So you think you want a Brazilian wax?

Thank you to our guest contributor (who shall remain nameless) for a “Real woman’s” account of her first Brazilian wax.

Have you ever thought such things as:

“A lot of people I know get Brazilian waxes, there must be something to it!?”

“I hate shaving my bikini area. A lot.”

“I have waxed my eyebrows a million times, a Brazilian wax can’t be THAT bad, right?”

“I haven’t shaved in so long, I might never shave again…”

Dramatization of tropical vacation to protect the author’s identity. Actual events included lots of empty cocktail glasses.

These thoughts are what eventually talked me into getting my first Brazilian wax. I had returned from a fantastic tropical vacation, which forced me to keep things trimmed up “down there”, because that’s what we ladies like to do when we are in swimwear. And each morning I went to tackle this issue, I grumbled and complained to myself about how much I absolutely despised shaving this area! The angles, the tiny razor nicks, the razor BURN! Why on earth WOULDN’T I try waxing!

When I returned home, the temperatures topped out at 30 degrees for a couple weeks, I became lazy and had no need to shave. I can’t be the only one right? A little over 4 weeks from when I returned from the beautiful tropics, I decided I was going to take the plunge. I scheduled my first ever Brazilian wax at the spa one morning while I was at work. I didn’t even flinch. I had 3 days to prepare my nerves, which were oddly nonexistent. I talked worriedly to probably every esthetician we have on staff about my concerns, and always received the typical “It’s really not that bad” response. So for the last 2 days leading up to the procedure, I was ready. It can’t be that bad. It just can’t be. I’m sure it seems to last 5 minutes, and you’re done, and everything is smooth and great and the world’s a better place!

Fast forward to brave little me, lying in the treatment room, awaiting the first “pull”. When that first pull happened I realized, I wasn’t ready. Nothing could have prepared me for this! How on earth is this classified as “not that bad”!? I now completely understand the “AHH KELLY CLARKSON” situation in The 40 Year Old Virgin. Holy smokes.

I spent a bit of time trying to figure out how I had made such an extreme mistake on my expectation of the pain vs. the actual pain. I realized the reason I initially thought it was so incredibly terrible was because I had absolutely no expectations whatsoever. I had no clue it would hurt on that level, because in my mind I thought, “how bad can pulling a few hairs out really be? My eyebrows aren’t terrible…” In reality, it is pulling hundreds of hairs out at once, so of course it’s going to hurt! A lot.

However, within about 10 seconds the discomfort is completely gone. With each pull, it became more and more bearable. I was in and out of the treatment room in under 30 minutes! We do book the treatment for 40 minutes here at the spa, but sometimes it can take much less or a little more time. It just depends on the person, the hair growth, etc. Brazilian waxes can only be done with at least ¼ inch of hair growth. If you arrive for your appointment and your hair is not long enough, the therapist will let you know. Typically this is about 4 weeks of hair growth, but can definitely vary depending on the person. It has been 2 weeks since my wax and I have almost no regrowth at all. I could literally attend a last minute pool party comfortably. (Granted, it’s still March… in Iowa… so a last-minute pool party is not likely.)

I had no discomfort after the treatment, aside from one tiny ingrown hair that lasted about a day. There was no rash, no “razor burn”, really no discomfort at all afterwards. These are the reasons I am now a forever Brazilian wax receiver. Any amount of discomfort felt during the treatment could never outweigh the amazing outcome of receiving it.

If our guest writer has you convinced that a Brazilian wax is really “not so bad” you can click here to book yours online! Have more questions! Click here for another post on waxing.

Top 3 reasons to wash your face twice a day

Cassandra Lacina-Griffin has been a licensed esthetician for over a decade and recently I asked her to share with me one piece of advice she wished our guests knew. Without missing a beat, she said “I wish people understood how important it is to wash their face twice a day.”

According to Cassandra, there are three main reasons you should wash your face both in the morning AND before you go to bed. If you exercise or sweat in the middle of the day, you might have to add another cleanse to remove sweat and bacteria.

1: Cleansing prevents excess oil. Sometimes people with dry skin hesitate to cleanse twice daily because they feel that it can be more drying. On the flip side, sometimes people who have oily skin use too harsh of a cleanser which can dry the skin out and cause it to produce MORE oil!  In those cases, Cassandra recommends that you check with a professional to make sure you are using the right cleanser for your skin type.

2: Cleansing removes dead skin cells that build up overnight. Even though YOU are sleeping, your skin is hard at work turning over skin cells.

3: Cleansing in the morning removes the night time serums and chemical exfoliators. Serums and exfoliators do their best work at night when you are resting and not sweating or wearing make-up, but they need to be removed before you start your day, especially before sun exposure or applying make-up.

If you have more questions or would like to get recommendations from a professional esthetician, schedule a facial with Cassandra or any of our great licensed skin care providers here.

Which facial is best for me?

We have so many great facial options, sometimes it can be hard to decide which one is the best choice for your needs!  I hope this guide helps to narrow it down for you. Our estheticians are able to customize many services and have no fear, if you select a facial that is not the best choice for your needs, they can often make a last minute change to a more appropriate facial that is the same length of time or can substitute products as needed to customize your service.

EV Signature Facial: MOST POPULAR FACIAL!

  • Our most relaxing facial for those who are looking for great skin care results AND relaxation
  • Includes a longer masking time than the Wellness Facial so skin receives more benefits that way
  • Extra relaxation benefits like more massage techniques incorporated, plus a softening honey foot mask and foot massage while the active professional products are working their magic on your face..

Best for: Adults who have concerns to address including acne, dryness, aging, rosacea, and hyper-pigmentation

Not recommended for: Anyone who can’t lay on their back for over an hour, younger teens, pregnant guests (book our Pregnancy Glow facial instead)

Minus 10 Facial: MOST CORRECTIVE FACIAL

  • Our most corrective facial for anti-aging results as this facial utilizes 3 different acid exfoliants to firm and brightening the skin
  • This facial is recommended to our clients as a series of 3, performed every 2 to 3 weeks for optimal results
  • Clients may experience very light flaking and/or slight dryness after this facial due to the rejuvenating exfoliants

Best for: Adults who want to see age-defying results, people willing to complete the series and home care for best results

Not recommended for: Teens or people without aging skin concerns, anyone with acneic skin, pregnant guests (book our Pregnancy Glow facial instead!), or anyone who can’t lay on their back for over an hour.

Clear Relief Acne Facial:

  • An hour long healing facial for people who have cystic or inflamed acne
  • Designed to reduce bacteria, soften and dissolve cellular buildup, and reduce inflammation

Best for: People who want to get a start on treating inflamed or cystic acne

Not recommended for: Pregnant guests (book the Pregnancy Glow Facial), guests who do not have cystic or inflamed acne, or guests who are already under a dermatologist’s care for their acne.

Wellness Facial:

  • An hour-long facial that includes skin care for face, neck, and decollete, some extractions if needed
  • Can address any and all skin concerns

Best for: Everyone! This is a great option if you aren’t sure you are the right candidate for our more clinical facials or as a consultation facial if you are considering peels.

Not recommended for: This is a great facial for everyone, but if you are pregnant, please schedule a Pregnancy Glow facial so we can be sure you are scheduled in the room with an incline table.

Express Facial:

  • A quick 30 minute cleanse, mask, moisturizing facial that includes professional skincare recommendations.
  • Does not include extractions or exfoliation.

Best for: Anyone in a time crunch, someone just wanting an introduction to the Rhonda Allison line or professional product recommendations. Can serve as a good consultation facial before scheduling a peel service. This is a great starter service for younger teens.

Not recommended for:  Someone wanting to address multiple skin concerns as there aren’t many corrective products (like exfoliants or masks) used in this facial, someone looking for a more pampering and indulgent service. We recommend scheduling the Wellness or EV Signature Facial.

Pregnancy Glow Facial:

  • An hour-long pampering, pregnancy safe facial that addresses a variety of skin needs from changing hormones.
  • Includes a hydrating foot mask and foot massage
  • Performed on a treatment table that allows our guest to rest with her head elevated.

Best for: Pregnant guests, this is the facial we require our pregnant guests to schedule as we can be sure the products are safe and that we have the service scheduled in a room with a table that allows our pregnant guests to rest in an inclined position.

Not recommended for:  Anyone who isn’t expecting. However, if you have a concern laying flat on your back during another facial, mention this at booking and we can reserve this room for you!

Click the title of any facial we’ve described in this post or click here to book your customized facial with our experienced and licensed Estheticians at East Village Spa!

Top dry skin solutions, all under $30

Every year we like to compile a list of our current favorites for dry, chapped skin.  This year we have some new additions to the mix!

farmhouse-fresh-hydrationFarmhouse Fresh Plum Chiffon Balm: Pure Shea, cocoa and mango butters have been combined into a rich, solid, scrumptious all-purpose balm that melts into skin on contact, nourishing dry, chapped hands, knees, knuckles – even lips! This blend of butters is a highly effective skin conditioning formula that helps fight wrinkles through deep penetration of vitamins A & E. The Farmhouse Fresh team even suggests dabbing a bit to the outer eye area before bedtime, for a deep moisturizing sleep shield. I personally used it with socks last night when I realized I could exfoliate one foot with my other foot!This balm really does it all.  $12.50

Farmhouse Fresh Shea Butter Hand Creams: Shea butter and Vitamin E-packed Jojoba and Soybean oils calm even the severest of dry skin. We recommend the shea butters over the body milks for this time of year for a longer lasting burst of hydration. The purse size tube is just $14.

Farmhouse Fresh Honey Heel Glaze: Great for hands, feet, any dry patches! Use as a mask and remove after 15-20 minutes or leave on. Great to leave on overnight with an old pair of socks or do a home spa treatment and put your hands in saran wrap or baggies to let the mask work! One client had us order 10 of these so she can gift one to all of her friends for a “My Favorite Things” party theme. $25

Farmhouse Fresh Clementine Oil: Antioxidant rich Olive Fruit and Grapeseed oils combine with Orange Peel, Jojoba, Sunflower Seed and Apricot Kernel oils to nourish and calm the most sensitive of skin types.  Great for after the shower while pores are open OR a few pumps in the bath (just be careful getting out) so you don’t have to sacrifice your skin to enjoy a hot soak in the tub.$18

hspureinvPure Inventions Drink Mixes: Hydrate from within!  Pure inventions mixes are a great alternative to caffeine or alcoholic beverages (or to stay hydrated between them). Because these drinks are caffeine free, sugar free, and free of other icky ingredients, they are hydrating and satisfying! (I won’t lie, I make a big mug of the Cranberry Elderberry blend with a cinnamon stick and orange wedge and add a splash of Jameson for the best hot toddy ever…yes, you lose some of the health  benefits this way!) $28.95 (60 servings in a bottle)

hssolaroilSolar Oil Cuticle Oil: Hand cream is a must have, but it won’t quite do the trick to hydrate cuticles. A cuticle oil that is designed to penetrate better into the nail are than thicker balms should be used morning and night to help prevent painful hangnails and dry cuticles and that can open the way for infections. The mini bottle is just $2.50 so you can keep one in your car, one on your night stand, and at your desk!

hsraultraRhonda Allison Ultra Hydration Cream: This is a rich moisture cream that delivers and binds humectants within the skin. It contains the purest and most potent form of hyaluronic acid – L-Sodium Hyaluronate and Cassia Betaglycan (plant hyaluronic) to increase moisture by 300%. Hyaluronic Acid is said to be the principal water-regulating molecule and can bind up to 6,000 times its weight in water.  Because of this, it will keep skin hydrated all day or night, without going on heavy or oily. $15 for the trial size bottle.

evspa-133Book a visit! Need more than home care to ease your dry skin? Our favorite skin hydrating services are the Gong Fu Chai Body Scrub, our EV Signature Facial Experience, and the EV Signature Manicures and Pedicures. Our Seasonal Hydrating Honey Plum features are also designed with winter skin in mind!  To learn more or book your services, visit our website!

 

The value of professional skincare

acneLet’s say you are experiencing some skin break outs. Your first instinct might be to try the drugstore products you used in high school when you had teen acne, or to buy a full line of products at a home-party that is specifically labeled for acne. The problem with this approach is that breakouts, like many skin concerns, can’t be treated with a “one size fits all” approach. Without knowing the cause (stress, diet, hormones, bacteria, medications, etc…), breakouts are hard to treat and prevent.  A licensed esthetician can help you get to the root of the problem, whether acne, hyperpigmentation, dry skin, etc… to address it with a customized approach.

Licensed estheticians are professional skin care experts.  In Iowa, an esthetician is required to have a minimum of 600 hours of training in skin health, anatomy and physiology, chemistry, ingredients, and hands-on treatment techniques before they can sit for a licensing exam that allows them to provide facials, skin education, waxing, and powerful “professional only” treatments like chemical peels.  Once licensed, they must continue their education regularly.

With an abundance of professional skincare lines and more advanced ingredients at their disposal, Estheticians have the ability to mix and match products to provide the most customized treatments for ideal results. Many estheticians invest much time and training to select the best professional line for their clients, paying close attention to ingredients, effectiveness, ease-of-use, cost, and complementary services like chemical peels to help maximize benefits.

A few of the benefits customers might expect with a professional use line:

  • Greater ability to customize products for desired results.
  • May need LESS product due to higher level of active ingredients
  • More pure ingredients for more potent results
  • Similar price points to mass-marketed or direct sales lines due to less money spent advertising to mass-markets. The savings are passed on to you!
  • Advice from a professional who has had extensive training in product chemistry
  • The ability to combine home care with professional treatments like facials or peels for more intensive results

At East Village Spa, another benefit of using a professional skin care line is a professional BEHIND the line.  Not only will you have access to our estheticians for advice via e-mail, phone, or in-person, but our estheticians have direct access to those who formulate their products and thousands of their licensed peers for advice on particularly difficult skin care situations.  We have even been able to submit (with client permission!) skin histories and photos to product educators to “crowd source” a perfect solution for unique cases from advanced professionals.

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Too good to be true?

We’ll be honest: Professional skincare takes work.  Your skin won’t likely become perfect overnight and your skin’s needs are always changing, but your esthetician will help guide you as your needs change, from pregnancies, life stress, new medications, seasonal changes and aging.  Like exercise, you have to stick with it and be diligent to create change.  You can’t go to the gym once and expect to your biceps to swell overnight!

Ready to learn more? 

Set up an appointment for a facial with any of our licensed estheticians who are happy to help you learn more about professional skin care and offer you a service that is not only super relaxing, but really informative.  Click here to schedule or e-mail EVSpaDesk@gmail.com if you aren’t sure which facial is right for you.

 

Casey tries our Gong Fu Chai Body Scrub

Casey Melhus, our Front Desk Assistant!Casey, one of our amazing Guest Service Assistants, was fairly new to spa services when she started with us, but she’s been enjoying “sampling” all of our services and will be contributing to the Spa Newbie section of our blog.

From Casey:

Being a newer employee working the front desk at East Village Spa, I have the opportunity to be the practice “body” for our awesome service providers to try out services they haven’t performed at the spa.  My most recent endeavor was getting to be a practice body for three of our newer team members to learn about our Gong Fu Chai Body Scrub.

Before working at the spa, I had personally never heard of a body scrub, as I’m new to the spa scene.  After taking part in the training session, I know know that the service entails a stress-relieving and circulation massage, while incorporating the Gong Fu Scrub.  The therapists alternated between a body oil application and the scrub.  I absolutely loved the difference of feeling a smooth rub, followed by a coarse rub, and finished with a warm towel.  It as more relaxing than I ever anticipated.

After the service, my skin was noticeably softer.  Any anxiety I had felt when we started had completely faded away.  Although it is not a deep tissue massage, I still felt my body and muscles had relaxed as well.  I would recommend this service to anyone wanting to relax and have their skin exfoliated at the same time.  It is definitely something I will schedule for myself again!

To learn more about our Gong Fu Chai Scrub, check out our You Tube Video where Hannah demonstrates elements of the scrub on one of our employees.  The scrub treats skin on the back, arms, legs, and feet and can be upgraded to include a 30 minute facial or 30 minute focused back massage.

Book your Gong Fu Chai Scrub online here!

Aloha Summer 2016 Specials Coming Soon!

Our long-awaited summer specials announcement is here!  This year we were inspired by island travel, cocktails on the patio, and barefoot afternoons in the grass.  Aloha summer specials are available June through August 2016.  You can book prior to June 1st by calling (515) 309-2904 and after June 1st online or by phone.

Maui Glow Facial: 60 minutes, $85 M-F(Weekday Special Price), $90 Sat

While you’ll feel like you’re relaxing on an island, the hard-working extracts of hibiscus flowers and fruits like pineapple will help to hydrate and brighten your skin while providing powerful antioxidant support.  This is an ideal facial for summer skin damage.

Patio Fiesta Massage: 60 minutes, $85 M-F(Weekday Special Price), $90 Sat

Celebrate summer with this fun and relaxing full body massage that includes the added benefits of agave nectar massage oil, a citrus scrub for your back, followed by a hydrating avocado back mask to nourish hard-to-reach skin on your back while your therapist massages your legs.  This massage pairs perfectly with a day spent relaxing on the patio!

Farmhouse Fresh hydrating and refreshing “Guac Star” avocado mask

Flip Flop Foot Massage: 50 Minutes, $65 M-F(Weekday Special Price), $70 Sat

Standing at music festivals, running races, or walking at the fair can stress your soles!  This indulgent foot massage includes a coconut milk towel wrap, citrus grass scrub, and fresh melon foot massage that incorporates elements of deep tissue, reflexology, and hot stone massage.

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Farmhouse Fresh Citrus Grass Scrub

 

Book YOUR Aloha spa getaway by calling (515) 309-2904 before June 1st or booking online after June 1st.  Services are available June 1 through August 31, 2016.  We can’t wait!

3 counterintuitive skin care facts your esthetician wants you to know

Our estheticians want to shed light on a few common misconceptions about skincare.  It is easy to see why people get confused because these ideas are sometimes completely counterintuitive!

Myth: The best way to treat excessively oily skin is by drying it out.

Truth: While it seems like drying out oily skin is the best route, skipping moisturizer or using a harsh toner to try to dry skin can actually strip natural oils from the skin causing the skin to over-produce oil to protect itself.  The best option to hydrate oily skin is a serum or gel moisturizer.  These products will absorb quickly and skin won’t “panic” and produce even more oil.

Serums or gels, like the Rhonda Allison Blushed Wine Gel are great light moisturizers to hydrate oily skin.

Serums or gels, like the Rhonda Allison Blushed Wine Gel are great light moisturizers to hydrate oily skin.

Myth: Acids are harsh chemicals and aggressive on skin

Truth: The acids we use in skincare are naturally derived and vary in strength and benefit.  For example, Hyaluronic Acid, which may sound scary, is naturally occurring in the body in synovial (joint) fluid and in the eye.  This acid is used in products to plump and hydrate skin and some medical professionals recommend this for wound and burn healing.  Lactic acid is derived from milk and is beneficial for dry, mature skin and is often used to exfoliate without over-drying.  Some acids are more potent, but just because a product or ingredient is labeled an “acid” doesn’t mean it is scary.

Cassie getting a light facial peel using a variety of acids from our esthetician, Cammie.

Cassie getting a light facial peel using a variety of acids from our esthetician, Cammie.

 

Myth: If you have true acne, you need a good facial (or body) scrub to help unclog pores.

Truth: True acne occurs when excess skin cells, oil, and debris clog pores, potentially leading to infection.  Using a mechanical scrub over acneic skin may spread bacteria and increase inflammation, worsening the problem.  Depending on the severity of the acne, a chemical exfoliation (don’t let the word “chemical” scare you!) is best.  For example, glycolic or salicylic acids, applied topically as recommended by your esthetician or dermatologist, will help to break down skin cells and excess oil without spreading bacteria or increasing irritation.

Gritty scrubs like those pictured can spread bacteria and further inflame acneic skin.

Gritty scrubs like those pictured above can spread bacteria and further inflame acneic skin. It is best to stick with an acid based exfoliation instead of a manual exfoliation during a breakout.

If you have questions about your skin care or want to find out whether or not something you read online or heard from a friend is accurate, ask your esthetician!  To schedule a facial for an in-depth consultation and treatment, click here.

Cassandra’s Peel Experiences

Today we’re featuring guest blogger, Cassandra Lacina-Griffin, one of our estheticians and Rhonda Allison expert. Cassandra has been enjoying our peels and wanted to share her experiences so far to provide information to people who aren’t sure what to expect in regards to peel services and advice for people who are newer to peels and corrective skin care.  Cassandra also shared a collage of photos to show some of the peeling she’s experienced (above).

From Cassandra:

CassandraI developed adult acne when I was 19 and have struggled to find the right products. I have been under the care of a dermatologist for the past few years treating my acne with a topical cream. I’ve to stop using the cream for some time now because it’s harsh and drying.  While on the cream, I’ve been unable to use many of the corrective Rhonda Allison products. I’m love the Rhonda Allison line and said “that’s it I’m done!” No more prescription cream.

I decided to start doing the RA peel for acne. Chemical peels are great to help clear up acne and refine the pores also to help with scaring or hyper pigmentation. The peel Camille and I chose to use on my skin is a bit intense. There is a strong burning/tingling sensation but it doesn’t last long. I started out slow and I’m working my way into stronger peels.

After receiving several peels, I have realized in my peel process that it is best to take extra time after the appointment. My second peel stung a bit longer than the first but after drinking some water and sitting for 10-15 minutes I was fine. Plan ahead before you book a peel. Your skin will not peel with every application but the deeper the peel  the more your skin will peel. Another thing is that the deeper the peel the longer it takes your skin to peel. So plan ahead so that you don’t have any major events or parties while your skin is peeling.

I have found it beneficial to not wear makeup while my skin is peeling. It just allows me to apply extra recommended soothing creams and the cucumber spritz as needed. The hardest part of the peel process for me is avoiding picking the peeling skin. It is the worst thing you can do after a peel! I know you may want to “help” the peeling along but it is best to just leave it. You may end up peeling to much causing it to be even more tender and red or causing scarring. If you are treating acne with a peel be aware it’s completely normal for the skin to purge. Trust that it will heal up quickly revealing soft, fresh, glowing skin!

EastVillageSpaFacialsIf you’d like to learn more about peels and you already have an esthetician at East Village Spa that you’ve seen in the last two months for a facial, give us a call to schedule a peel.  If you haven’t been in to an esthetician at the spa or it has been over 2 months, book any facial (Wellness, EV Signature, or even our express 30 minute facial) for them to assess your skin and goals to help you determine a peel plan that will be safe and effective for you!

Click here to schedule your next facial online to get more information about our peel services!

Giving Thanks

Our massage therapists, estheticians, and management team have much to be thankful for.  We get to work in a (mostly) peaceful space with lovely music and candles, fun products, and caring colleagues.  We have the privilege of treating clients and getting to know and care about many like family over the years.  Most of all, we get to see guests become relaxed, serene, and unburdened, even if only for a moment.  In our busy, plugged-in world, that is truly the biggest blessing of all.

Camille Arbegast, Managing Esthetician

From Camille: I am thankful for not only being able to help my clients relax and ease their mind, but for being able to see the positive changes in their skin over time as we address their struggles and concerns.

JameeKoopmanMassage

From Jamee: I’m thankful for the autonomy to use my knowledge (in massage and healthcare) to my clients’ best advantage.

 

webkatie

From Katie: I am thankful I can make people feel better about themselves and hopefully be a bright spot in their day.

 

webteresaFrom TeresaI am grateful for all the wonderful people I get to work with: co-workers and clients alike.

 

 

CelesteBrightonHS2From Celeste: I’m thankful for the unlimited resources and knowledge my co-workers have, and for the opportunity to find out more about the lovely people we take care of.

FullSizeRender(1)From Cyerra: I’m thankful to work with a talented and and welcoming group of people who inspire me every day!

 

Happy thanksgiving from our spa family to your family.