5 ways we respect the earth

Traditionally, the spa industry has found ways to reduce waste and help to offset the use of energy, water, and disposable products required to provide services. Spa and wellness providers understand that caring for our planet to ensure we have clean air, water, and places to enjoy beauty of our natural surroundings is important for physical and mental health. At East Village Spa we are always working on finding new ways to reduce our environmental impact. Here are 5 of our favorite ways we’ve been working to reduce our footprint:

  1. We partner with Recycle Me Iowa to recycle. Most of our products come in recyclable packaging and Recycle Me Iowa helps make it easy for us to recycle the packaging and shipping containers required to run a spa by providing us with containers to keep our recyclables and coming on a regular schedule to pick them up for us. They are affordable and provide excellent customer service. If you live or work in a building that doesn’t offer recycling, reach out to Cigi and her team. They take great care of us, and the Earth.
  2. We switched to Himalayan Salt Stones from Jade stones for our hot stone massages. Not only do our clients get the benefits of Himalayan Salt, but these stones require less energy to heat and save gallons of water per use as they don’t require a water bath to soak in and gallons of water for cleaning. Instead, they are heated on a temperature controlled mat and are cleaned safely with an eco-safe, EPA registered Thyme oil spray. According to Saltability, a 10 room spa (that’s our size!) can save 20,000 gallons of water annually by switching from traditional water bath stone heaters to salt stones.
  3. We don’t use whirlpool soaks for pedicures. First, we value your safety (the bacteria in many whirlpool basins is gross) so we use one-time-use disposable tubs. These tubs save an estimate of 10-20 gallons of water depending on whirlpool size. For every whirlpool tub, it not only needs filled for the service, but then filled again and run with cleaning chemicals that go down the drain. That’s lots of water.
  4. We only offer robes for people getting multiple body or skin care treatments as a convenience when switching treatment rooms. I know, it is fun to slip into a robe, but people do not realize the environmental impact. Only about 4-5 big plush robes can go into a wash/dry cycle which uses lots of water and energy. If people are coming for one service, say a massage, they would have to undress, put on a robe for a couple of minutes, take off the robe, get on the massage table, and then put their regular clothing back on again. Not only would this shorten service time as in our rushed world, guests tend to run a bit behind (ahem, pot calling kettle black here since I’m chronically 5 minutes late) but the main reason we forgo robes for single-service visits is the environmental impact.
  5. Our products are safe, not only for you, but for the Earth. We carefully choose our partners so we know the products you are enjoying are ethically produced and healthy. Our Rhonda Allison Skincare is European Certified Organic (a tougher standard than in the US), our Farmhouse Fresh line is partially crafted out of herbs grown on their farm, which includes a farm animal rescue sanctuary. The Kneipp line uses salts sourced from an underwater salt cave in Germany that has been used for over 100 years so the salts are pure and haven’t been exposed to environmental pollutants. The Rescued Jewelry line we carry includes recycled jewelry components and gives all profits to an animal rescue. Our Rapid Fire pain relief products are produced locally in central Iowa, thus reducing shipping waste as they are delivered by the man who developed the line himself. Our nail polishes from Zoya and CND are free of harsh, toxic, chemicals and always have been.

Please help us this Earth Day by finding a way to reduce a bit of waste, making choices for sustainable, ethical, and non-toxic products, and enjoying some time outdoors for your mind, body, and spirit.

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!

5 Easy tips for your DIY manicures

Of course we love to have you come into the spa for a relaxing mani/pedi, but we know that sometimes in a pinch you need to do it yourself.   There can also be something really meditative and relaxing about taking time to tend to your nails at home.

CND Offly Fast Home Shellac Removal Kits

CND Offly Fast Home Shellac Removal Kits

5. You CAN safely remove Shellac at home, it just takes longer since you will be doing one hand at a time.  As long as you are patient and follow recommended instructions, you should be fine.  As soon as next week, we’ll even have DIY Shellac Removal Kits.  The video linked to this post and the removal kits are intended for CND brand Shellac which comes off easier than other gel-polish brands, but you can research safe removal methods for other brands.  We used to advise only getting professional removal (which is still the ideal) but we have too many clients who pick their polish off at home and damage their nails so we might as well make sure you know the best ways to remove it safely!

4. Shellac doesn’t have to mean 2 weeks of the same color! You can use a regular polish like Zoya or Vinylux over the top of Shellac to add designs or just a quick change of color, the remove it quickly with a gentle remover and swipe nail with alcohol to bring shine back.  A quick swipe of gentle remover won’t take off the Shellac and this is a fun way to add a bit of art to your nails or paint a darker color over a light shellac shade or a shimmery sheer polish to add sparkle over a cream color Shellac.

I used Vinylux over the top of Shellac to create accent nails to wear for a day (I didn't use Vinylux top coat), and removed with Zoya remover and wiped with alcohol to restore shine.

I used Vinylux over the top of Shellac to create accent nails to wear for a day (I didn’t use Vinylux top coat), and removed with Zoya remover and wiped with alcohol to restore shine.

3. Love Zoya’s colors (especially the Pixies, glittery, and shimmery options) but the drying speed and long wear of Vinylux?  Layer them!  We like using similar shades and applying a layer of Vinylux as a base coat, topped with 1-2 layers of Zoya for color, and a layer of Vinylux top coat for quick drying.  It is also fun to use a darker shade of Vinylux as a base and top it with a shimmery sheer Zoya shade to change up the look.

Ideas for pairing Vinylux and Zoya for the best of both worlds.

Ideas for pairing Vinylux and Zoya for the best of both worlds.

2. Add flair to your nails with a metallic sharpie!  Even wobbly hands can do dots, hearts, stripes, or fun french tips with Sharpies (regular metallic Sharpies, not paint pens).  Apply to dry polish or a gel polish (see #5) then top with a base coat.  Full instructions and ideas here.

1. Whatever you do,  cuticle oil is a must! I hate bundling and am terrible at wearing my gloves in the dry winter air so my hands and cuticles are fried!  I snapped a before pic, applied CND Solar Oil, waited 10 minutes and it pretty much worked wonders.  Solar Oil is designed to penetrate through the tiny tunnels in CND Shellac so it will continue to hydrate your nails and cuticles while you wear Shellac to help it last longer and so your nails stay healthy underneath the polish!  Keep it on your night stand for a quick bedtime application.

My hands before and after Solar Oil.

My hands before and after Solar Oil. My nails are 1 week out from my last Shellac manicure and I’ve been really hard on them since!

Stop in to check out our selection of CND and Zoya brand polishes, or if you are more the type to let a pro pamper your nails, book your manicure or pedicure online!

Our favorite holiday gifts at all prices

It was hard to narrow down our favorite gift choices at the spa, but we certainly have noticed trends in what clients are wanting for themselves…and picking up to give to others.  Here are our favorites!

$10 and Under

Kneipp travel baths and travel massage oils are just $5.50 each!

Kneipp Travel Baths and Massage oils are just $5.50 each!

Zoya nail polishes are just $9 each and Vinylux Polishes and their awesome fast dry top coat are just $9.95 each

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$20 and Under

Farmhouse Fresh Hand Cream comes in a variety of delightful scents and whimsical packaging.  This is a perfect gift for teachers, coaches, day care providers and anyone that deserves a fun pampering treat at just $14 each. gift 8 hand cream

Zoya Color Lock Kit Includes everything you need for a flawless Zoya manicure.  Combine with your favorite color. Just $19.95

gift 6 zoya colorlockTherapearl Face Mask looks silly, but is a great gift for anyone who suffers frequent sinus headaches, migraines, or general facial puffiness.  Keep it in the friedge and it is ready to go for instant relief, and it is just $19.95.

gift14 therapearl faceZoya Mini Trio These fun mini polishes are just $12 for 3 (or you can buy individual bottles for $5 each) and make perfect stocking stuffers!  We have assorted trios and lots of individual minis.

gift 5 zoya mini setFarmhouse Fresh Whoopie Cream Candle is the perfect go-to for hostess gifts, friends, work exchanges, and more.  This is Farmhouse Fresh company’s most popular scent.  $20

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$30 and under

Farmhouse Fresh Honey Heel Glaze is our most popular Farmhouse Fresh product and works miracles on dry skin on the hands and heels.  $24

gift 11 honey heelKneipp Bath Benefits Kit Enjoy 5 aroma-therapeutic mineral baths with this set of 5 assorted salt bath sachets.  This is a great gift for people who love natural wellness and home remedies. $24.95

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Farmhouse Fresh Ginger Lemondrop Gift Set: This zippy set will help beat the winter blues and includes ginger sorbet body milk, citrus grass body scrub, and two peppermint champagne bath bombs, all in one pretty package (also available in Whoopie Cream scent).  $24

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Pure Inventions Drink Mixes ‘Tis the season of high calorie snacks and beverages! Pure Inventions drink mixes are healthy and delicious, all with no calories, artificial sweetener, or caffeine.  Two of our seasonal favorites, Cranberry Elderberry and Apple Wild Cherry are great served hot with a cinnamon stick to help avoid tempting sugary holiday cocktails.

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$100 and under

Kneipp Zen 10 Kit is a great gift to help someone help themselves with winter blues, aches and pains, colds, and congestion with enough product for up to 20 remedy baths.  $49

zen10Clarisonic Mia is a great gift for teens, men, and women.  Buying it for a couple?  Grab another cleansing head and they can share the device and just rotate out brushes.  Stop in for pricing and information!

gift 9 clarisonic mia$100 Spa Gift Card What’s better than getting a $100 gift card to East Village Spa?  Enjoying an EXTRA $20 treatment voucher!  When you visit the spa to purchase your gift cards now through Christmas Even 2014, you’ll receive an extra $20 voucher for every $100 in gift cards you purchase.