Make Your Nails Polish Last With a Shellac Manicure

Shellac – The Latest In Polish Application

The latest and most innovative manicure available in spas throughout the world is called a Shellac Manicure. Women everyone are opting for this type of manicure as the polish dries in no time, and lasts up to two to three weeks, in comparison to conventional nail polish that lasts up to a few days at best.

What is a Shellac Manicure?

Shellac was formulated by a California company called Creative Nail Design, known more commonly as CND, and is frequently described as a hybrid of the gel manicure. A shellac manicure basically uses a nail product that uses a mix of solvent, monomers and polymers that is formaldehyde-free and completely hypoallergenic. This is in contrast to many of the other type of manicures out there, such as acrylic or gel manicures, which use products that are loaded in harsh smelling chemicals.

The special shellac formula brushes on the nail bed just like any other regular nail polish. The nails are prepped the same way as a basic manicure is performed.

To prepare the nail bed for the application of the shellac product, the manicurist at your day spa or nail salon will shape your nails with a nail file and remove or push back any cuticles that may be in the way. No oil is used to smooth out the nail bed as this can interfere with the shellac product and hinder its lasting power.

A base coat is applied, after which the nail polish color of choice is applied in two coats. A top coat is then applied to help seal in the nail color. In between polish application layers, your hands will be inserted into a UV lamp for about 30 to 60 seconds which helps to dry the polish. After approximately 45 minutes of this process, your nails are done and don’t require any additional drying time.

There are several other advantages to a shellac manicure in comparison to other types of manicures, in addition to the absence of formaldehyde:

  • No need to soak your nails first
  • Little to no drying time
  • No need to file and scrape down on the nail
  • Polish lasts 14 days without showing signs of chipping
  • Polish is easily removed with regular acetone nail polish remover, unlike gel or acrylic nails that need to be grinded off

In order to be a good candidate for a shellac manicure, your nails need to be healthy. There can be no evidence of splitting, peeling or cracking, which is typical after a gel or acrylic manicure has been removed. This type of manicure can only be done in a nail salon or day spa, as the manufacturer of this product only sells their product to licensed professionals.

How Long Can You Expect Your Nail Polish to Last?

With a shellac manicure, you can expect your polish to look just as it did the day it was applied for 14 days. During these two weeks, you can expect your nails to maintain their shine, without any chipping or other signs of wearing off. This is one of the great benefits of having a shellac manicure, as it limits the number of times that you have to remove and reapply your nail polish throughout the week in order for it to look as it did the day it was applied. In fact, the polish will most likely last a month, but typically regrowth starts to show after the 14 day mark.

Possible Downsides to a Shellac Manicure

As with any other manicure, you will have to deal with the fact that there will be nail regrowth. As such, your manicure will start to grow out with the growth of the nail, which will require a touch up and reapplication of the shellac manicure. This downside is a common trait among all manicures, and is one that cannot be avoided.

Another downside to the shellac manicure is the limit in selection of shades of nail color available. Although layering effects can be achieved using different colors, there is no option for trendier colors such as hot pink or neon blue.

How is the Shellac Removed?

The removal process involves a special wrapping procedure with a strong acetone at your day spa or nail salon. This helps to isolate the chemical to the nail polish to help the polish come off effortlessly. It is essential that the polish be removed by a licensed professional, as removing it improperly can ruin your nails.

What Can You Expect to Pay for a Shellac Manicure?

The price ranges slightly in the nail industry, depending on where the manicure is performed. In general, clients can expect to pay anywhere between $30 to $45 to have this procedure done on their nails. For removal only, you can expect to pay about $5.

Is the Shellac Manicure Right For You?

If you want a nail polish that lasts long, and limits the number of times that it needs to be removed and reapplied, then a shellac manicure may be for you. This is a great alternative to a gel manicure, which involves quite a bit of filing down and grinding of the nail, which ends up damaging and weakening the nail bed. With a shellac manicure, you get a beautiful salon finish that lasts for weeks without the damaging effects of other types of manicures.

Reducing Wrinkles & Smoothing Lines With Botox Treatments

Botox: Spa Treatments to Reduce Wrinkles & Smooth Lines

Botox is becoming more and more in demand by women worldwide. Day spas are becoming increasingly inundated with requests for these botox treatments to help smooth lines and reduce the look of wrinkles. Although the effects of botox is not permanent, it can be a great way to fight the effects of aging on your face.

What is Botox?

In essence, botox is a cosmetic form of botulinum toxin, which blocks nerve impulses that cause muscle contractions that result in wrinkles when injected into the skin. These injections are put in the areas of expression lines in order to minimize the look of wrinkles in these spots on the face – which are usually caused by smiling, frowning, looking surprised, and so forth. The amount of botox that is injected is determined by the amount of facial expression you possess. These treatments are provided in day spas, as well as medical and resort spas.

People who get these botox injections usually target the three most popular spots on the face:

  • Between the eyebrows
  • Forehead
  • The outside of the eyes (where “crow’s feet” form)

What to Expect Before, During and After the Procedure

Prior to getting botox injections, you may be prescribed with a medication that will help to numb the areas that will be injected into, making the procedure less painful.

During the botox procedure, the practitioner will use a thin needle to inject the botox into your muscles on your face. The number of injections required depends on the extent of the area that needs to be treated. Most people report that the injections feel like tiny little pinpricks, which most people find only mildly uncomfortable. The entire procedure is rather quick, and should only take between 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

You will find that very little downtime is required after the botox injections have been administered. You may however experience some bruising, swelling, redness or other minor side effects as a result of the injections. Most people can resume normal daily activities immediately following the procedure. This should only last a few hours. It’s important to note that rubbing or massaging the treated areas is not recommended, due to the risk of the toxin migrating to a different area on the face.

What Results to Expect From Botox Injections

Botox can help to make a person look younger by smoothing out the skin and reducing the look of deep wrinkles that naturally form at expression lines on the face. They also help to prevent these deep expression lines from forming, or developing further. Some studies have suggested that those who begin getting botox injections in their 20′s develop less wrinkles on their face than those who do not get any injections at all, and age naturally. It is important to note that botox does not work on any fine lines that are not caused by expression movements on the face.

You can expect to notice the effects of botox injections within a few days of the treatment, although the full effects will not be fully noticeable until about two weeks afterwards.

How Long Do Botox Injections Last?

Generally, the effects of botox injections last anywhere between three to six months, depending on how much or little expression you have. These effects gradually wear off. By repeating botox injections, over time the muscles that are injected can become weaker, and therefore not require as many injections to be effective.

As the botox starts to wear off, you can use this time period to be more conscious of how often or deep you make facial expressions, and train your muscles not to frown so often. There are a small number of individuals who become resistant to the effects of botox, therefore making these injections less effective over time.

Potential Costs

There is a wide range of costs associated with botox injections. Many factors influence the cost of the procedure, including the area being treated, how many injections are required, the extent of the wrinkles, and so forth. You can expect these sessions to start anywhere around the $375 mark, and upwards.

Precautions & Contraindications

There are certain people who are not good candidates for botox injections. This includes those who:

  • Are on certain medications, such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, aspirin, certain vitamins and herbal supplements (as these can increase the chances of bleeding and bruising)
  • Are pregnant or nursing
  • Have an infection close to the injection site
  • Have any pre-existing neuromuscular disorder

Conclusion

Botox injections are becoming wildly popular due to the fact that they really do work to smooth out the look of wrinkles with a minimally invasive procedure and very little downtime. Although the effects are not permanent, and will require follow-up procedures to keep up with the effects, botox can be a great alternative to more invasive cosmetic surgeries to fight the effects of aging.

All You Need to Know About Laser Hair Removal Treatments

Laser Hair Removal

For decades, people have been using a variety of methods to get rid of unwanted body hair. Conventional hair removal treatments such as shaving, waxing, threading and epilation have been the standard methods of removing hair. These treatments are either painful, or don’t provide lasting hair removal results. This is why lasers were introduced into the realm of long-term hair removal.

With laser hair removal treatments, the laser produces light energy which targets the pigment in the hair. Hair follicles are subsequently destroyed, while keeping all surrounding tissue (including the skin) unharmed and intact. In some cases, permanent hair removal is possible when multiple laser sessions are done.

Many clients use laser hair removal treatments to get rid of hair from virtually any part of the body where the hair is unwanted, such as the back, neck, arms, armpits, legs, bikini area, face, and so forth. In general, about 6 to 8 sessions will be sufficient to remove all unwanted hair, depending on how much or little hair needs to be removed.

How Lasers Work to Remove Hair

Selective photothermolysis – which allows selective absorption of light pulses at certain wavelengths to the hair follicles without harming surrounding tissue – is what is used with laser energy to target the pigment in the hair follicles to destroy them on a long-term, and sometimes permanent, basis. It is easier to destroy growing hairs rather than hairs that have been resting without having been trimmed in a while.

There are a variety of lasers used to destroy the hair follicle, which all use epidermal cooling techniques to decrease the amount of discomfort that the client may endure. This cooling technique also makes the treatment more effective in removing the hair follicle. The following are some of the lasers used in laser hair removal treatments in spas worldwide.

Ruby Laser – This laser helps to stunt the growth of body hair – in some cases, permanent hair removal is possible. Ruby laser is effective for those with darker hair, as those with blonde or white hair may not respond to this laser.

Alexandrite Laser – This is also a common laser used for those with darker hair, as it may not be highly effective on those with white or blonde hair. Clients will experience a delay in the regrowth of hair, and sometimes permanent hair removal. This type of laser can sometimes be safer on darker skin than the Ruby Laser.

Pulsed Diode Laser – This laser is also good for dark hair, and isn’t particularly effective on fine hair. Contact skin cooling techniques are used with the pulsed diode laser.

Intense Pulsed Light Source – This type of laser is effective on both coarse and fine dark hair, and is quite useful on darker skin. Cooling gels are used to decrease discomfort in the client.

Nd:TAG Laser – This is one of the best and most effective lasers for hair removal. It is effective on all hair and skin types and colors, and causes a minimal amount of epidermal damage in comparison to all other lasers used for hair removal. This type of laser causes the least amount of discomfort, and takes a short amount of time to execute.

What to Expect During a Laser Hair Removal Session

Laser hair removal can be slightly uncomfortable and painful. Depending on the type of hair you have, your pain tolerance, and the laser being used, this discomfort can range from mild to moderate. This is due to the fact that each hair follicle is surrounded by nerve endings that can be quite sensitive. Some clients use an anesthetic cream (like Emla) to help take the edge off the discomfort during the treatment session. If this cream is used, it should be applied at least half an hour prior to the laser therapy session.

After the treatment session, it is common to experience some redness, swelling and tenderness around the treated area. Although rare, blisters have been reported, more often in those with darker skin.

Those Who Should Use Precaution

There are certain individuals who may not be the right candidate for laser hair removal treatment. This includes people who have:

  • A bacterial or viral infection
  • A history of scarring or keloid formation
  • Psoriasis or vitiligo
  • An intense suntan (as this can make laser treatment less effective at removing hair)
  • Taken Accutane for the last 12 months

Before Your Laser Hair Removal Appointment

Prior to going in for laser hair removal, you must keep the following precautions in mind:

  • Avoid suntanning
  • Avoid waxing, electrolysis and plucking
  • Remove all cosmetics
  • Shave the treated area 24 hours prior to the hair removal session
  • Apply anesthetic cream to the area 30 to 60 minutes prior to the session

Conclusion

If you are a good candidate, and can afford both the time and the money in this treatment, then laser hair removal can be an extremely effective method of removing unwanted hair for extended periods of time, sometimes permanently. Having the hair follicle destroyed by laser can help save a lot of time and effort shaving or waxing on a regular basis. Especially in summer months, having the freedom to dress as you please without having to worry about unsightly hair is a great benefit.

Fight Aging With Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a wonderful skin treatment that helps to tackle and reduce any aging effects on the skin. It makes use of a high-tech machine that exfoliates the skin in order to make room for new skin cells. Find out more about this effective anti-aging skin treatment.

Microdermabrasion – The Anti-Aging Facial

Microdermabrasion is a skin treatment that helps to fight the effects of aging on the skin. It helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, scarring, age spots and hyper-pigmentation. It also helps to smooth out coarse skin, and decreases the size of the skin’s pores. Highly effective skin products are able to penetrate the skin easier and deeper with the use of microdermabrasion. This process also helps to build collagen, which helps to rejuvenate the skin and give it a more youthful appearance.

How Microdermabrasion Works

The skin is exfoliated and dead cells are removed and scuffed off with the use of a high-tech machine, which can be done with the initial and original crystal microdermabrasion technology, or the latest diamond-tip microdermabrasion.

The most superficial layers of dead skin cells are removed with the use of these expensive machines, which are generally used on the face, neck, chest and hands. The use of these high-tech machines makes the exfoliation process much more gentle and effective than with a home microdermabrasion kit, which is nowhere near as effective, and can even irritate the skin. A day spa, medical spa or dermatologist office will usually be the venues for having this skin treatment.

The Original Microdermabrasion Procedure

Microdermabrasion has been around since the 1980′s, and originally started with the use of crystal microdermabrasion technology. A wand is used to draw in air and spray the skin with aluminum oxide crystals, which are extremely hard minerals. In fact, these are the second hardest minerals, behind diamonds. These are the most common forms of crystals used in these machines, although occasionally you may find the use of salt or baking soda as well. The wand will then vacuum up the dead surface skin cells as it moves along the skin.

The power of the vacuum and crystal flow will determine how many dead skin cells are scuffed off the face, or whatever area is being treated. This is dependent on how the particular esthetician is performing this microdermabrasion procedure. In general, the esthetician will pass over the skin twice. If necessary, a third passing of the wand will go across the skin of it is particularly rough, or if there is a particular spot on the skin that requires added attention.

This original technology can cause some discomfort on the client, particularly around the eyes and nose. An esthetician who has a lot of experience with this procedure should be able to go through the process with as little discomfort caused to the client as possible. Although there will probably be some discomfort, there should be no pain. Some redness is to be expected after treatment is complete.

Latest Technology

The newer technology, known as diamond-tip microdermabrasion, provides the same great results as the original machine, but the experience is much less uncomfortable, and there are no traces of crystal residue left behind. The diamond tip is what is actually exfoliates the skin, then a vacuum is used to get rid of the dead skin cells. The exact tip used will be determined by the condition and thickness of your skin. This technology is becoming more and more popular among clients who are opting for this technology over the original. An even newer technology involves the use of water to exfoliate the skin, while infusing it with serums at the same time.

What to Expect From a Microdermabrasion Treatment

Microdermabrasion produces wonderful results. It helps to rejuvenate the skin by shedding layers of dead skin cells, allowing new ones to come through. It also helps to build collagen, which is essential to counter the aging effect.

In general, several treatment sessions are required before you are able to achieve the best results. They should also be spaced about 10 days to 2 weeks apart. After assessing your skin, your esthetician should be able to tell approximately how many sessions you’ll probably need.

These treatment sessions are rather quick, and usually only take about 30 minutes to perform. You won’t need any downtime afterwards, as this skin treatment is generally non-invasive. However, it is important to stay out of the sun for a couple of days, considering that the outermost layer of skin has been removed, causing the newly exposed skin to be slightly sensitive afterwards.

Those with very sensitive skin can also take advantage of this treatment. Your esthetician will be able to appropriately adjust the machine depending on your exact skin condition and type. It’s best to visit a skilled esthetician when having microdermabrasion performed on your skin.

There are certain people who may not be a good candidate for this treatment. This includes individuals with vascular conditions, bacterial infections, abrasions, diabetes, skin inflammation, sunburn, acne and viral infections. Those who have had botox within the previous 72 hours should also refrain from microdermabrasion.

Microdermabrasion Can Work Wonders For Your Skin

If you are a good candidate for microdermabrasion, this treatment can really make your skin look younger and more vibrant. The high-technology of the machinery used for this treatment is aggressive at removing the dead skin cells that are preventing new cells to show. The effect it has on tackling aging skin, fine lines, wrinkles and brown spots is well worth the trip to your day spa.

Relax With a Soothing and Invigorating Hot Stone Massage

Hot Stone Massage – The Ultimate in Relaxation and Massage Therapy

Everyone loves a soothing and relaxing massage. There are a variety of massages that spas offer their clients, which all have their own specific traits and benefits. A hot stone massage is one particular variation of the traditional massage where heated smooth flat stones are placed on certain points on the body to relieve tension and induce relaxation. The application of hot stone massages can be dated back to ancient times, and has become a staple of most professional and full-services spas worldwide.

How Hot Stone Massages Work

The type of stones that are used during a hot stone massage are rich in iron so that they are able to retain a good amount of heat for an extended period of time, which is why they are quite useful in an hour long massage. River rocks are used for the most part considering their highly smooth texture, which have been smoothed over by the current of the river.

The stones are heated up by being immersed in water that has been heated with an electric heating machine. Once they reach a certain temperature, they are ready to be used on the client.

Certain spots on the body – including the back, palms of the hands and feet – are targeted with these hot stones, which are supposed to warm and relax muscles, and relieve any tension that may be present. By heating these specific pressure points, the massage therapist is able to apply even deeper pressure if necessary since the muscles in those areas have been warmed up by the hot stones.

In addition to relieving muscular tension, the heat from the smooth river stones helps to improve circulation, and soothe the nervous system. Many massage therapists attempt to rebalance the mind and body by placing the heated stones on spots that are believed to be centers of energy of the body.

Purpose of a Hot Stone Massage

There are many reasons why people choose to have a hot stone massage. Aside from getting a great relaxing experience, many people get a hot stone massage for the relief of the following:

  • Muscle tension
  • Poor circulation
  • Back pain
  • Arthritis pain
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia

How the Heated Stones Feel

Although the stones are considered “hot”, you do not have to worry about being scalded or in pain and discomfort. These stones are heated to a specific temperature that will allow the stones to be safe for application on the skin, which will actually feel quite soothing. The massage therapist will handle the stones first before placing them on your body in order to ensure that they are a comfortable temperature. The texture of the stones are very soothing and comfortable due to their amazing smoothness.

The Hot Stone Massage Experience

During a hot stone massage, your massage therapist will apply special oil to your body in order to assist the hot stones in gliding smoothly across your skin and along the muscles. For the back muscles, massage therapists usually use the stones to apply pressure when massaging the back muscles, rather than with direct contact with their hands.

The main goal for the hot stone application is to warm up the muscles to not only soothe them, but to allow the massage therapist to apply even deeper pressure than if the muscles had not been previously warmed up. Depending on what you choose, your massage therapist can place the hot stones onto the palms of your hands and in between your toes after turning over onto your back with your belly facing upwards. Generally, these types of massages range from about 60 to 90 minutes in length for a fully therapeutic experience.

Precautions For Hot Stone Massages

Although hot stone massages are wonderful spa treatments to provide you with the ultimate in relaxation and muscle tension relief, there are certain people who should not participate is such massages. This includes those who:

  • Have a skin rash
  • Have an infectious disease
  • Have open wounds
  • Just had surgery
  • Just finished chemotherapy or radiation treatment
  • Are prone to blood clots (due to the increased risk that blood clots can become dislodged)

Those who have heart disease or are pregnant should check with their health care practitioner before engaging in a hot stone massage.

In addition to these precautions, it should be noted that the massage therapist will be particularly careful not to apply any pressure directly over bruises inflammations, tumors, hernias or fractures that haven’t healed 100%.

Before Your Massage

To make your hot stone massage as enjoyable as possible, try not to have a heavy meal beforehand. This can make you feel uncomfortable, especially when you are laying on your stomach. You’ll most likely have to fill in some forms before your massage, so it’s best to arrive a few minutes prior to your booked appointment to give yourself some time to fill these out.

The Unbeatable Experience of a Hot Stone Massage

A hot stone massage is one of the most popular spa treatments available, and for good reason. Not only are they therapeutic and helpful in tension relief, but they are incredibly relaxing and soothing. If you’re planning on visiting a spa some time soon, consider treating yourself to a hot stone stone massage – you’ll be going back for more!

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