New Year’s Eve Sparkle! Manicure and Makeup Tips

Christmas is over and there is less then a week left of 2013!  With New Year’s Eve just days away its time to think about how we will sparkle in the new year.  How about we start with nails and makeup?

Glitter Makeup and NailsWhat better way to ring in the new year then to let your outside shine as much as you do on the inside.  Glitter is hot hot hot for both makeup and nails in the new years celebration. Pinterest is flooded with all sorts of new years nails and they all contain sparkle!

The most recent favorite at the Mini Spa has been the ombre sparkle.  This specific sparkle is thicker at the tip of the nail and gets lighter as you go up.  You can do it with no base color underneath or add a hot color as the base, such as red or hot pink!  If you want to make colors really pop but don’t necessarily want any glitter, paint a white base coat then add your bright neon colors to make them really stand out!

Want some sparkle but not too much?  You can always go for our favorite the party nail, pop nail, or whatever you want to call it.  Choose one or two fingers on each hand to stand out, the most popular choice is the ring fingers though our clients have been branching out to do multiple fingers.

What about makeup you ask?  Well, lets just say the glitter doesn’t stop at your hands.  Glitter and colored eyeliners can add a pop to any makeup!  You can also add some sparkly lip gloss on top of your lipstick to add some shine while you are drinking your champagne at midnight!  Before applying any of your New Year’s Eve makeup make sure you add a primer to keep your makeup on for hours!!!

If you need some ideas or suggestions on how to do your nails and makeup make sure you give us a call to meet with our amazing makeup artist or talented nail professionals to get you ready for the new year countdown!

Do your nails need time to breathe? Fact or fiction?

We’re often asked if nails need to take a break from polish to breathe.  This question has two answers: It’s a good idea to take a polish break, but not because your nails need to breathe.  Nails get all the oxygen they need from the blood supply underneath the nail in the nail bed, not from the nail surface.

Do nails need to breatheHowever, the nail surface can get dehydrated or a bit discolored from extended nail polish wear. These symptoms appear as a yellowish tint or white flakiness.  Don’t be alarmed!  They are not indicative of anything unhealthy or sinister going on with your nails.

Taking a break from polish for a month or two will allow the nail’s surface to rehydrate and for staining to wear away.  Winter is a great time to do this, especially for us Vermont pedicure fans, since our feet are covered by warm boots for many weeks!

Getting pedicures is still recommended to keep the skin of the feet healthy and supple, and instead of color opt for Nail Envy by OPI (or a similar nail strengthener) which will deposit vitamins into your nails while still giving them a shiny, finished look.

Well cared for winter feet easily become sandal-ready when the weather cooperates!

How to Handle the Holiday Rush

Tips To Avoid Holiday StressWe all love the holidays, the lights, the cheer, the food. But there is also the stress and chaos that comes with it all. Here are some tips to stay happy and healthy this holiday season.

Accept the fact that not everything is going to be perfect. Things are going to happen. So what if the dog knocks over the Christmas tree and breaks a few ornaments. At least you have a good story to tell next year.
Try to get some fresh air. Take a break from wrapping and go for a walk. Check out your neighbors decorations. Or if you enjoy singing, gather some friends and go caroling.

Keep healthy snacks handy. When you feel yourself wanting a mid morning or midafternoon snack,try to go for the healthy choice rather then the cookies and cake someone brought to work. The healthier option will provide you with more energy then the cookie or cake, and will not cause a sugar crash like the unhealthy version will cause.

Treat yourself. Take an hour for yourself and relax. Stop worrying about the kids and how your going to get all your shopping done. There is always tomorrow.

Most importantly, make sure you get enough rest! There is a lot to do and little time to do it all but getting adequate rest is crucial for staying happy and healthy.

Do I Really Need To Use Sunscreen In The Winter?

Way too often when I am consulting with a new client before a facial I learn that many do not use or think to apply sunscreen during the winter months.  This of course horrifies me and surprises many of my clients when I say even if its cold and cloudy Sunscreen and SPF is a MUST!

This is why:

Winter Sun - Use SunscreenSnow ups the sun’s power. It might be winter, but the sun reflects off the snow and bounces 80% of its rays back at you. The effect is similar to a typical day at the beach.

Even if there is no snow in some areas of the United States the amount of ultraviolet radiation (UV)  we get from the sun does not drop during the winter months.In some higher elevations such as your favorite mountain , the atmosphere is thinner. Without using proper coverage in these places a severe sunburn can occur and cause major damage to the skin.

Applying Sunscreen regularly will not only decrease the number of sunburns you get, it will also reduce skin cancer risks dramatically and help fight off premature aging.

And a side note, a moisturizer with SPF is good to start the day off with, but reapplying throughout the day is the only real way to protect your skin all day long!  Especially when you are enjoying those fun outdoor winter activities.

Dead Sea Minerals: Fit For a Queen!

A recent trend seen in the cosmetic world has been the use of minerals and ingredients from the Dead Sea. Many of you may have even noticed our new and exciting skin care line Ahava, which features a perfectly balanced concentration of Dead Sea minerals to replenish, rehydrate and recharge your skin. What is it about the Dead Sea that makes it so luxurious for our skin?

Dead Sea Mineral BenefitsFirst of all, let’s talk basics. The Dead Sea is actually a salt lake located between the countries of Israel and Jordan. Its surface and shores happen to be the lowest elevation on Earth. This body of water has one of the highest salt concentrations in the world. Due to the high salinity, the Dead Sea is most famous for swimmers being able to easily float in its waters. The high salinity also contributes to the name of the Dead Sea, as animals and plants are unable to flourish in the harsh environment. The effect is just the opposite on our skin, however!

Many tourists also visit the Dead Sea for supposed health benefits. The minerals and content of the water have been said to treat the symptoms of diseases such as cystic fibrosis, psoriasis, asthma and arthritis. Some health benefits of the water include its low allergen and pollen content, reduced UV component from solar radiation, and high atmospheric pressure. Water from the Dead Sea contains 35% of minerals per liter. Over 21 different minerals include high levels of calcium, magnesium, bromide, sodium and potassium.

Ahava specifically uses the mineral-rich mud found in the Dead Sea, which carries magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron. It is essential to maintaining healthy, supple skin and helps to restore moisture levels while at the same time providing soothing relief to soreness, roughness, redness or cracking. Ahava’s secret ingredient “Osmoter” also contributes to healthier skin. This scientifically balanced Dead Sea water extract ups our cells’ metabolism and draws moisture and nutrients to the outer layers of skin where it is needed the most. It also helps protect us from UV damage.

Egyptian queen Cleopatra is said to have been the first to travel to the Dead Sea and use its nutrients for its health and beauty powers. Why not treat yourself like a queen and give our Ahava Dead Sea products a try!

The History of Black Friday – How It Started

Have you ever gotten up at the wee hours of the morning the day after Thanksgiving to get those hot deals, while groggily thinking, “Why do I do this, and what started this tradition?” There is no specific date when black Friday started but it’s said to date back to the 1970’s, Thanksgiving parades were common, and once Santa Clause showed up at the end of the parade, the holiday shopping season had officially started.

The history of Black FridayThere are a lot of reasons why the traditional day was named “Black Friday”, the first was given by the Philadelphia police department because there were usually traffic jams and very crowded sidewalks as the downtown stores were mobbed from opening to closing. Additionally, the named originated because it would be the day when the retailers were out of the red(negative) and into the black (profit).

Some of the best places for deals are Best Buy, Target and Walmart, however, small businesses started a tradition the weekend after thanksgiving called “Small Business Saturday” which provides some great deals as well! For the people who don’t like the crowds (yes this is for you) “Cyber Monday” is where you can find great finds online. Which ever direction you choose to get some holiday shopping done we hope it’s stress free and fun! Happy holidays!

How to Protect Your Skin in the Winter Months

How To Protect Your Skin in WinterProtecting our faces these days is not just about looking good. Protecting our skin in the winter months is key so that the skin can perform its crucial barrier functions – which means protection from water loss and preventing penetration of infectious agents and allergens.

In the winter months this is particularly important due to the fact that there is less moisture it the air (why humidity is good for the skin) Mix this decrees with indoor heating, hot showers and baths, extreme cold temperatures, and blistery winds all skin types can become dry and irritated. In some cases skin can become itchy and flaky.

In order to help combat this here are a few tips to protect you skin and keeping it looking radiant through the cold months.

1. Avoid taking really hot baths and showers. Try using lukewarm water instead and limit them to 5-10 minutes.

2. Apply moisturizer within minutes of stepping out of the shower, this will help hold in some of the moisture from the water in the upper layer of the skin.

3. Drink A LOT of water.

4. Reapply your moisturizer throughout the day vs. only twice a day(if you wear a foundation or a full coverage makeup be sure to have a spray moisturizer, this will keep your makeup in place and hydrate). This will help not only hydrate the skin but will assist in protecting it from the outside elements and the forced air of the offices and homes.

5. Pick a heavier moisturizer for the winter months.

6. Increase the number of times you exfoliate to help preventing the skin looking dry and dull.

7. Add a creamy healing moisturizing mask or serum to your regimen.

8. Consider purchasing a humidifier for your home.

9. Layer up! Whenever your outside wrap those big scarves around your face, to protect it from wind and cold air.

Rosie the Riveter, WHO?

Halloween has always been a favorite time of year for me. Leaves are falling and crunching under foot, the air is crisp and pumpkin seeds are roasting in the oven. Kids are excited about the candy gathering to come, and the big question looms… What will I be for Halloween? This year, The Mini Spa team decided to have a group theme, and represent images from different decades; which made for a very fun work day, and oddly enough, an opportunity to learn something new.

All of the costumes were really great and most were easy to identify, but there was one that I couldn’t place. Who was Casey supposed to be? They told me she was Rosie the Riveter, and again, I asked, “who”? As it turns out, I was in serious need of a history refresher.

Casey as Rosie the RiveterThe short and sweet of it is this: Rosie was a fictional propaganda character that the government created as part of a campaign to get women to be agreeable in leaving their domestic workloads and fill in for the missing male workers in factories during the beginning of WWII. She was not meant to become an iconic image for women’s rights, but she stands out today as a symbol for empowerment of women.

Working in an all woman environment at The Mini Spa, I’m glad the way was paved for us to be a part of the labor force, and I thank my co-worker, Casey, for being the source of my inspiration on this week’s blog. If you’d like to learn more about Rosie the Riveter, there are many good websites loaded with details on the topic!

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.


Beauty Uses For Pumpkin – Tips and Tricks

We all love carving our pumpkins this time of year. We make funny faces, scary faces, or crazy designs, but did you know that the pumpkin has more uses then just for decoration? The vitamin packed pumpkin has some amazing beauty uses, so here are some tips and tricks to get you through this spooky season…

Pumpkin for Beauty - Recipes & TipsSo why is pumpkin good for you? Well, for starters pumpkin contains high levels of beta carotene, which the body naturally converts to vitamin A. It also contains antioxidants and enzymes that speed up cell turnover and creates a healthier, younger looking skin. You can use pumpkin in a variety of body product recipes including, hair conditioners, moisturizers, facial masks, sugar scrubs, and more! Here are a few basic recipe ideas to get you started!

The Pumpkin Foot/Hand Scrub: Using pureed pumpkin, sugar, your choice of essential oils, cinnamon, and vanilla, you will have a delicious smelling scrub for those dry hands and feet that we get this time of year!

The Pumpkin Body Cream: For extra moisture for you dry skin you can use a mix of pumpkin, coconut oil, and ground cinnamon to make a body cream. Make sure you put it on in the shower and rinse off with warm water then gently dry skin with a towel.

The Hair Conditioner: Combine 1 cup pureed pumpkin, half cup yogurt, and 2 tablespoons of honey in a mixing bowl. Apply to the hair from root to tip and place a shower cap over your head to trap in the heat. Let sit for 15 minutes and rinse. Follow up with your regular routine and you will find your hair shiny and silky smooth!

These are just a few ways you can use pumpkin in your fall routine but there are so many other ways to get the benefits. So, before you throw those scraps away after carving or making your pumpkin pie, put some aside to give yourself a little beauty treat.