Discovering the Shine in all things Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle

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The 411 on Laser Hair Removal

If you’ve ever wondered about laser hair removal, I’m here to tell you it was the answer to my hair removal needs. I am Italian-American so I was born with thick, dark hair…everywhere. I can remember my legs were so hairy in the fourth grade that my brother told me I looked like a boy in a dress. Continue reading

Extend The Life Of Your Spray Tan

With people going away on spring vacations and summer around the corner, all I can think about is a sun kissed bod. I know The Walking Dead has become a popular series but I would rather not look like a zombie, plus I just feel better about myself when I have some color. And, having a tan gets me excited thinking about slipping into one of my many bikinis (I may have a slight obsession) and basking in the warm sun while sipping on a flavored infused water.

I am no amateur when it comes to tanning, but, now that I am older, keeping my skin youthful and healthy is a priority. I am much more conscious about protecting my skin and SPF has become my best friend. Fortunately there is an alternative to spending time in a tanning bed for 20 mins. Sunless tanning is quite popular and there are many options to achieve a sunless tan, like lotions, tinted moisturizers, sunless tanning booths and airbrush tanning. All of these options can help you achieve a bronzed glow, but I find that airbrush tanning is the most effective. The secret is finding a place that does it well with a technician that knows what they’re doing. My personal favorite where I live here in Horseheads, NY is Nancy from AgeLess SPA. You can’t beat her technique! If you’re too far away for her, ask around, I’m sure you can find someone who knows what they’re doing in your area.

At AgeLess SPA there are many color options from the darkest to the lightest. They use Scentual Sun products which are 100% organic, water and aloe based and contain no harsh solvents or VOC’s to aid in skin penetration. They use only the finest ingredients and their solutions contain the maximum concentration of DHA recommended by top cosmetic formulators. All of their products are globally approved formulations which means that they include no ingredient deemed harmful by any other country including the US.

Once you’ve decided to get your spray tan, there are many things you can do before and after to extend the life of your tan according to AgeLess SPA.

 

 

Preparing your whole body for the spray tan

  1.   Exfoliate your body. Dry, rough patches of skin tend to attract and hold more color than skin which is smooth and soft. Failing to exfoliate before spray tanning can result, in blotchy patches of dye on your elbows, knees, and other rough areas.
  2. Shave unwanted hair.  Body hair will not impair the ability of the spray tan to stick to your skin, however shaving soon after your spray tan often results in the color flaking off from your skin.
  3. Refrain from using lotions, creams, deodorant, or other personal hygiene items until after having the spray tan done as these products often block the spray tan from sticking to your skin, resulting in blotchy coloration.
  4. Wear loose fit clothing to your session. This will help prevent the solution from rubbing off onto your clothing once you leave. Also consider bringing clothing which is black or another dark color, or which you don’t mind becoming discolored.

AgeLess SPA’s clean and professional Airbrush Tanning preparation station.

 

Airbrush Tanning Booth

AgeLess SPA’s Airbrush Tanning Application Booth, with overspray collecting filters for your comfort & convenience.

What to avoid immediately after getting the spray tan

  1. Do not shower or sweat excessively for the next 6-8 hours (overnight if possible) after your tan. This allows your tan to fully develop its color.
  2. Do not use hand sanitizer to wash your hands during developing time.
  3. Avoid using moisturizers and applying deodorant during developing time.
  4. Wearing socks or closed shoes can cause your tan to develop unevenly on your feet, so it’s important to avoid wearing either for at least the first 6 hours of your tan.
  5. Avoid wearing tight clothing for at least the first 6 hours of your tan, tight clothing could render your tan splotchy.
  6. After 6-8 hours, shower normally. Don’t use exfoliates or abrasives.
  7. Do not shave for the first 12 hours after your spray and first shower, if you MUST they recommend you use a fresh razor.

Maintaining your tan

  1. Apply a moisturizer or body butter to shower damp skin. (If you like, you can use a tan extender lotion; I recommend bareMinerals® Faux Tan sunless tanner or Image Skincare Body Spa Face and Body Bronzer, then hydrate your skin again before bed with a moisturizer of your choice.
  2. Apply moisturizer once or twice a day (after showering and before bed) and if you choose, apply an extender once a day or every other day.
  3. Avoid exfoliating your skin. Some products can cause faster fading – bar soaps, alcohol based products such as toners and astringents.
  4. Avoid long/hot baths and showers, hot temperatures open your pores and will release the tan more quickly.
  5. Although you might want to, try to avoid hot tubs, swimming pools, and even extended time in the ocean, as these will shorten the life of your tan.

You’ll be a bronzed babe much longer if you follow these rules to ensure the longevity of your spray tan.

Also, prom is right around the corner, so make sure you make your appointment as soon as possible. Use promo code SHINE10 for 10% your next spray tan at AgeLess SPA!

                                

Benefits of Waterless Pedicures

I have had more manicures and pedicures than I can even begin to count. But I recently heard about waterless pedicure treatments and had to find out more. I knew AgeLess SPA was known for their waterless pedicure treatments, so I called to make an appointment for an AgeLess Foot Detail with Traditional Polish. I just had to see for myself what all the hype was about with waterless pedicures and I couldn’t wait to experience it.

On the day of my appointment, I was warmly greeted by the friendly staff at AgeLess SPA at Radisson Hotel Corning. After they politely offered me water, tea, or coffee, I was escorted back to their single pedicure room. I found the intimacy of the single room both comforting and relaxing. My technician, Katherine, was very sweet. She explained the treatment I was about to have, asked if I had any questions, and allowed me to pick out a polish color for my toes.  

  

The pedicure was similar to others from my past experiences, but what made it unique was my feet were not soaked in water. Katherine started by removing my old polish, trimming, and filing my toenails to shape. She pushed back my cuticles with a wooden cuticle pusher and used a buffer to buff my toenails. She also used a foot file to file the down the bottoms of my feet and followed it with an exfoliating scrub. While the scrub was on my feet, she wrapped a hot steamed towel around each foot and used it to wipe off the scrub (which can I say, felt amazing!). She then massaged a thick mask to my feet to soften the skin, feet, and heels. While the mask was still on my feet, she placed warming booties on each foot. The heat from the booties helped absorb and lock in the mask. While my feet were soaking up the warmth, she massaged my legs with a scented lotion of my choice. After about five minutes of massage, she removed the booties and excess mask with another hot steamed towel, and then my toes were ready to be polished (as for me, I was so relaxed at this point!). A clear bottom coat was applied followed by two coats of the vibrant red color polish I picked out and set with a fast drying top coat.

Afterward, my feet felt very smooth and moisturized. The whole experience was very enjoyable and my feet were so happy again! The moisturizing mask and warming booties were both attractive alternatives to the traditional water pedicures that I’m used to. And aside from the fact to saving water, there are many benefits to a waterless treatment.  

                 

Waterless pedicures are more sanitary. A waterless pedicure eliminates any potential for soaking in dirty water. Personally, I always questioned the cleanliness of the pedicure bowls and how well they are cleaned between uses. A lot of salons have clients back-to-back so you can imagine there isn’t a whole lot of time for scrubbing and sanitizing equipment between clients. At AgeLess SPA, they fit 15 minutes of recovery time into their schedule between each client to ensure they have enough time to clean and get the room ready for the next person. They also never reuse utensils such as files, cuticle pushers, or buffers. They even offer them to you to take home at the end of your treatment.

Waterless pedicures are also safer, especially for diabetics. I am not a diabetic, but I recently learned that diabetics suffer from poor circulation, which means it takes the body longer to heal itself. It’s not uncommon for the skin on the feet to become dry and cracked especially during the cold, winter months. But diabetic or not, if you have a small knick or cut while soaking in potential bacteria infested water, it could lead to serious health problems.

Many of us find soaking in warm water to be soothing and relaxing, but maybe we should rethink this traditional scenario. I learned that soaking in warm water for longer than a couple minutes actually dehydrates the skin rather than moisturizing it. Even though soaking does soften the cuticles, it’s better to use a cuticle remover cream or gel because the water could soften the cuticles so much that they tear which could lead to potential infections.

Lastly, waterless pedicures can last longer. Soaking in water causes your natural nails to swell and expand, so as the nails dry they contract and shrink. If the polish is applied before the nails naturally shrink back, the polish may crack and peel. By spending the time and money to be pampered, you want to prolong the life of your pedicure.

After learning all the benefits and having such a pleasant experience at AgeLess SPA, I am not sure I can go back to the traditional water pedicures I’m used to. I highly recommend visiting AgeLess SPA for a waterless treatment because I promise you will be pleased with their level of professionalism, cleanliness, and overall experience of the treatment.  

Also, spring is right around the corner, so make sure you make your appointment as soon as possible because you are going to be wearing those open-toed shoes before you know it!

 

Let’s Talk About BOTOX

 

At some point we’ve all had an older “concerned” friend point out that we can expect our bodies to go through changes once we get to a certain age. And of course, you don’t really believe it’ll happen to you, until you actually reach that age and realize what they were talking about. I’ve always had a flawless complexion (except for a breakout or two during “that time of the month”.) I remember when I turned 30, I started seeing a change in my skin and was suddenly getting breakouts on my chin and forehead. For about 6 months, I experienced what you would call adult acne or breakouts. Once that cleared up, my 30’s seemed to be going pretty well, right up until just after my 33rd birthday, when I found my first grey hair. You would have thought someone was trying to kill me by the blood curdling scream I let out when I found it! I looked at it for hours before I decided to pluck it out of my head. I then examined it for a day or two before I finally threw it away. I figured if anyone realized I had been holding on to it they would begin to question my sanity.

I believe there are many great advantages to getting older, but I’d like to meet the person who coined the phrase, “Age gracefully, because some of the things that happen to your body as you get older are anything but graceful.” And what’s really scary, is that some of these changes seem to happen overnight. For example, one day, during my morning makeup routine, I noticed some fine lines on my forehead and between my eyes. “Holy crap, am I getting wrinkles? No way, I am too young for that,” I thought. This is when I decided to find out what this “BOTOX® thing” was all about.  

After gathering my own research, I decided to go straight to Dr. Cilip at AgeLess SPA for more information. After a thorough consultation with him, I felt very safe and comfortable with the procedure and decided to give it a try.

I had heard horror stories about BOTOX®, and maybe you have too, but I am going to share my personal experience through answering some common questions that will also uncover some of those scary myths.  

What is BOTOX® ?

BOTOX®, a brand name, is a drug made from a neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum, called botulinum toxin. BOTOX® blocks the signals that pass from the nerves to the muscles. At the injection site, the muscle can no longer contract (tighten) as forcefully, which allows the wrinkles to relax and soften.

Are BOTOX® and fillers the same thing?

No! While they both lessen the appearance of wrinkles, BOTOX® and Fillers do not function in the same way. BOTOX® relaxes the muscles that create wrinkles. Dermal Fillers restores and adds volume to facial tissue, giving you a youthful, plump look.

Is BOTOX® painful?

While everyone is different, the pain from BOTOX® is completely manageable. The needle used is very fine. I personally don’t experience any pain. I feel a little pinch and prick and it’s over. Honestly, popping a zit is more painful.

Will BOTOX® make you look unnatural?

It may, if you aren’t treated by a doctor you can completely trust. Dr. Cilip, at AgeLess SPA, knows the right amount and where to inject to accomplish the goals I am trying to achieve. It takes about two weeks to see the full results, at which time, I can raise my eyebrows like before, but now without all the horizontal lines. I can still make all the same facial expressions, although I do find it more difficult to frown. My forehead also feels tighter and has a smooth appearance.

How long does BOTOX® last?

Every treatment is different. It’s said to last anywhere from 3 to 6 months. I personally like to go around every 4 months. However, visits will begin to spread out over time as you maintain your results.

Is BOTOX® used just for aesthetics?

No, BOTOX® along with improving the appearance of wrinkles on the face, can treat muscle stiffness, muscle spasms, excessive sweating, overactive bladder, or loss of bladder control. It can also prevent chronic migraine headaches. I originally started using BOTOX® to help reduce and diminish the fine line on my forehead, however I also suffer from chronic migraines, and am in the process of developing a plan to treat that as well, under the careful guidance of AgeLess SPA and Dr. Cilip.

How much does BOTOX® cost ?

This will depend on where you go as every clinician has their own pricing. At AgeLess SPA, it is $12 per unit. The number of units used will vary per individual. Right now, AgeLess SPA is offering a special of $10 per unit for the entire month of February. To see more of their specials for the month visit them online at AgeLess SPA.

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My personal experience...

I met with Dr. Cilip, who explained everything to me and answered any questions I had. Once I described what I was looking to accomplish with the treatment, Dr. Cilip took a few minutes to study my facial features and expressions. He asked me to make exaggerated facial expressions and took some photos for comparison. He then filled a small syringe and began making injections between my eyes and forehead. It didn’t hurt and it only took a few minutes. When he was done, his nurse put a cold ice pack on my forehead to help with any potential swelling. I did have a few small red spots immediately after the treatment, but they faded within a few minutes, and I went on with my day. I was told that if I experienced any problems or was not happy with the results to contact him immediately. I started to see gradual results within a few days and just as the doctor said, I saw the full results in about two weeks after treatment.

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Although there isn’t as much of a stigma around this treatment as there was years ago, it’s definitely something that people either don’t mind sharing or prefer to keep to themselves. For me, I hope my story has given some insight on BOTOX® and any misconceptions you may have. If you are looking for more information, I highly recommend calling AgeLess SPA or a professional you trust. There are many cosmetic procedures and treatments available these days, but before you decide to try any of them, it’s important to do your research. It is imperative that you know the health benefits and risks, as well as, only work with a certified and licensed professional for best results.

Be sure to use my special promo code SHINE10 for 10% off your next treatment or purchase at AgeLess SPA.

Click on icon to the right to take you directly to the AgeLess SPA online portal.

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