Archive for the ‘Spa’ Category

New 2012 spa and salon treatments offer SPA-tacular pampering

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

2012-spa-treatments-ts10064051Innovative new treatments are all the rage for this year’s spa connoisseurs. SpaFinder’s Spa Trend Report shares that though the economic climate has made experimental treatments a bit of a risk, spa and salon managers have embraced the challenge with unique ideas that have spa-goers coming back for more.

Pampering the Peds
As more and more people spend increasing amounts of time standing on their feet, spas are beginning to address the problems of foot pain, swelling and underdeveloped muscles. Not longer merely beautifying feet with fun and relaxing pedicures, spas and salons have stepped it up a notch. Troubled tootsies can now receive some TLC with a more holistic and healthy approach.

Some spas offer gait assessment to determine how everyday walking might be causing foot pain and discomfort. Suggestions are then made to improve a client’s stride. Pedicures are given in anti-gravity chairs to offer relief and promote lymphatic flow. Several spas have started offering boot camps that improve posture and emphasize strengthening underused foot muscles.

Chilling Effects
Taking a lesson from the cooling effects of cucumbers, cold treatments, such as icy massages, snow showers and ice chambers, are used to enhance blood circulation, as well as reduce inflammation. Alternating between hot spots, including steam rooms, spas and saunas, has been shown to help with both joint and muscle pain.

Lasting Results
Take the spa benefits home with a personal coach. Health, beauty and wellness coaches are available post-treatment to help clients stay on track with their goals. Everything from sleep to eyebrow coaching is offered via phone calls, text messages, emails or even Skype.

Living in Luxury
For pampering that feels good all over, clients can now opt for packages that include regular spa treatments combined with healthy wining and dining. From high-quality wines bursting with antioxidants to locally grown, organic produce in some locations, spa-goers may be required to cook their own delicious dishes. Other spas serve meals during the pampering process. Biggest challenge: not chipping nail polish while noshing on tasty treats.

Multisensory Experiences
Coming at pampering through a more multidimensional approach, various treatments are being infused with lights, sounds, colors, vibration, and music to engage all five senses. The idea is to correct imbalances and restore proper energy flow. Many of the sessions have Eastern elements of holistic healing woven throughout. Look for these treatments on massage tables, lounge chairs, hot tubs, saunas and steam capsules.

Beauty Bling
Glitz and glamour are in, whether it is via nails adorned with crystals or hair extensions woven with feathers. Flashy fashions deliver the red carpet look through a wide variety of creative elements.

Beauty On-the-Go
For the time-crunched, walk-in makeovers, blow-dry bars and 10-minute mani/pedis provide fast and affordable beauty blitzes in travel hubs, including airports and train stations.

Fun for the Whole Family
No longer targeted at ladies of a certain age, spas are increasingly reaching out to the whole family. Kid-friendly options are growing in popularity, including everything from Disney princess themes to baby massage classes. Expect to see more spa birthday party offerings alongside the bride-to-be pampering packages.

Amusing Beauty
Everything from amusement parks to luxury getaways is popping up in this year’s spa offerings. Innovation is the name of the game.

Just like in any business, spa and salon managers have to innovate in order to keep up with the times, and the new spa treatments we’re watching develop for 2012 prove to us that it’s an industry that knows how to adapt to demand.

DIY Beauty 101: Get Pretty on the Cheap!

Thursday, March 25th, 2010


DIY-beauty can be a great way to save some dough. But if you’re thinking you have to resort to crazy (and smelly…) tactics involving mayonnaise, egg yolks or other odd kitchen items, think again!

Here are a few affordable (even totally free in some cases) ways to look and feel your very best with the help of common household items.

Great Hair

1.       Pump up the volume

Try adding mousse into your hairstyling routine. It brings more bang for the buck than some other hair-pumping products.

Another (totally free!) way to add some lift to your ‘do is by blow-drying your hair upside down. Flip your hair over and dry the hair away from the scalp. When it’s barely damp, flip it back and continue styling.

2.       Bring out the shine

Add a weekly hot-oil treatment to your beauty regimen. Sound expensive? It doesn’t have to be! Pick up some jojoba oil (you can find it at natural food stores for around $10) and substitute this for pricier hair-repair products.  Just spread the oil generously through dry hair, pop on a plastic shower cap, and cover your head with a hot towel for about a half-hour. When time’s up, rinse your hair with cold water to seal in the moisture. Then, head out and show off those shiny tresses!

Glowing Skin

1.       Erase the redness

To reduce redness and soothe irritated skin, all it takes is a quick trip to the fridge. When you soak a washcloth in cold milk and place the washcloth over your face for about 10 minutes, the proteins, fat, amino acids and vitamin A found in milk can rejuvenate your skin and help it look soft and glowing.

2.       Banish puffy eyes

The caffeine found in tea bags can help tired-looking eyes appear brighter and more awake. By shrinking the underlying dark blood vessels that create puffiness around the eyes, the caffeine can help your eyes look bright once again. Find two tea bags and soak them in hot water for about a minute. Then, dunk them in ice water for a few seconds. Lie down and apply the tea bags to your eyes for about 15 minutes while you take a breather.

Dazzling Smile

1.       Mix your own smile-whitener by creating a homemade paste of baking soda and water. By brushing with this paste a few times a month, you can whiten your teeth by as much as one or two shades.

2.       Keep your teeth white between brushings by treating new stains before they set in. When drinking red wine, choose some crunchy raw vegetables to accompany your drink. By chewing up the veggies, you can help rub away any new stains.

It’s time to go forth and look beautiful! All in the comfort of your own home, no less. Have some tips to add to our list? We want to hear ‘em!

Top 3 Ingredients to Avoid in Beauty Products

Thursday, January 14th, 2010


Everybody seems to be going green, and it is becoming popular in the beauty industry as well.  A green beauty market can present exciting cosmetology career opportunities in an ever-growing market.  Here are three different ingredients that should inspire you to incorporate more green products into your own beauty regimen.

Parabens: Parabens are used as preservatives in many beauty products including shampoos, commercial moisturizers, shaving gels, and cleansing gels.  They can cause allergic skin reactions and have been found in breast cancer tissue samples.  Although the link between cancer and parabens needs further research, it is generally agreed that this chemical is responsible for a wide variety of skin irritation.  Avoid paraben by checking for ingredients like methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben or butylparaben.

Phthalates: Phthalates can be found in many beauty products including nail polish and deodorant and are linked to birth defects.  Unfortunately this chemical is not listed on product labels, and can only be detected through laboratory analysis.  Avoid phthalates all together and buy organic! You can also make your own beauty products at home.

Fragrance: Fragrance can be responsible for breathing difficulties and allergies.  Although thousands of different chemicals are permitted to be used in fragrance, they do not have to be listed on the product label.  Cosmetics that use fragrance can contain 50 to 100 chemicals.  Further, fragrances can easily penetrate the skin and are often made of chemicals derived from petroleum.  Petroleum has been linked to skin irritation. Avoid excess fragrances when considering green beauty products.

Not only do green products help to protect the environment, they are also key to maintaining superior health.  Possible side effects of chemicals used in beauty products can be extremely detrimental to both human and environmental wellness.

As the popular green trend continues to push forward, it is important to stay on top of recent developments.  Beauty school can help you understand organic and natural beauty innovations, enabling business success and growth.  Going green in the beauty industry is a promising way to meet client demands in a new market.

Lawsuit! What’s the dish on fish pedicures?

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

shutterstock_80261809About a year ago, there was a new trend hitting the nail salon circuit – but now, it might be in hot water: fish pedicures.

A salon in Gilbert, Arizona, which is a suburb of Phoenix, is suing the Arizona State Board of Cosmetology for overstepping its legal authority to stop fish pedicures from being offered at area salons. The board has shut down a Fish Spa where small Garra Rufa fish, or small carp, eat away dead skin from the bottom of feet.

The board claims that when exfoliation is being administrated, it’s falls under the board’s rules and regulations, which essentially is what the fish do: exfoliate feet.

The lawsuit states that the salon acknowledges that the board is entitled to regulate pedicures. But it specifically argues that having fish eat away the dead skin on a patron’s feet is not a pedicure and, therefore, outside the board’s jurisdiction.

The board claims that since the fish cannot be properly stored and sanitized, they are a health code violation. Is this going to be the new trend following the fish pedicure around? There are several states and cities that allow fish pedicures but since this is a new area of beauty treatments, it’s difficult to tell whether other cosmetology boards will follow suit.

Tell us what you think! Are fish really performing pedicures or just exfoliation? Should the beauty service fall under the rules and regulations of the board?

4 Ways Spas Make Sense, Even in a Recession

Monday, March 16th, 2009


These days, it can be difficult to escape talk about the “R word.” I’m talking about the recession. In tricky economic times, it’s only natural for people to tighten their belts a little and trim down their extra expenses. That may mean cutting out certain luxuries, like eating out or taking a vacation.

So, where does the beauty industry fit into this equation? For businesses that are willing to adapt to the current economic situation and get creative, there are bountiful opportunities to attract new and existing spa customers.

Don’t let the shaky economy discourage you if you’re considering a career in the beauty or spa industry – spas around the country are finding ways to keep the foot baths and the massage tables occupied. Most are even flourishing and hiring more than ever.

Consider San Francisco’s spa industry. According to one online reference site, SpaFinder, there is one spa for every 5,100 San Francisco residents (this compares to about one spa for every 15,300 New York City residents). How does a business in this competitive environment stay afloat?

Here are a few ideas from some San Francisco spa directors:

1. Most importantly, get creative! Find ways to differentiate your spa from the competition and to keep your clients coming back.
2. Try out new ideas for payment programs or membership drives.
3. Attract eco-savvy customers by offering green facilities and spa practices, or break into another untapped market of potential spa-lovers.
4. Design customizable service packages. The InterContinental San Francisco I-Spa offers its customers a personalized membership program (similar to those offered at a gym).

What do you think about the current economy and its effect on spas and other health and beauty businesses? Do you have other ideas for how the beauty industry can weather the storm?

Green Nails

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Green nails are all the rage!

I’m not talking about the color. I’m talking about eco-friendly nail salons and how they are the new trend in going green in the beauty industry.

A new salon in San Francisco, Nova Nail Spa, offers only organic and chemical-free nail products. The owners realized that not only were organic products and eco-friendly lifestyle were gaining steam, but they were uncomfortable with having employees and customers exposed to the chemicals that are found in polishes and acrylic nails.

The products in the salon are either vegan or organic, including the fingernail polish remover, which is not acetone but a vegan orange-infused product that smells like mandarins. In this salon, you won’t find products that contain formaldehyde, toluene, or dibutyl phthalate. These are the chemicals that are linked to cancer and reproductive problems. Nail technicians have also complained about the affect that those chemicals had on them, saying they can cause headaches, skin rashes and nausea.   

The salon itself is even an eco-friendly building. The interior is made up of non-toxic paint, recycled denim for the insulation, and slate and bamboo finishes. There is also a state-of-the-art ventilation system.

The salon features everything a typical salon has except for acrylic nails. Acrylic produces dizzying fumes, while filing creates plumes of dust. The salon does offer gel nails. Gel nails are used to coat a natural or fake nail. Then a UV light is used to ‘set’ the nail.

Tell us what you think about organic nail salons. Is this just a new trend that will blow over, or is it here to stay?

Checking out the student salon

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

On a whim yesterday, I decided to treat myself to a manicure and pedicure . And I’ve read a lot about student salons at beauty academies – but I’d never actually been to one! So I called and made an appointment at a nearby school.

First great thing – they had me in right away. And “Amy”, the student who used me as a guinea pig, was great. I originally wanted a French manicure, but she hadn’t had the chance to learn that yet. She offered to find me a more experienced student, but I told her it was fine.

The salon itself was nice – it was huge and divided into smaller sections. The equipment looked top notch. The teacher-supervisors were all cheerful and smiling and things felt busy but not chaotic.

Amy was new enough that she still had an instruction card she referred to, in order to make sure she was completing all the steps. But she did a great job on my pedicure – my toes look like little gems! I am definitely planning on going back to see if I can get a beauty facial in the near future.

Checking out a student salon is a great way to get a feel for the local schools while giving yourself a little treat. Just don’t forget to tip!

Fish pedicures

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

The doctor is in … the fish tank!

There is a new trend in pedicures, and it involves using fish to get the job done. These fish are commonly known as doctor fish. During these fish pedicures, clients soak their feet in water filled with tiny swimming carp that munch on the bottom of their feet. Sounds gross, but the trend is already popular in Turkey and some Asian countries.

How the pedicure works is the fish eat away at rough, dry spots on the bottom of your feet. Some think that this method is safer and more sanitary than using a razor to shave off the skin. So far, Virginia is the only state where this fishy pampering has popped up.

Depending on what kind of treatment you choose to receive, you can dip your feet in your own fish tank for 15 or 30 minutes. After that, it is business as usual. That is with a person performing the rest of the pedicure. Some who have had the treatment say it is the best pedicure they have ever gotten. Only time will tell if a fish tank pedicure will swing your way.

We at would love to hear any stories about the new fish pedicure treatment. Does it work or doesn’t it? Tell us!

Willy Wonka Facials

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

What better way to replenish tired, dry skin than drenching your skin in chocolate? That’s right ladies; is bringing you a new facial and body treatments hitting the streets and they are all about chocolate! After looking over some of skin care blogs, I ran across a post about the new trend of using chocolate in skin care treatments.

You might think that chocolate is better when indigested, but the cocoa bean has some hard-hitting antioxidants. You can also find shea butter and cocoa butter in the mix. Those components add up to a great concoction for your skin. Beauty experts say that chocolates have anti-aging properties that are good for all skin types, including sensitive.

There are so many recipes for disasters when it comes to homemade facial masks. But this one is fool proof and more than likely, you will have the ingredients on hand!

Here are the ingredients:

•    1/3 cup cocoa powder
•    3 tbsp. heavy cream
•    2 tsp. cottage cheese
•    ¼ cup honey
•    3 tsp. oatmeal

Mix all of the ingredients together, preferably in a blender, and smooth on. Let it set for 10 minutes then rinse with warm water. And that’s all! You’ve made a delicious, decadent mask that can make your face feel smooth and replenished.

Bonjour face!

Friday, June 6th, 2008

We at appreciate skin care products that are eco-friendly and cheap! I have found a great way to have a luxury facial from the comforts of your own home. When I was reading one of my favorite beauty blogs, I came across a post about French green clay and how beneficial it was to all types of skin tones. The clay acts as a great an absorbent for oily skin tones and helps with acne-prone skin types as well.

You can make your own facial right at home and know that what you are putting on your face doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals or preservatives. That can only help the minds of your eco chicks who want to have a green alternative to facial masks.

Here is what you need:

•    1 tbsp French Green Clay
•    1/2 tbsp grapefruit juice (or carrot juice, if you have dry patches)
•    1 tsp honey
•    Drop of your favorite essential oil (optional)


Mix the clay with the grapefruit juice and then add the honey and the essential oil, if using. Smooth the mixture onto your face and leave it on for about 15 minutes or until it dries completely. Gently remove it with a warm wet washcloth.

This facial mask is so gentle; you can use it twice a week. French green clay can be found at health food stores.