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.

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

 

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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.

Get to know Cyerra, Licensed Esthetician and Nail Technician

FullSizeRender(1)Cyerra Kemp is the newest member of our team, joining us in October, 2015.  She studied cosmetology nearly a decade ago and after taking time to care for her children, Cyerra returned to school to study nail technology and esthesiology.  We are so happy to have someone so enthusiastic about her career on our team, her passion energizes all of us!

Why did you get into this industry?

I love making people’s nails beautiful.  I get joy from helping others relax after a long day.

What is your favorite service to give?

I enjoy performing manicures with nail art.  I have also grown to love waxing.  I enjoy giving facials too because it is such a relaxing service.  I guess you can say I love everything.

What is your favorite service to receive?

EV Signature Pedicure and EV Signature Manicure with Shellac.

What is your favorite retail product?

Farmhouse Fresh Butter Rum Scrub

What are your favorite ways to de-stress?

Turn on some music and practice nail art techniques

What advice do you have for clients?

Solar oil cuticle oil and sunscreen are your best friends.  Don’t forget to take time for relaxation.

Why should our guests visit YOU?

I can provide a relaxing experience at the spa.  And, for nail art, I’m your girl!

To book an appointment for a manicure or pedicure with Cyerra, click here!  If you want to add nail art, please add an upgrade for french tips or Rockstar Nails so that ample time is allowed.

 

 

Check out our fall favorites!

Whether you need jewelry or nail polish to complement your favorite fall sweater, a unique host or hostess gift for Halloween and Thanksgiving gatherings, or want something sweet, spicy and delightful to nourish your skin, we have the perfect fall finds in our gift shop!

  1. Caramel Lovers Rejoice!

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The Backcountry Caramel Body Milk and Triple Shot Caramel Coffee Scrub are retail favorites every fall.  This year we’ve incorporated them into some of our seasonal services.  Don’t forget to stop up at the desk for your complimentary caramel truffle after your services (we know you’ll be craving one!)

2. Zoya Fall Nail Polishes

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These fun colors are available in full size bottles ($9) and mini bottles ($5) and are perfect to complement your favorite fall boots and sweaters!

3. Morphew Designs Jewelry

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Heather, the designer behind Morphew Designs Jewelry, lives in Central Iowa and regularly updates her collection of earrings and necklaces at the spa.  She’s also happy to do custom orders and has a fast turnaround time.

4. Pure Inventions Cranberry Elderberry Drink Mix

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Pro tip! Mix the cranberry elderberry drink mix into hot water and add a cinnamon stick, orange peel and cloves for a delicious and healthy no-cal alternative to heavy holiday punches and ciders.

5. Pumpkin for your skin

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Pumpkin is a popular skin care ingredient because it contains vitamin A, which soothes and softens skin, and antioxidant rich Vitamin C. Our Farmhouse Fresh Splendid Dirt Mask includes pumpkin puree and our Rhonda Allison Pumpkin Cleanser is a best-seller.  Both are suitable for many skin types, but ask your esthetician if you aren’t sure.

6. Hot Spiced Rum

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Farmhouse Fresh Butter Rum Sugar Scrub is a year-round favorite, but the Spiced Rum and Bunny Slippers Cozy Candle is a new product just in time for crisp fall evenings. Also perfect as a hostess gift for Halloween or Thanksgiving gatherings!

East Village Spa Partners with the Beacon of Life Shelter

East Village Spa has partnered with the Beacon of Life Women’s Shelter to provide free facials and skin care products to help the shelter’s residents learn what it feels like to relax and be cared for, in addition to developing a skin health routine that is attainable and manageable.

The Beacon of Life serves women who do not have a safe place to reside or who need support in their housing.  Many of their clients come directly from incarceration and The Beacon programming focuses on helping them with employment, financial stability, mind/body wellness, and recovery.  When the licensed estheticians at East Village Spa decided to partner with an organization to help educate and nurture women, the Beacon was a natural choice.

Julie Hewitt, Case Manager at the Beacon of Life said that in addition to not feeling worthy of self-care, the women at the shelter have skin care concerns unique to their situation.  Hewitt describes advanced signs of aging due to drug use and stress.  She adds, “I see a lot of acne, wrinkles, dry skin, and pock marks from scabbing.”

Cassie Sampson, owner of East Village Spa, says “I believe working in a spa environment, we take skin care for granted, but we know that when our skin looks healthy and we feel worthy of being cared for by others, we gain confidence. We hope a boost in confidence helps the residents who are making positive life changes like starting a new career or reconnecting with family.”

Both East Village Spa’s employees and the team at The Beacon of Life shelter hope that the women come away from their spa experience with a sense of relaxation and feel that they are valued and important. 

Get to Know Hannah Bates!

Hannah Bates SmallOur newest team member is no stranger to the industry!  We’re excited for you to get to know licensed esthetician and nail technician, Hannah Bates, who joined East Village Spa’s team full time in July 2015.  Hannah joined us in anticipation of our long-time esthetician/nail technician Lydia’s upcoming move to California this fall.

 

How long have you been in the industry?

4 years, unless you count the million manicures I tried at home as a kid 🙂

Why did you go into this field?

I studied nail technology because nails are a fun creative outlet.  I studied esthesiology because as a teenager I had a ton of trouble with my skin.  Mostly because I had no idea how to take care of it.  I always hated it and my skin gave me a lot of image issues.  I wanted to be able to help women with the same concerns.

What is your favorite service to give?

Waxing, nail art, and peels

What is your favorite spa service to receive?

Massages!  But I also love to get my nails done for a change.

What is your favorite spa retail product?

I’m a product junkie, but I love the Derma-peel from Rhonda Allison and the Farmhouse Fresh Splendid Dirt mask smells so good and makes my pores so tiny!

What are your favorite ways to reduce stress?

Yoga and meditation, also coloring and journaling

What are your favorite suggestions/tips/tricks for clients?

Don’t listen to Pinterest!  Ha ha, just kidding.  Truly, self care and wellness can change your life if you let it.  Have an open mind and take care of yourself.

What are your favorite wellness resources?

Anything by Louise L Hay, Ram Dass.  Lots of Aveda training has gotten me in love with the books of their founder, Horst Rechelbacher.

Do you have a favorite relaxation quote?

“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” Ram Dass

Do you have a special talent?

I can lick my elbow (Just joking, but I bet I made you try it!)

Why should clients visit YOU?

This is Cassie, I’ll answer this one for Hannah:  Since joining our team just a couple of weeks ago, our clients have LOVED Hannah!  So have her co-workers.  She works hard, loves learning about treatments and the science behind ingredients, and truly cares for her clients.  She makes services fun.  For Lydia’s regular clients looking for a new nail technician with a similarly creative spirit, Hannah is a perfect fit!

Click here to book with Hannah!

 

East Village Spa Proudly Using Rhonda Allison Skin Care!

We have slowly integrated Rhonda Allison skin care products into our facial services this summer, and we are ready to make a full switch in August.  The new clients and long-time facial clients who have tried these products with us love the line as much as we do, but we know many of our clients have questions, so we’d like to answer them here.

Q: Why switch now when you’ve used Derma E so long?

A:  Our clients and estheticians weren’t getting the desired results with Derma E and we wanted a line that offered faster, more dramatic improvements.  Derma E doesn’t offer professional strength products that we can use to add additional refining or potency our facials, but Rhonda Allison has a wide array of products our estheticians can use to customize and enhance their facials to strengthen and refine skin.

Q: How did you choose Rhonda Allison?

A: For months, Camille and Cassie have been consulting with other estheticians and spa owners, researching product lines and ingredients, and having discussions with skin care companies.  Rhonda Allison kept coming out on-top as far as reputation for results, ingredient integrity, and customer satisfaction.  Once we started trying their products and meeting with their educators, the choice was clear.  The clients (and spa employees) who have already made the change with us have affirmed this choice.

Q: Why is the change taking so long? 

A: The Rhonda Allison line is HUGE because it is very customizable.  Our estheticians have been doing training independently and with educators from Rhonda Allison.  The break-room looks like a college library!  Breaks have been spent reading ingredient books, studying products, and taking notes.  In August, Rhonda Allison educators are visiting the spa to provide hands on training in their more intensive products.  It has been really exciting, but time-consuming, to become experts.

Q: Will you continue to carry Derma E?  Will you be having a clearance sale?

A: No.  We will discontinue all of our Derma E products, but you can still purchase them online through the manufacturer and at health food stores.  We will be providing free facials and donating the rest of our Derma E inventory to the women residing at the Beacon of Life Shelter in Des Moines to help them with their unique skin care needs.

Q: What about your Farmhouse Fresh facial products?

A: We will continue to carry the Farmhouse Fresh line as an alternative line.  We love their products for the Farmhouse Fresh Hydrating Back Facial and for the 30 minute Express Facial.  We’re creating a fun and whimsical package that includes the Farmhouse Fresh Back Facial AND a 30 minute Farmhouse Fresh mini facial with our new skincare menu.  These products are also ideal for people who are just looking for a fun facial without making a big change in their routine or skin (i.e. our out-of-town guests).

Q: When can I get a facial with Rhonda Allison Products?

A: Now!  Camille and Cassandra are fully trained, Hannah will be offering Rhonda Allison Facials starting later in July, and Cammie will be offering them in August.  Lydia will no longer be offering facial services as she prepares for her move to California this fall. She hasn’t trained on Rhonda Allison due to her moving plans, but she recommends any of our other excellent and experienced estheticians.

Q: I liked Derma E because it was natural.  Is Rhonda Allison Natural?

A: Yes.  Rhonda Allison is known as a leader in natural, scientific-based skincare.  Read more here.  The website is a wealth of info about ingredients.

Q: Will your facials change much other than the products?

A: You can still expect a super-relaxing experience.  You’ll notice more active ingredients (meaning you might feel them working…this is GOOD!)  Our facials are also getting longer due to the nature of the professional-use-only products used to refine and improve skin.  We’ll be incorporating more relaxation techniques into the treatments due to the longer time the products require to work.  Yay!  We will adjust prices September 1 as needed for the longer services and better quality ingredients, but we will honor all gift cards purchased prior to September 1 for the old price (so stock up on gift cards now!)

Q: What about peels?

A: We typically don’t suggest peels in the summer due to sun exposure post-peel.  We are taking a temporary hiatus from peels until our estheticians are trained in the more effective skin refining procedures from Rhonda Allison in August.  We’ll be ready to help transform your skin this fall!  Click here for the Rhonda Allison before and after photo gallery!  We won’t be offering all of the services in the photo gallery (due to licensing and regulation) but you can expect amazing results.

Book your facial now and request the Rhonda Allison line!