Beauty Fix: From bikini waxes to Botox, we have the answers to your spa treatment questions!
A trip to the spa is always supposed to be relaxing (yes, there are even moments of zen during the most uncomfortable waxes!), but sometimes your pre-treatment peace of mind can get a little bogged down. From uncertainty about which services to choose to questions about spa etiquette, we’ve all been there—which is why Beauty Fix is tackling all your spa service queries this week.
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Is it customary to groom before a bikini wax or is my nagging embarrassment unfounded?
If you’ve never gone for a treatment with an aesthetician I can assure you that there’s no need to be shy. It’s like any other profession: daily exposure means they’re as unfazed by your unkempt bikini line as an account executive is by an overflowing inbox! The ideal length of hair for a bikini wax is around 1 to 2 centimetres in length. If your hair is longer than that, check with the salon before reaching for the grooming scissors. Most salons will do a trim free of charge—and actually prefer to do so to avoid customers showing up with hair that’s too short. However, to combat any uneasiness, what you can DIY the night before is a bit of pre-wax skincare by exfoliating to remove the excess skin cells around your hair follicles. Use a soft bikini brush or a tiny loofah, like The Body Shop Smooth & Renew Loofah Pads ($6, thebodyshop.ca), and buff it in a circular motion around any skin that will be waxed. And as an added bonus, this prep will help combat ingrown hairs and even out your skin tone!
I love getting a full body massage every month, but have noticed that my back is not so fond of the massage oil. What’s the best way to fight a breakout on my back?
The answer to this might be less about the massage oil used, and more about the fact that your back is so hard to reach—making a post-massage scrub down hard to do! Twisting your arms around only gives you so much leverage against sweat, oils and other acne-causing bacteria that have been rubbed in while you were relaxing. The smartest solution I’ve read is one that can be found in the kitchen: simply place a pore cleansing cream, like Yves Rocher Stop Blemish Lotion ($25, yvesrocher.ca), on the head of a soft spatula and start spreading. It’ll elongate your arm so you can reach all the tough spots, and the flexible head will help ensure even coverage. Go-go-gadget-arms!
While we enjoy laughing at the “young” faces of reality TV show stars, my friends and I have confessed we’ll all end up getting Botox one day. But frankly, I’d like to delay a trip to the cosmetic surgeon for as long as possible. Help!
The Real Housewives franchise doesn’t do this non-surgical innovation much of a favour. Botox is hardly new to the cosmetic procedure scene–women have been enjoying it for 20 years–but nagging uneasiness about its effects abound. There are many factors involved with the success of this relatively non-invasive face lift: the doctor, the depth of your wrinkles, the strength of your facial muscles, and the strength of the blend of Botox—which arrives dehydrated and is mixed with a liquid counterpart. The ladies you see on TV who have “cat faces” are likely over-indulging in its goodness–the effect lasts six months and, when injected correctly, should leave your peers unbeknownst to your treatment. The bottom line is you won’t necessarily look so frozen-in-time as the women who over-indulge to calm their nerves about being on TV, but it’s also WAY more expensive than aging gracefully with your natural creases. A serious sunscreen, like Elizabeth Arden Prevage Triple Defense SPF 50 Sunscreen Sheer Lotion ($95, at department stores), will keep your skin looking its best, and the sooner you commit, the longer you can delay a trip to the surgeon.
I am in complete bliss while getting a facial, save for anxiety over how my face will look once the hour is up! What’s protocol for leaving the spa and looking decent?
A huge pair of sunnies and a large hat? No, I’m kidding––kind of. Aside from those obviously awesome accessories, there are few makeup options sensitive enough to put on over top your pores which have just been steamed, squeezed and manipulated for an hour. If you have obligations afterwards like, say, a brunch with friends or anything in public, I would only suggest an oil-free tinted moisturizer like Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer ($49, narscosmetics.ca), which is free of irritants like parabens, sulfates, dyes and fragrances. I wouldn’t bother with blush since your blood circulation was just stimulated by massage and will leave your cheeks pink, but with a swipe of mascara and a little lip balm you’ll be all good to go!
If I were to invest in a single spa treatment this spring, which would you recommend as having the highest return?
Living in a climate with two major temperature changes throughout the year gives our complexions two periods of increased vulnerability to breakouts, dryness and discomfort in outdoor conditions. I book a microdermabrasion every six months after my go-to aesthetician Tamila Kostiuk at Pure and Simple Spa in Toronto assured me it would kick dull skin out the door by opening pores to moisture. Look for a spa that uses sea salt as its texture of choice because it will act as an anti-bacterial cleanser for pores too. You could also try making your own microdermabrasion treatment at home by blending organic brown sugar or oatmeal with your cleanser, or stocking up on an at-home system like Ole Henriksen Micro/Mini Peel System ($95, sephora.com). Whichever method you choose, remember to repeat it once fall rolls around!