I haven’t had a facial in…well actually; I can’t even remember how long it’s been! That explains it! Ironically, I am a licensed cosmetologist, which means I went to school for hair, skin, and nails. I have done all the above at some point during my career (I actually had a fantastic esthetic clientele before I joined the Aveda Corp. in 1990). However, since returning to the freelance business 16 years ago, I had facials with less and less frequency, which is how I arrived at my current facial dry spell.
All that changed this past week thanks to a friend and a thank you gift I received from her. The gift was for a facial at Spa Sweet. I called and made an appointment with the esthetician my friend had recommended. Once I made my appointment I started having second thoughts. What if I don’t like the smell of the product (I detest synthetically-scented skin care)? What if I have sensitivity to the product used? What if the esthetician is too aggressive with extraction? Uncertainty and thoughts of rescheduling swilled in my head.
By the time I had all those conversation again and again with myself, it was time for my appointment. I walked in feeling a sense of skepticism. Sonja, my esthetician, greeted me promptly and led me back to the treatment room. After addressing my litany of questions, I was left to undress and get under the covers. That’s when “my conversion” began. As soon as I slipped under the covers, I noticed the bed was warm; YES—I can do this!
Sonja was very respectful of all my concerns as well as deft at her craft. I had a wonderful experience. It was relaxing, thorough, and my skin looked great when it was over. I was impressed with the entire experience. Why don’t I do this on a regular basis?
I asked Sonja some questions and I ended up buying the serum she recommended. Why get a facial? She gave me great 3 reasons:
1. Stronger exfoliation than you can get at home that’s tailored to your specific skin type. When you remove dry, dead skin cell accumulation, your skin care works better and your skin looks brighter.
2. Safer gentler extractions than you can do at home. You pickers know who you are—my advice is leave it to a professional. The main difference is during a facial, the skin is cleansed, exfoliated, steamed, and basically softened so extractions are safer and more hygienic. There’s less of chance of bruising and infection that is common in home treatments.
3. Hydration and overall health of the skin. A good esthetician can evaluate what you are doing at home and help you customize your skin care so you get the best results. Leaving you with healthy, glowing skin.
Upon arriving home following my appointment, my husband noticed my skin immediately. He even asked if I was wearing some different makeup because my skin looked beautiful.
How often should you get a facial? Ideally every four to six weeks; but Sonja recommends at least once a season. All I can say is, sign me up!
So, it’s happened! The snow is actually melting and there is the possibility of my toes being exposed at some point very soon. Truth is, I haven’t had a pedicure in months. It’s not like me to ignore my tootsies—I love perfectly shaped, brightly colored toes even if no one else can see them. Unfortunately, this year’s polar vortex has taken its toll in many ways—resignation that it may never end, and neglect of grooming (let’s just leave it at the toes)!
In celebration of winter’s retreat I made an appointment at Twin City Nails. I always walk out of there with a great pedicure, and I love that I can call and get in right away. I am not good at making appointments too far in advance as my schedule changes quickly.
Ahhhhh! There is something magical about slipping my feet into that warm footbath; it’s like the winter melting away. As I was day dreaming about getting daily pedicures, I asked my pedicurist why it is that when I get them at the salon they last so much longer than when I do them at home? I was surprised that the answer was so simple.
1) Make sure the nail bed is cleanThe most important thing is to make sure the nails are really clean. Really—that’s it? Actually it is. Begin by removing all traces of nail polish, especially around the cuticle. Trim and file nails. Then soak and wash the feet, removing nail polish remover. Then push back and if necessary trim the cuticles.
2) Buff the nailsAny shine on the nails is mostly oil. By buffing the nails first, oils are removed allowing for polish to go on more smoothly. The better polish lays on nails the longer the pedicure lasts.
3) Don’t skip the base coatI NEVER use a base coat! Maybe that’s why my “at home” manicures never last either. My base coat of choice is OPI.
What about color?Here are some of my favorite shades to usher in a colorful spring.
· According to Pantone, the color of the year is Dazzling Blue. My favorite nail polish version is from Essie inMesmerized, a beautiful royal blue.
· Another of Pantone’s colors for spring is Radiant Orchid. Best shade of it for nails is Butter London’s--Molly Coddled, an opaque, lavender orchid.
· And last but not least a personal favorite—Celosia Orange MARC JACOBS BEAUTY Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer in Snap! This is a most delicious shade of mandarin orange!
That’s it! Often a simple solution is all you need. Now, let’s see those toes.!
April indeed! Two weeks into spring it’s snowing outside, and to add insult to injury, the little break in the weather triggered my allergies. I know I don’t suffer alone. It’s difficult to look your best with the symptoms of allergy season so prominently displayed. Watery, itchy, swollen eyes, and a red nose say spring like nothing else. What to do?
In an emergency situation I pull out the big dark sunglasses throw on some red lipstick (to take attention away from my red nose) and try to get out of the store as quickly as possible. Unfortunately the symptoms usually last a few days. And I recently heard on the news that this year’s cold winter (polar vortex) may contribute to a more severe allergy season. I like to always be prepared, so here is my game plan to look good even on days when the pollen count is high:
Doctor knows bestFirst of all if you take allergy medicine to ease symptoms, follow your doctors instructions. I don’t operate well on allergy medicine during the day, if I take anything I usually do it at night, that way I get a good nights sleep which helps alleviate puffy eyes and dark circles. I also try to up my water intake to compensate for the moisture being lost from blowing my nose and sneezing.
Let’s start with itchy, puffy, swollen eyes—Give yourself a few extra minutes to soothe your eyes. Time invested will payoff in results that makeup alone can’t do.
Eye drops—I use homeopathic Boiron Optique 1 Eye Drops to soothe my eyes and then apply a cool compress such as cold tea bags (I keep in the fridge) or a cotton ball soaked in cold water. This combination helps with both redness and puffiness. You can use this same technique with a prescription drop as long as you follow your doctor’s instructions.
Incorporate a primerAlong with drinking more water I also incorporate a primer into my makeup routine. Primers help even out dry areas on the skin, which maybe a symptom of allergies as well as a reaction to antihistamines. Try L’Oreal’s Miracle Blur.
CamouflageRedness under the eyes and around the nose can be disguised using a concealer that perfectly matches your skin tone. For days like these, I use Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage (SC-3 is my color). I love it because it’s oil free and long wearing. Each compact has two colors, which allow you to customize in order to perfectly match your skin tone.
Fashionable framesIf eyes are too sensitive to apply makeup wear a cute pair of fashion frames (read no prescription) to add interest. Check out SEE in Uptown for a perfect pair of clear, prescription, or sunglasses. If your eyes feel better, use a white or cream pencil at the water line (inside the eye). This technique makes the eyes appear more open and awake.
Last but not least, put on a happy face, as Marilyn Monroe said “A smile is the best makeup any girl can wear.”
Have a question just ask me.....