I was in Portland, Oregon for a couple days and my friend Elizabeth told me I had to stop by the Aveda Institute in downtown Portland for inexpensive hair and cosmetic treatments. This cosmetology, hair, and esthiology school offers salon and spa treatments from their students at amazing prices.
After a little research I discovered the AIP was in the Pearl District and only about a 15 minute walk from my hotel. I called them up a couple days in advance and booked a $25 facial and a $18 pedicure.
It was truly a 15 minute walk through downtown Portland to the Pearl District to the AIP. I was impressed by the size and magnitude of the place. It was a clean, wonderfully smelling, trendy, bustling operation with students, clients, and Aveda products galore.
A $25 facial, huh?! How good could it be right? Well, let me tell you it was fabulous! If you can look beyond the plain decor, beds separated by white sheet curtains, and about 10 minutes for student/instructor time this is a deal of a century. My facial lasted about an hour and 15 minutes and really only about 15 minutes was student/instructor time. My esthetician Alicia was polite, and professional and her hands were gentle and made my skin feel fantastic. I got a skin analyzation, two different kinds of masks, and a mini scalp and upper arm massage. The high quality, aromatic Aveda products were the icing on the cake. Overall, the facial was divine, relaxing, and I would definitely do it again.
After the facial, I got my pedicure. This was not as luxurious as the facial, and I was lined up in a small room with other nail customers. I was so close to the other clients I could hear their entire conversation and even poke them in the eye. My cosmetology student was quiet and didn’t really seem to enjoy giving me the foot make over. In the end, my foot massage was nice, but the nail polish job was on the poor side. I may try the pedicure again because of the $18 price and they do use OPI polish, but I would not request the same technician.
My afternoon at AIP was delightful. Since Oregon has no sales tax I got a facial, pedicure, a bottle of exfoliant, and shave cream for Steve all for only $81 (before tip)!
If you are ever in the downtown Portland area and want a day of pampering at ridiculously inexpensive prices, AIP is your place. Appointments are available Tuesday thru Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm. Appointments are recommended, so call (503) 294-6000. Check out their website for a list of their guest services.
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