Author Archives: Beth Estey

New Year, New Name!

Tootsies Mini Spa is now Mini Spa VTHappy 2014 to all! While reflecting on the past year our team had a lot to feel good about after a successful change of location and well-received additions to our spa services menu. What better way to celebrate our one year anniversary at Battery Street than by unveiling our new name: Mini Spa VT!

Why would you want to change your name when Tootsies is so cute” you ask? That’s a fair question, for sure. The answer: Tootsies is cute! When the Mini Spa was sharing space with the Tootsies Shoe Boutique and focusing on pedicures it was the perfect name. When we moved we kept the name Tootsies so our clients could find us easily. But one year and no shoes later it‘s time to hang a new sign that reflects what we have become…your Vermont Mini Spa!

But we’ll always hold a special place in our hearts for the name Tootsies and we’ll keep our Tootsies coffee mugs in memory of whence we came!

Ever Wonder Why Salons & Spas have Cancellation Policies?

The dreaded “Cancellation Policy”…no one wants to talk about it, but there it is in the fine print. Let us help explain why it’s not a dirty word and why it just makes good business sense.

Cancellation PolicyNot everyone works in an appointment-based world, so it’s not that obvious to a great number of clients that what is being sold in a salon or spa is TIME. Yes, you receive a fantastic service when you’re there, but blocks of time in the daily schedule are the driving force of a profitable service-based business.

At the Mini Spa our rather lenient cancellation procedure is as follows: We request 24 hours notice for any cancellations. Same-day cancellations may be charged up to 50% of services booked if we cannot fill the appointment time. We require a credit card when booking groups of two or more people. (Many spas require 48 hours notice and charge 100% whether they can fill the time or not.)

When a client calls to cancel a scheduled appointment(s) without proper notice, it doesn’t allow us time to call people on our wait list or offer the appointment to new callers. You can see where it would be a real problem if a group of three who scheduled manicures, pedicures and facials a month ago (equaling about 7.5 hours worth of appointment time) cancels 2 hours before their scheduled start time!

Every salon and spa handles their policies differently, but at the Mini Spa our goal is NOT to charge for cancellations, because we truly do want to be busy providing great experiences to our guests. We don’t look at it as an opportunity to charge something for nothing. We understand that sometimes “life happens” and that it may be necessary to cancel an appointment at the last minute. We always grace each of our clients without charge for their first same-day cancellation.


What Is Urea? And Why Should You Care…

Pretty Smooth FeetWhen most people hear the word urea, urine is the first thing that comes to mind. And while urea is found in urine, they are not one in the same. It is actually a compound naturally found in the human body that exists in all HEALTHY cells. Urea used in personal care products is produced synthetically and is the #1 skin remedy for a myriad of skin conditions. Additionally, urea is non-toxic, non-allergenic, colorless and odorless. Oddly enough it’s a word we use a lot here at the Mini Spa and this is why…

  • Urea has been medically proven to have extraordinary anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties that promote the fast healing of dry cracked skin, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, acne, burns and other types of problem skin.
  • When skin cells have reduced levels of urea, the water binding capacity of the skin is decreased and moisture is lost. This leads to roughness, tightness, scaly or flaky skin and irritation.
  • The body can use synthetic urea in the same way as the urea naturally found in the skin. Scientists call it a true “humectant” because it is an important component of the body’s natural moisturizing process and can increase water content in the skin to 98%!
  • In combination with other effective and natural antioxidant ingredients, a great urea cream gives your skin the ability to attract moisture from the atmosphere and “pump” it back into thirsty cells.
  • Unlike just about all other types of moisturizers that contain high levels of pore clogging mineral oil that simply sit on the top layers of the skin and do nothing to actually improve it, urea increases the water-binding capacity of the skin.

Check out for more interesting scientific stuff, or for more information on the products we carry to help heal problem skin issues.

Does OPI Nail Lacquer contain harmful chemicals?

The health of our clients and service providers has always been a main concern at Tootsies Mini Spa. With that being said in this week’s blog we thought it was about time for us to touch base on the big question: Does OPI Nail Lacquer contain harmful chemicals? The answer is NO!

OPI Nail Lacquer is safeSince 2006 OPI has reformulated all of its nail lacquers, nail treatments, and nail hardeners to eliminate DBP(dibutyl phthalate) and toluene. Although their nail lacquers have never contained Formaldehyde, some strengtheners/hardeners and polishes do. But even strengtheners/hardeners that contain formaldehyde have 4 times lower levels than what’s considered a safe level by the USFDA.

Interesting fact: According to a study done in California the levels of formaldehyde, even in a nail salon, are no higher than those found in any other work place, such as offices, where no nail products whatsoever are present. So what makes some nail salons smell terrible while others don’t? Usually that nose-wrinkling odor is caused by products used to do acrylic nail enhancements, but you won’t find any of those here at the Mini Spa.

How can you tell if your bottle of OPI polish is the old or new formula? Open the bottle and look at the size of the brush. If it is a skinny brush head, it’s the old formula; if it’s the wide brush head, it’s 3-Free!

If you’re interested in finding out more about ingredients that are in the beauty products you use, please visit





What To Expect at Your First Facial

Everyone has heard of a facial, but many of us really have no idea what will happen once we are taken behind closed doors. It can be intimidating and awkward when you don’t know what to expect during a personal spa service, so in this weeks blog Beth is going to lay it out for you.

The word “facial” implies some kind of work being performed on the face, right? True! But there are a few unexpected things that I would like to have known before getting my first facial. Here’s the inside scoop – the three things you need to know before getting a facial:

Your hair is going to get messed up! The esthetician will wrap a towel or headband around your head to keep your hair out of the way during the process, so just know that while your skin will be glowing at the end of the service, your hair may need some work.

First Facial - What To ExpectYou’re going to need to undress your top half, including your bra. Part of the facial includes cleansing and massaging the neck and décolleté so clothing and bra straps can’t be in the way. You’ll be given a spa robe or wrap for coverage and the esthetician will step out of the room to allow you some privacy while you get changed.

You may leave with some temporary redness, depending on the intensity level of the facial you are receiving. If you get extractions blackhead removal there may be some redness at the removal site, or certain products with Vitamin C can feel tingly on the skin. (Most facials won’t include the removal of whiteheads, although medi-spas do sometimes offer this service.) Also, it is possible to see some pimples in the days following a facial. This is totally NORMAL, and actually a great sign that the products used did their job by pulling impurities to the surface. But if you’re getting married be sure to schedule your facial a week to 10 days pre-ceremony just to be on the safe side!

A good esthetician will take the time to ask you about your skin before applying this and that to make sure that your facial is a pleasant and worthwhile experience. She will also make recommendations for products which she feels would be beneficial to help you maintain great results at home. And quite honestly there’s nothing like hearing “You look glowy today” from a friend or your honey after you’ve had a great facial!

Tootsies Voted Best Manicure – Pedicure

Tootsies Winner Best Manicure PedicureWoo hoo! We did it again – Tootsies won the Daysies Award for best manicure & pedicure! We are excited and so very grateful! The Daysies are meaningful because they are awarded based on the the votes of the 7 Days readers. We strive to provide outstanding service, so this award is extra special – it means we are living up to expectations. Not to toot our own horn – well maybe we are a little – but we’ve won this award 5 years running!! See the results here.

Do Men Get Pedicures?

Yes! Men really do get pedicures…and love them!

While some men think a pedicure means getting nail polish, it’s more about caring for the feet, which work so hard to take us everywhere we go. Polish is more like the icing on the cake, and if a man wants a little sparkle for himself, then we’ll provide it, judgment-free of course!

Pedicures for men Burlington VTWondering if your significant other would join you for a couples pedicure? Well, why not! Grooming and relaxing is for everyone. Men at the Mini Spa are greeted with a friendly smile, not one eyebrow up, so there’s no need to feel awkward. Having the toenails clipped and filed might be an unusual experience for a man, but remind him how his nails won’t be stabbing you at night under the covers anymore! He will likely enjoy learning all about the tools used to remove dry skin and once he’s experienced the relaxing massage he‘ll be putty in your hands! In fact, when most male pedicure newbies are finished with their first service we often hear them say, “So this is why she loves getting pedicures!”

But it needn’t be date night for a man to enjoy services at the Mini Spa. Guys are welcome for all kinds of grooming from pedicures and manicures to facials and body waxing, with or without a gal pal companion!

How To Survive a Bad Brow Wax

Eyebrows are a very noticeable part of the human face. We notice if they’re thick and unruly, if they’re plucked and penciled and especially if they’ve been subjected to the dreaded Bad Brow Wax.

If you’ve ever heard the word “OOPS” during a brow shaping appointment, you know the horror of which I speak! Uneven, too skinny, bald spot, torn skin…these are just a few of the outcomes of the oops. And when it’s on your face, it can be a difficult thing to cover up.

How to fix bad brow wax.

But don’t despair, there are a few tricks that can get you through the days and weeks following a brow blunder. If it’s torn skin or excessive redness that’s the culprit, we recommend applying the product Finipil every few hours. It has a cooling sensation and will alleviate redness and minimize scabbing and scarring. For brows that are too skinny or have a bald spot, we love Sorme brow powder (available in 8 shades) to fill them in while they grow out. Each one comes with shaping guides to help you achieve ideal fullness and arch. We think powder ultimately looks more natural than a pencil and it‘s more user friendly.

As for uneven eyebrows, seek help immediately! It’s very tempting to head directly for the tweezers and try to fix them yourself, but don‘t forget how your bangs turned out that one time!! Have faith and patience as it may take your new waxing specialist several appointments to guide your brows back to your desired shape.


Photo Credit: Garo / Phanie / Rex Features

Why is it called the Mini Spa?

Tootsies Mini Spa - Relax with us today!I’ve been asked this question several times during the past two years. I even heard one person wonder out loud if it’s mini because the services are half-assed? Umm, no…not so. I can only assume that person has never had one of our award-winning pedicures! None-the-less, it’s a subject worth delving into a bit.

While most day spas are 2,000-5,000 square feet and have seven to 10 treatment rooms, the Mini Spa is 1,350 square feet (a mansion compared to our previous 800 sf!) and features one lovely treatment room. We are sans sauna, without whirlpool and lacking chaise lounge. But by no means does this equate to a deficiency in our ability to provide superior relaxation and pampering. Bigger does not always mean better.

The long and the short of it is that Tootsies Mini Spa is a petite urban oasis. It is warm and cozy on a cold day. It is friendly and familiar on a rough day. And it’s a place where our mission is to make sure you leave happier than when you arrived EVERY day.