my hair.

Getting Foils at Aru with Hairstylist Sarah Kelly

Lucky for me, I was handed over to an expert hair stylist who understood my concern over any major changes with my hair. After discussing what would be good for my hair (a deep conditioner and two inches cut off my hair) she also suggested low lights to provide more colour-depth.

If you’ve ever had a whole head of foils, then you already know you are in store for some down time while you wait.  However, once the foils were removed and the hair was cut, I was instantly smitten.

After being styled and blown dry, my hair felt light and full of body.

One final touch was my make-up application by make up artist, Vera Muskovich.  She opted for a “smoky” eye look with purple on my eyelids (a colour I would never have chosen for myself) that made my green eyes “pop”.  She then applied a light base and dramatic blush to bring out my check bones (I wasn’t even aware I had any). A light sheen was applied to my lips at the end to balance out the dark eye colour.

When a mirror was finally handed to me for my final assessment, I hardly recognized myself.  Although it was me, it felt and looked like a new me.

Me After the Make-Over

And when it was over, all I could really think to myself is one thing – bring on 40.