SPA AHH: Facials

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Facials consist of a series of exfoliating, treating and moisturizing techniques that are supposed to leave skin supple and bright. There are so many different types of facial treatments out there it can be hard to decide what is right for you. Make sure you tell your aesthetician of any allergies or skin conditions before your facial. If you aren’t sure what you would like, a quick consultation under a bright light will help determine what facial will be best.

Usually the process of a facial consists of exfoliating skin, extraction of blackheads/white heads, facial massage, mask and moisturizer. Products change from location to location. Spas will also develop their own signature facials, which can be a refreshing change to a routine facial.

The use of lavander, tea tree, chamomile oils along with oatmeal and salicylic acids is very common in most facials. Funky treatments like chocolate and gold leaf can be used to up the luxury factor. Slight tingling sensations are normal with any facial, but it should not be unbearable. Speak up if it is painful or burning. You want to leave the spa better than when you arrived. There also will be some redness depending on skin sensitivity.

Follow up treatment at home is just as important as the facial itself. This is the time to ask a professional what products to use, so take advantage.

-Vernize Rios

Beauty on the Red Carpet: 83rd Annual Academy Awards Goes Au Naturel

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Beauty fads come and go, but there’s one trend that will never go out of style – natural, healthy-looking skin. With more and more celebs going au naturel, the fresh-faced look, like the one Gwyneth Paltrow, Michelle Williams, and other celebrities donned at the 83rd annual Academy Awards ceremony, is shaping up to be a red-hot trend for 2011.

In fact, Benjamin Rousseau, national makeup artist for Lancôme, says that this awards season’s beauty trend is one of understated glamour. “The feel is more of a classic elegance rather than a strong, statement-making end result,” he tells Vogue UK. Rousseau, whose clients include Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, and Emma Watson, offers the following prescription for Oscar-worthy beauty:

LIPS: Nude or natural colors
CHEEKS: Touch of cheekbone-enhancing blush
EYES: Soft and smoky

How are the stars getting the coveted clean-and-clear skin needed to achieve a naturally beautiful look? Check out these tips from the International Spa Association (ISPA) about the beauty products and treatments favored by the hottest names around.

Celeb Beauty Picks
>> This year’s Best Actress nominees (Annette Bening, Nicole Kidman, and Natalie Portman) each scored an Award-Season Survival Kit courtesy of Murad. The kits include goodies like cleansing cream to remove makeup and exfoliate skin, moisturizer to achieve the luminous look, and dietary supplements to encourage sleep and boost cellular regeneration.

>> A-List actresses like Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lopez are opting for fruit-filled facial peels, which are designed to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and boost the skin’s natural radiance. J.Lo also loves SkinCeutical’s paraben-free mattifying fluid to protect her skin from sun damage.

>> Celebrity beauties like Katherine Heigl, Alicia Silverstone, and Jennie Garth are into Eminence Organics, a skin care line of all-natural products featuring scientific combinations of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs. Jessica Simpson is a fan of Jurlique products to moisturize, prep, and balance her skin before applying makeup.

>> Oscar-worthy beauty products cross gender lines, too. E! red carpet host Ryan Seacrest digs Skin 2 Skin Care products, which are staples of any red carpet makeup artist’s kit. The products are known for promoting collagen production and reducing puffiness with the help of antioxidants. The Herculean Kevin Sorbo loves Skin Authority, which is well-known for its products that reverse wrinkles and provide a natural eye-lift.

>> Even non-celebs can get star treatment at spas like Spa Montage Beverly Hills, which is currently offering the “Ultimate Pre-Red Carpet Spa Experience.” Those who indulge in the two- to three-day package benefit from an anti-aging facial, body sculpting therapy, a back facial, and a full-body wrap. You’ll even get luxury products to take home with you.

Maybe you won’t make it to the red carpet – this year. But with these tips from the top, you can’t say you weren’t prepared.

–Robyn Tellefsen


Carnival of Beauty Smarts: The Labor Day Prep – 7th Edition

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Welcome to the seventh edition of the Beauty Smarts Blog Carnival! In preparation for back to school (yes, I said back to school) let’s take a look at some beauty routines you can perfect throughout the month of August so that you are always looking your best no matter what. These fabulous bloggers have broken down everything from home remedies to tips and tricks in order to help readers figure out what works best for them. So break out those eye pencils and beauty books — but make sure not to give yourself a dirty look!

Who knew olive oil could be so versatile? Aparna says, “Besides lemon, milk, sugar, aloe, turmeric, sandalwood and honey, olive oil is another household item that has multifarious uses as a beauty aid.” See what they are in 11 things you can do with olive oil posted at Beauty and Personality Grooming.

“Nature is the newest trend in skin and hair care,” says GreatManagement. “For years, we’ve been putting toxic chemicals into our bodies that build up and make us feel tired and sick, regardless of whether we eat them or if they seep though our pores. And people are finally catching on that natural is better.” Check out more in Natural homemade beauty recipes posted at Free Organic News.

Amir Marzouq presents some eco-friendly tools for your makeup bag. Check out Voice your Vote: Natural Beauty Products | Guffly posted at Guffly for the latest.

Don’t want to spend a fortune on facials or masks? No problem! VANYA presents 4 Easy Homemade Facial Recipes | VANYA posted at Facial masks for facial skin |VANYA: “Here are four simple, yet effective and great homemade facial mask recipes you can use in the comfort of your own home.” Banana and avocado anyone?

Do you have sensitive skin? How can you tell if this is something aggravating you daily? Spa Boutique presents Sensitive Skin: What Are Your Options? posted at Spa Girl Beauty Tips and gives us an inside look at what signs to expect for sensitivity to different beauty products.

Lately, I feel like my skin has been breaking out all over the place! But what is actually going on? Maybe I can find out what my actual problem is in eternal voyageur’s Is it a breakout or is your skin purging impurities ? | eternalvoyageur’s Xanga Site – Weblog posted at Venusian*Glow.

Do you wear makeup every single day or can you go out in public without it? What is it that makes some people feel they can’t live without makeup. Check out To Makeup or Not To Makeup, posted at our very own A Minute With SpaBeautySchools.

You can always trust your mother, right? Many of us follow the routines that have worked for our parents, but maybe we should be following a different kind of beauty regimen, due to product ingredients or just different skin types. Robin Adler presents A Misguided Trust posted at Organic beauty for hair, skin, nails.

Women aren’t the only ones who take beauty and grooming seriously. Gin G. presents Beholding Beauty posted at Sense Scribe, giving us a lesson in beauty and grooming for men.

What are you afraid of when it comes to beauty products? Find out about The Most Feared Beauty Tool and see what some Twitterers think of it. A of Makeup Lovers Anonymous breaks it all down for you.

If you’re an aspiring hair stylist, you’ll certainly want to learn from the pros. Take notes from an expert hairdresser at Lauren Conrad’s Hair Colorist Kaz Amor Shares LC’s Color Tips presented by HairBoutique.

It’s easy to forget that your teeth are actually part of the world of beauty. Wayne Hairston presents Best Teeth Whiteners – What You Should Look For in Tooth Whiteners posted at The Best Teeth Whitening System because we all should be able to flash our smile proudly!

And that’ll do it for our seventh edition of the Beauty Smarts Blog Carnival!! Thank you so much for your continued participation and remember to prepare and look your best for the back to school season (or even your Labor Day bashes!) — it’s creeping up faster than you think.

-Amanda Fornecker

  • Are you a blogger? We invite you to contribute to the next Beauty Smarts carnival: Submit here.
  • Readers: Let us know your favorite post here, and what you’d like to read more about in the future. Comment below!

Blissfully Content Without a Facial

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I’m certainly not made of money so getting a facial (although I love them and my esthetician) can sometimes be hard to do on a regular basis. In between, however, I can be sure to take care of my face in just the right way to help the maintenance of what the facial has already improved. I can definitely vouch for Bliss products, as I use them quite often and have seen a definite difference in the quality of my skin.

While I doubt I’ll ever get over the oily characteristic of my complexion completely, I do think these products have helped me zap zits, get rid of any dry patches (I know, who would even think I have those?!), and keep my face clear and clean in general. My fave products include the Steep Clean Deep Pore Cleanser and the Steep Clean Pore Purifying Mask.

I’m pretty certain that most Bliss products work well – I have no complaints as of yet. See below for some tips and recommendations by the Bliss Spa professionals!

-Amanda Fornecker


Summer weather—being high on heat, humidity, and UV rays—puts skin at risk for clogging, breakouts, and pigmentation. A regular routine of removal (getting rid of keratinized dead cell layers and pore-clogging lipids) and UV-defense (to keep the melanocytes from over-reacting and overproducing pigment) are key to keeping clear skin.

Bliss Spa clients keep their complexions under control by exfoliating twice as often, using a cleanser that promotes emulsification, and diligently applying sunscreen to prevent UV radiation.

Keep summertime sebaceous levels on the lower side of the ‘dermo-meter’ with:

bliss steep clean pore purifying mask which exfoliates dead skin cells, brightens skin’s surface, refines pores, and just might put our facial tables out of business.  The next best thing to ‘being there’ this 15-minute facial in a tube will transform t-zones into a scene of extreme clean.

laboratoire remède matte therapy cleansing gelée a water-activated gel-to-cream cleanser that ditches the day’s debris while taking a swipe at sebum, for skin that’s beautifully balanced and remarkably matte.

bliss best of skintentions our mission-driven moisturizer that protects skin with SPF 15 for UVB (burning) protection plus a UVA (aging) rating PA++.

-Bliss Spa

The First Freshening Facial (The Sequel)

Back with my facial experience and — it was fabulous! I had a relaxing encounter and really learned a lot. She picked at my face a bit (I know, sounds gross and painful but it’s worth it – promise!), put a few different masks and gels on my face, gave me a scalp, neck, and upper back massage, and even tweezed my eyebrows for me! It was quite lovely and lasted about 90 minutes. I was very relaxed and happy. Although, it probably wasn’t the most budget-friendly activity I’ve done recently, but I think it was totally worth it. Every now and then a girl needs to splurge, right?

In any case, I’ll be passing my new found knowledge on to you:

Water
This is the essence of all things; the basis of life. I decided to drink four bottles of water yesterday at work. I kept filling up. I guess I just was preparing for the facial in some way. But I must get into more of a habit with this, especially since my esthetician reiterated the importance of drinking water religiously. Take this example I recently read: a grape that doesn’t have enough moisture (aka water) will shrivel up and turn into a raisin. If you don’t drink enough water, think of what will happen to your face in later years…

Cleansing
On a cold morning, it’s easy to hop in the hot shower and wash your face with some scalding goodness. But it’s no good for your face! Anytime you wash your face (I’m supposed to do it day and night) you should use cool or lukewarm water, otherwise you risk breaking blood vessels in your face (ick!). And although it may not be visible, you could be doing damage without even knowing it.

Toning
I stopped using toner a long time ago because I didn’t think it was doing anything for me. In fact I thought it was making me break out. I think where I went wrong was the choice of toner I made. I believe that the one I had picked way back when (I can’t even remember which) was high in alcohol. This can clog your pores. Toner apparently helps your face not overproduce oil. With the continued use of toner, I will be able to use less moisturizer because my face won’t need as much just after I’ve cleansed.

Sustenance
Apparently, you are what you eat. My esthetician told me that if you eat an excess of chocolate or drink a lot of caffeine, it can affect your face negatively. I had always thought this was a myth but it’s true! And guess who drinks coffee every single day? Of course I do. So what’s the solution? Wean myself off the stuff and get headaches a lot? Or keep up with the addiction. I probably should kick the habit, knowing it’s affecting my skin. We shall see…

Troubleshooting
You’d think because I’m so beauty-obsessed I’d have a product on-hand to zap those zits. But I don’t. The best kind to get, according to my oh-so-marvelous esthetician, is one that has tea tree oil in it. When you get a zit (or even when you feel one coming on), just apply your zit-zapping product with a Q-tip and your healing time will certainly speed up!

In a nutshell: drink more water, use lukewarm or cool splashes of water, use toner, cut out the caffeine, and get some tea tree oil! And, of course, get a facial if you can!!

-Amanda Fornecker