Category Archives: Spa Practices

Wondering if the spa or salon you want to visit is clean enough? Here’s what you should know….

Sometimes it’s hard to know when trying out a new salon or spa if they use proper sanitation techniques. It’s ok to ask! Never book an appointment at a place where you receive a huffy reply to your questions about cleanliness. Taking time to go over all of the steps we take to keep our guests and team members safe is expected here at the Mini Spa. Here are our top 3 tips for keeping it clean:

Sterilize vs. Sanitize. What’s the difference and how do I know if their tools are really clean? An autoclave is the only device that can sterilize tools, HOWEVER, not every place that has one uses it correctly. Tools must be clean and dry prior to being housed in the autoclave for up to an hour before being used on another client. But often dirty tools are thrown into the autoclave with the belief that the machine will do it all…Yuck! Beware of this shortfall and feel safe if the salon or spa washes their tools with anti-bacterial soap, allows them to dry and then sprays or soaks them in hospital grade disinfectant between uses.

Mini Spa uses Belava Foot Bath Liners Pedicure tubs: “To Whirlpool or not to Whirlpool?” that is the question. When spa pedicure tubs are properly cleaned and sanitized they are perfectly safe. This requires the tub to be drained, rinsed, re-filled and set for a 20 minute cleaning cycle with proper sanitizing solution in the water. If you’re not seeing this happen before your feet hit the water there is a good chance you’re soaking partially in water that was from the previous client. When there are pipes involved, simply rinsing out the tub is NOT enough because water in the pipes will be re-circulated back into your tub. A great alternative is the Belava pedicure system (used at the Mini Spa, of course) which gives each guest a brand new plastic tub liner. Your feet will never touch where someone else’s have been!

The quickest, most effective way to know at-a-glance if the salon or spa is a place you should trust is by making a trip to the ladies room. If it’s clean and well cared for, the rest of the spa will likely be as well. But if it’s even a little nasty we have just one thing to say: RUN!

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 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!

Myth or Reality: Nails need to breathe.

As cosmetologists and nail technicians working at Tootsies, we get asked for our opinions on a lot of topics every day. “What shape would make my nails look the best?” “What’s the popular color choice this season?” “What looks right with my skin tone?”

Nails Do Not BreatheOne question that deserves a mass answer is, “Do my nails need a break from polish?”  Here are a few things you should know…. There seems to be a general misconception that nails need to “breathe”… To dispel the myth and help you understand, here is a description of the make-up of a nail and how it gets it’s nourishment, courtesy of  Nail Systems International.

Blood vessels provide oxygen and nutrients to the hand, fingers, and nails through millions of tiny blood vessels. The veins carry waste and carbon dioxide way. This intricate process is what feeds the matrix, so the matrix can produce healthy nail cells.

These healthy nail cells make up the surrounding soft tissue of the nail plate, eponychium, lateral folds, hyponychium, bed epithelium, etc. These are all living tissue. The nail bed is also living tissue consisting of a dermal and epidermal layer. The upper layer is similar the type of skin found on the inside of your mouth. This is also the layer that is attached to the underside of the natural nail plate.

The natural nail plate is a moveable solid and rides a rail and grove track to move out and grow. It is primarily comprised of keratin (just like your hair). The natural nail plate is not living – it does not breathe. Because it is made up of non-living keratin, it does not hurt to have your nails clipped – same as it doesn’t hurt to have your hair cut. The nail plate is healthy when the health of the nail bed, matrix and surrounding tissue are properly cared for – it does not need to “breathe” to be healthy.

Even though your nail doesn’t “breathe”, let me just emphasize that the nail bed, matrix, and surrounding tissue, do need to be cared for, and just like your hair, benefit greatly from regular conditioning. Taking your polish off a few days before a visit, to treat it with cuticle oil is a great way to help your nails stay pink and healthy. Another way to get conditioning is to opt for no polish with your winter pedicure. Our winter pedicure is all about treating the skin well, warming you up, and increasing circulation with our hot boots and rich Vermont made peppermint chocolate products.

Ultimately, weather or not you should take a break from polish is a personal choice…. And if your not sure, come in for a pedicure and ask us! We are always ready to talk with you about your nails and their good health.


Here is a direct link to our article source:

Have we gone loco for local?

Tootsies Love Local - Made In Vermont

Do you go loco for local? We know Tootsies does! On a regular basis we have some of our favorite local companies products on stock, ranging anywhere from skin care and nail polish, to the yummy coffee you smell brewing when you walk in the door.

One local company that we carry is Tata Harper, a 100% all natural skin care line, which is popular nationwide and we are proud to say it was made right here in our own backyard. You have access to Tata Harper either through one of our relaxing facials or if you already know what you want we carry her whole line. Also, the local company Spirited Living has created our custom “Deep Calm” line, including, body lotions, body wash, scrubs and soy candles! You can indulge your tootsies in the custom upgrade for you pedicures for $5 which includes the Deep Calm foot soak, pumice scrub, and lotion.

If you want your nails to go local too, then try our newest addition, Nail Pattern Boldness, made right here in Burlington. The creator of this great line couldn’t find the polish she wanted one day and decided to make the color she was craving and Nail Pattern Boldness was born. With the beautiful and funky colors they come up with, this company is becoming a new favorite for us and our clients!

Have you ever walked in smelling the sweet aroma of maple??? Well, there is one big reason why and that is Speeder & Earl’s coffee! Mmmmm that Vermont Maple French Roast leaves the room smelling delicious, making even tea drinkers want to brew a fresh cup. We offer a few different Speeder and Earl’s coffee choices for our clients, so there is one for every coffee lover.

We are always looking for great new local products for our own professional use and to offer our clients something special.

What Is Reflexology?

Reflexology at Tootsies SpaThe Mini Spa started offering reflexology as a service after attending a class with a reflexologist at Touchstone Healing Arts. Throughout the last couple years have had many people ask us “What exactly is reflexology?” Here’s our answer, reflexology is a natural healing art which applies pressure to zones in the feet, hands, and ears (we focus on the feet), that are believed to correspond with organs in the body. Through the application of pressure without the use of tools, oils, or lotions, reflexology can relieve tension, improve circulation and promote natural body functions. However, The Mini Spa does not claim to cure any health issues.

The history of reflexology can be traced back to ancient times. Many pictures, written records and artifacts have been found in ancient Egypt, China, India, Japan, and Russia. While many cultures preserved their practices of this healing art, it was spread around the world through clients who had been helped by this service. The name “Reflexology” was not used until 1917, when a Russian neurologist and psychiatrist, names Vladimir Bekterev introduced the phrase. In the 20th century modern reflexology became popular in the United States with the introduction of “Zone Therapy” by William H. Fitzgerald, M.D..

During this 50 minute relaxing service, we begin by wrapping your feet in hot steamy towels, using our Ta Ta Harper de-stressing aromatherapy treatment, giving a glorious foot and leg massage, and the rest of the time is focused on the art of reflexology. Don’t have 50 minutes to spare? That’s ok, we also offer a 15 minute add on to any of our award winning pedicures. Thank you for reading this weeks blog and we look forward to seeing you soon!

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

Have You Ever Cheated On Your Service Provider?

Have you ever had a hair cut that wasn’t quite what you wanted?  Or while getting a color treatment you noticed the stylist across the room with the funky hair and thought “wouldn’t she be so much fun to visit with!”  But maybe you felt that if you saw someone else you would be “cheating” on your current provider. If you have ever felt this way, you are not alone! More often than not, women tend to be very loyal, staying with our favorite beauty consultant for years, even when we’re not in love with the outcome anymore.

Get What You Want At Tootsies SpaWe think it’s a shame that anyone should feel this way!  At The Mini Spa we recognize and celebrate the differences in our service providers personalities and style.  We share knowledge and rely on the assistance we give one another.  Of course we welcome you to request your favorite spa service provider, but we also encourage you to try us all, GUILT FREE!  We’re all perfectionists in our own way, which makes for a shared high standard of service.  You will get a quality pedicure, shellac, facial or waxing no matter who you see.

So if your schedule doesn’t match up with your favorite gal, or you’ve heard one of us loves to go crazy with glitter and you want to give that a try, don’t be afraid to see someone else! Challenge your comfort zone, and see someone new each time you come in! Let us help you conquer your fear of being a “cheater”.

Too Embarrassed To Get A Pedicure?

Let your embarrassment go - Tootsies offers fabulous pedicures for everyone!Too embarrassed by your feet to get a pedicure?

There’s no need to be – this is why…..

It’s not uncommon for women (and men) to avoid getting pedicures because they think their feet are “too bad” to bother. Whether it’s because of a bunion or stubby toenails to name a few, others will notice our perceived “defects” less when the foot is well groomed. People notice a nice pedicure, not a crooked toe, when we care for our feet. But that same crooked toe will stick out like a sore thumb (haha!) when foot care is ignored.

We hear many women apologize because they think their feet are the worst, but the truth is, most feet are pretty average and there‘s no need to apologize. We’ve seen all kinds…extra toes, missing or bruised nails, “weird” pinky toes, and dried up heels don’t even make us blink. If feet bothered us we wouldn’t be in this business!

If you think your feet aren’t worthy of a pedicure, think again! YOU deserve a feel-good sugar scrub, a tingly mint mask removed with hot steamy towels, a long and luxurious massage…and the icing on the cake is perfectly polished toes that you can be proud of.

The bottom line – Feet always look and feel better after some T.L.C. at Tootsies.


Mini Spa Manager

We Use Individual Foot Bath Liners Because We Care!

Hi Ladies!

Did you know we use individual foot bath liners for every pedicure? Why do we do this, you ask? Because at Tootsies sanitation is a top priority! We want our clients to know that their feet never touch a foot bath where someone else’s have touched and that your feet are in the best hands. Sure, those fancy massage pedicure chairs look enticing but how do you know if they have been properly cleaned and are free from bacteria? The answer, you don’t. Be rest assured that you can leave your worries at the door when you come to Tootsies! Soak away, knowing you’re in the care of professionals who put your health, well-being, and happiness above all! You can check out for more details.

Mini Spa Nail Tech

Tootsies Uses Beleva Foot Bath Liners