Stress + season changes + face masks + dietary changes = We all need a skin care routine overhaul! Camille Arbegast, our managing esthetician, is now offering complementary virtual skin care consultations. All you have to do is e-mail us at EVSpaDesk@gmail.com and put “Skincare” in the subject line. Submit your questions (feel free to attach a photo if needed) and Camille will get back to you to discuss next steps and offer advice or a customized home care routine.
What kinds of questions can I ask?
Why are professional skin care products different than those from a drugstore or Amazon?
What kind of exfoliation should I be using and how often?
My husband gets horrible rashes from shaving, what should he do?
I miss my waxes so I tried shaving…and got some killer in-growns. What should I go?
Should I be using a Vitamin A serum (like Retinol)?
Do I need to cleanse my skin twice a day if I’m not wearing makeup and/or just staying home and not doing anything?
How can I give myself a facial at home?
I have oily skin, why do I need a moisturizer?
Here’s what I have at home: What should I use? What should I toss?
I want a mask to treat myself… which one is best for my skin?
My teenager is stressing about their skin, what should we do?
We know medical spas are starting to reopen and others will soon be able to, but we can’t legally or safely offer skincare services right now. Even once we DO get the all clear, we’ll wait longer on facial. Clients can’t wear masks during a facial, leaving our providers at higher risk of infection which in turn puts their future guests at risk. Thankfully, an appropriate home care routine is the most important piece of long term skin health and we’d love to help you find a routine that fits your schedule, budget, and specific needs!
I wish we had a crystal ball to tell us exactly what things would look like 3 months, 6 months, and a year from now for spas. All we have have to go by is ever-evolving information from trusted health authorities and advice provided to other other health professions. We’re closely monitoring countries that are further down the road in battling the COVID19 pandemic.
We’ve been doing the heartbreaking task of cancelling all appointments on our books through July (and will likely continue to do so further out.) Realistically, I’m not sure if we can open in any safe capacity by July. When we do open, the existing appointments on our books won’t match the new realities of our schedule. I promise, WE WILL REOPEN.
We aren’t sure of every safety measure we’ll need to implement, but these are a few ways the spa will be a bit different for awhile:
The biggest change: Two distinct teams that don’t overlap any shifts, providers, or receptionists. We see this in some essential offices like veterinary clinics. This ensures that if a team member is exposed to COVID19, we won’t need to 100% close our spa again. We can at least operate at half capacity, especially if widespread testing isn’t available.
We will offer longer hours to reduce the number of employees and guests in the spa at a time, increase the time between services, and stagger check-in and check-out times to keep you safer.
We won’t be able to book groups of more than two until the COVID19 threat is under control.
We will require masks for providers and guests, which could pose a challenge for some services (facials, lip waxing) if can’t work around a mask.
We may have to do enhanced health screenings and lean into low-contact check-in/check-out (online intakes, cards on file, etc…) options.
We’re researching alternatives to table warmers. While they’re under multiple layers of linens, they can’t be cleaned in the way we’d like when facing a pandemic. We will not use them until the risk of COVID19 has passed or until we find a safe solution.
It isn’t all doom and gloom!
Check out this video I filmed with my dear friend, Tricia Rivas, owner of Trixie’s Salon and founder of the Dreamcatcher’s Foundation. When this is all over, you’ll see some positive changes in the spa and salon professions.
Spa professionals like massage therapists and especially estheticians have been named some of the professions with the highest risk of contracting COVID19 at work. I would rather wait to open until we have a better idea of safety modifications than put my employees, their families and guests at risk to make money. This might mean we don’t open the day we’re given the legal “go ahead.” I PROMISE we will be back and you can rest assured that when we return, it will be with a very comprehensive plan for safety.
Stress, poor diet, lack of motivation for personal care (let’s face it, the Zoom videos are grainy!) are causing lots of skin issues. Providers on the front lines wearing N95 masks all day are faced with raw, irritatied skin. Don’t wait for spas to reopen, it will be awhile before we can safely perform facials. Fortunately, you can do a TON with a great home care regimen. Camille Arbegast, a Licensed Esthetician, shared a few solutions if you’re experiencing skin challenges right now.
With weather (slowly) warming up, it might be time to switch to a lighter moisturizer. Camille recommends the Mandelic Au Lait, which is medium weight and has ingredients that also help calm breakouts and reduce redness.
Socially-distant outdoor activities like gardening, long walks, or supervising kids in the yard, are stress-busting musts for many of us. Rhonda Allison has two great sunscreen options. 1. eZinc is best for those with concerns about breakouts or redness. It is light weight and doesn’t have that sunscreen smell or feel. 2. Daytime Defense is ideal for those wanting to get pro-youth antioxidants.
Beta Green Tea Cleanser is great for AM and PM and one of our most popular clenasers. It has a small amount of salycilic acid to deeply cleanse sweat and dirt without drying skin. For best results with any Rhonda Allison cleanser, start with dry skin (or just put a few drops of water on your fingers) and massage in your cleanser that way first, before adding water. You’ll get a better cleanse and your product will last longer!
The Arnica Therapy is a staple of the Rhonda Allison line and is a natural antibacterial cream. It is great for cuts, burns, wounds, or bug bites.
Medical-grade PPE relief
Our front line medical providers and support staff are heroes. Many of have seen photos of the raw skin caused by wearing N95 masks all day. Camille suggests a 3 step approach to ease pain from the irritation caused by these masks. 1. Rhonda Allison Creamy Milk Cleanser, a gentle and soothing cleanser. 2. Rhonda Allison Arnica Therapy, a barrier for skin before the mask goes on. 3. Rhonda Allison Drops of Essence, a soothing gel for after cleaning at the end of the day to help ease discomfort.
Listen, we won’t tell you what to eat in times of stress and I pity the person who gets between me and my “secret” chocolate stash right now. We WILL gently suggest that you increase your water intake. All of those Zoom Cocktail hours and extra coffees are going to take their toll on your skin. Tired of water? Try adding some calorie free, sugar free, caffeine free Pure Inventions extracts to your water. For a delicious “mocktail” mix your favorite drops with sparking water and drop in a few frozen blueberries and a lemon wedge.
We can’t wait to be able to give you professional facials and Hydrafacials again, but don’t neglect your skin while you wait for your esthetician to be able to safely provide services to you. Take control of your skin and start or continue good habits at home now!
Blog contributors: Camille Arbegast is the managing esthetician at East Village Spa, where she’s worked since 2012. Cassie Sampson, BA, LMT is the owner of East Village Spa.
We’ve had quite a few questions about our COVID-19 closure and we’ll do our best to keep the answers updated here. Thank you for your support so far!
How long are you closed?
While Iowa is currently allowing spas to open, we’ve chosen to stay closed in accordance with CDC and medical provider recommendations. While we miss our guests and providing services, we know the best thing we can do for their health is to remain closed until we see a 2 week decline in cases in Polk County, when there is adequate testing and tracing, and when we can reliably source the items we need to provide services (this is a challenge for a business our size). Follow us on Facebook or Instagram for the most current updates.
We know that most other spas, nail salons, and massage therapists will be seeing guests before us, as they are legally allowed to do. Every business has different financial circumstances and every guest has different health needs. We absolutely understand if you choose to go elsewhere until we feel confident that risk is reduced enough for us to provide treatments. We’ll welcome you back with (metaphorical, because social distancing!) open arms.
How can I book an appointment?
We have to temporarily disable online booking because we have to ensure only one guest is checking in or out at a time. Once we re-open booking, we will do so by call or text to (515) 309-2904. I don’t anticipate we will have our new schedule and temporary service menu hammered out until at least June 1, so we aren’t able to pre-book appointments just yet. Once we are able to relax some social distancing guidelines, we’ll reopen online booking.
Will I be able to book my same schedule as before?
Due to social distancing guidelines, we are making changes to our shifts and hours. It is my goal to bring back every employee that wants to return. This is no small feat with limited hours in the day and our capacity reduced to less than half. We will be adding Sunday hours to increase availability.
We will have to split our team into two non-intersecting groups. If you’re accustomed to seeing the same massage therapist and esthetician when you come for a massage and facial visit, if they are not on the same team, you’ll get to enjoy another one of our amazing providers. Being diligent about isolating teams means that we won’t have to close entirely if an employee or guest is diagnosed with or exposed to COVID19.
Will you still honor my gift card?
YES! Our gift cards have a 5 year expiration. On the gift card, we have a suggestion that you please use them within a year (we don’t want you to lose them and we want you relaxing sooner, rather than later.) For the few gift cards that are outstanding that expire during our closure, we’ll extend the date by the number of months we were closed.
What about my holiday vouchers?
Every year, from late November though December we have a gift card sale where we offer an extra $20 weekday service voucher with every $100 gift card purchased IN the spa. If you have some of these 2020 vouchers, we’ll extend them for use throughout 2021, so hang onto them! You’ll still need to present them in person since we don’t track them.
Do I have to wear a mask?
Yes. Masks protect others and all of our employees will be wearing masks properly to protect you. We will temporarily require guests to wear masks to protect employees (and therefore future guests). If preferred, we are happy to provide a disposable mask to you prior to entering the spa. While masks aren’t a perfect solution, their use by all employees and patrons of a business significantly reduce the risk of an outbreak that will harm the community and close our spa. Repeated business closures are expensive and the cost of outbreaks could force permanent business closueres. We can’t risk our health or careers.
Will your menu be the same?
At first, we’ll only be able to offer services that permit a face mask, so unfortunately we can’t offer facials or lip, chin, or nose waxing when we first open. We have most of our regular massages and modifications available for massage therapy, including side-lying massage techniques, for those who feel claustrophobic wearing masks face-down. We have been practicing with immediate household members and find that masks are not as uncomfortable as you might think! Your provider will be more comfortable working with you if you wear a mask, which will make the service much, much better.
We’re developing a few new treatment protocols for things like anti-aging hand facials, foot peels, back facials and more to offer a wider array of cool new services while we are temporarily suspending facials.
Can I book a party at the spa?
Unfortunately social distancing guidelines will not permit the ability to host spa parties. We have created two separate nail rooms so we can still do two pedicures or two manicures at a time, but they will need to be done separately. We’re pleased with how great the two nail rooms look and are excited to help make getting a nail service relaxing and Zen in a private space.
For the same reason, we had to temporarily suspend couple’s massages so we don’t have 4 people in a small room for an extended period of time. Again, these changes are temporary until social distancing guidelines are relaxed.
Can I get products from the spa while you’re closed?
We have a new web store courtesy of lots of hard work from Kelly. Almost every product we carry is available online! Even after we re-open, we will strongly encourage guests to order online for pick-up or shipping because we will need to limit walk-ins to the spa, which will include retail browsing.
Is it safe to buy a gift card right now?
Absolutely, and they’re valid for 5 years. I promise, we will reopen. As a business that has been around for quite awhile now, we’ve been able to develop an emergency savings fund. Instead of investing in fancy spa amenities (locker rooms, saunas, etc…) we’ve invested in our team and our future. The funds from gift cards help us to pay our ongoing expenses like rent and employee health insurance. We will be required to significantly reduce the number of guests we see for awhile, but we promise, you will be able to use your gift card with some advanced planning.
East Village Spa and our team thank you all for your support and well-wishes! We have appreciated providing your wellness services since 2008 and are so eager to continue again as soon as we can!
Most of what I could say about my feelings as a business owner and employer during this pandemic have been said, far more eloquently, by others. I’m not alone in my fear, anxiety, overwhelm, and sadness. Whether your job is slammed, you’re bored and lonely, or you’re working in close quarters with children while also being their cook and teacher… this is, as mom would say when we were kids, “the pits.”
As we’ve been reaching out to guests to cancel months worth of spa services that, oh the irony…everyone suddenly has the time and SUPER need for… our guests have been fantastic. Many have asked what they can do to support us. Here’s a simple list, not just for supporting East Village Spa, but many small businesses.
Reach out! Literally, just by checking up on us, we know you care and you give us hope that things will eventually be ok when we re-open. It means the world.
Send a note or post a review for us to share with your providers. The CARES act will ensure that they are financially set throughout their furlough (a huge relief for owners) but many are struggling because their career is their passion and they’re wondering (and worrying) about their guests. We’re checking e-mails every weekday. We’ll forward well-wishes and any Yelp or Google reviews to them!
Engage with us on Facebook and Instagram. We’re keeping our skills sharp and minds occupied by generating lots of content in our downtime. We can help via knowledge until we can physically help again.
Purchase a gift card: We PROMISE we will re-open. We were in a fortunate spot as we were saving for some big non-essentials for a few years. We will definitely reopen, but any online gift card sales now not only help us financially, but give our spirits a boost.
Avoid temptation to ask providers to work in secret. Many people see this as an offer of help. The CARES act has made sure providers receive good compensation during their furlough. Asking them to violate the law and risk their health makes them uncomfortable. Whether it is your hairdresser, esthetician, nail tech or massage therapist, know they’re thinking about you and WISHING they could help. There is no safe way to do services because of the nature of this virus and if you DID get an amazing manicure right now, everyone would know you’re not following the rules. By the end of this, crazy hair, unruly cuticles and bushy brows will be “Covid-Chic” Take this opportunity to grow your leg hair long enough to try waxing when we open again!
We look forward to seeing all of you when it is safe. We’re realistic and cautious, so we don’t expect to reopen soon. We most recently pushed our open back to May 1st, but a summer opening would probably be the best case scenario. Baby steps. Deep breaths. We’ll connect with all of you virtually until we meet again (and we promise to save you some chocolate at the front desk!)
We closed our spa to protect public health on March 16th. On March 17th, the Governor announced that health spas needed to close as part of the COVID-19 emergency declaration. We strongly agree with this. No amount of cleaning and caution can stop the spread of this challenging virus in a spa setting, especially with so many people asymptomatic, yet contagious.
I personally want to thank you for the kind words, online gift card sales, and support during this very strange and scary time. I can assure you that we will be back in business, as soon as we are allowed to AND as long as we do not feel we would jeopardize health of our team, guests, and community. Our providers are like family to me and each other. We’re chatting frequently and eating too many cookies. Our dogs are thrilled.
As people who are drawn to caring professions, it is a challenge when the best way we can care for others is NOT to provide services to them.
This is a temporary setback and the business was prepared (as well as we could be) for an emergency. I can assure you, we will survive this shut down. Please keep in touch with us while we are closed, we’ll pass on any well-wishes to your providers. We’re checking e-mails, texts, and voicemails on weekdays. Tune into our Facebook and Instagram feeds. We have quite a bit of time on our hands to create content we hope will make the time at home a bit easier for all of you! We’re working on building a webstore and making some other updates we’ve had on the back burner.
We wish you good health and moments of peace and calm. We’ll save some of our yummy chocolates for you to enjoy when we’re back!
Eye creams are essential to help protect skin around the eye area from signs of premature aging. Regular lotion won’t cut it for the eye area. This delicate skin requires power-packed ingredients gentle enough to be used on delicate skin.
Peptide 3-n-1 Eye Cream
This light, age-defying eye blend is good for people who want to reduce puffiness, hydrate the skin around the eyes, brighten dull skin, and minimize fine lines.
This is a cooling daytime eye cream that quickly revives tired eyes. This product is great for people who need a quick lift and brighter looking eye area after a long day in front of the computer or before photos. Perfect to keep in the fridge for a pick-me-up or keep a bottle in your purse to use during travel or between work and a night out.
Eye & Lip Renew Serum
This is a thicker serum that melts into delicate tissue above and under eyes, creating a dewy, softer appearance. With 30 days of continued use, people notice fewer fine lines and more hydrated eyelids. A super benefit to this indulgent eye cream is that it doubles as the best hydrating lip product you’ll ever try!
Stop in to browse our amazing and extensive collection of Rhonda Allison skincare and we can help you pick the products best suited to your skin care needs and lifestyle. For customized professional recommendations and to enjoy a treatment by our licensed estheticians, book one of our facials online! As always, we offer Rhonda Allison products as a buy 3, get the 4th free*!
*Special pricing available only with in-spa skincare purchases. All products must be different and discount is taken on lowest cost product.
The weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day always bring lots of questions about couple’s massages. These are a fun way for people to enjoy time together, but ridiculous and unrealistic “reality” TV show portrayals of couple’s massages can leave people baffled about what they can actually expect. Here’s are the top 5 things our therapists want you to know if you’re thinking of booking a couple’s massage.
1. Couples massages aren’t just for romantic couples.
At East Village Spa we see mother/daughter and BFF duos in the couples room frequently. Particularly heartwarming for our LMTs are the times our licensed massage therapists get to treat family members together when one person is looking after a loved one with an intellectual or memory impairment and chooses to relax with their family member in the same room to help them feel comfortable. A couple’s service is appropriate as long as both parties are comfortable disrobing (to whatever level they choose) in front of each other and sharing health information with their massage therapist in front of the other party.
2. Let your partner relax without judgment
During a massage, people fall asleep and snore. Your massage therapist sees that as a compliment (and if the session is geared towards relaxation massage, this is the goal!) During a couples massage, let your loved one be themselves, even if they are sawing logs next to you. One of our therapists’ pet peeves during couples massages is when one guest scolds their significant other for snoring during a session. This startles not only your partner but both of the massage therapists too. Don’t wake your sweetie, let them snore! If snoring will interfere with your ability to relax, you might consider booking your services in separate rooms.
3. Don’t stare (or glare) at your partner’s massage therapist!
Licensed massage therapists are health care providers with extensive training and high ethical standards. Nothing is more awkward than one when a guest receiving a couple’s massage stares (or in some cases, glares) at the therapist providing a service to his or her significant other. This makes us incredibly uncomfortable and self conscious. When someone stares at a massage therapist, it is difficult for us to focus on the task at hand: attending to your loved one’s muscles and tissues, watching for subtle signs of discomfort or relaxation to help us provide the best therapeutic service we can.
4. Couples massages on reality TV are far from real!
We’re amazed by the number of couples who want to hold hands during their session. If your tables are close enough for you to hold hands, then they are too close for your massage therapists to work around. Nobody wants only half of their body massaged! Hold hands on your walk to and from the treatment room, but enjoy your own relaxation space on the treatment table. Rose petals on the table might look pretty on camera but in reality, they’ll stick to you and smash into the carpet and your therapist will end up having to pick them all off as he or she goes. Lastly, you won’t be staring longingly st each other, deep in conversation. You’ll be resting quietly face down in the face cradle or face up looking at the ceiling, much safer, more comfortable positions for your neck.
5. Do you! Couples massages don’t need to be the same.
Some people think a couples massage will be perfectly synchronized, but in reality, they are completely customized for your unique preferences in pressure, technique, and focus area. For example, one person can get a sports massage and another can get a prenatal side-lying massage in a couples service. As long as the massages are the same length of time and we know in advance which services you want so we can pair you with the appropriate specialists. Some services like hot stone massage or our barefoot bars aren’t available in the couples rooms due to space and equipment availability.
Ready to book a couple’s massage? Give us a call at (515) 309-2904. Online booking isn’t available for couple’s services, but we’re happy to help over the phone. We look forward to helping you relax together! Be aware that these services are so popular they are often booked several weeks out for evenings and Saturdays so please plan ahead! We do keep a waitlist for last minute cancellations, so don’t hesitate to add your names to the list for those who like to be more spontaneous. Learn more about our services online!
Blog by Cassie Sampson, LMT, Owner and Justin Behanish, LMT, Managing Massage Therapist at East Village Spa in Des Moines, IA.
We love the simplicity of online gift cards and for those who are new to purchasing from our Zenoti online store, we’re happy to walk you through the process. First things first, PLEASE create an account. We don’t use this to market to you, but it is imperative if the recipient loses the gift card or accidentally deletes the e-mail. We can use your name to help find it. If you check out as a guest, it is really awkward when someone calls to ask for our help locating a gift card they’ve lost and doesn’t want to fess up to the purchaser. Click here for our online booking and gift card store.
Get to the online gift card page
Step 1 (desktop or laptop computer): Click the green “Book now or purchase gift card” button. From there, click the tab on the top right for “Gift Cards” and that will take you to our online gift card page.
If you’re using a phone or tablet, it will look different (see below). Go to our home page and click the green “book now or purchase gift card” button on top, then you’ll get to the mobile enabled page which has the menu as 3 bars in the top right corner. Click that for the menu to appear.
The menu on the phone will then look like this:
Select your amount
Once you’ve selected the “Gift Cards” tab, you’ll choose an amount. We have several pre-selected amounts, or if you scroll to the bottom there is an option for a customized amount.
We do not sell gift cards for specific services as our menu changes seasonally.
Complete your order and e-mail your gift card
Once you’ve selected your amount, you can choose where the gift card will be sent. If want to print and hand-deliver or mail your gift card, enter your own e-mail address to have it sent to you. If you want to e-mail it to someone else, use their e-mail address. Remember, please create an account. I promise it will be worth the extra time if the gift card is lost or accidentally deleted. You’ll usually get the receipt right away but it takes a few minutes to get the actual e-mailed gift card.
If you have an issue with your online gift cards, fear not (especially if you created the account like we asked you to!) These are the most common issues and solutions.
The recipient (or I) never received the e-mail! It is probably in a spam folder or security net. Tell them to search for an e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org. Some work e-mails from government agencies, law or financial firms sometimes catch our gift card e-mails up in their security settings for a few days.
Your online booking system won’t accept my gift card number to reserve an appointment. As it states on our online scheduler, a credit card is required to hold your reservation, but you can pay with your gift card at the time of service. We won’t charge the credit card used to reserve the appointment unless the appointment is missed without adequate cancellation notice. You can use your gift card to reserve an appointment over the phone.
I sent the gift card awhile ago but we lost it. You can re-send it! Keep your receipt, you’ll need the gift card number and the e-mail address. You can re-send it or check the balance to see if it has been used. Go back to the gift card tab and click the green button to “resend my gift card”
If all of the above don’t work, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (515) 309-2904 or e-mail EVSpaDesk@gmail.com with details about the date of purchase, your name, the recipient’s name, and the amount of the gift card. We sincerely appreciate you thinking of us for your gift and can’t wait to take amazing care of your loved ones at East Village Spa!
Today on Star 102.5, Ken, Colleen, and Kurt talked about the stress of being a Secret Santa. I think the same can be said of host gifts when you’re invited to a dinner party or gathering and instructed to “Just bring yourself!” Here are a few simple ideas that could work for both!
Spices from East Village Shops
My current favorite gifting spice is the Ammazza Suocera spicy Italian seasoning from Allspice (also available at Cooking with Alessandra.) This translates to “Kill the Mother in Law” so you may want to select something like the Everything Bagel seasoning or a pumpkin pie spice if you’re visiting a future or current mother-in-law.
Hydrating hand creams
A hydrating hand cream from Farmhouse Fresh, available at East Village Spa, is a great gift for anyone who’s preparing a big meal and cleaning for company. Bonus points for animal lovers. Farmhouse Fresh donates a portion of their proceeds to animal rescue and is situated on a farm animal rescue sanctuary!
Cute dish towels and recipe cards
Stop into one of our favorite gift shops in the East Village, Ephemera, for cute and locally crafted dish towels and recipe cards. These are great secret Santa gifts for the co-worker who is always bringing treats, and a perfect host gift when you’re told not to bring anything to share!
Room mists for a great cause
Thistle Farms aromatherapy room mists in limited edition holiday scents are a perfect gift for a host or Secret Santa. Thistle Farms supports women survivors of trafficking, abuse, and addiction. These women craft their beautiful products and the proceeds from their products goes back into the helping with the amazing work Thistle Farms does. Available along with many other Thistle Farms products at East Village Spa.
At home foot treatment
The Farmhouse Fresh Pedi Delight set is a great gift option, with a foot or body scrub, lotion, and our top selling Hydrating Honey hand, foot, or body mask. This is great for a secret Santa and can be divided up over multiple days OR as a host gift for someone who has been on their feet preparing for guests! Available at East Village Spa
Need something in a pinch? Try an online gift card!
Did you forget a last minute gift? We’ve got you covered! East Village Spa offers online gift cards in any denomination that you can print and hand-deliver from your office! Purchase yours here!