Winter Skin RX

I have been noticing this year, more than any other, that my skin and lips are so dry! The cold has come to Victoria, and I am reminded of that every day now! Brrrrr….

So, I wanted to share some of my very favourite ways to repair and rehydrate dry, chapped skin and lips. Skin tends to freak out when its undergoing sudden changes in environment, so its important to chug that water, get lots of rest (basically, all the simple stuff) AND…change your products up!

I can often get away with just gloss on my lips during other seasons, but when winter hits, I love using Yum’s lip balm ($10) which is super emollient and rehydrating. It gives a hint of gloss, too – bonus!

As for facial skincare, adding in a hydrating masque can be a saviour. Our Nori Mango, Pearl, and Chia masques from Yum ($48) are all packed with antioxidants, humectants and emollients to really draw and bind moisture to the skin. To keep your masquing results up, consider switching from a gel cleanser to a cream cleanser, so that more of your natural skin oils stay put. The Beta Carotene cleanser (both $38) is mild and cooling for sensitive skin, and the Sweet Orange Cleanser helps sweep away devitalized cells and is recommended for environmentally stressed skin.

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And for body, the Hempz lotions are an affordable, delicious smelling way to rehydrate and protect the whole body. The brand’s lotions features Pure Hemp Seed Oil, which is one of the richest sources of essential fatty acids. Naturally conditioning for skin all over the body!

Finally, a paraffin dip is an amazing way for hands and feet to get some TLC. Moisturized hands are dipped in this warm, soft wax, locking in moisture by forcing it into the skin. This is a very relaxing treatment, and also great for arthritis sufferers. Take home a bottle of Footlogix #3 foot foam ($24), and you have a defence against dry, cracking heels all year round.

See you soon for your holiday skin fix!

Krista

NEW product alert from St Tropez: Luxe Dry Oil

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We are so excited to now carry the newest product from St Tropez: Luxe Dry Oil! What is it, you ask? Well….its a silky-smooth body moisturizer, a self-tanner, and sexy golden shimmer all in one. I can’t believe how many things this one product can do!

But wait: what’s a dry oil? A dry oil is a product formulation that isn’t slick or actually oily, it leaves more of a satin feel to the skin. This one dries quickly, yet still provides moisture. The finish is demi-matte.

This amazing dry oil not only feels luxurious on the skin, but it has a subtle guide colour and a very fine golden shimmer to it, making it the perfect self-tanner to wear out with residue layer still on. We have long loved our St Tropez Illuminators, which are the perfect highlighter and an essential component for skin finishing (kind of the makeup of the body), so this dry oil is almost a self-tanner and illuminator in one! We love that.

This product is most easily applied with bare hands or vinyl gloves. Shake bottle quickly, then spread on to desired area. This isn’t the darkest-developing formula, so those new to sunless tanning, or fair girls, this is for you! Deeper skin tones will love this product as more of a maintenance product for its more subtle glow and hydrating properties.

Pick yours up today – just because it’s fall, doesn’t mean you have to lose that bronze! In fact, I find keeping a slight tan all year round makes me feel vibrant and glowing 🙂 Come see us sunless tanning consultants with your questions. See you soon and happy tanning!

Krista

An Introduction to Skincare

I was once performing a facial for a wonderful client of ours, D, (what – we do facials?! YES) and were chatting away about my favourite skincare line, which we carry at Brun, Yum Gourmet Skincare. D was simply amazed that her favourite department store moisturizer was over double the cost of what she was about to spend on an amazing, spa-quality moisturizer chock full of active ingredients and low on additives, artificial fragrance and water. From Yum. With us. Buh-bye, $100 moisturizer.

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Does this make any sense? Let’s talk about spa skincare, not drug or department store skincare. And then I’ll give you a little routine to follow at home.

To start off though, there are generally a lot of questions clients tend to have if they’re new to skincare. It’s kind of hard to tell where I should even start. Basically, getting a real live grownup skincare regime sounds daunting, but it’s not. And it’s definitely something that will start to matter more and more as time goes on. So if you are currently washing your face with a bar of soap, stop now. I really mean it. Stop now, come on down to the shop, and I will give you some samples of high-quality skincare, ASAP.

So what I mean by a “skincare regime” is basically cleansing, toning, and moisturizing, with a little SPF and exfoliation thrown in the mix. If you’re a woman, from time to time, or every day, you’re going to wear makeup, so you’ll have to cleanse your skin anyway. And if you are going to wear makeup, wouldn’t you like the smoothest, best feeling canvas you can possibly get so you can spend less time and money on makeup and more time looking fabulous out in the world?! I do! And I’m a makeup artist. So if then you’re willing to get used to this intimidating regime-thing, and you’ve agreed you want your skin to feel ah-maze, then, my friend, I introduce you to professional skincare – spa skincare.

Cleansing, Toning, Moisturizing – what does it all mean? Well we’ve briefly covered cleansing. The reason I don’t want you to do it with soap is because soap has the pH level of Spic-and-Span, and we don’t want you cleansing your face with the same thing you’d cleanse your floor with. A great cleanser will remove dirt, makeup and excess oil without stripping the protective acids and oils on the skin’s surface. The main difference you’ll notice right away with cleanser, as with the other products in a professional line, is the amount you’ll use. Clients are always amazed at the concentration when the tiniest portion of cleanser is emulsified in water, and it’s more than enough to cleanse their face and neck.

Toning is when a solution of antioxidants, vitamins, and humectants is applied to the skin after toning. This simple step (just spritz all over face or apply with a cotton pad) is a really great step to include as toner further removes excess cleanser and makeup, pH balances the skin, but most importantly it stays on the skin, so it’s really depositing all kinds of nourishing active ingredients on to your skin; unlike cleanser, which is rinsed away.

Obviously, moisturizing is pretty straightforward – you’re going to nourish and protect your skin. In some cases, facial cream can contain ingredients that trap moisture to the skin, or even attract it to the skin. Others are more matte, providing just enough hydration so the skin doesn’t feel dry, but aren’t particularly rich. Treatment creams, containing AHA or Vitamin C, for example, are used more commonly at night, whereas moisturizers with SPF should only be used in the daytime. And ladies, if you don’t want to wake up one morning and realize that your chest and face are looking wrinkly and sad, I strongly suggest you wear sunscreen every day, at least in the spring/summer, to prevent premature aging. Our Creme du Soleil spf 30 is hydrating and sensitive skin friendly. Get your vitamin D some other way!

Okay, now for exfoliation. If you could only start out with a few products, I would recommend the three I just talked about. But now, we’re going to talk about the holy grail of skincare: exfoliation! (Aaaahh…angels singing) My absolute FAVOURITE way to exfoliate has to be an AHA product, like our Sugar Cane Exfoliating Serum. What does that mean? Well, instead of using a regular old scrub, (which can be extremely helpful, too, I use scrubs as more of a “supporting player” in my skincare regime) an exfoliating acid or enzyme gently loosens and removes dead skin cells from the skin at an accelerated rate. The great thing about AHA, or alpha hydroxy acid, is that it also has benefits like lightening pigmentation and helping with fine lines and wrinkles. The only thing to make sure of is that you always wear SPF when using alpha hydroxy, as it does make you more photosensitive, or sun-sensitive. Any type of exfoliation, though, helps remove dead skin so that moisturizers or masques can penetrate better, pores aren’t clogged, which helps with breakouts, and your skin feels amazingly soft and smooth. That is why this is a key step in any skincare routine.

So that’s really it! Cleanse, Tone, Exfoliate at night, SPF or Moisturize (spf in the day, hydrate at night.) We can get all fancy later with eye cream, serum, and masques once you’ve mastered your new regime! As for products suited to your individual skin needs and preferences, stop in and we’ll help you pick ones right for you.

Dam Good Soap

One of the things we like to stress as estheticians is healthy, balanced skin that retains its natural skin oils. We talk about it a lot regarding facial skincare, but it’s important for the body, too. So you can imagine how excited we were when we discovered Dam Good Soap, from Richmond, B.C.

Dam Good Soap is luxurious to use. These giant bars last a fairly long time in the shower, and don’t disintegrate into a pile of mush the way other soaps do. Some of them are lightly scented with essential oils or natural plant extracts, and others are decidedly unscented for those too sensitive. But the really great thing about them is their minimalistic ingredients list and the way they leave your skin feeling.These soaps will clean you (some of them will exfoliate you) and your skin will feel hydrated, not tight and dry the way many other traditional soaps will.

They are an olive oil based line of soaps, but they usually contain coconut oil, cocoa seed butter, aloe vera (great for dry or sensitive skin types)and some contain clay (very purifying, and great for oilier skin types.)

Conventional soap often contains harsh surfactants (like sodium laurel sulfate) which are basically just really stripping to the skin and dry out the skin unnecessarily. Dam Good Soaps are a much nicer alternative, and there are even varieties that contain a bit of grit for a Dam Good exfoliation and cleansing in one.

Come down to the shop and check ‘em out!

All about Brazilian Waxing – Everything you’ve ever wanted to know but never asked (hopefully everything….)

So, we love to talk about the latest fun colours of polish we have in the salon, or share knowledge about anti-aging skincare, but the truth is that the majority of our clients LOOOVE coming in for good ol’ waxing. Yeah, hair removal! Did you want to read about that? Not really? Okay, please try. So why waxing?

The cool thing about waxing is that unlike mainstream old wives tales, waxing actually causes one to grow less hair over time. Doesn’t matter if it’s on your face, legs, underarms, or bikini line, waxing never causes or stimulates hair growth. As one of my favourite waxing educators says, “If we could cause hair to grow by simply waxing skin, we’d have bald men lining up around the block.” Well said Lori Nestore! Lori is the Wax Queen, specializing in speed waxing and Brazilian waxing techniques. I have seen her lecture twice at the Vancouver ESI Spa Show, and I’ve learned more from her in those two occasions than I could’ve imagined.

Lori also knows the importance of homecare with waxing, which is why we offer two courses of treatments for ingrown hairs, the only real side effect of waxing (I’ll note here, though – many clients report worse ingrowns from shaving than from waxing): Lori’s Tuel Body Polish Kit, and her Clear-It gel, and then the PFB roll-on ingrown solution. Both systems spot treat ingrown hairs, and prevent them from forming in the first place. Your technician will fully explain which system will work for you in your appointment.

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But wait…does it hurt? How is my skin affected? Do I have to be naked?

Well, waxing, particularly Brazilian waxing can hurt, yes. However, the standard recommended return visit is four weeks. In those four weeks, you’ll notice your hairs are softer, finer, and less dense than before. You’ll just have less hair. The root of the hair also becomes less strongly attached at the follicle, so when the hairs are removed – you guessed it – it doesn’t hurt nearly as much. The moral of the story is, if you wax once, don’t go back to that first time! Stick with it.

Because we use hard wax, which only adheres to the hair, not the skin, the aftereffects are minimal. The skin is much less irritated than with using strip wax all over. And finally, yes, you will be naked from the waist down, but it’s only to ensure that the job gets done effectively, quickly, and as painlessly as possible. Our technicians are professional and specialize in Brazilians, so that you can feel comfortable for your first visit and beyond!

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If you’re wondering how to tell when’s the right time to book a Brazilian wax with us, it’s three weeks from the last shave. So, if you don’t currently do anything, shave down to the skin and wait three weeks, and book your appointment for exactly then. Or, book for three weeks from the last day you remember shaving, depilation, et cetera. Or, four weeks from your last waxing appointment. This will ensure the best possible results for hair removal.

So join us to see why we’re Victoria’s best Brazilian waxing destination. You’ll be a waxing veteran in no time!